Updated: Jul 31
Paris, the French capital, has become one of the world's most visited cities. Millions of visitors visit to discover its famous landmarks, explore its historic streets, and immerse themselves in its lively culture. But, with so much to do and see in Paris, deciding what to focus in a single day can be challenging. You'll get a taste of the city's highlights, from visiting the Eiffel Tower to spending an evening at the Moulin Rouge, without sacrificing quality or quantity.
Are you prepared to spend 24 hours in Paris? Let's get started!
A 24 Hour Paris Itinerary in a Nutshell
Is this your first trip to Paris? To make the most of your vacation, read this guide to visiting Paris for the first time or this guidance if you're visiting Paris alone for the first time. Here you also find Paris's Top 20 Beautiful Locations - Paris Sightseeing not to be missed.
Dawn: Watch the Sunrise from the Eiffel Tower While Eating a Croissant
A 24-hour Paris itinerary would be incomplete without a visit to the Eiffel Tower, Europe's most recognized landmark. Sunset is one of the greatest times to visit. Even on a foggy day, it is an excellent time to see the Eiffel Tower, and there are usually fewer tourists around at this time of day.
We propose stopping by a bakery on your route to the Eiffel Tower and picking up a croissant or, if you prefer cakes, a cake. Maison Bergeron is our favorite bakery near the Eiffel Tower; the baguettes aux céreales are delicious! It's an incredible feeling to sit in silence in front of the Eiffel Tower.
Morning: Take a stroll around Île de la Cité
Île de la Cité is one of the Seine's two remaining natural islands. Île de la Cité is also home to the world-famous flower market, as well as Bouquinistes along the Seine River.
These are bookstores that sell used and antique books, artwork, and, more recently, tourist goods.
The renowned Notre Dame is one of the main reasons people visit the Île de la Cité. Sadly, Notre Dame was destroyed by fire on April 15, 2019, although it is expected to be rebuilt by 2024 / 2025.
Lunch: Have a Picnic for Lunch
One of the nicest things to do in Paris in a single day is to go to a supermarket and stock up on some amazing cheese, meat, and, of course, a breadstick, and then head to a park or the banks of the Seine for a picnic. Don't forget to pick up a bottle of wonderful French wine to pair with your lunch.
The Luxembourg Gardens and the Tuileries are two excellent sites to enjoy a picnic - Luxembourg Gardens is one of our favorite place to relax.
Afternoon: Visit Montmartre
Montmartre is one of Paris's coolest areas and, once again, a must-see within your 24 hours in Paris agenda. Sacré-Coeur is one of Montmartre's most visible and well-known landmarks.
The Basilica is free to visit and open between 6 a.m. and 10:30 p.m. If you want to reach the dome, enter to the left of the Basilica, but be aware that there are 300 steps to ascend.
You will get one of the nicest views of Paris from the front of Sacré-Coeur! You can see the Eiffel Tower's light show at night!
You should also see the Sinking House of Paris, which is more of an optical illusion than a real sinking house.
Place du Tertre (or painters Square) is a fantastic location to hang out, watch the painters at work, and relax with a drink in one of the cafes.
Dinner in Montmartre in the evening
Unless you plan to eat at the Moulin Rouge, we recommend having dinner in Montmartre on your way there.
La Taverne de Montmartre is an excellent choice for traditional French cuisine, including snails and the famous Beef Bourguignon.
If you want to eat at a cafe, we recommend Le Café de la Poste, which employs food from local fishmongers, bakers, and patisserie. It is also fairly priced, which is an added plus.
Sacrée Fleur is another wonderful option (particularly if you enjoy pork). Sacrée Fleur pays homage to the sacred cow, which is a key part on the menu. Once again, the pricing on the menu are reasonable.
Visit the famous Moulin Rouge at night
We feel like we have said it a million times in this post, but a trip to Paris would be incomplete without attending a show at the Moulin Rouge. The spectacle is iconic, and the building and Windmill are located on top of the Moulin Rouge.
You should purchase your tickets in advance to avoid disappointment. You have a few alternatives when purchasing your tickets; you can have dinner before the evening show if you want.
The Moulin Rouge, on the other hand, is not inexpensive! When purchasing your tickets, we recommend that you select the champagne option. After all, you can't go to France and not try some authentic champagne.
How to Get Around in Paris
It is simple to get around in Paris. Walking is one of the finest methods to get about Paris.
Walking will reveal numerous hidden jewels and charming tiny streets that you might miss if you took a bus or drove by. However, Paris is a large city, and if you visit for a day, you would most certainly try to see as much as possible.
Renting a bike is another option for going around Paris in a single day. If you are traveling and do not have your own bike, renting one through Velib is a popular and less expensive option.
There are around 1,800 stations across the city where you may pick up or drop off a bike.
The first half hour of bike rental is free. If you can pick up and return your bike within half an hour, you will not be charged; once you have returned your bike, you may rent another.
Where to stay for one night in Paris
Keeping your luggage safe
If you are only visiting Paris for the day and will not be staying overnight, there are numerous luggage storage facilities available across the city. Stasher Luggage Storage is an excellent choice; it costs 6€ per day per bag and each item is covered for up to 1,000€.
Several train stations, notably Gare d'Nord, Gare Montparnasse, Gare d'Austerlitz, Gare de l'Est, and Gare de Lyon, offer luggage storage. Stasher Luggage storage is also available at both airports. So, if you have a layover, you don't have to bring your luggage into Paris.
How to Get to Paris
You will arrive in Paris at either Charles De Gaulle or Orly Airport.
Each of these airports are approximately 45 minutes by taxi or Uber from the center of Paris, depending on traffic.
Taxis are easily accessible at both airports, but they are fairly pricey (this is Paris, after all!).
Taxis from Orly to Charles de Gaulle will cost around 25 euros, while from Charles de Gaulle to Orly will cost around 50 euros.
There is a 30% surcharge between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m., as well as a 1.50 euro fee each suitcase.
Taking public transportation is a significantly cheaper, albeit more time-consuming, option.
Trains run every 15 minutes from the airport to the Gare du Nord, Chatelet Les Halles, and Luxembourg train stations from Charles De Gaulle from 5:30 a.m. to midnight.
There is a shuttle bus that will transport you from Orly airport to the train station.
The train thereafter runs every 15 minutes from 5:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. The airport rail connects to the Gare d'Austrelits, St Michel/Notre Dame, and Invalides stations.
If you are traveling with Air France, you can take a bus to and from both airports.
If you are traveling by train around Europe (or at least to Paris), you will most likely arrive at Gare d'Nord. The Eurostar comes at Gare d'Nord from London, and the train station is rather central.
It's simple to catch the metro from Gare d'Nord and get to your hotel or the first stop on your 24-hour Paris itinerary.
FAQs: Paris in 24 hours
24 Hours in Paris - What can you do?
One day in Paris can be filled with a variety of activities. During a 24-hour layover in Paris, most people like to cross some items off their bucket list.
At the Eiffel Tower, you can watch the sunrise while eating a croissant. Take a stroll around Île de la Cité and the Notre Dame (reconstructed in 2024 / 2045). Lunch can be had in a Parisian garden with a picnic. Visit Montmartre and the Moulin Rouge.
Is one day in Paris sufficient?
In Paris, there is so much to do that you may never see it all. You will, however, be able to visit a lot of "classic" Paris and get a decent sense of what the city has to offer.
Is it worth it to spend one night in Paris?
Absolutely! Our view is that any time spent in Paris is preferable to none. One night will most likely give you two half days, allowing you to see the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Montmartre, and Champs-Élysées.
Last Thoughts: A Day in Paris - 24 Hours in Paris
Paris has a lot to offer and might be a terrific place to spend 24 hours! Whether you do it all or just a few highlights, the city will take your breath away.
Look no further than Paris for a fast-paced trip full of culture, fantastic food, and sightseeing options! You'll have a great experience touring the city in a short amount of time with this 24-hour plan. Good luck!