Paris in one day: challenge accepted!

Visiting Paris in just one day might seem impossible, because it is a big city and there are a lot of attractions worth a visit, however, it is not impossible.

Our long-time expertise will help you to arrange your trip in the Ville Lumière in the best way possible and possibly, we will help you save some money during your day.

Whether you are your only free day during your business trip or a traveller exploiting a transcontinental flight stop-over, this guide was written just for you.

Our tips for you

Here’s an overview of our tips for you:

  • From the airport to the city centre;
  • The One-Day Paris Visite Pass;
  • Accommodation tips;
  • Let’s start!
  • The Île de la Cité through the Jewish Quarter;
  • A sweet snack, Aux Merveilleux de Fred;
  • And for lunch?
  • The Latin Quarter;
  • The Louvre Museum;
  • The Opéra and the Galeries Lafayette;
  • The Arc de Triomphe and the Champs-Élysées;
  • Champ de Mars and Tour Eiffel;
  • The Seine River Cruise;
  • The night lights of Montmartre;
  • Your typical dinner at the Bouillon Pigalle;
  • The Sacré-Cœur.

From the airport to the city centre

There are three main airports in Paris: Beauvais (BVA), Charles de Gaulle (CDG), and Orly (ORY).

We would suggest you to arrive at Orly or CDG. Both are not so far from the city centre and they are perfectly connected by public transport. Buses take up to 70-80 minutes to reach the centre, while the RER (train) takes more or less 50 minutes. Prices are approximately the same.

In order to avoid any problem with your luggage and feel more comfortable when you go to the city centre, you may want to opt for a private transfer. You can book it in advance, with a fixed price.

A driver will wait you at the customs exit, and they will take you to the address provided during the booking. We have a range of recommended private transfer services. Feel free to use it!

The One-Day Paris Visite Pass

Paris is a big city, but it is well connected by public transport, therefore, you should buy the One-day Paris Pass (€ 13.20, zones 1-3). It provides you unlimited use of public transport in the city centre.

Another option could be a 10 tickets carnet (€16.90 in total for bus/metro/RER), but it is anyhow advisable to have tickets ready to avoid the long queues.

Please note: Paris City Pass allows you to get only a one-way airport ride. You will have to choose between Airport/City or City/Airport and you will need another ticket for the other way around.

Buy your Pass

Note: prices may change after the publish date of this article.

Accommodation tips

Are you lucky enough to spend a night in Paris?

We definitely recommend you to stay in Rive Droite, a must-see area with some of the most enchanting places in the city. 

If you want to give up relax in favour of nightlife, then The Pigalle and Moulin Rouge areas – and their Bohemian lifestyle –  will certainly charm you.

Alternatively, we recommend the Jewish Quarter (Marais) district or the Opéra Garnier area. Here you will find good hotels, but also the main Metro stations of the line 1. Line 1 crosses all the attractions of the city. Bastille, Châtelet, Concorde, and Louvre are a few examples of line 1 metro stations. You should find your accommodation next to them.

Let’s start!

From Charles de Gaulle, take the RER line B up to Châtelet Les Halles station (a single ticket costs around €10). From Orly, take the Orlyval Shuttle Train to the Antony RER station, and from there take the RER line B up to Châtelet (12,00€ for this combination). Another option could be the Orlybus (7,70€ each ride)

If you are starting from your hotel/apartment, you should go straight to the Bastille or Châtelet station (Line 1).

The Île de la Cité through the Jewish Quarter

You cannot leave Paris without seeing Notre-Dame, one of the oldest and most impressive Medieval Cathedrals in Europe.

You can reach Our Lady (the way the French call Notre-Dame), crossing the Jewish Quarter. In doing so, you will stroll along the streets of a very fashionable area, where the trendy boutiques are merge with with the historical background of old buildings and squares. 

You should not miss Place des Vosges, Rue des Rosiers with its gardens, the Hotel de Soubise, the Eglise Saint-Paul, the modern Centre Pompidou designed by Renzo Piano, Gianfranco Franchini and Richard Rogers, and Hôtel de Ville – a stunning building for its architecture and and importance for politics and administration of the city.

However, keep in mind that Notre-Dame is still not accessible due to the devastating fire occurred on April 2019. Therefore, as an alternative, we suggest visiting the nearby Sainte-Chapelle. This gothic monument, along with the Conciergerie, is considered one of the earliest oldest buildings in town, dating back to the Kingdom of Louis IX.

It is highly recommended to book in advance your entrance, because the queue is always very long!

Ask for our Île de la Cité Private Tour. It is possible to tailor the itinerary according to your needs and interests, adding for example the route of the Jewish Quarter.

A sweet snack, Aux Merveilleux de Fred

During your morning walk, you should absolutely have a break at the nearby Aux Merveilleux de Fred (2 Rue Monge, 75005 Paris) by Frédéric Vaucamp, where pastry and history become one.

Let’s talk about the latter.

The pastry’s inspiration comes from the Directory regime in 1796 – 1799, when women such as Madame Tallien and Madame Récamier opened salons which served as meeting points for Nouvelle Élégance: Merveilleuses and Incroyables. The Incroyables were young people with effeminate manners whose sole concern was the pursuit of pleasure. The Merveilleuses, instead, had a total disregard for modesty and dressed old-fashioned: loose tunics which were sometimes worn damp in order to be more figure-hugging.

This is what inspired Frédéric Vaucamps, who identified himself to such a degree in the fantasy of the Incroyables and the Merveilleuses that the brand name soon took hold in its masculine form.

And for lunch?

Two street-food choices for a light fast lunch before leaving this area:

Both are typical dishes that you should absolutely taste. There is a great variety of dishes and they are suitable for all budgets.

Note: The Jewish Quarter and the Île de la Cité are quite close, so you can easily decide to have your lunch whenever you want. It won’t be a problem for your schedule.

The Latin Quarter

What to do after lunch? 

The charming Latin Quarter is a good idea!

Take the metro Line 7 from Pont Marie to Jussieu, and a stone’s throw from there, you will find the Church of Saint Étienne du Mont, the Panthéon, and the Luxembourg Gardens.

Sitting on one of the many benches in the Luxembourg Gardens, you could take a little break, especially during the Spring/Summer sunny days. You will feel gladdened by enjoying the sounds, the colours, and the smell of nature.

The Louvre Museum

To go from the Latin Quarter to the Louvre, you can take again the Metro Line 7, from Jussieu (the same station used from Pont Marie to the Latin Quarter) to Palais Royal Musée du Louvre.

Of course, if you are going to stay in Paris only for one day, it is not advisable to get into the Louvre. As you can imagine, without a tour guide, it would take a whole day to visit it, and even in that case, it might not be enough!

That’s why we suggest you visit just the external area, seeing the Pyramid from the outside.

The Opéra and the Galeries Lafayette

Now, take the Metro line 7 from Palais Royal Musée du Louvre to Opéra. As soon as you come out from the metro station, you’ll find the Palais Garnier in all its golden beauty. It is one of the most representative examples of the opulence of Napoleon III style. Probably, the most famous opera house in the world.

The Galeries Lafayette, Boulevard Haussmann – 70,000 square meters of Shopping, covered by a beautiful art-nouveau domed – are within walking distance.

The Arc de Triomphe and the Champs-Élysées

Taking the RER A  to Charles De Gaulle-Étoile station from Auber, near the Galeries Lafayette, you will reach the Arc de Triomphe, one of the symbols of the city. It honours those who fought and died for France in Napoleonic Wars.

It is probably sunset time. If the Galeries Lafayette mall did not satisfy all your needs in terms of shopping, take the metro line 1 from Étoile (right next to the Arc) up to Franklin D. Roosevelt station to reach the Champs-Élysées: the most popular shopping street in the city, mostly known for its luxury items and clothing stores, and for the Grand and Petit Palais. But it won’t be a short stroll: it might take up to 40/50 minutes by walk, from point to point.

If you feel like you can do without it, after seeing the Triumphal Arch you could go straight to the Eiffel Tower, depending on how tight your schedule is. Take the metro Line 6 from Charles de Gaulle-Étoile to Bir-Hakeim.

Champ de Mars and Tour Eiffel

You can’t miss the Eiffel Tower, as it is the most popular attraction of the city, known all over the world. We suggest you the following options:

  • You can visit the summit;
  • You can just visit the 1st/2nd floor.

The Eiffel Tower annually welcomes millions of visitors. Therefore, we strongly recommend you to book online and in advance your skip-the-line tickets.

Alternatively, you can either simply enjoy the view from the Champ de Mars gardens, or from the panoramic Terrace of Trocadéro, otherwise you can take a Seine River Cruise. This is the best option, in our opinion. The view from the river is really stunning!

The Seine River Cruise

If you opt for this option, you can enjoy the sunset from a unique perspective, taking the opportunity to have also some rest after your long walk.

Watching the city lighting up, you will understand why Paris is also known as the Ville Lumière.

Do you like the idea? So, do not hesitate to contact us:! We offer adult tickets for € 14.00 and children tickets (4-12 y.o.) for € 7.00 on the boats of one of our partners, Bateaux Mouches.

The night lights of Montmartre

It is dinner time and I can imagine that maybe you wouldn’t leave Paris without spending a little bit in Montmartre. So, let’s take the Metro line 6 from Bir-Hakeim to Charles De Gaulle-Étoile and then change with Line 2 up to Blanche station. Coming out from the metro station, you will see the Moulin Rouge in all its remarkable brightness.

Your typical dinner at Bouillon Pigalle

From the Moulin Rouge, walking through Boulevard de Clichy, you can easily reach Bouillon Pigalle (22 Boulevard de Clichy, 75018 Paris) that we recommend for dinner.

The Bouillon blends typical French cuisine with the special and cosy atmosphere of a classic French brasserie. It has been recently re-opened to the public revealing a surprising restyling. It was born as a place where you could grab a bite at a low price at any time of the day. Their typical soup was originally served at tables people would share with strangers. 

This kind of brasserie became so popular that in 1900 there were more than 250 restaurants of this kind in Paris.

The Sacré-Cœur

After dinner you should absolutely have a walk up to the top of the Montmartre Hill in order to admire the beauty of the Sacré-Cœur. The Church overlooks the city and has a particular, smart feature: it does not hold dust and smog, thanks to the limestone with which it was built!

After every rain shower, the Sacré-Cœur is shinier and brighter than before, and it is even visible at night!

That’s all for now! We hope you found our guide to visit Paris in one day useful.

Do not hesitate to enquire us about our Guided Tours (our Team is exclusively made up of licensed Tourist Guides with a professional card) or your transfer service. We would be glad to help you find the best solution for a smart trip planning!

You can write an e-mail to

Did you like the post? Share it!

Related articles

Paris Metro

October 27, 2020

A walking tour in Montmartre

March 20, 2020

Dining in Paris: tips for any taste

March 13, 2020