One Day in Paris Itinerary: 6 Easy Steps to Explore the City of Light in 24 Hours

There are dozens of ways to spend one day in Paris. If you’re a first-timer in the City of Light, your itinerary for the day will probably look quite a bit different from a regular visitor to the city.

One Day in Paris Itinerary: 6 Easy Steps to Explore the City of Light in 24 Hours


The elegant boulevards, breathtaking architecture, beautiful green parks, delicious food, and we could go on and on – because Paris does live up to the hype! And if you’re short on time, you may wonder if it is possible to see it all in a day.

Well, absolutely not. But don’t worry, Paris can be felt, loved, and experienced in just one day! So, ditch all the meticulous planning, and dive into this simple one day in Paris itinerary where you are guaranteed to capture the essence of the City of Light.

Start with a True Parisian Breakfast

Tasty breakfast in a Parisian street cafe - One Day in Paris Itinerary

Photo: Ekaterina Pokrovsky/Shutterstock

There’s nothing more important than kicking your day off on the right note. And what better way to do that than having a typical French breakfast?

Get into the Paris groove right from the start with these staples

  • La tartine (toast)
  • Les viennoiseries (pastries)
  • Du jus de fruit (juice)
  • Une boisson chaude (a hot drink)

In simpler words, the standard breakfast consists of a hot drink (coffee, tea, etc.), a slice of baguette with butter and jam, possibly a pastry, and maybe fruit juice.

And you may wonder where? Here are some iconic places that will deliver not only a tasty French breakfast but also charming Parisian vibes:

  • Les Deux Magots – where writers, artists, and philosophers such as Pablo Picasso enjoyed their breakfast.
  • La Caféothèque Paris – for coziness and one of the best croissants in Paris!
  • Café des 2 Moulins – If you’re a fan of the movie “Amelie,” it’s a must-visit cafe!
  • Café de Flore – founded in 1885 – is an iconic place for poetry, romance & delicious food.

Pick your spot, enjoy a heartwarming breakfast & let’s explore Paris!

Step 2: Make the Iconic Notre Dame Your First Impression of Paris

Paris Notre Dame Cathedral in the evening

Photo: F11Photo/Shutterstock

Representing one of the world’s most famous and renowned Gothic marvels and one of the city’s most visited monuments, Notre Dame will take your breath away. Make sure to go around and appreciate all the details, such as the gallery of kings, rose window, and so many more – the cathedral is awe-inspiring from all angles!

Due to the infamous fire in 2019, The cathedral’s interior is still closed to the public until further notice while restoration work take place. However, it is set to reopen in 2024 fully and is still worth exploring from the outside.

Iconic, beautiful, and centrally located, Notre Dame cathedral is an excellent starting point.

Step 3: Concergerie & Sainte-Chapelle

La Sainte Chapelle in Paris

Photo: Siaath/Shutterstock 

10-minute walk from Notre Dame

Don’t leave Il de la Cite island just yet, as some of the most stunning attractions are within a hand’s reach! Located near each other, Conciergerie & Sainte-Chapelle are just 10 minute walk from Notre Dame!

On your way to Sainte-Chapelle, stop to admire the oldest clock in Paris, located at the end of Conciergerie. Constructed in the 14th century, the clock still ticks the time away and is gorgeously decorated.

And there it is, the Sainte-Chapelle, a royal chapel & former residence of kings, shining in its gothic beauty. But the exteriors are just a tiny part of its glory – going inside is simply a must as it is then you will discover one of the most beautiful churches in the world.

Step 4: Luxembourg Gardens

Luxembourg Gardens in Paris - Tozome

Photo: Nito/Shutterstock

15-minute walk from Sainte-Chapelle

Let’s start slowly making our way to the long-awaited & iconic Eiffel Tower. But before that, rest your eyes from all the architectural marvels & dive deep into the green oasis, soaking in calm vibes. You will see people picnic, flowers bloom & gentle breeze sweeping across the green spaces.

We recommend passing by picturesque Luxembourg Gardens & have lunch on the way to energize for the rest of the day.

Step 5: Les Invalides

A cannon in Les Invalides museum in Paris, FrancePhoto: Nikonaft/Shutterstock

25-minute walk from Luxembourg Gardens

On your way to the Eiffel tower, stop at the complex labyrinth of Les Invalides, with its 351 ft tall Dome decorated with 27.9 lb of gold leaf as a centerpiece!

Les Invalids contains museums and monuments, all relating to the military history of France and Napoleon. Depending on how much time you have left before the sunset (you want to see the Eiffel Tower before dark), decide if you wish to admire it from outside or see essential pieces of history up close.

Step 6: Eiffel Tower

The beautiful Eiffel tower in Paris

15-minute walk from Les Invalides

And there it is! One of the world’s most recognizable & iconic buildings – the romantic, the picturesque, the passionate Eiffel Tower! To see it from the best angle, go to the Trocadero Gardens and gaze upon the Eiffel in all its glory.

And if you want that cherry on top, try to book early tickets and see availability for Eiffel summit access to see unparalleled panoramic views of Paris.

Two Bonus Steps for Evening Beauty: Arc De Triomphe & Louvre

The inside of the Louvre museum in paris

Photo: Ratikova/Shutterstock

  • Arc De Triomphe: 30-minute walk from Eiffel Tower
  • Louvre: 45-minute walk from Eiffel Tower

If you still have time and energy, take these two bonus steps to fulfill your Paris experience even more. Arc De Triomphe looks lovely in the evening, lit in elegant light, and is only a 30-minute walk from the Eiffel Tower. And you can even go to the top of it to see Paris pulsing in night lights.

And if you still want to squeeze the most out of your visit – head to Louvre! Many say that visiting the Louvre museum at night is even better because of its elegant look during the dark.

You’ll also benefit from reduced foot traffic and a unique ambiance – the museum takes on a distinct atmosphere once the sun sets. When inside, you’re bound to experience a special allure.

With this simple yet focused one day in Paris itinerary, you will see sights that will fully declare that you’ve been to the City of light and have seen its beauty in just 24 hours. Don’t forget to charge your camera, pack some water and get comfy shoes – Paris is yours to discover!