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Things to Do in Paris, France in 1 Day

Paris, France

If you only have one day to spend in Paris, France, you’ll likely be in a rush to get through everything on your wish list. While you won’t be able to see it all in just a short day trip to Paris, you can still see a ton of iconic sights — and you’ll be craving to return again soon!

Planning one day in Paris, France? Here’s my itinerary for a Paris day trip so you can see the most of the City of Love in limited time.

Top Things to Do in Paris in 1 Day

Notre-Dame Cathedral

Notre-Dame Cathedral, Paris, France

Start your trip to Paris at Notre-Dame Cathedral. Located on Il de la Cite, an island in the middle of the Seine River, Notre-Dame is Paris’s iconic medieval Catholic church.

Because Notre-Dame suffered a terrible fire in April 2019, the church is currently closed to the public and is scheduled to reopen in 2024. While you can’t go inside and admire the famed rose windows, you can still enjoy the cathedral from afar.

Pont des Arts (the Love Lock Bridge)

Pont des Arts (the Love Lock Bridge), Paris, France

The Pont des Arts is famous for being the Love Lock Bridge in Paris (before the city removed the locks a few years ago). Couples would attach personalized padlocks to its railing and throw the keys into the Seine River. Now, the bridge has glass railings so you can’t attach locks anymore.

People still find a way, though, and attach locks to other parts of the bridge like the lamp posts; the city obviously doesn’t want you doing this, so I don’t recommend it!

Still, Pont des Arts is a very picturesque pedestrian-only path across the Seine River between the Institut de France and the Louvre.


Lourve, Paris, France

Honestly, you could spend your entire one day in Paris at the Louvre and still not see it all! But no first-time visit to Paris is complete without a visit to the Louvre, so make sure you carve out some time to explore this famous art museum.

In order to make the most of your visit in your limited time, you’ll want to plan ahead for what you want to see at the Louvre. Two hours is typically enough time to see the highlights. Figure out what your priority is. Maybe you want to get up close to the Mona Lisa, or maybe you’re fine with seeing it from afar. Make sure you see your top priority painting first, and then hit any other highlights before you go.

The Louvre offers handy visitor trails that you can follow if you’re not quite sure what to see. This will help make sure you stay on track and on schedule.

Tuileries Garden

Tuileries Garden, Paris, France

The Tuileries Garden is a public park running between the Louvre and the Place de la Concorde. “Tuile” means tile in French, and this area was a hub for for tile makers and potters in the Middle Ages.

You can stroll through the Tuileries and enjoy the variety of plants and the more than 200 sculptures and statues that date from the 17th century to the 21st century.

Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower, Paris, France

Visiting the Eiffel Tower is on everyone’s list for visiting Paris! This is one of the most visited monuments in the world, with nearly 7 million visitors each year, so be prepared for there to be a crowd.

Since it’ll be busy, you’ll want to plan ahead. It’s best to buy your tickets to the Eiffel Tower online ahead of time. This will give you a reserved time to visit the tower and ride the elevator up to the top! You can take the stairs up to the second floor if you’re looking for a bit of a workout.

If you aren’t going up to the top of the Eiffel Tower, you’ll still want to get plenty of pictures of this iconic landmark! I recommend taking pictures from the sidewalks on Pont d’léna and down by the walkway by the river. If you want that Instagram-able shot of the Eiffel Tower through the cute Parisian buildings, head to Rue de l’Université.

See the Eiffel Tower at Night

Eiffel Tower at Night, Paris, France

You’re definitely going to want to see the Eiffel Tower at night as well as during the day. After you’ve finished seeing the city in the daylight, come back to the Eiffel Tower for its nightly light show.

The Eiffel Tower is illuminated nightly every hour on the hour between sunset and sunrise. The sparkling show lasts for 5 minutes. If you didn’t get enough of it the first time, you can always wait around until the top of the hour for another show.

Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile

Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile, Paris, France

The Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile is a famous French monument that honors the French soldiers who fought and died in the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars. Beneath it lies the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from WWI.

You can admire the huge monument and the massive traffic circle surrounding it from the outside, or you can pay to climb to the top. After climbing up 280 stairs, you’ll get an incredible panoramic view of Paris.

Moulin Rouge

Moulin Rouge, Paris, France

Dance your way over to Moulin Rouge, the famed cabaret and birth-place of the can-can. While you can go in and see a show at Moulin Rouge, it’ll be much cheaper to admire the red windmill-topped building from the outside!

Tickets for a Moulin Rouge show will typically set you back €100 with the final price dependent on what time your show is and if you include dinner or lunch. But what you’re really paying for is the experience of seeing a show at the world’s most famous cabaret!

Read next: Top 5 Tourist Destinations in France

Save on Paris’s Top Attractions

Want to save big on Paris’s top attractions? With the Go City Paris attraction pass, you can save up to 55% on the cost of entrance tickets to museums, tours, and attractions all around the city!

Visit bucket list attractions, enjoy top tours, and discover hidden gems handpicked by local experts. With one price and one pass, you have everything you need right on your phone.

Get your Go City Paris attraction pass here.

My Top Tips for Visiting Paris in 1 Day

  • Get an early start. If you want to make the most of your one day in Paris, you’ll need to get up early and get to the crowded sights (like the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower) before the crowds. You have a lot to do, and you can’t waste the day sleeping!
  • Walk more than you use the Metro. The best way to experience the sights and sounds of Paris is to be on foot!
  • Pay very close attention to the street names; they can be similar and you might end up going the wrong way. Twice in Paris I took a Boulevard when I should have taken a Rue and ended up way off track. Tricky, tricky Paris!
  • Try a glass of real Champagne (not just sparkling wine). Sparkling wine can only be called Champagne when it comes from the region of Champagne, France, which is just outside of Paris!
  • Beware of pickpockets! Paris is one of the top cities for pickpockets, so check out my tips for staying safe against pickpockets.

Read next: Top 10 Tours in Paris, France

Where to Stay in Paris

Ready to visit Paris, France? Plan your trip with these tips.

  • Book your flight: Find the cheapest flights using Skyscanner, my favorite flight search engine.
  • Find Accommodation: You can find top hotels in Paris using
  • Get a Guide Book: Check out the guide books from Fodor’sLonely Planet, or Rick Steves for in depth info about traveling to Paris.
  • Save on Attractions: Save up to 55% on admission to top Paris attractions using the Go City Paris pass.



Things to Do in Paris, France in 1 Day

What are your favorite things to do in Paris, France? Let me know in the comments!

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  1. thanks for the guide and the tips. It sounds much like London, so that’s comforting to know. Will definitely beware of pickpockets.

  2. WOW! This looks absolutely beautiful. I can not wait to visit Paris once everything with COVID is behind us. Definitely has stalled any and all travel plans. Can not wait to check some more places off my bucket list. Such a great post, thanks for sharing!

    1. My bucket list has definitely grown during all of this; I have too much time on my hands to plan future travels! Thanks for reading!

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