Travel Guide for Paris ,Where you can go in a day? Suggested Itineraries – In One Day
We suggest you duck into a cafe for breakfast. It doesn’t matter which one. On virtually every street in Paris you’ll find a cafe, often more than one.
Any neighborhood will provide a slice of Parisian life, as you order breakfast as thousands of locals do. Sit back, enjoy, and breathe deeply before beginning your descent on Paris.
Start: Métro to Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre.
1. Musée du Louvre
You know you have to see the Louvre, perhaps the greatest museum of art in all the world. You wouldn’t dare go home without that citadel having been stormed. Since it opens at 9am, be among the first in line.The museum is housed in the Louvre Palace (Palais du Louvre) which began as a fortress built in the 12th century under Philip II. Remnants of the fortress are still visible.
The building was extended many times to form the present Louvre Palace. In 1674, Louis XIV chose the Palace of Versailles for his household, leaving the Louvre primarily as a place to display the royal collection. During the French Revolution, the National Assembly decreed that the Louvre should be used as a museum, to display the nation’s masterpieces.
We’ve been going to this repository of art for years, and we discover on every visit something we’ve overlooked before. The palatial treasure trove is that richly endowed, and some of its art is the most acclaimed on earth. With your clock ticking, at least call on the “great ladies of the Louvre”: the Mona Lisa with her enigmatic smile, the sexy Venus de Milo, and Winged Victory (alas, without a head). Try to allot at least 2 hours of viewing time for some world-class masterpieces. The fee to get in is $12.00 for an adult.Around 11am, go for a walk along:
2. The Quays of the Seine
After leaving the Louvre, walk south toward the river and head east for a stroll along the Seine. You’ll encounter the most splendid panoramic vistas that Paris has to offer. Trees shade the banks of the river, and 14 bridges span the Seine. So much of the city’s fortune has depended on this river, and you’ll be in the very nerve center of Paris life as you stroll along.
You’ll see Paris’s greatest island in the Seine, the Cité, emerging before you. Cross over the:
3. Pont Neuf
The oldest and most evocative of the bridges of Paris, Pont Neuf dates from 1578 and looks much as it did then. From the bridge, the view down (or up) the river is perhaps the most memorable in Paris. Walk down the steps emerging on your right along Pont Neuf to:
4. Vert-Galant Square
The steps take you behind the statue dedicated to Henri IV to Vert-Galant Square at the western tip of Ile de La Cité. The square takes its designation from the nickname given Henry IV, meaning “gay old spark.” The square is the best vantage point for viewing Pont Neuf and the Louvre. As you stand on this square, you’ll be at the “prow” of Cité if you liken the island to a giant ship. After taking in that view, continue east, pausing at the:
5. Place Dauphine
This square — perfect for a picnic — was named in honor of the Dauphin, the future Louis XIII. It faces the towering mass of La Conciergerie, whose gloomy precincts and memories of the French Revolution you can save for another visit to Paris.With time moving on, head east along:
6. Quai des Orfèvres
This Seine-bordering quay leads east to Notre-Dame. It was the former market of the jewelers of 17th and 18th century Paris. Marie-Antoinette’s celebrated necklace, subject of countless legends, was fashioned here. The quay leads you to:
This Gothic chapel is sublime, its upper chapel like climbing into Tiffany’s most luxe jewel box. As the colored light from the 13th century bathes you, take in what are perhaps the most brilliantly colored “walls of glass” in the world. We rank taking in the deep glow of these astonishing windows as one of the great joys of a visit to the City of Light. The windows, the oldest in Paris, are not known just for the vividness of their brilliant colors, but also for the vitality of their characters, depicting everybody from Adam and Eve to St. John the Baptist and the life of the Virgin.After a visit, it’s time for lunch. Since first-day visitors might not have time to absorb Left Bank life, here’s your chance.
Continue east along Quai des Orfèvres until you come to the Pont St-Michel. Cross the bridge to the Left Bank of Paris, arriving at the Latin Quarter centering around:
8. Place St-Michel
One of the inner chambers of Left Bank life, this square was named in memory of the ancient chapel of St-Michel that stood here once upon a time. The square, a bustling hub of Sorbonne life, centers around a fountain from 1860 designed by Gabriel Davioud, rising 229m (75 feet) high and stretching out to 4.6m (15 feet), a “monster” spouting water. A bronze statue depicts Saint Michael fighting the dragon.
Why not lunch in one of the most evocative of all Left Bank bistros?
Arm yourself with a good map to reach Allard, which lies only a 5-minute walk southwest of Place St-Michel. You could easily get lost in the narrow maze of Left Bank streets. Little has changed at this classic bistro with its mellow decor and traditional menu. Against a nostalgic ambience of Paris of the 1930s, you can join cosmopolitan patrons enjoying the sole meunière or the duck with olives, finishing off with that most divine pastry known to all Parisians as tarte Tatin. And, yes, if you’ve never tried them before, you’ll find frogs’ legs on the menu.After lunch, walk back to Place St-Michel.
Still on the Left Bank, continue east along Quai St Michel until it becomes Quai de Montebello. At the “green lung” or park, Square Rene Viviani, pause to take in the most dramatic view of Notre-Dame across the Seine. Then cross the bridge, Pont au Double, to visit the cathedral itself.
10. Cathedrale Notre-Dame
In so many ways, the exterior is more exciting than the vast and hollow interior, which since its denuding during the French Revolution is almost tomblike. One of the supreme masterpieces of Gothic art, Notre-Dame still evokes Victor Hugo’s novel The Hunchback of Notre-Dame. You stand in awe, taking in the majestic and perfectly balanced portals. After a walk through the somber interior, climb the towers (around to the left facing the building) for a close encounter with tons of bells and the most eerie inspection of what are history’s most bizarre gargoyles, some looking so terribly impish it’s as if they’re mocking you.
After Notre-Dame, take Métro to the:
11. Place de la Concorde
The largest and most historic square in Paris, located at the end of the Champs-Élysées in the Tuileries Quarter.
This octagonal traffic hub, built in 1757, is dominated by an Egyptian obelisk from Luxor, the oldest object made by humans in Paris, circa 1200 B.C. In the Reign of Terror at the time of the French Revolution, the dreaded guillotine was erected on this spot to claim thousands of heads. For a spectacular view, look down the Champs-Elysées.The grandest walk in Paris begins here, leading all the way to the Arc de Triomphe . It’s a distance of 3.2km (2 miles) and is the most popular walk in Paris.
But since your afternoon is short, you may want to skip most of it, taking the Métro to F.D. Roosevelt and then continuing west from here. At least you’ll see the busiest and most commercial part of the:
Called “the highway of French grandeur,” this boulevard was designed for promenading. It’s witnessed some of the greatest moments in French history and some of its worst defeats, such as when Hitler’s armies paraded down the street in 1940. Louis XIV ordered the construction of the 1.8km (1.1-mile) avenue in 1667. Without worrying about any particular monument, stroll along its avenue of sidewalk cafes, automobile showrooms, airline offices, cinemas, lingerie stores, and even hamburger joints. The Champs has obviously lost its fin-de-siècle elegance as evoked by Marcel Proust in Remembrance of Things Past. In the 19-th century Champs-Élysées was a fashionable avenue where the rich used to stroll and the wealthy build their homes. Today Champs-Élysées is a broad avenue with numerous stores, cafes and restaurants and row of sycamore trees
At the end of the broad boulevard, you approach:
13. Arc de Triomphe
The greatest triumphal arch in the world, the 49m (161-ft.) arch can be climbed for one of the most panoramic views of Paris. The arch marks the intersections of the 8th, 16th, and 17th arrondissements. Sculptures, including François Rude’s famous La Marseillaise, depicting the uprising of 1792 are embedded in the arch.
After a visit, and with the afternoon fading, take the Métro to the Champ de Mars-Tour Eiffel for an ascent up the:
14. Eiffel Tower
It’s open until 11pm or midnight, so don’t worry about missing it. A close encounter with this tower, a 10,000-ton dark metal structure, is more inspiring up close than when seen from afar. A source of wonder since the 1889 World Exposition, this 317m (1,040-ft.) tower was the world’s tallest building until the Chrysler Building went up in New York in 1930. If the afternoon is clear, you can see for 65km (40 miles).