How to spend a day in Paris
Ahh, Paris, the city of light and romance. It is one of the most beautiful places where proposals are made, marriages are set and love blossoms. But Paris is also much more than a romantic city. It is the ideal place for tourists to eat, drink and explore.
To see and do in Paris
One of the best things about Paris is its many historic buildings and famous monuments that attract people from all over the world. You can take a Seine River cruise to see the Musée d’Orsay, Notre Dame Cathedral, and other notable attractions along the Seine. Or you can stop at Place Blanche station for a guided tour of Place du Tertre, where you can buy paintings and portraits by local artists.
Visit the Pont Neuf, the oldest stone bridge, for a fantastic view of the city. Or go to the top of the Eiffel Tower to discover Paris at night.
Of course, a day trip is not complete without good food. Paris has some of the best restaurants and bars in the world. Stohrers pain au chocolat is a customer favourite. And in Le Marais, the gay-friendly mecca of the city, you can find several excellent dining options, including L’As du Fallafel’s famous falafel.
This French city is home to many iconic sites and recreational activities, which can be difficult to cover in a short time. Fortunately, you can spend a full day in the city, even without a lot of time. From walking tours to the metro line, getting around the French capital is easier than ever. Let’s take a look at six things to see and do in a day in Paris:
1. Latin Quarter
The oldest district in Paris, the Latin Quarter is a bustling site full of shopping and dining options. Home to Sorbonne University, many students frequent the neighborhood bookstores and cafes.
You can get a sense of Parisian history at the Pantheon, a famous monument that pays homage to the heroes of the French Revolution. Or you can learn about natural history at the Natural History Museum, one of the best places to see stuffed and fossilized animals, paleoanthropological remains, cultural artifacts, and more.
Animal lovers will appreciate the Jardin des Plantes zoo, the second oldest zoo in the world which features animals from the king’s menagerie.
2. Louvre Museum
The Louvre Museum was once home to some of France’s most renowned kings. Today it is a museum housing over 10,000 years of historical artifacts and information. Boasting famous works of art like the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo, it’s no wonder Beyonce and Jay-Z chose the location to shoot their music video for “APESH*T.”
The museum is popular for many reasons, but if you’re traveling with limited time, it’s important to spend your time there wisely. Here are some of the museum’s must-see attractions:
- The Michelangelo Gallery houses three centuries of Italian sculptures.
- Napoleon III Apartments, for an inside look at royal life in the 1800s.
- The Palace of Sargon II, to see the remains of an ancient Assyrian kingdom.
- The Red Rooms which house some of the greatest paintings in the entire museum.
- The Galerie d’Apollon, the place where King Louis XIV paid homage to the sun god Apollo.
3. Notre Dame of Paris
Notre-Dame Cathedral is a medieval cathedral that attracts tourists from all over the world. Notre Dame de Paris translates to “Our Lady of Paris,” and judging by its beautiful stained glass windows and elegant carvings, it’s easy to see why.
One of the first Gothic cathedrals, it is also one of the oldest in France. It houses the official seat of the Archbishop of Paris, Cardinal André Vingt-Trois. It is also where Pope Pius XI beatified Joan of Arc in 1909.
Even though it is an old and historic building, its stunning architecture and interior attract many people today. From artwork to furniture, there’s plenty to discover at Notre Dame Cathedral.
4. The most popular cabaret in Paris, the Moulin Rouge
Arguably one of the most famous cabaret shows in the world, the Moulin Rouge is a sight not to be missed. The place is recognized as the birthplace of the popular dance of the 1830s, the can-can. So you can expect to see that and a whole lot more dancing on stage during the show.
But the sultry dance routines aren’t the only thing that attracts visitors. Performers wear elaborate outfits with feathers, sequins and brightly colored jewelry to celebrate the festivities. And you can channel your own cabaret style
by purchasing a souvenir hat or accessory from the on-site gift shop.
Refreshments are available on site; However, you can also enjoy the show while sipping champagne or dining on a fine meal.
5. Tuileries Garden
The Tuileries Garden is an outdoor public garden that showcases an array of amazing plant and flower species. Boasting several historic statues and sparkling ponds, this is the perfect place to spend a leisurely afternoon after a long day exploring the city.
Built in 1564 by Queen Catherine de Medici, the gardens are an integral part of Parisian history. At the Musée de l’Orangerie, you can discover the most famous works of the famous artist Claude Monet. Or French speakers can take a walking tour of the garden where a guide will explain its history and significance.
From June to August, the garden hosts the Fête des Tuileries, a carnival where you can enjoy fairground rides and popular treats.
6. Musee d’Orsay
Musée d’Orsay is a famous French museum located on the left bank of the Seine. It attracts tourists from all over the world due to its collection of historical artifacts and works of art that date back to 1848.
Art lovers will enjoy browsing the galleries which offer many different art forms including graphic art, photography, paintings and sculptures. You can even learn more about the history of cinema to see how it all started at the Cinema in the Collections d’Orsay exhibition.
To see the museum in its entirety, you can take a guided tour where a guide will lead guests through the galleries and exhibits to explain the history and influence of the different pieces.