Paris is a city that rewards walking. The Metro is fast and efficient but you miss so many of the beautiful, tiny details that way. And it helps that most of the main attractions are huddled together in the central arrondissements. Here, then, is how to make the most of your visit in one day.
K+K Hotel Cayre and Le Bristol Paris are renowned for their breakfasts, as are the cafes Frenchie To Go (9 Rue du Nil, 2nd) or Holybelly (19 Rue Lucien Sampaix, 10th). Failing that, just head out into the street, pick the likeliest looking café and have a croissant and café au lait while watching the world go by.
Begin working off those calories by climbing the Eiffel Tower. It’s the Paris experience and, despite the crowds, not to be missed.
Once you’ve returned to earth this is a good starting point for a stroll along the Left Bank of the Seine. You’ll want to stop off in Les Invalides to see Napoleon’s Tomb and also the Musee D’Orsay. Save time and go straight to the Impressionists gallery.
Take a turn around the magnificent interior of Notre Dame and then pop across the river to hunt for a bargain in the wonderful Shakespeare and Company bookshop.
Cross back over to Notre Dame, head around the back of the cathedral, through Square Jean XXIII and across the bridges for a steak and frites lunch at Café Louis Philippe (66 Quai de l'Hôtel de Ville).
Walk through the historic, cobblestoned streets of the Marais to the elegant Place des Vosges for a coffee. After that, follow Rue de Rivoli down past the Hotel de Ville and on to the Louvre.
Admire I.M. Pei’s glass pyramid above the Louvre entrance and nip in to see the Mona Lisa and the Winged Victory of Samothrace.
From the Louvre there is pretty much a straight line to the Arc de Triomphe. It’s a fine walk and one that takes in the Jardin des Tuileries, Place de La Concorde and the Champs Elysee.
Jump on the Metro and head for Jourdain station in the 20e arrondissement. A short walk will bring you to Moncoeur Belleville café (1, Rue des Envierges) and one of the best views in Paris. This is a good place for a pre-dinner drink or two on the terrace as the sun sets. If you can drag yourself away the Aux Folies bar (8 Rue de Belleville) is nearby.
Dinner at Les Deux Magots (6 Place Saint-Germain-des-Prés). This lovely fin-de-siecle restaurant is a Paris icon (yes, it’s touristy but you are a tourist) and in a beautiful old part of the city so a post-dinner stroll is recommended.
Go to the Experimental Cocktail Club (37 Rue Saint-Sauveur) for, you guessed it, an experimental cocktail or two.
Finish off the night with drinks at Le Perchoir (14 Rue Crespin du Gast). Great views and if all that walking hasn’t finished you off, it’s open until 2am.