1 Day Paris Itinerary - Famous Paris Sites in a day

Paris Metro station gates

Paris, like any large city, has so much to do! But if you only have a day, our 1-day Paris itinerary will get you to all of the best famous spots. Since we had the Navigo Decouverte, we could hop-on/hop-off the metro and trains as much as we wanted! This was just one of three days that we spent in the city of Paris.

Paris is loved by many people around the world. It’s no surprise then that the city and its many icons have been the setting of numerous films and stories. Midnight in Paris, Moulin Rouge, and Amélie are just a few of many well-loved movies that have inspired travelers near and far – including us – to flock to the City of Light and Love.

Our first stop was Notre Dame. Nearest Metro station: Cite on Line 4. We made our way to the Île de la Cité–one of the islands in the Seine River to check out one of the most famous cathedrals. There were security personnel checking bags to get to the center area directly in front of the cathedral so it looked like a lot more people were in line than reality. We chose not to go inside, because we had more things to see! Check our our instagram to see the backside of Notre Dame. It's also very pretty. Update 2019: Sadly the spire is gone from the April 2019 fire, but reconstruction has started!

Front view of Notre Dame in Paris France

Next we attempted to visit St. Chapelle, but they close at 5pm, and we had started our day late. It was already 4:30pm and we missed the last entry. Don’t sleep in like us. Start your 1-day in Paris Itinerary in the morning and you can fit St. Chapelle into your schedule! Thankfully we were able to visit St. Chapelle on a different day and were blown away by how beautiful it is. Definitely fit it in and take time to go inside.

After St. Chapelle, head towards Montmartre. We took the metro north from Cite and got off at the closest stop - Chateau Rouge. We had read that the Sacre-Couer was at the highest point of Montmartre, so we just started wandering and walking up the streets changing to whichever one was going upwards. We stopped to get some freshly baked empanadas on the way because they smelled so good, climbed a staircase and somehow found our way to the top of Montmartre on the side of the Sacre-couer. Success!

Paris Montmarte street art
Paris Montmarte empanadas
Sacre Couer in Montmarte - Paris, France

Spend time roaming the artsy streets of Montmartre. We loved all the paintings lining the streets and the outdoor seating at all of the cafes on the hill. Even the crepes being made at a restaurant seemed to have more artistic flair there.

We walked back down the hill towards Blanche station. We made a brief stop to peek at Moulin Rouge, and then got back on the metro towards Charles de Gaulle Etoile station for our next stop – the Arc de Triomphe. Alternatively, if you’d like to walk a little less, you can take the funicular down the hill. Then get on the Metro at Anvers and get off at Blanche to see Moulin Rouge. The funicular is included in the Navigo Decouverte pass.

Moulin Rouge in Paris France
Arc De Triomphe in Paris France

Our final stop for the evening was the most famous icon in Paris, the Eiffel Tower. It was a beautiful day to see the iron lattice against the blue sky. To get to the Eiffel Tower from Arc de Triomphe, get on Line 6 from Charles De Gaulle Etoile to Bir-Hakeim. From there, follow signs or crowds to the Eiffel Tower. You can also use your phone’s GPS. If you download offline Google Maps, you can use them even without an internet connection.

Eiffel Tower in the daytime - Paris, France

After grabbing a bite to eat in the area, we went back to Champ de Mars to see the Eiffel tower sparkle at the top of the hour. What a magical ending to our day in Paris.

Sparkling lights of the eiffel Tower in Paris, France

The City of Lights and Love is a lovely place to wander around. One day in Paris is not really enough but if you’re limited on time, this itinerary will get you to all the famous beautiful spots. Let us know if you have any questions or need help planning!


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Jenny & Bradley of EatWanderExplore