Paris, City of Lights. Impossible to do in just one day. But if you insist…
Having grabbed a pastry and coffee from literally anywhere in the city, I suggest you head to the Louvre. There are a few options to skip the line: Prebook a ticket, have a Paris Museum Pass or, use the less-popular entrance in the Carousel du Louvre, near the Inverted Pyramid.
If you get in early, you might even be able to snap a picture of the Mona Lisa that doesn’t have sixty other cameras in it. Make sure you swing by the Venus de Milo too, before taking a little time to wander the halls.
Alternative: If you’re more into impressionist art, head over to Musee d’Orsay instead. Paris’ main three galleries (The Louvre, d’Orsay and Musee National d’Art Moderne) are split up across eras (pre-1848, 1848-1905 and post-1905, respectively). So instead of seeing Da Vinci and Michaelangelo, you can see Van Gogh and Rembrant. d’Orsay is much smaller than the Louvre, and can therefore be done at a slower pace.
Have lunch in the Latin Quarter, be sure to at least pass by Notre Dame, a few cafes do have fantastic views of the cathedral.
The beauty of Paris is how close together everything is, combined with the efficiency of their metro system. If you’re in a hurry, which you are if you’re seeing Paris in 24 hours, you can hit all the highlights, if you’re just looking to take a quick snap and move on.
But none of that whirlwind tour nonsense here. You want to spend some time enjoying the sights. I say go no further than Sacre Cœur. The white cathedral on Paris’ highest point is beautiful in its own right, but it’s the panoramic view from the dome that attracts people there. Just keep an eye out for scammers in the square in front. While you’re in the area, you can swing by the world famous Moulin Rouge. Tickets cost an arm and a leg, so this is one case where a quick snap is your best option.
Stop in for dinner at one of Montmartre’s many restaurants, since you’re in the area.
Alternative: The Arc de Triomphe is another of Paris’ most famous sites, and if you’re willing to climb to the top, the view will reward you.
What would a trip to Paris be without the Eiffel Tower? Probably the most iconic building in the world, it is a must-see. And the best time to see it is at night. All lit up, with flashing lights every hour, it is truly a sight to behold. And the view from the top is breathtaking. Paris at night.. . Well, they don’t call it the City of Lights for nothing.