Wondering how to spend 24 hours in Paris? Known as the city of love, Paris lures in many young couples and it's one of the world's most popular spots for passionate declarations, surprises and proposals. It's hard to imagine one not to kneel in front of Paris' perfect culinary scene, delightful architecture and its famed chic fashion.
24 hours in Paris
I'm yet to meet a soul who doesn't love Paris. So splendid, with an unparalleled art scene, airy boulevards and home to some of the most recognisable landmarks, it's easy to understand why Paris attracts over 32 million visitors per year. Although mainly associated with its iconic construction, the Eiffel Tower, Paris has so many attractions it can keep you occupied for days on end.
There is no trip to Paris without catching a glimpse of its universal symbol: The Eiffel Tower. A lattice-like construction, engineered by Gustave Eiffel, features an observation deck located 300m above ground. You can purchase tickets in advance (recommended) and take the lift to the top, or can climb the stairs, which in my opinion is a much more fun experience. The outstanding views (as well as the 1665 stairs you just eagerly climbed) will literally take your breath away.
Follow the official link to purchase your Eiffel Tower tickets.
Nothing says romance better than a walk by the river Seine, towards the Notre Dame. Pass Pont des Arts and admire thousands of padlocks left behind by lovers from all around the world. Stop on Pont Neuf, one of Paris' oldest bridges. Here, you will have great photo opportunities over Île de la Cité, where you can capture the beautiful façade of Sainte-Chapelle. Be impressed by the iconic gothic cathedral, the Notre Dame, which managed to capture our imagination for centuries thanks to Victor Hugo's novel, "The Hunchback of Notre-Dame".
I believe no visit to Paris is complete without experiencing the true cultural side of the city at the Palais Garnier. This opulent building is open to the public and for a fee you can enjoy a tour and admire Paris' most outstanding architectural masterpiece. Alternatively, you can purchase advance tickets to view a show, which gives you the opportunity to walk around Palais Garnier, a free perk included in the price. I went to see Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker as part of a surprise weekend in Paris.
Paris Travel Hack: Tickets at Palais Garnier can be expensive, so keep an eye on the smaller shows or modern ballet. As opposed to paying around the mark of 100 euro per ticket, you can get away paying as little as 16 euro. Yes, you will still get to admire Palais Garnier in all its splendour.
Visiting the Louvre is an absolute must whilst in Paris, although this can be difficult if you are pressed for time. If you truly wish to enter the world most visited museum, then prepare for long queues and crowds. The Louvre is always busy and it might take several hours to walk around, especially if you wish to explore it properly. For those in a rush, with only 24 hours in Paris, I suggest going to the Louvre for the photographic opportunity outside its entrance, right by the pyramids. Perhaps go in and check the souvenir shop as you may find some amazing art books and really beautiful postcards.
France produces over 400 types of cheese. Let me repeat that: France produces OVER 400 types of cheese. Yes, you read it correctly. Top it all up with some of the best wines in the world and you have the perfect recipe for an outstanding culinary experience. There are lots of cute little bistros which serve different cheeses, paired with the most suitable wines. Try L'Affineur' Affine for an authentic French experience.
The best way to end your day is to slowly walk towards Champs du Mars. It's lovely to have a picnic there. I know, it sounds a bit of a cliché but if you visit Paris at the right time (November for example) you will find the place less crowded. Here, you should set up your tripod and capture amazing sunset pictures over the Eiffel Tower. Depending on the weather, you can get either really nice vanilla sky, superb array of reds, or fluffy clouds creating a dreamy landscape. You can't go wrong with this location. Wait until twilight and capture the Eiffel Tower's sparkle in all its splendour.
How would you spend 24 hours in Paris? Let me know in the comment section below.