Paris is a world capital of art, design, architecture, and fashion – and no matter how much time you have to slink around the cobblestone streets, it will never seem like enough. Still, one day is better than no days, and if all you have is 24 hours, we’ve got you covered.
It wouldn’t be a whistle-stop tour of Paris without a visit to Trocadéro Square, and the best time to catch this corner of the city is at dawn.
You’ll be able to soak in the stillness of this landmark location before it rouses – and take postcard-worthy snaps of the Eiffel Tour sans pesky photo bombers.
By now you must be caffeine-depleted and peckish, so the next stop on your 24-hour sojourn is Café de Flore, a charming, bustling coffeehouse famous for its celebrity clientele.
From Trocadéro, flag down a taxi or make your way to the bus station (just a short 60-second stroll) and jump on route 63 towards Gare de Lyon. Alight at Saint-Germain-des-Paris and walk an easy two minutes towards this picturesque eatery that has been serving Parisians since the late nineteenth century.
Perch on one of the iconic outdoor tables and watch as the city awakens with activity.
Luxembourg Gardens, known as Jardin du Sénat to the French, is just a stone’s throw (or a gentle 10 minute walk) from Café de Flore.
Easily the prettiest park in all of Paris, you could lose hours here simply meandering around. But if you’re an architecture admirer, you won’t want to skip a glimpse of the Palais du Luxembourg, the Senate’s meeting place. It’s an awe-inspiring example of French design, so be sure to view this historic building from all angles!
It’s time to find your home away from home for the evening.
While Paris has no shortage of luxe boutiques, the Hôtel National des Arts et Métiers is a beautiful, design-forward base from which to explore some of the city’s main attractions. Nestled between Marais and Montorgueil, it’s also just a quick taxi ride from Luxembourg Gardens.
Expect a relaxed, low-key atmosphere, personable service, and sleek, old-world-meets-new-world interiors – think ‘60s speckled tiling and industrial cement slatted walls.
Featuring a chic restaurant serving Italian cuisine, a premium cocktail bar (we’ll pay it a visit later), and a stunning rooftop with sweeping views of the neighbourhood, we know you’ll be oh so comfortable here.
There’s nothing like losing yourself (and a few of your hard-earned euros) to the narrow, dazzling streets of Marais.
Rue des Francs-Bourgeois is one of the most popular shopping haunts of the district, where you’ll find an eclectic mix of boutiques housed in romantic old townhouses. From high fashion to beauty, homewares, and crafts, there’s something to please every savvy shopper.
You’ll also want to gawk at Merci, a marvellous world of artwork, clothing, and home décor. The three-storey concept store located in the centre of Marais is a design-lover’s haven. Housed in a reconfigured nineteenth-century fabric factory, you’ll know you’re in the right place when you spot the vintage mini cooper out the front.
Heaving with jewellery, furniture, and even pet accessories, the true beauty of this shopping wonderland is that a portion of all profits are donated to a foundation that supports underprivileged women and children.
It wouldn’t be a day in Paris without a crispy baguette to tide you over and Au Petit Versailles du Marais sells the best in Marais, maybe even Paris.
A six-minute stroll from Rue des Francs-Bourgeois (your nose will guide you), this quintessential Parisian bakery and tearoom run by renowned pastry chef Christian Vabret provides the perfect setting for a delectable afternoon of mouth-watering baked goods and sweet treats.
While it might be known for its fresh bread, colourful cakes, and fine tarts, Au Petit Versailles du Marais is as much a feast for your eyes as it is your taste buds.
Come for the chocolate éclairs, stay for the stunningly ornate ceiling, beautiful mouldings, and grand chandelier hanging from the rafters.
Just 12 minutes by foot from the bakery in Marais sits Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, a head-turning exhibition space presenting international and European artists.
Featuring a curious mix of painting, sculpture, and installation pieces, this dizzying gallery stretches across four floors, so there’s plenty to discover.
Yes, you read that correctly. A Dior spa – as in that Dior. Cocooned within the Cheval Blanc Paris, a luxury hotel created by LVMH Hospitality, the blissful retreat provides the perfect hideaway from the bustling city.
Promising a haven of indulgence, the spa has six treatment rooms to explore, each more magical than the next. We’re partial to the New Look Suite, where you’ll receive a six-handed treatment of body, face, and hair. But if you’re more of a traditionalist, a massage in the Sauvage Suite won’t disappoint.
You’ll need to hail a taxi to get there (unless you’re up for braving the metro), but oh my, it’s worth it.
Cocktails are calling, and what better place to indulge than your hotel?
Buzzing with effortlessly Parisian chic, the Herbarium at the Hôtel National Des Arts et Métiers is a favourite among locals and tourists alike.
Hidden behind a rich botanical garden, Herbarium is run by a team of mad mixologists ready to blend you a personalised tipple. Truly! You’ll be presented with a series of vials and scent strips to guide your custom creation.
It’s a sensory experience like no other.
Septime is the place to eat in Paris… if you can nab a seat! (You’ll need to book three weeks in advance, so be sure to plan ahead).
Serving relaxed, flavour-filled food in a pared-back space – huge mirrors, reinforced concrete, bare wood – it’s fine dining without the fuss.
Run by graphic designer-turned-chef Bertrand Grébaut, sustainability is at the heart of Septime, so there are loads of vegetable-rich dishes to devour. There’s also a focus on whole animals, natural wines, and pure produce.
With amazing food and an unpretentious atmosphere, there’s a reason Septime has earned its cult status. But be mindful – dinner is a surprise tasting menu, and while we doubt you’ll be disappointed, it’s best to flag any dietary intolerances upfront.
Ooh, la la, what a day! Your feet must be killing you.
Head back to your suite, sink into the plush, sumptuous bed, and dream about the many more moments in Paris ahead of you.
We know you’ll be back!
Keep dozing or rise early and enjoy one last wander around this heavenly city before you move on to your next adventure!
If you liked this article, you might like our travel guide for somewhere a little closer to home – the Mornington Peninsula just outside Melbourne!
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