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How To Spend One Day in Paris
Ahh, Paris, the city of light and romance. It’s one of the most beautiful places where proposals are made, weddings are set, and love blossoms. But Paris is also much more than just a romantic city. It’s the perfect place for tourists to eat, drink, and explore.
Things to see and do in Paris
One of the best things about Paris is its many historical buildings and famous landmarks that draw people from all over the world. You can take a Seine River Cruise to see the Musée d’Orsay, Notre Dame Cathedral, and other notable attractions along the River Seine. Or you can stop at the train station in Place Blanche for a guided tour to Place du Tertre, where you can purchase paintings and portraits for local artists.
Of course, a day trip isn’t complete without good food. Paris boasts some of the best restaurants and bars worldwide. The pain au chocolate from Stohrers is a customer favorite. And at Le Marais, the city’s gay-friendly mecca, you can find several great options for food, including world-famous falafel from L’As du Fallafel.
This French city is home to many iconic sights and recreational activities, which can be challenging to cover in a short amount of time. Fortunately, you can spend a full day in the city, even without much time. From walking tours to the metro line, covering the French capital is easier than ever. Let’s take a look at six things to see and do with one day in Paris:
1. Latin Quarter
The oldest district in Paris, the Latin Quarter is a bustling site teeming with places to shop and dine. Home to Sorbonne University, many students frequent the bookstores and cafes in the area.
You can get a feel for Parisian history at the Pantheon, a famous monument that pays homage to the heroes of the French revolution. Or you can learn about natural history at the Natural History Museum, one of the best places to see stuffed and fossilized animals, paleoanthropological remains, cultural objects, and more.
Animal lovers will enjoy the zoo at Jardin des Plantes, the second oldest zoo in the world that features animals from the king’s menagerie.
2. Louvre Museum
The Louvre Museum was once home to some of the most renowned French Kings. Today, it’s a museum housing over 10,000 years of historical artifacts and information. Boasting famous art pieces like the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo, it’s no wonder Beyonce and Jay-Z chose the venue to shoot their music video for “APESH*T.”
The museum is popular for many reasons, but if you’re traveling with limited time, it’s important to spend your time at the venue wisely. Here are some must-see attractions at the museum:
- The Michelangelo Gallery is home to three centuries of Italian sculptures.
- Napoleon III Apartments, for an inside look into royal life in the 1800s.
- The Palace of Sargon II, to see the remains of an ancient Assyrian kingdom.
- The Red Rooms that house some of the largest paintings in the entire museum.
- The Galerie d’Apollon, the site where King Louis XIV paid homage to the sun god Apollo.
3. Notre Dame de Paris
The Notre Dame Cathedral is a medieval cathedral that attracts tourists from all over the world. Notre Dame de Paris translates to “Our lady of Paris,” and judging by its beautiful stained glass windows and elegant sculptures, we can see why.
As one of the first Gothic cathedrals, it’s also one of the oldest in France. It houses the official chair of the Archbishop of Paris, Andre Cardinal Vingt-Trois. It’s also where Pope Pius XI beatified Joan of Arc in 1909.
Even though it’s an old and historical building, its stunning architecture and interior draw many people to it today. From artwork to furniture, there’s much to uncover at the Notre Dame Cathedral.
4. Paris' Most Popular Cabaret, Moulin Rouge
Arguably one of the most famous cabaret shows in the world, Moulin Rouge is a performance that you can’t miss. The venue is recognized as the birthplace of the popular 1830s dance, the can-can. So you can expect to see that and a lot more onstage dancing during the show.
But the sensual dance routines aren’t the only thing that attracts visitors. The performers don elaborate outfits featuring brightly colored feathers, sequins, and jewels to celebrate the festivities. And you can channel your own cabaret-style
by purchasing a souvenir hat or accessory at the venue’s gift shop.
Refreshments are available at the venue; however, you can also enjoy the performance while sipping on champagne or dining on a fancy meal.
5. Tuileries Garden
The Tuileries Garden is an outdoor public garden that features an array of stunning plant and flower species. Boasting several historical statues and sparkling ponds, it’s the perfect place to spend a quiet afternoon after a long day exploring the city.
Built in 1564 by Queen Catherine de Medici, the gardens are a big part of Parisian history. At the Musée de l’Orangerie, you can explore the most famous artwork of renowned artist Claude Monet. Or French speakers can take a walking tour of the garden where a tour guide will explain its history and significance.
6. Musée d’Orsay
Musée d’Orsay is a famous French museum located on the left bank of the river Seine. It attracts tourists worldwide due to its collection of historical artifacts and works of art that date as far back as 1848.
Art lovers will enjoy perusing the galleries that offer many different art forms, including graphic art, photography, paintings, and sculptures. You can even learn about the history of cinema to see how it all began at the Cinema exhibit in the Orsay Collections.
To see the museum in its entirety, you can take a guided tour where a tour guide will walk guests through the galleries and exhibits to explain the history and influence of the different pieces.