London to Paris in two and a half hours; it’s no exaggeration to say that it’s a wonder of modern engineering. Before the channel tunnel was finished, we used to take the slow, arduous ferry across the channel and drive three hours from Calais to the big city. Today, you can have a full English for breakfast in Picadilly and lunch on Moules and Champagne on the Champs Elysees for lunch.
Given that it’s so easy to try both capitals in one visit it would be a shame not to take advantage. The question remains, however, of how you should spend your day in this auspicious city. That’s why we’ve put together this quick list of unmissable activities for your day trip to Paris. We’ve covered both the obvious and not-so-obvious, so grab a pen and start planning your itinerary.
See the Eiffel Tower
Let’s get the big one out of the way first. You already know that you can’t miss out on a visit to the Eiffel Tower. What you need to decide, though, is whether or not you’re going to the top…
Eat a Croissant in Montemartre
I’ll never forget the first real Pain au Chocolat I ate in France. It was a different level of delicious. You can’t leave Paris without eating one. And if you’re going to do it anywhere it might as well be in one of the traditional cafes in and around this famous district.
Visit Napoleon’s Tomb
The extent of Napoleon’s impact on the modern world can’t really be overstated, and a visit to his final resting place is a profound reminder.
Bask in the glory of Notre Dame
Whether cathedrals or your thing or not, Notre Dame remains a testament to the determination and artistry or humankind as much as it is a testament to God. Don’t miss out on experiencing its grandeur for yourself.
Take a walk down the Seine
After your visit to Notre Dame, you owe it to yourself to take a little time strolling down the banks of the Seine. We highly recommend this beautiful walking tour from National Geographic which takes you past artisan cheese shops, Parisian cafes, and a two-hundred-year-old flower shop.
Have coffee on the Champs Elysees
With the Arc de Triomphe at one end and the Grand Palais at the other, the Champ Elysees is a must-see stop on your tour of the city. Of course, the truly Parisian way to soak up the atmosphere is to stop for a coffee in one of its stunning traditional cafes. It may cost you an arm and a leg, but it’s worth it.
Experience the Mona Lisa
You may feel that Leonardo Da Vinci’s most famous work is almost all-too-familiar to bother with. When you see it in real life, however, those fears will melt away. The real thing has a depth and texture to it that simply can’t be captured in a photograph. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience. If you choose only one thing to do from this list, make it this one.
Et voila! Your Paris experience is complete. Follow this list to the letter and you’ll leave the city feeling like you’ve experienced everything it has to offer. Of course, that’s not quite true – there’s always more to see in the city of love! To get the most of a trip to Paris, check out our Magic of Paris escorted tours.