While some cities can be easily explored in just one day, others are absolutely filled with treasures and gems to be discovered. Paris is this kind of city, where it seems each and every street corner holds its own unique story and piece of history. So, if you’ve only got 24 hours to visit the City of Lights, what are the best things to see and do?

TheUrbanRealist’s 24 hours in Paris Travel Guide will help you to make the most of your visit and ensure you don’t miss the hot spots.

Paris – A Top Destination for Tourists

Before we begin, why did we choose Paris as a hot destination? Currently, France is the most visited country in the entire world. In 2016, it welcomed 85 million tourists. They come from all over the world to visit and discover what the country has to offer. This rather massive amount of tourists is exactly why the tourism industry is so important to the economy, not just in Paris but for the entire country.

The industry employs roughly 500,000 people. In Paris, and the areas directly surrounding it, tourism accounts for more than 13% of its economy, which shows just how much of an impact it has. As for which tourists are flocking to the region, it’s mostly popular with the Chinese, Japanese, Russians, and the British.

1. Eiffel Tower – A Great Stepping Off Point

Obviously, no trip to Paris is complete without a visit to the Eiffel Tower. There is no point spending much time discussing this one because everyone understands just how beautiful and historic it is. Now, what you may not realize is that the Eiffel Tower can actually act as a great spot to start your day. It’s close to some of the most iconic landmarks, such as the Arc De Triomphe, the Seine, and the Champs-Elysées. Each of these is worth visiting, even if it’s just for a photo opportunity.

2. Palace of Versailles

This castle just so happens to be the largest in the entire world. Built in the 18th century it is a real pleasure to tour this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

3. Orsay Museum

This “museum” is actually a railway station that was built at the turn of the century. It is found on the grounds of the Palais D’Orsay. The museum is home to a world renowned art and sculpture gallery with pieces from Monet, Delacroix, Van Gogh, Sisley, Renoir, and many more.

4. Louvre Museum

Again, this is another world-renowned art gallery that features thousands of modern and classic art pieces. This particular museum is the most visited art gallery in the entire world, with more than 380,000 objects found inside. If you wish to explore with a guide, the tours depart every 30 minutes in peak season, and then every 60 minutes during off-season.

5. Archaeological Crypt of Notre-Dame

This is a very unique activity to take part in while visiting Paris. In order to view the crypt, you’ll need to travel down under the streets of the city, 80m below the Notre Dame Cathedral. You’ll be able to explore Paris’ history dating back more than 2000 years. This can be tied in with a tour of Saint Chapelle and Centre Pompidou, and the Towers of Notre Dame.

6. Gourmet Chocolate Museum

Paris is known for its museums and art galleries, but here is one you may not have heard of: the Gourmet Chocolate Museum. A visit to this museum offers the perfect break in your tour and features the entire 4,000 year old history of chocolate and cocoa. You can even take in a demonstration of how chocolate is made, and then of course sample the goods.

7. Size Is in Your Corner

The one positive that can be said if you’ve only got a short time to visit is the fact that Paris itself isn’t a massive city. This means that technically, if you rushed, you’d be able to see all it has to offer but just in small snippets. Now, with that said it’s still a fairly large city. It has a population of around 12,100,000, which is smaller than London, but bigger than cities such as Moscow, Manchester, and Madrid.


  • Ana Ojha

    Never been to Paris but on my bucket list! Hope to visit there soon!

  • TheLocdBella

    I don’t think I can do Paris in 24 hours. I need a week for all of this.

  • Great picks. I have a few of them on my list already. Will look into adding some of your. Thanks for sharing.

  • Natasha Smith

    So Awesome! This is great to know because there is so much to see in that area that I’d love to spend a little time everywhere lol!

  • Elena Stevkovska

    I have been to Paris only once but I was there for 7 or 8 days and I think that I didn`t have the chance to see everything.

  • Céline CLudik

    I’ve been to Paris so many times but there are so many places to visit. looking at this post I realize how much places I’ve missed. I’ll keep this list in mind next time.

  • Jhilmil Bhansali

    That’s tremendous knowing exploring Paris in 24 hours. Especially it can be great for stop overs as well.

  • Ania Ewelina

    Thanks for sharing this. I spent about 24 hours there a few years ago (which was also my first solo international trip) and I was a bit overwhelmed. I’m going there again in a few weeks, so will have to check some of the stuff I haven’t seen yet.

  • Chandresh Jain

    Its a Marathon race even to touch base all points .. But surely helpful for flyers like us who have short stay between connecting flights

  • Rose Mont

    That still looks like a lot for 24 hours but it’s nice to know you can still see some of Paris in on such a short time.

  • I’ve been to Paris so many times, yet there always seems to be more to do! I can’t wait to go back, this time with my partner 🙂

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