Do you have just 24 hours in Paris to explore the delights of the French capital? Whether you’re in town for a layover or have extra time on a business trip, our 24-hour guide ensures you’ll get the most out of Paris.
Try as some cities might, there is just no comparing to Paris. The City of Light is where the bohemian revolution, famous monuments and architecture, and unparalleled fashion houses were born. The streets of Montmartre lined with artists and incurable romantics; the bells of Notre Dame ringing in the distance; the yearly swish and swing of couture down the runways at fashion week. Paris, it seems, is the ideal partner—it will never let you down.
Before You Go
Consider aligning your trip with the pinnacle of fashion celebrations: Paris Fashion Week. Even if you can’t make it to a show for a glimpse of prêt à porter collections dancing down the runway on the heels of the couture shows, the street style and famed French taste will be in full effect. Fashion risks welcome.
Check in at the Ritz Paris. A city staple, the hotel is not only historic, but also celebrated beyond compare. When it debuted on the Place Vendôme, it was teeming with features and fixtures beyond its time (electricity, telephones and bathtubs). After a 400-million Euro renovation completed in 2016, each room was soundproofed, air conditioned and expanded. Fifteen of its 71 suites are named for famous guests who stayed there, including Coco Chanel, F. Scott Fitzgerald and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.
Morning: Croissant, S’il Vous Plaît
Start your day right by falling in love with flaky, refined fusion croissants. Japanese chef Sadaharu Aoki has had a hand in challenging and changing the French pastry scene at his namesake patisserie. Dive into an airy dacquoise with black sesame or tart matcha caramel salé. You’ll never look at a pain au chocolat the same way.
Mid-Morning: Shopping on Rue Saint-Honoré
While Avenue des Champs Elysées is a typical shopping destination in Paris, connoisseurs may find the style offerings lack a certain je ne sais quoi. Head instead to Rue Saint-Honoré, an unparalleled concentration of fashion’s elite. Just a block from the Tuileries and Louvre in the first arrondissement, this is the place to pick up something from Dior, Hermes, Lanvin, Saint Laurent or Gucci. Or, stop by Avenue Montaigne for some time at Valentino, Chanel, Bulgari and Harry Winston.
After Lunch: Some Light Reading
No bibliophile should leave the city without a stop at Shakespeare and Company. Balancing out the overzealousness of online book destinations, the shop has instead turned to seeking out and selling early editions by the likes of Ian Fleming and Thomas Hardy. It’s also a great place to pick up a petit add-on, such as a vintage-feel photo snapped inside the Left Bank shop or a spritz of Astier de Villatte perfume.
Afternoon: Delight the Senses
Olfactory memory is perhaps one of our strongest recalls. Remember your trip by tying it to your new signature scent. There are plenty of excellent parfumiers in the city to choose from: we recommend stopping by Le Labo, Serge Lutens or nose for a one-of-a-kind perfume.
For a more ephemeral delight, pick up some bean-to-bar chocolate at La Manufacture de Chocolat d’Alain Ducasse.
Evening: Fall in Love
Whether you consider Paris the city of love, light, or both, there’s no reason to treat your time there as anything less than romantic. Fit in a walk past Coco’s former apartment at 31 Rue Cambon, and dine on traditional French fare among gilded frescoes at Le Train Bleu, Gare de Lyon station’s belle époque restaurant. There is no reason not to savor the amour and impeccable taste that is sweet Paris.