One Day in Paris

 

Bonjour! You’ve arrived in Paris, and have one day to taste and see it all. What’re you waiting for? The clock starts now.

 

Hot, buttery croissants: flaky, delicious and totally French. You’ll want two. Pair it with a cafe creme and you’re off to a great start.

 

Hop the Mo, Paris’ venerable metro to the Latin Quarter. Painters, writers, students and intellectuals have called this area home ever since the Sorbonne was founded here in the 12th century.

 

Explore the narrow, winding streets of the Quarter; it’s positively medieval. End up on the banks of the Seine and check out the bouquinistes. These booksellers, antiquarians and bric-a-brac sellers set up shop in each of the 900 green stalls on the banks of the river.

 

Cross over the Seine at the Pont St. Michel to visit Notre Dame Cathedral. Construction began on the Cathedral in 1163 and wasn’t finished until 1345. Breathtaking stained glass, flying buttresses and the famed gargoyles will be waiting for you.

 

Pop into a cafe in the Isle de la Cite—perhaps Les Deux Palais. If it’s hot out, have an ice cold beer or a glass of rosé—you’ve earned it. For lunch, try a cheese plate, or something more substantial like Duck Confit (confit de canard).

 

The Louvre. If you go to just one museum in Europe, this should be it. Check out Mona Lisa’s smile and the other 34,999 works of art on display there. If you looked at each for just 10 seconds, you’d be there for over four days.

 

People-watch Parisian style with a glass of cold Chablis in hand. Try it at a left bank cafe like the Deux Magots. Sure, it’s touristy, but James Joyce and Ernest Hemingway once hung out here together.

 

Switch cafes to another famous spot like the Closerie des Lilas—another Hemingway haunt; part brasserie, part piano bar but totally Parisian. Since 1847, this has been a great spot in Montparnasse. Finish up with a cafe express (espresso). This day is just beginning.

 

Dinner. Yelp lists 13,292 restaurants for Paris—somewhere around 13,280 of them are better than anything you’ve ever tried before. After dessert, get another cafe express or a cup of weaker Americano.

 

Cruise the Seine. This is the City of Light and seeing it at night can be a magical experience; it is Paris afterall. Even the bridges over the river are beautiful.

 

For a Parisian nightclub experience, visit Batofar in the 13th arrondissement. They started the “nightclub in a boat” trend, but they also have ample seating on the quai for excellent late-night food and live music nearly every evening.