Paris is one of my favorite cities in the world. I have been coming here my entire life, so over the last three decades of visiting here I’ve learned the things I must do when I come to town. Some trips when I come to Paris for work, its so quick and I only have a few days to fit in everything so I make sure I hit my favorites. So if you’re visiting here on a stop over or don’t have much time – I wanted to share my perfect day here if you only have 24 hours.
Breakfast isn’t the most important meal of the day here. Outside of hotels, it is pretty limited. If you want to splurge on the most lavish and beautiful breakfast room in all of Paris visit Plaza Athenee. The ceiling is full of crystals and the room is so grand and special. Don’t over order because they’ll bring out a huge platter of pastries for you to fill up on. I order two eggs over easy and a cafe latte with soy milk. After having breakfast here, you can take a walk on Avenue Montaigne (go left out of the hotel entrance) and window shop at Chanel, Dior, Celine and more.
My favorite spot for lunch is L’avenue. Book ahead for a table and if the weather is nice, request a table outside or downstairs. You may have trouble booking, so have the concierge at your hotel help you. When the weather is nice, lunch can become an all day affair. During fashion weeks, its a prime spot for people watching – I am always running into friends here. I order the tom yum seabass, spicy tuna tartar or the smoked salmon. This is just down the block from Plaza Athenee, so if you eat here for lunch you can also walk down the street to the shops as well.
If you want to go yummy and casual, Relais Entrecôte is really the best. This is a classic French dish of steak frites and is one of my all time favorite meals. There are several locations around the city but you must plan ahead when dining here. They open at 7pm sharp for dinner and around 6:15-6:30 you can expect a line out the door. I usually arrive 30min before they open and wait in line for a table. Even if there is a line, don’t worry you’ll get in. There is no menu because they only serve one thing – and its so good. They will come to your table and ask you how you want your steak cooked. You’ll start with a small salad and bread, followed by steak frites and the most delicious sauce, you’ll get a refill then there are a few options for dessert. I don’t really love the dessert here so I usually skip, Im almost always so full by then anyway.
If you want something very fancy and very pricy I would go to Caviar Kaspia. I am warning you now, it is expensive so I would save this for a very special occasion. I order the salmon belini to start and then a potato with caviar to eat. This is one of the most decadent meals I’ve had in my life, but I crave it when I come to Paris.
There are a few places I love. I try to keep everything pretty central to where I am because it can be hard to get around Paris in traffic, so if Im in a time crunch I would check and see where is the closest to me. In Palais Royal you’ll find Cafe Kitsune. You can order a coffee then sit outside in the park. Laduree has become an Instagram favorite, but the macaroons really are that good. Come for a dessert, coffee and of course a photo for the gram. Two classic places that my parents have taken me since I was a baby are Les Deux Magots and Cafe Flore.
Can you really come to Paris without seeing the Eiffel Tower? I don’t think so! Though I am guilty of this for many trips. If I have time, I love to stop by for photos. If you want the best shot without people, go early in the morning when the sun is about t to rise. If you prefer a sparkly photo, anytime at night is fine. Check online to see the hours of when the lights will go off so you can catch it. I love taking photos at Palais Royal, the striped columns make for a perfect backdrop. You can also just wander on the streets to see beautiful French doors, hidden corridors and cafes with beautiful chairs.
This are a few spots that I would plan if I only had 24 hours in Paris. I hope this helps plan your next or future trip to my favorite city!