Updated: Jul 26, 2019
Do you only have one day in Paris and want to see as much as you can? Well, if you travel like I do where I plan out everything down to the minute, then check out all the things you can see in Paris in just one day! Another thing to note is that I am the type of traveler that doesn't have to spend hours and hours at one spot.
Make sure you have the following accessible to you. This makes it SO much easier to see all of this in one day:
Pre-purchase all of your tickets so you don't have to wait in any long lines. Buy as many as you can that allow you to skip the line
First Stop: The Palace of Versailles - 7:30 - 11:15am
I know, this isn't exactly IN Paris, but it something I couldn't miss. I recommend you get an early start to the day so you can avoid as many of the crowds as you can.
Make sure you pre-purchase tickets online. We purchased the 1 day passport for 20 Euro each. Print and bring the tickets with you.
Take the RER C to Versailles Rive Gauche around 7:30AM. The trip will take you about 50 minutes
At the train station, purchase two return tickets to Paris. Don't wait until after Versailles
Grab a quick breakfast. We did the typical Seattle thing and grabbed Starbucks coffee and a croissant.
Doors open at 9AM, so go wait the 15 minutes in line. The line may look long now, but just wait until you LEAVE Versailles.
Once inside, you will follow the maze of people. To get through Versailles will take on average about 1 hour depending on how much time you spend in each room. The most crowded room (but most beautiful) room at Versailles was the chandelier room. I think it is also the most photographed room! I will be writing a more in depth post on Versailles in an upcoming post.
Second Stop: Grab some lunch - 12:00 - 1:00pm
It should be about 12pm by the time you make it back to Paris, but guess what?! You still have 10 more hours of exploring!
Based on the stop after lunch, I would recommend grabbing something at Krep which is a small creperie just a few blocks from the next stop. The crepes were amazing!
Third Stop: Palais Garnier - 1:15 - 2:00pm
Walk a few blocks from Krep to Palais Garnier, the Paris Opera house. This opera house was the inspiration behind the Phantom of the Opera, my ALL TIME favorite musical!
Pre-purchase tickets online, print them and take them with you.
Head straight to the Grand Foyer at the top of the stairs. Hopefully you will catch it empty like I happened to!
Fourth Stop: Arc de Triomphe - 2:15 - 3:15pm
Take the RER A to the Arc de Triomphe. Be careful, there's a lot of crazy drivers. You thought people didn't know how to navigate a simple round-a-bout but wait until that round-a-bout is a huge monument. If you have time and the line isn't long, head to the top where you have amazing and different views of Paris!
Fifth Stop: Eiffel Tower - 3:30 - 5:30pm
Take the M6 over to the Eiffel Tower area
Make sure to pre-purchase skip the line Eiffel Tower tickets. We did this and had to choose a time slot. I ended up building my day around this booking. We met our group at a site just a few blocks away. If you want my full story on our trip to the Eiffel Tower, CLICK HERE to read it!
Sixth Stop: Champ de Mars 5:30 - 7:00pm
Since you are in the area, go ahead and grab a bottle of rose, some baguettes, meat and cheese from a local market and enjoy a picnic dinner! We lucked out with 70 degree weather at the end of September so we were able to really enjoy relaxing in the grass of the Champ de Mars.
Seventh Stop: Seine River Cruise - 7:15 - 9:00pm
Go purchase tickets for a Seine river cruise. Choose the one that leaves at 8pm! Get in line, because people will be trying to do the same thing as you. Sail the Seine, take in all the sites and when you arrive back at 9pm, you will have an amazing view of the sparkling Eiffel Tower.
What things did I miss that you think could fit in my one day in Paris itinerary?