Whether you’re travelling for this summer’s international football tournament or just sightseeing, a visit to the vivacious French capital of Paris is always a good idea. As the sunshine pours down on this stunning city, football fans and tourists alike will be hoping to explore the wonders of this iconic metropolis during the summer months, and who can blame them! If you’ve always wanted to visit the City of Lights, put on some sturdy shoes and prepare for a whirlwind tour as we share with you our guide to visiting Paris for the day.
Start your day like a local with breakfast in one of the many Parisian cafés along the Boulevard St Germain. Tuck into a freshly made pain au chocolat paired with a café au lait or a hot chocolate and watch the world go by. With the city slowly waking, take a stroll west along the Seine to beat the crowds at Paris’ most iconic landmark, the Eiffel Tower. If you have time, head north to the Place de l’Étoile to find the majestic Arc De Triomphe. At the top of the 284 steps you’ll find photo opportunities in all directions, with a particularly fantastic view straight down the 2km Avenue des Champs-Élysées to the Obelisk of Luxor at Place de la Concorde.
South of the famous iron lattice Eiffel Tower, the Champ de Mars is the perfect place to relax with a picnic and drink in one of Paris‘ most idyllic settings. If you want a full French experience, remember to pack a bottle of wine, baguettes, cheese, ham and some macarons for a light but indulgent dessert. After lunch, head back east along the Seine, passing pretty bridges before arriving at the Musée d’Orsay, an outstanding exhibition space with a huge impressionist collection that includes works by Monet and Degas. If this has got your creative juices flowing, the world-renowned Musée du Louvre is just across the river, and houses masterpieces such as Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and Michelangelo’s Dying Slave.
Continue east and cross over into Ile de la Cité, a natural island in the middle of the river Seine that was the site of Paris’ first human settlement. Pass by the elegant Palais de Justice to reach Notre Dame de Paris, the inspiration for French writer Victor Hugo’s novel The Hunchback of Notre-Dame. This magnificent 12th century cathedral features a beautiful rose window and dramatic flying buttresses, and a 400-step climb to the open-air summit of its west bell tower is hugely worthwhile.
Jump on the Metro and head north to Anvers to drink in the last moments of the day on the steps of the Sacre Coeur. Watch the sun go down from at here, the highest point in the city until the lights below begin to sparkle. For evening fun, the trendy Latin Quarter is a short trip to the west, boastingfantastic dining spots, chic bars and lively clubs – and of course the infamous French cabaret, the Moulin Rouge.
If this has inspired you to take a day trip to Paris or embark on an escape of your own, check out our Adventure Page for more info.