Café de Flore

How to spend a day in Paris

In Love In Paris

According to popular legend, Paris is the city of love. Every guidebook and popular movie featuring this city has touted it’s love magic for years. I am not going to dispute it, but there are other things in Paris to fall in love with, other than that guy or girl you have been eyeing on the train since you left Amsterdam. There is of course the food. A culinary masterpiece waits around every corner. The French never do anything halfway when it comes to food. Food is life, and life is love. And then there are the amazing sights. It’s not really the kind of city where you would just come for a day, but if you do find yourself here for 24 hours you can certainly find something to see and do.

Start Your Day Right – Metro :: Saint. Lazere

Have a real French breakfast at Maison Kayser located at 8, rue Monge. This is probably the best bakery in the whole of France. This place gets jammed every morning with locals and is the best place for a continental breakfast. This place is unbeatable. There are other locations in Paris but I love this one.

Watch The Street Life

Have a stroll through the local markets. Every Arrondissement (district) of Paris has at least one open air or covered farmers market. These are not the half-hearted markets you’ll find in many other capital cities. You can find fresh truffles, zucchini blossoms, Amazing flowers, wild mushrooms, a huge array of salad greens and every kind of fresh herb on the planet. And that’s just when you have entered the market. With so much great meat, seafood and produce available, it’s no wonder that that dining out in Paris is usually exceptional.

Do The Tourist Route

A full day pass for the metro in Paris is just €12. You can pick one up at any station. Take off for the Champs Elysees, the shopping street of the rich and famous. This is the Beverly Hills of Paris. There are metro stops all around, and it is easy to find. Start at the Arc de Triumph on Rue de l”Eoile, and walk down the Champs Elysees towards the river, eyeing everything in the shops and imagine blowing your budget completely. Just before the river is a fantastic park with the National Gallery, many ponds, palaces and pavilions.

Jardin du Luxembourg – Metro :: Odeon

Get back on the train and head to one of the most spectacular parks in Paris. This place is filled with absolutely stunning gardens, fountains and a 17th century palace. You could easily spend an entire day here, but plan your time right as you are headed of for one of the best lunches in town. And it is right nearby.

Le Comptoir du Relais – Metro :: Odeon

Getting a dinner reservation here can be next to impossible. BUT, no booking is required at all for lunch. Le Comptoir du Relais is packed into a tiny triangle of space but there are large French doors which open out onto the street. Order the delicious house wine, But be sure to request tap water here. (otherwise you pay for bottled water) For lunch, you must try their Croque Monsieur made with smoked salmon, Comte cheese and topped with a dash of caviar. It’s a bargain at only 9 euros.

Back On The Train – Metro :: Denfert Rochereau

Off to the Catacombs, one of the weirdest museums in Paris. Yes, this place is actually a museum. It is like a trip into a weird surreal movie. This place houses the bones of some 6 million people. A former mine in the 17th century, it became a burial ground and then a museum in 1877. If you look around at the buildings above ground here, you will find very few tall buildings, due to the fact that the caves below won’t hold the weight.

The Lourve – Metro :: Palais Royal

Get back on the train and head to Palais Royal. One of the worlds most famous museums is here. The interior of the building alone is enough to make your jaw drop in awe, but you can also see the Mona Lisa, Michelangelo’s Davis and a whole load of other amazing works. The building is a former place. The French emptied as much art as the could during the Nazi occupation and hid most of the artwork in the countryside.

Dinner at A la Biche au Bois – Metro :: Gare de Lyon

This place gets rammed. It is very popular but no matter how crowded it gets here, everyone is happy with the amazing food and the jolly atmosphere. I always go with the €25.90 prix fixe menu, but starting at around 17 euros you’ll find delicious mains like wild duck in blackcurrant sauce, wild venison stew or veal with truffles. Book in advance, but expect to wait anyway.

Tour Eiffel – Metro :: Champ de Mars/Tour Eiffel

Yes, the famous Eiffel tower, a visit to Paris without going here is just silly. But this incredible structure is best viewed lit up at night. It is open until midnight in the summer and 11pm the rest of the year. Take the lift to the top and get a fantastic view of the city you spent the day in. You can always take the stairs, but be warned, it’s quit a journey. This is the place to meet that someone special, and perhaps fall in love, if not with them, then with the city.

If you decide to travel to Paris for a weekend read this guide on what to do in Paris on a weekend.