How Would You Spend 24 Hours in Paris? Our Experts Share Tips

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How Would You Spend 24 Hours in Paris? Our Experts Share Tips
A tricky question… For those visitors who have a short stopover in Paris, how best to see the City of Light? What are the must-see experiences, restaurants, and attractions? In a city renowned around the world for its culture, cuisine and heritage, this is not an easy task! Here we present some expertly curated recommendations for 24 hours in Paris, brought to you by the in-the-know contributors of Bonjour Paris. Profitez bien! A Stroll Outdoors If I only had 24 hours in Paris, I’d spend most of my time outdoors. I’d start by strolling along the banks of the Seine now that they’re closed to traffic. Any season is perfect for this delightful walk, but it’s especially invigorating in the autumn, when the swirling fallen leaves, historic bridges, and rays of sun peeking from behind the clouds will take your breath away. Mid-to late morning is the perfect time to warm up with finely sourced coffee at La Caféothèque (52, rue de l’Hôtel de Ville). Then head north into the rue François Miron: foodies will adore Izraël spice shop (number 30), and design lovers will want to stop in at Sentou Galérie (number 29). Also nearby is the Maison Européenne de la Photographie – highly recommended! For lunch, hop onto bus 76 and get off at Ledru Rollin-Faubourg Saint Antoine and make your way to the Marché d’Aligre. After a quick spin through the flea market and surrounding food shops, which will whet your appetite, dine at La Table d’Aligre (11, place d’Aligre) or a little further afield, L’Ebauchoir (43-45 rue de Citeaux), both tasty bets. If the weather is nice, spend the afternoon getting lost in the Père Lachaise cemetery, or if you’d prefer being indoors, head to the west side of town to visit the 3-year-old Fondation Louis Vuitton. Close by, architecture buffs will want to take in any of the buildings owned by the Fondation Le Corbusier, especially Maison La Roche! Head back east for an aperitif anywhere in the rue de Lappe, then to dine at either A La Renaissance (87, rue de la Roquette) or the Bistrot Paul Bert (18, rue Paul Bert; don’t forget to reserve your table in advance). After dinner, more bohemian travelers might want a digestif and more at La Liberté (196, rue du Faubourg Saint Antoine), a late-night haunt featuring street poets and free spirits! Wander back to “civilization” and lay your head down at the Hôtel Paris Bastille Boutet (22-24, rue Faidherbe) with its designer suites, private terraces, and swimming pool and spa. Bonne nuit, Paris! — Allison Zinder has lived in eastern Paris for 20 years, and she accompanies travelers on their discovery of the little-known parts of the city through her business, Paris on the Edge. Louvre! If I had only 24 hours to spend in Paris I would walk amongst the treasure trove of the Louvre. It’s history began in 1190 as a fortress to protect the city and has been evolving steadily ever since, making it the largest museum in the world housing an estimated 380,000 objects, and 35,000 works of art in 652,300 square feet of space. Realistically, I’ve been told it would take over 4 months to view the collections in their entirety. I would begin in the medieval basement and go as far as my legs would carry me, absorbing each successive layer of history. If only these walls could talk, they would tell quite a melodramatic story. — Sue Aran, the owner of French Country Adventures, is a freelance writer and long-time contributor to Bonjour Paris. It’s All About the Seine! The river has served as the main artery of la ville since Antiquity, and today it’s still pulsing with life: pedestrianized walkways line both right and left banks; péniches (converted house boats) serve as restaurants, concert halls, even swimming pools (the Josephine Baker piscine); and major museums flanking the Seine dazzle art lovers… Strolling or biking the riverbank is fabulous, as is a river cruise to take in all the city landmarks. From a boat, you can ogle Notre Dame, the Louvre, the Grand Palais, Invalides, the Eiffel Tower… Allons–y! — Mary Winston Nicklin is the Editor of Bonjour Paris. First or Last 24 Hours?  The interesting question is, is this my first-ever 24 hours in Paris, or my last 24 hours? No matter. I’d combine the culinary pleasures of Paris with its historical heritage. Breakfast time: Coffee, OJ, and croissants at Le Notre Dame café overlooking the cathedral before having a look and maybe lighting a candle inside. I might also duck into Shakespeare and Company for a look at used and rare books. Lunch at Le Fumoir, right by the Louvre, storing the energy to take in Flemish and Italian paintings as well as Greek and Roman sculpture. An evening stroll around Amélie-land in Montmartre, looking over the Parisian vista from the Sacré Coeur church; culminating in dinner at L’Afghani, a very un-Amélie but marvelously exotic restaurant. My 24 would end with late-night/early-morning drinks at Chez Georges, a wine bar in Saint-Germain-de-Près. If it was open and I had the energy I’d light another candle, in the Saint-Germain-de-Près church. — Dimitri Keramitas is a writer (film critic, fiction) and the director of the creative writing program at WICE, a Paris-based organization. Up, Up and Away If you’ve got 24 hours to…
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Lead photo credit : Eiffel Tower by Gadjo_Niglo/ Flickr

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