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Jonathan
Niskayuna, New York

Jonathan from Niskayuna, New York asked

Can we see Paris in a day?

Heading to London for New Years and want to know if it's possible to see Paris in a day if we tube it from London in the early morning, and return later in the evening; or should we book and overnight and do a day and half?

Paris

8 Answers
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answered by
Sean from Hudson Valley

Hi Jonathan,

In short, no, you can't see Paris in one day; at least not all of it. 

However, that's not to say you shouldn't take a day to see Paris!

So what If you can't see all of Paris in one day?  You can still see a hell of a lot of it. 

One thing I would do differently from you, however, is to fly rather than do the tube.  Most flights are at least half the time, and less money than the Eurostar train. 

Now, I've taken the Eurostar train, and I have no complaints about it.  In fact, it was quite enjoyable.  However, I had far more time available to me.  If I were in a situation similar to you, I'd take the option that gives me a greater amount of time at my destination.  That's definitely flying.

This also gives you greater options in terms of when you travel.  You can fly out and back in one day with about twelve hours in town.  You can also fly out, and back the next morning (or later).  This gives you more time to enjoy Paris at night; a leisurely dinner, a stroll along the Seine, or perhaps a canal cruise. 

Two good sites to explore your options are,

Skyscanner.com

They are great for picking up low fares in Europe.  Another is,

Euroflights 

This site details all of the discount air carriers in Europe.  If you're ambitious, you can piece together flight options that suit you, as this site has links to all discount carriers.

Happy travels!


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Michael
Are you serious, flying is without a doubt the most expensive, inconvenient way to travel to Paris from London. At least an hour travel to the airport from central London, two hours to check in and then another hour to arrive in central Paris. Eurostar is far quicker, more comfortable and when you factor in the ease and less extra travel to pay for (city centre to city centre) it's a no brainer. I have regularly made this trip, mixing business and pleasure without feeling the pressure that comes with flight schedules and travel to and from airports.
 

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Michael
I would definitely stay overnight and make it a 2 day break though! Don't stay near the Gare du Nord (where you arrive) it's not a particularly pleasant area, personally I like to stay in the Marais area but there are many other lovely places to stay overnight.
 
 
 
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answered by
Janice from Toronto, Ontario

Yes, technically you could see Paris in a day; however, if it's your first time, you'll be missing SO much. If you could, then DO stay for a day and a half. I recently wrote a post on what to do for 3 days. It might help. Also check out the Top sites in Paris and Unique experiences in Paris. To save yourself time, you might also book some things (ie. Eiffel Tower and Palais Garnier) in advance. Here's a link to my post: http://www.francetraveltips.com/trip-advice-paris/


I also have "First Time Tips" that might give you more advice. Good luck. France (Paris) is absolutely fabulous, which is why I too, am going back over New Year's---it will be my 27th time!


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  1. Eiffel Tower (attraction)
  2. Palais Garnier (attraction)
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answered by
Carolina

In my opinion PAris is too big to see it in less than a day. However if you dont have any alternative you should grab a hop on hop off bus to sum up your visit. That's a good alternative!


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answered by
buard from Nantes

Hi Jonathan! Knowing you'll arrive Gare du nord (North train station), you should stay in this area and visit Montmartre, Canal Saint Martin, Parc des Buttes Chaumont and Belleville. You can follow the itinerary bellow : http://www.labouclevoyageuse.fr/balade-parisienne/

It takes 2 hours for about 8 km and you have a map and photos... to which you can add a visit to Montmartre by metro.


Or, you can also take the subway until Charles de gaulle étoile and see: L'Arc de Triomphe de l'Etoile, then walk down to Les Champs-Élysées, Place de la Concorde, cross "jardin du louvre" (and a visit to the The Louvre).. if you go forward, you can go to Pont Marie, from where you can see Notre Dame, or you stop at Hotel de Ville and you visit George Pompidou(modern art museum..).From Etoile to Hotel de ville it's only one street!! (the name changes). It's fast and easy to get the subway, but to avoid having to change, watch a map first to decide where to stop... https://presentement.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/plan-mc3a9tro-paris.gif


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Mentioned in this answer:

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VIEW DETAILED MAP
  1. Montmartre (attraction)
  2. Canal Saint Martin (attraction)
  3. Parc des Buttes Chaumont (attraction)
  4. Belleville (neighborhood)
  5. L'Arc de Triomphe de l'Etoile (attraction)
  6. Champs-Élysées (attraction)
  7. Concorde (attraction)
  8. The Louvre (attraction)
  9. Pont Marie (attraction)
  10. Notre Dame (attraction)
  11. George Pompidou (attraction)
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answered first by
Diane from New York City

You can certainly see some of Paris in a day  

My suggestion would be to take the hop on hop off bus and stop at things you really really want to see  

You will get a feel for the city and neighborhoods 

See Notre Dame and surroundings grab a French meal. I would not suggest visiting a museum as that would take the majority of your day or you would rush through and see very little 

If time permits take one of the boats that go through the center of Paris for a different perspective  

And of course u must see the Eiffel Tower.


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  1. Paris (city)
  2. Notre Dame (attraction)
  3. Eiffel Tower (attraction)
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answered by
Dabs from Chicago

I've taken the Eurostar to Paris several times but I've never done it all in one day.  I would book an overnight leaving London early morning on day one and coming back as late in the evening as possible on day 2.  That way you can see Paris at night, have a nice dinner and not feel incredibly rushed.

If you don't have your Eurostar tickets yet, you should book as soon as possible, the prices will only go up from now until then.  It is likely not very economical to wait until you get there to decide.


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answered by
Jose S from Antioch

There is so much to see a do (we did 10 nights in September and we feel like we could easily do 10 more).  That being said, 1 day is better then no day and you can walk around and enjoy alot of the sites.  But if you can, i would book an overnight and enjoy a great meal and Paris at night.


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answered by
Tracy from Pennsylvania

I wouldon't stay over. I have been twice for a total of 8 days and still have not seen it all. Even one day you will have to move quick and prioritize what you want to see. The The Louvre alone will take all day. Keep in mind the pace and if you choose to go don't try and see everything as you won't enjoy the city.


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Tracy
Would stay over.
 
 
 

Mentioned in this answer:

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  1. The Louvre (attraction)
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