- Ile St. Louis*
- Hôtel de Ville
- Le Centre Pompidou
- Père Lachaise
- Parc des Buttes Chaumont*
- Sacre Cœur
- Place du Tertre*
- Le Moulin Rouge
- La Tour Eiffel
*Suggested by not necessary
Because you don’t know where you will be staying yet, it is better to plan the start of your trip at a central place. I suggest Notre-Dame since it is in the literal center of the city. If you’re taking the metro get off at either Line 4 Cite, or at RER B St. Michel- Notre-Dame. The line for entering the cathedral depends on what time of the year you are traveling. During spring and summer it can be quite long, but usually moves fast so that the waiting time isn’t eternal.
Ile St. Louis
Once you come out of Notre-dame, head East towards Ile St. Louis. If you’re in a mood for something cute and romantic stop at Pont de L’archeveche (or the “Love lock Bridge). Cross Pont St. Louis into Ile St. Louis. Ile St. Louis is a charming, mostly residential little island in the middle of the Seine. If you’re looking for the best ice-cream in Paris stop at Amorino. Follow Rue des Deux Ponts and cross Pont Marie. Make a left at Quai d’Hôtel de Ville and walk until you see the Hôtel de Ville
Hôtel de Ville
Once you come out of Notre-Dame turn right and walk through Rue D’Arcole. Cross the bridge and walk towards Hôtel de Ville. Hôtel de Ville is where the city’s local administration is. Going inside isn’t worth it but it’s a gorgeous building to see.
Le Centre Pompidou
Keep walking North on Rue du Renard for a couple of minutes until you get to Le Centre Pompidou, one of the best contemporary art museums in the world. The museum is huge so you should weigh the pros and cons of going in. If it’s an absolute must in your list you should go in and see at least some of it, otherwise it might be better to just see the funky building from the outside.
Père Lachaise Cemetery
Keep walking North on Rue du Renard until you hit metro stop Rambuteau. Take line 11 towards Mairie des Lilas. Transfer at Republique to line 3 towards Gallieni and get off at Père Lachaise. Père Lachaise is the most famous cemetery in Paris. The cemetery is gigantic. You will find a map that will make it easier to find the graves that interest you.
Parc des Buttes Chaumont
From Pere Lachaise metro station take line 2 towards Porte Dauphine and transfer at Jaures to line 7. Get off at Buttes Chaumont. This is in my opinion, Paris’ most beautiful park. Go up the hill to the little white chapel for a great view and look for the cascade. Go back to the metro and take line 7 back to Jaures, transfer to line 2 towards Porte Dauphine and get off at Anvers
From the Père Lachaise metro station take line 2 towards Porte Dauphin and get off at Anvers. Walk up Rue de Steinkerque towards Square Louis Michel. Walk up the steps or take the Furnicular up to the Basilica.
Place du Tertre
Take Rue Azais from Sacre Coeur and then turn left on Rue Mont Cenis. The square is full of restaurants, and street artists. To see the famed Montmartre steps: From the square go down Rue du Calvaire, then right on Rue Gabrielle, right again on Rue Drevet which turns into Rue la Vieuville. All this would be walking down several picturesque steps. As you walk down Rue la Vieuville you will see Le mur des je t’aime a small park with a Wall of Love. Keep going down and turn left at Rue d’Abesses, then right at Rue Houdon, and left on Blvd de Clichy. Keep walking until you see the Moulin Rouge.
Come down from Sacre Cœur and turn left at Boulevard de Clichy. Walk down the boulevard and observe one of the raciest streets in Paris until you see the Moulin Rouge. The Moulin Rouge is smaller than most people imagine but pictures in front of it are always fun.
La Tour Eiffel:
Go to metro stop Blanche and take line 2 towards Porte Dauphine. Transfer at Charles de Gaulle-Etoile to line 6 towards Nation. Get off at Champ de Mars-Bir-Hakeim. Once you get off the metro you should see the Eiffel Tower, just walk up to it. Like Paris, the Eiffel Tower is at its most gorgeous at night. If it’s not yet night when you get there, it might be a good idea to wait for the sun to set. You can sit down in Champs de Mars, or go up to Trocadero. Every turn of the hour after dark the tower sparkles. Going up the Eiffel Tower, in all honesty, is not worth it. It is not the best view of the city, it’s the most expensive, and has the longest lines.
Take line 6 towards Nation and get off at Montparnasse Bienvenue. Most Parisians hate la Tour Montparnasse, but it’s still a popular quartier to visit. I personally think a walk along the seine would be better but I wanted to include it since it’s an important landmark.
In Part 2, we will continue our exploration of Paris on Day 2, including the Louvre, some famous gardens and the Opera Garnier.