24 hours in Paris is clearly not enough but when that’s all you have time for you make the most of it. Since Charles de Gaulle is a relatively easy airport coming from Los Angeles, and Paris is one of my favorite cities, it was a no brainer to add a day in Paris to my itinerary. While a day isn’t enough time to see everything, I packed in some of the main tourist attractions and the key restaurants that are a must while you are in the city.
There are a lot of amazing hotels in Paris. This trip, we decided to stay at Hotel Plaza Athenee in the 8th Arrondissement. Views of the Eiffel Tower and a location in the heart of Paris, this was the perfect place to stay. The rooms will make you feel like you stepped into the era of Marie Antoinette, from the gold accents to hanging chandelier. Whether you want to pop on over to the Eiffel Tower, watch a ballet at Palais Garnier, grab drinks in the Marais or enjoy the gardens in the 6th like Hemmingway, Hotel Plaza Athenee is ideally located in the city of love.
Girafe was one of the last meals of our honeymoon, and it was one of the best meals with the best view. Girafe offers gourmet seafood dishes with views of the Eiffel Tower. The restaurant is open during the day and at night. You truly cannot go wrong with either a daytime or nighttime seating. We had the ability to sit on top of the restaurant with a gorgeous view of the Eiffel Tower throughout our entire meal. We tried a variety of dishes while dining. But, one of my favorites was the yellowtail in ponzu sauce. I also highly recommend trying their whole fish. I’ve had good seafood before, but this was truly melt in your mouth goodness. It was the ideal way to end a vacation that I never wanted to come home from.
If you’re a foodie like me, you know La Palette was one of Anthony Bourdain’s favorite restaurants. We didn’t get to visit this casual eatery on this specific trip. However, if you have a longer stay in Paris, it is definitely worth a visit. I love getting a charcuterie board with some good wine as a refresher after a day out on the town.
Prescription Cocktail Club
This is another place we didn’t get to visit on this trip since it was short. Prescription Cocktail Club is located in the 6th Arrondissement and is the perfect place to grab a drink. It will feel like you are stepping foot in a speakeasy. With craft cocktails, dim lighting, and a variety of languages being spoken around you, this really is one of the hottest places to grab a cocktail in Paris.
Tucked away in the fashionable 16th Arrondissement, L’Avenue has become the ultimate rendezvous place in Paris. Everyone is dressed so chic there, even the servers are dressed in Gucci and other designer clothing. It is the perfect place to unwind for an hour or two between errands, visits, sight seeing and shopping in Paris. Great French food, gourmet cocktails, and some of the most beautiful faces you’ve ever seen while dining. Be sure to dress to impress for your lunch/dinner.
The Eiffel Tower is a must if it is your first time to Paris. A lot of people go to the actual tower which is an experience all in itself. However, I think going up in the Eiffel Tower is a bit overrated. My favorite to view the tower is from the Trocadero. It’s an area across the Seine River that has absolutely gorgeous views of the Eiffel Tower. If you time it right, you could visit the Trocadero to see the tower during the day, grab dinner and drinks at one of the nearby restaurants, and come out to see it glisten at night. The Eiffel Tower is definitely a tourist trap, but you have to visit if it’s your first time to Paris.
If you are someone who loves dinner and a show, the Moulin Rouge is definitely for you. My two cents, skip the dinner and just go for the show. If you’re lucky, they’ll place you with prime seating right in front of the stage. This cabaret show is in Pigalle, also known as the red light district. While it can feel a bit seedy in the surrounding area, the Moulin Rouge is a uniquely Parisian show that is definitely worth a view at least once.
If art speaks to you, The Lourve is your place. Much like the Eiffel Tower, the Lourve is another major tourist trap. However, getting to see works of art like the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo, makes fighting through tourist crowds worth it. Just make sure you block off a good amount of time for this activity.
If you have at least a week in Paris, consider taking a day trip during your stay. I absolutely love wine and champagne, and there is nothing quite like drinking champagne in Reims. Whether you love Veuve Cliquot or are more of a Tattinger person, there is something for everyone in Reims. The tours take you into the caves where the champagne is made and stored, and teach of the amazing backgrounds of the families who own these champagne houses. In addition, there are unique bottles for purchase at the end of the tours and it is truly a unique experience.
Versailles is for those who love royalty and opulence. This is the home of the infamous Marie Antoinette. There are both guided and self-guided tours available in addition to a Laudree onsite if you love macarons. Don’t forget to take a tour of the beautiful gardens and buy tickets in advance if you don’t like lines. After your tour of Versailles, take a stroll through the local city and stop at any of the small restaurants for a quick meal before heading back to Paris. One of my favorite stops is Aux Delices de Katy, which is perfect for a true home cooked French meal.
While I didn’t get to do a lot of activities in Paris during my honeymoon, Paris is always a city that will have my heart. Our meal at Girafe was luxurious, glamorous, and the perfect way to end a fairytale honeymoon. Paris is a place you could spend a month in and still not see everything. My advice…if you have the opportunity to add Paris to your honeymoon do it. Not only is it full of beauty and adventure, but it offers an easy flight home on Air France.