My time in France was far too short. Only one night in Marseille and another two nights in Aix en Provence. When we arrived at the Gare de Lyon train station Laure shared that while it was a grey day, that was the true Parisienne experience. On the bright side we had 24 hours in Paris with lots of food involved.
How to Spend 24 Hours in Paris
Obligatory Sight Seeing
With one day you can’t see it all but you can visit the Eiffel Tower or Arc de Triomphe. We opted for a quick trip to the Arc de Triomphe which is far less crowded and perhaps more interesting? Even on a rainy day the view is spectacular and you can see the Eiffel Tower. If it continues to drizzle you may be interested in these things to do on a rainy day in Paris.
Place Charles de Gaulle, 75008 Paris, France
Food Souvenir Shopping
We popped in for gourmet food shopping at Galeries Lafayette and for lunch at Angelina. If you’re short on time Galeries Gourmand is perfect as it a number of options from budget to luxury food items. I picked up a few things somewhere in the middle.
35 Boulevard Haussmann, 75009 Paris, France
Goutez at Ladurée Champs Elysées
What is a trip to France without macarons? Ladurée is one of the most well known tearooms and a must-do for 24 hours in Paris. The main tearoom is vintage looking and the line-up is long. If you can, ask to be seated at the bar in the back. While it’s new the interior is far more interesting with an art nouveau expression of a butterfly cocoon. If you’re like me you’ll also pick up a sampler of macarons to go.
75 Av. des Champs-Élysées, 75008 Paris, France
ALSO CHECK OUT: The Best Bakeries in Aix en Provence
Walk Around for just a bit
I know there’s not a lot of time so spend it wisely. We took a 90 minute walking tour with Discover Walks to see the light displays. I’m a fan of walking tours and loved our walking tour of food in Rome, next time I’d try the Sampling Paris’ Best Food tour which is only two hours long.
French Wine + Food
My absolute favourite part of Paris and my #1 recommendation is to visit De Vinis Illustribus. This will make your trip. It was the highlight of my trip to France.
From the outside it looks like just another wine shop in France. And yes Lionel Michelin and his wife Dominique do sell wine but it’s so much more. Lionel left his career to pursue his passion, collecting wine. He only buys from private collectors, most often from an estate sale when the owner has passed.
We start the evening in the shop, welcomed with Champagne and 30-month Comté cheese. Although he has a vast knowledge of wine it’s void of pretension. He has a way of sharing just the right amount of information, making wine interesting rather than intimidating.
He shares that milk products can make red wine feel more tannic. To balance the tannins you could choose a light red like a pinot noir or Beaujolais or also go bold and compete with a Chateauneuf de Pape.
From there we head down to the wine cave where they have paired food with wine. I don’t often love wine pairings as I don’t see the pairing but Lionel chooses dishes with lots of flavour like sea urchin tarama and wild mushroom tarte. We shares stories of how he finds wine. How he came to fall in love with it. The bottles that he broke. The ones he’s still searching for.
I’m in love.
With the experience of course. This is such a special place and very accessible. Lionel and Dominique plan tastings for a group even as small as one. If you’re celebrating an anniversary or birthday they can plan a tasting of wine from that year. If you want to do something truly unique in Paris this is the place to go. I know I’ll be back.
48, rue de la Montagne-Sainte-Geneviève 75005 Paris, France
Have more time in Paris? Check out this guide to 3 days in Paris.