Paris is a city with so many famous landmarks and interesting sights to see that it can be tricky to prioritise what to do in a weekend stay. As we were only in Paris for one whole day, we had to decide what we wanted to see the most. Planning ahead really helped us to see lots of different Paris landmarks in one day, so I’d definitely recommend this if you’re planning a weekend break in the city. I thought I’d share the sights and landmarks we planned into our trip, all of which are definitely worth a visit (and brilliant for photo opportunities too!)
1 – Place de la Concorde
This public square is the largest in Paris and, with two fountains and the Obelisk of Luxor in the centre, it’s a great spot for photos. Walking around the square made us realise just how large it really is, and even in the rain it was really picturesque, with the Eiffel Tower visible in the distance. The Place de la Concorde is also a good centre point for finding other interesting landmarks, with the Grand Palais and Jardins des Champs-Elysées nearby.
2 – Place Vendôme
This was the only landmark we didn’t exactly plan to see, but we came across it on the way to seeing other sights. The Place Vendôme is another square with a prominent column in the centre. Photos don’t quite do the Vendôme Column justice – it really is very tall. The square is made up of expensive hotels too, so it was interesting to have a peak at some of the luxury hotels and shops in this area of the city.
3 – Arc de Triomphe
It goes without saying that this is one of the most famous landmarks in Paris, and it’s definitely worth going to see. The Arc de Triomphe is a magnificent arc at the western end of the Champs-Elysées, and I’d recommend going to see the arc lit up at night. I didn’t manage to get the whole arc in a photo (it was Remembrance Sunday and many world leaders had descended on the city), but if you manage to venture closer then a good photo opportunity is definitely possible.
4 – Champs-Elysées
This well-known avenue in Paris is lined with cafés and luxury shops and, even if you’re not looking to buy, a stroll along the avenue is definitely worth it. We had a peak in a few shops and stopped for a coffee on the Champs-Elysées, and I found it interesting to look at some of the large designer shops all down the avenue (even though buying something wasn’t an option!)
5 – Notre-Dame Cathedral
Having seen photos of Notre-Dame, I knew that this was a landmark I wanted to see. The medieval cathedral really is a spectacular building located in a slightly quieter part of the city. If you don’t mind heights, there’s the opportunity to go up the cathedral for an amazing view over Paris. It’s still worth seeing from the ground though, as it’s a beautiful building and a lovely photo spot.
6 – Seine River
Many websites recommend a walk down the Seine River when visiting Paris, and I can definitely add to those recommendations. Both in the daytime and at night, the paths by the river make for a lovely walk, with interesting bridges and buildings to see along the way. As we walked down the Seine at night, we saw some of the restaurants and bars on the river all lit up and full of people, an interesting insight into a usual Saturday night along the river.