A Perfect 24 Hours in Paris 2024 1
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A Perfect 24 Hours in Paris 2024

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Greetings Internet Stranger! I’m Stella Jane, author of the travel guide Get Lost, and welcome to 24 hours in Paris! As I mentioned in my previous post about Paris, Gay Paree is my favorite foreign city in the very whole wide world. So what would I do if I had 24 hours in Paris? What are my absolute favorite places in my absolute favorite city?

I am so glad you asked, Internet Stranger! Come with me for 24 hours in Paris and I will take you to my favorite museum, some of my favorite pastry shops, and one of the absolute best restaurants I have ever experienced. Let’s not waste any more time! The City of Lights awaits!

Stella’s Top 3 Picks: 24 Hours in Paris

#1 TOP PICK

A Perfect 24 Hours in Paris 2024 2

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
PARISIAN FOOD TOUR
✔️ Authentic Parisian treats
✔️ Expert local guide

#2 PICK

A Perfect 24 Hours in Paris 2024 3

PRIVATE LOUVRE TOUR
✔️ Skip the line
✔️ Best way to see the Louvre

#3 PICK

A Perfect 24 Hours in Paris 2024 4

ALL OTHER PARIS TOURS
✔️ Find your favorite!
✔️ Get the best deals

24 hours in Paris

24 Hours in Paris

Morning: St. Germain Food Tour

It’s hardly a shock to say that there’s a million great places to eat in Paris. There’s no way that we could see them all in just 24 hours in Paris. However, we will be able to see more than our fair share if we take a food tour.

On a food tour, you save money because you get to try reasonable sized portions of many different foods instead of having to pay full price for all of them. (And you’d never be able to finish the full-sized portions anyway.)

That’s why I recommend this St. Germain food tour. It took us to some of the best pastry places in Paris, to satisfy our sweet teeth. (Sweet tooths? No, that’s not a word.) Then we get to sit down for an amazing lunch featuring a rare cuisine. Sound exciting? It should!

Check rates and availability for this tour right here.

Then get ready to join me for the

Approximately Top 5: St Germain Food Tour

1) Salted Butter Caramel

Let’s start our day with the best possible breakfast: candy! In France, one of the most popular dessert flavors is salted butter caramel. You can get it in ice cream, or you can just have it straight as a candy. It has the perfect combination of sweet and salty for your snack cravings.

24 hours in paris

At the same store, we each were able to sample a fruit pate. Our guide, whom I shall call Jacques, said that these candies are often too sweet, but at this store they make them fresh and they really taste like fruit. I was impressed with Jacques for translating every single flavor into English for us, but for me it wasn’t necessary because I speak French.

I recommend the cherry, which really did taste like cherry, but you can get whatever floats your bateau.

2) Macarons

Macarons are possibly the most iconic French pastry in the world, at the moment. They are made with egg white, sugar, almonds, and other flavors, and they’re quite tricky to prepare. The most famous macaron producer is Laduree, but we went to a pastry shop that’s a little more off the beaten track.

I got a citrus/cookie combination that was quite elegant and refreshing. Again, Jacques will translate the flavors, so there’s no need to worry! You can try whichever your heart desires.

24 hours in paris
3) Butter Cookies

Our last pastry stop was at a bakery where Jacques bought the baguettes for our lunch later on the tour. But when he got the bread, he also stopped to let us try these melt-in-your-bouche butter cookies.

This bakery is also famous for owning a bread chandelier that the baker made for Salvador Dali. Dali apparently wanted a bedroom made entirely out of bread, which sounds like it would attract a whole bunch of mice and other unsavory characters. I don’t know what happened to the breadroom, but the chandelier lives, and you get to see it on the food tour.

24 hours in paris
4) Basque Feast

After the walking and snacking, Jacques took us to a Basque restaurant where we got to sit down and eat a multi-course lunch. This is the way to live in Paris! We started with pate, which Jacques said we should cut in the same size as the bread, and you don’t spread it like you would butter.

Pate is one of my favorite foods, and lucky for me everyone on the tour liked it except for one person, so I got to eat her pate. Double the pate, double the fun!

24 hours in paris

Next was some classic French charcuterie, served with more bread from that bread chandelier shop. We have French ham and sausage, and then Basque sausage, which was a little spicier. Regular readers of this blog will guess that I liked the Basque sausage because I love spicy food, but they were all scrumptious.

24 hours in paris

For a real Basque treat, we had these peppers stuffed with potatoes and cod. Some people on the tour said they couldn’t taste the fish, but I am sure you will be able to if you put your mind to it.

24 hours in paris

Naturally it’s not a French meal without cheese! I can’t guarantee which cheeses your Jacques will choose, but there will definitely be soft cheese, hard cheese, blue cheese…

There’s no point in going to France if you don’t eat cheese. It’s what they do best! After all they make more than 365 cheeses, so you could have a different cheese each day and not exhaust them all.

24 hours in paris

And for dessert, we had mille feuille, which translates to “1000 leaves”. The leaves in question here refer to the pastry leaves, which are alternated with sweet pastry cream. This mille feuille was especially delicious because it had coffee in it, and you’ll need one after the tour. (There’s a ton of food, plus wine, which I didn’t show you because I didn’t want you to get jealous.)

24 Hour Tip

Those are all the secrets of the food tour I can share with you for now. You’ll have to book the tour for yourself if you want to find out more.

Check rates and availability right here!

24 Hours in Paris

24 Hours in Paris

Afternoon: Musee de Cluny

Any 24 hours in Paris itinerary needs to start with a museum! They call Paris the City of Lights, but they could just as easily call it the city of museums. As a museum junkie, I could list about five museums in Paris off the top of my head that I adore with all my heart.

But my favorite museum in Paris isn’t the Louvre, the Musee d’Orsay, or the tubular Pompidou. No, the museum that has my heart for all time is The National Museum of the Middle Ages, which is known to its friends as the Musee de Cluny. This is where we begin our 24 hours in Paris.

24 hours in paris

The Musee de Cluny has a new wing and an old wing. Of course this being a European building, they have a different concept of what constitutes new and old than we Americans do. The “new” wing is the 14th century former home of the abbots of Cluny. The old wing used to be a Roman bathing house and dates from the 3rd century.

I love the whole museum because it’s easier for me to swan about and pretend to be Eleanor of Aquitaine convincingly there than in my apartment. However, I do have a few favorite fun facts, courtesy of the excellent audio guide that I would be privileged to share with you.

THREE FUN FACTS ABOUT THE MUSEE DE CLUNY

24 hours in paris
1) who are these guys?

These poor men, who all appear to be great losers in a game of “Who’s Got Your Nose?”, are meant to be the heads of the kings of Judah. They used to be part of Notre Dame Cathedral. However, during the French Revolution the anti-monarchists mistook them for French kings and tore them off the building and then sold them. 

Revolutionaries are always overreacting like that. If they’re not arresting dissidents or threatening to blow up Gotham City, they’re falsely accusing statues of colluding with the aristocracy.

24 hours in paris
2) and what’s up with this lady?

This is the most famous work you’ll see during your 24 hours in Paris and rightfully so. One reason is the artistry that went into creating the tapestries. The other is the history mystery around the tapestries’ meaning. Five of the tapestries depict a woman interacting with a unicorn, and each tapestry panel represents one of the five senses.

But the sixth shows the woman retreating back into a tent. This tent inexplicably has the words “My Only Desire” written over its door. What does this mean? What is the woman’s only desire? Is she renouncing physical pleasure in favor of spiritual bliss? Is it referring to the sixth sense, aka ESPN? The world may never know.

I personally think she has her only desire already, which is to OWN A FREAKING UNICORN because that’s the coolest pet ever.

24 hours in paris
3) What’s this book about?

This is a page from an old combat manual designed to teach aspiring warriors how to fence. I don’t really understand how anyone could learn how to fight from a little book like this. It’s very difficult to fence and hold a book at the same time.

I suppose your teacher could describe the book to you as you practice, but if you have a teacher, why do you need a book? Also I like that one of the fencers in the illustrations is wearing a lovely shade of pink. Pink was considered to be a masculine color during medieval times.

24 hours in paris
24 hour treasure

This is a rose made of gold. It was used on the fourth Sunday of Lent as a special gift that the Pope would give to someone particularly faithful. Though many of them were made during the Middle Ages, this is one of only three that survives.

If anyone was wondering what to get me for my next birthday, this would make a most welcome option. It’s more practical than a real rose because you don’t need to water it and it still lasts forever.

24 hours in paris

24 Hours in Paris

Evening: Dinner at L’Abysse

Since we’re spending 24 hours in Paris, you probably think I’m taking you to a French restaurant tonight. Aha, foolish mortal. We ate enough French food for lunch, so tonight I’m taking you to a Japanese restaurant for dinner. It’s called L’Abysse, and it has some of the best sushi I have ever eaten.

It’s quite expensive, and you definitely have to book your reservation in advance, but I think eating this amazingly well is worth it.

24 hours in paris

The meal began in traditional Japanese fashion with pickles and wasabi leaves. I’ve had plenty of wasabi, but never in leaf form. There was so much flavor here already and we are only getting started.

24 hours in paris

Next is a savory custard, which is almost always present in Japanese fine dining. This one was made with white asparagus with pike roe jelly. I always eat as much white asparagus as I can when I go to Europe because it’s so much easier to get there than it is back home in the United States.

24 hours in paris

Here’s some lettuce ravioli with vegan caviar. Honestly, I am firmly on the side of any restaurant that can make lettuce and vegan caviar in the same dish seem exciting.

24 hours in paris

A gorgeous oyster in Japanese gin, which I didn’t even know existed. L’Abysse continues to make lettuce exciting, only this time it’s fermented.

For the last appetizer, you’ll have some assorted sashimi. It’s based on whatever is fresh and in season, so I can’t make any fish-related promises. I can tell you that they ask you to eat the sashimi and sushi with your hands in traditional Japanese-style, which felt a little naughty, in a good way.

The waitress will sometimes give you instructions on how to eat the fish. Here she asked me to eat one piece of sashimi plain and the other wrapped in the leaf. It did taste quite different! Thanks for the sashimi science experiment.

24 hours in paris

Ugh, isn’t that sushi almost too pretty to eat? But you’re going to have to suffer through and eat it anyway. The waitress asked me not to make any alterations or add seasoning and just to eat as chef prepared the sushi. No need to tell me! It would just be messing with perfection.

24 hours in paris

Under normal circumstances, it’s very hard for me to get excited about tofu. But these are no ordinary circumstances. This is house made tofu and it tastes like wearing that white silk dress Gigi wears when she finally goes on a date with Gaston Lachaille in the musical Gigi. (It’s an amazing movie, look it up)

24 hours in paris

Up next was a beautiful langoustine that they literally set on fire in front of me, wrapped in seaweed, and then handed to me. Man, more restaurants should start setting things on fire.

24 hours in paris

Are you ready for more sushi? Of course you are!

24 hours in paris

What’s better than sushi? Is it sushi and caviar? Mais bien sur!

24 hours in paris

And then to cleanse the palate before dessert, they offer a rich and savory poultry broth. My waitress asked me if I wanted to order any extra sushi, and I honestly couldn’t have eaten even one more bite. On to dessert!

24 hours in paris

The first dessert will be made with seasonal fruit. I visited at the end of June, so I was treated to ripe strawberries in a meringue.

24 hours in paris

Have you ever thought about putting mushrooms in a dessert? Neither had I until I ate this mushroom ice cream with nougatine. I wouldn’t have realized that I was eating mushrooms if I hadn’t been told. The dish just had a decadent earthy flavor that went well with the sweet nougat.

Doesn’t this look like the mille feuille we had for dessert? But instead it’s a barley tuile with chocolate and white miso. I love the use of savory ingredients in dessert because it makes the flavor of the dish more complex, so you want to keep eating.

24 hours in paris

And they saved the craziest dish for last: a shiso leaf, which they froze at the table in front of me. You have to eat it right away or it will start to melt, and it tastes like the world’s coolest after dinner mint. Again, more restaurants need to be freezing things at the table.

24 hours in paris

24 Hours in Paris

Where to Stay?

Paris, you may have heard, is a rather popular city for tourists. That means you’ll never be starved for choices for where to stay during your 24 hours in Paris. The important thing is to pick the right neighborhood. In Paris, they don’t always say neighborhood, they might say arrondissement.

And my favorite arrondissement to stay in is the 14th. Most of the Montparnasse neighborhood is in the 14th, so there’s always tons of people around. That way I feel safe as a solo traveler.

The last time I was in Paris, I stayed at the Hotel du Lion. The rooms were small, but clean, the breakfast was very good and filling, and the price was amazing. Plus, the location was super convenient and right by the metro.

If you want a great deal on this hotel, click here.

And if you want to explore great deals on over 7000 other hotels in Paris, just click here. This search engine will help you find the perfect place to stay during your 24 hours in Paris. With plenty of options to choose from, I’m sure you’ll find something for your schedule and budget.

24 hours in paris

That’s 24 Hours in Paris!

What would you do with 24 hours in Paris? Are you ready to start booking your hotel in Paris right now? Please email me at stellajane@aroundtheworldin24hours.com and let me know!

Stella’s Top 3 Picks: 24 Hours in Paris

#1 TOP PICK

A Perfect 24 Hours in Paris 2024 2

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
PARISIAN FOOD TOUR
✔️ Authentic Parisian treats
✔️ Expert local guide

#2 PICK

A Perfect 24 Hours in Paris 2024 3

PRIVATE LOUVRE TOUR
✔️ Skip the line
✔️ Best way to see the Louvre

#3 PICK

A Perfect 24 Hours in Paris 2024 4

ALL OTHER PARIS TOURS
✔️ Find your favorite!
✔️ Get the best deals

Note: If you want to know how I put my travel itineraries together, just click here. Keep in mind that while each article is about how to spend 24 hours in a place, that doesn’t mean you should ONLY spend 24 hours in Paris.

If you have another day in Paris, add this what to see at Paris day! Add on a day of the best what to eat Paris. Check out a day of the best attractions Paris France. Experience this day of the best non touristy things to do in Paris. And also try the best of what to do Montmartre.

A Perfect 24 Hours in Paris 2024 8

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