what to do your first day in Paris

January 27, 2009

If you’re like most Americans coming to Paris, you’ll be landing at Charles de Gaulle International Airport in the morning hours, having spent the evening “sleeping” on your trans-Atlantic flight. The local time in Paris will be six to nine hours ahead of your time zone in the US, meaning you’ll be jet-lagged. Even if you’re able to check into your hotel before noon — resist the temptation to take a nap. The best thing you can do your first day in Paris is to stay awake, stay vertical, have an early dinner, and then— and only then — go to bed after the sun has gone down. You’ll wake up your second morning relatively rested and refreshed.

So what to do the first day? Leave your bags at your hotel, take a shower if you’re able to check into your room — or use the spa facilities at your hotel, then head out the door for my Walking Tour of the Heart of Paris. You can download a PDF of the tour at this link. Start at the nearest point on this circular walk that will familiarize you with some of the highlights of Paris.

1. Jardin des Tuileries

2. Place de la Concorde

3. Musée d’Orsay

4. bookinistes

5. Pont Neuf

6. Shakespeare & Company

7. Square René-Viviani, St-Julien-le-Pauvre

8. Ile de la Cité, Notre-Dame

9. Square Jean XXIII

10. Mémorial des Martyrs Français de la Deportation

11. Ile St-Louis, Berthillon

12. Hotel Dieu de Cité

13. Place Dauphine

14. Louvre

15. Jardin des Tuileries

Hope you enjoyed your first day in Paris!

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