If I had one day in Paris, I would start it early in the morning, before the tour buses gas up for the day, before the tourists finish breakfast, before the street vendors lay out their blankets, when the soft morning light glows upon soon-to-be brides as your only company will be (foreign) couples and their engagement photographers.
If I had one day in Paris, my day would begin as other people’s nights end: on the very first metro runs of the day. Ligne 6, or perhaps ligne 9. Straight to Trocadéro. Out the sortie, around the corner. A few steps, the golden statues glittering in the still morning air. Turn into Palais de Chaillot, and into that glorious view of the Eiffel Tower. Always slightly bigger than I expect.
If I had one day in Paris, I wouldn’t cross Pont d’Iéna. Instead, I’d walk through Jardins du Trocadéro, and turn left onto Avenue de New York, walking along the Seine as the city wakes up, my favorite thing to do in Paris: wander.
Whenever people ask for recommendations, I have a hard time giving them. My relationship with Paris is introspective. When I’m here, I live in my head. The streets vaguely mapped in my mind, with some idea of a destination, but really, the streets are my entertainment. So I don’t really have recommendations. At least, not for the best attractions or restaurants or bars. After all, I’m pretty content doing nothing. Doing nothing is Paris is to me more fun than doing something somewhere else.
What I can give is this: my meandering guidelines to wandering the city. Roughly organized in geographic sense, with times roughly estimated, detours highly encouraged. The streets in this city seem like a nonsensical web, until you realize all streets lead straight to where you’re going. So go ahead, get lost, walk around in circles. You’ll find your way eventually, and who knows what you might discover with each shifting perspective?
So here we are. Six wander-tineries, that kind of blend together. That can be done forwards or backwards depending on where you’re coming from and where you’re going next.