First, the pleasures of Paris must be earned.

Few running routes can rival the circuit around the French capital that starts in the garden of the Tuileries Palace, passes by the Louvre pyramid under stone arches to the River Seine.

Cross the river at Pont du Carrousel, head east (left) and keep running until virtue is half-achieved, then cross back over the river to complete the lap. The light in the early morning or early evening puts an extra spring in the step.

You are now entitled to the best frites in Paris, and therefore the world. They are served at Restaurant Le Square Trousseau, a polished-wood and paper-tabled brasserie not too far from La Bastille that stands apart from its scruffy surroundings. There are more reasons to recommend it: a modern menu, an eclectic wine list and outstanding salad dressing – not a common accolade. But if you are going to fall off the frites wagon, this is the place to do it.

If you have the time, a stroll around the cloisters of the Palais-Royal and a book under the lime trees by the fountains make for a restful afternoon. For the evening: a drink at Prescription Cocktail Club – the Left Bank bar from the aptly named Experimental cocktails group — and then music at Caveau de la Huchette (in the fifth arrondissement) or New Morning (in the 10th), stages for the jazz greats of the past and the present.

Even breakfast can be perfect in Paris. If the croissants at the Hôtel de Crillon were any lighter, they would float across the room.

What are your top tips for 24 hours in Paris? Tell us in the comments below

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