Book into the Hôtel Thérèse, a fashion-editor favorite and near the chic boutiques in the Palais Royal arcades. Start your day with a stroll around the gardens of the 17th century palace where you can't miss the controversial black-and-white striped columns installed by conceptual artist Daniel Buren in 1986.
Settle back for a grand crème and croissant on the terrace of Le Nemours by the Palais Royal-Louvre Metro station. It may look familiar. Angelina Jolie filmed a scene from "The Tourist" there.
Proceed to Saint-Honoré and its extension Faubourg Rue Saint-Honoré. This stretch of pavement has one of the world's greatest concentrations of luxury boutique and designers' stores. Let your own curiosity be your guide, but along the Saint-Honoré section is Colette, the hip concept store at #213 with 100 brands of bottled water at its bottle bar. A few doors away is Goyard, which has been making traveling cases since 1853.
At 24 rue du Fauburg Saint-Honoré, just pass Prada, enter Hermès, that temple of silk scarves and ties, the Berkin and Kelly bags, perfumes and ready-to-wear. Ask the clerk about the tax refund you may be able to claim at the airport. More high-fashion illuminaries have shops farther up the street, but it's time for a change of pace.
Walk one block back to Rue Royal and turn left. You'll find yourself looking La Madeleine, a Greek-temple of a church celebrating the glory of Napoleon's army. It's worth a visit. On the far side of the Place de Madeleine is Fauchon, a food shop like no other. Stop here for a quick bite at the lunch counter.
The "Grand Magasins" - Galeries Lafayette and Le Printemps - are few blocks away on Boulevard Haussman. Visit today for their notable architecture. The Art Deco cupola and facade at Le Printemps are historical monuments. Galeries Lafayette's striking glass-and-steel dome and Art Nouveau staircases were added in 1912. They also have tax rebates.
On the way back, make time for the Paris Opera - not a performance but a visit to Palais Garnier, the opera house. Then continue down Rue de la Paix where Cartier opened his shop in 1898 to Place Vendome, passing the famous Ritz Hotel, closed for a lengthy facelift. You might even have time to swing back by the Palais Royal arcades to check out the boutiques.
Parisians dine late, so you can rest up before a very French dinner at Le Castiglione, a family-owned brasserie open until 11:30 p.m.at 235 Rue Saint Honoré.