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Notre Dame paris_by_Laurence Norah

3 Days in Paris: The Perfect Paris Itinerary

Last updated: July 22, 2024 . Written by Laurence Norah - 107 Comments

Thinking about spending 3 days in Paris? Great choice! We think that’s the perfect amount of time to spend in one of our favourite European cities, giving you the chance to see many of the top sights and attractions and really get a feel for the city.

Of course, if you have longer, that’s even better, but three days in Paris is certainly enough to see a lot, and works well either as a long weekend, or as part of a longer Europe trip itinerary like this .

To help you with your planning, we’re going to share with you everything we think you need to know to spend three days in Paris. We’re going to give you a suggested itinerary, tips for getting around, advice on where to stay in Paris, our thoughts on when is best to visit and even some suggested ways to save money in Paris.

Let’s get started!

Table of Contents:

3 Day Paris Itinerary

This three-day Paris itinerary has you hitting all the major sites and attractions in the city. Naturally we suggest you use this as a guide, and add to or remove from it as necessary.

We also suggest you check the opening times and days for each attraction. For example, the Louvre is closed on Tuesdays, so depending on when your trip to Paris is, you might need to re-order the days to get everything in.

Paris Itinerary:  Day 1

Eiffel tower.

What better way to start off your trip to Paris than with a visit to the Eiffel Tower . This is without doubt the most iconic landmark in Paris (if not France!), and a visit here is a must for any visit to Paris. When we visit Paris, we always visit at least once, and every time we are amazed at the sheer scale of this beautiful building.

There are a number of ways to enjoy the Eiffel Tower. First, you can just enjoy the views of the tower, which we think are particularly good from the Trocadero Gardens across the river, or the Champ de Mars gardens behind the Tower.

3 days in Paris - Eiffel Tower Paris_by_Laurence Norah

You can also go up inside the Eiffel Tower to one of the different floors, for expansive views of the city. We do like the experience of going up inside, but we don’t think it offers the best view of the city – because the view from inside the Eiffel Tower is missing the most famous part of the skyline – the Eiffel Tower itself!

Still, if this is your first visit to Paris, we highly recommend the experience. We do suggest that if you want to go up the Eiffel Tower, that you book your tickets in advance from the official website . The queues here for tickets can be very long, and with a pre-booked ticket you can skip the wait.

3 days in Paris - Eiffel Tower Stairs_by_Laurence Norah

Alternatively, if you are feeling fit, you can also take the stairs up to the first level. There is not usually a very long queue for the stairs, which have their own ticket line, and it is also slightly cheaper. See our guide to visiting the Eiffel Tower to help you plan your visit.

There are other options for visiting as well. A guided climb of the Eiffel Tower is included on the Paris Pass . This runs in the middle of the day, so if you want to take advantage of this, you will likely want to switch the Eiffel Tower and Seine River Cruise around in this itinerary. It’s also included on the Paris City Card , with a choice of timeslots.

Finally, this tour includes a guided visit (with elevator) to the second floor with the option to visit the summit if you want. It also includes free cancellation, which the official ticket does not.

Seine River Cruise

Another must-do experience in Paris is a river cruise on the Seine. This is a very popular activity, with multiple operators offering cruises up and down the river.

We’ve taken many of these cruises and have actually written a post about the various Seine River sightseeing cruise options which goes through the majority of the operators.

If you’d prefer a dinner cruise, check out our guide to the best Seine River dinner cruises . We’ve done a few evening dinner cruises in Paris and really enjoyed that experience.

3 days in Paris - Seine River Cruise Paris_by_Laurence Norah

For a daytime cruise we can definitely recommend the Bateaux Parisiens River Cruise . These depart from just next to the Eiffel Tower, so fit in nicely with this itinerary. They are are  also included for free if you pick up a Paris Pass or a Paris City Card .

The cruise takes in all the highlights from the Eiffel Tower to Notre Dame, and there’s commentary included. All you have to do is sit back, relax, and let the scenery float by.

Hop on Hop off Bus

Talking of sitting back and relaxing, we find that a great way to get oriented in a new city and get an idea of the sights we want to see is to take a Hop On Hop Off (HOHO) bus tour.

Paris is no exception to this rule, and you can pick up a HOHO bus in Paris from right next to the Eiffel Tower, which will then take you around Paris’s key attractions.

3 days in Paris - Paris Hop on Hop Off Bus_by_Laurence Norah-2

There are multiple operators running different routes around the city. If you pick up a Paris Pass, it includes a 1 Day Big Bus Tour . We took this tour and enjoyed it – it’s both an easy way to get around the city, plus you can learn about many of the sights as you go.

However there are a few different HOHO options in Paris, so pick the one that works for you!

Paris Walking Tour

All this sitting around on buses and boats is great for getting oriented, but at some point you’re going to need to put your feet on the pavement! Paris is a wonderful city to explore on foot, and a guided walking tour is an excellent way to do that.

We think that if you are going to do a walking tour in a city, the first day is the best, as you can ask your guide for local recommendations such as their favorite places to eat or get a coffee, as well as get suggestions for hidden gems you might not find in the guidebooks.

There are lots of operators offering tours in Paris. We’ve taken a number of walking tours with Context Travel , and have always loved their detailed tours. They have a number of tours available in Paris, and you get 10% off with this link . We particularly enjoyed their Hemingway themed walking tour of Paris.

We also love Take Walks walking tours, and they have a number of Paris Tours . For example, they have a full day Paris tour , although this would require you to significantly alter this itinerary. They also have a number of excellent Paris food tour, including the Ultimate Paris Food Tour which is our personal favorite.

If you have a Paris Pass, it comes with a choice of free walking tours , which is worth looking into.

Tour Montparnasse

Last on our list for your first day in Paris is a trip up the Tour Montparnasse . I recommend this to everyone going to Paris, as it is, in my opinion at least, the location with the best view of Paris and the Eiffel Tower.

3 days in Paris - View from Tour Montparnasse

This is particularly the case at sunset, so if you can time your visit for sunset, you will get to witness a wonderful sunset across the Eiffel Tower, and then watch the city lights come to life.

The observation level is across two levels, one is inside and one is outside. The outside area is surrounded by glass, but there are cutouts so you can get reflection-free shots of the view. You can also bring a tripod up here! No wonder therefore that it’s on my list of favorite Paris photography locations .

There’s a fee to go up Tour Montparnasse, but it’s free for holders of the Paris Pass . You can also buy individual tickets online in advance  here .

Paris Itinerary:  Day 2

Our second day in Paris takes in some more iconic sites including some of Paris’s most famous museums and churches. It’s quite a full day, so do feel free to edit the itinerary to suit your particular interests, pace and needs!

Sainte Chapelle

It took me multiple visits to Paris before I finally made it to Sainte Chapelle . Now I urge everyone to make it a priority on their trip to Paris!

This is a relatively small chapel that is not too far from Notre Dame, but the interior, which consists of almost floor to ceiling stained glass, is absolutely outstanding. It will definitely take your breath away.

3 days in Paris - Saint Chapelle Paris_by_Laurence Norah

The 13th century Saint Chapelle is quite popular, and the small size and mandatory security checks mean that the line to get in can be long. This is why I have put it on my list as the first thing for your second day in Paris – you want to get here early, ideally get in line ten – fifteen minutes before the opening time. After all, no-one wants to spend their time standing in lines.

There’s a fee to enter Saint Chapelle, which is free to holders of the Paris Pass and Paris Museum Pass .

You can also buy your ticket online in advance from GetYourGuide here , which is highly recommended as the ticket line can be very long. At time of writing the GetYourGuide ticket also includes access to the nearby Conciergerie, which is also well worth a visit.

Alternatively, you can buy a standalone ticket on the official site here .

No more than ten minutes’ walk from Sainte Chapelle is Paris’s most famous religious building, known for her flying buttresses, twin towers and, of course, hunchback resident.

You will definitely see two out of those three when you visit Notre Dame , the major Catholic cathedral in Paris. Construction of this magnificent building took nearly two hundred years, and was completed in 1345.

3 days in Paris - Notre Dame paris_by_Laurence Norah

Unfortunately, on April 15th 2019 a devastating fire seriously damaged Notre Dame. The cathedral will be closed for the foreseeable future as a result of this tragic incident.

We certainly think it is worth visiting the facade, but as you can’t go inside at the moment, you might wish to visit another nearby attraction like the Conciergerie (where Marie Antoinette was imprisoned) as well. You can get a combined ticket for that and Sainte Chapelle here

Musee d’Orsay

If you like museums, Paris has definitely gotten you covered. Our next stop is the Musee d’Orsay , but before you get here, you’re going to take a walk along Paris’s iconic left bank, from Notre Dame to the Musee d’Orsay.

This isn’t too far, but you’ll see the booksellers and get a feel for this part of town.

3 days in Paris - Musee d Orsay Paris_by_Laurence Norah

Paris’s museums are quite logically set up, with three main art museums covering three distinct time periods.

The Musee d’Orsay, first on our list, covers art dating from the middle of the 19th century up to the early 20th century, and is home to masterpieces from the likes of Duchamp, Kandinsky and Picasso, to name but a few.

The Louvre (see below), covers the time period before this, whilst the Centre Pompidou covers the time period afterwards, right up to the modern day. The Centre Pompidou isn’t on this itinerary, but you could fit it in if you wanted to of course!

The Musee d’Orsay is absolutely stunning. It’s set in what was once one of Paris’s main train stations, and the grand central atrium is gorgeous – almost worth visiting in of itself.

There’s a fee to get in here, but holders of the Paris Pass and Paris Museum Pass get free entry as well as skip the line privileges.

You can also buy tickets and tours online in advance here or on the official site here .

If you only visit one museum in Paris, I can highly recommend making it the Louvre . This is one of the world’s most famous museums, and is home to an incredible collection of art, including Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo and Michelangelo’s Dying Slave, to name but a few.

Louvre Paris_by_Laurence Norah-2

Obviously, seeing the Mona Lisa is on the wishlist for many visitors, but this museum, which covers art from ancient times up to the middle of the 19th century, has obviously got a great deal more to offer. True art lovers could lose themselves for days in the vast collection here!

Of course, if that’s you, you are welcome to do the same, although for the purposes of this itinerary we’d probably recommend you try and limit your time to two to three hours so you can fit more of Paris in.

Venus de Milo Louvre_by_Laurence Norah

We’d also highly recommend that you pick up either a Paris Pass , Paris City Card or a Paris Museum Pass , which will give you fast-track access to the Louvre.

Note that in the busy times, which tend to be the summer periods especially, the Louvre gets very busy. In fact, it is not uncommon for the museum to completely sell out, and only holders of advance purchase tickets or timed reservations will be able to enter the museum.

If you have a Paris Pass or Paris Museum Pass , you must reserve your entry online on the official website . This is mandatory for holders of these passes in order to guarantee entry, and we highly recommend you do this in advance. If you do not reserve your slot in advance, you are not guaranteed entry even with the pass.

If you have a Paris City Card , you’ll book the timeslot you want when you book the card.

If you do not have a pass, you can buy your ticket and reserve your entry time either on GetYourGuide here (where we normally get our tickets), or online on the official website here .

We’ve sometimes found that GetYourGuide has availability even when the official site is out, so it’s always worth checking if you want to visit and can’t find tickets on the official site.

Whichever ticket you buy, you will still have to queue for security, but the line for people with tickets is a lot quicker moving than the general admission line. In addition, when the Louvre sells out on its official website, tickets will usually not be sold on site, so you may not be able to just turn up and queue – only holders of advance tickets will be given entry.

Note the Louvre is closed on Tuesdays. See opening times and more on the official site here .

Wine tasting

When you think of France, a few things likely come to mind, and I suspect that wine is likely one of them. So why not take a break from the sight-seeing and museums, and indulge in a little wine tasting.

Conveniently located just by the Louvre Museum, the Caves du Louvre  is a wine-tasting experience which will guide you through the French wine making process and introduce you to a number of different French wines. Which you get to drink.

Wine Tasting Paris_by_Laurence Norah

The tour is set in an actual 18th century wine cellar which originally housed the wine collection of the French King. Not a bad setting to learn about French wine we think!

There’s a fee for the tour (which includes the wine tasting), and it is included for holders of the Paris Pass. You can also book it separately here .

If you aren’t into wine tasting, there are a number of nearby cafes and restaurants where you can refresh and revive.

We can recommend afternoon tea at Le Meurice , the Ritz or the Hotel de Crillon if you like afternoon tea (see our guide to the best afternoon tea in Paris if so).

For a shorter and less expensive experience, the hot chocolate at Angelina Cafe is also superb.

Arc de Triomphe

We’re going to finish off the second day of our three-day Paris itinerary with a visit to the Arc de Triomphe , another of Paris’s iconic landmarks. From the Louvre you can either take public transport here, or you can walk up the Champs Elysees, Paris’s most famous shopping street.

Arc de Triomphe Paris_by_Laurence Norah

The Arc de Triomphe, built in memory of those who died in the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars, is wonderfully photogenic.

From the top you get an excellent view of the city, which includes the roads spanning out into the distance and the Eiffel Tower.

3 day tour in paris

As you journey up into the monument, you will also come to a museum which details some of its history. Below the monument, you will also find the tomb of the unknown soldier.

To get to the Arc de Triomphe, don’t try and cross the traffic roundabout. Head to one of the underpasses, and cross in safety.

Going up inside the Arc de Triomphe carries a fee, holders of the Paris Pass and Paris Museum Pass get free access with skip the line privileges.

You can also book a ticket online in advance here , which is worth doing as the lines can get quite long.

Paris Itinerary:  Day 3

On the last day of our 3-day Paris itinerary, we’re heading out of the city centre to take in one of Paris’s most famous Royal Palaces. We’re also including some extra sights in the city at the end if you can tear yourself away.

The really nice thing about having 3 days in Paris is that you have the flexibility to go a little further out of the centre.

My suggestion for your third day is to visit Versailles , the incredible palace that was the seat of French political power and home to French Royalty, including Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

To truly appreciate Versailles, I would suggest allocating at least half a day of your third day in Paris, if not more. There is easily enough to see here to fill an entire day, which is why we don’t recommend coming here on our two day Paris itinerary .

Versailles Paris_by_Laurence Norah

We suggest starting off by touring the Palace. You’ll want to get here for opening time, as this is a really popular tourist attraction and it gets busier as the day goes on. Once you have toured the Palace and seen such highlights as the incredible Hall of Mirrors and the Kings Grand Apartments, you can head outside, where there is a great deal more to see.

A walk in the incredible (and vast!) gardens is a must. We particularity enjoy heading over to Marie Antoinette’s estate, which is a slightly quieter part of the gardens, and home to a small model farm, tucked away temples, and walking paths.

It’s very easy to spend a whole day exploring Versailles and the grounds, and don’t feel bad if you do, it’s totally worth it.

Versailles_by_Laurence Norah-2

Visiting Versailles is quite easy, you can get a train (RER C) from central Paris to the Gare de Versailles Chateau Rive Gauche, and from the train station to the Palace it is a well sign-posted ten to fifteen minute walk.

Fast-track entry to the Palace, Gardens and other Versailles attractions is included on the Paris Museum Pass – although you will still need to join the security line. You can also book tickets online here or book a guided tour online here .

If you manage to tear yourself away from Versailles, my suggestion for finishing off your last day in Paris is to head to the Montmartre region. This is home to a large hill, atop which sits the glorious Sacre Coeur de Montmartre, another of Paris’s iconic buildings.

3 day tour in paris

This area of Paris was particularly famous as being home to artists, and folks like Dali, Picasso and Hemingway all either lived or frequented this area.

It’s still popular with artists, and the Place du Teatre is the place in Montmartre is the place to go to get your portrait or caricature painted. Fans of Dali will also want to visit the Dali Exhibition , home of the largest collection of works by Dali in France.

Montmartre is a maze of cute little streets, cafes and shops. The Basilica is free to visit, if you get here in time, although there is a small fee if you want to climb the tower.

Montmartre is also a popular place to watch the sunset across the city, and what better way to finish your 3 days in Paris than by watching the sun set across this magical city from atop Montmartre?

3 Days in Paris Itinerary Map

To help you visualise our 3-day Paris itinerary we’ve put together this helpful map which shows the attractions for each day. You can access this on Google Maps here .

3 Day Paris Itinerary Map

3 Days in Paris Itinerary Overview

Here’s a quick day by day breakdown of all the sights this itinerary covers:

  • Day 1 : Eiffel Tower, Seine River Cruise, Hop on Hop off Bus, Paris Walking Tour, Tour Montparnasse
  • Day 2 : Sainte Chapelle, Notre Dame, Musée d’Orsay, The Louvre, Wine tasting, Arc de Triomphe
  • Day 3: Versailles, Montmartre

Where to Stay in Paris

As you would expect from a major European capital city, Paris has no shortage of options when it comes to accommodation. We’ve stayed in a variety of places, from hotels to homestays to apartments.

Ideally you want to be fairly central if you can, to minimise your travel time. Our suggestion is to take a look at the listings for Paris on . They’re our favourite booking engine when we travel, usually giving us the best choice and the best prices. They also have everything from apartments and hostels to high end hotels. Here are some options we suggest, depending on your budget.

  • Hotel Dress Code & Spa , a highly reviewed centrally located 4 star hotel right a few hundred yards from the opera house
  • Hôtel Eiffel Turenne , a well rated 3* hotel within a ten minute walk of the Eiffel Tower
  • Ateliers de Montmartre , an apartment in Montmartre with views of the Sacre Coeur
  • The People – Paris Marais , a well-reviewed hostel in the Marais, one of our favourite parts of Paris to stay
  • Hotel le Compostelle , a highly rated 3* hotel centrally located near the Louvre Museum

If you prefer an apartment, then we recommend Plum Guide or Vrbo .

Plum Guide carefully curate their listings so their options tend to be of a very high quality whilst still being available at a range of price points. We’ve stayed at a number of their properties around the world, including a beautiful apartment in Paris with spectacular Eiffel Tower views. See their listings for Paris here .

If you can’t find what you want from the above choices, or you want some new options to try out, we wrote a whole post on the  best alternatives to AirBnB  which you should check out!

We also have a page full of travel resources, which includes our tips for getting the best deals on accommodation, which you can find  here .

Plum Guide Review Paris The Tannery

When to Visit Paris

We’re actually happy to visit Paris at pretty much any time of year, and this Paris itinerary would work at any time of year.

Summer brings sunshine and warmth, although of course the city is a lot busier at this time of year, so if crowds aren’t your thing, you might want to skip the summer months.

Mona Lisa Louvre_by_Laurence Norah

We also love Fall and Spring in the city, when the temperatures are a bit cooler and the crowds less. In the run up to Christmas, the city is beautifully decorated and some of the stores in particular are worth visiting just to see the elaborate decorations they put up. After Christmas the city is a lot quieter, and of course temperatures are at their lowest.

Ultimately, we think Paris is worth visiting whenever you can, so just decide how busy you can handle, and if you’d prefer it to be warm or cold, and go from there!

How to Get to and From Paris

As the capital of France, Paris has multiple options for visitors looking to visit. There are three major airports in Paris. Charles de Gaulle is the main airport for international arrivals, with Paris Orly being the second most popular international airport. Both of these airports are easily reachable by public transport from the city centre.

Eiffel Tower from Arc de Triomphe_by_Laurence Norah

Paris Beauvais-Tille airport is where you will likely arrive if you are flying with a budget airline. This is some way out of the city centre, but regular shuttle buses are available to take you into the city.

Paris is also connected to the high-speed French and European rail network, and there are a number of train stations in central Paris. You can even travel from the UK by train, taking the channel tunnel to do so. See our guide to getting from London to Paris for more suggested options.

Finally, of course, you can reach Paris by car from France and the rest of Europe. Our advice would be to park your car in a secure long stay car-park on the outskirts of Paris and take public transport to the centre.

We recommend against driving in the city centre, as public transport is cheap and fast, and a lot easier than stressing about driving around the crowded city streets, and trying to find a parking space.

How to Get Around Paris

Paris has an excellent public transport network, and in particular the Paris Metro system is really good, getting you around all the major parts of the city at minimum cost. There’s also a good bus network, as well as local trains.

For public transport, you can purchase t+ tickets which allow for one-off travel on the Paris bus, RER trains and metros. These are available at train and metro stations using the ticket machines. These machines accept both credit cards and cash, and can be configured for English language.

Paris Metro_by_Laurence Norah

Each ticket can be used for a single journey of up to 2 hours on the metro (including transfers) and 90 minutes on buses (including transfers). For more information on these tickets, see the official page .

From 2019, the Paris transport system has introduced the Navigo Easy Card. This is a rechargeable card system which is designed to replace the cardboard T+ tickets. A card costs €2 to buy, but allow you to buy a discounted pack of 10 tickets which will save you money if you do quite a bit of travel.

Other than being electronically stored, the tickets work the same, so we would recommend visitors to Paris using the Navigo Easy system as the most cost-effectivee method of paying for transport as a visitor to Paris.

For more on getting around Paris, see our detailed guide to how to get around Paris , which should help you plan all your transport in the city.

Walking Tours of Paris

If you’d like to take a guided tour of Paris, the two companies we usually use are Take Walks and Context Travel . These both offer small group walking tours in Paris, which are a great way to learn about some of the sights and history of the city. Of course, if you decide to take a walking tour you will have to adjust the itinerary accordingly to suit.

If you were interested in a tour, Take Walks has this  Paris in a Day tour which includes the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, Montmartre & a Seine River Cruise – an excellent introduction to the city! They also run one of our favourite food walking tours in Paris, the Ultimate Paris Food tour .

Context travel offer a number of very focused tours of Paris , and these offer very specialized insights into particular subjects. We’d suggest maybe taking one of these for a specific area of interest that you really want to learn about, perhaps for Versailles . They also offer an introduction to Paris tour .

There are of course other options for various tours in Paris, including all the tours on this page , which offers a variety of things to do from different providers.

For example, there’s this delicious looking food tour ,  this in-depth tour of Hemingway locations in Paris or this tour of Montmartre .

So definitely check out the options to figure out what is best for you!

How to Save Money in Paris

Being a major European city, Paris is definitely not a budget destination. There are a few ways to save money of course, even on an itinerary as packed with attractions as this one is. Food is one way – rather than eating out for every meal for example, you could stay in an apartment or hostel that lets you cook your own meals.

If that’s not an option, consider having picnic lunches or breakfasts, and eating out in the evenings. Also, keep an eye out for the “menu du jour”, most restaurants offer a fixed lunch or evening menu which includes a number of dishes at a fixed price.

You can usually get a meal for between €12 & €25 which includes two or three courses, bread, and sometimes even wine or coffee. Check out our guide to the best restaurants in Paris for lunch deals.

The cheapest way to get around Paris is to walk of course, followed by the excellent public transport system. We usually walk as much as we can, and then take the metro for the longer trips. Taxis can be convenient, but they will eat into your budget very quickly.

RATP cards Paris_by_Laurence Norah

One of our favourite ways to save money when we visit a major city where we want to see a lot of sights is to invest in a city sightseeing pass. In Paris there are three main passes that we recommend, the Paris Pass ( buy yours from the official site here ), the Paris Museum Pass (buy here ) and the Paris City Card .

Calculating if a pass is worth it for you will of course depend on exactly which attractions you want to visit.

From our itinerary, here’s what’s included on which passes, as well the cost of individual tickets as of July 2024 and links to book each attraction directly.

  • Eiffel Tower (€39 for guided tour, €14.20 for standard stair access ticket) – tour included on Paris City Card, Go Paris Pass and Paris Pass. Book tickets on the official website here
  • Seine River Cruise (€18) – included on Paris City Card, Go Paris Pass and Paris Pass. Book online here .
  • Hop on Hop off bus (€47) – included on Paris Pass. Book online here .
  • Paris Walking Tour (~€36) – various options included on Paris Pass. Book online here .
  • Tour Montparnasse (€25) – included on Paris Pass. Book online here .
  • Sainte Chapelle (€13) – included on Paris Pass and Paris Museum Pass. Book online here .
  • Musee d’Orsay (€16) – included on Paris Pass and Paris Museum Pass. Book online here .
  • Louvre Museum (€22) – included on Paris Museum Pass and Paris City Card. Book on GetYourGuide here , or on the official site here .
  • Wine Tasting (€36) – included on Go Paris Pass and Paris Pass. Book online here .
  • Arc de Triomphe (€16) – included on Paris Pass and Paris Museum Pass. Book online here .
  • Versailles (€21) – included on Paris Pass and Paris Museum Pass. Book online here .

Adding all the above together and you are looking at around €289 in entry fees.

Our recommendation is to consider a 3-day Paris Pass.

We suggest the 3-day Paris Pass because it actually comes with a 2-day Paris Museum Pass.

With that, you get access to pretty much everything on our itinerary, as well as many more activities and attractions including more museums, walking tours, and even dining activities!

You just have to plan your itinerary so you visit the sites covered by the Paris Museum Pass on two out of your three days in Paris. Hint – we’ve already done that for you in our itinerary!

As of July 2024, a 3-day Paris Pass costs €224 for an adult, saving you around €65 per person if you do everything in our itinerary.

Paris Passes_by_Laurence Norah

Of course, your individual situation will vary, and you might have different attractions you want to visit. In addition, you should be aware that if you are an EU citizen under the age of 26 that many attractions are free or discounted to visit (you need ID!).

Also, on the first Sunday of every month, many museums are free to visit – although very crowded as a result!

We think the Paris Pass can be good value for money ( click here to buy ), but do feel free to check out our detailed reviews of both the Paris Pass and the Paris Museum Pass , and come to your own decision as to what works for you!

You might also decide that purchasing individual tickets makes more sense. In that case, we highly recommend booking online in advance, especially for major attractions like the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, which can get very busy and even sell out a long time in advance.

Finally, we can also suggest checking out the Paris City Card . This includes a guided Eiffel tower ticket, Seine River cruise and access to the Louvre. It also comes with an audioguide to Paris, as well as a further 10% discount on other Paris attractions.

This is a good option if you aren’t planning on visiting everything in our itinerary. It also has the advantage that you book the timeslots for the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower when you book the card, so can be convenient.

Practicalities for visiting Paris

Paris is a safe city in our experience, although it does have a reputation for being home to a number of scams. Most of these are easy to avoid once you know about them (read up on some of the common scams in Paris here ).

As with any major city, of course you need to keep your wits about you – keep your possessions in view all the time, keep your wallet or phone in a front pocket (with a zip if possible), and don’t do anything that you wouldn’t do at home.

We’ve not had any problems in Paris, although there are a few scams to be aware of – check our guide to avoiding common Paris scams so you are prepared in advance.

Electricity in Paris is of the 220v standard, with the 2 pin European style plug. Travellers from countries like the UK and the US will need an adapter like this . See more on travel adapters and how to choose one for your trip in our guide to the best travel adapters .

US travellers need to check their equipment supports the 220v standard – it will be written clearly on the power adapter. As a general rule, we have found that laptops, phone and camera chargers and other small electronics are universal, whilst larger devices like hair dryers and hair straighteners are not.

Paris is part of the Eurozone, so the currency is the Euro. You can get Euros from ATM’s, banks and currency exchanges, although credit cards are of course widely accepted, and there is no need to carry large quantities of currency.

Internet Access

Internet access is widely available in the form of WiFi all around the city and in hotels and coffee shops, so you shouldn’t have any trouble getting online. You can also pick up local SIM cards if you have an unlocked phone. If you are travelling from the USA, consider a Google Fi package which lets you use your data overseas.

Alternatively, consider an eSIM service like Airalo .

For more options on getting online when travelling, check out our guide to getting online when travelling to help you figure out the best options. We also have a guide to picking the best travel router , which can help you extend a weak WiFi network and share it across multiple devices.


The water in the taps in Paris is safe to drink unless otherwise indicated. If you don’t like the taste, bottled water is widely available. We usually recommend you travel with a re-usable water bottle like one of these  to save on having to buy water bottles.

We love our Klean Kanteen water bottles for travel as they are lightweight, easy to clean and the company is a certified B-Corp.

Eating in Paris

If you want to eat at one of the more popular restaurants in Paris , we recommend that you book in advance. We recommend and use La Fourchette (the fork), which is the most popular online restaurant booking website in France.

It’s easy to use and makes booking restaurants a breeze, especially if you don’t speak French. Check it out here to find reviews, sample menus and book a table.

Further Reading for your 3 Days in Paris

We have visited Paris on a number of occasions, and have written a good deal about our experiences in the city. To help you further plan your stay in Paris, here are some of our favourite posts and external resources.

  • A detailed guide to 2 Days in Paris , should you be there for a shorter period or are looking for some alternative options
  • We also have a guide to spending a day in Paris , if you’re on a really tight schedule and just want to focus on the highlights
  • We have a detailed guide to attending the famous Moulin Rouge show in Paris
  • Our guide to the  best photography locations in Paris , to help you get the best shots on your trip
  • A guide to  choosing a Seine river cruise , choosing a Seine River dinner cruise , buying Paris opera tickets ,  attending a fashion show in Paris  and our tips for  the best restaurants in Paris for lunch .
  • Our  review of the Paris Pass  and the Paris Museum Pass to help you decide if these might save you money during your time in Paris
  • Galeries Lafayette is one of the most well known stores in Paris. However, there’s more to do here than shop! See our complete guide to visiting Galeries Lafayette for more information.
  • A guide to  Airbnb Alternatives  to help you find the right accommodation
  • If you like afternoon tea, check out our definitive guide to the  best afternoon tea locations in Paris
  • If you are heading out of town, check out our itinerary for 2 Days visiting Normandy and the D-Day beaches
  • We have reviewed many travel related products you might find useful. Check out our guide to the best travel routers , best travel cameras and best travel wraps to get started!
  • If you want a book, we always like to recommend the Rick Steves guides – here’s the  Rick Steves Paris  edition

And that’s it for our guide to spending 3 days in Paris! As always if you have any feedback or questions, just let us know in the comments below.

Visiting Paris? Our guide to spending 3 days in Paris provides you with a detailed Paris itinerary covering all the highlights of the city, laid out in a logical way so you can maximise your time on your trip to Paris. As well as a 3 day Paris itinerary, this guide covers lots of practical advice for your Paris trip!

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Deidre Smith says

22nd December 2023 at 6:04 pm

We arrive at the paris airport at 8am on a Sunday, will have to get our luggage and take it to our hotel. I was hoping to be to hotel by 10am. I thought of doing: Eiffel Tower, Seine River Cruise, Hop on Hop off Bus, Notre Dame, Tour Montparnasse.

Monday: Sainte Chapelle, Musée d’Orsay, The Louvre, Catacombs, Arc de Triomphe (do Tour Montparnasse this day if didn’t have time on Sunday)

Tuesday: Versailles in the morning, leave to go get our luggage at hotel at 3pm, get to hotel at 4pm, get to airport by 5pm for 7pm flight to Venice.

I had to move Notre Dame on your days to Sunday, since it’s closed Monday. So my question is, is this doable? Second, I was going to get the Paris Pass but it seems that wouldn’t work on Versailles if I use it on Monday at Notre Dame, so is there a better pass for me to buy. I was worried if I bought the paris pass, and then used it to book Versailles, it might not work since it’s not consecutive days.

Laurence Norah says

22nd December 2023 at 6:47 pm

So, Notre Dame itself is not due to re-open until the end of 2024. The only area you can currently visit is the Crypt, which you are correct, is closed on Mondays. So I just wanted to clarify that that was what you meant.

For the general timing, if you don’t mind having quite a long day on the Monday you should be ok. My main concern would be that the Hop on Hop off bus is likely going to take a while (it’s a sightseeing experience rather than a quick way to get around the city). Also if you plan on using the Paris Pass or similar pass, you should be aware that some attractions are visited with a guided tour, specifically the Eiffel Tower. Those tours only run at specific times.

Given your schedule with Versailles on the Tuesday and the fact that the Paris Pass only comes with a 2 day Paris Museum Pass, you are correct that this might not be the best pass for you as the 2 day Musuem Pass would expire by Tuesday. One option would be to just get a 2 day Paris Museum Pass and use it for the Monday / Tuesday attractions. From your list it should cover everything except the Catacombs I believe. Then you could just book individual tickets for the other sights. There are passes which include some of the sights on your list such as the Go City Explorer Pass . However I honestly don’t think that it is going to offer better value than just booking individual tickets for each attraction.

I hope this helps, have an amazing time in Paris and let me know if I can offer any more help!

Catrina says

24th November 2023 at 3:13 pm

My husband and I will be celebrating our 20 year anniversary in March and are planning a trip to Paris! I love the 3 day itinerary, giving us a couple days to visit Disneyland Paris. I am interested in a budget friendly-ish stay that allows for a gorgeous view of the Eiffel Tower as in your photo above. Any way to narrow down my hotel/apartment search? Any info is greatly appreciated! Thanks for all the info already given. Super excited for our trip 🙂

24th November 2023 at 4:47 pm

Congratulations and your anniversary and what a lovely way to spend it 🙂 So there are definitely quite a few hotels and apartments with views of the Eiffel Tower. The downside is that properties are aware that this is a desirable feature, so these rooms tend to cost a bit more. We actually have a complete guide to the Eiffel Tower which has a section on recommended hotels , with many of them offering views.

We cen definitely personally recommend the Pullman , which has lovely views from many of the rooms.

Otherwise, your best option is going to be to search properties in the region of the Eiffel tower (like this search I’ve set up for you ). Any hotel or apartment with a view of the Eiffel Tower will definitely make that obvious in it’s description. You just want to be sure you book a room with a view of it, which should also be pretty clear in the room description!

I hope you have a wonderful time in Paris and if you have any more questions please let me know 🙂

Catrina Baugus says

28th November 2023 at 9:43 am

Thank you so much! This gives us a great place to start 🙂

G. Heartwell says

20th March 2023 at 4:32 pm

Thank you so much for the details on the 3 day Paris tour. Sounds perfect for starting a 7 day first visit.! My granddaughter and I are planning to go after the end of the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris! Any helpful travel do s and don’ts for that time period?

24th March 2023 at 6:29 pm

It’s my pleasure. So the main advice I would give is to book any attractions you want to visit as far in advance as possible. This is especially the case for popular attractions like the Louvre or the Eiffel Tower, which can book out months in advance at busier times of year. I’d also recommend picking a hotel with air-conditioning. It’s not always included, but summer in Paris can be hot so be sure to pick somewhere that specifically states it has A/C for a more comfortable stay.

Otherwise have a great time in Paris!

27th January 2023 at 12:07 am

Hello from snowy Toronto, Canada

My son (almost 18) and I would like to travel to France end of July for perhaps a week or so then on to England. With respect to France he wants to see the Eifel Tower and Louvre and from what I read a sunset river cruise would be great too. We can visit the Notre-Dame and anything else you suggest. I personally would then like to go south to Nice, Cannes etc. If we base ourselves in Paris for sites would you suggest base in Nice and branch from there to surrounding areas? Are Roven, Marselle and Carcassone (sp) worth visiting? Would you suggest other areas? Bordeaux looks beautiful but being that this isn’t a wine tour for myself I don’t want to visit this time. Any suggestions are much appreciated.

29th January 2023 at 9:21 am

It’s great to hear from you. So for Paris I think this guide should cover most of the highlights of what you want to see. For the south of France, it is definitely a good option to pick one or two locations as a base. However, it’s worth pointing out that France is quite a big country, so you will want to plan what you want to see. Carcassone is very pretty and definitely worth visiting, but it’s about 350 miles from Nice for example. So I think you would want to work out exactly what you wanted to see and then decide which location or locations makes the most logical sense. You will also want to figure out how you want to get around. The train network in France is very fast and good value, but it doesn’t go everywhere, so you might also consider hiring a car for example. With only a week total, I’d suggest picking one other location outside of Paris and focusing on that. Bordeaux would actually be a great option as it’s about 3 hours by fast train from Paris and there is plenty to see (lots of which doesn’t involve wine!).

Have a great trip 🙂

jacques Martial says

9th January 2023 at 3:26 am

Interesting site.. we have some friends visiting Paris for 3 days and we found your site.. Being a Parisian myself, I was surprised that you included Versailles and a Wine Tasting visit into your planning. Nothing against Versailles, it is a beautiful place but there is more to see in Paris that spending time in Versailles and tasting wine when you are not a drinker. Suggest that you give these visits as alternate. One suggestion: why don’t you have a Romantic 3 days in Paris planning? Many young couples may appreciate more for honeymoon, wedding anniversary or other. Thank you Jacques from Vancouver in Canada

11th January 2023 at 9:02 am

Hi Jacques,

Thanks for your input! We definitely appreciate that this itinerary will not work for everyone, and of course we always suggest folks adjust for their own personal interests and tastes. Many visitors to France do want to try French wine, hence the wine tasting. We also think Versailles is worth visiting with three days in Paris, but of course, everyone can make their own choice 🙂 Thanks for the idea about the romantic visit to Paris as well, we shall definitely consider that!

Marybeth says

5th January 2023 at 10:00 pm

Your information is fabulous! I will be traveling to France in June for a wedding. The wedding will take place in Provence. I plan on starting in Paris for at least 3 days. Then off to Lyon, Avignon and Provence. I am open to suggestions on what to see between Paris and Provence. Lastly, 3 or 4 days for Paris? My travel dates are a bit flexible. Thank you for any suggestions you may offer.

11th January 2023 at 9:32 am

Thanks Marybeth, and sorry for the slow response, we’re currently traveling in Uganda with limited internet!

Given your planned route from Paris to Avignon with a stop in Lyons, a few suggestions that might work for you are below. However, this depends on if you are driving or traveling by train.

Fontainebleau – most famous for Fontainebleau Palace. A nice quieter alternative to Versailles if you are not already visiting that on this trip.

Guédelon Castle near Treigny, France which is a 13th century castle they are building using traditional materials and methods

Dijon – heart of Burgundy region so lots of vineyards in area, city has a number of attractions like Musée des Beaux-Arts

Beaune – lovely walled town with cobblestones, distinctive tiled roofs and the Hôtel-Dieu Museum

3rd January 2023 at 3:09 am

Hi, Your itinerary is so great! Thank you for doing this as I plan to follow it. I’m going in February. I’d like to see the Eiffel Tower all lit up what’s the best time to get there? Thank you

3rd January 2023 at 4:46 pm

So the Eiffel Tower automatically lights up within 10 minutes of it getting dark. It’s an automated system that is based on the light. In February, the sunset in Paris is normally around 6pm (6.30pm at the end of the month), so anytime around then if you just want to see it lit up. It’s also worth noting that the tower also sparkles for five minutes every hour on the hour once it’s been lit up, so that would likely take place at 7pm when you are there. I’d definitely recommend watching that as well!

Have a great time in Paris, let me know if you have any more questions! We also have a detailed guide to the Eiffel Tower you might find useful 🙂

Andrej ands Heather says

5th July 2022 at 4:58 am

Hi Laurence and Jessica Norah

We were planning the Paris trip, actually a trip to Europe, with the first stop in Paris. We found your web blog, read it carefully and decided to follow your advice in the detail. We stayed for 4 days and used 3 days Paris pass, it is good value for the money we paid for. That was the best decision we made!

We create our own itinerary, we scheduled our trips and we made it even more than we predict. We bought a weekly Navigo on arrival( it is good to have two photos with) and travel all around by public transport, a lot of walking up and downstairs( we are 50 and 51), but we managed. We are extremely grateful for your work and effort. Thank you, guys!

5th July 2022 at 11:12 am

Hi Andrej and Heather,

I am so pleased that you had a good time in Paris (and Europe!) and that you found our sites useful. It is very kind of you to take the time to stop by and let us know, it is very much appreciated. Also for the tip on the Navigo. Here’s to many more years of adventures ahead!

All the best,

6th June 2022 at 11:03 pm

So can I upgrade the Eiffel Tower tour to an elevator one all the way to the summit with the Paris pass? That says guided climbing tour only to the second floor. Thanks

7th June 2022 at 11:45 am

This is a great question! I reached out to Experience First who handle the tour that comes with the Paris Pass, and they responded as follows:

You can First book your tour with Paris pass through:

Then, after booking you will receive an email with a Booking reference number which you can use it to upgrade to summit.

To Upgrade after booking :

So in summary, yes, you can upgrade to the summit access tour with the Paris Pass, although obviously this will be subject to availability.

Have a great time in Paris!

13th November 2021 at 7:57 pm

My husband and I will be visiting Paris in a couple weeks for 4 days (Sun – Wed). This is our first time visiting France and working on a draft itinerary. I plan on getting the Paris Pass for the 1st 2 days so to include all the museum visits. Also your thoughts on doing the river cruise at night (Bateaux Parisiens Seine River) instead of during the day one.

Sunday – Bus hop, Eiffel Tower and late afternoon head to watch the sunset…Arc de Triomphe and do Tour Montparnasse Monday – Sainte Chapelle, Notre Dame, Musée d’Orsay, The Louvre, Wine tasting, River ride at sunset Tuesday – The catacombs or Montmartre then Versaille in the afternoon

Thanks in advance!

14th November 2021 at 11:10 am

Great to hear from you! Your plan sounds great to me. The only thing I’d mention, which might be obvious, is just to remember that in winter the sun sets around 5pm in Paris. I’m sure you factored that in, but just something to remember if you’re wanting to catch the sunset from the Tour Montparnasse.

It definitely sounds like you have arranged everything in a sensible order. I am not sure how busy Versailles is at the moment. In the old times visiting in the afternoon without a guided tour booked was a challenge due to the long ticket lines, but now they have timed tickets I suspect it’s less of an issue – we’ve not been since they introduced the time slots.

For the Seine River Cruise, we’ve done both day time cruises, sunset cruises and an evening dinner cruise. I think sunset is a good time as you get the mix of the city at day and at night, with the potential for a nice sky as well. If it was my first time, I’d probably not do a tour at night, just because it’s obviously dark and so harder to see everything. But that’s just my personal preference. Seeing everything lit up is lovely as well!

Let me know if you have any more questions, I’m happy to help! Have a wonderful trip to Paris – we’re planning to be there at the start of January 😀

amanda Pimm says

31st October 2021 at 4:12 pm

Hi , my husband and I plan to take my daughter and her friend to Paris next may 2022 for her 16th birthday. We have never been before and can’t speak any French, will this be a problem. I also wondered what pass would be good to buy for our 3 day sight seeing please. Would be very great full for any advice.

31st October 2021 at 6:33 pm

Great to hear from you. Let me do my best to answer your two questions.

In terms of not speaking French, this shouldn’t be a major problem, especially in Paris. It’s a popular part of the world with visitors, and English is widely spoken. However, I would say that you will likely have a better experience if you learn a few basic phrases, such as hello (bonjour), thank you (merci) please (s’il vous plait), and do you speak English (parlez vouz anglais). The Parisians have developed a bit of reputation for being rude to foreigners, but in my experience, if you start off with a simple “bonjour”, they will pretty much instantly realise that you are not a native speaker, and nine times out of ten they’ll respond in English. However, if you start in English, they’ll be less receptive. I guess you could imagine the reception if it were reversed, and a French person arriving in the UK or USA and trying to start a conversation in French. So even learning “hello” can be a bit step in getting things off on the right foot!

For city cards, this will very much depend on what you want to see. For most visitors, a trip to the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and a Seine River Cruise are popular, so the Paris City Card is a good starting point as it includes those things. You then get a 10% discount for additional attractions you book through the site. If you plan to see more sights, then you might instead consider the Paris Pass , which includes a lot more attractions and activities, but it will definitely depend on what you plan to do to make sure it is good value. For example, if you plan to do most of the attractions in this itinerary, it will likely offer cost savings.

I hope this helps, have a great trip to Paris and let me know if you have any more questions!

21st April 2020 at 11:55 pm

Exploring the City of Love is such a dream come true! This 3-day Itinerary in Paris is such a great help to those who are planning to discover Paris. Thanks for sharing, nice article.

22nd April 2020 at 10:36 am

Thanks James!

rj digma says

11th February 2020 at 7:08 pm

Great site. Very helpful. One question, if I buy the paris museum pass but want to hire a private guide to take us to the museums and give us art history info, would you know someone.

11th February 2020 at 11:20 pm

Thanks very much! We don’t know any private guides personally, however we have regularly used Context Travel , who do provide private guides, so that would be worth looking into.

Good luck, and have a great time in Paris!

Veronica Webster says

1st February 2020 at 11:36 pm

Hi Laurence, We have already cleared doubts with Jessica about our London trip, and now we’re working on the Paris part. We will be visiting Paris from March 27th to April 1st. Arriving on Friday around 11:00 am. We know that being a weekend everything will be more crowded, but it is what it is. We have made our numbers and we’re thinking that the Museum Pass will work better, given that the Paris Pass 3 days only includes 2 days museums, and we have actually 4.5 days, so not really need to fit all museums in 2 days (and we’re visiting Versailles too) My question is: The delivery options for the Museum pass is pick up at arrival or Fedex (24euros to Canada). If we arrive on a Friday, if I want to reserve time slot for Louvre on Saturday, is there’s a risk I won’t find available the time I’m looking for? Same for Orsay on Sunday morning (we want to be there for both at 9:00 am) Given that we would be already saving time by avoiding lines and buying the tickets, the 24 euros fee to have the pass with us sooner and book weeks ahead sound like a reasonable option. Your thoughts please?

here’s a draft of our trip: Friday after 1 pm: Eiffel Tower, Seine River Cruise (we pay for those 2) Sat: Louvre (9am, museum pass), Hop OnOff (we pay) Champs E./Arc the T (mpass) Sun: Orsay (9am mpass) Montmartre Mo: Saint Chapelle (mpass), Notre Dame (just views), Pantheon (mpass), Invalides (mpass) Tu: Versailles (mpass) – We think Versailles will be less crowded on Tu, but we could switch this to Sunday.

Thank you in advance to you and Jessica! your blog has been very useful to plan this trip!!

2nd February 2020 at 3:32 pm

Hi Veronica,

Thanks for your comment. To answer your question, for the Louvre, it has become very popular, and if you want to guarantee a particular time for your entry, then paying for the delivery of the museum pass is definitely going to be the way to do that. You need the number on the pass in order to make the reservation, which obviously you will need the pass for. If you decide to do this, make sure you bring both the pass and proof of reservation with you, and then join the correct line at the Louvre for those with reservations.

Of course, Paris in March / April is not as busy as it is over the summer months, so it may be that the Louvre has plenty of availability. However, it’s all down to your personal risk preference 😉

For the Musee d’Orsay, as far as we know you can’t book in advance with this museum, you just turn up with your pass. This is the case for most of the museums in Paris, it’s only the Louvre that has the timed requirement due to its popularity.

For Versailles, the weekends are usually very busy, however, bear in mind that many sights in Paris are also closed on Tuesdays (like the Louvre), so this also means more folks head out to Versailles. We would urge you to arrive early at Versailles, as the lines can get very very long for entry. Again, March / April should not be *too* busy, but it is best to err on the side of caution in our experience!

You have done a great job with the itinerary, putting the busiest places first 🙂 Let us know if you have any more questions and we’ll try to help. Have a fantastic trip – do feel free to join our facebook group and share your experiences in our friendly facebook group – 🙂

Afitha says

31st August 2019 at 12:47 pm

Hi Laurence, Me and my husband will be going to paris-switzerland-italy for 11 days trip..pls gve me an advise regarding howmany days we will stay per country…eagerly waiting for ur reply..TIA

2nd September 2019 at 6:12 am

It really depends on which cities you want to visit and your personal interests. I haven’t visited Switzerland for a while but I would say if you were to do something like Paris for 3 days, then Switzerland for 3-4 days, then Italy for 4-5 days. I would suggest with that much time that you could visit 2 cities in Italy, so I’d say maybe Rome and Venice. You could also base in Rome and do day trips to places like Florence.

Have a great time!

19th August 2019 at 11:55 am

Hello Laurence and Jessica, I’m planning to go on a solo trip on January 2020 to Paris (and going to Italy). It will be my first time in Europe, and I’m very excited. I know it’s winter and it will be very cold, but I was wondering if you have any tips for a 21 year old solo female traveller? I’m planning to book an AirBnB so I can also cook some meals to be able to save some money. How much do you think I need for the three day sightseeing in Paris alone? I’m hoping to hear from you guys soon. Thank you.

19th August 2019 at 12:01 pm

So I will briefly answer your question on solo female travel. We definitely aren’t experts in that area as we usually travel as a couple, however, Paris is no more or less safe than other major western European cities, so if you practice the same sort of safety precautions that you would in your own home cities, then you shouldn’t have any problems.

For budget, January is not too busy in Paris so you should be able to find an apartment on AirBnb in the region of $60 – $100 a night. The other main costs will be food and sightseeing. For food, lunch is the best time to go out for meals generally as restaurants tend to have fixed price menus. So if you do choose to dine out during your stay, we’d recommend doing so at lunch. Otherwise we suggest croissants from a bakery for breakfast and there are lots of supermarkets for picking up supplies for cooking 🙂

Sightseeing will be your other major costs. The price will obviously vary depending on exactly what you want to do and see. If you plan on going inside many museums and attractions, then we recommend either the Paris Pass or Paris Museum Pass. The best one for you will depend on what you want to see. Note that neither of them includes Eiffel tower access. If you want to go up the Eiffel Tower, the cheapest way is to buy second floor tickets with stair access. You can do this online or in person – see our full Eiffel Tower guide for more on that.

Overall, I would say that if you budget $60 – $100 a day for accommodation, $20 – $50 a day for attractions and $15 – $30 a day on food that would be reasonable. Of course, you could go above or below these figures based on your own preference, but that is a ballpark.

Have a great time in Paris, and don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any more questions!

29th July 2019 at 4:15 am

I am looking into going to Paris July 3-5 2020. I have never traveled or anything else like that how would I go about making sure I had enough money. Thank you in advance.

29th July 2019 at 7:42 pm

Well, that’s quite a big question 🙂 It will depend a bit on your travel style (hostel – luxury hotel), what attractions you want to see and what sort of food you want to eat. Also how you get around, from walking -> taxis. The main costs will be your flight to and from Paris, your accommodation, and then your sight-seeing and food costs. It’s hard to give an exact number as everyone will be different, but if you take a look at my guide to the costs for travelling in the UK, this will give you an idea of what to estimate. Paris will be a bit more expensive, as capital cities often are, but you should at least get a rough estimate. You can see that guide here:

Let me know if you have any more questions!

29th July 2019 at 9:34 pm

Thank u so much I’ll check that link in just a few when I have a bit more time ????????

7th July 2019 at 3:57 am

Hi Laurence!

My husband and I will be going to Paris for six days in October. However, it’s our first time there, and I’m starting to think that we might have too many days in Paris and we might run out of activities.

Any suggestions or thoughts on that based on your experience?

9th July 2019 at 3:42 pm

You definitely won’t run out of things to do. I have just covered the major highlights in this post – there is so much more to the city! We usually visit for 5-7 days at a time, and have done so multiple times, and have never run out of things to do!

9th September 2019 at 11:13 pm

My sister and I who are in our 70 are going on a river cruise with Viking on Oct 6 an want to come in a few days early.. What hotel and tours . Is the show mon la rougue still there as I saw it 20 years and want to see it again.

11th September 2019 at 5:50 pm

Thanks for your e-mail. So the hotel you choose will very much depend on your budget, but we have some suggestions in this post for you to choose from. If you’d like to stay near the Eiffel Tower, we also have a lot of suggestions in our guide to visiting the Eiffel Tower, which you can read here . Of course, you might want to find out where your cruise departs from so you are not too far away.

The Moulin Rouge is still very much in operation, and we visited quite recently. You do need to book in advance, I have a full guide to the Moulin Rouge here which you might find helpful.

Rupali says

25th June 2019 at 2:47 pm

Hi I really like the detailed itinerary. It very good to look if you are planning the trip to Paris in advance. I would like to know if the Paris pass includes guided tours or some discount on guided tours in the museums? Also, if now do you think it is worth to take the guided tours to know about the significance of that place.

25th June 2019 at 3:20 pm

Thanks very much 🙂 So some city passes do include discounts on walking tours. However, the Paris Pass does not include many discounted guided tours. Looking at the inclusions, it includes a Montmartre walking tour, as well as discounts on a Segway tour, cycling tour and Citroen 2CV tour. It also includes the guided Opera Garnier tour. You can see some of the tours it includes on this page – just filter by Paris tours.

So if you want to do a guided tour of the museums, or a guided tour in Paris in general, then you would want to book that separately. I do think that a guided tour is a good way to learn about the city, and I link to some suggested walking tours in the post. It’s really up to you though if you want to do that. If you take a full day walking tour of Paris, then you might not find the Paris Pass offers such good value as most tours include entry to a number of attractions.

Let me know if I can be of any more help!

9th June 2019 at 7:07 pm

Hi Laurence, We stumbled across your blog recently while planning for our trip to Paris in September this fall. We enjoyed reading it. We will be arriving Paris on a Wednesday morning and leaving by plane on a Saturday 5:50pm flight. On Thursday we’ve booked a Versailles morning tour that ends 1:45pm and on Saturday morning we’ve booked the Louvre tour that ends 12:45 pm, then we will retrieve our luggage from hotel and on to the airport. Questions: Should we stay at a hotel that is near the Louvre for our convenience of Saturday’s luggage retrieval before airport Or should we stay at a hotel that is a short walk to the Hop on Hop off bus route so we can visit most of the top attraction via the bus and not to let the luggage retrieval limit the hotel location ? Could you please give us a few hotels suggestions and what top attractions we can fit in our schedule?

9th June 2019 at 8:53 pm

Thanks for your comment!

So, I think it’s up to you in regard to the hotel location. However, as the Louvre is a popular location for visitors, most Hop on Hop off buses will have a stop close by. So you can do both – just pick a hotel close to the Louvre and it will also be close to the Hop on Hop off bus.

In terms of specific hotels, it’s hard to give advice without a budget. I’d suggest using this link to start , and then narrowing your filter by price, date and what type of accommodation you are looking for. I’d generally also suggest looking for properties with a good review score, ideally an 8 or higher 🙂

PS – sorry about the slow response, we’ve been travelling for the past few days with limited internet 😀

Angela B says

9th June 2019 at 3:30 pm

Laurence & Jessica, Such an amazing and thorough explanation. My daughter (13) and I will be arriving into Paris next Sunday (16th) to watch USA play in the World Cup. My husband will be working the Paris Air Show, so my daughter and I have 3 days (17-19) to ourselves, meeting my husband at night for dinner and sightseeing. I think we will do the 3 day tour with Versailles on the last day. Based on this itinerary, does the 3 Day Paris Pass still make the best option? I am guessing it does since it includes travel, entrance, and skipping lines. We are sooooo excited!!!!! Angela

9th June 2019 at 8:57 pm

Thank you so much Angela – sounds like you’ve got a great trip coming up!

So I would say that the Paris Pass would make sense if you intend on using the various additional features it offers like the Seine Cruise, transport and so on. The one thing to be aware of is that whilst the pass is three days, it only includes a 2 day museum pass. And that pass is what you will use for places like the Louvre, Versailles and so on.

I have structured this itinerary to account for that, however, if you want to move things around, it might make less sense, and instead you might consider the 4 day Paris Museum Pass, and then a separate travel card. Of course, it’s up to you.

We have a full review of both types of pass if you would like some further reading to help you decide! They are at the following links:

Sumona says

30th May 2019 at 5:31 pm

Thank you so much for writing this. Really helpful and very well written!

30th May 2019 at 5:38 pm

Thank you very much Sumona – have a wonderful trip to Paris and do let us know if you have any questions 🙂

17th May 2019 at 4:52 pm

Hi Laurence and Jessica! I am travelling to Paris soon and your elaborate writing and practical tips is what exactly I was looking for. Brilliant! Thanks : )

17th May 2019 at 5:53 pm

Thank you very much Jasma – have a wonderful time in Paris! Do let us know how you enjoy the city 🙂

17th May 2019 at 7:27 pm

I will sure have a good time in the City of love . Also, Your expert advice on the accommodation pls- the place I am planning to stay is at Courbevoie. Per the owner it says 10 mins to Paris. Do you think during my stay at Paris for 3-4 days this place will be in proximity to the list you had advised in your blog. Thanks Jasma

17th May 2019 at 7:33 pm

It’s hard to tell as Courbevoie is a little bit outside the city centre, and so it will depend on which metro or train station you are near, and how far it is to the metro station. In a best case scenario it will be 10 minutes to the Arc de Triomphe, in a worse case scenario, more like 40 minutes. The Arc de Triomphe is the closest attraction in our itinerary though to Courbevoie, other attractions are further away. So it is definitely not the most convenient location, but it will work. However, if you can find somewhere more central it might work out more easily for you.

18th May 2019 at 3:33 pm

Thanks a million Laurence. You are doing a great job and I truly appreciate it. Regards, Jasma

Godfrey says

29th March 2019 at 8:41 pm

You guys are amazing..just about saved me hours of research into finding things to do in 3 days…This is exactly what fits within our 3 day visit..Keep up the great work!

30th March 2019 at 12:12 am

Thanks Godfrey – we will certainly try! Have a lovely trip to Paris and let us know if we can be of any help!

22nd February 2019 at 5:50 pm

hi! I like your blog,it’s very informative and easy to follow. but can I just know, roughly how much do we need to prepare? I mean if Im a big spender how much money will I probably spend for the tours? excluding the food. I would really appreciate if you could give me the figure so we can save for it. thanks! ☺️

23rd February 2019 at 7:25 am

It’s really hard to give figures as budgets vary greatly between people. So you can see from the tours I have suggested what they cost, and also if you buy one of the passes then many of the attractions will be included. So then your other costs will be accommodation and food. For this itinerary, including food and accommodation, you would probably be looking in the region of €500 – €1000 per person, but that would vary hugely depending on your tastes and accommodation quality.

I hope this helps a bit!

Anjana says

12th February 2019 at 11:17 pm

Hello. I liked the itinerary you suggested. We are planning to be there by mid April. Can you please guide us for weather. Also, I am an artist and wish to visit art gallary, can you please suggest?

13th February 2019 at 9:05 pm

The weather in Paris in April will be fairly warm, like around 17 – 22C. It might be cooler in evenings. Rain is always a possibility, but you would be unlucky if it rained a lot.

If you want to visit an art gallery, I would suggest the Louvre, or the Centre Pompidou if you prefer modern art!

12th February 2019 at 4:52 pm

How to get Paris Pass and the bus passes. Required details about the inclusions and exclusions of the Paris Pass .

12th February 2019 at 5:28 pm

You can buy the Paris Pass with this link .

You can see the inclusions here .

Enjoy your time in Paris!

12th February 2019 at 5:31 pm

Thank you so much.. I will sure be in touch with you if i require any more details .

Regards Shree

13th February 2019 at 7:45 am

Hi Is it mandatory to get the paris pass before hand or the same can be availed after reaching the destination as well..

13th February 2019 at 7:09 pm

You can buy the pass in Paris as well, but they don’t offer sales as they sometimes do online,

Amanda Che says

19th December 2018 at 3:09 am

If I want to visit Montparnasse will I need to purchase tickets if I have the Paris pass? Or do we just show up and they will let us in at whatever time?

19th December 2018 at 8:03 pm

If you have the Paris Pass the Tour Montparnasse is included, so you can just turn up at any time and they will let you in. It’s best at sunset if you can make it them!

Have a great trip

19th December 2018 at 10:02 pm

Thank you for responding!! I’m glad I got he passes! Does this apply to the wine tasting as well?! I’m just not sure about the places that have specific times that need reservations when visiting.

19th December 2018 at 11:10 pm

My pleasure! The wine tasting was the same when we used the Paris Pass – we just turned up and it was fine. However, if you have any doubts you can always reach out to either the attraction or Paris Pass folks to confirm 😀

24th October 2018 at 9:29 pm

Thank you so much for making my life easy!!! You have the best detailed itineraray in Paris. I purchased the 3 day Paris Pass. 🙂 I’m so excited to visit next month!

25th October 2018 at 8:13 pm

Thanks so much! Have an awesome trip 😀

Evelyne says

23rd October 2018 at 10:23 am

Hello, I am a Parisian and I read your post. I think this itinerary is very heavy (espécially days 2) unless you don’t visit the museums and just shoot the buildings. It is just an accumulation of monuments to visit but it does not give the feel of what is Paris. Fortunately, Paris is not just an opan air museum.

23rd October 2018 at 1:03 pm

Hey Evelyne!

Thanks for your feedback. I definitely make that clear at the beginning that this is a very busy itinerary, and people should adjust to suit their own pace 🙂 We usually visit Paris for no less than seven days at a time when putting these posts together, but we know not everyone has that luxury, so we try to fit everything in that people might want to see, based on our conversations with folks planning a trip 🙂

Thanks for stopping by!

kunal gupta says

30th September 2018 at 10:45 am

After having read so many posts, I felt this is the best post. It has all the tips, recommendations and anecdotes that I was looking for to create an itinerary. I am visiting Paris next month and will surely provide you guys my feedback on the experience.

Any tips on finding Indian or vegetarian lunch/dinner will be extremely helpful too !

1st October 2018 at 2:26 pm

Thanks Kunal! I’m not personally an expert on vegetarian dining, but the search engine lists vegetarian restaurants around the world, so that would be a good place to look 🙂 Have a great trip!

Kritika says

13th September 2018 at 8:22 am

Hi, Your blog is one simple answer to all the queries I had while planning for my trip. 🙂 We are a couple visiting Paris from 29 Sept to Oct1. We would like to visit a vineyard and taste wine over there. Do you have any information regarding any vineyard nearby and how to commute? Also, We would be going to Lyon for a day. Can you suggest me a short itinerary for the same?

Regards Kritika

13th September 2018 at 11:47 am

Hi Kritika!

Thanks very much, we are happy to have been of help 🙂 We would suggest that the closest wine region to Paris is going to be the Champagne region, and the easiest way to get there would be to take a tour from Paris, which will save you figuring out transport. Plus someone else will drive, leaving you to enjoy the wine 🙂 I found this one which has good reviews so that would be my suggestion, although there are sure to be other options!

For Lyon, we haven’t visited there yet, so I can’t make any recommendations unfortunately 🙁

Have a great trip!

9th September 2018 at 7:25 am

Hi! Just read your wonderful article helps out a lot we are a family of 6..would metro\bus be cheaper or renting a car..staying in a hotel near cdg since all the good/affordable ones are taken near the center….and how I the weather in the end of September? 6 days all Together and Disneyland is included please let me know confused about driving and or bus thanks 🙂

9th September 2018 at 11:38 am

I would recommend against hiring a car as driving in Paris is not so much fun, plus you will have to spend time finding parking and paying for it. Instead I would recommend either taking the metro, or hiring a taxi to take you in. For a group of people, you would have to find the right size of taxi of course, but it should be possible. For Disneyland, the easiest way is the RER from Paris.

The weather in Paris in September should be quite good, not too hot but not too cold, I would say around 12 – 22C, so you will want to have some warmer clothes for the evenings. There is always the possibility of rain as well, so a rain jacket or umbrella would be wise 🙂

Hope this helps!

Susan Morris says

30th August 2018 at 4:14 am

Hi, I have just read your 3-day itinerary for Paris, and I thought it was awesome. Very clear and easy to follow. I look forward to following it when we head to Paris next year! My husband is also keen to visit the area of the D-Day landings at Normandy (Omaha Beach I believe). Do you have any similar itineraries or advice for a 1 or 2 day visit to that area? Many thanks

30th August 2018 at 10:50 am

Thanks very much Susan. We certainly do, we have a two day itinerary which we think you should find useful 🙂

24th August 2018 at 9:15 pm

Hi I am traveling to Paris in second week of oct 18… what would be the climate that time? Do I need to carry a lot of winter clothing?

24th August 2018 at 9:26 pm

October in Europe varies. I’d say the best option is to bring layers, and to have sufficiently warm clothes for cold weather and rain in particualr. The temperature will likely be between 5 degrees C and 15 degrees C, although if it is windy it might feel a lot colder. So it’s not like visiting Iceland or Finland in winter, but you’ll want to be prepared.

I don’t have a guide for Paris, but we do have a packing list for London at any time of year, which should help a bit:

Qinwan says

22nd July 2018 at 1:02 pm

Hi Laurence, I am planning my visit to Paris in Oct 2018, the blog of 3 days itinerary is very much helpful and perfect for my plan. Where do you recommend to proceed after Paris for a 10 day Europe trip?

22nd July 2018 at 9:31 pm

Awesome! Well, if this if your first time in Europe, I’d probably recommend some of the other capital cities, like London or Rome, and then maybe Barcelona, depending on how much time you want to spend in each location. You can easily spend three or four days in both Rome and London. From Paris to London it’s an easy journey, as you can take the train direct. Then there are mutliple flights from London to Rome. If you like the sound of Barcelona, there’s an overnight train from Paris straight to Barcelona. Another idea might be to do Paris – > London, Edinburgh and then a bit of Scotland as well.

I’d definitely suggest not trying to see too much, and spending a bit longer in each location. Three days is a nice amount of time to see a city 🙂

Have an awesome trip!

Elizabeth Higgins says

22nd July 2018 at 5:26 am

This post is just so detail-oriented, Laurence! Any reader would not be having a difficult time browsing because you have also included hyperlinks to the sub-sections. Everything has just been written so wonderfully that I felt spoon-fed with information, in a really great way. I am so glad to find your blog! Thank you so much!

22nd July 2018 at 8:54 pm

Hi Elizabeth – thanks so much! It’s always wonderful to hear that people are finding our posts helpful! Hopefully you have a great trip, and don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions! Laurence

Tisaygwapa says

9th July 2018 at 9:56 am

Hi, I am a fan of your blog. My planning for my euro trip makes it easier. I have an inquiry though, can you tell me what is the difference between and Paris Pass and a Paris Explorer pass? What airport is near to the attraction on day1?

We will be in Paris for 3 days.

9th July 2018 at 10:03 am

Hi Tisaygwapa 🙂

Thanks very much! The Paris Explorer Pass is a much more limited pass, and instead of giving you free access to all the attractions, it lets you choose from 3, 5 or 7 attractions. For our itinerary, we definitely suggest either the Paris Pass or the Paris Museum Pass for cost saving.

For airports, Paris has three major airports. The two closest to the city and that most people arrive at are Paris Orly and Paris Charles De Gaulle.

From Paris Orly to the Eiffel tower you can take the Ouibus, it only takes around 16 minutes:

Charles de Gaulle (CDG) is a little further away, you can take the RER train from the airport – it’s probably more like an hour.

Shashank says

20th June 2018 at 5:11 pm

Hi, would like to know if we can walk in directly to Bateux Parisiens any time with the Paris Pass? Do we need to reserve online even if we have the Paris Pass?

20th June 2018 at 7:03 pm

Hi Shashank!

In our experience you can just walk up and show your pass at the ticket booth, no reservation required 🙂

Hope this helps – have a great trip!

18th June 2018 at 9:29 am

I would like to know more details of 3 day Itinerary . In the mentioned Places , how long it will take? that is regarding time span we can spent there comfortably .Can u pls suggest

20th June 2018 at 7:10 pm

IT’s really up to you and your interests as to how long you want to take. The itinerary as laid out is doable, but if you spend four hours at each location, obviously not so much 🙂 So my advice would be to look at each location and decide how much time you would like to spend their. As an example, Sainte Chapelle is quite small, so 15 – 20 minutes would be fine. The Louvre is gigantic, so will take a bit longer! But it’s really up to you 🙂

Karuna says

11th June 2018 at 5:31 pm

Thanks a lot, we are planning to visit Paris, and Italy for 12 days of vacation and this is very helpful for Paris. Can we have an advice on Hotels where we can stay like 4* hotels work walk around to these attractions if possible or nice evening walks?

And can we have an itinerary for Italy for 9-10 days trip,

Thanks a lot

11th June 2018 at 11:29 pm

Thanks very much! In the post I do link to a centrally located 4* hotel, under the accommodation section. The hotel is this one, but I’m sure you can find some other options 🙂

I will update the post in the next few weeks with some more specific recommendations. For the Italy guide, I will add an itinerary to the to do list, you should subscribe to the blog so you get notified of future posts and don’t miss out.

Sunil Chawla says

31st May 2018 at 8:44 am

I will be travelling to Paris with my wife in the month of August. This detailed information will surely be helpful to plan our trip Thank you very much Sunil Chawla India

31st May 2018 at 7:23 pm

Thanks Sunil! Have a great trip 🙂

Chitra Shah says

16th May 2018 at 8:36 pm

I am travelling with my husband and 2 kids ( 7 years and 1 year) to Paris in June. This is exactly what I was looking for, Thanks you. Do you think Paris is stroller – friendly or you recommend a baby carrier.

17th May 2018 at 9:26 am

Thanks Chitra! I must preface my response by saying that we don’t have kids, so haven’t faced this problem 😉 Certainly, part of Paris would be stroller friendly, but things like the metro for example are definitely not easy for stroller access as there are often only stair entrances and exits. So a baby carrier might be easier, depending on how you want to get around the city. I hope this helps a bit – have a great trip!

3rd May 2018 at 7:51 pm

This is one of the best, well elaborated and detailed article. Thank you for putting up so much effort and sharing your experience. It is indeed a great help!

3rd May 2018 at 8:35 pm

Thank you very much 😀

Nitin Bansal says

21st April 2018 at 7:15 pm

That’s a brilliant detailed summary of 3 day Paris itinerary. I am travelling to Paris soon although for a short time and will be looking forward to cover most of the places from your list here.

22nd April 2018 at 10:17 am

Thanks very much Nitin – have a great trip 😀

kristin says

28th March 2018 at 2:25 pm

I envy you guys living in Edi and being able to jet away for so many long weekend trips for cheap! I was pricing Europe from Nashville this summer, and I can’t find anything for under $1000, no matter the hub I fly into =/

29th March 2018 at 9:49 am

We are lucky on that front for sure 😀

Matheresa says

21st March 2018 at 7:49 pm

To go through in u’ll article/blogging i find it very informative and the easiest way for me to make my itinerary,,, specially i saw the Spain article but i didn’t leave a comment there coz of wanted to check for paris too,,, Spain features was fantastic keep it up LOVERS all the best in your Wanderlust started to following u’ll…

22nd March 2018 at 9:19 am

Thanks very much Mathresa 🙂 Have a wonderful trip!

kazim Gurmani says

19th March 2018 at 1:53 pm

The amazing place for the lovers. You guys are so lucky enjoying all this

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How to Spend 3 Days in Paris — Luxury Hotels, Natural Wine Spots, and Under-the-radar Museums Included

From picturesque walks to souvenir shopping, a longtime Francophile shares her ideal three-day Paris itinerary.

3 day tour in paris

Paris in One Day

Paris in one week.

Sophie Dodd/Travel + Leisure

On a recent layover in Paris, I spent 15 minutes weeping outside a boulangerie, hands clutching my croissant like a stress ball as I spiraled into decision-paralysis mode. How do I make the most of 24 hours here? I asked myself, my mind racing over how to fit a week’s worth of explorations into one day. The answer ended up being: Stop stressing. Walk around. Eat the crushed croissant, and drink a glass of wine with lunch. 

Paris provides endless temptations: art and architecture, Michelin-star restaurants, unrivaled vintage shopping, fantastic hotels, and four-euro wine. There’s no way to do it all, so allowing yourself some grace to wander aimlessly — the French call it flânerie — is key to making the most of your trip. To that end, I suggest basing yourself around the incredibly walkable Marais, which marries classic Parisian architecture with hip restaurants and shops. I’d spring for the new cool-kid hideaway, Le Grand Mazarin , a maximalist hotel that boasts an indoor pool and hammam to revive you after a long day. 

Here, I’ve curated a jam-packed three-day itinerary for a quick trip to Paris, in a bid to prevent myself and everyone else from ever ruining a perfectly good croissant out of choice-anxiety again. Pick what works for you, skip what doesn’t (but not Musée Bourdelle ). Keep in mind that many of the city’s attractions and restaurants close on Sunday and/or Monday, so be sure to check their hours in advance. Whatever you do, I hope you people-watch at a cafe somewhere, lingering long enough to convince yourself you might be picking up French by osmosis. I hope you notice how the limestone avenues absorb the light, and maybe a little piece of you, too. 

Sophie Dodd/Travel + Leisure

After an overnight flight, I always start my day with my favorite French comfort food: a galette complète from Breizh Café , which has several outposts around the city that whip up some of the best buckwheat crepes in Paris. Tucking into their famous complète oignons — layers of ham and Comté cheese topped with a sunny-side up egg and onions decadently caramelized in cider from Brittany — is the warmest welcome you’ll find in the French capital.   

Walk off your breakfast with a stroll through the Marais , making your way toward beloved concept store Merci to satisfy all your souvenir needs, from stationery to expertly curated home goods, clothing, and beyond. If jet lag is setting in, grab a coffee at their Used Book Café , or down the road at the oft-Instagrammed Boot Café . 

Mosey over to Place des Vosges, the oldest square in the city. In the warmer months, it’s a lively picnic destination for locals and tourists alike. The manicured trees, stone fountains, and red brick archways surrounding the leafy square are stunning from any angle, but if you’re looking to experience the square’s royal history from a whole new perspective, consider splurging on a room at Cour des Vosges . The refined five-star hotel offers luxuriously intimate accommodations without fuss or ostentation — plus, exclusive views onto the square from the comfort of your bed. 

Hidden just beyond the square are the courtyard and gardens of the Hôtel de Sully, a quieter green space offering a wonderful respite from the bustling Rue Saint-Antoine. From there, walk down to the Seine and cross over to Île Saint-Louis, a jewel-sized island where you can admire the elegant 17th-century architecture and stop by L’Étiquette , a beloved natural wine spot that offers takeaway bottles and wine tastings with the owner, Hervé. 

While the Notre-Dame cathedral is still under renovation (it’s set to reopen in December 2024 ), you can still admire its striking Gothic facade before walking to nearby Shakespeare and Company , the city’s famous English-language bookstore. 

Post up at the counter of L’Avant Comptoir de la Terre for a light lunch of Basque-style tapas (don’t skip the seared foie gras) and, oui , more wine. Afterward, wander around the chic side streets of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, home to Paris institutions like Les Deux Magots and Café de Flore, plus a bevy of art galleries and upscale shops that are better to visit here than on the over-crowded Champs-Élysées; some favorites for window shopping include Le Bon Marché (the Left Bank’s grand dame department store), the fabulously decorated Hermès store, and Officine Universelle Buly , which crafts spectacular candles that make for ultra-chic souvenirs. If you’re up for it, pause to people-watch at the always-bustling Bar du Marché before heading back to your hotel to rest up before dinner.

To finish the day, book a table in the bustling 11th arrondissement at Le Bistrot Paul Bert , which serves elevated comfort food — think steak frites, seafood, and epic desserts — that’s earned a devout fan base. 

Today’s the day to pack in your museum visits and sightseeing. Wake up early and grab breakfast at your hotel, or treat yourself to a top-notch coffee and croissant at a cafe.

Walk over to the Louvre, where you should arrive 30 minutes before opening if you’re hoping to snap a selfie with the Mona Lisa. Frankly, if you only have three days, I’d skip it in favor of visiting some of the city’s other world-class museums — but be sure to at least stroll around the iconic I. M. Pei-designed glass pyramid and the historic courtyard. While you could head straight to the Tuileries Garden from here, I love to detour to the Palais-Royal Garden first, an oasis that’s home to a picture-perfect fountain rimmed by those iconic green Sénat chairs. 

Pass through the palace’s inner courtyard on your way there, where you can scramble around Daniel Buren’s famous black-and-white Colonnes de Buren installation. Just beyond the garden is Galerie Vivienne, a breathtaking 19th-century covered passage with mosaic floors, antique glass ceilings, and a delightful bookshop. When I think about some of the places that first sparked my love of Paris more than a decade ago, these are what come to mind.

Make your way back to the Tuileries Garden and on to your next museum. Impressionist lovers who are short on time should prioritize the Musée de l'Orangerie to bask in the beauty of Monet’s "Water Lilies," or plan to linger a little longer across the river at the expansive Musée d'Orsay , which is housed in a former Beaux-Arts train station.

Sculpture fans should check out the nearby Musée Rodin , or consider the worthwhile trek into Montparnasse to be blown away by the works and former studio of sculptor Antoine Bourdelle at the lesser-known Musée Bourdelle . Whichever museums you choose to visit, be sure to book your ticket in advance to avoid massive lines. 

For lunch, book the three-course tasting menu at Substance , a sleek and modern Michelin-starred restaurant in the 16th arrondissement that boasts one of the finest Champagne lists in all of Paris. It’s right around the corner from Place du Trocadéro, an elevated (but typically tourist-swarmed) plaza that offers sweeping views of the Eiffel Tower.

From there, hop on the metro line 6 (or in a taxi, if you prefer) to the Arc de Triomphe. The panoramic view from the top is both fantastic and incredibly crowded; I’d rather enjoy the cityscape later on with a drink in hand at Bonnie , SO/Paris hotel’s trendy terrace restaurant that’s back over in the fourth arrondissement. But first, take your time wandering the iconic Champs-Élysées, making your way toward the storied Place de la Concorde — the famous site of Marie Antoinette’s beheading by guillotine. Chances are, you might need a drink after that; duck into Hôtel de Crillon, A Rosewood Hotel, to check out the opulent Bar Les Ambassadeurs . (Pro tip: Be sure to snap a selfie in the marble bathroom.) 

Stick around the area for dinner. Try to nab a table at the ultra-trendy Hotel Costes — reservations are hard to come by, but the red-lit atmosphere is glamorous, and the legendary DJ sets continue late into the night.

For a new perspective on the city, take yourself up the steep steps of Montmartre , Paris’ longtime artist haven. You’ll beat the crowds if you arrive early in the morning, and the best place to start is Place Dalida, where you’ll be rewarded with a bucolic view of Sacré-Coeur Basilica. Climbing the cobbled slope of Rue de l’Abreuvoir is a chance to travel back in time, bearing witness to a nostalgic snapshot of what this neighborhood used to feel like. Whatever the season, this street is utterly charming — bursting with wisteria in summer and framed by red and golden leaves in autumn. Pass by the pink facade of La Maison Rose to snap some classic shots on your way up to Le Clos Montmartre, Paris’ only vineyard. (It’s privately owned, but guided tours are organized a few times per year.)

This part of the city feels like walking through a film set — it’s all steep stone steps framed by vintage street lamps, with a sprinkling of bistros thrown in. To that end, peek around Place du Tertre, a definitively touristy but still-charming square (if you get there ahead of the crowds, that is), which is filled with artists who will ask to paint your portrait. (Note: This area is known for pickpocketing, so keep your belongings secure.) Next, ogle the majesty of Sacré-Coeur, which offers one of the most spectacular views of Paris spread out below. 

If it’s still early enough, head over to the Musée de la Vie Romantique (Museum of Romantic Life) for a coffee and pastry at the Rose Bakery tearoom, tucked into their unsurprisingly romantic courtyard and greenhouse. But don’t spoil your appetite — you won’t want to miss the inventive small plates and next-level wine list at Mokonuts , an intimate lunch spot run by a Japanese-Lebanese couple serving up what has consistently ranked among my favorite meals in Paris. The food is fantastic, the 11th arrondissement space is unfussy, and the reservations are hard to come by (call and hope for a cancellation — it happens more often than you’d think). Order the entire menu (it’s small), including at least two desserts. Trust me. 

If it’s warm out, go lounge along Canal Saint-Martin or the banks of the Seine, where locals picnic, read, smoke, and smooch — take your pick. On colder days, round off your museum visits with a trip to the Centre Pompidou for modern art or Musée Carnavalet (housed in two fabulous mansions) to delve into the history of Paris. 

For dinner, few restaurants charm so instantly as Le Clown Bar — famous for their veal brains and sweetbreads, I choose to go for the delightfully kitschy Belle Époque clown decor. On a recent trip, I skipped the brains and went for the Japanese-inspired beef tartare — few days have passed that I haven’t thought about it. There’s an abundance of natural wine that will appeal to a range of palates, including those who think natural wine is “too funky.”  

If you’re looking for a nightcap (it’s your last night in Paris!), Little Red Door serves up exceptional and inventive cocktails around the corner.  

Taylor McIntyre/Travel + Leisure

If you’ve only got one day in Paris — perhaps you’re on a long layover — you’ll need to remind yourself from the beginning: You can’t do it all. I’ve nearly ruined several brief trips by thinking about all the things I should have packed in, rather than feeling present in the few that I was able to manage. 

If it’s your first time, I’d combine the itineraries for days one and two. Base yourself a bit more central to the main attractions — for a night of absolute pampering, treat yourself to a stay at Hôtel de Crillon, A Rosewood Hotel, or Le Meurice — two luxury properties just off the Tuileries Garden. Wake up early and indulge in room service or grab a fresh croissant from a boulangerie near your hotel, and savor every second of that interaction — the greasy bag, the warm dough, the flaky mess of it all. Start at the Palais-Royal Garden and Galerie Vivienne before ducking over to see Notre-Dame. 

Unless you’re a serious art history buff, I’d avoid spending your one day inside a museum, but you should still wander around the Louvre courtyard and Tuileries Garden — Le Cafe Marly is a pricey lunch, but offers classic French dishes served with iconic views of the pyramid. 

Grab the metro over to Place du Trocadero for some Eiffel Tower time, wander the Champs-Élysées, then stop back at the hotel to freshen up before taking yourself a bit further afield for dinner — go for Bistrot des Tournelles , another excellent spot for homemade pork terrine, steak frites, chocolate mousse, and other French comforts. 

Page Light Studios/Getty Images

La chance! (What luck!) You can take your days a bit easier than the itinerary suggested here, lingering a little longer at cafes perhaps and spreading out more museum visits (you really shouldn’t miss Musée Bourdelle in this case). While you could easily spend the whole week in Paris, you might want to plan an overnight to Versailles, where you should book a royally exceptional stay at the opulent Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle , the only hotel on the palace grounds. 

If you’re visiting Paris in winter , you’ll want to make time for the festive holiday markets, while in summer, the Seine beckons with its faux beach. Whatever the season, the best thing you can do with your extra time is allow yourself to wander aimlessly, letting the city reveal its magic to you. 

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3 Days in Paris Itinerary: View from Notre Dame

The Ultimate 3 Days in Paris Itinerary

When you only have 3 days in Paris, you need to get your Paris itinerary just right.

With a nearly unlimited number of incredible things to do (and eat, and see) in the City of Light, it’s important to plan a short trip carefully.

Sure, y ou want to see as much as you can–but you’ll also want to prevent yourself from burning out and/or wasting too much time in transport bouncing all over the city .

As first-time visitors to Paris quickly learn, the city is enormous and quite spread out, and without a solid plan, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.

That being said, Paris ranks among our absolute favorite cities in the world, and we want you to love it as much as we do !

After roughly 10 trips to Paris (and counting!), we’ve designed this itinerary for Paris in 3 days to cover the best of the city, fast.

Follow this travel itinerary to see a solid chunk of Paris’ best highlights, eat some delicious food, wander stunning neighborhoods, and make sure you travel home with a snapshot of Paris that leaves you dying to plan your next trip to the city.

Here’s exactly how to make the most of a few days in Paris, France!

Table of Contents

The Perfect 3 Days in Paris Itinerary

Where to stay in paris, more than 3 days in paris, france, getting around during your 3 day paris itinerary, the paris pass & paris museum pass: worth the money, when to visit paris for 3 days, staying safe during this itinerary for paris.

  • What to Wear in Paris, France

What to Pack for Paris

Your 3 day paris itinerary map.

Kate Storm in a red dress standing with a caroseul and Sacre Coeur in the background--this is one of the most instagrammable places in Paris!

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Day 1: Classic Paris Highlights

Start your morning on île de la cité near notre dame..

What better way to start 3 days in Paris than to visit one of Paris’ most famous landmarks?

Even after the awful April 2019 fire , Notre Dame’s status as an icon of Paris and its convenient location in the center of the city still make it a great place to kick off your few days in Paris.

3 Days in Paris Itinerary: Notre Dame View

While you’re nearby, check out the view from the corner of Rue de la Cite and Quai de Montebello , near the Pont de Coeurs , where you can photograph the tops of the towers and some of the front of the cathedral looking semi-normal.

U nfortunately, though, the damage to the cathedral is extensive, and Notre Dame is not expected to reopen before 2024 .

I’m leaving our photos from the rooftop of Notre Dame in place in this 3 day Paris itinerary out of nostalgia, but scroll down for a look at the current view from the corner mentioned above for a more realistic take at the moment.

view of the front of notre dame in 2022 with barrier in front

Step inside Shakespeare & Company.

5-minute walk from Notre Dame

Paris’ most famous bookstore is known as the former haunt of Lost Generation writers like James Joyce, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and the ever-present Ernest Hemingway (he knew all the good travel destinations before the rest of us).

What some don’t know is that the present Shakespeare & Company is a bit different than the original!

T he original location closed during the Nazi occupation, and this store was opened by new management in 1951, in order to nurture a new generation of writers–think Henry Miller, Ray Bradbury, and Langston Hughes.

I could wax poetic about bookstores forever, but I suggest you check out this great article from Vanity Fair if you’re interested in a thorough history of Shakespeare & Company.

front facade of shakespeare and company as seen through blooming flowers during a travel paris itinerary

Here’s what you need to know to visit: it’s delightful and beautiful, they’ll stamp any books you buy with their seal on the title page (which make wonderful souvenirs from Paris ), there’s a cat who lives upstairs, and the view from the second-floor window over the Seine and toward Notre Dame is divine.

Photos are forbidden inside, so you’ll just have to step across the Seine from Île de la Cité to see the beautiful interior for yourself!

I will note that we’ve after almost a decade of visiting this bookstore on the majority of our trips to Paris, we skipped it on our July 2022 visit because of the huge line in front–we had never seen one there before.

When we returned in December 2022, we were able to walk right in, but if you are planning to visit Paris during the high season, we recommend visiting as early in the morning as you can (Shakespeare & Company opens at 10:00 AM).

Paris in 3 Days: Shakespeare & Company

Grab a coffee and pastry from a beautiful Parisian cafe.

Having checked a tiny bit of Paris sightseeing off your list, it’s officially time for a traditional French breakfast of a delicious coffee and pastry.

Here are a few cafes nearby (and by nearby I mean practically hidden in plain sight) that you may want to check out.

Famous for its beautiful building nestled into the corner of a cobblestone street near Notre Dame, Odette is a lovely (and photogenic) choice for grabbing breakfast on your first morning in Paris.

Odette Cafe in Paris France with an empty cobblestone street in front of it--not a bad place to grab a coffee during your 2 days in Paris France!

Shakespeare & Co. Cafe

Surprisingly affordable and home to delicious coffee, if you want to keep your 3 days in Paris itinerary simple this morning, head next door to Shakespeare & Company for breakfast at their popular cafe by the same name.

(Odette is mere steps away from here, so if you’re a huge Parisian cafe lover, you could even visit both).

A. Lacroix Patissier

This cafe isn’t famous, but it is delicious, cozy, and boasts views of Notre Dame!

We’ve been eating here for years and can highly recommend it.

macarons for sale at patisserie near notre dame paris

Au Vieux Paris d’Arcole

This one is more for the photo snappers and late risers among us, as it doesn’t open until noon, but Au Vieux Paris d’Arcole is worth mentioning as an option here.

Famous for its gorgeous wisteria, this Parisian cafe is practically next door to Notre Dame, is quite well known among places to eat in Paris , and is incredibly charming.

Kate Storm in a gray dress sitting in front of Cafe Au Vieux, one of the most instagrammable spots in Paris

Pay a visit to the oldest clock in Paris.

8-minute walk from Odette or Shakespeare & Company.

En route to Sainte-Chapelle during your 3 days in Paris, be sure to make your way past the Tour de l’Horloge on the side of the Conciergerie.

Here you’ll be able to take a peek at the oldest clock in Paris, which was installed in the 14th century, is still steadily ticking to this day, and also happens to be incredibly gorgeous.

Oldest clock in Paris located on the side of the Conciergerie. The clock is blue and gold, and definitely worth slowing down to take a peek at during any Paris itinerary!

Stroll over to Sainte-Chapelle.

6-minute walk from Shakespeare & Company

Sainte-Chapelle boasts one of my favorite church interiors in the world, but you likely won’t notice when you first enter: the first floor is rather typically decorated and quite dark.

Climb up to the second floor, though, and you’re in for quite a show: nearly every inch of the 50-foot walls (about 15 meters) are covered in elaborate stained glass.

It is colorful, magical, and absolutely beautiful–I haven’t seen anything quite like it anywhere else in the world , and it’s well worth fitting into your itinerary for Paris.

We recommend grabbing a skip-the-line in advance (for no extra fee!) to save time in lines and ensure that this (small and very popular) attraction doesn’t sell out.

Get your ticket for Sainte-Chapelle today to skip the ticket line!

Stained Glass of Sainte-Chapelle with rear window of stained glass in the center--this chapel belongs on any Paris itinerary, and you should definitely visit during your Paris weekend trip!

Make your way to the Luxembourg Gardens.

15-minute walk from Sainte-Chapelle

Obviously, the Luxembourg Gardens are most impressive in the spring and summer, but they’re worth visiting regardless of time of year: the gardens feel distinctly Parisian and are a joy to visit.

The Luxembourg Palace sits to one side, and be sure to stop by to admire it.

If you want to take a peek at some of the garden’s hidden treasures, the Medici Fountain and Luxembourg Gardens’ very own beehives are both nearby.

If you’re trying to stay on a budget, this is a great place for a picnic lunch!

S imply pick up some Parisian staples (a baguette with cheese and fruit, perhaps) and bring them into the gardens to eat.

If you’d prefer a restaurant, the area surrounding the park is lousy with them (Le Prince Racine is close by and a favorite of ours, and Restaurant Polidor is both tasty and served as a Midnight in Paris filming location!).

During your 15-minute walk over from Sainte-Chapelle, a slightly longer route will also take you by the Pantheon if you’d like to stop by.

3 Days in Paris Itinerary: Luxembourg Gardens

Walk toward the Louvre via St. Germain.

18+ minute walk from the Luxembourg Gardens.

Head to the Louvre through St. Germain, one of the most classically Parisian neighborhoods.

As you explore, you’ll pass by some beautiful boutiques, great restaurants, and gorgeous architecture .

Those classic Paris streets you see in photos? St. Germain is a great place to photograph them!

In addition to the restaurants mentioned above, we’ve also enjoyed eating at Eggs & Co. while here, which specializes in omelets.

The food is tasty, and the decor is adorable.

The walk from the Luxembourg Gardens to the Louvre is technically under 20 minutes, but depending on how much you want to meander around the neighborhood, it could take quite a bit longer!

3 Days in Paris Itinerary: Cafe

Pay a visit to the largest art museum in the world.

The Louvre is a hard thing to budget time for–for people who aren’t very into art, an hour or 2 of checking out the most famous works might be enough.

For art and history lovers, weeks would be needed.

With only 3 days in Paris, we’d recommend booking timed entry skip-the-line tickets and spending around 2-3 hours in the Louvre, and doing a bit of research before you go.

If there are particular works you’re dying to see (say, the Venus de Milo or the Mona Lisa), make sure you plan accordingly and head in the right direction.

Alternatively, you can book a tour ( we absolutely loved this one ) to ensure you see the best of the Louvre in an efficient way!

Sphinx in the Louvre--definitely visit the largest museum in the world as part of your 2 days in Paris weekend trip!

We’ve now visited the Louvre three times and have seen almost none of the same exhibits on any of our visits !

Personally, one of my favorite things I’ve found in the Louvre is the Napoleon III apartments, which are an unexpected surprise amongst all of the paintings, sculptures, and historical artifacts.

It took us a few trips to Paris before we splurged on a Louvre tour, but we’re  so  glad we did.

This tour was amazing and gave us great context for the pieces we saw in the museum, and we can heartily recommend it. For a different take, this tour is also well recommended.

Lines at the Louvre get notoriously long–plan ahead and book your visit to the Louvre today! You can get timed entry skip-the-line tickets here , book the same  amazing tour we took here , or book another  well-reviewed tour of the Louvre here .

Three Days in Paris Itinerary: The Louvre at Night

Stop by the Colonnes de Buren or grab a hot chocolate at Angelina.

Once you finish exploring the Louvre, it’s time for a quick Paris sightseeing pitstop before heading off to the Eiffel Tower.

If you’re searching for popular Paris photo spots , this is a great time to stop by the Colonnes de Buren in the Palais Royale.

The columns are free to visit and fun to see in the evening, when there will be plenty of people hanging out (and even working out–we’ve seen everything from group lunges to kids playing soccer) nearby.

After you finish at the Colonnes de Buren, the Galerie Vero-Dodat is  just  around the corner and is another one of Paris’ beautiful covered passages, so you can consider swinging by there for a quick look as well.

If you’re done seeing the sights and simply want to sit down and indulge, famous Angelina is a short walk away, ready to serve you a steaming cup of their legendary hot chocolate.

Kate Storm in a black shirt and cream cardigan standing on one of the Colonnes de Buren in Paris France--if you like quirky photo ops, definitely come here as part of your weekend trip to Paris!

Admire the Eiffel Tower from the Trocadero Gardens.

50-minute walk or 30-minute metro ride from the Louvre.

Are your feet killing you yet?

If so (and depending on the time), you may want to consider a metro ride at this point.

If not, we highly recommend the long walk along the Seine to the Trocadero Gardens, which will take you along some beautiful Paris views and past the famous Pont Alexandre III .

Regardless of how you get there, it’s safe to say that your first day spent visiting Paris isn’t complete without a picture-perfect view of the Eiffel Tower!

3 Days in Paris Itinerary: Eiffel Tower from Trocadero Gardens

Head to the river to take a Seine river cruise before sunset.

To be perfectly honest, it took us many trips to Paris before we signed up for a Seine river cruise … and after taking one, we can’t believe that we waited so long!

Yes, they’re a bit touristy, but there’s nothing quite like admiring Paris and its many gorgeous monuments from the water.

Add in the possibility of a sunset, and the view is even better.

travelers admiring views of notre dame from a seine river cruise during a few days in paris france

Many Seine river cruises leave from very close to the base of the Eiffel Tower, too, making taking one an easy addition to this 3 day Paris itinerary!

Want to splurge a bit for your first night in Paris?

You can even sign up for a full dinner cruise if a standard one-hour cruise doesn’t sound like quite enough time on the Seine.

Book your Seine river cruise today!

travelers on a seine river cruise with a bridge in the distance

Day 2: The Elegant Side of Paris

Begin your day at the arc de triomphe..

What better way to kick off your second day in the City of Light than by admiring one of the best views in Paris?

Climb (all 284 steps of) the Arc de Triomphe for great views over Paris, including views of the Eiffel Tower, Champs-Élysées, La Defense, Montmartre , and more.

If you would like to zoom in (especially on faraway spots like Montmartre) it would be a great idea to pack travel binoculars so you don’t miss out on the details.

Be sure to stroll under the Arc de Triomphe as well–it is ornate and beautiful in a way that is hard to pick up from a distance.

Like most of Paris’ most famous attractions, the line to climb the Arc de Triomphe gets very long.

We love using skip-the-line tickets to walk right in–and there’s no extra charge for booking ahead!

Buy tickets to climb the Arc de Triomphe today!

selfie of kate storm and jeremy storm after climb the arc de triomphe paris with eiffel tower in the background

Stroll down the Champs-Élysées.

The famous Champs-Élysées dead ends into the Arc de Triomphe, so after snapping photos both from the top of the monument and of the arch itself, continue your morning by heading down one of the most famous shopping streets in the world.

If you have time in your Paris itinerary (ie, depending on how early in the morning you got started!), consider continuing all the way to the Place de la Concorde before heading outside the city to enjoy one of the most iconic day trips from Paris !

visit arc de triomphe paris france as seen from champs elysees with foliage on surrounding trees

Jump on the RER and spend most of the day at Versailles.

A day trip to Versailles is a perfect addition to 3 days in Paris: while some people do spend a whole day there, when trying to see Paris in 3 days, it makes more sense to squeeze in the Arc de Triomphe first.

(If you have no desire to visit the Arc de Triomphe, though, feel free to head right to Versailles after breakfast).

While at Versailles, be sure to tour the palace itself ( be sure to book tickets in advance if you’re not taking a tour ), and then head outside to the gardens for a long stroll.

Bear in mind that the property is the largest royal domain in the world and it is therefore predictably difficult to see absolutely everything !

Visiting Versailles: Hall of Mirrors

The gardens alone take up 230 acres, and that’s without even considering attractions like Grand Trianon, Petit Trianon, and the Queen’s Hamlet.

Booking a tour is a great way to get a thorough oversight on your first visit!

After seeing the popular main gardens near the palace, which boast the opulent fountains of Versailles seen in so many photos, consider taking a 25-minute walk through the gardens to visit the other palaces on site (plus Marie Antoinette’s hamlet, of course) .

Visiting Versailles: The Queen's Hamlet

How to Get to Versailles from Paris

To get to Versailles from Paris, take the RER C line to Versailles.

Transit takes less than an hour, and bear in mind that the RER is separate from the metro.

Y ou’ll need to purchase an RER ticket to head to Versailles.

Be sure to validate your ticket before you travel!

Book your timed entry skip-the-line tickets or guided tour of Versailles today!

Visiting Versailles: Exterior of the Palace

Day 3: Parisian Food, Art, and Grit

Start your morning with a parisian food tour..

It’s no secret that French food is some of the most delicious in the world–and before leaving Paris, it’s a great idea to take some time to learn all about it!

We absolutely loved our experience on the Paris Ultimate Food Tour with Devour Tours , which focuses on the trendy La Marais neighborhood.

Taste award-winning pastries and macarons, delectable meats and cheeses, a memorable soup, and much more on this delicious (and extremely filling) food tour.

fresh fruits and vegetables for sale on a paris food tour

Devour Tours is one of our favorite food tour companies in Europe, and one of the many reasons for that is the history and culture that is woven into every tour.

The fight for the survival of long-standing traditional markets, the history of the Jewish community in Le Marais, and how French food gets its various designations are just a few details that made their way into our tour, and we walked away very satisfied with the experience.

(As is usual for us, we paid our own way for this tour and told no one we were travel bloggers while there).

Book the Paris food tour we loved today!

interior of cured meat shop in le marais paris

Choose Your Own Parisian Adventure: Catacombs vs. the Musée d’Orsay

As your 3 days in Paris rapidly come to a close, it’s incredibly ambitious to try to fit both the catacombs and Musée d’Orsay into the itinerary, especially as they’re quite far apart!

For that reason, I’ll leave your next stop up to you.

Travelers looking for something funky, offbeat, and unusual will love the catacombs.

Art lovers (especially impressionist lovers) will delight in the Musée d’Orsay .

Here’s what to love about each!

view from inside the musee d orsay during an itinerary paris france

Option 1: See a different side of Paris at the Catacombs.

50-minute walk or 25-minute metro ride from the end of the Paris Ultimate Food Tour.

Technically an ossuary and not catacombs, this Paris highlight is a bit spooky and unusual, but a fascinating place to visit while in Paris for 3 days (unless you get freaked out by bones, that is).

Skip-the-line tickets are essential here, or you can even sign up for a guided tour to learn more about the (absolutely wild) history.

Set in Paris’ former quarries, the catacombs hold millions of former Parisians… but they didn’t start their time in the afterlife there.

From the late 18th to the mid-19th century, many of Paris’ cemeteries were emptied out due to health concerns, and the skeletons were relocated to the catacombs.

Artfully arranged and complete with cemetery-appropriate art (Bible verses and such, but also a sign saying “Stop! This is the empire of the dead” over the entrance, so, there’s that), the catacombs are a bizarre mix of fascinating, creepy, historical, and artistic.

Interior of the catacombs in Paris with a gravestone on the left side of the photo

The catacombs themselves go on for over 200 miles/320 kilometers, and we have loved each of our visits–and also loved staring down the dark paths that are not intended for tourists to visit.

Fair warning: it’s easy to get lost down there and people have died by breaking in and then getting too lost to find their way out. Stick to the path!

Even during our January visit, the line for the catacombs was still more than 2 hours long! Book your  skip-the-line tickets here or epic in-depth guided tour here !

3 skulls in the Paris catacombs that are surrounding by other bones

Option 2: Enjoy Paris’ second-most-famous art museum, the Musée d’Orsay.

40-minute walk or 25-minute metro ride from the end of the Paris Ultimate Food Tour.

Many first-time visitors to Paris walk away saying that the Musée d’Orsay , not the Louvre, is their favorite museum in Paris.

We wouldn’t go quite that far (we love both too much), but it’s easy to see what draws people in.

Not only is the Musée d’Orsay home to some incredible art, including iconic works by Monet and Van Gogh, but the building itself is a bit of an attraction.

Interior of Musee d'Orsay museum from above

The Musée d’Orsay is set in a gorgeous former train station built at the end of the 19th century, complete with the famous clock on the top floor that provides a unique view of Paris.

In addition, the Musée d’Orsay is much smaller than the Louvre, and therefore less overwhelming and easier to visit without getting turned around.

Book your timed entry skip the line ticket for the Musée d’Orsay today!

Kate Storm in a black tank stop standing in front of the clock in Musee d'Orsay, an excellent part of any 3 days in Paris France!

Spend the rest of the afternoon and evening in Montmartre.

25-minute metro ride from the Paris catacombs or 20-minute metro ride from the Musée d’Orsay .

Your last afternoon and evening in Paris are dedicated to a neighborhood that’s not quite as old or as stately as some Parisian neighborhoods… but it is delightfully fun and very well known.

Montmartre is home to Sacré Coeur, the Moulin Rouge , the famous Place du Tertre, and some incredibly adorable streets, squares, bakeries, cafes, and bars .

Once the haunt of artists and Bohemians, and today the haunt of travelers seeking out some of the prettiest streets and best views in Paris, Montmartre is a beloved favorite among Parisian neighborhoods for good reason.

This area is great for taking iconic Parisian photos, we take our Sony a7R III along with us and end up using it constantly.

Kate Storm in a red dress in front of La Consulat cafe in Montmartre, one of the most instagrammable places in Paris

While you’re there, be sure to visit Sacré Coeur (the 300 steps to the top of the dome are worth it), see the artists at the Place du Tertre, and duck into the art shops along the nearby side streets .

The steps of Sacré Coeur are one of the most popular sunset spots in Paris, and a wonderful place to watch the light disappear from your last full day in Paris (though the top of the dome is even better–you can see the Eiffel Tower from there!).

If you feel like sticking around for the evening, Montmartre is the perfect place to find nightlife in Paris, too.

W hether you want to go crazy and see a show at the Moulin Rouge (which is just downhill from Montmartre in the Pigalle area) or find a quieter bar to settle down at, you’ll have plenty of options.

Shop tickets to shows at the Moulin Rouge !

sunset from the top of sacre coeur with eiffel tower in the background

Say goodbye to Paris.

Three days in Paris go by so fast: it’s already time to say goodbye.

As you head back to your hotel on your last night in Paris, you may be able to squeeze in one more experience off your Paris wish list.

There are a million worthy options, but one reliably magical one is to grab a warm street crepe and admire the Eiffel Tower twinkling at night.

In our opinion, t here’s no better image to end your trip to Paris with than that one.

Paris Second Trip: Girl with Crepe

In a city as large and dense as Paris, deciding where to stay can be quite daunting!

Paris is famously divided into 20  arrondissements , or neighborhoods, that are named via a number system that starts with 1 in the center of the city (where you’ll find the Louvre) and circles outward like the shell of a snail.

After roughly 10 trips to Paris, we’ve stayed in many neighborhoods spread across the city, from Montmartre ( we loved this aparthotel ) to the Bastille area (an underappreciated place to stay, and this hotel was wonderful ).

Second Trip to Paris: Books on Banks of the Seine

And, while everyone has their own opinions about where to stay in Paris (there’s no one right answer) we love and highly recommend Saint-Germain-des-Prés (6th arrondissement ) or the Latin Quarter (5th arrondissement ) to travelers visiting Paris for the first time and frequently choose to stay there ourselves.

In these areas, you’ll be within walking distance of attractions like Île de la Cité (home of Notre Dame and Sainte-Chapelle), the Seine, the Luxembourg Garden, the Louvre, and many more.

And, by choosing a hotel near a metro stop, you’ll also have the rest of Paris at your fingertips!

Here are a few hotels we’ve personally stayed in and loved in the 5th and 6th, arranged more or less from most budget-friendly to most luxurious (though if it’s Parisian charm you’re after, this one is the clear winner).

kate storm and ranger storm standing in front of odette paris cafe, a fun stop when traveling to paris for the first time

Hotel Abbatial Saint Germain (Centrally Located & Cozy)

We love this cute boutique hotel in Paris, mostly because of its truly unbeatable location less than a 10-minute walk from Notre Dame and therefore an easy walk away from much of the attractions of Île de la Cité (and a metro stop, of course).

Despite the super central location, the streets outside were still quiet at night, a huge benefit, and the views during the day were lovely.

The customer service was excellent, the bed cozy, and the room, while still very small by global standards, was a bit roomy compared to what we’ve gotten used to in Paris.

We’d be happy to stay again!

Check rates & book your stay at Hotel Abbatial Saint Germain!

Photo of a Parisian Street looking out a window at Hotel Abbatial Saint Germain with red flowers in the foreground--this is a great pick if you're looking for somewhere to spend your weekend in Paris!

Relais Hôtel du Vieux Paris  (Classic Parisian Charm)

Located on a quiet street less than a block from the Seine and Île de la Cité, Relais Hôtel du Vieux Paris  offers all the advantages of a central location while maintaining its peace and quiet.

… and it does all that while still managing to have one of the most charming interiors we’ve experienced in a Paris hotel!

The ceilings, wallpaper, and overall decor never let you forget that you’re in the City of Light, and we loved every second.

The breakfast is also delicious, served at the table, and includes a generous selection of pastries as well as fruit, cheese, orange juice, coffee, and tea.

Check rates & book your stay at Relais Hôtel du Vieux Paris!

interior of paris hotel room in st germain, one of the best places to stay during your first time in paris france

Citadines Saint-Germain-des-Prés Paris (Modern Amenities + Kitchens on the Seine)

Located right on the Seine in one of the most convenient locations in Paris, the crisp and modern Citadines Saint-Germain-des-Prés Paris offers ease at every turn.

And, that includes the fact that studios and apartments here include kitchens or kitchenettes!

If you’re looking for a peaceful retreat from sightseeing in Paris, a chance to enjoy an occasional dinner of cheese and baguette you picked up at the market, and a bit more elbow room than is traditional in the City of Light, this is the place for you.

We loved our stay here–and, thanks to the hotel being pet-friendly, so did Ranger.

Check rates & book your stay at Citadines Saint-Germain-des-Prés Paris!

Honeymoon in Paris: Flowers near Notre Dame

Paris is a city that can occupy a lifetime and still not be fully discovered–no matter how much time you have in Paris, you will never leave feeling that you’ve unturned every stone.

After about 10 trips to Paris and counting, we still find ourselves discovering new gems every time we visit!

A few things to consider adding to your Paris itinerary if you have longer than three days in the city include a visit to the Pere Lachaise Cemetery, or heading to the top of Montparnasse Tower (this tower is generally reviled for disrupting Paris’ beautiful skyline, but it does have quite the view at the top!).

You could also splurge on a Michelin Star meal, take a class on learning how to bake macarons or croissants (we did the macarons and adored it!), tour the Paris Opera House, duck into a smaller museum like the Musée de l’Orangerie (one of our favorites)… you get the picture.

3 Days in Paris Itinerary: Baking Macarons Le Foodist

Our gigantic Paris bucket list and/or our guide to the hidden gems of Paris are great blog posts to peruse if you’re looking for fun ideas to round out your itinerary for Paris!

There are plenty of hidden gems in Paris that lurk in plain sight, from the former home of Nicholas Flamel to lesser-known but interesting churches like the Church of Saint Sulpice to fascinating flea markets, all of which are worth seeking out if you have more than a few days in Paris.

If you’re looking to head out of town on one of your additional days in Paris, popular day trips other than Versailles include the town of Rouen, the castle of Fontainebleau, and Giverny to experience the water gardens that inspired Monet.

kate storm in the musee de l'orangerie with monet water lilies, one of the best small museums in paris visit

Paris is a large city, but it is surprisingly easy to get around.

As I mentioned above, the City of Light is made up of 20 arrondissements , or districts, starting with the 1st in the center (this is where you’ll find the Louvre), and spiraling outward from there.

When deciding where to stay in Paris, try not to put too much stock in being near any particular attraction.

Paris’ main sights are spread far and wide in its arrondissements (a few examples: the Eiffel Tower is in the 7th, the Louvre in the 1st, Montmartre in the 18th, and Notre Dame in the 4th), and wherever you end up staying, you’ll be traveling through the city during your stay.

Here’s how to get around during your itinerary for 3 days in Paris!

ranger storm sitting on a ledge in paris france with the eiffel tower in the background

Paris’ metro system is extremely dense and developed.

O ther than walking, we recommend using it as your main method of transportation while in Paris.

The easiest way to purchase tickets is as a carnet, or group of 10 tickets at a time, and replenish as you run out.

However, if you happen to purchase the Paris Pass , access to the bus, metro, and RER systems are all included, so you won’t need to purchase separate tickets.

Paris Itinerary 3 Days: Getting Around Paris

Taxis & Uber

Taxis and Uber are both prevalent in the city, though high prices and heavy traffic make them a less attractive option than the metro.

Lyft is not available in Paris.

Photo of a pink and white train in a station in Paris. You can see the Eiffel Tower in the top right of the photo. If you follow this 3 day Paris itinerary, you might take this train to Versailles.

Walking is our absolute favorite way to get around Paris, which is part of why this 3 days in Paris itinerary includes the option to walk so much.

Not only do you save money and work off the copious amounts of pain au chocolat you’re probably consuming, but you also get to discover Paris at its very best!

Meandering through a dorable side streets, sampling cute cafes, admiring gorgeous buildings, enjoying the enormous dog population, and more, are all part of the essential Parisian walking experience.

Do not rent a car in Paris.

Parking is an expensive nightmare, driving is difficult and traffic-laden, and the metro system is extensive and functional.

R enting a car in Paris is far more trouble than it is worth, and that’s without even including the cost of doing so as a factor. Just don’t do it.

driving in paris france as seen from passenger seat of a car

If you follow this 3 days in Paris itinerary, a full Paris Pass likely won’t be worth the money unless you are going to be using a lot of transportation.

If you want access to benefits like a Hop-On-Hop-Off bus tour , you may want to consider it.

The Paris Museum Pass , though a better fit for this 3 day Paris itinerary than the Paris Pass is, still isn’t likely to be worth the money as compared to buying tickets individually.

kate storm in a red dress on rue de l'abreuvoir, one of the best places to visit in montmartre paris

In 2022, with so many tickets easily available for online purchase in advance, a lot of the convenience of city passes and museum passes has been left behind, leaving only monetary benefit as a reason to buy one.

If you have your heart set on visiting several other small museums in Paris not covered on this itinerary that are included with the pass (check the list carefully, as what is included and excluded can be a bit surprising), you may be able to get a good deal.

Please note that if you do purchase a Paris Museum Pass , you’ll still need to sign up for a timed entry reservation for the Louvre.

exterior of the louvre with ferris wheel in the background

There is no bad time of year to spend 3 days in Paris.

In the spring, you’ll see beautiful flowers (and if you’re lucky , even cherry blossoms!), and get to see the city in full bloom.

In the summer, Paris is at its sunniest and warmest, and it’s the perfect time of year for long evenings spent outside of adorable cafes.

In the fall, the autumn foliage is stunning.

In the winter, you can experience Paris at its emptiest and with its lowest prices (but it’s all relative–this is still Paris).

2022 galeries lafayette christmas tree hanging under dome in paris france

It doesn’t typically snow in Paris, but December does offer the bonus of Christmas decorations and decor!

We’ve now been lucky enough to visit Paris during most months of the year, and haven’t had a bad trip yet.

Whenever you have a chance to visit, go: no matter what time of year it is, it is the perfect time to be in Paris.

Three Days in Paris Itinerary: Pantheon, Latin Quarter

Traveling in Paris is generally a very safe activity, but like in all large cities (and especially large cities crawling with tourists), scams and petty crime run rampant.

Beware anyone approaching you asking you to sign a petition, offering you a rose or “friendship bracelet”, or enticing you to buy a “gold” ring that they “found”.

In general, keep an eye on your belongings, watch out for pickpockets (especially in crowds), and avoid getting overly intoxicated  (especially alone or late at night).

In other words: use common sense.

Generally speaking, the riskiest places for encountering potential scams or pickpockets are in the areas most dominated by tourists–near the Eiffel Tower, for example, or in front of the Louvre.

Keep your wits about you, but there’s no reason to be overly worried: millions of people safely visit Paris each year, and we’ve never had any trouble.

kate storm and ranger storm standing on the banks of the seine with eiffel tower in the background

An anti-theft purse or backpack can help add a layer of protection from petty theft, though of course you’ll still need to be vigilant.

We’ve happily used this anti-theft backpack for years, and a couple of our friends swear by this one .

If you’re not used to traveling in large cities, you could also consider using a money belt during your Paris vacation.

This is up to you: we no longer use one, and thieves are certainly aware of them, but if you’re more comfortable having your valuables more secure than they are in your pockets while exploring, it’s an option.

3 day tour in paris

What to Wear in Paris , France

Our general rule of traveling is that we never expect to (or try to) pass as locals, but we aim to look like ex-pats or frequent travelers that at least know what we’re doing… and, okay, in Paris, we want to look somewhat good.

It is Paris, after all.

The big key to blending in and looking fashionable in Paris? Less is more.

Think lots of dark colors (I swear, 90% of Parisian women we saw on our most recent winter trip were wearing a black coat), fashionable jeans or pants, and cute dresses.

Flats or boots for women depending on the season and casual loafers or boots for men are just fine–much more important than the exact shoe is that they’re very comfortable and well broken in.

For men, think fitted slacks or jeans, and fitted shirts. Not particularly fancy or dressed up, but not sloppy, either.

Kate Storm in a blue and white dress looking away from the camera on a skybridge in Galeries Lafayette, one of the best places for photography in Paris

We generally consider the whole “Europeans don’t wear jeans!” rule to be either complete fiction or at least wildly outdated, but Parisians certainly don’t tend to wear ill-fitting, or worn-out ones, either.

Bottom line?

Don’t worry too much about what to wear in Paris–we find that people tend to overthink it.

Pack clothes you’re comfortable in, leaning toward classic, basic styles, and dark colors, and you’ll blend right in (as much as any tourist can).

And hey, if you get there and feel completely out of place in your wardrobe, Paris is a pretty fantastic place to shop!

Photo of a piece of the Eiffel Tower sticking out from behind a tree with a sun flare on the left of the screen--you'll definitely see plenty of the Eiffel Tower during yoru weekend in Paris!

Travel Insurance  — We don’t ever suggest traveling without travel insurance–anything can happen, and this is definitely a case of better safe than sorry.

Travel Adaptors for France — If you’re coming from outside of Europe, you’ll definitely need adaptors for your electronics.

Swiss Army Knife   — AKA, your handy baguette-and-cheese-slicer plus wine bottle opener all in one–it’s a Parisian essential!

Pacsafe    — We bring this with us everywhere these days. Simply place your important belongings inside before you leave for the day, string the safe around the sturdiest thing in the room (the base of the toilet or a pipe under the sink is a good option), and voila! You’re good to go.

cafe in paris france getting ready to open for the day

Travel Journal — I personally love the One Line a Day Journal that covers 5 years–you write one sentence a day, and every date is on the same page through the years (so, for example, you can easily see what you were doing on all the April 18th’s).

I adore the concept (I’m currently on my second volume), and a quick sentence each day is about all I can commit to in a journal!

Camera — This one comes from personal experience: on our first trip to Paris in late 2013, we took all of our photos on our cell phones, and we definitely regret it.

While phone photography has come a long way in the last decade, if you’re even the tiniest bit into photography as a hobby, definitely bring the camera.

We recently upgraded to our Sony a7R III and absolutely love it, but whatever camera you’re comfortable with works–just make sure you have something with you to preserve your memories! 

Photo from Abbey Bookshop in Paris. There are the tops of spines of books visible in the foreground and a tote bag that says "Abbey Bookshop" in the background.

They’re incredibly handy and we recommend adding one to your packing list. We’ve been carrying ours for years and it never stops coming in handy!

Reusable Water Bottle  — Even in fashionable cities like Paris, we always prefer to keep water with us—it saves both money and plastic as compared to buying water bottles along the way.

hall of mirrors in palais garnier, one of the most romantic places in paris france

Hand Sanitizer — We’ve never been sorry to have this floating around in our day bag.

Money Belt   — This is up to you: we no longer use one, but if you’re more comfortable having your passports with you at all times in Paris, you can consider bringing one.

We used to use this one   and had no complaints. These days, we prefer just to leave valuables in our Pacsafe during the day.

Take This Map With You! Click each highlight to pull up the name of the destination. To save this map to “Your Places” on Google Maps, click the star to the right of the title. You’ll then be able to find it under the Maps tab of your Google Maps account! To open the map in a new window, click the button on the top right of the map.

3 Days in Paris Itinerary

About Kate Storm

Image of the author, Kate Storm

In May 2016, I left my suburban life in the USA and became a full-time traveler. Since then, I have visited 50+ countries on 5 continents and lived in Portugal, developing a special love of traveling in Europe (especially Italy) along the way. Today, along with my husband Jeremy and dog Ranger, I’m working toward my eventual goal of splitting my life between Europe and the USA.

53 thoughts on “The Ultimate 3 Days in Paris Itinerary”

Your itinerary seems to cover all the major attractions of Paris in a tightly packed schedule. I’m bookmarking this for future reference for whenever I finally manage to make my way down to Paris. Nice photos, I particularly enjoyed the ones taken from the gargoyles’ perch.

Thanks, Denny! We love the gargoyle photos too.

I never say no to a trip to Paris, even though I’ve been many times. Still haven’t seen Saint Chappelle or the Luxembourg Gardens though! Those stained glass windows are stunning. Looks like I have to make it back for trip no. 5!

There’s no such thing as too many trips to Paris! ;-)

That’s a great itinerary for a short trip! I loved all the crepe vendors, I ate one too many banana Nutella crepes while there. Did you have a chance to go to Angelina? Best hot chocolate ever!

We did not–something to add to the list for our next trip! We’d love to make it back to Paris again in 2018– we shall see.

Angelina’s is divine. We will be back in Paris in Sept, and getting so excited. Looking for some new neighborhoods to explore off the main attractions path.

September is such a wonderful time to go!

You might like this post on getting off the beaten path in Paris–some of these spots are in quieter neighborhoods, and some are hidden in plain sight:

I have never been to Paris so this guide is just perfect for me! You curated the itinerary very thoughtfully. It has a mix of touristy as well as offbeat things to do! I love walking and public transport, so this guide feels like it is tailor made for me!

Thank you, Abhinav! :-)

I have been to Paris many many times before so i was curious if your list has something that I havent seen yet and indees there are two things! The galery Lafayette although I knew its existence. However, the catacombs is new to me! But if I am not wrong, they made a horror movie about or inspired about this? The title is “Upside…” something.

Ha, yes there is! It’s called “As Above, So Below”. It came out a year or so after we first visited the catacombs, so of course we had to go see it. It was only an okay movie, but the shots of Paris and the catacombs were more than enough to keep us entertained.

What a fantastic itinerary! I love how you’ve planned each day out. It would be an exhausting three days, but it would be worth it!

When we were in Paris, we never made it over to Versaillas. I hope to do that next time we’re there, plus visit in the spring for those beautiful cherry blossom in front of the Eiffel Tower pics! :)

I hear you on the Eiffel Tower pictures!! Both of our visits have been in winter so far (technically this one was at the beginning of spring, but Paris’ flowers hadn’t bloomed yet), and I want those iconic cherry blossom views!!

What a comprehensive itinerary for visiting one of my favorite cities. Love all your suggestions and it makes me yearn to return.

Thanks, Sue! I hear you on wanting to return–I think I said “I miss Paris” out loud at least a dozen times while writing this post. :-)

This is such a great itinerary for Paris. I made it to several of your suggestions during my visit but missed a few. Seeing you with that crepe made my mouth water. I loved the banana/nutella/strawberry crepes-amazing!!

Haven’t actually tried that combo yet–next time I’ll need to! The one I’m holding is a butter & sugar–so simple and yet so tasty.

I love Paris!! We visited last May and couldn’t wait to go back again! There are a few spots we missed like Musee d’Orsay and Luxembourg Garden. Definitely need to go back when we’re in the city next time. I don’t know about the catacombs though :P

Ha, you’re not the only one! Some people aren’t into the whole bones thing… we find it completely fascinating, though. :P

This post is SO thorough! One of the best I have read on Paris.

Thank you, Natalia! That was the goal. :-)

This is a perfect itinerary for me. I am keeping it for my future visit to Paris. Wow Paris is still a dream. I am sold on the Sainte-Chapelle. Its such a stunning architecture. Someday I will make to to this destination. I loved your guide for the clothing. Great post.

Sainte-Chapelle is amazing–easily one of the most memorable houses of worship we have been in.

We are planning to visit Paris in July. Such a gorgeous place and there is so much to see and do there. can’t wait to explore and take some pretty pictures for sure :)

I hope you have an amazing trip! You will definitely come home with pretty pictures. :-)

Excellent guide, I’ve been to Paris twice, the first time I had about 8 days and the 2nd time was only over a weekend so this itinerary would have been helpful! I was there in the middle of summer though and it was stinking hot. I love the French fashion and style but it was hard to dress in style with such heat! Excellent advice in this piece.

I’ve heard the heat can be killer! Hoping to make it in the summer one of these days to feel it for myself–worth it to see all the beautiful gardens in bloom, hopefully. :-)

One of the best destination! It’s also known for its French architecture and mouthwatering variety. Thanks for the reminder that it doesn’t matter how long you wait until traveling, just that everybody can start once.

Thanks, Chi! Glad to have you stopping by.

I’ll be in Paris in the next few weeks and this is definitely helpful in planning my trip!

I stumbled on your site while planning a trip to Italy (Florence and Rome), Monte Carlo, Paris and London in July 2019. I loved all of your itineraries for Florence, Rome and Paris. I’ve been to Paris (but that was 30 years ago), and visited all the spots you mention. That being said, I’m eager to see them all again. Thanks for your suggestions on what to see in 2 or 3 days in each of these cities. You definitely helped me plan out our days so they make the most sense. I cannot wait until we get there!

Thank you so much, Melissa! The detailed trip itineraries are honestly some of my favorite things to write, and nothing makes me happier than hearing that other people found them useful.

Your trip sounds fantastic–hope that you have an amazing time in July!

Hi Kate, I, like many others here, stumbled across your site while planning our 1st trip to Paris coming up May 2019. My husband and I will be in Paris for 3.5 days. So this itinerary seems perfect. Since I am a planner and wanting to make sure I can plan and purchase tickets to the museums and such ahead of time, I don’t want to feel so committed as well in case we change our minds or want to see something (like the Eiffel Tower) at night rather than mid day. I certainly do not want to spend hours in lines to purchase tickets and then another hour in line to view the museums. Any suggestions on pre-arrival planning and do some of the tour companies offer cancellations up to a day in advance? Thank you for this great information. I will be using it as a guideline for our trip. We will be headed to Barcelona after… have you been?

We use Get Your Guide for buying all our tickets and tours in Paris–you can buy skip-the-line passes to things like the Arc de Triomphe through them and then just show the ticket on your phone at any time that day (we just did that one personally last August). In Paris, we normally book our tickets for whatever we want to do that morning before heading out for the day and download them to our phones, so we stay pretty flexible while also having our tickets ready to go and avoiding lines during the day.

This is perfect for museum entrances, visiting the Palais Garnier and Versailles, etc. Where it becomes an issue is with the Eiffel Tower (which is a special case requiring a time slot) and guided tours–if you’re looking for a guided tour of the Louvre, for example, that will be time-sensitive and we really recommend booking at least a few days in advance (especially in May, which is a popular time to visit Paris).

What I’d recommend in your case is to book any timed experiences (food tours, Eiffel Tower climb, guided tours) ahead of time and then using those to structure the rest of your trip. Pretty much everything else can be bought day-of, though we definitely still recommend buying skip-the-line tickets online to avoid lines. Cancellation policies will be a company-by-company thing, but I know Get Your Guide usually allows cancellation up to 24 hours in advance.

We have not been to Barcelona yet, but would love to go soon! We thought about going this April, actually, but getting back to Italy again won out (as it so often does with us).

Hope you have an amazing trip!

I am taking my husband and 2 children to Paris in July 2020. We are also going on to Rome and Florence. I have been to Paris for work. My family has never been. We are thinking 3 days in Paris. Should we go for 4 and reduce our time in Italy, or can we see enough in Paris?

I would say it depends on how long you have to spend in Rome and Florence. Ideally, I’d say the minimum number of days to spend in each city is 3 days in Paris, 3 in Rome, and 2 in Florence–though you could easily triple the time in any of them and still leave with lots left to do!

They happen to be 3 of our favorite cities in the entire world–we visit all of them regularly–so in my opinion, you can’t go wrong with extra time in any of them.

Hello, thank you for the comprehensive and interesting itinerary!

However, the day that I’m arriving happens to be on a Tuesday, which I heard that Louvre would be closed. May I know how I can switch my itinerary around?

Sure thing! Of course there are a million ways to do so, but the easiest would be to swap the Louvre and Montmartre on your itinerary–so see Montmartre the afternoon of day one and the Louvre the afternoon of day three. :-)

Hope you have a great time!

Hi,loved your article. I am an armchair traveller and My son is on his first backpacking trip to Europe ,I read through lot of articles and found yours the best,sent him the links and he followed them almost to the the T, except doing Louvre in the evening as after 6 pm,as it’s open for students. Thanks a lot.

Thanks so much, Asiya! So glad your son had a great time–we love visiting the Louvre at night as well, it has such a nice atmosphere in the evenings.

WOW!! What a great itinerary, practically covered with many, if not all the places you should definitely know if you want to go to Paris, I would love to be able to take my girlfriend for a journey to know Paris, I will definitely take into consideration these places, I would like the idea of being able to visit the catacombs, however she is very scary, so I think she won’t be interested much hehe

Thanks, Mauel! Hope you and your girlfriend have the chance to visit Paris soon. :-)

This is such detailed guide to Paris and saving it up for next travel to Europe.

Thanks so much, Mayuri! Hope you enjoy your next Europe trip!

Hi Kate, Your itinerary for Paris is as good as it gets. I am planning a trip to Europe in June 2020 with Paris as the first stop. Stay will be for 3 days which is perfect as per the itinerary. However, the only glitch is that our arrival will most probably be at 14:20 LT in Paris. Which means that after checking in at the hotel, we may make it for the evening cruise only. Our arrival will be most probably on 1st June and will leave Paris on 04th June. Will it be enough or should I add one more day?

Thanks, Sanjeev! To do absolutely everything on this Paris itinerary you might need another day, but if it doesn’t fit into your trip, no worries at all! You can still have a great trip and just either hurry through the sights a bit or cut whichever 1-2 things appeal to you the least–whichever fits your travel preferences more.

You mention hiking 3 towers in one day, but did I miss it…I didn’t see anywhere that you reviewed the Eiffel Tower? I only saw Arc De Triomphe and Sacre Coeur? I wanted your input on Eiffel Tower? Heard it’s not worth the amount of time spent to go to top? How about second floor? Worth it?? Thank you.

Apologies, that must be left over from years ago when this itinerary also included climbing Notre Dame. I’ll get it updated.

We’ve never gone to the top of the Eiffel Tower due to the number of friends who have told us it’s not worth it. Personally, it has never appealed to us as much as other monuments–I like having the Eiffel Tower in my Paris skyline photos!

We keep saying we’ll go up one day just so we can offer a first-person review–maybe this will finally be the year we do. :-)

I would love it if there was a schedule with approximate times for each attraction!! Is there something like that <3 ? Thanks anyways :)

We don’t include any specific times since everyone moves at their own pace and starts at different times of the day (some families love to start sightseeing at 7, others at 9–and the itinerary can easily be adapted for both).

Have a wonderful time in Paris!

I really like this article as a fan of literature, I would really like to visit the Shakespeare and company. And the itinerary was so well plan and detailed. I will be bookmarking this for future references. Thank you for this post!

Thanks, John!

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Home » Itineraries » 3 Day Paris

3 Days in Paris Tour Itinerary

Private tours, free refunds & rescheduling, customizable itineraries, how to spend 3 days in paris with your private guide.

Our itinerary planning specialists have meticulously crafted this 3-day tour to enable you to experience the highlights of Paris in a whistlestop tour with your private guide.

Experience the City of Lights like never before, whether cruising the Seine, exploring opulent palaces, or savoring the flavors of Parisian gastronomy; this tour promises a captivating exploration of Paris’s timeless allure.

Tour highlights:

  • Eiffel Tower

Notre Dame Cathedral

Louvre museum, montmartre and sacré-cœur basilica.

  • Palace of Versailles
  • Musée d'Orsay

What is included:

  • Certified English-Speaking Expert Local Guides
  • Complimentary Bespoke Tour Itinerary
  • Select Central Luxury Accommodations
  • Luxury Air Conditioned Vehicles for Tours & Transfers
  • Unbeatable Refund Guarantee
  • Skip-The-Line Tickets & Entrance Fees
  • 24-7 In-Country Support

Day 1: Classic Parisian Icons

Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris

Begin your Parisian adventure in the true historic heart of the city, where the story of Paris unfolds on the enchanting Île de la Cité.

This island in the Seine River is home to the majestic Notre Dame Cathedral, an emblem of French Gothic architecture. As you approach, the cathedral’s intricate façade, with its flying buttresses and menacing gargoyles, evokes centuries of history and artistry.

A guided tour inside reveals breathtaking stained-glass windows and awe-inspiring vaulted ceilings, each telling tales of medieval spirituality and ingenuity.

Strolling through the island, you’ll wander along narrow, cobblestone streets that whisper secrets of the past. The area is dotted with quaint boutiques, cozy cafes, and serene squares, inviting you to immerse yourself in the daily rhythm of Parisian life. Your guide will lead you to hidden gems such as the Sainte-Chapelle, renowned for its stunning stained-glass panels, and the Conciergerie, a former prison with a pivotal role during the French Revolution.

3 day tour in paris

Your private guide will lead you on a journey through the corridors of the Louvre, the world’s largest and most visited art museum.

This former royal palace houses an unparalleled collection of artworks spanning thousands of years, from ancient civilizations to the 19th century. Your guided tour will navigate through the museum’s vast galleries, unveiling the stories behind iconic masterpieces such as Leonardo da Vinci’s enigmatic Mona Lisa, known for her mysterious smile, and the graceful Venus de Milo, an emblem of ancient Greek beauty.

Marvel at the intricate details of the Winged Victory of Samothrace, standing majestically atop a marble staircase, and delve into the rich tapestry of history represented in paintings, sculptures, and artifacts.

A Seine River Cruise to the Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower, Paris. View from river seine.

End your first evening in Paris with a magical journey along the Seine River, where the essence of Paris unfolds before your eyes from the unique vantage point of the water.

As you glide beneath the city’s historic bridges and past its iconic landmarks, the panoramic views offer a serene yet spectacular perspective of the City of Lights. The highlight of this cruise is the approach to the majestic Eiffel Tower, Paris’s enduring symbol of romance and architectural ingenuity.

Upon docking, you’ll be whisked away on a guided exploration of the tower, learning about its fascinating history, from its controversial beginnings to its celebrated status today.

The ascent to the summit is an exhilarating experience, with the cityscape of Paris sprawling beneath you. From this unparalleled height, the panoramic views are simply breathtaking, offering a moment of awe that encapsulates the beauty and grandeur of Paris in a single, unforgettable vista.

Day 2: Bohemian Rhapsody and Montmartre Mystique

Guide showing guests the Sacre Coeur, known as Sacred Heart of Montmartre church.

Day 2 transports you to the artistic soul of Paris, where the Bohemian spirit of Montmartre awaits. Delve into this hilltop haven of artists and writers, uncovering its hidden corners, vibrant street art, and the iconic Sacré-Cœur, all while basking in the mystique and creativity that define Montmartre.

Immerse yourself in the Bohemian spirit of Montmartre, a historic enclave perched atop Paris, known for its artistic legacy and vibrant street life. As you meander through its winding, cobblestone streets, you’ll be transported back to a time when illustrious artists like Picasso and Van Gogh roamed these very lanes, drawing inspiration from the area’s eclectic charm. Your guide will lead you through the bustling Place du Tertre, where modern-day artists set up their easels, capturing the essence of Parisian life.

The journey culminates at the breathtaking Sacré-Cœur Basilica, an architectural marvel offering serene respite and stunning panoramic views of the city below. Its gleaming white domes stand as a beacon of hope and beauty, inviting you to reflect on the rich tapestry of art, history, and spirituality that intertwines to create the unique ambiance of Montmartre. This experience not only reveals the artistic heart of Paris but also connects you to the soulful rhythms that still pulse through its streets.

Palais Garnier Opera House

Palais Opera Garnier tour

Step into the opulent world of the Palais Garnier, Paris’s crown jewel of opera and ballet. This architectural masterpiece, with its grand marble staircase, magnificent chandeliers, and intricate ceiling paintings by Marc Chagall, simply epitomizes elegance.

A behind-the-scenes tour reveals the lavish auditorium, resplendent with velvet, gold leaf, and the mesmerizing grand chandelier. Explore the opulent foyers and salons, each a testament to the extravagance of the French Second Empire.

Discover hidden nooks, the enchanting library-museum, and hear tales of phantom lore, making your visit to the Palais Garnier an unforgettable dive into Parisian cultural heritage.

Gastronomy and Glamour in Le Marais

Enjoy a flavorful journey through Le Marais, a district renowned for its historical charm and gastronomic wonders.

This guided tour intertwines the rich tapestry of history with the vibrant culinary scene that defines the area.

Stroll through picturesque streets lined with medieval architecture and trendy boutiques, stopping to savor an array of gourmet treats from artisanal bakers, cheese shops, and traditional Jewish delis.

Le Marais offers a unique blend of old-world elegance and contemporary chic, providing an immersive experience that tantalizes the taste buds while enriching your understanding of Parisian culture and history in this dynamic neighborhood.

Day 3: Royal Legacies and Artistic Treasures

Day 3 unfolds amidst the splendor of royal legacies and artistic treasures, transporting you from the opulent halls of Versailles to the impressionist masterpieces in Musée d’Orsay and concluding with the intellectual charm of the Latin Quarter.

Experience the pinnacle of French heritage and creativity on this unforgettable journey.

Guided Tour of Palace of Versailles

Versailles palace private tour

Step beyond Paris’s city limits to explore the grandeur of the Palace of Versailles, a symbol of royal absolutism and architectural magnificence.

This guided tour leads you through the palace’s opulent halls, including the Hall of Mirrors, where the Treaty of Versailles was signed, ending World War I. Each room tells a story of power, intrigue, and opulence, from Louis XIV’s lavish state apartments to Marie Antoinette’s private chambers.

Outside, the sprawling gardens designed by André Le Nôtre invite you to wander among perfectly manicured lawns, ornate fountains, and grand canals, embodying the height of French formal garden design.

Artistic Revelations at Musée d'Orsay

couple looking through glass clockface in Musée d'Orsay,

Dive into the revolutionary world of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art at the Musée d’Orsay, housed in a Beaux-Arts railway station transformed into one of Paris’s most beloved museums.

Your guided exploration uncovers the stories and techniques behind masterpieces by Monet, Degas, Renoir, Van Gogh, and many others. The museum’s airy, light-filled galleries provide the perfect backdrop for these vibrant works, highlighting the artist’s fascination with light, color, and everyday life.

The Musée d’Orsay is not just a museum but a testament to the avant-garde spirit that reshaped art in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, offering a profound insight into the evolution of modern art.

A Stroll through the Latin Quarter

Your Parisian journey concludes with a stroll through the Latin Quarter, the historical heart of intellectual Paris.

This guided walking tour meanders through narrow lanes lined with centuries-old universities, bookshops, and cafés that have been the haunt of scholars and writers for generations. The vibrant street life, eclectic shops, and the Panthéon resting place of France’s intellectual giants make this district a melting pot of culture and history.

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World In Paris

Home > Paris Itineraries > 3 Days in Paris – The Perfect Paris 3 Day Itinerary

3 Days in Paris – The Perfect Paris 3 Day Itinerary

What to do in paris for 3 days.

What to do in Paris in 3 days? Paris   is undoubtedly one of those cities that the rest of the world envies Europe for. It is romantic, elegant, and dotted with stunning architecture, a city where the past and present intermingle perfectly. With delicious cuisine and so many things to see and do , it is good to have a plan for your 3 days in Paris.

If you’re in the midst of  planning your trip to Paris , this guide is a great starting point. I’ve put together the perfect Paris 3-day itinerary to help you make the most of your time in the French capital. This Paris itinerary 3 days is perfect for first-time visitors as it covers the key tourist attractions in Paris.

Are You Planning a Trip to Paris Last Minute?

If you are booking a last-minute trip to Paris, I’ve got you covered! Below are our must-guides, top tours, hotels, and more:

» Plan:  Paris Travel Planner ; Paris Arrondissements Guide ; Check out the  best Paris Metro tickets for tourists

» Book your flight tickets with  Omio ; book your train tickets with  Omio

Book your transfer from the airport to the city with Welcome Pickups .

» Where to Stay:  Best Districts to Stay in Paris

  • Le Pavillon de la Reine  (historical 5-star hotel in Le Marais)
  • Hotel La Comtesse  (mid-range hotel with Eiffel Tower view from all the rooms!)
  • Hotel Ducs de Bourgogne (super central 4-star hotel near the Louvre)

» Top-Rated Paris Tours & Tickets:

  • Louvre Museum Skip-the-Line Ticket
  • Eiffel Tower Summit Access Ticket
  • Seine River Night Cruise
  • Catacombs Skip-the-line tour with VIP access to restricted areas

Want skip-the-line access at museums & attractions in Paris?  Get your hands on a  Paris Museum Pass !

» Don’t leave without travel insurance!   Safety Wing works well for long and short trips (starting with a minimum of 5 days). SafetyWing covers COVID-19 for new policies purchased, and unplanned quarantine is covered, too.

Paris 3-day Itinerary – Proposal for Paris in 3 Days

3 Days in Paris - Travel Itinerary

How to spend 3 days in Paris? Here’s an overview of the perfect Paris 3-day itinerary.

  • Day 1 in Paris – Ile de la Cité and Right Bank (Le Marais, and Montmartre)
  • Day 2 in Paris – Right Bank (Louvre to Grands Boulevards)
  • Day 3 in Paris – Left Bank

This 3 days Paris itinerary explores the most popular Arrondissements, leaving the lesser-known districts for longer itineraries. To understand the different areas of Paris, I recommend you read this Paris by Arrondissement guide , which covers the story and main highlights by Arrondissement. This will make your Paris itinerary planning much easier!

This 3 days in Paris itinerary includes three maps – one for each day in Paris – with the suggested points of interest.

Related Articles

3 day tour in paris

How to Get Around Paris

How to Get to/from the Airports of Paris

My personal recommendation is to pre-book with Welcome Pickups , a reliable and top-rated private transfer service. Your driver will wait for you outside of the arrivals hall with a sign bearing your name, plus a bottle of water and a map of the city. Welcome Pickups has introduced strict safety protocols to protect drivers and guests.

Once in Paris, the easiest way to get around is by metro. Check out this Metro of Paris guide with all the information and the best metro tickets for tourists.

3 Days in Paris Itinerary, Day 1 – Ile de la Cité and Right Bank (Le Marais, and Montmartre)

Notre Dame Cathedral | Ile de la Cité | Le Marais | Montmartre | Moulin Rouge

3 Days in Paris - Itinerary Day 1

Click here to view this 3 days in Paris map, day 1 on Google

Paris is bisected by the Seine River (La Seine, in French), which flows westwards to the English Channel, cutting the city into two.

In Paris, we often talk about Paris Rive Gauche  (Paris’ Left Bank) and  Paris Rive Droite  (Paris’ Right Bank): when facing downstream, the northern bank is to the right, the southern bank is to the left, and the isle in the middle of the Seine is Ile de la Cité.


Notre Dame Cathedral Paris

This 3-day itinerary Paris starts in Ile de la Cité , in the heart of Paris. During the Middle Ages, Ile de la Cité was home to the Royal Palace, which was surrounded by civil and religious institutions. It is in Ile-de-la-Cité where we find the most beautiful buildings of Medieval Paris .

Grab a coffee and head to one of the most iconic monuments in Paris: Notre Dame de Paris . On April 15, 2019, Notre Dame Cathedral was severely damaged by a terrible fire, and it is currently closed to the public for reconstruction works. However, I still find it a good idea to start this Paris itinerary from the Cathedral because Notre Dame is (and will always be) the heart and soul of Paris.

Admire Notre Dame‘s main facade; this Cathedral is a jewel of Gothic architecture and one of the main landmarks in Paris .  Notre Dame de Paris  is dedicated to Our Lady of Paris, and you can see Her represented on the rose window.

Because of the restoration works, this spot in the picture below is not visible right now, but just in front of the Cathedral’s main façade, there is a plaque indicating France’s km 0 . All the French roads are measured from this point.

France's Km 0


Sainte Chapelle Paris

On Ile-de-la-Cité, you may consider visiting one or two more historical sights. The most famous sights near Notre Dame are the Archaeological Crypt, the Sainte Chapelle, and the Conciergerie.

» The Sainte Chapelle (13th century) was King Saint Louis’ private Chapel, where the relics of the Cross of Thorns were kept. The Sainte Chapelle is famous for its incredible stained glass windows, 15 meters high, depicting 1,113 scenes from the Old and New Testaments.

» The Conciergerie was the medieval Royal Palace until the 14th century when it was transformed into a Palace of Justice and Prison. The Conciergerie is famous for its awesome Medieval Salle des Gens d’Armes (Hall of the Soldiers) and for hosting Queen Marie-Antoinette before the guillotine. 

» The Archaeological Crypt , located just in front of Notre Dame, is an underground museum focused on the earliest days of Paris. It has some interesting ruins of Roman Lutetia, including streets, parts of Lutetia’s walls, public Roman baths, and a part of the first river port of the Seine. 

Save time! This combo ticket Sainte Chapelle + Conciergerie  gives you skip-the-line access to these unique sites.

» The Sainte Chapelle is open every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the winter and from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. during the summer. To get the full effect of its windows, try to visit on a sunny day.

» The Conciergerie opens every day, from 9.30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

» The Crypte Archéologique opens daily from 10 a.m. until 6 pm. (closed on Mondays).


Village Saint Paul - Le Marais

Leave the Parvis de Notre Dame, and then cross Rue d’Arcole and the bridge (Pont d’Arcole) to reach Paris’ Right Bank. On the way to Le Marais, you will cross the Parvis de l’Hôtel de Ville , where the city’s town hall is located.

Le Marais is neither an Arrondissement of Paris nor a neighborhood; Le Marais is Le Marais! Le Marais – part in Paris 3 and part in Paris 4 – is well-known for its beautiful private mansions, art galleries, and cute cafés.

In Le Marais, you cannot miss Place des Vosges , the oldest public square in Paris, surrounded by beautiful architecture. Once you have ticked Place des Vosges off your Paris bucket list, you can follow this self-guided walking tour of Le Marais or get lost and explore the area without a particular direction: it is fun, plus I am sure you will find beautiful surprises on your way.


Montmartre Paris

Leave Le Marais 2-3 hours (depending on the season) before sunset and take the metro to the iconic neighborhood of Montmartre. I suggest arriving at Anvers metro station (line 12) and following this  Stories of Old Montmartre Walking Tour , which explores the top sights of Montmartre , such as the Sacré Coeur ,  the  Moulin de la Galette ,  Place du Tertre , and  the Wall of Love.

Take your time to read the stories behind the main sights of this self-guided walking tour , perhaps with a break somewhere to soak up the particular atmosphere of this bohemian neighborhood.

MAKE IT SPECIAL:  climb up to Sacré Coeur’s Dome for amazing panoramic views of Paris! The access to the Dome is from outside the basilica, on the left side.

» The Sacré Coeur is open daily from 6 a.m. to 10.30 p.m. The entrance is free.

» The Dome is open every day from 9.30 a.m. /10.30 a.m. to 8.30 p.m., depending on the season. To climb up the Dome, there are 300 stairs without a lift.


Rooftop bars in Paris

Montmartre is a good neighborhood to have dinner; click here for the best restaurants in Montmartre (#5).

During late spring or in the summer, when the weather is good, you can finish your first day in the city at Terrass Rooftop Bar (12 Rue Joseph de Maistre). One of my favorite rooftop bars in Paris , it is the perfect place to admire the Paris skyline cocktail in hand.

Moulin Rouge

You can also decide to finish the first day of this Paris in 3 days itinerary in the iconic  Moulin Rouge  (#6) for a night of music, can-can , and bubbles. The Moulin Rouge is one of the best cabarets in Paris , and it is always full, so you may want to buy your tickets well in advance! – Click here to buy your tickets for the Moulin Rouge

3-Day Paris Itinerary, Day 2 – Right Bank (Louvre to Grands Boulevards)

Louvre Museum | Tuileries Garden | Place Vendôme | Opéra Garnier | Canal Saint-Martin

The second day of this Paris 3-day itinerary goes on exploring the Right Bank of the River Seine. The first part of the day is dedicated to some historical sights, from Paris 1 to Paris 9, while the last hours of the day are more relaxing and off the beaten path.

3 Days in Paris - Itinerary Day 2

Click here to view this 3 days in Paris map, day 2 on Google


Best Way to Visit the Louvre in 2 hours

During your 3-day trip to Paris, you might have time for only one of the two most important museums in the city. Pick either the Louvre or the Musée d’Orsay, depending on what you want to see. I recommend the Louvre Museum.

First-timers in Paris find it difficult to resist the temptation of visiting the Louvre Museum , even if they are visiting Paris in three days!

Originally built as a royal palace, the Louvre Palace is today one of the most visited museums in the world. Admire the Louvre Pyramid , the museum’s main entrance, and the Louvre’s main artworks, such as the Mona Lisa , the Venus of Milo, or the vast collection of Egyptian Art.  

» The Louvre Museum opens from Wednesday to Monday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. On Fridays, the Louvre opens until 10 p.m. Click here to buy your Louvre tickets

» Have a look at this Louvre Museum guide , with my best tips

» The Louvre Museum sees long lines all year round. Check out how to skip the longest lines in the Louvre

» Learn how to get the most out of the Louvre in 2 hours or less.


Tuileries Garden in Paris

This Paris itinerary 3 days also has some moments of relaxation. After your visit to the Louvre Museum, take some fresh air in the Tuileries Garden . You can either walk around this French-style garden or have a rest by one of the ponds.

The Tuileries Palace and Garden , commissioned by Queen Cathérine de Médicis, were built on the site of ancient tileries in the 16th century. The current layout still keeps the spirit of André Le Notre’ s design, the same landscape designer of the Versailles Gardens and the gardens of Château de Chantilly .

MAKE IT SPECIAL: looking for a special place to take a rest? Climb the stairs up to the Jeu de Paume and look for the green chairs just in front of this building. Enjoy an awesome view over the Eiffel Tower without the crowds!


Place Vendôme Paris

Exit the Tuileries Garden through Rue de Rivoli in the north and take Rue Castiglione. At the end of this street, there is the magnificent Place Vendôme, one of the Royal Squares in Paris and also one of the most luxurious squares in the world.

Place Vendôme is dominated by the Vendôme Column . Napoleon I commissioned this column to commemorate the Battle of Austerlitz. And yep, the sculpture on the top is Napoleon I himself dressed like a Roman Emperor! Admire the architecture of the Hotel Ritz and the other beautiful buildings around, and be amazed by the shop windows and prices!


3 day tour in paris

The Palais Garnier Opera House , also known as Opéra Garnier or Opéra de Paris, was commissioned by Emperor Napoleon III as part of his reconstruction of Paris (the Haussmann Works). The project is considered a masterpiece of Neo-Baroque Architecture, with awesome, richly decorated interiors. I strongly recommend visiting the Opéra Garnier , one of the most beautiful buildings in Paris. You can read my feedback about this tour here .

If you prefer to stay outdoors, take a stroll along Boulevard Haussmann for beautiful architecture and fancy shopping. Don’t forget to visit the historic Galeries Lafayette , with its spectacular Art Déco main hall, covered by a beautiful cupola.


Paris 10 - Canal Saint-Martin

For the last hours of this second day in Paris, head to the picturesque Canal Saint-Martin . Try to arrive at Canal Saint-Martin at least one hour before sunset to enjoy this area also with daylight.

Canal Saint-Martin became famous thanks to the French film Amélie Poulain . Compared to other popular neighborhoods like Montmartre, Canal Saint-Martin has a much more local feel. You can stroll along the canal or just sit on one of the canal banks, dangling your feet over the water while watching the boats sail by.

Canal Saint-Martin gets especially lively at the “apéritif time.” Do like the locals and choose one of the trendy bars by the Canal for a drink or two. Some bars also propose “planches” with different kinds of cheese and cold cuts, which can do the job for a casual dinner. Alternatively, the Canal banks are a very popular area for a night picnic with friends, especially during the weekend.

3-Day Itinerary Paris, Day 3 – Left Bank

Latin Quarter | Panthéon | Luxembourg Gardens | Saint-Germain-des-Prés | Eiffel Tower

The last day of this 3 days in Paris itinerary is dedicated to exploring the Seine’s Left Bank. Historically, la Rive Gauche was the Bohemian side of Paris and the focus of the intellectual and religious life in the city, with all the universities and big monasteries.

3 Days in Paris - Itinerary Day 3

Click here to view this 3 days in Paris map, day 3 on Google


Paris 5 - Place Contrescarpe

Start with a coffee at the Latin Quarter (Paris 5), the heart of university life in Paris. This is also the origin of Lutetia , the former Roman City (IC AD). It is believed that the former Roman Cardo Maximus was the present  Rue Saint Jacques, which would be the oldest street in Paris.

During your 3 days in Paris, you will have time to visit the Roman amphitheater for different kinds of shows, the Arènes de Lutèce , or the ruins of the Roman baths, inside the Cluny Museum but visible for free from Boulevard Saint-Michel.


Panthéon Square - Paris

The Panthéon is one of the most famous buildings in Paris . Originally built as a church, the Panthéon is today a mausoleum with the tombs of the most illustrious citizens in France ( Aux Grands Hommes ).

The Panthéon is also world-renowned for being the place where Léon Foucault demonstrated the rotation of the Earth in 1851 by hanging a 67-meter-long pendulum from the central dome. Today, a copy of this famous pendulum is still displayed at the Panthéon, so you can check the Earth’s rotation.

MAKE IT SPECIAL: don’t miss the incredible views from the Panthéon’s Dome! The Dome is often referred to as the “Balcony of Paris” because of this fabulous 360-degree view of Paris.

The Panthéon is connected to the Luxembourg Gardens by Rue Soufflot . Can you imagine a street with better views?

Before heading to the Luxembourg Gardens, you may want to wander around the Quartier Latin ( check out this article for inspiration ), with the first universities of Paris, like La Sorbonne and the Collège de France , and beautiful bookshops, cafés, and independent cinemas. 

Then, you can have a picnic lunch in the Luxembourg Gardens, but if you are hungry already, check out this list of best restaurants in Paris 5 .

» The Panthéon of Paris is open every day from 10 a.m. to 6.30 p.m.

» The access to the Panthéon’s dome is open from April to October. The ticket to the dome is the Panthéon ticket + 3.5€.


Luxembourg Gardens Paris

Explore the beautiful Luxembourg Gardens built for Queen Marie de Médicis to surround her Palace (today used by the French Sénat). This is one of the most popular gardens in Paris , with beautiful sights like the octagonal pond, the romantic Médicis Fountain, and the octagonal music kiosk. If the weather is good, the Luxembourg Gardens make an excellent place for a picnic on the grass. 

MAKE IT SPECIAL: explore the hidden secrets of Luxembourg Gardens and have fun with this self-guided Treasure Hunt!


Les Deux Magots Paris

The next stop of this Paris 3 days itinerary is the Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighborhood . You can go from Luxembourg Gardens to Saint Germain-des-Prés by taking Avenue Bonaparte, which limits the park on the west. It is a 13-minute walk starting from the octagonal pond.

Saint-Germain-des-Prés was in the 12th century, a small village developed around the Abbey of Saint-Germain , still outside the Philippe-Auguste walls. After the Second World War, Saint-Germain became a center of intellectual and cultural life in Paris, with many small printers, bookshops, and the presence of writers and artists.

Saint-Germain’s cafés were a common meeting place for intellectuals. Today, the neighborhood of Saint-Germain is deeply transformed by the tourism industry, but it is still a beautiful place to get lost or to stop at a lovely café for people-watching.


Eiffel Tower Paris

I have kept the visit to the Eiffel Tower for the last evening in Paris! Designed by the engineer Gustave Eiffel, the Iron Lady is especially beautiful at night when the golden floodlights come on. When the Tour Eiffel is lit up, it will sparkle for the first five minutes of every hour, so check your watch not to miss the next one!

Is it worth going up the Eiffel Tower? I say YES! If you decide to climb the most iconic sight of Paris, book your Eiffel Tower tickets well in advance.

MAKE IT SPECIAL: a gourmet dinner with amazing views of the Eiffel Tower at Restaurant Les Ombres (27 Quai Jacques Chirac) can be the perfect start for an unforgettable night!


Seine Cruise in Paris

End your day with a Seine night boat tour with a last glass of champagne and admire the historical monuments dotted along the route: the Eiffel Tower, the Musée d’Orsay, Notre Dame, … I can’t imagine a better way to finish your 3-day trip to Paris!

Other Things to Do in Paris in 3 Days

With this itinerary, you can get a good idea of what the city has to offer. However, even the best Paris 3-day itinerary cannot include all the musts the city has to offer. Here’s a list of alternative things to do in Paris for 3 days:

» This 3 days Paris itinerary does not include other beautiful museums like the Orsay Museum . Perhaps you want to exchange the Louvre Museum for the Orsay Museum?

You can also decide to use one day to travel beyond Paris; there are many wonderful day trips near Paris easy to organize. In this case, you can use this 2 days in Paris itinerary and have a look at the most popular day trips from Paris for the third day.

» For some people, visiting Versailles is a must. But there are also many picturesque small towns near Paris that you can visit in Paris in 3 days.

» If it is raining during your 3 days in Paris, you can replace the Tuileries Gardens or the Luxembourg Gardens with the covered passages of Paris . You can also check out some favorite things to do in Paris during rainy days .

Where to Stay in Paris

When it comes to  where to stay in Paris , there is no one right answer; it very much depends on the sort of trip you are planning. Check out my suggestions on the best districts to stay in Paris , or browse the map below.

I recommend  for booking your hotel in Paris. They have a wide variety of accommodation of all kinds and good rates. In addition, they propose the option to cancel for free, most of the time up to 24 hours.


If you have the budget, why not treat yourself to the pleasure of waking up at an amazing hotel with an Eiffel Tower view ? Some of the best hotels in Paris also have awesome views of the Eiffel Tower, which is especially beautiful during its night show! – Check out the best hotels with Eiffel Tower Views


Le Marais is a central neighborhood in the Seine’s Right Bank, perfect to set your base in Paris, especially if you are visiting Paris for the first time. It is beautiful, well connected by the metro, and with many beautiful cafes and restaurant options – Click here for the best hotels in Le Marais

  • Hotel de Josephine de Bonaparte (charming 4-star hotel inspired by Napoléon’s wife)
  • Hotel France Louvre (mid-range hotel in a typical Haussmanian style)


The neighborhood of Saint-Germain-des-Prés , on the Left Bank, is a great place to put your luggage down in Paris, especially if you are visiting Paris for the first time. It is picturesque and central, with many entertainment, beautiful cafes, and restaurant options – Click here for the best hotels in Saint-Germain

  • Relais Christine (4-star hotel in a 16th-century private mansion)
  • Hotel Chaplain Paris Rive Gauche (mid-range hotel a few meters from Luxembourg Gardens)

And there you have it, what to do in Paris for 3 days with my best tips. After reading this post, you are ready for a fabulous 3-day trip in Paris!

Do you have more time in Paris? Less time? Have a look at my other Paris Itineraries:

  • 1 day in Paris Itinerary
  • 2 days in Paris Itinerary
  • 4 days in Paris Itinerary
  • 5 days in Paris Itinerary
  • 6 days in Paris Itinerary
  • 7 days in Paris Itinerary

Click here to read more Paris Itineraries

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Quirky parisian explorer with a preference for lesser-known sights, i am continuously looking for new ideas and tips to bring you the best of the city of light read more about me ., i am elisa, the travel blogger behind world in paris. quirky explorer with a preference for the local side of my city and its lesser-known sights, i am continuously looking for new ideas to enjoy the best of paris & around . do you want to go beyond the louvre museum or the eiffel tower keep clicking for first-hand information & my best tips learn more.

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Ultimate 3 Days in Paris Itinerary (With Hidden Gems)!

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Spending 3 days in Paris is an absolute dream. Streets full of sidewalk cafes, the famed Eiffel Tower, and world-renowned art museums make Paris one of the most amazing cities in the world. 

Seriously, you could just spend your 3-day break in Paris by wandering the streets and popping into various charming places, and you’d have a great time. But, if you’re coming all the way to Paris, it definitely helps to have a plan. It is a rather large city after all. 

After having lived in France and visited Paris numerous times, it was definitely hard to narrow down my absolute favorite spots for your 3 days in Paris itinerary, but I’ve come up with the perfect plan for your trip. 

Without further ado, let’s get into the best 3 day trip to Paris! 

3 Days in Paris Itinerary

Best 3 Days in Paris Itinerary

For the best way to see Paris in 3 days, here is a quick guide:

Day 1: Main Sights and Impressionists

  • Croissants at Maison d’Isabelle
  • Eiffel Tower
  • Lunch at Relais de l’Entrecote 
  • Musee de l’Orangerie
  • Dinner at Dame Nation

Day 2: Food and a Hidden Gem

  • Coffee at Le Pelaton Cafe
  • Walk along Seine
  • Le Marais Food Tour
  • Marche aux Puces de Saint-Ouen
  • Bar Perruche
  • Dinner at La Jacobine
  • Drinks at Castor Club

Day 3: Sculptures and Montmartre

  • Breakfast at Les Deux Magots
  • Musee Rodin
  • Lunch at L’As du Fallafel 
  • Explore Montmartre
  • Dinner at La Boite aux Lettres

Now that you have a quick guide to the best of Paris in 3 days, here are more details below! 

Le Marais in Paris - Paris Bucket List

Three Perfect Days in Paris Itinerary

From gorgeous museums to amazingly delicious restaurants, this is how to spend a 3 day trip to Paris. 


Kick off the very first day of your Paris itinerary with some famous places but also some hidden gems . And, if you’re familiar with my itineraries on my other blog, World Wide Honeymoon , you know I even put food recommendations in here too! 

Start your morning off pretty early with a stop at Maison d’Isabelle for one of the best croissants of your life. Seriously, this award-winning boulangerie has some tasty bread and croissants. 

So be sure to pick up a few things and hop on the metro for 30 minutes to Paris’ most famous landmark: the Eiffel Tower . 

Eiffel Tower on a sunny day

Of course, you definitely want to hang out in the Jardin de la Tour Eiffel . This is a great place to set up your breakfast picnic of all the goodies you just purchased at Maison d’Isabelle. 

Thankfully, as you’re starting the day earlier, you’ll not have to worry about the crowds. But if you want to get other neat glimpses of the Eiffel Tower for the ‘gram or just for fun, here are a few spots to check out nearby:

  • Rue de l’Universite
  • Place de la Varsovie
  • Champ de Mars
  • Quai Branly
  • Pont d’Iena

There are so many other great places to capture photos of the Eiffel Tower, but it is fun to wander around and enjoy the Eiffel Tower from her many flattering angles. 

And if you would like to go up the Eiffel Tower, be sure to book tickets ahead of time ! 

Kat spinning on Rue de l'universite in Paris with Eiffel Tower in the background

After exploring the Eiffel Tower, it is time to wander along the Seine on a 45-minute walk to France’s most iconic art museum: the Louvre . On the way, you’ll even have the chance to walk through the lovely Jardin des Tuileries and Place de la Concorde . 

Kat sitting by the fountain at the Louvre in a wide angle shot

This former palace turned museum now houses art ranging from antiquities and ancient Egypt to the Renaissance. It can take hours and hours to go through it if you really want to. However, I have found that about 3 hours is more than enough time to get the gist of the museum. 

After that amount of time, it can be a bit repetitive with the Renaissance art especially. Yes, they are absolutely magnificent, but they can easily become overwhelming after several hours. So spend a few hours in the Louvre, spotting the Mona Lisa, and definitely exploring the art from around the globe before lunch! 

The Louvre is certainly a bucket list Paris activity for first timer’s !

PS- Be sure to snag skip-the-line tickets to the Louvre ahead of time. Lines can be crazy long, and there is no time to waste during your three perfect days in Paris! 

Lunch & a Smaller Art Museum 

After all of that walking and exploring some famous Parisian sights, it is time for lunch. I have just the place, and it’s only about a 10-minute walk from the Louvre. Le Relais de l’Entrecote in Saint-Germain-des-Pres is a lovely spot for lunch. This place is well-known for its steak frites. 

Steak Frites - 3 Days in Paris

This is the place where you sit down and the server will ask you if you like your steak rare or medium-rare. Once you answer your preference, you’ll be served a salad with walnuts, followed by a tasty steak and a mound of crispy fries. 

Oh, and it is slathered in a delicious sauce. Now while that sounds filling, once you finish your steak or fries they’ll just load it back up. 

It is so much fun to spend part of your afternoon lazily watching the world go by as you eat a copious amount of fries and steak. Heaven. 

After that, it is time to head back across the Seine and wander over to Musee de l’Orangerie . 

Now most people who visit Paris in 3 days will certainly visit the Louvre and perhaps the Musee d’Orsay. That is, after all, where some of the famous impressionist pieces are held. But after visiting such a large art museum, I love how intimate Musee de l’Orangerie is. 

Also, as a bonus, it happens to be where you’ll find the gigantic Monet Water Lily paintings! 

L'Orangerie Monet Exhibit

This smaller museum is across the Tuileries from the Louvre and a 20-minute walk from the restaurant. This museum has plenty of incredible impressionist paintings as well as a special exhibition. 

Hands-down this is my favorite art museum to visit in Paris, so it is well worth a stop during your Paris plan! 

After all of that walking around and seeing some of the top things to do in Paris, it is time to head to dinner. DAME NATION is the place to go! This is about 30 minutes by metro from the museum. If you finish up at the museum earlier in the evening, you can wander around the nearby area. 

Check out Rue Cremieux , the colorful street in the 12th arrondissement, before walking to the tucked away DAME NATION. 

Rue Cremieux

This quiet bistro is super charming, and the food is amazing! They have a couple of Norman-style dishes like Norman veal or sirloin, and they offer other unique things on their menu that makes it a great restaurant to visit during your 3-day itinerary for Paris! 

Pork and potatoes at DAME NATION

Just be sure to make reservations ahead of time! You can do that online ! 

After all of the delicious food, exciting sights, and all that walking, it may be a good idea to head to bed after this and prepare for day 2 in Paris! 

Church in the Latin Quarter of Paris with the Pantheon in the background

Information For Day 1 in Paris:

  • Maison d’Isabelle: Open Tuesday-Saturday 6 am-8 pm and on Sunday from 6 am-6 pm. 
  • Eiffel Tower: Open daily from 9 am-midnight from mid-June to early September. Open daily 9:30 am-11 pm the rest of the year. Book your ticket here!  
  • Louvre: Open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday from 9 am-6 pm. Open on Friday from 9 am-9:45 pm. Book tickets here!
  • Relais de l’Entrecote: Open Monday-Friday from 12-2:30 pm and 6:45-11 pm. Weekends and holidays open from 12-3 pm and 6:45-11 pm. 
  • Musee de l’Orangerie: Open Wednesday-Monday from 9 am-6 pm.  Book tickets here!
  • DAME NATION: Open Monday-Saturday from 11:30 am-4 pm and 6-11 pm.

Day 2 of Your 3 Day Trip in Paris: Food and a Hidden Gem

After a nice night of sleep, it is time to welcome the day with some coffee. You don’t have to get up early today, but when you do, stroll on over to Le Peloton Cafe for a flat white and a pastry before strolling along the Seine or around the Ile Saint-Louis for a bit. 

Then, start moseying up to where your food tour starts in the Le Marais neighborhood! 

This food tour of the Le Marais is such a fun tour in one of the best foodie neighborhoods in Paris! The tour makes stops at a local bistro, a spot for cheese and wine tasting, a chocolate shop, and more! Book the tour that starts at 10:30 am. It lasts for 3-4 hours. 

Trust me, you’ll definitely be full afterward with all the delicious French treats!  Book it here!

Cheese at the Marche Les Enfants Rouges

After your tour, you’re heading to a hidden gem. If you’re a fan of the movie Midnight in Paris, you may recognize this place: Marche aux Puces de Saint-Ouen . It’s about a 30-minute metro ride to get here, but this is known as the Paris Flea Market! 

Kat exploring the Paris Flea Market

Now it isn’t just a few dusty old records and rickety chairs. We’re talking about taking a step back through time with several shops and stands selling silverware and dishes, furniture, paintings and sculptures, and even old postcards. 

It feels like its own museum, only if you have the money, you can certainly purchase the goods! Spend the remainder of your afternoon exploring this hidden gem spot in Paris and perhaps purchase a few mementos from times gone by! 

Paris Flea Market

Drinks & Dinner & Drinks Again…

Once you’ve finished exploring the flea market, it is time to enjoy a fantastic view of Paris, from the top of a shopping mall! 

About 30 minutes back down into downtown Paris, Bar Perruche is a fantastic rooftop bar at the Printemps mall. Head here for a fun late afternoon drink as you enjoy the sights of the city, including the Eiffel Tower! 

Views of the Eiffel Tower from the roof of Bar Perruche

After a fun cocktail at Bar Perruche, it is time to take a nice long walk past the Palais Garnier, across the Seine, and over to the Odeon area for dinner at one of my favorite restaurants in Paris: La Jacobine . 

La Jacobine

This adorable tiny restaurant is tucked in a small passageway and is instantly charming. Their onion soup is literally the best soup I’ve ever tasted, and the coq au vin and duck confit will wow you. For typical French cuisine in a cozy atmosphere, this is definitely the place to go! 

Just be sure to make reservations! It is small and books up fast! 

Alright, after dinner, why not check out a fun cocktail club nearby? This is a great time to head to Castor Club . With great vibes, good music, and even better cocktails, this place is a fun way to end a night on the town! 

Drinks at Castor Club in Paris - Paris in 3 Days

Information For Day 2 in Paris:

  • Le Peloton Cafe: Open Monday-Friday from 8 am-5:30 pm and on the weekends from 8 am-6 pm. 
  • Marche aux Puces de Saint-Ouen: Open Friday from 8 am-12 pm, Saturday-Sunday from 10 am-6 pm, and Monday from 11 am-5 pm. 
  • Bar Perruche: Open daily from 12-3 pm and 7 pm-2 am. On weekends, lunch is from 12:30 pm-4 pm. Reservations are recommended but for drinks it’s a bit more casual. Closed between October-April.
  • La Jacobine: Open Tuesday-Sunday from 12-11 pm and on Monday from 6:30-11 pm. 
  • Castor Club: Open Tuesday-Wednesday from 7 pm-2 am and Thursday-Saturday from 7 pm-4 am. 

I couldn’t let you leave Paris without checking out one of its most famous neighborhoods! So today, you’ll be exploring an iconic cafe, a dreamy museum, and the beautiful neighborhood of Montmartre. 

Start your morning with breakfast at Les Deux Magots . This is one of my favorite cafes in Paris, not only because the people watching is amazing, and it is in the charming Saint-Germain-des-Pres neighborhood, but it is a famous cafe that was a former haunt of the Lost Generation. 

Entrance to Les Deux Magots

Known for the likes of Hemingway, Picasso, and more, this cafe has seen a lot in its time. So it is a neat place to grab breakfast. But another thing I love about Les Deux Magots is its ancient hot chocolate. 

This is one of my favorite places for hot chocolate, and Paris is well-known for its hot chocolate! This creamy, melted candy bar-esque hot chocolate is the stuff of dreams and something you’ll want to try during your visit to Paris in 3 days. 

Overhead shot of coffee, bread, and hot chocolate at Les Deux Magots

After a scrumptious breakfast, you can then walk on over to the Eglise de Saint-Germain-des-Pres . It is just across the street from Les Deux Magots and is one of my favorite churches in Paris. It’s small and quiet, and far less crowded than other churches. 

3 day tour in paris

This is a fun quick stop on your way to Laduree nearby for its famous macarons. Grab a few to go and then walk 20 minutes to the Musee Rodin . 

This hidden gem of a museum is full of sculptures from the famed artist, including The Thinker . But it also feels like a little oasis in the middle of the city, with gorgeous gardens tucked behind the walls of the museum. 

Rodin Museum in Paris exterior

On a warm summer day, it is lovely to spend the morning frolicking amongst the statues and flowers, watching the ducks swimming in the water. So take some time to enjoy the interior and exterior of the museum! 

After that, you can either walk or take the metro over to one of the best lunch spots in the Le Marais: L’As du Fallafel . This place is seriously incredible. With heaping falafel sandwiches, fluffy pita, and creamy hummus, you’ll definitely want to split a few things and try as much as possible! 

L'As Du Fallafel sandwich

Now I will warn you that around lunchtime this place is packed. Like line wrapping around the block. Don’t worry too much, as this place quickly serves. The last time I visited Paris I noticed that the line to eat inside the restaurant was faster than the takeout line, so if all else fails try that! 

Regardless, you won’t regret the wait, it is worth it! 

Explore Montmartre 

Post-falafel, the afternoon is all about visiting Montmartre . This is definitely one of the Paris places to visit in 3 days! 

If you’re in no rush, feel free to walk the hour to get there, but just be warned: it is hilly to get to the top of the Sacre Coeur church! But if you’re up for the challenge go for it! 

Sacre Coeur in Paris

You could also take the metro and funicular to get to the top as well. Start exploring Sacre Coeur and admiring the view from the top of the hill. 

While you could go inside Sacre Coeur if you please, there is also a hidden gem church just on the other side of the church called Paroisse Saint-Pierre de Montmartre , which dates back to the 12th century! 

After that, I recommend visiting the Love Wall (or Le Mur des Je t’aime). This wall has “I Love You,” written in 250 languages. It is a romantic place to visit during your 3 days in Paris, and a place where many couples will pose for a photo or even get engaged! 

Kat and Chris kissing in front of the Love Wall in Paris

Other places you’ll want to wander around to see in Montmartre include the Montmartre Museum with information about the history of the neighborhood and is next to Montmartre Vineyard, explore the Montmartre Cemetary with famous gravestones, spot the Moulin Rouge , and stroll down Paris’s most beautiful street: Rue de l’Abreuvoir . 

Most beautiful street in Paris

You can easily spend the rest of your day exploring the charming Montmartre neighborhood. And to wrap up your 3 days in Paris itinerary, have dinner at La Boite aux Lettres .

While located a bit of a hike up the hill, it is well worth it for some of the best food in Paris. Enjoy delicious French cuisine that is completely bursting with flavor here!

Alright, now I know this has been a packed itinerary including great places to eat, drink, explore, and muse about, but if you’re feeling up to it on your last night, you may want to head back to the Eiffel Tower just to see it lit up at night .

Eiffel Tower lit up at night

It’s a stunner any time of day, but at night during its light show, it really is magical. The sparkling happens for 5 minutes on the hour every hour from dusk until 11 pm. The lights turn off completely at 11:45 pm.

Phew! After all of that, it is time to head back to your hotel and say goodbye to your amazing visit to Paris in 3 days! 

Information For Day 3 in Paris:

  • Les Deux Magots: Open daily from 7:30 am-1 am. 
  • Eglise de Saint-Germain-des-Pres: Open Monday and Sunday from 9:30 am-8 pm and Tuesday-Friday from 7:30 am-8 pm. Saturday from 8:30 am-8 pm.
  • Laduree (Saint-Germain): Open daily from 8:30 am-7 pm. 
  • Musee Rodin: Open Tuesday-Sunday from 10 am-6:30 pm.  Book tickets here!
  • L’As du Fallafel: Open Sunday-Thursday from 11 am-11 pm, Friday from 11 am-3 pm.
  • Sacre Coeur: Open daily from 6:30 am-10:30 pm. 
  • Paroisse Saint-Pierre de Montmartre: Open Tuesday-Friday from 10 am-12 pm and 3-6 pm, and Saturday from 10 am-12 pm and 3-7 pm. Sunday from 3-6 pm.
  • Montmartre Museum: Open daily from 10 am-7 pm. 
  • La Boite aux Lettres: Open Monday-Saturday from 12-2:30 pm and 7-10:30 pm.

If You Have More Than a Three Days in Paris Itinerary

parc des buttes chaumont

If you happen to have more time in Paris, you’re in luck! There is still plenty to see and do in the city! I have a 4-day Paris itinerary , a 5-day itinerary , and a 7-day itinerary to help you out!

Here are some other ideas:

  • Visit many parks like Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, Jardin du Luxembourg, or even the Bois de Vincennes
  • Visit other museums like Musee d’Orsay, Musee National Picasso-Paris, Musee de la Vie Romantique, Musee Gustave Moreau, and Musee des Arts Forains to name a few
  • Explore the lovely Canal Saint-Martin area
  • Take the time for a cruise along the Seine
  • Explore the Champs-Elysees and Arc de Triomphe 

The ideas are never-ending! There are also ample day trips from Paris you could take too. Here are a few ideas:

  • Versailles bike tour 
  • Loire Valley for castles and wine
  • Champagne tour
  • D-Day Beaches of Normandy
  • Mont St Michel
  • Giverny for Monet’s Gardens
  • Visit Fontainebleau

Overview of the Gardens of Versailles

Where to Stay in Paris

During your 3 day trip to Paris, there are definitely a ton of hotel options! I even have a whole guide about where to stay in Paris based on your travel style ! 

However, here are some great hotel ideas based on your budget: 

Budget: Libertel Canal Saint-Martin

If you’re on a budget in Paris, this hotel has A/C, clean, comfortable rooms, and great views of the Canal Saint-Martin area. 

Book it here! 

Canal Saint Martin - Where to Stay in Paris

Mid-Range: Au Manoir Saint Germain Des Pres

With opulent fixtures, and beautiful views, and is located in the heart of the Saint-Germain-des-Pres neighborhood, you can’t go wrong with this hotel.

Luxury: Grand Hotel du Palais Royale

This is within walking distance to the Louvre and many attractions nearby! This luxury hotel has a Turkish bath, chic rooms, and great terraces to enjoy the views.

Getting to Paris & Getting Around 

Metro station in Paris

Getting to Paris is easy, as you can fly to either Paris airport: Charles de Gaulle or Paris-Orly. If you’re flying from the US or further away, chances are you’ll land in Charles de Gaulle, whereas if you’re flying a discount airline in Europe, you’ll likely end up at Paris-Orly. 

Check flight prices on Skyscanner !

From Charles de Gaulle, you can either take a taxi, Uber, bus, or train. From Orly, you can take a taxi or Uber, or you’ll need to catch the Orlyval metro to the Antony Train Station. Then, from there, you’ll take line RER B. There is also the Orlybus that goes from the airport to downtown. 

And if you’re coming from elsewhere in France or nearby countries, you can even take the train! This is much more convenient as the train stations in Paris are much closer to the hotels than the airport! 

Once you’re in Paris, it is very easy to get around. For starters, it is a pretty walkable city. There are times when taking the metro is best, but you can also walk to many places. 

Aside from walking, there are bike rentals, buses, and the metro. You can even download the Bonjour RATP app to find the best routes. 

Other Tips For Visiting Paris

Paris Date Ideas - Montmartre Museum

Before you land in the City of Lights, here are some other tips to know:

  • When is the best time to visit? Luckily, I have a whole guide to help you decide ! But I have visited in winter , spring, summer , and fall and have enjoyed my stay! 
  • Be sure to wear some comfortable shoes. These shoes are very popular and super comfortable for walking around all day. For more on what to wear in Paris, check out my guide here !
  •  If you’re planning to see and do a lot in the city, opt to purchase the Paris Museum Pass . It includes admission to 60+ museums and monuments in the city. 
  • Be sure to attempt a little bit of French . At the very least, know how to say “Hello” (“Bonjour” if before 5 pm and “Bonsoir” if after 5 pm) and say this when you enter a shop. It is rude not to, and don’t expect much help from employees if you don’t say it. 
  • Only have a day in Paris? We have a whole blog post to help you maximize your time! And here is an itinerary if you have 2 days in Paris .

These are definitely the top things to do in Paris in 3 days. From exciting museums to romantic locales, you can’t go wrong with a trip to Paris. 

I hope this Paris travel guide helps you plan your perfect trip to Paris! Let me know about your favorite place in Paris! 

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Paris in 3 Days: A Paris Itinerary for First-Timers

Ah Paris. The city of light. The city of love. It’s a favourite destination for many and for good reason. The capital of France is not only beautiful to explore but offers plenty and see to do. From wandering through local neighbourhoods to discovering the treasures of world-famous museums. Not to mention the food scene, the shopping, and of course, the famous cabarets for nightlife. You could spend weeks exploring this city, but here are my top recommendations for those wanting to explore Paris in 3 days.

psst: Looking for a travel credit card with lots of perks (like lounge access) that will also allow you to earn points for travel? This is what I use and recommend. 

Paris Carousel

How to Get to Paris, France

Getting to paris by plane.

Paris is one of the biggest travel hubs in the world, which means it’s pretty easy to get to.

Paris has three main airports: Beauvais, Charles de Gaulle, and Orly. Most international flights go to Charles de Gaulle and Orly, while budget airlines (such as Ryanair) arrive at Beauvais.

Beauvais is quite far from the city centre, so you will need to take a bus or a train to get to Paris city centre. It will take about 1.5 hours, depending on your mode of transportation.

From Charles to Gaulle and Orly airports is a much shorter ride (about 45 minutes) and can be done by the RER trains. Tickets (one way or return) can be purchased at the airport.

Getting to Paris by Train

If you are coming from another destination in Europe, you can also arrive in Paris by train. There are several train stations in the city but the busiest stations are Gare du Nord or Gare de l’Est. City buses and metro lines connect both stations to the rest of the city.

*Insider tip: Paris public transit does not run 24/7. So if you arrive very early (or late) you will need to arrange a transfer or hire a taxi.

How to Get Around Paris

The best way to get around Paris is to use the metro. There are dozens of metro stations around the city making it easy to get around to all the different areas and attractions. Paris is quite big, you won’t be able to walk everywhere. Tip: buy metro tickets in packs of 10 to get the best deal.

The Best Time of Year to Visit Paris

Paris is a year-round destination but as with most European cities, it’s busiest in the summer. Personally, I love visiting in spring and fall. May, June, September, and October are all beautiful months to visit and slightly less busy (and a bit cheaper). I also love to visit in December for the Paris Christmas markets.

Where to Stay in Paris for 3 Days

Latin Quarter Paris

Paris is divided into 20 arrondissements or neighbourhoods, and while many can argue that there is no bad place to stay in Paris, you will want to stay closer to the heart of the city as a first time visitor. That way, you can spend more time exploring, and less time riding the metro to get to the sites. For those exploring Paris in 3 days, I recommend staying in one spot. However, if you are going to be in the city longer, you might want to change up locations just to get a different experience.

Personally, my two favourite neighbourhoods to stay in are Montmartre and the Latin Quarter.

Montmartre , for me, is best described as old-world Paris. Winding cobble stone streets filled with cafes and boutiques make it one of the most picturesque parts of the city. Montmartre is famous for it’s art scene and it’s also where you can find the Sacre Coeur Basilica and Moulin Rouge. It’s my favourite neighbourhood in Paris and you can find some pretty affordable accommodation options here. 

Recommended Paris hotels in Montmartre

  • For Luxury: Terrass Hotel Montmartre
  • For Midrange: Le Relais Montmartre 
  • For Budget: Le Village Hostel (dorms and private rooms) 

The Latin Quarter

 I also adore the Latin Quarter. The buildings in this area are beautiful and it’ a bit more central. The Latin Quarter is very close to Notre Dame, The Seine, and the Pantheon. I found Paris hotel prices here to be more expensive than in Montmartre, but it is a beautiful and central neighbourhood and worth the extra spend if you only have three days in Paris.

Recommended Paris hotels in the Latin Quarter:

  • For Luxury: Residence Henri IV
  • For Midrange: Grand hotel des Balcons
  • For Budget: Oops! Latin Quarter Hostel

Another popular pick, especially for first-time visitors, is to get a Paris hotel with a view of the Eiffel tower. This can be pricey, but you can’t complain about the views. Here are some beautiful Paris hotels with views of the Eiffel Tower:

  •   The Shangri La Paris
  •   Pullman Paris Eiffel Tower
  • La Comtesse 

Another popular spot to stay is near Les Halles. This is a busy, touristic spot. However, it’s convenient for getting around. I’ve stayed in two hotels here that I really like and would recommend.

  • Snob by Elegancia
  • Hotel Crayon Rouge

The Best Things to do in Paris in 3 Days

So what are the best things to do in Paris in 3 days? Where do I even start? There are millions of things to do in Paris so it’s definitely worth doing a little bit of planning to figure out what you want to see and do the most. Also consider the weather; is it supposed to rain one day? Choose that day for museums. 

Another thing to keep in mind is that part of Paris’ charm are the streets, buildings, and neighbourhoods. While it definitely takes longer, I try to explore as much of the city as possible by foot. I’m not saying walk from Montmartre to the Eiffel tower, but you could walk from the Arc du Triomphe to the Eiffel Tower.

If that walking much is difficult or not an option, consider doing one of the hop-on hop-off bus tours. Paris is stunning and while the metro system is definitely handy, if you are a first-time visitor I think you should be above ground to really see as much of it as possible. Get tickets for the hop-on hop-off bus in Paris here.

With that being said, here are my favourite things to do in Paris that I think deserve a spot on your 3-day itinerary for Paris.

The Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower

Getting a photo of the Eiffel Tower may be the most touristy thing to do, but it’s also a must. I’ll be honest; I’ve now been to Paris 10 times and I still haven’t actually been up the Eiffel Tower. I prefer a city view that includes the Eiffel Tower in it so I go to the base and surrounding area for photos every time I visit. 

If you do want to climb the tower there are two ticket types: one for the elevator and one for the stairs. Not surprisingly, the stairs are the cheaper option. There are also two viewing platforms with the top being more expensive than the second floor. It’s a good idea to book your tickets in advance to skip the lines- they are long!

Arc de Triomphe

Located at the end of the Champ-Elysees, the Arc de Triomphe is another iconic Paris Monument. The structure is a war memorial honouring those who fought for France. Names are carved into the stone of the arch and there is also a memorial flame.

Ticket holders can also climb to the top where they will be rewarded with beautiful panoramic views of the city. I recommend going in the evening to see the city all lit up.

Get your skip the line tickets to the Arc de Triomphe here.

Notre Dame Cathedral & The Seine

Notre Dame Paris

The Notre Dame Cathedral is one of my favourite buildings in Paris and I’m beyond grateful that I was able to visit before the big fire in April of 2019. Since the fire, Notre Dame has remained closed to visitors. However, it is still an important Paris landmark and worth walking by. 

Notre Dame is located along the Seine and provides a perfect opportunity to walk along this famous river. While walking, keep an eye out for Paris’ beautiful bridges including Pont Neuf and Pont Alexandre III.

The Paris Catacombs

While not suitable if you don’t like tight, confined spaces (the stairs are tiny spirals), the catacombs in Paris are pretty awesome to explore (in an eerie way). You end up walking about 1.5km through tunnels lined with walls of ancient skulls and the remains from about six million people. Total time takes about one hour.

Get your tickets to the Catacombs here


Saint Chapelle

If you love stained glass, then you absolutely HAVE to go to Saint Chapelle. This Gothic-style building has 1113 scenes from the Old and New Testament told through the stunning stained glass. Take the time to walk around and look at each window- the detail is exquisite. Just remember the main room is on the second floor- so don’t walk out without going up the stairs like I nearly did!

The Pantheon & The Latin Quarter

As I mentioned earlier, the Latin Quarter is one of the prettiest neighbourhoods in Paris so plan on wandering around. The highlight here is the Pantheon; once a church but now a mausoleum. It contains the remains of some of France’s most important citizens including Voltaire, Victor Hugo, and Marie Curie.

While exploring the medieval streets of this part of Paris, also keep an eye out for Sorbonne University, Eglise Saint-Etienne du Mont, Eglise Saint-Sevérin Saint Nicolas, and the Jardin du Luxembourg.  

Montmartre: Moulin Rouge & Sacre Coeur Basilica

Carousel at the base of Sacre Coeur Basilica in Paris

As I said above, I absolutely adore Montmartre. Parts can be a little gritty (a couple streets are known for their sex shops), but overall it’s a beautiful neighbourhood that feels like a more authentic version of Paris. That is, once you get away from the crowds.

Most people just take their token photo of the Moulin Rouge, rush to the Sacre Coeur Basilica for more photos, and then head somewhere else. I love to get lost here. Find the back roads, the boutique shops, and the quiet cafes. When you go, be sure to find Rue Des Abesses; it’s one of my favourite streets to wander.

Insider tip: The view from the Sacre Coeur Basilica is gorgeous at any time, but especially at night when you can see the Eiffel Tower all lit up and sparkly. 

If you’d like to explore and learn a little more about Montmartre, consider taking this tour of the neighbourhood with a local guide.

Paris in 3 Days: The Best Paris Museums

Paris has dozens of museums, but if you only have three days in Paris, then there is no way you will have time to see them all. Unless you are a museum person, I suggest picking one, maybe two, and saving the rest for another trip.

The Louvre is by far the most popular and while I did enjoy going to see the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, and Winged Victory, it wasn’t my favourite museum. I personally preferred the Musée d’Orsay ; a converted old train station with a huge variety of artworks. A third recommendation, and one that you can spend a shorter amount of time in, is the Musée de l’Orangerie which houses Claude Monet’s famous Water Lillies. Find a spot on the bench in one of the circular rooms and just try to take it all in. It’s pretty incredible.

Consider Getting the Paris Museum Pass

Musee d'Orsay

Paris has dozens of amazing attractions, many of which come with a price tag. To get the ‘most bang for your buck’ consider buying a Paris Museum Pass which allows skip the line and free entry into more than 50 of Paris Museums and sites including the Notre Dame, the Louvre, Saint Chapelle, and more. If you plan on seeing a lot of the paid sites, it’s worth doing the math because, for my 2016 visit, the Paris Museum Pass definitely ended up being a money saver.  

Order your Paris Museum Pass for 2, 4, or 6 days here.

Paris in 3 Days: Shopping in Paris

Whether you looking for high-end fashion, local boutiques, or vintage finds, Paris has a ton of shopping options. These are some of the most popular shopping areas of Paris.

Champs- Élys ées

Paris’s famous shopping street, the Champ-Elysees runs 1.9km long and is lined with shops and boutiques from the world’s top designers. Well-known brands such as H&M, Adidas, and the Disney Store can be found on this stretch, along with luxury brands including Channel, Luis Vuitton, and Longchamp.

Le Marais is a trendy Parisian neighbourhood with several shopping streets. From clothing to homeware, to perfume and even stationary, you can find just about anything in this part of Paris.

Galleries Lafayette

gallery lafayette

One of the best-known department stores in Paris, the Galleries Lafayette carry just about everything. There are a couple of locations, but I recommend visiting the flagship store on Boulevard Haussmann. It’s a beautiful art-nouveau building and has a rooftop terrace offering stunning views across Paris.   If you happen to be in Paris at Christmas , stop here to see the famous tree!

Paris has several flea markets but the best known and most popular is Les Puces de Saint-Ouen, or Les Puces for short. Located on Rue de Rosiers, it is the largest antique market in the world and attracts up to 180,000 visitors over the course of a weekend. Les Puces is open Saturday, Sunday, and Monday though not all vendors operate on Mondays. If you are a dedicated shopper, or just looking to escape the majority of the crowds, come before lunchtime.

Paris in 3 Days: Where and What to Eat in Paris

Let’s be honest, there are a million things to come to Paris for but one of them is the food. Trust me when I say you will eat your way through this city.

Paris has lots of fine dining options and while you may be willing to splurge on a meal or two, you don’t have to. There are lots of great finds that won’t break your wallet. Just remember to get away from the main tourist areas and ignore the spots that have menus in seven different languages.

However, as delicious as the French cuisine is, let’s be honest; what everyone really wants to know is where to where to find the best baked goods. You know, the baguettes, croissants, macarons, and pastries? Well here’s my recommendations.

When it comes to Paris’ boulangeries, I really don’t think you can wrong. You can find some sort of bakery or café on every street or corner. But, if you feel like going for a bit of an adventure, I recommend searching out Ble Sucre (delicious pastries) and Le Pain Au Naturel (amazing bread and croissants).

Paris Bakery

As for French macarons, Ladurée is probably the best known, but I have two different favourite spots. The first is Pierre Herme . We stumbled across this one by accident but were later told by a Parisian chef that, in her opinion, Pierre Herme has the best macarons in all of Paris. I’m no chef, but I went back three times during my three days in Paris. I also love Christophe Roussel , which I discovered in Montmartre. Again, I went back more than once. While I’m sure that Paris is full of delicious macarons, (and definitely think you should sample as many as possible) I absolutely recommend keeping an eye out for these two names.    

Of course you can’t forget about chocolate. Angelina is a must for hot chocolate (you can sit in the cafe or get it to go), Maison du Chocolat for ganache and eclairs, and Edward Chocolatier has some of the most unique flavours I’ve tried. Get the basil, it sounds strange but so good!

If you have a sweet tooth, check out the pure chocolate tour offered by Irene found here. I’ve done a couple tours with her and they are fantastic! 

Paris in 3 Days: Nightlife in Paris

Paris nightlife has a lot to offer. From cool cafes to dance clubs, night tours and cabaret shows there is something for everyone.

Cabaret Shows

The Moulin Rouge is the best known Burlesque show in Paris, however, while it may be the most famous it’s not the only one. Two other very popular choices are Lido and Crazy Horse.

Le Moulin Rouge is a classic with stunning costumes, entertaining numbers, and daring tricks. I’ve been twice now and loved every minute of it. Personally, if you love live entertainment and shows, I think that the Moulin Rouge in Paris is a must . 

Get your Moulin Rouge tickets here

Moulin Rouge

Le Lido is the most high-tech of the shows and the larges cabaret in Paris. Sequins, feathers, and talented dancers perform in this show which is said to be an ‘ode to Paris’. As with the Moulin Rouge, visitors can get tickets for dinner + show, or just the show.

Le Crazy Horse is definitely the most risqué of the shows and is considered to be an ode to feminine beauty. Racy costumes and super sexy numbers are the big feature here. Le Crazy Horse is show only, there are no dinner options.

Book tickets to Le Crazy Horse here.

Clubs and Bars

Paris isn’t exactly known as a party/dance club city and does tend to have a bit of a reputation for bully-type bouncers and high entry fees. However, if you really want a night out on the town, there are a few cool places to check out.

Batofar is a converted barge that sits floating on the Seine. Hiphop, techno, rock, and electric music pulse until the early morning here, making it a great place to dance the night away.

La Machine du Moulin Rouge is a three-floor live music venue and dance club. It was once the boiler room for le Moulin Rouge, but today it’s decorated with a cool Alice-in Wonderland theme. Techno and EDM are the main DJ sets here, plus with room for over 800 people, it promises to be a party.

For something different, head to the Experimental Cocktail Club. It’s a tiny spot but renowned for their delicious, though unusual, cocktails. It fills up quickly though, so try to arrive before 9pm if you want a seat.

Night Tours

Paris by night is beautiful. The city really comes alive when the sun goes down and lights up with millions of twinkling lights, making it a magical time to explore. There are Paris illumination tours that will show you the best parts, or you can do your own tour and visit some of the city’s best viewpoints on your own to see the city sparkle. Whatever you decide, make sure you go somewhere where you get a view of the Eiffel Tower. From sunset until 1-2am (depending on season) it glitters for five minutes on the hour. It’s definitely something you don’t want to miss.

Some fun night tours worth looking at include:

Paris illuminations night cruise

Paris Dark City Secrets Walking Tour  

Have More Than 3 Days in Paris?

Paris Park

Paris is a large city, and you could easily spend weeks exploring its secrets. Exploring Paris in 3 days will give you a good feel for the city, but if you have more time there is still plenty to see and do.

If you’ve already visited the main attractions, consider taking a cooking class or even a food market tour with a local chef. There are also some lesser known museums worth exploring, or you can just get lost in the outer arrondissements.

For those who love nature, Paris has many beautiful parks including my personal favourite, Parc des Buttes Chaumont which is off the beaten tourist track and full of locals. It’s beautiful to wander around and the temple-like pavilion atop the hill in the middle offers beautiful views across to Montmartre.

Paris also makes a great base for day trips to the surrounding countryside, cities, and historic castles. Check here for my recommendations of the best day trips from Paris.

With so much to see and do in this city, it’s easy to explore Paris in 3 days.

Ready to Book Your Trip?

Don’t forget travel insurance!

Please do not travel without travel insurance! I’ve had to use it multiple times throughout my travels and it has saved me thousands of dollars. You can learn more about travel insurance  here . If you are looking for a provider I love and recommend  SafetyWing . For Canadian readers, take a look at  SoNomad.

Book your accommodation

I love and recommend  for accommodation. They have a range of hostels, guesthouses, hotels, and resorts. Plus, the platform has a great loyalty program that means the more you book, the more you can save. 

Book your tours

My go-to tour provider that I love to recommend is  GetYourGuide . They have options all over the world and partner with local companies for everything from day trips to food experiences and even airport transfers. 

Get connected

If you want to have data while travelling for online maps or any other needs, an esim is one of the easiest solutions. I’m a big fan of Airalo and have used their sim cards around the world from Brazil to Uzbekistan, Greece to the USA. It’s really easy- you download the app, pick what country you want an esim for, and after you purchase it follow the installation instructions. You can use promo code HANNAH3326 to save $3USD on your next esim purchase. 

Not sure what to pack?

I have destination-specific guides for some countries but you can also check my  travel essentials  and  camera gear  if you are looking for some ideas. 

Looking for a travel buddy?

Check out my group trips!

Visiting Paris but short on time? Don't worry- I've got you covered! From sites and attractions, where to stay, and how to get around. Here's my guide for the best of Paris in 3 Days. #Paris #France


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You picked great spots! Another incredible museum (which will be reopening this spring) is the Cluny Museum of the Middle Ages. This is where The Lady and the Unicorn tapestry can be seen. Not only is it amazing to see the progression of art during this time period, but it is housed in an incredible former monastery and site of Roman baths. They also do some really incredible, small concerts with musicians that specialize in music and instruments of the middle ages. It’s really a special place!

Sounds interesting! I’ll have to check it out next time!

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Paris 3 day Itinerary

3 Days in Paris: A Perfect Paris Itinerary for Any Budget

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Paris 3 day Itinerary

If you’re looking to plan the perfect 3 days in Paris, then you’ve come to the right place! Of all the cities in Europe I’ve travelled to, Paris was one of the best. I think people underestimate just how much there is to do there. Trust me, there’s a LOT more to see than just the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre!

I first visited Paris in 2018 and I fell in love with it. We took my little sister for her 18th birthday and we had a fantastic time. Although, we didn’t see a lot of the sights on our first time (we were those people who just wanted to see the Eiffel Tower!), we saw much more on our second time.

Although it’s not the most affordable city in the world, it’s truly stunning. And there are ways to make it more affordable if you make a few small sacrifices (taking the stairs at the Eiffel Tower for example).

No matter your budget, you really can’t go wrong with Paris!

So, I’ve created this list of all of my favourite things to do in Paris and ordered them into the perfect 3-day itinerary for a first-time visit. I’ve also included admissions costs for each, so you know exactly what you’ll be spending.

Follow this, and you’ll have the most amazing time in the French capital!

My favourite travel resources for Paris

✅ H ere’s the coolest hotel in Paris. ✅ Don’t miss this Seine River Cruise and the Eiffel Tower ✅ Don’t forget your travel insurance .

What should you not miss in Paris?

There are plenty of things you shouldn’t miss in Paris, especially for first-time visitors. Despite it being super touristy, the Eiffel Tower is usually high on any itinerary.

The perfect Paris 3 day itinerary

If you’re planning the perfect trip , the iconic landmark is a must-see. Also, don’t forget to explore the history of the city, the infamous Louvre Museum, and the Arc de Triomphe.

Top Tip: If you’re planning on doing a lot of sightseeing, the Museum Pass can save a lot of money. You can buy a pass for 2-6 days and it gives you skip-the-line access to over 60 of the top museums and attractions in the city including the Louvre, Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame Crypt, and Sainte-Chapelle. Click here to purchase your Paris Pass for Museums.

The Ultimate 3 Days in Paris + 4 bonus Attractions

So, if you’re wondering what to see in Paris prepare for a weekend jam-packed with sights, museums, history and delicious food! Here’s the ultimate itinerary to help you plan and see the best of the beautiful city!

Day 1: The Eiffel Tower, Louvre, and More!

On day one of this three-day Paris itinerary, we’ll cross all of the classic sights off of your bucket list!

1. Climb up the Eiffel Tower

Cost – €11.30 (with stairs), €28.30 (with elevator)

You gotta start with a classic, right? A must-see on your first day in the French capital, the Eiffel Tower is an iconic gem in the city. You’ve probably already seen it on every possible to-do list, postcard and tourist guide. But it’s an absolute must-see.

You can get to the top via the lift or the stairs. Taking the stairs costs about half the price but over double the effort! You can also purchase a combined ticket with the stairs up but the lift back down again (or vice versa), This costs €21.50.

The best time to visit the Eiffel Tower is as early in the morning as possible. It’s less likely to be crowded with tourists and you’re consequently less likely to be standing in long lines for ages and jostling for a good photo spot at the top. 

The Eiffel Tower during a weeknd in Paris

The Eiffel Tower opens at 9:00 am in summer and at 9:30 am in winter. If you want to learn a little more about the Eiffel Tower whilst you’re up there, then I recommend a guided tour . They sometimes start as early as 8:45 am which is even better because you’ll be guaranteed to be one of the first up there. 

From the top, you’ll have fantastic views over the city and the surrounding areas of France. But there are plenty more photo opportunities in the city, where you can include the Eiffel Tower in the shot.

✅ If you hate reeeeeally long queues, book your tickets in advance!

2. Admire the Mona Lisa at the Louvre

Cost – €17 to book online

You simply cannot see the city and not pay a visit to one of the most famous art museums in the world.

It’s also the most well-known museum in the city. Its signature glass pyramid makes it a gorgeous sight to see from both the outside and the inside.

Centrally located in the city, the most scenic way to get to the Louvre from the Eiffel Tower involves a scenic walk along the River Seine. I highly recommend this. You get some beautiful views across the river and it’s a great place to take some photographs of the Eiffel Tower. 

The Louvre museum is something you should see during 3 days in paris

The Louvre boasts an impressive collection of artwork from all over the world. This includes pieces depicting the ancient world to Islamic masterpieces and art from Western Europe dating back to 1848.

Featuring Medieval ruins, artefacts from around the globe, and a Napoleon III Apartment, the Louvre is more than just a collection of art; it’s the largest museum in the world.

Of course, the creme de la creme of the Louvre is the celebrated Mona Lisa. It’s a painting that has been reproduced countless times and is known worldwide.

However, also be sure to check out the Seated Scribe, The Winged Victory of Samothrace, and the Venus de Milo as well as plenty of other exhibits.

To make the most of your 3 days in Paris, it’s also worth booking a skip-the-line ticket to the Louvre .

Top Tip: Although booking online guarantees you a spot, you can get a ticket at the door for slightly cheaper at €15. However, there’s a limited number of these available, so you’d be risking it. Also, if you’re a resident of the EEA, you can get free admission with a valid ID.

✅ For two of the best Paris attractions in one, check out these tickets.

3. Explore the Champs Elysees

Cost – Free

Possibly the most famous Parisian Street, a stroll down France’s grand boulevard simply can’t be missed. The perfect place for a spot for shopping, the street is lined with pricey designer brands like Sephora, Louis Vuitton, and Adidas. You can also find high-street stores like H&M.

The view down champs elysees

It’s a great place to find some traditional snacks if you’re starting to feel like lunch. Brioche Dorée on the right side of the street sells delicious baguette sandwiches, patisserie cakes, and many other scrumptious treats.

At the end of the street, you’ll find the fascinating Arc de Triomphe which is our next stop!

4. Visit the Arc de Triomphe

Cost – €13

the French capital is one of those gorgeous European cities with an almost uncountable amount of beautiful photography spots. One of the best ones is from the top of the Arc de Triomphe. 

One of the best things to add to your paris 3 day itinerary is the arc de triomphe

Located on Place de l’Etoile at the western end of the Champs-Elysées, the Arc was built in astylar style architecture. It was created as a memento for the victims of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.

Each side of the arch is decorated with carvings and sculptures and engraved with names.

For €13 , you can climb the spiralling staircase to the top of the Arc de Triomphe. Inside there is a small museum with artefacts from the war. If you climb further, you’ll find the observation deck at the top of the arch. You can also purchase a guided tour of the Arc for €20.

Arc de Triomphe

From here, you’ll be treated to the best panoramas in the city; the best views of the Eiffel Tower, the Sacré Coeur, and the Louvre, as well as the tree-lined Champs-Elysées.

Prepare to witness some pretty bonkers driving too as the Arc is in the centre of one of the busiest roundabouts in the city. You can also buy tickets for the Arc de Triomphe in advance which saves more time queuing.

Top Tip: An evening visit will give you even more glorious views of the sun setting and the Eiffel Tower in the distance.

✅ For one of the most iconic views in Paris, you can’t miss this!

Day 1 total activities cost – €41.30 (€58.30 if you take the lift at the Eiffel Tower)

Day 2: The Notre-Dame, Sainte Chapelle, and Seine River

Your second day calls for spending some time around the beautiful Seine River and exploring some timeless historical sites.

5. Visit the Notre Dame-De Paris Cathedral

Cost – Free entry to the cathedral (tower €8.50, crypt €6)

France’s most famous Cathedral, the Notre Dame is one of the most wonderful places to visit in Paris . Located in Île de la Cité, it’s a truly beautiful building that was constructed between 1163 and 1345. A visit inside the intricately decorated Cathedral is well worth it.

However, on April 15th 2019, the Cathedral suffered a devastating fire and remains closed. It aims to re-open by the Olympics in 2024. 

The Notre Dame Cathedral

While you’re nearby, check out the incredible views from the corner of Rue de la Cite and Quai de Montebello, near the Pont de Coeurs .

From here, you can photograph the tops of the towers and get some semi-normal shots of some of the front of the cathedral. But, unfortunately, the damage is extensive. The inside of the Notre Dame Cathedral is currently inaccessible.

6. See the Île de la Cité and sainte-chapelle

Cost – €11.50 for Saint-Chapelle, €18.50 for combined Saint-Chapelle and Conciergerie

The beautiful island region of Île de la Cité is home to some other wonderful sights. After you’ve visited the Notre Dame Cathedral, be sure to pay a visit to the nearby Sainte Chapelle.

In my opinion, it is prettier inside than the Notre Dame and home to one of the world’s most beautiful stained glass windows. 

It can be a little busy though so, once again, if you purchase your tickets in advance, you’ll get in quicker. The entrance fee is €11.50 but it’s also included in the Paris Museum Pass if you decide to buy that.

stained glass windows in the saint chapelle

Whilst in Ile de la Cité, you should also pay a visit to the La Conciergerie; it’s the oldest part of the Palais de la Cité. Also, wander around some pretty flower markets, explore the boutique shops and stores on the island, or, see the oldest clock in the city.

Top Tip: If you visit in the Spring, Île de la Cité (specifically Square Jean XXIII). It’s possibly the best place to see cherry blossoms .

7. Explore Ile Saint Louis

The small, central island is within easy walking distance of the Sainte-Chapelle and the Île de la Cité. The little neighbourhood is home to one of the most gorgeous cafes in the city. This includes the Insta-famous Au Vieux Paris d’Arcole, which is the perfect place to stop for a cup of coffee.

Whilst you’re there, check out the nearby, Rue de Chartres. It’s one of the narrowest streets in the city. It’s also one of the few remaining locations where you can get a sense of the city’s medieval past.

8. Go on a Seine River Cruise

Cost – Between €10 and €200 depending on the type

In my opinion, river cruises are always a great idea. I’ve been on some great river cruises and the water is a great way to see any city.

Plus you get some tremendous photography opportunities of some of the city’s top landmarks. You can book a Seine cruise below.

view of the eiffel tower from the river siene

Whether you want to take in the sights with a bottle of champagne or prefer to use the hop-on-hop-off service for glimpses of the waterways, there’s a Seine cruise out there to suit all tastes and budgets.

✅ For the most perfect way to see Paris, I recommend this river cruise .

9. Admire the Panthéon

Cost – €11.50 (extra €3 to enter the upper parts)

Standing proud in the Latin Quarter, on top of the Montagne Sainte-Geneviève, The Panthéon is a gorgeous monument. The resting place of historic Parisian patriots such as Marie Curie and Voltaire, the Panthéon is the perfect balance of culture, history, and beautiful architecture. 

The gorgeous Pantheon is what you should add to your Paris itinerary

You can book a self-guided tour of the structure in advance , which is ideal if you only have 3 days in Paris. It means you get to skip the queues and ascend to the top of the beautiful building. From there, you’ll get to see more beautiful panoramic views across the city. 

A couple of other highlights of the Pantheon include many murals depicting Saint Genevieve (the city’s patron Saint) and the rather impressive Fouque pendulum.

✅ Check out this guided tour if you want to learn more about the Pantheon

Day 2 total activities cost – €47.50 (excluding the River Cruise)

Day 3: Sacré-Cœur and Montmartre

On the final day, we’ll explore some more of Paris’s cultural gems and take a peek underneath the city.

10. Visit the Sacré-Cœur

Cost – Free (€8 to go up to the dome)

One of the things that should be on your itinerary, is a visit to the Sacré-Coeur. If you make it to the top, it provides yet more breathtaking panoramas across the city. The Sacré-Coeur is located at the highest point in the city – 130 meters above sea level. 

Situated in the neighbourhood of Montmartre, the Sacré-Coeur is a surprisingly new construction having only been completed in the 1900s. The pearl-coloured stone of the basilica’s exterior has remained spotlessly white, despite the over 11.5 million people that visit it annually. 

Sacre Couer is one of the best things to do in Paris

It’s free to enter the church, although if you want to climb the 300 steps to the top of the dome (there is no lift) then you will have to pay. But it’s worth it for the stunning views.

Top Tip: The Sacré Coeur is one of the most popular sights in Paris. it also opens at the crack of dawn (literally) at 6:30am. If you want tourist-free photographs, be sure to get there early.

11. Explore Montmartre

Next on this Paris itinerary is a stroll around Montmartre. It’s the lively neighbourhood that is home to the magnificent Sacré-Coeur. You can easily spend all afternoon soaking up the 18th arrondissement’s ambience and discovering some hidden gems.

It’s one of those areas that spawn creativity and has been the haunt of many actors, writers, and artists for decades. You can still see artists painting out on the streets today – everything from caricatures to impressive oil landscapes.

Paris villages

Expect to find quirky vintage antique shops and winding cobblestoned roads. Montmartre has a unique vibe that you just won’t find anywhere else in the city.

Top Tip: If photography is your thing, check out the corner spots of La Maison Rose and La Consulat Restaurant for some great photo opportunities.

12. visit Luxembourg Gardens

Most impressive in the spring or summer months when they are alive with wildflowers and buzzing with bumblebees, the Luxembourg Gardens are a wonderful spot to relax and get away from the city chaos for a while.

Luxeumburg Gardens in France

With a distinctly Parisian feel, the gardens are just one of the many gorgeous city parks in the city. But if you have limited time, then Luxembourg Gardens should be your top choice.

Some of the garden’s hidden gems include the Medici Fountain and Luxembourg Gardens’ very own beehives. Bring a picnic lunch or grab a baguette and some fruit from a nearby cafe and chill out amongst the flowers.

13. Enter the Paris Catacombs

Cost – €29

If you’re interested in seeing a completely different side of the city from what you’ve experienced so far, then the next stop will be right up your street. The Catacombs are a little spooky and unusual, but, unless you hate bones, they are a must-see.

Catacombs under paris

Located in Paris’ former quarries, the catacombs hold millions of skeletons. They were moved there during the 18th-19th century as people were worried that the cemeteries would cause health issues. 

Once you’ve passed the slightly alarming sign across the entrance that reads “Stop! This is the empire of the dead” , then you can wander down into the creepy tunnels. They bury under the city for over 200 miles! 

However, the Catacombs are another rather popular attraction, so I recommend buying skip-the-line tickets to make the most of your time.

Top Tip: If you’re travelling outside of peak season, you can buy a last-minute Catacombs ticket on the day for a reduced rate of just €18 on the official website. If you’re under 26, you can also get a reduced rate on the price.

✅ This is a great way to see the creepy side of Paris!

14. Visit the Musee d’Orsay

Cost – €16 (free on the first Sunday of every month and to 18-25-year-old EU residents)

Not quite as popular as the Louvre but, in my opinion, just as impressive, the Musee d’Orsay is another of Paris’s most visited museums.

Located a 20-minute metro ride from the Catacombs, not only is the Musée d’Orsay home to the largest collection of impressionist art in the world. It features many incredible artists such as Van Gogh, plus, the building itself is also a bit of a crowd-pleaser.

Museums in Paris are one of the best things to add to your paris itinerary

Almost resembling Grand Central in New York , the museum is set in a gorgeous former train station, Gare d’Orsay, which was built at the end of the 19th century.

When you’re inside, look for the famous gigantic clock on the top floor. It provides a unique view of the city and a perfect photography opportunity.

Top Tip: You can save money by purchasing tickets at the entrance to the museum, but you will have to wait in line. Tickets purchased at the museum are €14 or a discounted rate of just €11. Check their website for the estimated waiting time to see if it’s worth it.

Day 3 total activities cost – €53

If you have more than 3 days in Paris…

If you find yourself with a few days extra in the City of Light, here are a few additional activities to add to a 4 or 5-day itinerary.

15. Take a Day trip to the Palace of Versailles

Cost – €28.5 (for Palace, Estate, gardens, and Louis XV exhibit access on a fountain show day)

If you have slightly longer than 3 days in Paris it’s the perfect opportunity for a visit to the Palace of Versailles. Potentially the most famous chateau in the world, you can easily reach Versailles from Paris with a quick trip on the RER C Line.

The journey is only 9 miles (but will still take around 45 minutes). Public transport is the cheapest way to get there with a return ticket costing just €7.30.

The Palace of Versailles is one of the top things to add to your paris 3 day itinerary

The Palace is the largest royal domain in the world, so aim to get there early. When you arrive at the Palace, grab an audio guide and explore the intricately decorated mansion. Once you’ve spent quality time inside, head to the gardens for a leisurely stroll.

The total area of the gardens is a rather large 230 acres, so it’s unlikely that you’ll see every inch of manicured greenery. But make sure you see the most popular gardens near the palace.

They’re also home to the ornamental fountains of Versailles, where you can watch a spectacular night show if you pick the right day.

✅ This is a great way to see one of the most beautiful French Palaces

16. Explore the Museums

Another of the best things to do in Paris is to explore the museums. We have already covered the Louvre and Muse d’Orsay. However, there are plenty of other museums that are well worth exploring if you have more time.

A few of the highlights include:

  • The Centre Pompidou (€14) – Pompidou contains the largest collection of modern art in Europe, rivalled only slightly by MoMA in New York. Opened in 1977, this massive 100,000-piece collection stretches back to 1905. Inside, you’ll find everything from creative videos to Picasso’s magnificent works.
  • Musée National Rodin (€12) – ‘The Kiss’, ‘The Cathedral’ and ‘The Walking Man’ are just some of the sculptor Auguste Rodin’s most famous pieces showcased in this museum. The perfect place to view his work up close, you will also find some of his best bronze sculpture works: ‘The Gates of Hell’ and ‘The Thinker’. 
  • Fondation Louis Vuitton ( €16) – Paris’s fashion scene is one of if not the best in the world. Opened in 2014, this tribute to French designer Louis Vuitton is a cultural gem. The inside is buzzing with contemporary art exhibits from the likes of Olafur Eliasson and Ellsworth Kelly.
  • The Palais de Tokyo (€12) – A fairly modern museum having opened in 2002, The Palais de Tokyo is the largest centre for contemporary art in Europe.

17. Visit Moulin Rouge

Moulin Rouge is a famous cabaret nightclub in the French capital and is one of the best things to do in the city. It was opened in 1889 by Joseph Oller and Charles Zidler.

The Moulin Rouge is known for its iconic red windmill on the roof and its extravagant shows featuring dancers, singers, and other performers. It has a rich history and is considered a symbol of the bohemian culture.

If you enjoy theatre and elaborate performances, you’ll love it here.

✅ Check out this fancy Moulin Rouge Cabaret Show

18. Explore the Surrounding Villages

One of the best things to do if you have longer than three days in Paris is to explore a little outside of the main city and see some gorgeous villages surrounding the capital. You see, the city used to be much smaller than it is now.

The neighbouring hills were once full of small village communities of farmers and bakers. These areas are now part of the capital but many have retained their authentic charm and are some of Europe’s cutest hidden gems . 

The village streets in Montmartre Paris. if you have more than 3 days in paris, try visiting some of the surrounding villages

Some of the best villages to explore are Butte-aux-Cailles, Cité Florale, and Square de Montsouris. For gorgeous secret vineyards, head to the authentic micro-arrondissement of Butte Bergeyre.

Today, many of these little areas remain blissfully calm and you could spend many an hour wandering the narrow streets and drinking in the French beauty.

Talking of drinking, it’s also a great idea to explore some of the winemaking cultures outside the city. I highly recommend having a glass of wine (or 2!).

Where to stay in Paris

The capital of France is a vast, fancy, and pretty expensive city. Finding a place to stay, particularly if you’re on a budget, might be challenging.

If you’re on a budget, check out my guide to the most affordable parts of Pairs to stay in . I also have a list of the top Paris hotels for budget travellers .

However, here are some of the best places to stay if you only have 3 days in Paris:

  • £££ – Shangri-La Paris – For those dreamy Eiffel Tower views, this hotel is perfect. Not the cheapest, (of course), but it’s classy, romantic, and perfect for a special occasion.
  • £££ – Brach Hotel – Great for couples, this 5* hotel has Eiffel Tower views from its rooftop terrace suites. The beautifully decorated rooms ooze charm and some even have their own spa bath.
  • ££ – 1K Hotel – If you’ve ever fancied a hotel room with your own private plunge pool, you’re in luck. This effortlessly stylish hotel has 52 rooms and some very cool decorations in its cocktail bar.
  • ££ – Le 123 Sébastopol – For a significantly more affordable stay, the hotel is a wonderful value. The 63 rooms all have a cinematic theme – which makes sense as the hotel is minutes from the famous cinema Le Grand Rex.
  • ££ – Kube Hotel – Possibly the coolest hotel on this list, the Kube Hotel actually has its own ice bar! The rooms are adorned with chic artwork plenty of white space and plenty of room.
  • £ – Hôtel des Grands Hommes – With a convenient location near the Parthenon, this gorgeous hotel features large suites with a lounge area or multiple connecting rooms. Ideal for families.
  • £ – Mama Shelter East – This hotel is ideal for those visiting the city on a budget. Only 800 yards from the metro line, you’ll find a simple style, comfortable rooms, and easy access to the city centre.

✅ Check out my full review of the best places to stay in Paris for any budget . 

Is 3 days in Paris enough?

In my opinion. 3 days is enough to see the central sights of the city. If you have more time, you can dig a little deeper into the lifestyle, explore a few of the local hotspots, and find some of the city’s hidden gems.

This will also give you time to visit places like Versailles. Plus, if you want to visit Disneyland , you can spend 3 days there alone!

But for the average traveller looking for a long weekend city break, 3 days is enough time.

What is the cheapest way to get around Paris?

Paris is a pretty walkable city, which is ideal if you’re travelling around Europe on a budget . However, if you only have a few days, then using the public transport system is a reliable way to save yourself some time. 

There are buses, under and overground trains, taxis, trams, and even a funicular. Many City Passes also include free public transport as well as discounts on tourist attractions.

The Arc De Triomphe at sunrise - Paris is one of the best cities in Europe

However, the Metro is the quickest way to get around the city. You can find a metro station near most of the city’s top attractions.

A single ticket costs €1.90 and can be used for one journey, including all connections. You can also buy monthly, or weekly tickets. If you’re under 26 (classed as a youth), you can also purchase a weekend pass for €4.

If you’re looking to get to the city by train from elsewhere in Europe, travelling from Paris to Disneyland, or planning on taking a few trips from the city , I recommend using Omio to book train tickets . It’s easy to use and very affordable.

✅ You can easily book transport in advance here.


3 days in Paris is the ideal amount of time to see the top attractions in the City of Light.

The city is one of the most visited and romantic cities in the world and, once you’ve seen just how much there is to do there, it’s really no wonder why. If you only have 2 days , I would focus on the main sights in the city centre, and perhaps skip the final day on this itinerary.

But, if you’re planning a trip to Paris then, I hope this itinerary has helped you plan the perfect getaway! Next, check out my guide to the best hotels to stay at if you’re on a budget .

My favourite tools for finding cheap travel

  • SKYSCANNER – For amazing flight deals.
  • BOOKING.COM – For affordable hotels and accommodation.
  • SAFETY WING – For affordable, reliable travel insurance.
  • DISCOVER CARS – For cheap car hire around the world.
  • OMIO – For trains, coaches, and transfers.
  • GET YOUR GUIDE – For attractions and tours.
  • AIRALO – For a global eSim that keeps you connected.

Disclosure: Some of the links above may be affiliate links that earn me a commission at no extra cost to you. If you purchase through my links – thank you so much! I only recommend products and companies that I use and love.

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Alice Smith is a full-time travel blogger and content creator and the founder of Adventures of Alice. Following an unexpected redundancy from her career as a Content Marketing Specialist, she embraced her passion for exploration and turned her hobby of travel blogging into a full-time career.

From her roots near Cambridge, UK, she's ventured to over 30 countries since 2016. With a passion for the outdoors and a knack for finding the extraordinary in the ordinary, Alice is on a mission to show that budget travel can still be luxurious and that every destination, no matter how touristy, holds hidden gems.

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Missing Paris! We were there the summer of 2019. So glad we made the trip then because it fueled the soul for months after. We only 3 days in Paris at the end of a 3 week trip around France. Took in several of the places on your itinerary…happened to catch the Bastille Day parade on the Champs Elysees. It was crazy! Great list!!!

I would love to go to Paris someday. It looks so dreamy! My must-have attraction is the Palace of Versailles. This guide was super helpful in seeing how things cost. Great tips!

I just wanted to thank you!! This was very helpful!

What a great itinerary to spend 3 days in Paris. I’m so looking forward to visiting many places you suggest this coming summer.

Oooh, exciting! I’m so glad you found the itinerary helpful! We’re also heading back this summer and can’t wait! 🙂

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The Perfect 3 Days In Paris Itinerary [2024]

the eiffel tower during our road trip in France

By Gemma Tedaldi | Published: 6th December 2023 | Updated: 25th April 2024

3 day tour in paris

Flying into Paris at night with the Eiffel Tower lit up and sparkling to greet us started off a perfect 3 days in Paris itinerary . For Matt and I, it was our first trip to the French capital and one we will never forget.

Alongside the likes of London, New York and Milan, Paris, France’s capital, is known for its architecture, fashion and of course, its food. With a population of over 2 million, the City of Light attracts visitors from all over the world and it is easy to see why. So to help you plan a future trip here, (and believe me, you should), here is our perfect 3 days in Paris itinerary.

📍 Day 1: Montmartre & Arc de Triomphe

📍 Day 2: Eiffel Tower, Champ de Mars & Musée d’Orsay

📍 Day 3: The Seine, Musée de Louvre & Notre-Dame

Table of Contents

Are 3 Days In Paris Enough?

The perfect 3 days in paris itinerary map.

  • Where To Stay In Paris

Top Sights To See In Paris

  • Top Food To Eat In Paris
  • 3 Days in Paris FAQs

Planning Your Trip? Use our favourite travel resources below:

Accommodation: We recommend

Rental Car: We recommend

Flights: We recommend

Tours: We recommend Get Your Guide

In all honestly, no. Three days in Paris is the perfect amount of time to get a feel for Paris and see some of the main sights, but if you want to really delve deep into Paris you want a couple more days so you can visit galleries and museums without worrying about how little time you’ve got there. We loved our 3 days there but we most definitely be going back in the future to explore further.

The Perfect 3 Days in Paris Itinerary

3 days in paris itinerary day 1 – montmartre & arc de triomphe.

Paris may not seem like it is suited to wandering on foot, however, it is surprisingly easy to walk around. Plus walking means you get to see bits of the city you wouldn’t otherwise see! Matt and I based ourselves in Montmartre so we were within easy access to a number of sights in the area including, Moulin Rouge , Rue Norvins and Sacre Coeur , and it also meant that Montmartre was the perfect place to start of 3 days in Paris itinerary.

Day 1 Morning – Explore Montmartre

It is easy to see why so many artists call Montmartre their home. The historic buildings and tree-lined squares alongside the cobbled streets brimming with cafes, patisseries and people are a perfect combination.

walking guide to visiting Paris

📍 Start at the Moulin Rouge – Finish at Sacre Coeur

📍 2km – easily spend half a day – 4.5hrs

📍 Moulin Rouge (0.5hrs) → 📍 Moulin de la Galette (0.5hrs) → 📍 Rue Norvins (1hrs) → 📍 Le Mur des Je t’aime (0.5hrs) → 📍 La Maison Rose (0.5hrs) → 📍 Sacre Coeur (1.5hrs)

Walking through the cobbled streets, historic buildings and artist hideouts of Montmartre is an architects, artists and adventurers’ heaven and a must-do if you are in Paris. With quaint cafes and hidden art at every turn, this route allows you to fully immerse yourself in Parisien ways, with a few sweet treats along the way! (Crepes and macaroons I’m looking at you!). Begin at Moulin Rouge before winding your way through the streets past countless galleries and cafes up the hills until you reach Sacre Coeur .

exploring part of our Montmartre guide

Day 1 Afternoon – Arc de Triomphe

From the Arc de Triomphe , we roamed through the streets back towards out accommodation, eating pre-dinner croissants and enjoying the spring sunshine.

3 day itinerary for visiting Paris

Day 1 Evening – Catch a show a Moulin Rouge

Catch a show at Moulin Rouge if you can, (plan in advance and book ahead of your arrival in Paris as the shows often sell out far in advance). Book your tickets for Moulin Rouge plus a bottle of champagne for the evening, (you are in Paris after all!), here!


For your trip to Paris be sure to check out our post on Things you must see and do in Montmartre

3 days in paris itinerary day 2 – eiffel tower, champ de mars & musée d’orsay, day 2 morning & afternoon – walking the gross-caillou district from the eiffel tower to musée d’orsay.

3 days in Paris

📍 Start at the Eiffel Tower – Finish at the Musee d’Orsay

📍 3.5km – easily spend half a day – 5.5hrs

📍 Place du Trocadéro (1hrs) → 📍 Eiffel Tower (1hrs) → 📍 Champ de Mars (1hrs) → 📍 Musee d’Orsay (2.5hrs)

I can’t write a guide to visiting Paris for 3 days and not include a walk that takes in the sights of the Eiffel Tower! So this walk allows you to see the Eiffel Tower from a number of places, all of which are just as stunning as the last.

Start the day off at Place du Trocadéro before wandering over the river to the Eiffel Tower. From here head between the Champ de Mars and Musee d’Orsay, glimpses of the Eiffel Tower at every turn, fully embracing getting lost down streets full of Parisien houses and boulangeries. (Make sure you stop for croissants and/or pastries at multiple locations along this route, there are so many boulangeries to choose from!).

3 day tour in paris

Day 2 Evening – Food with a view

For our final evening in Paris, (and a certain someone’s birthday!) Matt and I headed to Terrass Restaurant in Montmartre, just a short walk from our hotel. If you have never heard of it and are booking a trip to Paris, make sure you reserve an evening table here. The panoramic views over Paris are incredible and the food is just divine, what more do I need to say!

So, after watching the yellow lights of the city getting more intense as the sky darkened, and catching the Eiffel tower sparking to life, we decided to head to Place du Trocadero for the nighttime light show we had only seen from the distance.


Make sure you check out our 2 Week Road Trip in France for even more ideas of where to visit in France.

3 days in paris itinerary day 3 – the seine, musée de louvre & notre-dame, day 3 morning – river cruise on the seine.

For your final day of the 3 days in Paris itinerary how does a leisurely morning cruise along the River Seine sound? With a chance to see the sights from the river, and a chance to rest those legs from all the walking you will have been doing around the city, a river cruise is the perfect thing to do. Be sure to book in advance though for the best cruise options and cheapest tickets.

If you can’t get a trip on a cruise in the morning then opt to book an evening dinner cruise instead, (or as well as!).

Day 3 Afternoon – Walking the Seine

3 days in Paris

📍 Start at Place de la Concorde – Finish at Pont Neuf

📍 5.5km – easily spend a day – 9.5hrs

📍 Place de la Concorde (0.5hrs) → 📍 Jardin des Tuileries (2hrs) → 📍 Louvre (4hrs) → 📍 Le Palais Royale (0.5hrs) → 📍 Cathedral Notre-Dame (2hrs) → 📍 Pont Neuf (0.5hrs)

For the final afternoon for the 3 days in Paris itinerary spend the afternoon walking along the River Seine and see some of the typical tourist sights of Paris as well as exploring some of the beautiful gardens and galleries that fill the area. From Place de la Concorde we walked through the Jardin des Tuileries before stopping to marvel at the glass pyramids of the Louvre. Here we went to explore Le Palais Royale gardens for a relax around the fountain surrounded by early spring blossom.

After a stroll around the gardens, we then wandered further along the River Seine to the Cathedral Notre-Dame and then back along the island to Pont Neuf .

walking Paris

Day 3 Evening – Say Goodbye to Paris

After wandering around this beautiful city for 3 days we went back to one of our favourite spots in Paris, Place du Trocadero, for one final view of the Eiffel Tower and the beautiful city of Paris.

3 days in Paris

Where to stay in Paris

We based ourselves in Montmartre and it was the perfect place to be close to the sights but far enough away to get some peace and quiet from the hustle and bustle of Paris.

Check out the map below for the best accommodation options for your stay in Paris.

A perfect 3 days in Paris has to include those bucket list stops everyone has to see.

📍 Eiffel Tower – Nearest Metro stop Champ de Mars, but I recommend heading to Trocadero instead for incredible views down to the Eiffel Tower.

📍 Sacre Coeur – Nearest Metro stop Anvers, but a walk through Montmartre is not to be missed.

📍 Musee du Louvre – Nearest Metro stop Palais Royal / Musee d. Louvre, but I highly recommend getting off at Concorde and wandering through the Jardin des Tuileries to the Louvre instead.

walking guide to visiting Paris

Top Food To Eat In Paris & Where

📍 Banana & chocolate crepes/sugar & lemon crepes in Le Palais Royale gardens

📍 Croissants for breakfast in Montmartre

📍 Any filled baguette you can find in a boulangerie

📍 Onion soup overlooking the River Seine

📍 A glass of wine with views to die for at Terrass Restaurant

crepes during our road trip in France

Planning your own trip to Paris?  Make sure you check out our Travelling Tedaldi Amazon Store Travel Guides for all your guidebooks and maps. (We’ve done the hard work for you and linked all the things we used to plan our trip!)

The Perfect 3 Days in Paris Itinerary FAQs

How to get to paris.

As Paris is the capital of France it has a very well accessed international airport. It is also extremely well linked throughout Europe via trains. If you are arriving from the UK, you can also take the Eurostar train directly into Paris too.

Check out for the best flight options to and from Paris.

How to get around Paris

The easiest way to get around Paris is by utilising the metro system. Paris is a pretty big city so if you want to save your feet a little, get a metro pass for the 3 days and use them to get you across the various districts before exploring. You can also utilise the bus network, or cycle across the city but be warned, the traffic can get quite busy!

What is the cheapest way to get around Paris?

The cheapest way to get around Paris is via the Metro system. You can buy various day passes for either Zone 1 – 3, from €13.20 per adult / €6.60 per child for 1 day or Zone 1 – 5, from €27.80 per adult / €13.90 per child for 1 day.

Will I be disappointed when visiting Paris?

If you come with extremely high expectations of Paris as this fairytale city full of love and life, (as it is often portrayed in the movies), then depending on where you visit and where you stay then you might be a little disappointed. There are of course some truly wonderful locations to visit around Paris, but you also have to be prepared for the crowds and possible not so magical locations too.

Is Paris safe?

Paris is safe to visit for the most part, but you need to be aware of petty crimes and pickpocketing, as with in any large city, and especially a capital city.

What is the best time to visit Paris?

We visited Paris in early April, just in time for the spring to be hitting the city. It was still a bit cold though, but with only a few tourists around at some of the bigger sights and tourist attractions, we didn’t mind a little cold!

Is Paris expensive?

Being the capital city of France, Paris is of course more expensive than other locations across France. It s also one of the most expensive cities to visit in Europe but don’t let that put you off visiting! If you are sensible with where you eat, (not in the touristy locations), and where you stay you can make a Paris trip affordable for most budgets.

Should you get the Paris Museum Pass or the Paris Pass?

If you are looking to visit a number of the well-known museums and monuments in Paris then the Paris Museum Pass may be right for you as it gives you unlimited admission to over 60 locations as well as jump-the-line capabilities. However, if you are an EU citizen under 25 you can have free access to most of these locations already. Be aware that although it can jump the line, you may still be queuing for quite some time to the more well known places.

If you are visiting Paris and want to spend time exploring the city as well as attractions then the Paris Pass might be a better option. The Paris Pass gives you a one day hop on and off bus tour, a Seine River cruise, admission to various well known attractions and walking tours as well as discounts as restuarants.

Tours in Paris

Tours in capital cities are also a good idea to see more of the city than otherwise you wouldn’t have so check out these top tours in Paris from Get Your Guide – they often sell out quickly so be sure to purchase yours well in advance of your trip.

Day trips from Paris

All roughly 1 hour from Paris these locations make great day trips:

Versailles – UNESCO World Heritage Sites full of beautiful palaces and gardens

Fontainebleau – historical chateaux and gardens surrounded by a famous bouldering forest

Reims – the capital of the champagne region

Conclusion: The Perfect 3 Days in Paris Itinerary

So there you have our perfect 3 days in Paris itinerary for first-time visitors to this wonderful city. From our first, of what are sure to be many future trips to this beautiful location ‘la fin’.


Gemma is the owner and author of The Travelling Tedaldi, a travel blog helping travellers to discover the best road trips and travel itineraries throughout the UK and Europe. When she isn’t writing about her favourite travel destinations, she can often be found out exploring local hikes or planning future trips.

dreams in paris-logo

3 Days In Paris Itinerary: What To Do In Paris In 3 Days

Are you planning to visit Paris for 3 days but not sure how to spend your time?  This 3 days in Paris itinerary  will show you all the best places not to miss!

Paris is a fantastic city that has so much to offer. Despite its small size compared to other capitals, it boasts an amazing number of museums, monuments, and other tourist attractions.

The city of love can be visited in so many different ways that sorting through everything can be a real challenge and may be totally overwhelming.

In this article, I will detail the perfect 3 days in Paris itinerary just for you. I have picked out the must-sees of the city of lights so you don’t have to! If you follow this itinerary, you won’t miss out on anything Paris has to offer.

Facts about France

Disclaimer:  This post might contain affiliate links. This means we may earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you) should you choose to sign up for a program or make a purchase using one of our links. It’s okay – We love all of the products we recommend anyway, and you will too! Also, that commission helps us keep this awesome free blog up to date! You can read our  full disclosure here  for more details!

Whether you want to see some of Paris’ major museums, chill out in its park, or see historical monuments, this 3 day itinerary for Paris has a little bit of everything that makes up Paris.

Before we go further, I would like to disclose that this 3 days Paris itinerary assumes that you have 3 complete days in the city, but if you have a few hours less, you can still use it by adjusting some activities.

Psst… If you’re visiting Paris for the first time, you may want to read these  tips for first-time visitors to Paris  to have a better idea of what to expect. You may also find these  Paris travel tips  helpful. You can also check out my  Paris weekend itinerary  if your trip falls on a weekend.

Before You Go, Here’s How to Plan Your Visit To Paris: Practical Quick Tips

WHERE TO STAY Best Eiffel Tower Views:  Hôtel Le Walt  (9.0) Luxury stay:  Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel  (8.2) Mid-range stay:  Hôtel Eiffel  (8.7) Budget Stay:  People – Paris Bercy  (8.9) Apartment Rental:  Résidence Charles Floquet  (9.1)  

BEST GUIDED TOURS Louvre Museum guided tour : (4.5/5) Seine River Dinner Cruise : (4.7/5) Montmartre Walking Tour : (4.8/5) Le Marais Walking Food Tour : (4.5/5) Versailles Guided Tour : (4.8/5) Eiffel Tower Guided Tour : (4.4/5)  Private Transfer from CDG Airport to Paris : (4.7/10)

MUST-DO EXPERIENCES HAPPENING NOW IN PARIS Luminiscence at Saint-Eustache Church : A music and lighting show in one of Paris’s most beautiful churches: (4.7/10) Candlelight show : Perfect if you want to be treated to a candlelit music show in a beautiful Parisian venue: (4.8/10) Cabaret at Moulin Rouge : A cabaret in the iconic Moulin Rouge is a must: (4.7/10)

Where to Stay if You’re Spending 3 Nights in Paris

If you haven’t zeroed down on where to stay in Paris , now is the best time to book. But with a number of accommodations, from Paris hotels with Eiffel tower views , airbnbs with Eiffel tower views , hotels in Montmartre , to hotels in the Latin Quarter , it can be quite intimating to choose.

To help you, below are options you can consider depending on your budget.

Elysées Union is one of the Best Hotels with Eiffel Tower View in Paris

Budget Accommodation

Motel One Paris-Porte Dorée : Ideal for budget travelers, this hotel offers good value and is situated close to the subway to connect you to every part of the city. The decoration is contemporary and the rooms are super clean.

>>>  Click here to check rates & availability  <<<

Mid-range accommodation

Elysees Union: Halfway between the Champs-Élysées and Trocadero, this cozy hotel is ideally located to reach many attractions on foot and has friendly staff. The rooms are a bit small but clean and very practical. Plus, you can enjoy Eiffel Tower views in some of its rooms.

Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel is one of the best eiffel tower view hotels

Luxury Accommodation

Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel: This luxury hotel is right next to the Eiffel Tower and offers impeccable service. The rooms are luxurious and comfortable and the amiable staff will be happy to assist you always.

Apartment rental

Residence Charles Floquet: This residence offers classy and comfortable apartments. Thanks to its privileged location, some rooms have a direct view of the Eiffel Tower. Plus, the kitchen is well-equipped if you want to cook your own meals.

3 Days in Paris Itinerary: How to Spend 3 Days in Paris

I’ve structured this 3 days in Paris itinerary step by step to help you follow along with ease.

I’ve also carefully selected these places to make sure that the attractions suggested are close to each other, and in case you need to go to a place a bit further, I will suggest the best metro line to take.

Day 1 of Your 3 Days In Paris Itinerary

Prepare your walking shoes and get your phone ready to snap some pictures because the first of your 3 days in Paris will be intense! Let’s go!

Stop 1: Watch the Sunrise At The Trocadero

watching a sunrise at Trocadero is one of the best things to do in Paris

Yes, I know getting up at the crack of dawn requires courage but believe me, you won’t regret it because we start with one of the most famous and beautiful views of the Eiffel Tower !

Located at the top of the Colline Chaillot, Le “parvis des Droits de l’Hommes” (the square of human rights), you’ll enjoy the sunrise with a breathtaking view of the Eiffel Tower in the foreground.

At the first light of the day, the ambiance is truly magical. The sun’s rays reflect on the white of the marble ground and give a special feeling to the scene, coloring everything with warm colors.

This magical and enchanting moment will instantly make you forget the terrible early wake-up call!

While you can go to some other places for a sunrise, I truly believe this is one of the most beautiful places to watch a sunrise in Paris .

Stop 2: stroll in The Trocadero gardens

Taking a stroll in the Trocadero gardens is one of the best things to do in Paris in 3 days.

After enjoying a beautiful sunrise, stroll around the Trocadero gardens. Admire the colossal statues facing the Eiffel Tower, and the fountain of Warsaw, and walk through the garden’s alleys.

You will be surrounded by beautiful cherry trees if you visit Paris in spring or fall leaves in fall and numerous art pieces and sculptures, making your walk even more enjoyable.

The perspective on the Eiffel Tower from the garden is truly unique and offers an excellent playground for aspiring photographers, after all, this is one of the cool places to photograph the Eiffel Tower .

  • How to get to the Trocadero: Take Metro Trocadero lines 6 & 9
  • Estimated visit time : 1h

Stop 3: Have A French Breakfast

Pain au Chocolat is one of the typical French breakfast foods.

Watching the sunrise over the Eiffel Tower and strolling the Trocadero gardens will be quite an appetizer, so it’s now time for breakfast if you didn’t have it already at your hotel.

You will be able to find cafés and restaurants serving delicious French breakfast near the Trocadero square.

There are several French breakfast foods but some that are likely not to miss on any menu include the traditional French baguette served with coffee and also some famous French pastries such as croissants or pain au chocolate.

Some of the nearby cafes you can go to include Café du Trocadero or Carette in Paris .

Fill your belly up to gain strength because the day will be full of exciting adventures and lots of walking!

Pro tip*  If you don’t feel like waking up early for the sunrise and your hotel room comes with breakfast, you can start your 3 days in Paris itinerary by visiting the Eiffel Tower which opens at 9 AM.

Stop 4: Climb The Eiffel Tower for an incredible view

Eiffel Tower in the 7th arrondissement of Paris

There it is! Right in front of you! You just have to cross Pont d’Iéna to stand at its feet.

Symbol of the capital of love, it would be a shame not to visit the Eiffel Tower during your 3 day trip to Paris.

Designed by Gustave Eiffel for the 1889 World’s Fair celebrating the centenary of the French Revolution, it wasn’t much appreciated by the Parisians at its inauguration but rapidly became one of the most famous monuments in the world.

The Eiffel Tower is a must-see while visiting Paris, and rightly so! I recommend going up to the top floor to enjoy one of the most incredible views in Paris .

Summit view from the Eiffel Tower

If you’re up for it, you can reach the second floor by the stairs, but I suggest using the elevator to avoid wasting too much time on your busy day.

Booking this skip-the-line ticket in advance is strongly advised as you don’t want to waste time queuing. There is one for the second floor (with or without the elevator) and one that allows you to reach the last floor.

Alternatively, you can book this Eiffel tour guided tour to go with a knowledgeable guide if you want to learn more about the Iron Lady.

  • How to get to the Eiffel Tower: Take Metro Trocadero Line 6 & 9, Metro Bir-Hakeim line 6
  • Eiffel Tower Opening hours: 9:30 – 22:45
  • Estimated visit time: 2h

Once back down, return in the direction of the Seine and then walk along the river to reach the Bir Hakeim bridge .

Stop 5: Admire the Bir-Hakeim Bridge

Pont Bir-Hakeim is one of the places to add to your 3 days in Paris itinerary.

Stroll along the Seine on the pleasant Promenade d’Australie to reach the bridge of Bir-Hakeim.

This two-level iron bridge is one of the most beautiful bridges in Paris . It allows trains, cars, and pedestrians to cross simultaneously, but the drawcard here is its privileged position that offers an amazing point of view of the Eiffel Tower.

It also has two monumental sculptures on both sides of the bridge that you’ll appreciate.

This Subway viaduct is a very popular Parisian Instagram photo spot , so it’s not uncommon to see newly married couples come and get their wedding pictures here.

On the other side of the bridge, a nice walk alongside immense trees on the Île aux Cygnes leads you to the biggest replica of the Statue of Liberty in Paris .

  • Estimated visit time: 30 minutes

From the Bridge, walk to Bir-Hakeim Metro Station , take  Metro line 6 (M6)  in the direction of Charles de Gaulle – Étoile  and  stop at Charles de Gaulle – Étoile and you’ll be at your next stop, the Arc de Triomphe !

Stop 6: Visit the Arc de Triomphe

A photo showsasing the pillars of the Arc de triomphe.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Arc de Triomphe is one of the most famous monuments of Paris .

Erected by Napoleon I in the glory of his armies, the impressive monument sits in the middle of the Place de l’Etoile (Place Charles de Gaulle), a massive square from where 12 avenues lead off!

Once out of the subway, one common mistake is to cross the square on the surface. Do not do it! It is prohibited and very dangerous, plus the police might fine you!

Simply follow the signs leading to the underpass to reach the monument and the ticket booth.

As always, booking your ticket online is the best trick to avoid queuing time at this rather crowded attraction.

View of Paris from Arc de Triomphe

Once you stand at the foot of the building,  pay tribute to the Unknown Soldier’s grave and the eternal flame burning on the tomb. You can also walk around the monument and admire the incredible sculptures on its 4 massive pillars.

There are also several rooms inside with an exhibition about the monument’s history. Continue climbing the stairs because the true attraction of the Arc de Triomphe is its roof!

From the top of the Arc, the 360° panoramic view of the 12 superb avenues is not to be missed!

I believe that it is the most beautiful view of Paris as you will be able to spot other famous monuments like the Louvre museum , The Arch of La Defense , and the Eiffel Tower .

Once you get back down, cross the Place de l’Etoile again via the underground passages to reach the avenue to the Champs-Élysées !

  • How to get to the Arc de Triomphe: Metro Charles de Gaulle – Étoile lines 1, 2 & 6
  • Arc de Triomphe Opening hours: 10:00am – 11:00pm
  • Estimated visit time: 1h 30mins

Stop 7: Stroll along the Champs-Élysées

Champs-Élyées is one of the famous Paris monuments

Welcome to one of the most beautiful avenues in the world! This colossal boulevard is almost 2 km (1.2 miles) long and houses luxurious French brands , world-famous international brands, shopping malls, luxury boutiques, and restaurants.

If you’re a shopaholic, this is the perfect place to shop as you’ll find some of the most luxurious  French handbag brands ,  French skincare brands ,  French makeup brands ,  French lingerie brands ,  French watch brands ,  French jewelry brands ,  French perfume brands , and more. Just try not to blow up your wallet while at it!

But if shopping is not your thing, you will nevertheless appreciate the pleasant promenade alongside the “champs” as the French say.

Along the avenue, you can appreciate the beautifully decorated facades of the stores and buildings, the sidewalks are always very lively, and it is not uncommon to encounter dancers and other street performers.

  • Estimated visit time: 1h

Stop 8: Have Lunch

Quiche- French food

If you are hungry, Champs-Élysées is the perfect place to get a snack or have lunch. Most restaurants are expensive, but if you look around and explore the streets around the boulevard, I’m sure you will find what suits your needs.

I would suggest the Le Comptoir de l’Arc or Le Sens Unique as both offer quality French food at a reasonable price. There are also fast food places along the avenue like Five Guys and McDonald’s if you don’t want to spend much on food.

For those into fine dining, you can check out Fouquet’s ,  L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon Étoile , or  Café Joyeux Champs-Élysées .

From the Champs-Élysées, turn right onto Avenue Winston Churchill to connect to the Grand Palais and the Petit Palais .

Stop 9: Admire The grand palais, The Petit palais, and Pont Alexandre III

Petit palais is one of the best free museums in Paris.

The Grand Palais is so imposing. Its massive facade, beautifully carved, is overhung by an impressive glass dome adorned with the French flag.

This elegant building is a popular venue for art exhibitions. Unfortunately, since March 2021, visiting inside is no longer possible as it was closed for renovation and will hopefully reopen in 2024 for the Olympic Games.

Just across the street, the Petit Palais has nothing to envy about its big brother. Don’t be fooled by its name (the small palace), the Petit Palais is by no means tiny!

Built to celebrate the 1900 World’s Fair, the Petit Palais now houses the Paris Museum of Fine Arts . The museum’s interior is a beautiful and timeless place that any art lover will appreciate.

Eiffel tower photo from Pont Alexandre III

Nestled in its center lies a lovely little garden which is the ideal place to take a break or have a snack but since you only have three days in Paris, I recommend not entering but rather strolling outside.

Continue your way towards the Seine to reach Pont Alexandre III .

The Alexandre III bridge is, in my opinion, the most beautiful bridge in Paris. Its 4 massive pillars decorated with gilded Pegasus overlook ample sidewalks, ideal for roaming around and snapping great pictures of the Eiffel Tower and the Seine.

  • Estimated visit time: 1h00

Continue your walk towards Les Invalides .

Stop 9: Discover the Hotel des Invalides (Optional)

Les Invalides things to see in Paris in a day.

Impossible to miss since it prolongs the Pont Alexandre III, Hôtel des Invalides impresses with its magnificence.

This vast complex built under Louis XIV houses a military hospital, a museum dedicated to the army, a cathedral, and, most importantly, Napoleon’s tomb !

If you are ahead of schedule, you can add this visit to your 3-day Paris itinerary. I suggest specifically visiting the  Cupola and the tomb of Napoleon .

Nestled in a beautiful room, Napoleon’s tomb is an assembly of 3 coffins on top of each other, all placed in an envelope of Quartz. That says a lot about how important Napoleon was!

Above your head, the dome that shines beautifully on the outside (due to its gilding) is wonderfully marbled on the inside and the classical paintings are elegantly lit by the stained-glass windows giving the whole room a ceremonial mood.

Since it’s an alternative route, you don’t want to waste time queuing to buy a ticket. This skip-the-line ticket is the perfect solution to visit the monument without hassle!

  • Les Invalides Opening hours: 10 am – 6 pm
  • Estimated visit time: 1 hour

If you start walking with the Seine on your left, you won’t be able to miss the Assemblée Nationale .

Stop 10: Glance At Assamblée Nationale (Palais Bourbon)

Glancing at Assamblée Nationale is one of the things to add to your 3 days in Paris itinerary.

This magnificent palace officially named Palais Bourbon is the actual parliament of France. It is in this house that 577 deputies gather and vote on the laws.

Built for Louis XIV’s daughter in the 18th century, it has been renovated and remodeled over the centuries according to its different owners’ tastes.

The iconic 12 columns sitting in the front of the palace were erected during the Napoleonic era and remind us of Greek temples.

It is possible to visit the National Assembly to learn more about it by booking a free guided tour at the Assembly, but I wouldn’t recommend it since your schedule is quite busy! Just admiring its architectural beauty and taking photos from the outside is enough.

  • Estimated visit time : 10-20 mins

After your visit, head to  Metro Concorde  and take  M12  in the direction of  Mairie d’Aubervilliers  and stop at  Abbesses station to reach Montmartre which is the next stop on your Paris 3 day itinerary.

Stop 11: Visit Montmartre, La Maison Rose, and Street Artists

La maison rose in Montmatre

Montmartre is renowned all over the city as one of the most charming neighborhoods of Paris and it’s a must-visit whether you have just one day or 3 days in Paris.

Symbolic of the romantic and bohemian life, this district perched on a 130-meter-high hill offers small charming cobbled streets, galleries, museums, and sculptures all over its streets.

This neighborhood possesses a small village feeling like no other in the capital, full of little cafés, restaurants, and artists’ shops. It’s one of the most popular neighborhoods in Paris and thus quite touristy! 

It is impossible to visit Montmartre from top to bottom in such a short time but feel free to enjoy the district’s unique atmosphere and wander through its streets.

The highlight of Montmartre is, of course, the basilica. But before visiting the Sacred Heart, I would suggest heading to the Rue de l’Abreuvoir which is one of the cutest streets in Paris to take a picture of the famous pink house, La Maison Rose , a very popular Instagram spot.

Having the wall of love is one of the reasons why Paris is the city of love

You can also walk towards Place du Tertre , the most famous place in the area for street artists, and also stop by   Square Johan Rictus to see the “ I Love You Wall “.

With a wide array of things to do in Montmartre , it’s easy to spend a full day here. If you want to utilize the short time you have but still see all the highlights of this area, I recommend signing up for this Montmartre walking guided tour .

  • How to get to Montmartre: Metro Abbesses line 12
  • Estimated visit time: 3h

Before leaving Montmartre, make your way to the Sacré-Cœur Basilica

Stop 12: Visit the Sacré-Cœur Basilica

The Romano-Byzantine Architectural Style od Sacre Coeur

Built during the 19th century, Sacré-Cœur is not only one of the most famous churches in Paris but also a significant place of pilgrimage.

Absolutely gorgeous, the building will surprise you with its extreme whiteness and domes. The secret of its pristine color lies in its stone which produces a white substance in contact with the rain!

Free to visit, the interior ceiling is richly decorated and has the largest mosaic in France. The place is calming and solemn, surrounded by biblical ornaments.

If you want to climb the dome, you will have to buy a ticket and climb the 300 steps! It might sound challenging but the 360° view of Paris you get is rewarding. Try to spot and identify as many monuments as you can.

Outside the basilica, the foreground provides an amazing view of the rooftops of Paris. It’s also a very popular spot for tourists and Parisians who like to picnic and hang out in the gardens.

  • Sacré-Cœur Opening hours: 06h30 – 22h30
  • Dome and crypt opening time: 10:30am – 8:30pm

Stop 13: Take a Photo of the Sinking House

seeing the Sinking house in Montmartre is one of the things to add to your Paris weekend itinerary

Before going down, look to the left of the Sacré-Cœur to see the famous sinking house .

Though not really sinking, you can simply take a picture from the garden lawn to create the illusion that the house is leaning!

After your visit, continue your way down the hill. As the day is close to the end, it is now time to go to dine in one of the most famous cabarets in the world! There is no better way to end the first day of your 3 days itinerary in Paris.

Stop 14: Watch A Cabaret Show At Moulin Rouge

Watching a cabaret show is one of the best things to do in Paris in November.

After such a day, it’s time to rest and unwind — you’ve earned it! To finish the first day of your 3 day trip to Paris in style, I suggest dining at the most famous cabaret of the capital, the Moulin Rouge !

This cabaret dressed in a bright red exterior is located in Pigalle, the hottest district in the city.

Here, you can find trendy clubs, chic cabarets, and shabby s*x shops. This district fascinates as much as it disturbs.

Although a Cabaret dinner show at Moulin Rouge is quite expensive, you will get value for your money!

The show is colorful and extravagant following the finest French cabaret tradition. Order a glass of champagne and enjoy the dancers’ performance to end your night in style!

But before going, you should know that seats sell out fast so it’s better to buy your ticket in advance.

Moulin Rouge offers 2 options — one with dinner and champagne and another with just champagne, but I recommend going for one with dinner so that you don’t look for dinner after the show.

If you opt for the cabaret dinner show,  you can book your ticket here  but if you’d rather go for the show with just champagne,  then book your ticket here .

Day 1 of your 3 days in Paris itinerary was no doubt long but it’s now time to rest and recover your strength for tomorrow’s itinerary!

Day 2 of Your Paris in 3 days itinerary

Stop 1: go to place de la concorde.

Place de la Concorde is one of the places to visit on your trip to Paris for 2 days.

We start the second day of your 3 day Paris itinerary with a visit to the Place de la Concorde .

Considered one of the oldest monuments in Paris, this vast square — the biggest one in the city is very particular.

It has an Obelisk erected at the center which is originally from Egypt and is 3300 years old! It is not a copy but rather the actual Egyptian obelisk directly from the temple of Luxor that sits on this Parisian square.

Its arrival in France by ship in 1836 was a technical achievement unseen in this era. It required the construction of particular vessels and unique means of transport for its conveyance to Paris.

The place also houses two monumental fountains , offering visitors beautiful photographic opportunities.

It is surrounded by classical and majestic buildings and the Tuileries Garden , your next stop!

  • How to get to Place de la Concorde: Take Metro Concorde line 1, 8 & 12.
  • Estimated visit time: 30 mins

Stop 2: Take in the beauty of Jardin Des Tuileries 

Jardin Des Tuileries is one of the best places to visit in Paris in 3 days.

You can simply cross the road from Place de la Concorde to enter the Jardin des Tuileries .

As one of the most beautiful gardens in Paris , the Tuileries offers a pleasant and quiet setting for a walk.

Its position aligned with the place à la Concorde and the Champs Elysée allows for taking great pictures and gives an idea of the grandeur of the Parisian city center.

Numerous statues and sculptures dot the park’s long avenues making it feel like an open-air museum. The garden is also home to a wide variety of trees and flowers, which will please all plant lovers.

At the park’s end, the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel serves as a gateway to the monumental Louvre Museum which you’ll be visiting very soon!

Stop 3: Head to Pont Des Arts

Pont des Arts is most famous bridge in Paris.

In Jardin De Tuileries, you are already right next to  Pont des Arts  (commonly known as the  Love lock bridge ) which just happens to be one of the most famous in a city with more than its fair share of fabulous bridges.

The bridge used to be festooned with padlocks placed by lovers to cement their fidelity to one another.

The practice became so popular that the weight of the locks threatened to pull the bridge down (actually part of the parapet on the bridge was damaged) and they had to be removed and replaced with a glass panel, but that doesn’t stop it from remaining synonymous with romance and you will still see a few padlocks attached to various objects in the vicinity.

From this bridge, you can enjoy views of the Eiffel Tower and the  Orsay Museum  which is one of the most  popular museums in Paris .

Stop 4: Make Your Way to Place Vendôme and Palais Royal (Optional)

Poems about France

During your visit to the Jardin des Tuileries, feel free to step out of the park to visit the surrounding area.

Place Vendôme is located 3 minutes from the garden and is easily identifiable thanks to its huge bronze column. Erected by Napoleon, you can see a statue with his effigy at the top of the pillar.

Beyond the historical aspect, Place Vendôme is known for its chic and luxurious feel as it hosts major jewelers, luxury boutique hotels, and famous fashion designers .

Nearby, you will find the Jardin du Palais Royal . Classified as a historical monument, this garden is a must-see, especially during the cherry blossom season in spring.

At the entrance of the garden, you’ll also find the famous Colonnes de Buren — an artwork composed of 260 black & white columns of different sizes.

Freely accessible to all, the artist wished that the public would make the space their own by climbing, playing, and touching the columns. This makes it a popular spot for Instagram pictures and a fun playground for both kids and grown-ups.

Stop 5: Have Breakfast

French Breakfast foods

Whether you’re back in the Tuileries garden or still in the vicinity of the Palais Royal, this is the perfect time for a nice breakfast to prepare you for the rest of the day if you didn’t have one at your hotel.

The first arrondissement is packed with many cute Parisian cafés and restaurants, and you will have no trouble finding what you need in this area.

You can check out Baguett’s Café for a French breakfast or Bagelstein . Bagels & Coffee shop for something more American and international.

Stop 6: Visit The Louvre Museum

Louvre museum facts

One of the best places to visit in Paris in 3 days is none other than the Louvre museum .

With more than 30,000 pieces of art spread over 68,000 square meters, the Louvre is the largest art museum in the world.

But with those many objects, it is truly impossible to see everything in one visit, and since exploring it can be overwhelming, it is essential to prepare for your visit well. You can list the masterpieces you wish to see in the museum.

Some of the most famous paintings in the Louvre and other artworks not to miss include; the most famous painting in the world, the Mona Lisa , the Venus de Milo , the Liberty Leading the People , the Code of Hammurabi , the Coronation of Napoleon , the Sleeping Hermaphroditus , and many more. You’ll also find some of the most famous French paintings here.

I recommend buying this Louvre Museum timed entry ticket in advance or booking this Louvre guided tour to get the best glimpse of the museum with a knowledgeable tour guide. It is truly a labyrinth, and it is not uncommon to get lost searching your way so a guide might be handy!

With plenty to see, you can easily spend the whole morning in the museum until lunch.

  • How to get to the Louvre museum: Take Metro 6 & 9 Trocadero stop
  • Louvre Museum Opening Hours: 9 am – 6 pm but extends to 9:45 pm on Fridays.
  • Estimated time: 3-4hrs

Stop 7: Have Lunch

Drinking wine at lunch time is one of the fun facts about french food

After a treat for the eyes in the museum, it’s time to treat your belly!

Feel free to walk away from the museum and explore the surroundings to find good restaurants and avoid tourist traps.

Luckily for you, there are so many good restaurants nearby such as the Loup or the Maceo . If you want something different than French gastronomy, you can head to Il fico for quality Italian food.

After a great lunch, it’s time to explore Paris’s beautiful island,  Ile de la Cite . It is just about 10 minute’s walk from the Louvre Museum, so I recommend walking there.

Stop 8: Go To Ile De La Cité And Admire Pont Neuf

Pont Neuf  is one of the monuments to add to your itinerary for 3 days in Paris.

Once you are back on the itinerary, head to one of the most iconic bridges in Paris, the Pont Neuf .

Despite its name, the Pont Neuf (which translates to New Bridge) is the oldest bridge in Paris. It connects the right bank of the river to the Ile de la Cité , one of the two natural islands in Paris.

Completed in 1608, it was the very first stone bridge in Paris and that’s why it was named Pont Neuf because the concept was totally new!

On the bridge, you can admire the equestrian statue of King Henri IV . Quick anecdote, it is said that the first photograph of a human being was taken here in 1837!

Cross the bridge to enter l’Ile de la Cité and head towards the Notre Dame cathedral.

Stop 9: Admire The Stained Glass Wall At Sainte-Chapelle

Sainte Chapelle's stained glass windows

One of the best things to do in Paris in 3 days is to admire the beauty of Sainte-Chapelle , so before heading to Notre Dame, you should make a stop at this beautiful church.

Sainte-Chapelle may not be as famous as Notre Dame but it’s no less magnificent. A colorful jewel nestled in the heart of Paris, its huge stained glasses light up the chapel and its sculptures with a thousand lights creating beautiful and vivid colors!

Built during the 13th century to store the relics of Christ, it is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful churches in Paris . Definitely, one not to be missed!

To make sure you don’t waste time in queues during your visit, I recommend buying this Sainte Chapelle skip-the-line ticket in advance.

  • Sainte-Chapelle Opening hours: 09h00-19h00 (from April to September) and 09h00-17h00 (from October to March)
  • Estimated visit time: 30 min

After the visit, make sure to pass by the Conciergerie and the Clock Tower to admire the oldest public clock in Paris directly from the street.

Stop 10: Admire The Famous Notre Dame Cathedral

View of Notre Dame

If you’re wondering what to do in Paris in 3 days, then visiting the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral is one of them.

Devastated by a terrible fire in 2019 that shook many Parisians, it is still under renovation and therefore impossible to enter inside currently.

However, a walk in the cathedral’s square will allow you to admire it from the outside, appreciate its architecture, and take some pictures of the immense Rosace.

If you want to learn more about its history, you can book this outdoor walking tour to help you understand how important this cathedral is, and the stories after the fire, and you’ll also get a chance to visit the archaeological crypt of Paris .

Stop 11: Stop At Shakespeare & Co Bookshop (Optional)

bookstores in Paris with English books

If you still have time, you can stop by Shakespeare & Co Bookshop which is one of the best English bookshops in Paris .

If you’re a bookworm, it’s a great place to pick up some rare books but even if you aren’t a bibliophile, this ancient little bookstore is a Parisian gem. You can even just grab a photo if you end up not going inside.

After exploring all the fun things to do on Ile de la cite , cross the Seine again towards the Châtelet subway station to reach your next stop, Palais Garnier . From Châtelet, take  M7  in the direction of  La Courneuve  and stop at  Opera .

Stop 12: Appreciate The Beauty Of Palais Garnier

Opera is one of the best areas of Paris.

Palais Garnier also known as the Paris Opera House or Opéra Garnier is not only an opera house but also an extraordinary monument! A true masterpiece of architecture and engineering.

One of the most beautiful Opera houses in the world, its exterior façade is majestic and monumental.

Once inside, you will be dazzled by the extravagant gilding, columns, and sublime paintings. The monumental double staircase is a masterpiece in itself but its Grand foyer has nothing to envy Versailles Palace.

To be wowed by its extravagant beauty, you’ll need to buy this ticket for a self-guided tour .

  • How to get to the Paris Opera: Metro Opera lines 6, 7 & 9
  • Paris Opera Opening hours: 10 am – 5 pm

After the Opera, take a short walk to Boulevard Haussman to continue your Paris itinerary for 3 days visit.

Stop 13: Head To Galeries Lafayette For Shopping And Views

Shops inside Galeries Lafayette

Welcome to the shopper’s paradise! Boulevard Haussmann is home to two of the biggest department stores in Paris, Galeries Lafayette and Printemps Haussmann .

Here, you will find everything and anything, from chic Parisian fashion to home furnishings and traditional delicacies. This is definitely one of the best places to shop in Paris.

But don’t worry if you don’t like shopping or if you spent everything at the Champs-Élysées, the Galeries Lafayette offers so much more.

Enter the store and admire the beautifully decorated architecture, look up to appreciate its huge art-nouveau-styled dome, but the highlight is the view from its terrace.

Climb the top floor and reach the store’s terrace to discover one of the most beautiful views of Paris. If it is the end of the day, you will be able to enjoy the sunset while sipping a drink on the restaurant’s terrace.

Opening hours: 10am – 8:30pm

Stop 14: End Your Day on A cruise on the Seine

cruising on Seine river is one of the best things to do while in Paris for a weekend

What better way to end the 2nd day of your 3 days in Paris itinerary than on a relaxing dinner cruise on the Seine!  It is the perfect way to relax, have a good meal, and see Paris at night !

The French capital takes on a whole new dimension at night with its perfectly lit monuments alongside the Seine. The highlight of the cruise is the Eiffel Tower which glows at the top of every hour with a thousand lights!

However, if you don’t want to have dinner, I’d still recommend taking a cruise without dinner as the view of the different Parisian monuments from the seine is absolutely stunning, you will not regret it!

If you opt for dinner, this is the Seine River dinner cruise I recommend but if you’d rather not have dinner, then you can opt for this 1-hour Seine cruise that is also cheaper than the former.

Stop 15: Stroll The Streets of Paris at Night (Optional)

Paris by night

In conjunction with your river cruise, or without it, a wander through the  streets of Paris  at night will help you see this city differently.

At night, this city reveals an altogether different side of herself — one that could easily be one of the highlights of your two days in Paris visit.

You may like to just stroll along the banks of the Seine, or you can seek out an authentic bar filled with local and regional wine.

If you opt for the latter, you can check out this list of  rooftop bars in Paris . What the heck? You can even do both. You won’t be sorry.

Day 3 of Your itinerary for 3 days in Paris

Stop 1: explore le marais neighborhood.

Le Marais is one of the best neighborhood in Paris.

This is the 3rd and final day in Paris! Be reassured, this last day will be a little more relaxed than the first two!

Today, you will be able to take the time to enjoy Paris and the Parisian life while visiting and learning more about the city of love.

We start the day by visiting Le Marais neighborhood . Located in the heart of the capital, this very lively and animated quarter during the day becomes a party area at night full of trendy bars and street music.

Considered by many as a bit of Paris’ soul, this historical and trendy district is very cosmopolitan. It’s packed with boutique hotels, designer stores, and many historical places.

Speaking of historical places, the Place des Vosges which is the oldest square in Paris is worth visiting while in Le Marais.

It’s a pleasure to roam around this place encircled by red-faced Haussmann-style Parisian buildings.

Centre Pompidou in Paris

Continue to walk around the neighborhood to soak up its unique atmosphere, and visit the antique shops and art dealers.

You can also stop at Cente Pompidou to see this one-of-a-kind building. I don’t recommend entering though since you just have 3 days in Paris and won’t have enough time for it.

If you’re hungry, the Place du Marché Sainte Catherine offers several breakfast options.

Follow your GPS to visit streets like Rue Vieille-du-Temple , Rue des Rosiers , and Rue Francs Bourgeois as they reflect exactly what Le Marais is all bout, historical and vibrant.

Being a compact neighborhood, you may not be able to see all that it harbors but to see all the highlights, you can join this Le Marais walking tour .

Alternatively, if you’re a foodie, you can explore this area through food by joining this Le Marais food tour .

  • Estimated visit time: 2 hours

Stop 2: Be in awe in front of the Hotel de Ville And BHV Marais

Hotel de Ville is one of the unique photo spots in Paris

Still in Le Marais, continue your route towards the Seine to discover the Hotel de Ville.

Rebuilt after a terrible fire in the 19th century, this magnificent neo-renaissance building is striking for its sheer size and the finesse of its sculptures and engravings.

It is possible to visit the interior of the building, but this is only done on appointments on specific dates, usually on Heritage Days in September. Therefore, I advise remaining outside to enjoy this immense 140m (459 ft) long façade.

Just opposite, is BHV Marais , one of the capital’s historical and famous department stores, similar to Galeries Lafayettes or Printemps .

You can choose to enter BHV Marais for quick window shopping or even to admire its interior beauty.

Stop 3: Discover the mythical Latin Quarter and its Pantheon

Pantheon is one of the places to add to your 3 days in Paris itinerary.

Time to cross the river through île de la cité or the île Saint-Louis . If you cross through île Saint-Louis you can make a quick stop at Berthillon , one of the best ice cream shops in Paris!

And since you were in île de la cité the previous day, I recommend passing here to discover this part of Paris too.

Once on the other side, you are now in the Latin Quarter . It is one of the most typical and charming districts of Paris . Just like Le Marais, walking around here is an absolute pleasure, even if the atmosphere is totally different.

Stroll along the tiny cobbled streets and climb the butte Sainte Geneviève to reach the Pantheon .

Nicknamed “the monument of great men” the Pantheon houses the tombs of some of the most famous French people who made French history, such as Voltaire, Marie-Curie, Zola, and more.

Its facade, inspired by Greek temples, commands respect, and the huge dome makes it a particular landmark of Paris. Do not hesitate to visit this place loaded with a peculiar atmosphere and discover the crypts magnificently decorated with marble.

I advise buying this ticket online to avoid queuing and enjoy the monument to the fullest. It is possible to climb the dome from April to October to enjoy a superb view of the Eiffel Tower and Paris.

Saint-Etienne du Mont Church is one of the most beautiful churches in Paris.

Once the visit ends, continue exploring this neighborhood that has so much to offer. Just opposite the Patheon is Saint-Étienne-du-Mont , a stunning church you shouldn’t miss.

Not far from the Pantheon, the Lutetia Arena is one of the few remaining Gallo-Roman sites in Paris and is worth stopping at.

Follow up by visiting Sorbonne University , the most important university in France, and experience the “student” atmosphere of the area.

As you can see, the Latin Quarter requires an article of its own because there is so much to do and see! If you’re curious about what more to do here, you can check out my article on the best things to do in the Latin Quarter .

If you want to get deeper insights into this neighborhood, you can sign up for this Latin Quarter guided walking tour .

By this time, I’m sure you’re starting to get a bit hungry after walking all morning! In that case, you can go on a picnic in the Luxembourg garden!

Stop 4: Have a nice picnic in the Luxembourg garden

Jardin du Luxembourg is one of the best best parks in Paris.

If you want to take a break from restaurants and want to do something original, you can’t go wrong with a picnic.

Stock up on food in any convenience store or supermarket and head towards the border of the Latin Quarter to visit the Luxembourg Gardens .

This magnificent garden is home to the Luxembourg Palace . Built for the regent Queen Marie de Medici, it is now the House of the Senate, where 348 senators meet and debate legislation.

The garden is divided into two parts, English-styled and French-styled. Both parts are pretty different and it’s amusing to spot the differences.

The vast fountain, the Medici Fountain in between the two parts is the heart of the garden. People love to gather around and sit on numerous chairs while children enjoy sailing tiny toy boats in its basin.

This park is rooted in Parisian life and appreciated by locals and tourists. Locals come here to play tennis, chess, sports, or meditate. It’s the perfect glimpse into local life.

Take a walk in the park to discover the 106 statues scattered everywhere before settling down for your Parisian picnic .

Stop 5 : The Jardin des Plantes (Alternative route)

Jardin des Plantes is one of the places to add to your 3-day Paris itinerary.

The Jardin des Plantes is an equally appealing but quite different alternative to Luxembourg gardens.

At 2.5 hectares, this park has an educational purpose to it. Along its paths, you’ll admire (and smell) hundreds of different species of flowers. It also has numerous hidden tracks and trails making it an ideal playground for children.

The garden also houses the Muséum de l’histoire naturelle and its famous grande galerie de l’evolution and also ,quite surprisingly, a Zoo ! It is actually possible to see a few animals without having to buy a ticket.

Once your picnic is over, take the subway line 12 to the Musée d’Orsay .

Stop 6: Admire Art in the Musée d’Orsay

Exploring the Parisian Museums without the crowds is one of the best things to do in winter in Paris.

This museum is a real gem for art lovers and is a prime spot for those looking for what to see in Paris in 3 days!

Located in a former train station, from which only the exterior structure remains, the Musée d’Orsay houses world-famous masterpieces of all types.

From sculpture to photography and decorative arts, it hosts the world’s most extensive collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings.

You will be able to admire the work of famous painters like Cézanne, Claude Monet , Van Gogh , Auguste Renoir , and many more!

Its great hall on the ground floor is overhung by a large clock magnificently decorated, recalling the railway station nature of the place.

And from upstairs, you can appreciate a unique view of Paris through the back of the large exterior clock! It’s a famous spot for Instagrammers.

Like other famous museums in Paris , Orsay is usually crowded and the best way to skip the long lines is by purchasing this skip-the-line entry ticket .

  • How to get to Orsay museum : Take Line 12 Solférino or RERC Musée D’orsay
  • Orsay Museum Opening hours: 09:30-18:00
  • Estimated visit time: 2-3 hours

Head back to metro line 12 and take a metro to reach your next step, the Montparnasse Tower !

Stop 7: Climb the highest tower in Paris, the Montparnasse tower

Montparnasse Tower view

The Montparnasse Tower is impossible to miss since it’s literally the highest tower in Paris! Visible from almost anywhere in the capital, the imposing black building culminates at 210 m (688,9 ft) high. 

Often overlooked by tourists, it is one of the most fantastic places to enjoy an exceptional view of Paris and the Eiffel Tower.

Hop onto the elevator to the 56th floor to discover a playful space filled with information and interactive screens.

A few floors up — on the 59th — is the outdoor rooftop with a breathtaking view and comfortable, relaxing seats.

Since the tower closes very late in the evening (the last lift is at 11 pm), it is possible to reach there in time to admire the sunset, a magical moment ideal for photos that will leave you with an unforgettable memory.

I suggest booking your ticket here beforehand, so you don’t have to queue at the tower’s ticket office.

  • How to get to Montparnasse Tower: Take Metro Montparnasse lines 4,6, 12 &13.
  • Montparnasse Tower Opening hours: 11:00-23:30

Stop 8: Treat yourself to the last dinner in Paris

L'oiseau Blanc is one of the best restaurants in Paris with a view

Your 3 days in Paris trip is almost over! To finish the day on a high note, I would suggest booking a good restaurant in one of the many in the city. Nothing beats a good meal to finish off a great trip!

Paris is often called the capital of gastronomy, I don’t know if it is true, but there are sure plenty of choices!

You can choose from these restaurants with a view of the Eiffel Tower for luxury dining or try out Les Fabricants for traditional southwestern French cuisine, or Chez Propser if you are looking for a typical Parisian brasserie atmosphere.

FAQs On Visiting Paris for 3 Days

Visiting Place de la Concorde at night is one of the things to do in the 8th arrondissement of Paris.

Is 3 days enough for Paris?

To see everything in Paris, you might need a little over a month if not more but as a tourist, 3 days are enough to see the main highlights.

You get to see the major museums, Louvre and Orsay, monuments like the Eiffel Tower, and the Arc de Triomphe, and gardens like Luxembourg, and also still have time to explore the charming neighborhoods of Montmartre and the Latin Quarter.

So in my opinion, 3 days are indeed enough to see the highlights of the city.

How many days are enough for a trip to Paris?

Ultimately, the longer you stay, the better especially if you want to add some  nontouristy Paris attractions .

However, not everyone can stay for long. 1 week will be great to even add in a few  day trips  but if you still don’t have that much time, then 4 days is the sweet spot.

Final Thoughts on How to See Paris in 3 Days

There it is! I hope you enjoyed this 3 days in Paris itinerary. I can guarantee that if you follow this itinerary, you will become a real expert on Paris (and might be a little bit exhausted but it’s totally worth it!).

Of course, this itinerary is only one among hundreds of possible options. You can adjust and modify it as you wish, adding and removing stages to suit your needs and pace!

Remember the point is not to see absolutely everything there is to see in Paris but to enjoy your trip and create beautiful memories!

But regardless of how you structure your trip, I hope you found this Paris in three days itinerary helpful.

NEVER TRAVEL TO PARIS WITHOUT TRAVEL INSURANCE One of the biggest mistakes you’ll ever make when planning a trip to Paris is to forego Travel Insurance ! You might think that it’s expensive, but when you think of how much it will save you when you lose your valuables or even get sick, then you’ll know that it’s NOT that expensive! Unfortunately, things can and do go wrong when you travel. World Nomads offers coverage for more than 150 activities as well as emergency medical, lost luggage, trip cancellation, and more. If you’re considering travel insurance for your trip, check out World Nomads .

More articles to help you plan your trip to Paris.

  • Best Things to do in Paris in March
  • How to get from CDG to Paris
  • Best rooftop bars in Paris
  • How to get from Paris to Versailles Palace
  • Things to do in the 16th arrondissement of Paris
  • Best night tours of Paris
  • A complete guide to the 20 arrondissements of Paris
  • Best Souvenirs from Paris
  • What is Paris famous for
  • Fun things to do in Paris in November

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Esther is the face and voice behind Dreams in Paris! She has always been obsessed with Paris even before she moved there. She has lived in Paris for a couple of years, and that obsession has not changed! That love for Paris, plus her passion for writing led to the birth of Dreams in Paris! She now shares all the practical tips and guides she’s picked along the way to help you plan a memorable trip to the city of love! You can learn more about her here !

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The Planet D: Adventure Travel Blog

3 Days in Paris: The Best Paris Itinerary for Your First Visit

Written By: The Planet D

City Guides , France

Updated On: February 9, 2024

3 day tour in paris

If you know us then you know that Paris is one of our favorite cities in Europe, and 3 days in Paris gives you ample time to sample all the highlights of the city. From visiting the famous sights like the Eiffel Tower and The Louvre to exploring great Paris neighborhoods and sampling some great food, Paris is a city that has it all.

To help you in your planning we put together this 3 Day Paris itinerary to help you have the best experience possible.

Table of Contents

Our 3 Day Paris Itinerary

Paris itself can be an overwhelming city. There are so many things to do and you need to make sure you take advantage of all the time-saving ideas you can. We have spent considerable time in Paris , so we took our knowledge and used it to make sure that you visit the most attractions without feeling like you are run off your feet.

By taking advantage of Skip the Line tickets and easily accessible transit you can have the Paris dream in 3 short days. The way to do this is to purchase a GoCity Paris Pass that includes public transportation, skip the line tickets and timed entrances.

Paris Itinerary Day 1

Paris Itinerary Map Day 1

Welcome to Paris! Today we will start off by visiting some truly iconic landmarks of the city. These are all the places that you associate with Paris.

So get your camera ready as this is the “Classics” of Paris! If you don’t want to walk this you can jump on a Seine River Cruise to see most of it from the water.

1. Eiffel Tower

3 Days in Paris Eiffel Tower

No trip to Paris would be complete without seeing its most famous landmark. There is nothing like gazing up the center of the tower or catching the view from Trocadéro Gardens or the Champs de Mars. Either way, you won’t be disappointed.

Now, if you want to go up the Eiffel Tower (which I recommend if this is your first time in Paris) make sure you book your tickets in advance. Check out These Hotels with the best Eiffel Tower Views

How to Go up the Eiffel Tower

Take the elevator.

There are 2 different ways to go up the Eiffel Tower. One is by stairs and the other is by the elevator. Most people choose the latter. But, the line up here can get extremely long (2 to 3 hours long), so buying them beforehand is recommended and it allows you to skip that line. If you can, try and book them for the first time slot at 9:30 am.

You can book them at the  official website  or if they are sold out for your day check out the   Skip the Line options here .   **Note** Tickets for the elevator go on sale 60 days in advance for the elevator so book early.

Take the Stairs

There is another way you can get up if you don’t mind climbing a few stairs, 700 to be exact. If you are feeling spry you can opt for access to the second level by stairs. It is cheaper and is almost always shorter than the one for the elevator. A good option if the summit access is sold out. **Note** Tickets for the stairs go on sale 10 days in advance.

  • Hours:  Lift access: Every day 9.30 am-11.45 pm (9 am-12.15 am July-August); last entry 1 hour 45 minutes before closing.
  • Stair access: Every day 9.30 am-6.30 pm (9 am-12.45 am July-August); last entry 45 minutes before closing.
  • Cost:  Lift to the second-floor €16.60; Stairs to the Second Floor €10.40; Elevator to the top €25.90; Stairs to the second level + Elevator to the top: €19.70
  • Location:  7th Arrondissement 5 avenue Anatole France – Champ de Mars – 75007 Paris
  • Metro Stop:  Bir-Hakeim stop Line Green 6

2. The Louvre Museum

Paris Itinerary for 3 Days Louvre Museum

After a great morning at the Eiffel Tower make your way to Paris’s second most popular landmark, The Louvre. We originally left this off of the 3 Day Paris Itinerary because it is so huge and crowded. But after our last visit, we decided to add it in because you can enjoy the highlights of the museum in just a couple of hours.

We are definitely not frequent museum visitors but the Louvre is another exception. It is much more than a museum, it is a journey through history via art.

Paris Itinerary has to include the Mona Lisa

Here you will find famous works from The Venus de Milo and the Mona Lisa to the Psyche Revived by Cupids Kiss, there is something here for all kinds of art lovers. Truthfully you could spend days here if you are an art lover.

How to Skip the Line at the Louvre

Being the largest art museum in the world it is busy, especially in the high season. But, there are a few ways you can get ahead of the crowds to save some time.

  • Book your tickets online in advance: The official Louvre Website says that if you buy your tickets in advance the wait is never more than 30 minutes. Cost: 17 Euros
  • Get a The Paris City Pass  or  The Paris Museum Pass : Both of these allow you to skip the line at the Louvre. But note that you will still have to wait in the security line but this is often much shorter.
  • Book a Tour: If you don’t want to spend the additional money on one of the above passes you can always jump on a tour. We recommend this Fast Track Highlights Tour or the Timed entrance ticket if you want to explore on your own.

Don’t forget to admire the outside from all angles as the Glass Pyramid (which is also the entrance) was built by I.M. Pei and is a great compliment to the original architecture of the Louvre. For a photo with almost no people, return later at night. The scene takes on a different feel and it is nearly devoid of people.

  • Hours:  Monday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from 9 am to 5.45 pm. Wednesday and Friday 9:00 am to 9:45 pm.
  • Cost:  €17
  • Location:  1st Arrondissement Pyramide du Louvre – 75001 Paris
  • Metro Stop:  Palais Royal – Musée du Louvre, Yellow Line 1, Pink line 7.

3. Place de La Concorde

Place de La concorde on your 3 day Paris Itinerary

After a couple of hours of experiencing the Louvre head northwest towards the Champs Elysees. Starting at the Tuileries Garden and ending at the Place de la Concorde this walk takes you through some of the most beautiful gardens in Paris and ends in a place steeped in French history.

The Place de la Concorde was created in 1772 and has the macabre designation of being the execution site during the French Revolution. Some famous people who lost their heads to the guillotine here were Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette. But today it is most recognized by the Luxor Obelisk which is 3300 years old and was erected in 1836.

4. Champs D’Elysees

Three Days in Paris Itinerary Champs Elysees

Continue northwest along the Jardins Des Champs D’Elysees and cross a busy roundabout (Exercise caution here, the traffic is crazy) to arrive at the Champs D’Elysees.

This is a relatively long walk so if you want to save time jump on the Metro at Place de la Concorde and get off at George V. This will put you right in the middle of the Champs Elysees. The most famous street in Paris.

Boutiques and bistros line the wide lanes and street performers shine on the sidewalks of the boulevard. It is a walk you won’t forget. Take your time to explore the shops and splurge on a café au lait at a sidewalk restaurant.

  • Location:  8th Arrondissement Place de la Concorde – 75008 Paris
  • Metro Stop:  Concorde stop Yellow Line 1, Purple Line 8, Green Line 12. Champs D’Elysees: George V stop Yellow Line 1

5. Arc de Triomphe

Arc de Triomphe Paris Itinerary

At the end of the Champs Elysees is the famous Arc de Triomphe. I see this every year on television as it marks the finish line of the Tour de France. As you walk towards the Arc De Triomphe you can witness the world’s largest roundabout from the inside.

Pay your respects to the unknown soldier and marvel and the grandness of this impressive monument. I highly recommend you go up to the top of the Arc for another great view of the city.

Arc de Triomphe view Paris Itinerary

The streets span out from one of the world’s largest roundabouts and you have an incredible view of the Eiffel Tower.  If you have the Paris Pass you get free entry and you can skip the line.

Note: Make sure to use one of the underpasses to cross the street. The traffic is crazy. Also, If you are looking for a cool view of the Arc de Triomphe head to the crosswalk on the Northwest side of the Arc on Avenue de la Grande Armee. You can stop in the middle and grab a great shot!

  • Hours:  From 1 April to 30 September: 10am-11pm. From 1 October to 31 March: 10am-10:30pm.
  • Cost:  €13; Children under 17 are free. Skip the line and Free entry with the Paris Pass.
  • Location:  8th Arrondissement Place Charles de Gaulle – 75008 Paris
  • Metro Stop:  Charles de Gaulle – Étoile stop Lines 1, 2 and 6

Paris Itinerary Day 2

Paris Itinerary Map Day 2

Click here for the Interactive Map

Paris History, Musee D’Orsay and The Catacombs

6. ile de la cite.

Paris Itinerary number one Ile de La Cite

What better way to start your second day in Paris than the Ile De La Cite. This is the historical heart of Paris and home to Notre Dame and Sainte Chapelle.

A great way to get around is the Hop on Hop Off bus. If you have purchased the   Paris Pass  i t is included for 1 day. If you have not you can get a  1-3 day pass here.

Start at the  Pont Neuf Bridge , which is one of the oldest bridges in Paris, and stroll along the Seine until you reach Notre Dame. This is one of my favorite stretches of the river.

7. Sainte Chapelle

Nore Dame is beautiful on the outside but it does not really compare to Sainte Chapelle on the inside. Sainte Chapelle has one of the best displays of stained glass in the world. It is definitely worth spending a little time here in the morning when the light is beautiful.

Like most attractions in Paris, you will want to get here early in order avoid the lines. We suggest arriving 20 to 30 minutes before opening time if you want to take in the beauty of this church. Skip the Line to Sainte Chapelle Here

  • Hours: April 1 to September 30: 9 am to 7 pm; October 1 to March 31: 9 am to 5 pm; closed January 1, May 1, December 25.
  • Cost: €11.50
  • Location: 8 Boulevard du Palais, 75001 Paris, France
  • Metro Stop:  Line 4, Cite

8. Notre Dame Cathedral

Notre Dame three days in Paris Itinerary

Please Note: Due to the tragic fire on April 16, 2019, Notre Dame is no longer open. They are doing restorations but do not expect to open until 2024.

Notre Dame may be inaccessible at the moment but it is still worth taking in the beauty of this building. As you walk through its courtyard you will also come across a plaque that marks the “Point Zero” or the official center of old Paris.

Continue along the Seine to the rear of the cathedral and cross Pont de l’Archeveche which will give you the most beautiful view of Notre Dame.

9. Left Bank of the Seine River

Left Bank - 3 Days in Paris itinerary

As you leave Notre Dame you can then begin your 30-minute stroll to the Musée d’Orsay, where you are transported into a book lover’s paradise. The famous left bank of the Seine is lined with booksellers that have plied their trade since the early 1900’s. It is very “Paris”.

Make sure to take notice of Shakespeare & Company . If you are a fan of classic literature you will remember that this was a famous gathering place for Hemingway, James Joyce, and Ezra Pound back in the early 1900’s.

10. Musée d’Orsay

The Musée d'Orsay- three days in Paris Itinerary

Now, we are self-proclaimed non-museum fans. Usually, we find them a little boring and not very interesting. Enter the Musée d’Orsay. This is by far one of the best museums I have ever been to. It houses the largest collection of Impressionist art in the world and is housed in an old train station so the design is just beautiful.

If you are a lover of Manet, Monet, Degas, or any other Impressionist you will find some of their best works here. We absolutely loved how this museum was set up and it may just have made us museum fans. There is an entry fee to get into the Museum but if you have The Paris City Pass  or  The Paris Museum Pass it is included.

**Tip** The Museum is FREE on the first Sunday of every month and it is closed on Mondays.

  • Hours:   Closed on Mondays. Open Tuesday to Sunday from 9:30am to 6pm. Open to 9:45pm on Thursdays.
  • Cost:  Museum ticket + exhibition: €14
  • Location:  7th Arondissment 1 rue de la Légion d’Honneur – 75007 Paris
  • Metro Stop:  Solferino, Green Line 12

11. Les Jardins du Luxembourg

Paris Itinerary - Jardin du Luxembourg

After you leave the Musée d’Orsay you can make your way towards the Catacombs and Montparnasse. For those who love to walk and maybe are a little peckish, we suggest grabbing a baguette and some cheese and head to the south lawn of Jardins du Luxembourg for an afternoon picnic.

The gardens themselves are beautiful. They were created by Queen Marie de Medici in 1612 and span 25 hectares! That is a lot of land.

If you prefer to get there faster we suggest either hop on the Metro at Musee D’Orsay and get off at Montparnasse  (A metro Pass is included in your Paris Pass)

If you have purchased tickets for the Hop on Hop Off Bus that day you can get off at the Catacombs stop (Summer Route) or the Port Royal stop (Winter Route). That will get you close to the Catacombs, which is the next stop on today’s agenda.

  • Hours:  Opens 7.30am and 8.15am, and closes between 4.30pm and 9.30pm according to the season.
  • Cost:  Free
  • Location:  6th Arrondissement Rue de Médicis – Rue de Vaugirard – 75006 Paris
  • Metro Stop:  Odean on the Yellow line 10 and on the Purple line 4.

12. The Catacombs

Catacombs of Paris - three days in paris itinerary

If you like a little adventure and don’t mind being a little spooked than the Catacombs of Paris are for you. Built back in the last 18th Century to house the bones of Paris’s overrun cemeteries.

Now that may seem gross to you but the way they are stacked neatly and presented it is almost as if they are artwork rather than human bones. Like they say “Everything looks like art in Paris”.

We suggest taking a   Catacombs Tour   so you can get all the information that will allow you to appreciate this part of Paris.

  • Hours:  10 am to 8:30 pm Tuesday to Sunday. Closed Mondays.
  • Cost:  13 Euro
  • Location:  14th Arrondissement1 avenue du colonel Henri Rol-Tanguy – 75014 Paris
  • Metro Stop:  Denfert Rochereau stop, Green Line 6 and Purple line 4

If you want to read a detailed account of our time in the Catacombs make sure to check out  Catacombs of Paris – Touring the Underground Labyrinth of Death

13. Montparnasse

3 Days in Paris Itinerary Montparnasse

To finish off your evening sightseeing we recommend heading to Montparnasse. This is definitely one of the best views of Paris and at sunset, it is even more impressive. Head up the tower to the observation deck on the 56th floor. It is divided into 2 levels.

The lower level is completely glassed in. Great if it is a windy or chilly day and still a great view of the city. But we suggest heading up to the terrace. This has glass panels but there are a few openings that you can get the lens of your camera through. Great for reflection-free shots. For all our photography friends this is good news. You can also bring a tripod up there as well which is a big bonus in Paris.

For dinner, we suggest heading to the Latin Quarter and grabbing a Prix Fixe Meal. This area is only a 20-minute walk and has a ton of charm and some amazing restaurants.

  • Hours:  Summer: Monday to Sunday, 9.30am-11.30pm. Winter: Sunday to Thursday, 9.30am-10.30pm, Friday, Saturday and on the eve of public holidays, 9.30am-11pm
  • Cost:  Adults: €18 ; students: €15 ; Children (4-11 years): €9.50. Day & Night Ticket (valid for 2 visits within 48 hours) : €23/adult ; €20/student ; €16/child.
  • Location:  15th Arrondissement Rue de l’Arrivée – 75015 Paris
  • Metro Stop:  Montparnasse – Bienvenüe

Paris Itinerary Day 3

On the final day Paris Itinerary takes you to explore one of the world’s most famous cemeteries as well as the artist center of the city. These are located a little out of the main center but well worth visiting.

14. Père Lachaise Cemetery

Pere Lachaise Cemetery three Day Paris Itinerary

Located in the 20th Arrondissement, the Père Lachaise Cemetery is home to 800,000 souls and some of the most famous plots in the world. Jim Morrison of the Doors,  Chopin, Moliere, Edith Piaf, Rossini, and Oscar Wilde are all buried here. There is a reason this is the most visited cemetery in France!

Even if you are not interested in the famous residents of Cimetiere Pere la Chaise you can still visit and be in awe of the artwork on display at this museum of the dead. If you want to get more detailed information on the Cemetary we suggest you  book a guided tour   which gives you some great details of this area of Paris.

Tip: Make sure to get yourself a map. You can get one at the Cemetery by the main entrance at Avenue Principal or you can  download one here.

  • Hours:  November to mid-March from 8am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday, from 8.30am to 5.30pm on Saturday and from 9am to 5.30pm on Sundays and holidays.
  • Mid-March to October: 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 6pm on Saturday and 9am to 6pm on Sundays and holidays.
  • Location:  20th Arondissment 8 boulevard de Ménilmontant – 75020 Paris
  • Metro Stop:  Pere Lachaise Line 1 and 2

15. Montmartre

Montmartre on your Paris Itinerary

Jump on the Metro and head to the Montmartre area. This is located in the 18th Arrondissement and is one of our favorite areas in Paris. Not only to stay but to spend an afternoon.

Start your afternoon with a leisurely lunch at Place du Tertre and admire all the artists who display their works daily. After lunch stroll the streets of Montmartre and see where Dali, Picasso, and Renoir once lived and worked. You can visit the Montmartre or Dali Museum, both of which are very interesting. But before you leave this area you must make your way to Sacre Coeur.

16. Sacre Coeur

3 Days in Paris Itinerary Sacre Coeur

This Basilica, which is situated on the highest point in Paris, is a must-see. Standing on the steps you feel as if you can see all of Paris. If you are looking for an even higher view you can climb up the 300 steps to the top of the Dome (there is a small fee for this). The view is spectacular.

After viewing the sunset from the steps of the Basilica you can finish off your day by grabbing dinner in the Montmartre area or if you are looking for something a little more daring, take in a show at the Moulin Rouge.

Sacre Coeur Hours:  The basilica is open everyday from 6am to 10.30pm (last entry at 10.15pm for visitors).

The dome (access from the left side of the basilica) : 8.30am-8pm from May to September; 9am-5pm from October to April.

  • Cost:  Free to go inside and Fee to access the Dome. See the  official website  for details.
  • Location:  18th Arrondissement Parvis du Sacré-Coeur – 35 rue du Chevalier de la Barre – 75018 Paris
  • Metro Stop:  Anvers Stop on Line 2 then walk up the stairs or take the funicular which costs the same as Metro ticket and is free with your  Paris Pass.

Optional Day 3 Activity

The palace of versailles.

Many people when they visit Paris for the first time want to see the Palace of Versailles . It is on everyone’s bucket list. As it is technically not “in Paris” we didn’t include it on this itinerary but you may want to add it as an option on Day 3.

Located a 45-minute train ride from downtown Paris, Versailles, which was the seat of the French government fo 100 years, is a magnificent castle and grounds. From the impressive Hall of Mirrors to the gardens that have been used as a model in countless castles around the world, this place really does impress.

How long do you need at Versailles? Depending on how much of a history buff you are you could spend 3 hours or so (like we did) or take the whole day.

If you do want to fit this into half a day we suggest grabbing a Skip the Line Entry Ticket or grabbing Transfer, Ticket and Audio Guide tour to make the most of your time.

  • Hours: Closed Mondays; open at 9 am Tuesday to Sunday; Gardens and the park are open every day and are free to visit.
  • Cost:  20€ for the palace and gardens and the Trianon; 18€ to tour the just the palace (Included with The Paris City Pass  or  The Paris Museum Pass .
  • Getting There:  Because Versailles is outside Zone 3 on your travel card a ticket will cost 7.10€ return extra. Take the RER C from Paris to Versailles it is a 45-minute ride each way.

Tips to Make the Most of Your Visit to Paris

Get yourself a paris pass.

The best way that you can save money and see all of the sites is to get yourself a  Paris Pass . You can get it for 2-6 days and it includes all of these and more:

  • Free entry to more than 60 top attractions
  • Free travel on the metro
  • A 1-day hop-on, hop-off bus tour ticket
  • A guidebook in 6 languages
  • Skip-the-line entrance to many of the sights, like Centre Pompidou (Modern Art), Arc de Triomphe, Louvre Museum, and more.
  • Bateaux Parisiens River Cruise
  • Wine Tasting – O Chateau Day Trips
  • Book your Paris Pass Here

With only having a short amount of time this will help you get around quickly and skip the line at a bunch of places. Definitely worth it. Book your Paris Pass Now!

Some Museums are closed Mondays or Tuesdays

There is nothing worse then showing up when the museum is closed. There is a lot to keep up on so check out Paris Museum and Attraction closures before you visit.

Getting Around Paris

The city is easy to get around so don’t stress too much about choosing a hotel near your favorite monument or museum. **Please Note** If you opt for the Paris Pass the Metro is included from zones 1-3!

The Paris Metro is affordable and easy to navigate. When you arrive in Paris, you can easily pick up a pass and travel is easy. A five-day pass in zones 1-3 is only €37,50.

The Hop on Hop off Bus

The Hop on Hop off Bus runs between 9:30 am and 7 pm. If you get the Paris Pass the Hop on Hop off bus is included for 1 day. If you feel you want to use it more than that or decide against the Paris Pass you can book your   1-3 day pass here. Just be aware that the Hop on Hop Off Bus has a  Summer  and  Winter  Route Map. Check to make sure you are using the correct one.

Getting to and from the Airport

We recommend taking either a private transfer or shuttle bus. Or you can opt to take an Uber. The  shuttle bus  will cost you about $21 USD per person,  The Private Transfer   will cost about $40 USD return and an Uber will run you a minimum of 50 Euros.

If you want to know the fastest and cheapest way to get to Paris from the airport then check out our guide on the Cheapest Ways to Get from CDG and Orly to Paris .

That should do it.! If you have any questions about this Paris itinerary, leave them in the comments below!

Additional Information for Your Trip to Paris

  • What to do in Paris at Night

If you are planning a trip to France, make sure to check out our France Travel Guide!

Many People add London to their Paris Itinerary, check out these London articles to help plan more of your Paris travels:

  • Where To Stay In London – A Guide to The Best Areas and Places
  • 3 Days in London – The Ultimate London Itinerary
  • London Landmarks – 18 Famous Places in Photos
  • 22 of the Top Things to do in London, England
  • London’s Top 5 Alternative Attractions

Did you enjoy this post? Why not Pin it on Pinterest?

Paris itinerary in Three Days

Travel Planning Resources

Looking to book your next trip? Why not use these resources that are tried and tested by yours truly.

Book Your Flights: Start planning your trip by finding the best flight deals on Skyscanner. We have used them for years and have found that they have the best flight deals.

Book your Hotel: Find the best prices on hotels with these two providers. If you are located in Europe use and if you are anywhere else use TripAdvisor.

Find Apartment Rentals: You will find the cheapest prices on apartment rentals with VRBO . 

Travel Insurance: Don't leave home without it. Here is what we recommend:

  • Safety Wing - Occasional Travelers.
  • Medjet - Global air medical transport and travel security.

Book Your Activities: Looking for walking tours, skip-the-line tickets, private guides, and more? Then we recommend Get Your Guide.

Need more help planning your trip? Make sure to check out our Resources Page where we highlight all the great companies that we trust when we are traveling.

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28 thoughts on “3 Days in Paris: The Best Paris Itinerary for Your First Visit”

Great piece of work. I agree to the way you list them down. For example, Eiffel Tower rightly makes to the first spot. I am from Toba in Indonesia. I can tell that all people I know wish to see the Eiffel Tower. The tower is a symbol for romance, the way people here see it. The Louvre Museum is next on their dream list, and so on.

Great post and Paris looks so wonderful! this literally help me for my next vacation plan and considering Paris as the next destination, thank you so much

This was exactly what I’ve been looking for- thanks! I am frantically trying to plan out my family trip (with a naughty 3 year old boy and 13 year old daughter) for this coming summer. We will be in Paris for 6 days out of the 3 weeks. *Breath in, breath out* I appreciate your well detailed itinerary!!!

Thanks- it sounds like a wonderful itinerary.

Great post.. was a great help while planing and during a four day stay in Paris last week.. I was there 19 years ago and had a magnificent time… this time around,not so much.. the people of Paris,for the most not all, have become so very gloomy . It was just plain depressing. And when there were protests in the Champs elysee the metro stations and buses were suspended all the way to the Louvre.. and not even a taxi or uber could get through…then the whole thing got repeated the very next day cause the Champs elysee was open only to pedestrians… and again everything closed for miles and miles.. and no one not even the police knew how to direct us to the closest working station .. Traffic in Paris has become very bad that walking will get you to your destination much faster… The tax deduction policy is ridiculous , and trying to redeem your money at the airport is not and easy task and needs you to get to the airport with more than plenty of time on your hands.. This is getting pretty long so I think I should stop here. Thank you for letting me steal off some of my disappointment in city I used to live so much.

I love your post very much. Paris is one of the most romantic cities in Europe and one of the most visited cities in the world. No doubt, there are endless reasons to visit Paris again and again: it is a beautiful and cultural city, very walkable, with great sights. Thank you.

it looks that was a great trip! I hope to make a trip like that soon.

I am planning to go for paris and i was just searching for this kind of article. now i can plan my trip in a very systematically way. Thanks

Paris has been on my bucket list since my childhood. Your blog will be of great help when I plan a trip there. Thank you guys for sharing it with us.

Amazing blog… I am planning to go for paris and i was just searching for this kind of article. now i can plan my trip in a very systematically way. Thanks Alot.

that’s a very complete guide 🙂 Did you manage to do everything?

Wow, amazing! Can you advise some photo-tricks to make such kind of photos. What software do you use to edit them?

Great article.!! paris is just the city where you want to go anytime if someone ask you to go. Thanks for sharing such great article. Great images. Cheers.!!

It looks a wonderful place to visit there. Loved your pictures. Thanks a lot to share a nice post!!

Sounds like you’re having fun over there! Awesome !!!

Seeing a post like this makes me want to revisit all these places again. Certainly, Paris is everyone’s dream destination. The place is very romantic, not to mention all these beautiful places bound to catch everyone’s attention.

This article made me cringe. Please, please learn to spell or use spell check. And it is “sight seeing” . If you are going to talk about French sights, at least don’t mangle the spelling of their famous avenue, the Champs Elysees. Cemetery is a “ce” word in English as well as French.

Thanks for pointing out the mistakes Solstice. It’s not a good excuse, but I remember being in such a hurry while we were in Paris and frantically put up posts each day to share our experience there. I agree with you though, I should have taken the time to do a quick spell check. It can be difficult to write a blog each and every day without an editor and it is passionate comments like yours that remind me to make sure to give each and every post the time it deserves once I am finished writing it to give it a good once over. This was written nearly 2 years ago and I have definitely learned a lot since that time when it comes to writing an article for ThePlanetD. Cheers.

It takes a lot of time, but I think it’s worth it to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower.

You are right Jetpacker, everything in Paris is worth doing, but if you have limited time and money there are great ways to pick and choose. We are definitely not saying don’t go up the Eiffel Tower, these are just suggestions to see everything in a few short days. I suggest getting to the Eiffel Tower very early if you want to go up, the crowds and lineups are out of control.

Wow, that was a busy three days! We will be in Paris for five days in July, so I enjoyed reading up on how you organized your time in the city. Next time you will definitely have to visit the Louvre!

Dian, you will be able to pack so much in to three days and have plenty of time to relax.

What a whirlwind! Sounds like my last trip to Paris when I had only two (full) days there – I’d been to Paris before but it was my husband’s first time there, so we did a similarly rushed tour of the most popular sights – if it wasn’t for the photos we took we’d be hard pressed to remember all that we packed into two days! 🙂 .-= Trisha Miller´s last blog .. The Write Time =-.

There is something about Paris that always makes us travel fast. We have been here 2 times before, but never running the travel blog. We wanted to revisit the sites that we only had photos on from our old film camera and we wanted to share our favorite moments and sites in Paris with all of you. However, I am sure that if we go back, we will still run around to see all the sites again, we can’t get enough of Paris!

I hope you are lucky for the next trip dave, Paris is amazing destination that strongly recognized its culture and historical sites.

I can understand why you need a holiday after this! 🙂 .-= Maria Staal´s last blog ..How Hard Can It Be To Find A Waffle Iron Expert? =-.

Maria, we are exhausted:-)

Sounds like you’re having fun over there! .-= Michael´s last blog ..Life at the Edge: Why Putting Yourself in Harm’s Way is a Good Idea =-.

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3 days in Paris

How to Spend 3 Days in Paris – the Perfect Itinerary

Last Modified: February 5, 2024 //  by  Anda //   26 Comments

Paris is one of the most sought after destinations in Europe and that’s not surprising. It’s charming, rich in history, easy to walk, and very atmospheric. There is a lot to see and do in Paris, so if this is your first time here and you only have 3 days, you’ll need a well planned itinerary.

Ideally, you should spend more time in the City of Lights to fully experience it, but sometimes a packed European itinerary doesn’t allow for more time. When planning your first trip to Paris it’s tempting to load up your itinerary. But unless you are very selective with your schedule, you’ll burn yourself out very quickly.

3 Days in Paris Itinerary

With that in mind, I’ve put together a 3-day Paris itinerary that will allow you to discover the city’s most famous attractions without feeling rushed and overwhelmed. There are many other beautiful sites in Paris which I intentionally left out, as I believe they can be skipped if you only have a few days. Obviously if you have more time, you can also include these attractions and maybe even take some day trips from Paris .


Day 1 : Arc de Triomphe, Louvre, Eiffel Tower Day 2 : Latin Quarter, Notre-Dame, La Sainte-Chapelle, Sacré Coeur Day 3 : Musée d’Orsay, Dôme des Invalides, Saint-Denis Basilica, River Cruise

3 day tour in paris


1. arc de triomphe de l’étoile.

Start your walk at the Arc de l’Étoile – the monument honoring those who fought and died for France. From here head east toward the Place de la Concorde ,  one of the major public squares in Paris.

Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile

At the center of Place de la Concorde you’ll see the  Obelisk of Luxor –  a gift to France from the Ottoman rulers of Egypt in 1829. Place de la Concorde was the filming locations of the final scene in The Devil Wears Prada (starring Anne Hathaway and Meryl Streep) – one of the movies you should watch before coming to Paris.

After passing through Place de la Concorde, continue to the Tuileries Gardens , which once belonged to Catherine of Medici (wife of Henry II). This place has always been a popular retreat in Paris, so if you need a break, this is a great place to relax.

3 days in Paris itinerary

At the east end of the Tuileries you will see the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel which commemorates Napoleon’s victory in the Battle of Austerlitz.

From the Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile to the Arc du Carrousel there are roughly 3 miles, so depending on how many stops you make along the way, it may take you 2-3 hours to walk between these points.

2. The Louvre Museum

Just one street crossing away from Arc du Carrousel is one of the world’s most famous art museums: the Louvre . If you want to visit the museum you can stop here, but don’t plan to visit everything in one visit. It’s one of the things you should avoid on your first trip to Paris .

Visiting the Louvre may easily take an entire day and since you only have 3 days in Paris, I would suggest you limit your visit some of the main sites. These are also pretty safe, especially if you are on a solo trip to Paris.

You could visit the Apollo Gallery (where the crown jewels are kept), the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, and the Winged Victory.

Louvre Museum

TIP : On Wednesdays and Fridays the Louvre stays open till 10 p.m. If you come to the museum after 6 p.m., chances are you’ll have the rooms all for yourself. 

The lines to visit the Louvre can be very long. So rather than waiting for hours to get inside, book your tickets online in advance at the Louvre official website , or purchase a Skip-the-Line Guided Tour that will take approximately 2 hours.

If you have any extra time after visiting the Louvre, consider dropping by the Galeries Lafayette. This is one of the most beautiful department stores that you will ever see. The enormous stained-glass dome at the center of the store is definitely worth a little detour.

Galeries Lafayette

READ NEXT : What to Buy in Paris: 15 Souvenirs You’ll Just Love!

3. The Eiffel Tower

What better way to end your first day in Paris than a visit to the Eiffel Tower? This easy recognizable landmark is at the top of every travel bucket list for Europe . Therefore there are always long lines, if you want to go up.

My favorite spot to view the Eiffel Tower is from Trocadero. This large square that sits on the hill of Chaillot is the perfect place to photograph the Tower. Especially in the evening, when the city lights glitter in the background. 

Eiffel Tower in Paris

After you take it all in, you can start walking toward the Seine River to reach the Eiffel Tower itself. Unfortunately, the lines at the Eiffel Tower can also be huge (2-3 hours sometimes).

There are two ways to get to the top of the Eiffel Tower: you can either climb the stairs (much shorter lines, but more tiring), or you can take the elevator.


1. the latin quarter.

If there is one thing you shouldn’t miss in Paris is the Latin Quarter ( Quartier latin) . This district has always been the epicenter of bohemian Paris. Here you’ll find a many historic buildings and monuments, lots of restaurants and cafés, and some very fascinating book shops.

Make sure you stop by the famous  Shakespeare & Company , the English bookstore that was once the meeting place of the likes of Ernest Hemingway and James Joyce.

Shakespeare and Company 3 days in Paris itinerary

Some of Paris’s most astounding cathedrals are also in this area and two of them should definitely be on your 3 day itinerary.

2. Notre-Dame Cathedral

Updade: No matter how many times I went to Paris, I could never skip this Gothic masterpiece that keeps watch over the Seine River. Unfortunately, in April 2019 a massive blaze devastated large parts of the Notre Dame Cathedral.

Notre Dame de Paris is located on Île de la Cité , one of the two remaining natural islands in the Seine within the city of Paris (the other being the Île Saint-Louis). The church’s magnificent façade can be seen from far away, but the details in the sculptures and the famous gargoyles at the top become obvious only as you get close to it. 

Before entering the cathedral, take time to go around and look at the outside of the building and the beautiful rose window.

Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

3. La Sainte-Chapelle

Also on Île de la Cité, just a few minutes walk from Notre Dame, is the beautiful Sainte-Chapelle. This royal chapel is located within the walls of Palais de Justice (formerly known as Palais de la Cité), the former residence of the Kings of France until the 14th century.

To visit the chapel you have to get through the security line at Palais de Justice. After passing the security line, you enter the chapel’s first level which is nice but not very spectacular.  

La Sainte Chapelle

There are plastic folders everywhere, in different languages, telling the story of the place. Don’ miss them as they have valuable and interesting information not just about the church but also about Paris.

From this floor you begin ascending a narrow spiral staircase toward the second level. As you enter the second level, the ceiling opens up into the most brilliant display of color and light.

I can’t really describe the feeling I’ve got when I first saw  La Sainte-Chapelle.  It’s like walking into a surreal space with ever changing colors and kaleidoscopic patterns. The chapel is stunning display of stained glass – 15 windows depicting over 1000 scenes from the Old and New Testament.

4. Sacré Coeur Basilica

From here head to Montmartre, a large hill in Paris that gives its name to the surrounding district. At the top of the hill you can visit the iconic Sacré Coeur de Montmartre, another famous church in Paris that you shouldn’t miss. There is no view of Paris like that from the dome of the basilica. 

3 day Paris itinerary - Sacré Coeur

Montmartre is all about atmosphere: narrow streets, bohemian art galleries, street painters and chic restaurants. Parisians consider Montmartre a heaven of peace and many of them wouldn’t live anywhere else.

Walking through Montmartre feels like walking in the footsteps of Renoir, Matisse, Picasso and the other artistic figures who revolutionized the late 19th and early 20th century painting. Besides the beautiful Sacré Coeur, Montmartre is also home to the Moulin Rouge , Paris’s famous cabaret.


1. musée d’orsay.

You can start your 3rd day in Paris with a visit to one of the richest and most exciting museums in the world: Musée d’Orsay. Its exclusive Impressionist art collections containing works by Matisse, Monet, Degas, or Van Gogh can be overwhelming.

It’s almost impossible to see the entire museum in a single visit. If this is your first time here, it’s best to focus on one or two wings at the most. 

Musée d'Orsay in Paris

The museum building has a very interesting history. It was originally Gare d’Orsay Station and served as the terminus for the railways of southwestern France until 1939. During World War II, it became a mail center.

Over the years, the building had many other roles: a temporary hotel, an auction house, and even a film set. Before becoming an art museum in 1986, it even survived a demolition attempt. The building still feels very much like a train station, with its huge clocks and wide open spaces.

2. Napoleon’s Tomb and the Dôme des Invalides

Most people go to Dôme d es Invalides  just to visit Napoleon’s tomb, but there is so much more to this monumental structure. The large complex of 17th-century buildings was initially designed for the care of disabled veterans and as a place of worship. Parts of the building were later converted into Musée de l’Armée and into a tomb for Napoleon I.

This is one of the world’s most fascinating military museums, but I didn’t include it in your 3 day itinerary since your time in Paris is too short. If however you are planning to return for a longer trip, make sure to add it to your must-see list.

Even if you don’t have military inclinations, the artifacts on display will amaze you. You’ll also find out a lot about France’s tumultuous history and the many wars it fought.

3 days in Paris

TIP : Book your guided tour for Napoleon’s tomb online and skip the lines:

3. Saint-Denis Basilica

If this is your first time in Paris, you might not be aware about the historic importance of St. Denis Basilica. I included it in your 3 day Paris itinerary because I believe this is one of the most grandiose and important royal necropolis in Europe.

The cathedral is the burial place for most of the kings and queens of France. From the 6th to the 19th century, 43 kings, 32 queens, 63 princes and princesses, and 10 historical personalities have been buried here. There are over 70 statues marking the final resting place of some of France’s most important figures. I have only seen grandiose crypts at the Capuchin Church in Vienna .

Beneath the cathedral’s floor lies the crypt, where you can see the remains of Saint-Denis, patron saint of France (martyred in 250 AD). Also in the crypt are the tombs of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette, who were beheaded during the French Revolution.

St. Denis Basilica outside Paris

Located in a small suburb just North of Paris, this gem is often overlooked by visitors, which is a pity. For history buffs St. Denis Basilica is an absolute must and totally worth the short trip outside the city limits.

TIP: If you decide to tour the Saint Denis Basilica, you can book your tour here:  

4. Boat Tour on the Seine River

What better way to close your three day visit to Paris than a boat tour on the Seine? Pass by the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Notre Dame, the Musée d’Orsay and get one more look at the city’s iconic sights.

Boat on the Seine River

There are many options to choose from for a boat tour in Paris . From Hop-On-Hop-Off to a luxurious dinner cruise, you can pick whatever fits your budget and lifestyle.

Sites You Can Skip If You Only Have 3 Days in Paris

Paris certainly has countless attractions that are worth checking out. In fact, many of the sites are so popular, that missing them will make you feel like you haven’t even been in Paris. But there are also some famous places that you can skip if you only have 3 days in Paris, so here is what you can leave out of your itinerary:

The Catacombs

Seeing the over 6 million skeletal remains stacked in an underground ossuary is certainly a unique experience. But unless you are visiting Europe off-season , when Paris sees way less visitors, I would skip the Catacombs.

During the peak season the lines for the Catacombs are endless (2-3 hours wait) and the narrow tunnels are crowded and stuffy. This is definitely not a good place to visit in summer!

The Palace of Versailles

The Palace of Versailles is definitely worth seeing if you are in Paris, but not if you only have 3 days. Between the ride itself (40-45 minutes), the long lines at Versailles and the time you’d need for visiting the Palace, you’d be spending probably an entire day on this trip.

The Top of the Eiffel Tower

Before deciding whether to go up the Eiffel Tower or not, you should be aware that you will be competing with 19,500 other people who want to see Paris’s landmark on every single day. You could easily spend 2-3 hours standing in line.

But if you don’t want to leave Paris without seeing the Eiffel Tower up close and personal, you can book a special tour below. With this tour you will not only skip the ticket line, but also get priority access on 2nd floor.

Museum Pass vs. Paris Pass

Both passes are designed to reduce the costs of visiting Paris in a short time period. In order to decide which one works best for 3 days in Paris, you need to now what’s covered under each pass.

The Museum Pass covers the entrance fee for over 60 attractions and can be bought for 2, 4 or 6 days (from $65).

The Paris Pass is more expensive ($120) but way more complex. It includes all the attractions covered by the Museum Pass covers, plus free transportation in Paris. The big advantage of the Paris Pass is that it helps you skip the lines.

How to Get Around Paris in 3 Days

If this is your first time in Paris, getting around the city will seem intimidating. Public transportation works great in Paris, but deciphering the metro maps is not always easy may take too much of your precious time.

Instead of spending precious time asking for directions in Paris, I suggest buying a 3 day ticket for the  Hop-on Hop-off Bus.  This ride will help you get acquainted with the city and give you an idea about the most important landmarks. I find this to be the best way to explore any new city we travel to and Paris is no exception to this rule. 

Best Time to Visit Paris

Paris is not the same at every time of year, so before you decide when to schedule your 3 day trip you need to know what to expect during the different travel seasons.

Summers are beautiful in Paris, but during the day time it may get a little hot. Also, most Parisians leave town in summer, so you’ll have more tourists around than locals.

Fall and Spring in Paris are absolutely beautiful. The weather is good, the prices are a bit lower and crowds are smaller, so September-October and April-May are probably the best time to visit Paris.

Winters are not that great in Paris. Between November and Mark the city seems sad, although not deserted. There are always people around in Paris, even during the coldest and rainiest days.

We have visited Paris several times during the winter and late fall and the experience wasn’t that great. On the plus side, January and February are the cheapest months to visit Paris, in terms of hotel and airfare prices.

Practical Tips for Visiting Paris

Safety tips.

Overall Paris is pretty safe, but like in any big city around the world you should exercise common sense and be aware of scams and pickpockets. Major crime is not an issue in central Paris. Here are a few things to consider for your safety:

  • don’t walk down poorly lit streets at night
  • don’t go near/through gardens at night
  • be aware of your surroundings when you are withdrawing cash from an ATM (and don’t do that at night)
  • don’t venture outside the city late at night and if you have to return to your hotel from a late night show, take a cab rather than using the metro
  • lock your passport and valuables away when you leave your accommodation and don’t carry them with you

Other Tips for an Improved Experience in Paris

  • Parisians are very formal, so don’t expect to start up a conversation with a stranger in a cue, like you would in America. 
  • Say hello and good-bye ( bonjour and au revoir ) any time you enter/leave a store or a restaurant. Failing to do so is perceived as very rude and may attract a rude treatment in return. 
  • Be sure to use the bathroom whenever you are at an attraction or in a restaurant. Free public restrooms are rare and usually very dirty in Paris.
  • Know your hotel’s name and address. It seems obvious but there are multiple Marriott’s (or whatever) in Paris and things can get confusing with the language barrier.

Where to Stay in Paris

As you may expect, there is no shortage of accommodations in Paris. Over the years we have visited the city many times and stayed in different places and neighborhoods. We tried hotels, bed-and-breakfasts and apartments. We even tried some unusual hotels in Paris .

Ideally you should try to find lodging as close to the city center as you can, in order to avoid commuting. Unfortunately Paris hotels tend to be very expensive, especially in the more upscale neighborhoods. That’s why I think you have a better chance to find a good deal by using VRBO or Airbnb.

You can also take a look at the listings for Paris on Expedia . Besides hotels, they also have apartments and hostels. I use Expedia quite often when I travel and it always game me good prices. 

If you found this article helpful, pin it for later

3 days in Paris itinerary


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Anda is an award winning travel writer, avid globetrotter and passionate photographer. She is the voice behind "Travel Notes & Beyond," a collection of stories and travel impressions from her wanderings around the world. When she is not busy writing, traveling, or editing photographs, you can find her hiking in the foothills behind her house together with her husband and their dog.

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Reader Interactions

David Foong

October 5, 2023 at 1:22 am

Hi, Good morning. Planning to spend 3nites 4 days in Paris. Can you recommend a good itinerary as what to do and sightseeing in Paris with tours and hotel rates included for 2 paxs with thanks David Foong.

October 5, 2023 at 6:30 am

Hi David, The post that you just commented on is the perfect itinerary for 3-4 days in Paris. As for hotels, I can’t make any specific recommendations. We usually stay in the 4th ‘arrondissement’ which is very central.

September 8, 2018 at 4:17 pm

Great post! I agree mostly with everything you said. I’d probably leave off Saint-Denis if I only had 3 days although I love it! I’m personally not a big fan of the boat ride down the Seine because of previous bad experiences, no fault of the boat tour company, just some of the tourists that were a bit obnoxious but yes, it colored my opinion! I think it is lovely at night though!

Anda Galffy

September 8, 2018 at 7:02 pm

Thanks for your comment in input, Lorri. Always appreciated.

Rob+Ann @TravelLatte(.net)

August 17, 2018 at 12:39 pm

Anda, we LOVE this post! Sure, we’ve done most of these, but we want to go again and again and again! We could spend days in Musee d’Orsay, or walking through the Latin Quarter. Of course, it would take days to really explore the Louvre, and we would visit Galleries Lafayette daily, if we could. Ah Paris, je t’aime!

August 17, 2018 at 4:06 pm

Hahaha, yea, you are right! We can’t get enough of Paris.

Mary(The World Is A Book)

August 12, 2018 at 7:13 am

What a great resource and love this type of itinerary post. We’ve gone to Paris a few times and it’s usually 3-4 days with a day trip thrown in. Glad to see we haven’t missed anything from this list. It just made me miss Paris.

August 11, 2018 at 10:58 am

Paris was the first trip me and my husband(boyfriend back then) made together, and we also went for 3 days! But we definitely need to go back to see Versailles, Catacombs, Musée d’Orsay and Napoleon´s Tomb! I so agree: you could visit the city hundreds of times and still come across new charming places!

Kelly Price

August 11, 2018 at 10:38 am

Love this! It’s great how you broke it up into 3 themes. I never knew of St. Denis – so much history! I’m going to make the effort to get up there next time I’m over in Paris. 🙂

August 11, 2018 at 8:57 am

This is an excellent list. I spend 3 days in Paris a few years back, and I still regret not spending more.

August 11, 2018 at 3:12 am

I have been to Paris many times as it’s only 4 hours drive from where I live. It’s always nice to read what others think about it. Love your pictures.

August 11, 2018 at 9:07 am

Thank you, Wendy. It’s nice to live so close to Paris.

August 11, 2018 at 2:03 am

I just love Paris! So much to see, I think you did a great job of fitting the highlights into three days. I have spent weeks in Paris and there is still so much I want to see. Need to plan another trip.

August 11, 2018 at 9:08 am

Just writing about it makes me want to go back, Anisa. There is always something new to discover in Paris.

carolyn eddie

August 11, 2018 at 1:50 am

We first went to Paris on our honeymoon over thirty years ago and have ben back many times. Love your three day trip suggestions and despite having seen most of them on our many trips to Paris have pinned them for later. Fabulous city, fabulous post. Thanks for sharing on

August 11, 2018 at 9:09 am

Thanks, Carolyn. I appreciate it.

August 10, 2018 at 11:27 pm

I couldn’t agree more with this guide. I especially loved Dome des Invalides when I was in Paris. It’s been ages and I really feel like going back again!!

August 11, 2018 at 9:10 am

You are very close to Paris, Esther. When your baby grows a little bigger you can take him along too.

August 10, 2018 at 1:55 pm

We only spent a few hours inside the Louvre, mostly because it was so crowded and I just felt a little claustrophobic in there. It’s a gorgeous place though, and I’d love to go back after 6pm on a Wednesday anf Friday. Great tip! I missed out on the Galleries Lafayette as well, so that’s definitely on the list for next time.

Rhonda Albom

August 10, 2018 at 1:11 pm

Paris can be such a difficult city to visit but your guide puts things in order and makes it look easy. I think planning your itinerary and key site visits is essential and your information is spot on. I did not have 3 days in Paris so I missed a huge chunk of your list. There is always next time.

August 10, 2018 at 2:46 pm

There is so much to see in Paris, Rhonda! If you ever return, you should try to stay at least 3-4 days to make any sense of the city.

Rosemary Kneipp

August 10, 2018 at 2:47 am

Great post, Anda! The only thing I think that first-time visitors may have missed in your itinerary is the Place de la Bastille, perhaps instead of Saint Denis as they will already be visiting the Orsay Museum and Napoleon’s Tomb. Experiencing Paris before the shops open is a wonderful experience as well. Visitors could get up early (easy for Australians with jet lag!) to begin your first day walking tour. May I recommend my powerwalking series from the days when I lived in the Palais Royal in Paris? Just enter “powerwalking” on .

August 10, 2018 at 2:50 pm

Thanks for your input, Rosemary. It’s always good to hear from you.

Mayuri Patel

August 10, 2018 at 2:28 am

This so helpful guide which covers everything about paris..thank you so much for such lovely post

August 9, 2018 at 10:16 am

We are heading to Paris next month! Even though I’ve been there before, I enjoy reading itineraries for new suggestions. I have yet to take a boat tour on the Seine, so I’m looking up your info. It’s either been too cold or too hot. Maybe this September it will be just right! I also would like to see the store with the lovely ceiling. And the D’Orsay is one of my favorite places in Paris. Wonderful, inspiring photos, Anda!

August 9, 2018 at 3:21 pm

Thanks, Sharon. Hope you’ll have fun in Paris. September is a good month to go there.

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3 day tour in paris

Anna Everywhere

Perfect Paris Itinerary for 3 days (+ Add-ons for Longer Stays)

Perfect Paris Itinerary for 3 days (+ Add-ons for Longer Stays)

The city of lights is a classic destination filled with beautiful sites, good food, and endless culture. So a Paris itinerary for 3 days is nigh on perfection for first time visitors.

Romantic buildings string along the Seine River and poke above the tenements of Montmartre. Masterworks of the Renaissance and Romanticism await in world-class museums. And, of course, there’s a ton of wonderful food that you’ll never want those uber-long lunches to end. Paris has plenty of activities for kids and family-friendly options. Paris is truly the perfect spot for a long weekend trip or an extended vacation.

But that’s barely scratching the surface of what Paris can offer. Beyond the buildings and the exhibition rooms, you’ll catch moody neighborhoods famed for their café culture . You’ll get to see the graves of poetic heroes in age-old cemeteries. You can taste wine in chic bistros with views of the Eiffel tower.

A lot can be seen in 3 days, but 5 days or a week will provide you with time for immersive experiences or excursions outside the city.

This guide includes everything you need to know when planning the perfect Parisian getaway from 3 days to a week. You can also check out my practical tips for visiting Paris for additional information.

Getting to & around Paris

You can get to Paris by plane and arrive at Charles de Gaulle (CDG) or Orly (ORY) Airports , both are international. From Charles de Gaulle Airport, you can take a bus, train, or taxi. A regional (RER) train will take less than an hour and only cost 10 EUR.

If you’re traveling from elsewhere in Europe, you can also consider taking the Eurostar train. You can also rent a car and drive into the city, but there is lots of traffic and parking may be a challenge .

The Paris metro is extensive and utilizes a zone system. Buses, taxis, and Ubers are also available transportation options, but the metro will provide the easiest access for the best price . If you plan to travel by metro a lot, or for an extended period, consider a day or weekly metro passes .

It’s important to note that arrondissements refer to the municipal districts of Paris , and there are 20 of them. General knowledge of the arrondissements can help you determine how centrally located a destination is, and if it’s near other sights.

3 day tour in paris

When to Visit Paris

According to Audrey Hepburn, “Paris is always a good idea” and her sentiments ring true during any season.

Enjoy Paris in late spring or early fall for mild weather, spend winter in Paris for holiday attractions and decor, or summer for warm and romantic evenings.

Winter is the cheapest , and summer has the most crowds. If you choose to go in the summer, double-check that your hotel has air conditioning!

3 day tour in paris

What to Pack

Pack clothes depending on the season, but it would be smart to bring layers and one or two fancier outfits for going out to dinner or a show. In case you forget something, Paris is an international metropolitan destination, which means you can find or purchase pretty much anything you could need there.

Good walking shoes are essential . Parts of Paris are hilly, and the city is very large and spread out. While the metro is extensive, you will still want to experience walking along the Seine or throughout the Parisian streets.

A portable umbrella and a secure bag (beware of pickpockets!) are also good items to have on hand.

3 day tour in paris

Paris Itinerary for 3 days

Because there are more things to see and things to do in Paris (from famous Paris photo spots to bucket-list paintings) than you can shake a smelly Camembert cheese at, we thought we’d help out first-time visitors with a curated trip.

We’ve made it accessible and packed with a diverse range of attractions, but also suitable for anyone after a Paris on a budget itinerary (though you might want to skip the ride to the top of the Eiffel Tower and a few other things if you’re on a tighter budget!).

If you’re not on a budget, you can always through

Each day has been organized so that you’re using those feet as much as possible. Of course, you can choose to hop on the metro if you like ( the French capital has an uber-efficient public transport network ). If not, a good pair of shoes is a lifesaver.

There are so many sights to see in the lovely City of Lights. If you only have a few days (3 or less) make sure to take a Seine River Cruise , see the Eiffel Tower, and visit Montmartre.

If you have more time, check out the Champs Elysees, Notre Dame, and the Paris museum scene. Staying in Paris for a week or more? Explore sights outside of the city or immerse yourself in French cuisine!

Action-Packed Day 1 in Paris

1. gros-caillou – 7th arrondissement.

Paris is famed for its Haussmannian architecture , which is on glorious show in this super-central district. Try to get in early when the small cafes that cluster around the Avenue Bosquets still have croissants that are warm. The likes of little Kozy Bosquet and Le Petit Cler are good choices for a spot of people-watching in the morning.

3 day tour in paris

3. Jardins du Trocadéro

Stroll over the grand arches of the Pont d’Iéna and gaze east and west to take in the babbling waters of the Seine River. Then, you’re onto the Jardins du Trocadéro. Flanked by mighty Neo-Classical palaces, this bustling green space is perfectly orientated for views down to the Eiffel Tower. It’s also got a mass of fountains, making it one of the most famous Paris photo spots of all!

If you want to make your trip to Paris more memorable book a sunrise photoshoot with Flytographer. (use code: CODE0820 for $25 off). I did it last time with the kids and it was a great experience!

4. Eiffel Tower

Just a street or two’s walk away from where you’ve been enjoying that buttery French pastry for breakfast is the iconic Eiffel Tower. There’s not a single Paris itinerary for 3 days that could possibly miss this one.

Located at the Champs de Mars, 5 Avenue Anatole France), you can view it from a distance o stroll underneath. But getting to the top is a must. You have the choice between scaling the stairs or taking an elevator to various levels .

The stairs only serve the second floor but are more of a challenge (they take around 50 minutes to conquer). (Please note, walking or taking the elevator up the Eiffel Tower is not a good activity if you are afraid of heights).

Visit after sundown but before 10 or 11 (closing times, depending on the time of year) and experience the sparkling at the beginning of the hour (the lights go off at the beginning of every hour until 1 AM). Upon descent, grab a crepe from nearby food trucks and wait to see the sparkling again from the park below the Tower.

During summertime, always be sure to book a queue jump or skip-the-line ticket if you want to ride the lift. The easiest way to get to the top of this prominent French landmark quickly is by booking direct access or skip-the-line tickets .

Bonus Tip : If you want to boast of having dined on delights prepared by the Parisian chef Thierry Marx at the most iconic symbol of Paris, the Madame Brasserie restaurant is on the first floor. But you won’t get in without booking this skip-the-line lunch or skip-the-line dinner ticket !

5. Champ de Mars

A more affordable lunch takes you down the great iron tower to the elegant gardens of the Champ de Mars. Viola!

You’re standing in one of the most famous parks in all of Paris . On its south side is the grand and imposing École Militaire, where King Louis XV once trained the French army. But the main reason you’re here is for a spot to eat with a view of the Eiffel Tower itself…

This Paris on a budget itinerary recommends dropping into one of the supermarkets on the nearby Avenue de Suffren. French shops always tout delicious crunchy baguettes, creamy brie cheeses, and tasty olives from their deli – it’s one of the best things to do in Paris!

3 day tour in paris

6. Seine River Cruise

A Seine River cruise is a awesome activity , whether you have one day or 100 days in Paris. This is the perfect introduction to the city, and allows you to get your bearings in this very large and wide metropolis. There are several tour companies that offer cruises from a dock right under the Eiffel Tower.

When booking your Seine River cruise , there are many options to choose from including cruises with commentary and meals. Book an option with commentary that runs during the day, so you get the most out of the sights and their history. Book ahead to avoid the lines and get the best deals .

7. Arc de Triomphe

The last major sight on your first day in Paris takes you to the postcard favorite of the Arc de Triomphe. Standing proud at one end of the Champs-Élysées, it took nearly half of the 19 th century to finally complete .

Motifs related to Napoleon’s victories in Germany and the east dominate one side. Make sure to use the pedestrian tunnel to go inside. Don’t try to cross the crazy traffic that is constantly whipping around this Parisian landmark.

Up top, you can climb the stairs ( but be sure to book roftop tickets in advance ) and get a sweeping view of downtown Paris radiating out in all directions.

Once you’ve done that, there’s nothing like walking along the wide streets of the Champs Elysee in the springtime (or any season!). This long road boasts designer shops, fancy French cafes, and more.

Located in the 8th arrondissement, you can take the metro to Charles de Gaulle Etoile to reach here or find your back to your charming Parisian hotel .

8. Opera Garnier

If you’re not tired after the whole day, head to Opera Garnier as it’s open until later in the day. It’s the home of the infamous Phantom of the Opera! The place is absolutely gorgeous and one of the most photogenic spots in Paris.

I recommend visiting right before they close when most crowds are gone. Since it’s a working opera it requires tickets to visit, but there’s no need to purchase them in advance.

3 day tour in paris

Note : It may seem like six things are too much to do in a day, but in reality you’ll hardly spend 30 minutes each at the Jardins du Trocadéro or the Arc de Triomphe.

Historical Day 2 in Paris

1. latin quarter.

Once the haunt of writers like Hemingway and George Orwell , the Paris Latin Quarter is an immersive and enthralling neighborhood to start day 2. If you’re worried about missing important landmarks, book an affordable walking tour with a local guide .

Breakfast should be had on the bustling courses of Rue Mouffetard, where the open-air market (think fresh croissants, French cheese, and more) is one of the oldest in the city.

3 day tour in paris

2. The Pantheon

The main sight in the Latin Quarter is probably The Pantheon . Like Rome’s much-older version, it’s a tomb that hosts some seriously significant figures from French history.

The stunning exterior is a flamboyant showing of Neo-Classical architecture . Inside are crypts that bear names like Victor Hugo and Alexander Dumas. You don’t need a guide for this visit, but make sure to book your skip-the-line ticket in advance .

3. Notre Dame Cathedral

Despite a major fire wreaking havoc on this UNESCO World Heritage Site back in 2019, the shell of the beautiful Gothic cathedral that stands tall in the heart of the French capital is still one to write home about.

To view it, you will need to get to the Île de la Cité, an island in the 4th arrondissement (Metro stops Cite or Saint-Michel). The south façade, one of the top Paris photos spots for sure, is famous for its tree-lined broadside of the church and its elaborate filigreed window pieces.

As we all know Notre Dame is under renovations after the fire, you can stop by Saint Chapelle these days. Just a few steps away.

3 day tour in paris

4. Montmartre

Any Paris itinerary for 3 days should certainly include a bout of good old people watching – ask any local and they’ll tell you that it’s one of the top things to do in Paris! And where better for that than the beautiful bohemian neighborhood of Montmartre.

In order to reach Montmartre, which is in the 18th arrondissement, you can walk or take the metro (stops Blanche, Pigalle, Anvers). Getting up the hill is quite a climb, so wear comfortable shoes!

The best way to see Montmartre is to walk around at your leisure . You’ll be transported to the Paris of history and movies. Draped over a hillside on the north end of the town , it’s known for its winding cobbled lanes and steep staircases (the sort of Paris you’ve probably seen on the postcards).

See the Basilica Sacre Coeur (free entry, open from 6:00 AM to 10:30 PM), check out the stalls of artists in Place du Tertre (and perhaps take home a piece!), and have lunch or a coffee at one of the atmospheric café-bars (La Taverne de Montmartre is a top choice). Just be sure to get one of the al fresco tables.

Another notable sight in Montmartre is the Moulin Rouge , a historic club made famous by the musical with the same name. You can visit the distinct windmill-shaped building, or even see a show. Book ahead to avoid disappointment.

3 day tour in paris

5. Sacré-Cœur

Although we’ve talked about it in the Montmarte section, the Sacré-Cœur deserves a mention of its own. It soars high above the City of Lights and sports a great bulbous dome of glowing white marble .

There are panoramic terraces all around it, but you can also head to the top of the building for €5 to chase that selfie in one of the best Paris photos spots of all. If not, simply take some time to appreciate the gorgeous equestrian sculptures and the frescoed interiors – they’re spectacular, too.

For more iconic photo spots you can head down the stairs from Sacre Coeur and hop on a historic carousel. It’s not just for kids, adults love it too!

3 day tour in paris

6. Art & Museum Scene

You could spend years in Paris just exploring the many fantastic art and history museums scattered throughout the city.

We’d set aside a whole afternoon for the Louvre. This is one of the world’s very best museums, after all. It’s probably best to leave your arrival until at least 3 pm , when crowds dip away and you can have some of the exhibition spaces more to yourself.

Tickets are 15-17 EUR (depending if you purchase them in person or online) and the museum is open every day except Tuesday. To make sure you get a chance to enter the museum, book a timed entrance ticket online or book a guided skip-the-line tour .

Also: Pick what you want to see . There’s enough contained inside to fill a whole week’s art hunting. Unmissable sections include the Denon Wing’s rooms 1-8, which house the Italian masterwork of the Mona Lisa , and the Napoleon Apartments of the Richelieu Wing – built for Napoleon III in the mid-1800s.

The Musee D’Orsay and Musee de I’Orangerie both offer superb art exhibitions . With these museums too, you can cut down your wait time from a few hours to 30 minutes by booking the skip-the-line tickets that are called Reserved Entrance tickets. Book here for Musee D’Orsay and here for Musee de I’Orangerie .

Any fan of Claude Monet should visit the Marmottan , located off the beaten path in the 16th arrondissement, while Picasso fans can learn about his life at the Picasso Museum .

3 day tour in paris

Leisurely Day 3

1. the palace of versailles.

You’ll need a whole half a day (at least!) to see the uber-opulent and sprawling grounds of the Palace of Versailles , home to the kings and queens of France since the mid-1600s. Its most famous resident, Marie Antoinette, lived in the palace in the late 18th century. Visiting Versailles provides a greater understanding of the wealth of the French royalty and the resentment that led to the French Revolution.

Situated approximately 12 miles (20 km) outside of the city, it is accessible by train, bus, shuttle, or even bicycle. Direct trains go there on the RER C line and cost about €7 per person.

From the arrival station, it’s about 10-15 minutes’ walk to the gates of the attraction. (Remember Versailles is closed on Mondays). For an easy option, there is an express shuttle from the Eiffel Tower.

Once at Versailles, it’s probably wise not to be tempted to linger in the gardens too long. They are wonderful, but the treasures of the palace really begin in earnest once you’re within. That’s where you’ll delve into the glimmering and grand Hall of Mirrors ; where you’ll get to see the gold-leafed Opera Royal , built in honor of one Marie-Antoinette.

To avoid extremely long lines at Versailles, you can pick an organized skip-the-line tour . However, the most comfortable option is the guided tour that has a pickup and drop-off at the Pullman Hotel in Paris .

Tip: I do recommend spending a full day to explore the Palais de Versailles. Otherwise, you will feel rushed.

3 day tour in paris

More than 3 days in Paris? Visit these attractions

Vibrant and relaxing day 4, 1. canal saint-martin.

Pushing past 72 hours in Paris, why not make for the vibrant quarter of the Canal Saint-Martin for the morning of day 4? It’s probably wise not to set a time limit for your stay here.

It’s tempting to come for breakfast at one of the small bakeries that line the quaysides and laze until the early afternoon to drink an al fresco wine with the local students and boules players. Basically, this one’s a people-watching paradise!

2. Parc des Buttes-Chaumont

A few blocks over from the Canal Saint-Martin is the intriguing Parc des Buttes-Chaumont. It’s not terribly well-known to travelers but is actually the fifth-largest park in the city .

Its best-known landmark is the Temple de la Sibylle, which soars high above a reflective lake on a big butte of rock. There’s a narrow swing bridge to help you reach it – not great if you’re iffy with heights. Also don’t miss the hidden grotto and its gushing waterfall that lurks below.

3 day tour in paris

3. Belleville-Menilmontant

Belleville-Menilmontant is a district of real grit and character . One of Paris’s bohemian hotspots, the quarter ranges from the edges of Parc des Buttes-Chaumont to the 11 th Arrondissement in the south.

Between those boundaries is a patchwork of multicultural eateries – from soy-scented Canton cookhouses to colorful Caribbean jerk shacks – and graffiti-strewn art workshops. Some great bars (Aux Folies is a favorite) are there too if you fancy an afternoon tipple.

Parts of this neighborhood feature in popular Paris street art tours .

4. Père Lachaise Cemetery

Rub shoulders with luminaries great and small by making for the Père Lachaise Cemetery. It’s one of the world’s most celeb-packed sepulchers , not to mention a rather beautiful and haunting place to spend an afternoon in Paris.

The site is a winding maze of tree-topped pathways, but there are good maps to help you find the graves you’ll be looking for. Most go for The Doors singer Jim Morrison, composer Frédéric Chopin, and writer Oscar Wilde , but that’s just scratching the surface.

Entry is free, but with 70,000 graves in a 44-hectare area, you might prefer to have a guide to lead you to your favorite heroes, from Edith Piaf to Moliere, and more. This necro-romantic safari comes highly recommended.

Memorable Day 5

1. saint-germain-des-prés.

Perhaps the most quintessentially Parisian of all the neighborhoods down along the Seine River, Saint-Germain-des-Prés comes with a hubbub of crisscrossing streets where cafés, wine bars and boutiques spill onto the sidewalks.

You’ll smell strong coffee. You’ll hear the pop of Loire Valley wines being uncorked. To start the day, consider Les Deux Magots . It was opened way back in 1885 and means you’ll be sipping a drink where Sartre and de Beauvoir once sipped a drink! If that’s not enough, this cafe was also frequented by the likes of Hemmingway, Picasso, Julia Child, and James Joyce.

Optionally, you could visit the Luxembourg Gardens first and then linger around here in the afternoon for a chocolate and pastry walking tour .

2. Luxembourg Gardens

Encircling a palace that was built in 1612 by Marie de Medici , the grand and gorgeous Jardin du Luxembourg is a natural next stop on day 5. The entrance is completely free, so it’s perfect for your Paris itinerary. Avid followers of Les Misérables should know the spot as one of the main backdrops of the action in the novel by Victor Hugo.

3 day tour in paris

3. Catacombs of Paris

Haunting and dark, the underbelly of the City of Lights awaits in the Catacombs of Paris. Once a series of tunnels intended to connect the town’s growing stone quarries, they were commandeered in the 1770s to hold human remains from overflowing graveyards across the capital.

Today, you can go 243 steps underground to witness the walls of bones and skulls . Visits should take around an hour, but there might be some waiting time as they only allow a fixed number of people underground at a time.

Book tickets earlier to skip the lines at the Catacombs . And if you want to see parts of the catacombs that are not available to the normal public, there’s a VIP Restricted Access tour .

4. Bois de Vincennes

A breath of fresh air awaits down in the Bois de Vincennes (it’s the perfect antidote to the shadowy tunnels of the Catacombs). Ride the metro to this park right on the eastern fringes of the city and you’ll be rewarded with wide, open green spaces brimming with flower-topped lakes and exotic arboretums.

Created by Napoleon III in the 1800s , it has many wonderful Paris photo spots like the donjon of the Château de Vincennes and the romantic Temple of Love.

3 day tour in paris

If you have more days to spend in Paris, do this:

1. disney paris.

If you have more time in Paris (or if you’re a big Disney fan) head out to Disney Paris for a day or two of the Magical Kingdom- French style. Disney Paris is approximately 26 miles (42 km) from the city, and you can get there by car or Regional Express Train.

Comprised of two parks, it’s generally much less crowded and much more walkable than its Florida counterpart (it’s actually very similar to Disneyland in California). Don’t miss Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant (Sleeping Beauty’s Castle), and cocktails in the Hotel New York. If you have kids with you, the multi-day ticket might be a better option.

2. Take a Cooking Class

If you have extra time and an interest in the culinary arts, consider taking a cooking or baking class! This is a unique experience and a great introduction to famous French cuisine. There are many companies that provide cooking classes, including La Cuisine, Paris , which offers a great variety of classes, including a French market tour and cooking class combination experience.

Some great class options are: bread baking , pastry making class , choux pastry and chocolate eclair class , or this amazing macaron making at Galeries LaFayette . I highyl recommend the macaron class because you’ll leave with a giant box of macarons for everyone!

3 day tour in paris

3. Get Out of Paris for a Day

There are many amazing opportunities for a day trip from Paris. From Loire Valley or Vaux le Vicomte , to the gorgeous Mont St Michel or small towns of Normandy. Highly recommend it!

Food in Paris

Talking about food, the French are known for their cuisine, and there is no shortage of amazing food options in Paris . Try to avoid the tourist traps in popular areas, and be prepared to venture outside of your culinary comfort zone (escargot, anyone?).

Coq au vin is a classic French dish of chicken and wine , which can’t be missed on a trip to Paris. A la Biche au Bois (45 Avenue Ledru-Rollin) and La Jacobine (59-61 Rue Saint-André des Arts) are excellent options to try.

If you’re looking to splurge on a fancy French dinner, check out the Michelin-rated Epicure (112 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré) or the expensive l’Astrance (4 Rue Beethoven).

Montmartre is home to many small restaurants and cafes. Wander outside the main square (Place du Tertre) to avoid crowds . La Taverne de Montmartre (25 Rue Gabrielle) offers a cozy atmosphere, reasonable prices, and authentic French cuisine.

If you are a fan of desserts, don’t miss the colorful Franch macarons at Laduree (75 Av. des Champs-Elysees). Pick up a beautiful box of macarons as a souvenir, or sit in the cafe and pair them with coffee or tea!

Angelina (226 Rue de Rivoli) is known for their hot chocolate and pastries . This “tea house” has a bustling and classic vibe, reminiscent of the Parisian salons of a century ago.

3 day tour in paris

Where to Stay

Given its size and popularity, there are many accommodation options to choose from in Paris. When picking a place to stay, consider location and access to transportation hubs, as well as amenities.

The Hotel Plaza Athenee offers a luxurious Parisian vibe, stunning decor, and an excellent location . This option is a splurge worthy of French royalty.

The Maison Armance offers reasonable prices in a centrally located boutique hotel . This is a great choice for those who appreciate French architecture and interior design.

For a cheaper option, stay at St. Christopher’s Inns Gare du Nord , which is also conveniently located, includes many amenities and has both dorm and private rooms .

For more options, you can check out my guide on where to stay in Paris.

Paris is the perfect destination for art, history, culture, and cuisine. It is a city that can be enjoyed on a short timeframe, or for extended periods, and is accessible for both the budget and luxury traveler .

Regardless of your itinerary, make sure to pause and appreciate the details- the architectural nuances, manicured cityscape, fragrant food, and multicultural people. Bon voyage!

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Kirstie Will Travel

Making Everywhere You Go An Adventure

Paris · April 18, 2021

How to Spend 3 Days in Paris: The Perfect 3 Day Itinerary

The Eiffel Tower from the Seine, taken during 3 days in Paris

Paris. The city of love and light, the capital of France, and one of the world’s most visited cities. It truly is the perfect holiday destination. With an interesting history still entwined into the streets and buildings today, romantic and bright architecture, exquisite cuisine, impressive monuments, class, and regality, there is something in Paris for everyone.

What’s more, Paris makes for the perfect long weekend. With good transport links, it’s an easy place to get to and travel times will be reasonable. Whether you want to spend 3 days in Paris with friends, family or the love of your life, you’ll fall in love with this city and have an amazing time.

With this guide, you can take all the stress out of planning 3 days in Paris, as the whole itinerary is there for you, with a little bit of leeway for you to suit the trip to your personal preference. On the first of your 3 days in Paris, you’ll explore the city’s most famous landmarks, like Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe. The second day will take you slightly off the tourist track – still featuring many famous places, but giving you the chance to discover more about Paris away from the massive crowds. On the last day, you can choose from one of three day trip options outside of Paris, or stay in the city and visit some more attractions.

This post may contain affiliate links meaning I may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.   Read more in my  discl aimer .

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photo collage of three pictures of Paris with text that reads 'A weekend in Paris - full 3-day itinerary'

Is 3 Days in Paris Enough?

3 days is definitely enough time to experience all that Paris has to offer. It’s one of the best weekend city break options in Europe, and perfect for a quick getaway. You could spend only two days in Paris, but the trip may feel rushed with travel on either side, so I recommend spending 3 days in Paris to be able to relax more and really take in the atmosphere.

Of course, you can also spend more than 3 days in Paris. You could easily find activities to entertain you for up to a week in the city. This will allow you to really slow down and have a relaxing break, as well as finding every hidden gem in Paris. You can take a lot of day trips, and spread this itinerary over more days, with many cheese and wine picnics in the park to fill the gaps.

How to Get to Paris

Paris is a really accessible city in Europe and has good air, rail and bus connections. Travelling to Paris by plane is usually the easiest way to arrive from outside France, particularly if you are coming from the U.K.

How to Get to Paris by Plane

Paris has two main airports – Charles de Gaulle in the north and Orly in the south. Charles de Gaulle is the bigger of the two and is Europe’s second busiest airport. In general, Charles de Gaulle is used for international travel and Orly for more domestic routes around Paris, but on a short-haul flight around Europe, you could arrive at either airport. If you’re on a long haul flight, from the US, for example, you will most likely land in Charles de Gaulle.

Top Tip: Paris has a 3rd airport, called Paris Beauvais. It is served by low-cost airlines, like Ryanair and Wizz Air. Although you may be tempted by the cheap prices, this airport is over an hour outside of Paris, and your shuttle bus ticket will likely cost more than the flight itself! Avoid this airport unless the deal is really spectacular.

How to Get to Paris from the Airport

Both Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports have a few different ways to get into the city, which vary in price and length of time.

If you purchase an unlimited transport card or city pass for your time in Paris, it might include airport transport, which can be very useful. You can read more about these in the How to Get Around in Paris and Paris City Pass sections below.

Charles de Gaulle

From Charles de Gaulle airport, there are a few different transport options to get into the city. The journey takes around 30 minutes on average.

The first option is to take the RER train, followed by the metro to your destination. This costs around €11. You can get on the RER B train from Terminals 1 and 2. The train stops at both Gare du Nord and Chatelet-Les Halles, where you can switch to many different metro lines to reach your accommodation. You can see the route map and more information here .

Another option is to take the Roissy Bus Shuttle . It costs around €13 and takes 1 hour. It stops at several different parts of Terminal 2 and 3 and goes directly to Paris-Opéra. From here, you can take the metro to your accommodation if needed.

You can also take a taxi or private transfer directly into the city. It will cost an average of €50-60 but will be much easier and more comfortable. It’s a good idea to book your airport transfer in advance to avoid spending ages trying to find a taxi in the busy airport. If you’re looking to save a bit of money, you could book a shared transfer in a large taxi (also available to and from Orly Airport). This is a great way to keep a bit of the comfort and pay less.

Orly has one of the most budget-friendly public transport options. You can take tram line 7 from Villejuif-Louis Aragon (connected by metro line 7) to and from the airport. It costs the same as a normal public transport journey (around €2), but you will need to buy a separate ticket, you can’t carry it over from your metro trip. The journey on the tram takes 45 minutes so it’s not the quickest option, but great if you want the cheapest option possible.

The Orly shuttle bus costs €9,50 and goes directly between the airport and the Denfert-Rochereau metro stop. You can transfer here to line 4 of the metro (it’s also connected to the RER B line). The journey only takes 30 minutes.

How to Get to Paris by Train

If you are travelling from the U.K to Paris, a great alternative to flying is to take the Eurostar train . The train runs from London St Pancras Station to Paris Gare du Nord and takes around 2 hours and 30 minutes. Tickets can be as low as £40 if you book a month or two in advance, so it’s worth checking prices to see if you can grab a good deal.

The SNCF is the French national train operator. This is a great option if you’re travelling to Paris from other French cities. There is also the option of some Thalys trains, which run through the neighbouring countries of France, Belgium, The Netherlands and Germany.

Read Next: How to Spend a Weekend in Nice, France

How to Get around in Paris

Paris is a fairly walkable city, but due to its size, it’s likely in your best interest to take public transport occasionally. Mix the two, walking as much as possible, and perhaps hopping on public transport to start and end your day, as well as to any attractions that are on the other side of the city.

When in a new city, it can be fun to use the tourist-focused hop-on-hop-off transport that’s available. You can use the buses as means of transport whilst learning about the city and landmarks thanks to the audio guide. The stops are frequent, focused on the centre of the city, and easy to find. Paris even has the unique attraction of a hop-on-hop-off boat that runs along the Seine.

Book your hop-on hop-off tickets now!

The easiest public transport system in Paris is the metro. They have one of the most well-connected systems that stretch all over the city, and can quickly get you where you need to go. Throughout this itinerary, I give metro details for each point of interest.

A single journey on the metro costs €1,90. You can purchase a carnet of 10 tickets which costs €16,90. The tickets aren’t tied to one person, so this carnet is a perfect option to split between two people when you spend 3 days in Paris. The tickets are available at machines inside the metro stations. If you plan to use the metro a lot, you can check out the Paris Visite Pass for unlimited public transport between 1 and 5 days. Prices range from €13-72 and can include transport to Charles de Gaulle and Orly airport, as well as Disneyland Paris and Versailles.

Paris City Pass – Are They Worth It?

Almost all major cities across Europe offer city passes, which offer you entry or discounts to countless different attractions across the city. Paris is no different, and they offer the Paris Pass, as well as the Paris Museum Pass.

The Paris Pass covers almost every major attraction in the city, including entry to The Louvre, The Orsay Museum, The Arc de Triomphe and Versailles Palace. There are many more attractions included, and you can also opt to take some free walking tours. Your ticket also includes tickets for a hop-on-hop-off bus and a Seine boat tour. Passes can be booked from 2-6 days and start from €130

The Paris Museum Pass is a more budget-friendly option that only includes museums. There are still over 60 museums included in the price and this is a great option if you want to explore the cultural side of Paris by visiting as many museums as possible. These passes are available for 2,4, or 6 days and start from €57.

City passes can be a costly purchase, especially if you travel on a budget. However, if you like to visit many attractions during your city trips, they can be worth it. I always recommend that you plan the attractions you want to visit and their entry costs, to decide if purchasing a pass is worth it. With the added public transport access and the ease of not having to book individual tickets and queue for attractions, these tickets can be perfect for some!

3 Days in Paris Day 1 – The Main Attractions

On your first day in Paris, make your way around all the famous landmarks that Paris is known for. You’ll see Notre Dame, The Eiffel Tower, the Champs-Elysées and the Arc de Triomphe. You’ll also have a fun evening seeing the city at night, and discover a different perspective of Paris from a boat tour on the Seine.

Once you’ve arrived, make your way to one of the most famous churches in Europe. The Notre Dame de Paris (translates as Our Lady of Paris) was built in the 11th century. The French gothic architecture has been renovated and restored throughout the years and became known worldwide after the publication of the Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo, and the subsequent Disney adaptation.

Unfortunately, Notre Dame suffered a devastating fire in 2019 and has been under restoration ever since. Previously, you could tour the church but, of course, that is no longer possible. There is still major works surrounding Notre Dame, but it is still possible to see large sections of the exterior and definitely worth visiting. Hopefully, in the coming years, the church will be restored to its former glory.

close up shot of the famous Notre-dame church in Paris, first stop on your 3 days in Paris trip

The Notre Dame is actually located on a small island called Île de la Cité. It’s completely connected by bridges so it doesn’t feel much like an island, but it’s a cool place to wander around. Along the riverbanks, you’ll find many stalls selling books, art and souvenirs. The famous sellers are known in the city as the Bouquinistes of Paris.

Just across the river, you’ll find a wonderful independent English bookstore called Shakespeare and Company. You can browse the cosy store, or enjoy a coffee and their adjoining café.

Depending on what time of day you start your adventure in Paris, you might want to grab a fresh pastry from a French boulangerie. Try a croissant or pain au chocolat from Boulangerie Saint-Michel, a few minutes walk from Notre Dame.

Shakespeare and company, and independent English bookshop near Notre Dame in Paris, France

Nearest Metro stop to Notre Dame and Shakespeare and Company : Cité (Line 4)

Shakespeare and Company Website (with opening hours) | Notre Dame Website

Arc de Triomphe

Follow the Seine and the Champs Elysées all the way to the Arc de Triomphe. This walk takes around an hour, but it is the perfect way to discover a lot of the beauty found on the streets of Paris. You’ll walk along the Seine, past the Louvre, through the Tuileries Garden and along the Champs Elysées. If you prefer to take public transport, take the 1 Metro from Hotel de Ville to Charles de Gaulle – Étoile. Alternatively, you could walk part of the route and then get on the metro. I recommend walking along the Seine until you reach the Louvre, then get on the metro line 1 as before, at either Palais-Royal – Musée du Louvre or Concorde.

Top Tip: This is the perfect time to try a world-famous Ladurée Macaron from their store on the Champs Elysées. The sweet almond meringues are one of France’s most famous confectionery items, and Ladurée has made a name for itself as one of the most luxurious vendors of these treats, loved by many, including Gossip Girl’s Blair Waldorf. The ornate exterior and interior is an experience in itself, and the macarons are divine.

The Arc de Triomphe is a large triumphal arch dedicated to the Frenchmen who fought during the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars. The Arch stands proudly in the middle of Place Charles de Gaulle Roundabout, with its neoclassical architecture and detailed carvings.

You can climb to the viewpoint on the top of the Arc de Triomphe, which sits 50m tall. Most people rush to climb the Eiffel Tower (which I still encourage you to do), but the view from the Arc de Triomphe is arguably better, as you get to see the Eiffel Tower. What’s more, entry is free for under 26s who are from or live in the EU. Normal entry tickets cost €13.

The Eiffel Tower

It couldn’t be a trip to Paris without seeing the Eiffel Tower! Trocadéro is the best place to see the Eiffel Tower so this should be your first stop. Make your way from the Arc de Triomphe to Trocadéro (a 20-minute walk or 10-minute metro journey on line 6).

Easily the symbol that encapsulates all of France, and one of the most recognisable landmarks in the world, the iron structure of the Eiffel Tower was built back in the late 1800s for the 1889 World’s Fair. Like the Atomium in Belgium , it was intended to be a temporary structure at first, but it was allowed to remain by the City of Paris after the expiration of the permit in 1909. Now it’s an integral part of the city, with an estimated 7 million visitors a year (not including those who just look at it!).

a girl stands smiling in front of the Eiffel tower as seen from trocadéro

Trocadéro (pictured above) is a large esplanade with uninterrupted views of the Eiffel Tower right in front of you. From here, you can do a small tour around the Eiffel Tower. Head down from Trocadéro and through the gardens below. Then cross the Seine, pass the tower, and walk through the Champ de Mars park on the other side of the Eiffel Tower. On a sunny day, Champ de Mars is a great place to relax for a while.

After, you may want to climb the Eiffel Tower. At over 300m high, it’s not a trip for the faint-hearted, but luckily it doesn’t require too much exertion, as there are elevators that can transport you to the different levels. The second level is only 100m off the ground, so this can be a great option for those with an aversion to heights but still want the experience. Prices range from €5-25 depending on age a price, and you can see and book tickets online . Make sure you book your tickets in advance to ensure the quickest and smoothest experience at the Eiffel Tower. Being the biggest attraction in France, the tower is always busy, and I’m sure that no one wants to queue for hours at the ticket office and then queue again to enter the tower.

River Seine Boat Tour

One of the best things to do to see the city in a unique way during your 3 days in Paris is to take a boat tour along the Seine. There are many different options, and most will offer an audio guide to talk you through the different monuments and landmarks you pass. Following this itinerary, the best place to start your boat tour is next to Pont d’Iéna at the Eiffel Tower. The boat tour options below all start from here. Tours do vary in length but they tend to be a minimum of one hour, and you could enjoy a nice lunch or wine tasting aboard the boat. If you are able to spend a little extra on the tour, I’d recommend one that includes a meal or drinks, as it will be more private and peaceful (the standard tours can get a little cramped with tourists).

Many of Paris’ landmarks and attractions are visible from the water, so you can expect to see the likes of the Eiffel Tower, the Orsay Museum and Notre Dame.

You’ll also have the chance to see many of the ornate and impressive bridges along the Seine up close. Ones to look out for are Pont Alexandre III, known for its gold details and statues, Pont Neuf, the oldest bridge in Paris, Pont des Arts, the old love lock, and Pont de Bir-Hakeim, with its covered roof.

girl smiling on a boat passing under a bridge, with the Eiffel tower in the background

Relaxing Afternoon

It has been a busy day so far and the time you have to spare before dinner will depend on the queue times from the previous activities. I recommend slowing right down for the rest of the afternoon. Enjoy a bottle of wine at the Champ de Mars park or at a nice bistro, grab a coffee in a chic café, or sit on the banks of the Seine and watch the world go by. This is how the locals like to spend their free time, so you’ll get a taste of what it’s like to be a real Parisian.

If you’re still restless and full of energy, you could head up Montparnasse Tower for some more panoramic views over Paris, or visit the Orsay Museum.

Arc de Triomphe and Eiffel Tower at Night

When the sun sets, it’s time to see the landmarks of Paris brighten the city. Grab dinner somewhere near the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe. You could grab something simple on the Champs Elysées and enjoy the bustling atmosphere and lights, or try something traditionally French at a bistro.

If you’re eligible to climb the Arc de Triomphe for free (under 26 and living in the European Union) I recommend climbing to the viewpoint again to see the view of Paris at night. If not, you can choose whether you prefer to see Paris in the daytime or nighttime.

Then, the main event – the beautiful Eiffel Tower. The whole tower is illuminated throughout the night, and once an hour the tower sparkles for a few minutes. It’s a wonderful experience and not to be missed. After seeing it once, you’ll want to visit every night of your 3 days in Paris! Head to either Trocadero or Champ de Mars and enjoy the spectacle.

The tower is occasionally illuminated in different colours or designs to mark specific events. You may be lucky enough to see this.

a girl sits on a wall at Trocadero, watching the Eiffel Tower lit up at nighttime

Book your Day 1 Paris Activities!

3 Days in Paris Day 2 – A Few Hidden Gems

Now that you’ve seen a few of the city’s most famous monuments, the second of your 3 days in Paris will be spent exploring some slightly lesser-known spots, that the average tourist might not come across during their trip. The main tourist attraction of day 2 is the Louvre Museum, with the rest of your day spent immersing in some French history and wandering around Montmartre.

First of all, enjoy a slow morning with croissants in bed. If you’re more of a breakfast on the go kind of person, try Boulangerie Bo. It’s well-loved, the shop facade is old fashioned and beautiful, and it’s just a few minutes walk from your first stop of the day.

Place de la Bastille

The square of Place de la Bastille marks where the Bastille prison used to stand. The storming of the prison was one of the most important events in the French Revolution and the day of the event, the 14th of July, is now France’s national day. Although no parts of the prison building still exist (save a few stones scattered around the city), the square, and the July column that stands in the middle, stand to commemorate the events of the Revolution. The names of those who died during these events are inscribed on the column.

It won’t take long to visit Place de la Bastille, but given its cultural and historical significance, it’s definitely something to see.

Nearest Metro Stop to Place de la Bastille: Bastille (Lines 1, 5 & 8)

Rue Cremieux

Whilst in the 12th arrondissement, why not take ten minutes to visit the most instagrammable street in Paris? Rue Crémieux is a residential street with houses painted every colour of the rainbow.

This is a great spot to see something a little different in Paris in terms of architecture, and it will certainly brighten your day.

Read Next: The Most Instagrammable Places In Paris: 10+ Must-See Spots

a girl walks along the colourful Rue Cremieux in Paris, with pink houses fronted by plants

The Covered Passages of Paris

Around the centre of Paris, you’ll find many old arcades. They were once enjoyed by the bourgeoisie and the famous Parisian flaneur, to shop, socialise, and shelter from the rain. The number of covered passages across the city decreased greatly as the city was modernised, but there is still a handful standing today, ready to transport you back to the past.

I recommend visiting Passage du Grand Cerf , Passage de Panoramas and Galerie Vivienne , based on the expert recommendations of Sophie (SoloSophie) in her guide to the covered passages of Paris .

Inside the covered passages today, you’ll find a mix of boutiques and niche stores, and cosy little cafés and restaurants that spill out into the arcades.

the entrance of passage du Grand Cerf, one of the few covered passages left in Paris, and a great hidden gem to visit during 3 days in Paris

The Louvre Museum

Now for the main event of day 2 – The Louvre. This is the world’s largest and most visited art museum, which most famously houses Leonardo Da Vinci’s, Mona Lisa. There seems to be an endless amount of art and sculptures in the mammoth museum, with everything from historic relics and Greek busts, to royal heirlooms, and over 7,500 paintings.

The most famous symbol of the Louvre is the glass pyramid in the centre of the museum square, which acts as the museum’s main entrance. It’s very striking to see the modern pyramid contrast with the traditional architecture of the surrounding buildings.

Nearest Metro station to the Louvre Museum: Palais-Royal – Musée du Louvre (Lines 1 & 7)

a girl stands looking back at the louvre triangle in Paris, France

For a luxurious (but expensive) lunch, try to get a table at the Angelina Paris café, where you’ll be privy to a wonderful view of the Louvre courtyard and the pyramid. Alternatively, grab a more reasonably priced meal at a spot like Cafe Ragueneau. They have some good French classics to try, like onion soup or a Croque Monsieur.

Jardin du Palais Royal

After the Louvre, enjoy some fresh air for a while. Head along to the Jardin du Palais Royal across the road, and enjoy the picturesque and ornate surroundings. You can grab a nice place to sit by the fountain and watch the world go by.

Make sure you also check out Les Deux Plateaux (also known as the Colonnes de Buren). It’s a fun outdoor art exhibit, featuring many striped columns of differing heights. Definitely a unique sight to see in Paris!

girl sitting on a column at Les Deux plateaux in Paris, with dog walkers passing in the background

Dedicate your late afternoon and evening to getting lost in the picturesque streets of Montmartre, just like many of the creative souls that came before. The area of Montmartre is known for being the home of many artists during the Belle Époque period of French history. Monet, Renoir, Picasso and Van Gogh are just a handful of the most famous names who made this neighbourhood their home.

Wandering Montmartre can be a lovely way to escape the crowds of Paris. Although spots like the Sacre-Coeur will likely still be very busy, there are so many side streets to slip down and find yourself in peace.

Things to Do in Montmartre:

  • Visit the Sacre-Coeur Basilica
  • Look out over Paris
  • See Le Mur des Je T’aime
  • See some interesting facades like Le Moulin de la Galette , La Maison Rose and Le Consulat
  • Take a photo of the Sinking House, a secret photo spot in Paris

entrance to Le Moulin de la Galette restaurant in Montmartre, Paris, featuring a traditional windmill

If you’re interested in learning more about Montmartre and its history, book a walking tour with an expert.

sacre coeur in Paris, France

Sunset at Montmartre

As the evening arrives, head back to the Sacre-Coeur and the panoramic viewing area over Paris. This is one of the best places to watch the sunset, and there is usually a very chilled atmosphere of everyone enjoying a relaxing evening.

Look out over the city and see how many landmarks you can recognise.

Sunset view of the Eiffel Tower and Paris skyline from Montmartre

Dinner at Dame Tartine

For your second night, enjoy a traditional meal at Dame Tartine . Sit outside if possible to enjoy people watching around the square it sits in. At Dame Tartine, they specialise in tarts and nice charcuterie. It’s well priced for Paris and doesn’t feel too touristy.

Nearest Metro Stop to Dame Tartine: Hôtel de Ville (Lines 1 & 11)

3 Days in Paris Day 3 – Day Trip Time

There are several great day trips from Paris that aren’t too far from the city and are great options for your last of 3 days in Paris. For Day 3, there are 3 different day trip options: Chateau de Versailles, Disneyland Paris, and a visit to Champagne for wine tasting. They are all very different day trips, so you can choose which one suits you best. If you prefer to stay in Paris, you’ll also find a few more activities in the city to fill your final day.

Day Trip Option 1 – Palace of Versailles

The Palace of Versailles is a royal palace to the west of Paris, which was the main residence of Louis XIV, King of France, until the French Revolution. Today, the palace, with its immense grandeur, is on display for the public.

One of the most notable rooms in the Palace is the Hall of Mirrors, where the Treaty of Versailles was signed. There is a lot more to discover, including beautifully kept gardens and fountains.

Since Versailles is only about an hour outside of Paris, you could organise a visit to Versailles as a half-day trip, and finish your time in Paris with some of the other city activities below. Make sure you book your tickets in advance. Getting to Versailles isn’t too difficult, but to make things as straightforward as possible, you may want to purchase an entry ticket that includes a bus transfer from Paris.

To get to Versailles using public transport, take the RER C train. It goes directly from many stops in the centre of Paris to the Palace of Versailles. See the route map and plan your journey .

Day Trip Option 2 – Disneyland Paris

close up shot of the Disneyland Paris castle

Many people spend full holidays at Disneyland Paris, but it’s completely possible to enjoy the theme park in just a day. Disneyland is found in the town of Marne-la-Vallée, around an hour east of Paris.

At Disneyland Paris, you can enjoy Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park. There are rides for kids and adults alike, themed restaurants and food, and parades to see your favourite Disney characters.

A day trip to Disney will be long and tiring. Make sure you are prepared to get up early and arrive for opening and stay until closing, to really make the most of your day there. It’s not for everyone, but if you’re determined to go to Disney, you can make it work.

Getting to Disneyland is simple – take the RER A from the city to Marne-la-Vallée Chessy Station. RER A train details can be found here .

Book your Disneyland Paris tickets today!

Day Trip Option 3 – Wine Tasting in Champagne

Another option for a day trip during your 3 days in Paris is to head south to one of the most famous wine regions, Champagne. The best option for this kind of day trip is to book a tour. They’ll either take you from Paris or Reims to the vineyards or cellars, where you can learn all about the history and process of these world-renowned wines, as well as partaking in many tastings, of course!

Check out some Champagne Wine Tasting Tours Below.

Prefer to Stay in Paris?

If you prefer to stay in Paris, there are many more things you can do for your last day. Here are a few options:

  • The Panthéon : Famous monument to celebrate notable historical figures who are buried in the crypt
  • Explore the Paris Catacombs
  • Climb Montparnasse Tower
  • See another Grand Arch at La Défense
  • Père Lachaise Cemetery, where many famous figures, like Oscar Wilde, are buried

By the time your three days are up, you’ll have spent a wonderful time in Paris. You’ve had the chance to explore all the main tourist attractions, as well as some more quaint spots that show the true charm of the city. I hope this Paris 3-day itinerary will be helpful should you follow it exactly, or just take some inspiration. Happy Travels!

What to read next:

  • How to Spend a Weekend in Nice, France
  • The Complete Toulouse Travel Guide
  • How to Take a Magical Day Trip to Bruges, Belgium

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3 day tour in paris

February 5, 2020 at 9:15 pm

This is a perfect Paris itinerary! I’ve done all this except the Shakespeare bookstore (which I’m dying to do!!).

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February 5, 2020 at 10:36 pm

Oh wow! So glad you wrote this because Paris just sounds overwhelming to me. Like, what to see first? That wall of love looks pretty sweet, though!

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February 5, 2020 at 11:53 pm

Paris is such a beautiful city and I can’t wait to visit again. Great itinerary. Those macarons look so delicious!

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February 7, 2020 at 3:34 am

Such a beauty! Both the place and you. Thanks for your inspiring smile. Keep it up!

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3 Days in Paris: The Best Itinerary & Tips for First-Timers

3 Days in Paris Pin

Are you looking to spend 3 days in Paris ?

After multiple visits to the French capital, all with different company and duration, I’ve uncovered that three days in Paris gives you the best opportunity to explore the city without getting overwhelmed.

I’ve also perfected the list of attractions you can visit during this time and in which order you should explore them to maximize your stay in the City of Love.

Because the truth is, you simply can’t visit every place in Paris in 3 days. Even if you fly from one attraction to the next and there are no lines, you still won’t make it. Guaranteed.

So, let’s get realistic.

What can you visit in 3 days in Paris and enjoy the City of Light to the fullest?

Let’s find out!

Short on time? Book my recommended guided tour and hotel in Paris here:

✨ Paris Highlights Full-Day Tour ✨

🏨 Hôtel Le Relais des Halles 🏨

Disclaimer : This post contains  affiliate links .  If you purchase something through one of them, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for helping me create free content on this website!

Must-See Attractions in Paris on Your First Visit

3 Days In Paris Itinerary

If it’s your first time in Paris, here are the top 10 attractions I recommend not missing:

  • Champs-Élysées
  • Arc de Triomphe
  • The Eiffel Tower
  • Notre Dame Cathedral
  • Seine River Cruise
  • Sacre-Coeur Basilica
  • The Catacombs
  • Rodin Museum
  • Cabaret Show

On the way to these attractions, you’ll see other popular places as well. Everything else is optional and you can leave it for your next time in the City of Light.

The Perfect 3 Days in Paris Itinerary – Day by Day

3 Days in Paris Itinerary

Visiting Paris can be quite overwhelming. The city boasts more museums and attractions than any other on the planet.

But don’t worry – I’ve got you covered.

After planning close to ten city breaks in Paris for me and my travel companions, I’ve perfected this three-day Paris itinerary.

And now, I want to share with you the ultimate 3 days in Paris itinerary for first-time visitors and anyone, who needs a checklist of the best attractions in the French capital.

I’ve grouped them together based on their location so you can optimize your precious vacation time.

Let’s explore!

Day 1: The Louvre, Champs-Élysées, and the Eiffel Tower

On your first day in Paris, I recommend you visit the absolute crème de la crème of Parisian attractions.

Here are all the details for your Day 1 in Paris:

The Louvre: The Largest Art Gallery in the World


Let’s start your Paris itinerary with the world’s most famous art gallery and largest museum on the planet.

The first thing you need to know about the Louvre: it’s freaking huge !

So if you truly want to see every piece displayed inside, your 3 days in Paris won’t even be enough to browse just this one museum.

My best advice for visiting the Louvre is to join this tour . You’ll skip the lines and have a guide who will make sure you see all the highlights without getting lost in the labyrinth of the museum. There’s no better way to maximize your 3 days in Paris, believe me!

✔️ Tip : The Louvre has several entrances that are not as obvious as the pyramid. Use the Galerie du Carrousel or Passage Richelieu entrances to avoid the crowds at the glass pyramid.

Start at the biggest museum in the world, roam the most famous boulevard on the planet, marvel at the most magnificent triumphal arc, and finish your day at the most popular tower.

Louvre From Above

Now, let’s get something out of the way:

Leonardo’s Mona Lisa is the most visited piece on display at the Louvre. But do you want to know the sad truth?

The painting is tiny, locked behind a bulletproof glass, and you can’t get nearer than 3 m / 10 ft. from her. For me, this painting is the biggest tourist trap on Earth!

Still, if you absolutely must see the Mona Lisa, here’s what you should do:

If you want to see the Mona Lisa without the crowds, come at the end of the opening hours and join this tour . You’ll get unobstructed views of the painting and an expert to show you around the rest of the museum.

Louvre Collection

Here are some of the other highlights you should check out at the Louvre:

  • Venus de Milo
  • Winged Victory
  • The Dying Slave and the Rebellious Slave – Michelangelo
  • Virgin of the Rocks – Leonardo da Vinci
  • The Coronation of Napoleon – Jacques-Louis David
  • Liberty Leading the People – Eugène Delacroix
  • The Lacemaker – Johannes Vermeer

And if you’re looking for unusual things to do in Paris , one of my top recommendations is to explore the following quirky collections:

  • Arts of Oceania
  • Egyptian Antiquities
  • The French Crown Jewels

⏱️ Time needed : To visit the Louvre, you’ll need at least two hours. Plan another hour for photos of the palace buildings and surroundings. Buy your ticket in advance to save precious time.

Champs-Élysées: The Most Famous Boulevard in the World

Tuileries Garden

From the Louvre, go under the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel and enter the Tuileries Garden . The magnificent park invites for a stroll or a leisurely people-watching session. However, remember that you only have 3 days in Paris, so don’t spend too much time in the garden.

Exit the park at Place de la Concorde, one of the most stunning squares you’ll ever see.

The Egyptian obelisk and the perfect symmetry of the huge fountains make for an excellent photo op. The only problem is that every other tourist in Paris will also want a photo here.

After you’re done modeling at Place de la Concorde, head to the most famous boulevard in the world, Avenue des Champs-Élysées .

The construction of the 6-lane boulevard finished in 1670. The main artery of Paris has hosted tons of marathons and military parades since then.

Champs Elysees

Before diving into the shops, you’ll pass by Petit Palais and Grand Palais. Just a minute off Champs-Élysées is the Élysée Palace, the 18 th -century residence of the French president.

Make sure you don’t make too many stops and keep your eyes on the main goal at the end of the long boulevard – the Arc de Triomphe .

If you haven’t strayed too much away from Champs-Élysées, you’ll reach its culmination in about an hour. But if you’d followed every beautiful building and photographed everything that caught your eye, your 3 days in Paris might not have been enough to reach the Arc ;)

Once you’ve crossed the roundabout, from the underpassage you’ll emerge at the eternal fire. Depending on the season and time of day, the tunnel might be so crowded, that you’d barely move. Hence, plan double the time you thought you’d need for this site.

Arc de Triomphe

Every inch of the Arc is richly decorated.

You can see battle scenes, allegorical figures, floral motives, and inscriptions. Each side is worth photographing, so you’ll probably need an hour to do all the shots you want here.

And that’s if you choose not to climb to the top. Add another hour to your Paris itinerary if you decide to see Champs-Élysées from the top of Arc de Triomphe.

Reaching the rooftop of the Arc reveals an amazing view. To save time, buy your ticket online in advance here .

⏱️ Time needed : To walk from the Louvre to the Arc de Triomphe without any extra stops, you’ll need at least two hours. Plan another two to three hours for photos along the way and at the Arc. You’ll need another hour to go to the rooftop.

Eiffel Tower: The Best View of Paris from Above During Day and Night

Eiffel Tower

Whether you’re a fan or not of the iron construction, the view from the top of the Eiffel Tower is something you shouldn’t miss. No matter if you only have a few hours or 3 days in Paris, find the time to get up there!

My top travel tip for the Eiffel Tower is to go there at the end of the day. This way, you’ll enjoy the magnificent panorama of Paris during the best hours for photoshopping. You’ll catch some daylight, see the golden hour, the blue hour, and Paris at night.

What a way to end your first day in Paris, eh?

Head back to your hotel for a well-deserved rest but not before you spend some time in Champ de Mars at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. If the weather permits it, watch the Eiffel Tower’s illuminations and light show.

✔️ Tip : To skip the gigantic line in front of the cashiers, buy your ticket online . This way, it’ll only take you about 15 min to reach the top of the Eiffel Tower!

⏱️ Time needed : If you’ve booked your ticket online, calculate around two hours for the Eiffel Tower and the views of Paris from above. Another hour for photos of the tower itself and Champ de Mars.

Wondering where to stay? Book my favorite hotel in Paris here:

✨ Hôtel Le Relais des Halles ✨

Day 2: Montmartre, a Seine River Cruise, and a Cabaret Show

Relaxed yet? Then it’s time for your second day in Paris!

After all the walking from the previous day, I suggest you take it a bit slower today.

Explore the artistic neighborhood of Montmartre, join a Seine River cruise, and watch a cabaret show.

Let’s find out what awaits in on your second day in Paris!

Montmartre Hill: Churches, Artists, and a Splendid View of Paris


In the morning, find your way to Montmartre Hill . Lots of climbing will be involved here, but hey – the best views are from above!

Once you reach the staggering white basilica Sacré-Coeur on the hilltop, you’ll know what I mean. The view of Paris at the foot of the hill is jaw-dropping.

The artistic neighborhood is livelier in the afternoon and evening, but to avoid the crowds it’s best to explore it in the morning.

Take your time, walk up and down the narrow lanes and staircases, enjoy the atmosphere, sit at the cute little cafés, and take it all in.


Here’s what to do in Montmartre on your second day in Paris:

  • Visit Le Musée de Montmartre , if you’re a history lover. It’s hosted in a 17 th -century house with a beautiful garden. This is where Renoir created some of his masterpieces.
  • Check out the paintings at Place du Tertre or even buy one as a souvenir . Or have a cup of coffee at one of the tables, lining the cobblestone paved square.
  • Enter the  Église Saint-Pierre de Montmartre , the oldest church in Paris. It dates back to the 12 th  century.
  • Read I Love you! in multiple languages at the wall of Le mur des je t’aime mural in a tiny cute neighbourhood park.
  • Make one of the most cliché photos of the mill above the entrance of Moulin Rouge .
  • Meet eternity at the Montmartre Cemetery , where famous artists and writers are buried.

Once you’ve had your share of vibrant art, cozy cafés, and unusual sights, move on to the next stop. Take the metro and get off near the riverside.

In fact, each time you get tired of walking during your 3 days in Paris, it’s a good idea to take the subway, even if it’s for one stop only. Distances in Paris shouldn’t be underestimated. Do your feet a favor and give them a rest from time to time.

⏱️ Time needed : Depending on the number of stops and coffee breaks you make, somewhere between two and four hours.

Seine River Cruise: The Famous Buildings at the River Banks from Another Angle


Since climbing the cobblestone streets of Montmartre has tired you enough, rest your feet while taking a boat tour of the Seine River.

There’s a large variety of boats and tour themes you can choose from, so pick the one closest to your interests. The views will be all the same, but the atmosphere and the service on the boat will differ.

Some of the buildings you might have already seen on your previous day in Paris, but now you’ll watch them pass you by from a different angle.

  • The Louvre,
  • The Eiffel Tower,
  • The Notre-Dame Cathedral,
  • The Statue of Liberty,
  • The Paris Museum of Modern Art,
  • The smallest building in Paris,

… and you’ll pass under the beautiful Parisian bridges

  • Pont Alexandre III,
  • Pont des Arts with the countless padlocks, and

✔️ Tip : Book your river cruise in advance and save valuable time wondering which one to choose. If you want your cruise to include dinner, check out this option .

⏱️ Time needed : Depending on the kind of tour you choose, from one to several hours.

The Cabaret Shows: The Best of the Famous Parisian Nightlife

Moulin Rouge

If you’re up for a night out, head to one of the famous cabaret shows in Paris.

To enjoy the best aspects of the Parisian nightlife, book this awesome combo including dinner and a show .

But how to find a great cabaret show, you may wonder?

Tens of establishments in Paris will compete for your attention.

My advice is to choose a lesser-known place to finish your night. You’ll experience better performance and get some extras for less money than at the most famous places. Also, check out which cabaret is most convenient to reach from your accommodation.

Here are the top-rated cabarets in Paris:

  • Moulin Rouge : the most iconic but over-commercialized cabaret show. Located in Montmartre.
  • Le Lido : a dazzling, quick-paced show in the Champs-Élysées.
  • Le Crazy Horse : extravagant choreography in an intimate setting near the banks of the River Seine.
  • Paradis Latin : great acrobatics in a posh ballroom in the Latin Quarter.
  • Au Lapin Agile : the most intimate cabaret experience in Paris where the audience becomes part of the show. Located in Montmartre.

✔️ Tip : My recommendation is the superb performance at  Le Crazy Horse . The show was unusual, unexpected, and affordable. The seating was great and the atmosphere was spectacular.

What a spectacular way to end your second of three days in Paris!

⏱️ Time needed : The cabaret shows without dinner are around two hours long. If you book the dinner option, your night will be about twice as long.

Day 3: Notre-Dame de Paris, the Latin Quarter, and Montparnasse

I know, 3 days in Paris aren’t enough to see everything but let’s maximize your time on your final day in the city.

Today, I recommend starting at the most visited landmark in France and continuing to explore two quintessential Parisian neighborhoods.

Ready for your final day in Paris? Let’s dive in!

Notre-Dame de Paris: The Beauty Which Inspires Poets

Notre Dame

Start your third day in Paris with a visit to the most famous cathedral in France.

Situated on Île de la Cité island in the middle of the Seine River, the Cathedral of Notre Dame was built in the 13 th century.

You can easily reach it via the subway. Alternatively, walk across the river via one of the beautiful bridges, connecting the island with the river banks.

The iconic Gothic building hosts incredible naturalistic sculptures and stained glass windows. The ten bells and the organs produce beautiful music inside and outside of the cathedral.

Join the tour to the top of the tower for another set of magnificent views of Paris from above. Don’t miss to take a few close-up shots of the famous gargoyles and the rest of the marvelous statues, decorating the façade.

The island also hosts the cathedral’s crypt as well as the gothic chapel Sainte Chapelle and the Palace of Justice .

✔️ Tip : Sadly, one of the most famous cathedrals in the world was severely damaged by fire on April 15, 2019. Please check in advance the current situation.

⏱️ Time needed : Plan at least two hours of your 3 days in Paris for the small island and its gems. Book a guided tour of the famous cathedral and the island here .

The Latin Quarter: The Bohemian Heart of Paris


Leaving Île de la Cité island behind via Pont Saint-Michel bridge , you’ll find yourself in the Latin Quarter . A few steps away from the bridge is the stone Fontaine Saint-Michel , portraying the saint while slaying a dragon.

Next, walk by the impressive building of the Paris-Sorbonne University and swirl towards the Pantheon to visit the graves of the most famous minds of France. You can buy your ticket for the Pantheon online and save some time queueing.

For some fresh air and beautiful greenery, don’t miss the Luxembourg Gardens with Luxembourg Palace at one end and  Montparnasse at the opposite side. Watch the children play with their model sailboats in the pond and walk the alleys while reaching your next stop.

⏱️ Time needed : Depending on your pace, the number of detours you take, and the number of photos you take, plan to spend at least two hours on the streets of the Latin Quarter.

Montparnasse: The Many Faces of Death


Montparnasse is the home of the Paris Catacombs, Montparnasse Cemetery, and Montparnasse Tower, among other sights.

The Catacombs of Paris consist of a labyrinth of tunnels, where millions of skeletons have found their last resort in a former limestone mine. They’re illuminated and arranged for the scariest effect possible.

Montparnasse Cemetery is the next place where you can confront your mortality. The monumental cemetery park is beautifully maintained, and will provide a thought-provoking walk between the tombs and gravestones.

If you haven’t seen enough of Paris from above, go to the roof terrace of the  Montparnasse Tower next. The observation deck on the 56 th floor of this 210 m high skyscraper will provide another angle of the beautiful Parisian sites you’ve visited during your 3 days in Paris.

⏱️ Time needed : For the tour of the Catacombs, plan about 2 hours. For the rest of the Montparnasse landmarks, you’ll need between two and three hours altogether. Purchase your tickets in advance to save precious time.

The Army Museum or Rodin Museum: One Last Museum Visit

Military Museum

Last but not least, visit some of the gorgeous Parisian museums.

My first recommendation is The Army Museum . It hosts Napoleon’s magnificent marble tomb, as well as multiple collections of weapons, uniforms, and battlefield miniatures.

If you’re not into war history and military equipment, visit the  Rodin Museum  next door. You can admire the famous artist’s masterpiece The Thinker in a mansion from the 18 th century. In the museum’s beautiful park, you can find more fantastic sculptures on display.

⏱️ Time needed : Visit the museums if you have at least two hours to spare. Otherwise, it’s not worth paying the ticket price.

Further Amazing Attractions in Paris for Your Next Visit

Versailles Paris

Unfortunately, your 3 days in Paris itinerary is full now.

But don’t worry, once you’ve visited, you’ll want to come back and you’ll find a way to do it, I’m sure of it.

So instead of wondering what to see next time, here’s a list, waiting for you to start planning:

  • Musée Grévin hosts wax figures of people from French history and contemporary celebrities.
  • Musée des arts et métiers , despite the name, is a technology museum . The building is a converted church, which hosts scientific, industrial, and technological artworks and artifacts, including the original Foucault’s pendulum.
  • Place de la Bastille is the former site of the Bastille prison . The July Column rises above the iconic square, which is lined with bars and cafés.
  • Les Pavillons de Bercy hosts Musée des Arts Forains , which showcases a collection of objects from theatrical and music halls.
  • Bois de Boulogne , the former royal hunting grounds, is currently a huge public park. You can spend hours walking the nature trails and picnicking at the lakes. And if that becomes too boring for you, visit the botanical gardens.
  • Le Palais Royal is a 17th-century palace with lovely gardens and arcades of shops.
  • Père Lachaise Cemetery is the home of Jim Morrison’s tomb on one end and the tomb of Oscar Wilde in the opposite direction. Metal railings stop visitors from actually going near the graves.
  • The Palace of Versailles lies about an hour away from Paris by train. You’ll need at least half a day to see the 18 th -century palace and explore its huge gardens.
  • Explore the French countryside with these day trips from Paris .

Perhaps you’re ambitious enough to include one or more of these stops in your current 3 days in Paris itinerary? Go, you!

✔️ The Best Paris Travel Tips for an Unforgettable Visit

Paris Travel Tips

To make sure your trip to Paris is perfect in any way possible, I’ve compiled my top travel tips for the City of Love.

After numerous journeys to the French capital, I’ve perfected not only the itinerary, but I’ve also found the best travel advice to make your stay seamless.

✔️ Tip : you can find more travel advice in this comprehensive guide of the  Paris travel tips .

Have a Plan and Know Your Interests Before Going to Paris

Don’t try to see everything in Paris or visit the attractions everyone else goes to. People are different. So, follow your interests and not the crowds.

Paris boasts 130 museums, and I’m sure there are no more than three, which you’ll really want to explore. It’s OK to skip the Louvre even if it’s the most famous gallery in the world!

You aren’t going to Paris for three days to impress somebody, you are going to have fun and do what you like, right? Make your own 3 days in Paris itinerary without feeling guilty about what others might think.

Is 3 Days in Paris Enough Time?

3 days in Paris will give you enough time to explore the main attractions of the French capital without getting too overwhelmed by the architectural beauty and cultural diversity of the city.

This trip will only scratch the surface and will let you feel the atmosphere of the City of Love.

But why only 3 days in Paris when there’s so much more to see?

Apart from the high cost of a trip to Paris , if you spend more time in the French capital, you’ll start seeing its imperfections… Like the streets which are washed every morning, but in the evening they’re again filthy and covered in vomit and trash.

Not to mention, your feet will hurt like hell from all the walking, and your head will spin like a Ferris wheel from all the glorious sights and emotions if you try to stay for more than three days in Paris.

So why do this to yourself? You can always return and there’s enough to see on a second and a third visit as well!

Who Is This 3 Days in Paris Itinerary for?

Paris FAQs

This 3-day itinerary is best suited for first-time visitors to Paris. But even if you’ve already been to the French capital, check out that you haven’t missed anything essential.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you could squeeze all the attractions on this list in two days as well. However, you might be physically and emotionally exhausted by the end of your trip.

When to Visit Paris for 3 Days?

Sadly, the City of Love is overcrowded even in off-season months like November or March. 

Still, these are the best months to visit.

Try to pick a time during the week, and go to the most famous museums and areas as early in the morning as possible.

How to Get Around Paris?

The most convenient way of getting around Paris is by walking and using the metro.

To plan your rides and explore the ticket options, visit this website .

Keep in Mind the Attractions’ Closings

If you visit Paris during the week, make sure you double-check the attractions’ opening times.

Many museums are closed on Mondays or Tuesdays.

Here are the ones which close on Mondays :

  • The Catacombs of Paris
  • Musée Rodin
  • Musée des arts et métiers
  • Musée d’Orsay
  • Musée Carnavalet

On Tuesdays , the following museums remain closed:

  • Musée de l’Orangerie
  • Pompidou Centre

Where to Eat in Paris?

Macarons in Paris

Food in France is a lengthy topic.

Since you’ll only spend 3 days in Paris, I advise you not to get too hung up on where you dine and what you eat.

Better focus on the attractions and leave the culinary quests for your next visit.

With that said, I fully understand that you still need to eat J

Cafés and bistros are your best choice for breakfast and lunch. Try to avoid eateries that are close to famous attractions to evade tourist traps.

And in the evenings, most of your dinners will be included in the tours I’ve recommended.

Where to Stay in Paris: The Best Hotels and Areas for 3 Days in Paris

Where to Stay in Paris for 3 Days

To maximize your time, I recommend booking your hotel for 3 days in Paris near the attractions you want to visit most.

The French capital is divided into arrondissements (districts). Below are the ones you should check out:

  • The Louvre (1 st arrondissement)
  • The Eiffel Tower (7 th arrondissement)
  • Champs-Elysées (8 th arrondissement)
  • Montmartre (18 th arrondissement)
  • The Latin Quarter (5 th arrondissement)
  • Montparnasse (14 th arrondissement)

Here are my top recommendations for hotels in Paris :

🏨 Hôtel Le Relais des Halles – excellent lodging in a pedestrian street near the Louvre.

🏨 Hotel Claridge Paris – elegant accommodation 2 min from the Champs-Élysées.

🏨 Hotel Yllen Eiffel – splendid views and modern amenities near Montparnasse Tower.

Now You Know How to Spend 3 Days in Paris in the Best Way Possible

River Seine Paris

So, there you have it – the ultimate 3 days in Paris itinerary .

Whether it’s your first time in the French capital or you’ve roamed its streets before, take a look at this list to make sure you haven’t missed the best attractions.

If you follow in my footsteps and spend 3 days in Paris the same way I did, I’m sure you’ll have a blast in the City of Love.

Now, it’s your turn:

Have you been to the French capital? Did you spend 3 days in Paris or more?

Let me know in the comments below.

After spending months living in Spain and the USA, years in Germany, and decades in Bulgaria, I set up on a mission to find the most epic road trips, the best beaches, and the most authentic local experiences for your next adventure.


What a detailed post, NTripping! That is really impressive and thanks a lot for the wonderful suggestions at the end. I was in Paris 4 years ago and, more or less, I had the same itinerary, so it’s definitely doable but also very tiring.

We also went to Versailles which was a failure as it was jam-packed with people and it was raining heavily.

Glad you liked the post, Svet! It’s really difficult to resist the temptation of doing more than one should when in Paris… I’ve done the itinerary 3 times already and each time I tweeked it a little bit, so I know not only that it’s doable, but also that this is the perfect 3 days in Paris itinerary for sure!

I doubt it, that a longer stay is advisable, because you’d automatically push yourself to see more and more each day to the point when your brain would stop processing the sites ;-)

It really is difficult to resist any temptations in Paris, especially macarons! Pushing ourselves is never a good idea. I don’t do it anymore :)

Somehow our focus was never on food in Paris. Although I did order snails, but can’t say I was impressed :)

Well, I also ordered them, but they didn’t have! I was shocked! haha.

I ate them all, obviously, and didn’t leave you any ;)

I’ve been to Paris for 5 days, then the second time for 3-4 days, then the last time for 2 days. Notice something? There is a point when you feel you need less and less in the capital as it’s crucial for your survival. But after the first visit with all the museums and touristy must-do stuff, then you can actually start appreciating the city. Thank you for the comprehensive guide! I feel a lot of people can take advantage of it, especially if they feel overwhelmed by Paris and its size and things to do. :-)

I completely agree with you, Bistra! I’ve talked to many travellers and we all reached the conclusion, that 3 days in Paris is the perfect trip length for both first-timers and return visitors :)

Overwhelmed is an understatement, as the French capital is capable of driving you crazy and mad in no time!

Happy travels :)

Such a helpful post, totally going to follow your guide on our next trip x

Glad you liked it, Sarah :)

Dear Naddya, I would like to thank you for the detailed post. I’ve read to the very end and I really enjoy every word of it and I think that it’s very helpful for a person who is planning to visit Paris.

But among all the tips and tricks, the most important message to all tourists and travelers is that it is not necessary to see what everyone else visits or to be interested in everything that can be found in the guide books. We are all different and we all travel differently, We need to see the city through our own eye and to enjoy it.

Thank you, Moni

I’m glad you feel the same way! I think it is not only in Paris, but in other famous destinations, that tourists gather around the most popular spots and ignore the rest.

Happy travels and thanks for stopping by!

Thanks for replying! I am totally agreed with you, it is not only Paris. It is everywhere :) Keep up the good work with the blog!

We remain in touch! Greetings, Moni

Thanks, Moni, it’s comments like yours which motivate me to keep publishing :)

I had three days in paris last summer and followed almost this exact itinerary! I skipped the Mona Lisa and do not feel at all guilty! I am happy that you agree. I did make two trips to Shakespeare and Company book store and two trips to Notre dame. I especially liked the boat ride on the Seinne. It did give a different view if the city.

Gini, I’m so glad we’re on the same page! I loved Shakespeare and Co., and also the cute little cafes in Paris :) Cheers, N.

The next month I shall be going to Paris for the third time. I do agree to most of your observations and the Mona Lisa part was perfectly on the dot. People miss so many paintings in and around Mona Lisa. I didnt go to Mouline Rouge as it is too pricey. But a reading in one of the trip advisor forum made me laugh and I decided not to book. He said at that price you can get a girl as well for the night. No offenses intended. A wonderful write up.

Hey Milind,

glad we think alike about the touristy spots in Paris :) Have a great trip!

I love this post. It is incredibly helpful! Im planning my trip to Paris in October and reading everything that can help to make my trip more enjoyable. Thank you for sharing those tips!

Glad you found the post useful :) Enjoy your time in Paris!

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3 Days in Paris: Complete Itinerary Guide

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Are you planning your visit to Paris and don’t know what to visit? We have prepared a 3-day itinerary of Paris to help you plan your trip.

We tell you what to see daily and give you some extra options. In addition, we will tell you if it is convenient to buy the Paris Pass and much more.

Paris in 3 days Itinerary, Summary

Day 1: eiffel tower and museums.

  • Day 2: Notre Dame Cathedral and Latin Quarter

Day 3: Arc de Triomphe and Montmartre

Now, you begin to plan your 3-day itinerary in Paris.

Should You Buy The Paris Pass or The Museum Pass?

Here we are doing a bit of spoiler because we will tell you the prices to enter the main attractions of Paris and we will buy it with the cost of the most popular passes of the French capital.

The Prices of The Monuments And Museums Are:

  • Eiffel Tower : 21,5€.
  • Louvre Museum : 17€.
  • Sainte-Chapelle + La Conciergerie: 18,50€.
  • Pantheon: 11,50€.
  • Arc de Triomphe: 13€.

If you buy these tickets separately, the total cost is 81,50€.

The 2-day Paris Pass costs €90 and the 3-day Paris Pass costs €120. So in our opinion, they are worth it if you manage to plan your itinerary well to get the most out of the pass.

The Paris Pass includes , among other attractions and activities: Louvre Museum, Seine River cruise, Montparnasse tour, Arc de Triomphe, cheese tasting, Eiffel Tower and much more.

What about the Museum Pass? As its name suggests, it is more focused on monuments and museums, so it is convenient if you are a lover of this type of places and plan to visit several in a few days.

The 2-day pass cost €55 and the 4-day pass cost €70 . It includes the Louvre Museum, the Arc de Triomphe, the Pompidou Center, the Musée d’Orsay and many, many more places, including some outside Paris.

Woman in green dress in museum

  • Get a 5% discount on your travel insurance in Paris

We reserved the first day for some of the most popular attractions in Paris, because surely the anxiety to see these points of the city will not leave you calm until you see them, so it is better if you see them the first day and then you stay calm to see the rest of the city.

In The Morning

Eiffel tower.

The first thing you should see is the Eiffel Tower. Even if you have tickets, you will have to wait in line, so go early, before it gets too crowded.

On the official website , the entrance to go up to the second floor by elevator costs 18,10€ and to get to the top it is 28,30€. If you don’t mind climbing stairs, we recommend buying the one that combines stairs and elevator to get to the top, which costs 21,50€.

Tickets can be purchased directly at the tower’s ticket office, but there may be no tickets left for that day or you may have to wait in a long line first. That’s why it’s best to buy your ticket online.

Regarding the purchase of tickets online, the price on the official website is much cheaper than on other activity booking websites.

The only way I recommend you to buy your ticket is on sites like Civitatis because the tickets are sold out for the day you want to visit or because you want to combine it with a cruise or something else special.

Champ de Mars and the Trocadero

When you come down from the Tower, walk along the Champ de Mars, and enjoy a beautiful walk from which you will have great views of the Tower, you can sit, take pictures and relax in one of the most beautiful places in Paris.

When you feel you’ve had enough rest, you can go to the Trocadero. The Trocadero square offers a breathtaking view of the Eiffel Tower and is one of the most popular places to take pictures in the city .

Trocadero with a view of the Eiffel Tower

The best photos can be taken from the esplanade of the Palais de Chaillot, which is a magnificent example of 19th century neoclassical architecture.

As you climb the stairs leading to the Palais de Chaillot, you will have a panoramic view of the Champ de Mars, the Eiffel Tower, and the Trocadero gardens.

In The Afternoon

Louvre museum.

As we are putting together a 3-day itinerary in Paris, you will have to walk quite a bit, especially this first day. In the afternoon you will visit the Louvre Museum.

Louvre Museum, Selfi Vero with the Mona Lisa

The Louvre Museum is one of the largest museums in the world and there are many works of art worth seeing. In addition to the Mona Lisa, some of the museum’s must-see works include:

  • The Venus de Milo, The Victory of Samothrace,
  • The Wedding at Cana by Veronese,
  • The Coronation of Napoleon by Jacques-Louis David,
  • the sculpture of Apollo and Daphne by Gian Lorenzo Bernini,
  • and the apartments of Napoleon III.

It is also recommended to visit the Egyptian antiquities section and the Oriental antiquities collection.

It is important to plan your visit to the Louvre well in order to make the most of your time and see everything you want to see .

So if you have a few things you really want to see, you should know where each one is and have a map of the museum so you know how to get from one place to another.

The entrance to the museum costs 17€. You can hire a two-hour guided tour with an expert guide.

Other options

If you’re not a fan of museums, there are a couple of options you might enjoy on your first afternoon in Paris.

Our first recommendation is to take a cruise on the Seine with dinner included something super romantic. And the second option would be to take a tour of the city with the tourist bus .

When you finish the activity you choose to do in the evening, you have to go back to the Eiffel Tower to see it illuminated. If you liked it during the day, you’ll love it at night.

In addition to the reflectors pointing to its antenna, the Tower is illuminated by 20,000 light bulbs that adorn its slender iron figure. The lights turn on and flash for 5 minutes every hour while its beacon illuminates the city.

Pyramids of the Louvre Museum, Paris

Day 2: City Island and Latin Quarter

Ready to continue your 3-day itinerary in Paris?

City Island

In the morning, visit the Ile de la Cité, one of the most iconic places in Paris.

The island is home to the famous Notre Dame Cathedral, which is a masterpiece of the French Gothic style and one of the most beautiful cathedrals in the world .

You can also visit the Sainte-Chapelle , which is a Gothic chapel built in the 13th century and is famous for its impressive vitraux.

In addition, you can walk across the Pont Neuf, which is the oldest bridge in Paris and offers spectacular views of the Seine River and the city.

One place we always recommend, and which is not as popular, is La Conciergerie . It is a former royal palace that was used as a royal residence in the 14th century and later became a prison during the French Revolution.

Many of the famous prisoners of the time, such as Marie Antoinette, were imprisoned in the Conciergerie before their execution. Today it is a museum where you can explore the prison cells and courtrooms.

The ticket to visit the Sainte-Chapelle costs 11,50€ and a double ticket, which allows you to visit the church and La Conciergerie costs 18,50€.

When you finish your tour of the island, you can walk along the banks of the Seine River and see the bouquinistes, which are the antique book stalls. Do you remember the movie Midnight in Paris? When you see these posts, you’re sure to remember her.

Notre Dame de Paris cartoonist

The Latin Quarter

A few meters from the island you have the Latin Quarter, where we recommend you to have lunch. If you like traditional French food, take the opportunity to eat a good cheese fondue on rue Mouffetard .

There are also other options, as there are many bars and restaurants in the neighborhood.

What else to see in the Latin Quarter? Of course, you won’t go there just for the food. The Latin Quarter is one of the oldest and most picturesque neighborhoods in the city.

Here you can find Sorbonne University, which is the oldest university in Paris and one of the most prestigious in the world.

There are also many historic cafes, bookstores and antique stores in the neighborhood that offer an authentic Parisian experience.

You can stroll through the cobblestone streets and discover the Fontaine Saint-Michel, a monument depicting St. Michael fighting the devil.

One of the neighborhood’s most important attractions is the Jardin du Luxembourg, a park popular with locals and tourists alike .

The park has beautiful gardens, fountains, ponds and statues that make it an ideal place to take pictures, stroll and rest.

Before leaving the neighborhood, visit the Pantheon . Built in the 18th century as a church dedicated to Saint Geneviève, it later became the burial place for the great men and women of France, such as Victor Hugo, Voltaire, Marie Curie and Rousseau.

It is a place you have to visit if you like history and architecture.

The entrance to the Pantheon costs 11,50€.

The day is not over, you still have many places to visit. So from the Latin Quarter, you can walk to St Germain.

We recommend you visit the Shakespeare and Co. bookstore and Le Café de Flore, the favorite coffee shop of Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir .

Another place you can visit is the church of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, and you can stroll along the Boulevard Saint-Germain and Saint-Sulpice Square. There you will see a large number of restaurants and bistros.

If you have energy left, you can go for a walk in the area of the Louvre Museum at sunset, relax in one of the nearby gardens and rest to face the third day.

Shakespeare Paris Bookstore

On the last day of this 3-day itinerary in Paris you have to visit the last must-see places that were missing.

Arc de Triomphe

In the morning you can start your tour at the Arc de Triomphe . This iconic monument is located on the Place Charles de Gaulle, at the western end of the Champs Elysées.

It was built in honor of the French soldiers who fought and died in the Napoleonic and Revolutionary Wars.

It is one of the most visited monuments in France thanks to its impressive architecture and historical significance. You can climb to the top of the Arc de Triomphe to enjoy a panoramic view of Paris and the Champs Elysées.

You can also visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which is located under the arch and is a memorial to the French soldiers who died during World War I.

The entrance to the monument, which is the one that allows you to climb to the top, costs 13€.

Elysian Fields

While you’re here, be sure to stroll along the Champs Elysees Avenue. This is one of the most famous and beautiful avenues in the world .

You will find stores of the most luxurious brands in the world and many restaurants where you can taste some of the typical dishes of French gastronomy.

This time the transfer is a little longer, so it is best to take the metro line 2. The trip from Charles de Gaulle – Etoile station to Pigalle station takes about 10 minutes, from there you will have to walk a few blocks to the heart of the Montmartre district.

In the neighborhood, you have to visit the Sacre Cœur Basilica. You can enjoy the beauty of its neo-Byzantine style architecture and the spectacular views of the city from the top of Montmartre hill.

A visit to the neighborhood is not complete without a peek at the Moulin Rouge . You can take a tour seeing the most famous cabarets of Paris and from the Moulin Rouge go to the Au Lapin Agile and Le Chat Noir.

A very good option to get to know the best of the neighborhood in a short time is to take this free tour of Montmartre , which is one of the best rated and will show you why the neighborhood was preferred by artists.

Maison Rose de Montmartre

The neighborhood has a great diversity of restaurants, so it will be easy to find a place to eat. Near the Sacré-Coeur basilica is the Taverne de Montmartre, which has traditional French dishes.

For a more romantic atmosphere, you can go to Le Basilic, which is on Rue Lépic. And for something less touristy, we recommend Le Jardin d’en Face, which is a bistro with a very good wine list and original dishes.

You may be interested in:

  • How to save money on a trip to Paris
  • 25 Things to see in Montmartre

Other Destinations

We suggest some more places that might interest you, and that you could use to replace some of the ones we suggest if they do not interest you so much. Or you could visit them if you decided to do a 4-day itinerary around Paris.

1-day Trip to Visit to Versailles

The Palace of Versailles is an impressive place that you cannot miss if you are in France. Inside, you can admire works of art and visit its different rooms, such as the Gallery of Mirrors.

The palace gardens are some of the most beautiful in the world. You will be able to walk along its different trails, admire the fountains and waterfalls, and relax in a peaceful environment.

In addition, in the vicinity of the Palace of Versailles, you will find interesting places such as the Grand and Petit Trianon, which are worth exploring .

You can reach the palace by train. To do so, take the RER line C and get off at the Versailles Château Rive Gauche station. Trains depart every 15 minutes.

The entrance to the Palace of Versailles costs 21,50€. If you prefer to see the entire palace with a tour, which includes transfer and entrance, you can check here .

  • RELATED READING: How to Visit the Palace of Versailles from Paris

Catacombs of Paris

The catacombs of Paris are a subway labyrinth of tunnels and corridors containing the mortal remains of more than six million Parisians who were transferred there from the city’s cemeteries during the last decades of the 18th century and the first decades of the 19th century.

The dark and mysterious atmosphere of the place will transport you to another era and make you feel as if you were exploring a hidden subway world.

General admission to the Catacombs costs 29€.

3 day tour in paris

Get to The Top of Montparnasse Tower

The 56th floor of the Montparnasse Tower is 210 meters high, so it gives you incredible views of the Eiffel Tower and much of Paris.

For a long time it was the tallest tower in the country and is currently being refurbished, but the 56th floor is still open.

The ticket is 15€ . In addition to enjoying one of the best views of Paris, you will have an Augmented Reality experience that will give you a new perspective of the city.

How to Get Around Paris?

It is best to plan your itinerary so that each day you visit places that are close to each other. That way you will be able to see almost everything on foot. As you saw in our 3-day itinerary, the attractions we suggest are quite close to each other.

If you don’t feel like walking too much, or if your hotel is a bit far away from the tourist sites, it is best to take the subway. The best thing to do is to take the subway , which will allow you to get everywhere quickly.

Of the places we recommend you to visit, the only one that is far away is Versailles, which you can reach by train or bus.

Paris subway

Related: The best places to stay overlooking the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

Best Time to Visit Paris

There are two ideal times to visit Paris , the first is in spring, and the second is in autumn.

In spring, the minimum temperature ranges from 5° in March to 14° in June. And highs range from 13° in March to 24° in June.

Autumn starts in September with a minimum of 13° and a maximum of 22° and ends in December with a minimum of 4° and a maximum of 8°.

Always keep in mind that Paris offers unparalleled experiences throughout the year, so it is a city with high tourist demand no matter when you visit, so it is recommended to book accommodation in advance to avoid inconveniences.

Plan Your Trip to Paris

  • What to wear in Paris
  • How to get around Paris by public transport
  • The Most Famous Streets of Paris
  • Where to go shopping in Paris
  • What to see in Paris when you already know the city
  • Tips for saving money in the French capital

Paris 3 day itinerary

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Hi there! I’m Vero! I’ve always loved traveling! I have been living in France since 2018. And traveling around this awesome country. I love road trips and traveling by van, and also, some comfy getaways :) Check out:

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3 day tour in paris

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Tour winner Tadej Pogacar withdraws from Paris Olympics road race due to fatigue

P ARIS (AP) — Three-time Tour de France winner Tadej Pogacar withdrew from the road race at the Paris Olympics late Monday, one day after becoming the first rider to win the Tour and the Giro d'Italia in the same season in nearly three decades.

The Slovenian Olympic Team announced Pogacar had withdrawn from the Aug. 3 road race due to fatigue. His professional teammate, Domen Novak, will replace him rather than Primoz Roglic, the defending Olympic time trial gold medalist, who was left off the nation's provisional lineup and is likely still recovering from the crash that took him out of the Tour.

“Unfortunately, Tadej Pogacar will not be among (the riders in Paris)," the Slovenian team said in a statement. “He will be replaced by national team colleague Domen Novak. We wish Domen all the best and success.”

Novak will be joined in the Slovenian lineup by Jan Tratnik, Matej Mohoric and Luka Mezgec.

“Once again," the Slovenia team said, "congratulations to the Tour de France winner for his third victory in the world’s most prestigious cycling race, and we hope he rests well and prepares for his next races.”

The 25-year-old Pogacar has already said he will not race in the Vuelta a Espana in August, the third of the three Grand Tours. Instead, he is expected to recuperate ahead of the world championships in September in Switzerland.

Pogacar was expected to battle two-time winner Jonas Vingegaard all the way to Nice, where the three-week Tour ended Sunday rather than with its customary finish on the Champs-Élysées because of the Paris Games. Instead, he pulled on the leader's yellow jersey after winning Stage 4 to Valloire and never let his biggest rivals get anywhere close to him the rest of the way.

Pogacar capped his dominance by winning the time trial Sunday for his 17th career stage win. He finished more than six minutes ahead of Vingegaard overall and more than nine ahead of third-place Remco Evenepoel, one of the Olympic favorites.

It made Pogacar the first rider since Marco Pantani in 1998 to win the Giro and the Tour in the same year.

“To win both together is another level above,” Pogacar said after the finish Sunday. “This is the first Grand Tour where I was totally confident every day. Even at the Giro I remember I had one bad day. This year, the Tour was just amazing.

“I’m super happy,” he added. "I cannot describe how happy I am after two hard years in the Tour de France.”

AP Summer Olympics:

APTOPIX Cycling Tour de France

Tennis at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games: Full schedule details revealed

Novak Djokovic and Iga Swiatek prior to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games

Anticipation has been building all year, and now the Paris 2024 Olympic Games are just a week away.

Thousands of competitors across the globe will compete in 32 different sports, and tennis proves to be one of the must-watch sports of the Games .

Action at Roland Garros begins on the first full day of Paris 2024 – Saturday 27th July – and we take you through all you need to know about the tournament, with a full day-by-day schedule.

Men’s singles: Alcaraz aims to continue surge as Djokovic targets elusive gold

An Olympic gold medal is the only thing missing from Novak Djokovic’s stacked trophy cabinet, and the Serbian heads to a fifth, likely final, Olympics this summer.

The Serbian is not the favourite though, with French Open and Wimbledon champion Carlos Alcaraz perhaps the best bet for gold on his tournament debut.

World No 1 Jannik Sinner and defending champion Alexander Zverev will likely also be in contention, while former champions Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray compete in their final Games.

Women’s singles: Swiatek looks to continue clay dominance

World No 1 Iga Swiatek lost just once on clay this year and, despite an early Wimbledon loss, the Pole is a huge favourite for women’s singles gold.

Swiatek is on a 21-match winning streak at Roland Garros having won the French Open for three years in a row, and has only lost twice in five appearances on site.

Behind her, world No 2 Coco Gauff and world No 4 Elena Rybakina are among the strong contenders, as is Roland Garros and Wimbledon runner-up Jasmine Paolini .

New SW19 winner and former French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova will look to add singles gold to her doubles crown from Tokyo – with a new champion ensured.

Alexander Zverev makes ‘best players’ comment in Olympic Games dig Exclusive: 22-time major winner says Coco Gauff has ‘something to prove’ ahead of Olympics and US Open title defence The 7 countries to win multiple tennis Olympic Gold medals in Open Era: USA out in front Tennis at Paris 2024 Olympic Games: Who’s in and who’s out – ft. Novak Djokovic, Iga Swiatek, Emma Raducanu

Day-by-day schedule

Day 1 – saturday 27th july.

Men’s Singles : Round of 64 Women’s Singles : Round of 64 Men’s Doubles : Round of 32 Women’s Doubles : Round of 32

Day 2 – Sunday 28th July

Day 3 – monday 29th july.

Men’s Singles : Round of 32 Women’s Singles : Round of 32 Men’s Doubles : Round of 16 Women’s Doubles : Round of 16 Mixed Doubles : Round of 16

Day 4 – Tuesday 30th July

Men’s Singles : Round of 32 Women’s Singles : Round of 16 Men’s Doubles : Quarter-Finals Women’s Doubles : Round of 16 Mixed Doubles : Round of 16

Day 5 – Wednesday 31st July

Men’s Singles : Round of 16 Women’s Singles : Quarter-Finals Men’s Doubles : Semi-Finals Women’s Doubles : Quarter-Finals Mixed Doubles : Quarter-Finals

Day 6 – Thursday 1st August

Men’s Singles : Quarter-Finals Women’s Singles : Semi-Finals Women’s Doubles : Semi-Finals Mixed Doubles : Semi-Finals

Day 7 – Friday 2nd August

Men’s Singles : Semi-Finals Women’s Singles : Bronze Medal Men’s Doubles : Bronze Medal Mixed Doubles : Final + Bronze Medal

Day 8 – Saturday 3rd August

Men’s Singles : Bronze Medal Women’s Singles : Final Men’s Doubles : Final

Day 9 – Sunday 4th August

Men’s Singles : Final Women’s Doubles : Bronze Medal + Final

The 7 tennis players to win Olympic gold – but not a Grand Slam singles title The 7 men with the most Olympic match wins: Novak Djokovic No 1, Andy Murray with a near perfect record The 5 players to win Wimbledon and Olympic gold in same season – ft. Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal

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Tour de France 2024 stage-by-stage guide: Route maps and profiles for all 21 days

This year’s tour de france will take the peloton from florence to a time-trial finish in nice via some epic climbs in the pyrenees and the alps, article bookmarked.

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The 2024 Tour de France is a truly unique race beginning in Florence and ending – for the first time in its 121-year history – outside Paris .

This year’s Tour will wrap up without the usual procession to the Champs-Elysees, where security resources will be focused on the Paris Olympics starting five days later. Instead, organisers have opted to end the race with an individual time-trial in Nice, adding the possibility of the yellow jersey changing hands on a dramatic final day.

A map of the 2024 Tour de France route from Florence to Nice

Before that, riders face a typically gruelling challenge, with a hilly start in Italy before crossing to France where a perilous gravel stage awaits in Troyes. Week two leads the peloton south to the Pryenees and the monstrous Col du Tourmalet, before a series of days in the Alps including a particularly brutal stage 19 with a summit finish in Isola.

It all concludes in Nice on Sunday 21 July, where the race winner will be crowned.

Tour de France TV channel, highlights and how to watch every stage online

Stage 1: Florence to Rimini (hilly, 206km) | Saturday 29 June

Stage 1 map

The opening stage of the 2024 Tour de France will be a beautiful ride, starting with the Grand Depart on the banks of the Arno river in the centre of Florence before heading through Tuscany to the finish line on Italy’s east coast, on the beachfront of Rimini. The route also takes in San Marino, the Tour’s 13th country. But it will be tough on what is the most hilly first stage in the race’s history with 3,600m of climbing to conquer. It could be a day for Tadej Pogacar to immediately make his mark, or for an outstanding classics rider like Mathieu van der Poel to target, while young puncheurs like Ireland’s Ben Healy and Belgium’s Maxim Van Gils could be outside bets.

  • Stage 1: Romain Bardet shakes off peloton to finally claim yellow jersey

Stage 1 profile

Stage 2: Cesenatico to Bologna, (hilly, 199km) | Sunday 30 June

Stage 2 map

The second day throws up a more gentle ride, though it still contains six categorised climbs to test the legs. The purest sprinters will get left behind but the small ascents are unlikely to put off the more hardy fast men, like Wout van Aert , who will like the look of the fast finish in Bologna.

  • Stage 2: Kevin Vauquelin earns debut win as Tadej Pogacar assumes yellow

Stage 2 profile

Stage 3: Plaisance to Turin (flat, 231km) | Monday 1 July

stage 3 map

The long third stage will be the first opportunity for a bunch sprint to the finish line. Expect Alpecin-Deceuninck to try and control the final kilometres in an effort to position Jasper Philipsen for the win, but there is a stacked list of sprinters ready to challenge him including Arnaud de Lie, Dylan Groenewegen, Sam Bennett, Wout van Aert and Mark Cavendish, chasing a record 35th stage win to finally eclipse the great Eddy Merckx.

  • Stage 3: Biniam Girmay makes history as first black African to win a Tour stage

stage 3 profile

Stage 4: Pinerolo to Valloire (mountainous, 140km) | Tuesday 2 July

Stage 4 map

A tough fourth stage takes the riders into France via a couple of testing category-two climbs and to the foot of the Col du Galibier – the first hors categorie ascent of the race. The gradient averages only 5.3% but at 23km long, it is a draining slog of a climb to the top and the strongest climbers will come to the fore. Expect some attacks among the big hitters like Tadej Pogacar and Jonas Vingegaard as we get our first real sense of the battle for overall victory.

  • Stage 4: Tadej Pogacar makes statement with dominant win to regain yellow

Stage 3 profile

Stage 5: Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne to Saint-Vulbas (flat, 177km) | Wednesday 3 July

3 day tour in paris

The second sprint finish of this year’s Tour contains some small hills but nothing that should disrupt the power riders from reaching the finish near the front, where they will expect to battle for victory.

  • Stage 5: Mark Cavendish makes history with record-breaking 35th win

Stage 5 profile

Stage 6: Macon to Dijon (flat, 163km) | Thursday 4 July

Stage 6 map

An even flatter day looks ripe for a bunch sprint on the streets of Dijon. One small categorised climb early in the stage precedes an intermediate sprint which might be targeted by those hunting the green jersey, and a breakaway will almost certainly then take to the front of the race. But it is likely to be caught by the sprinters’ teams before the finish as the peloton’s power riders fight for the stage win.

  • Stage 6: Dylan Groenewegen wins photo finish in Dijon

Stage 6 profile

Stage 7: Nuits-Saint-Georges to Gevrey-Chambertin, (ITT, 25km) | Friday 5 July

Stage 7 map

The first individual time-trial of this year’s Tour de France sweeps through thick forest before opening out into the picturesque vineyards of Burgundy. The only climb is the short Cote de Curtil-Vergy (1.6km at 6.1%), followed by a descent into Gevrey-Chambertin, and here Remco Evenepoel – the reigning time-trial world champion – will plan to take some time from his general classification rivals who are less adept against the clock.

  • Stage 7: Remco Evenepoel claims ‘crazy’ time trial win

Stage 7 profile

Stage 8: Semur-en-Auxois to Colombey-les-Deux-Eglises (flat, 176km) | Saturday 6 July

Stage 8 map

It may be officially listed as a flat day, but stage eight contains five categorised climbs and plenty more undulation, along with an uphill drag to the finish which should be enough to shake out some of the pure sprinters from contention. This could be a bunch sprint, a day for the breakaway or even a bold solo attack if the situation presents itself for an opportunist near the front of the race.

  • Stage 8: Biniam Girmay secures second stage win in sprint finish

Stage 8 profile

Stage 9: Troyes to Troyes (hilly, 199km) | Sunday 7 July

Stage 9 map

The Tour de France takes on the gravel roads of the Champagne region to see out the first week, and the white dusty terrain could take down a few unfortunate victims. The 14 sections of gravel span 32km in all, and they are similar to the roads of the iconic Italian race, Strade-Bianche. The past winners of Strade-Bianche – Tom Pidcock, Mathieu van der Poel, Wout van Aert and Tadej Pogacar – will fancy their chances here.

  • Stage 9: Frustrated Tom Pidcock narrowly beaten on chaotic and dusty day

Stage 9 profile

Rest day: Orleans | Monday 8 July

Stage 10: orleans to saint-amand-montrond (flat, 187km) | tuesday 9 july.

Stage 10 map

The Tour heads down to the centre of France, where on paper it is a nice-looking day for the sprinters, but they will need to stay alert to winds which could split the pack along this twisting route south to Saint-Amand-Montrond in the Loire Valley. A short, sharp climb 8km from the finish could be the launchpad for a brave attack, though the muscle men of the peloton will hope to fight it out against each other at the finish in Saint-Amand-Montrond.

  • Stage 10: Jasper Philipsen capitalises on Mathieu van der Poel leadout for stage win

Stage 10 profile

Stage 11: Evaux-les-Bains to Le Lioran, (mountainous, 211km) | Wednesday 10 July

Stage 11 map

Six categorised climbs pepper a hard up-and-down day through the Massif Central. The third-from-last ascent is the toughest, the Puy Mary Pas de Peyrol (5.4km at 8.1%), with a painfully steep final 2km to conquer, and strong climbing legs will be needed to win the stage. A good day for a breakaway to escape and potentially stay away to the end.

  • Stage 11: Tearful Jonas Vingegaard battles back to pip Tadej Pogacar

Stage 11 profile

Stage 12: Aurillac to Villeneuve-sur-Lot, (flat, 204km) | Thursday 11 July

Stage 12 map

The ‘flat’ categorisation disguises the numerous small hills dotted through this picturesque route to Villeneuve which will drain legs if the pace is high. Expect a determined breakaway to make it difficult for those teams hoping to set up a bunch sprint at the finish – twice before, the day has been won by a rider in the breakaway here.

  • Stage 12: Biniam Girmay seals hat-trick of sprint stage wins

Stage 12 profile

Stage 13: Agen to Pau, (flat, 165km) | Friday 12 July

Stage 13 map

Pau is a staple of the Tour de France over the years, acting as the gateway to the Pyrenees mountains. The hilly finish to the stage might slow down some of the pure sprinters but they will be determined to reel in a breakaway – especially if they failed to do so a day earlier, and with so much hard climbing to come.

  • Stage 13: Jasper Philipsen pips Wout van Aert as Primoz Roglic abandons

Stage 13 profile

Stage 14: Pau to Saint-Lary-Soulan Pla d’Adet, (mountainous, 152km) | Saturday 13 July

Stage 14 map

The iconic Col du Tourmalet stands in the middle of this mountain stage, with the road peaking at 2,115m above sea level. The 19km climb averages 7.4% gradient and once it’s conquered, two more big climbs await including a summit finish at Pla d’Adet. The GC contenders will surely trade blows on this brutal day.

  • Stage 14: Tadej Pogacar wins wild stage after fan throws crisps in leader’s face

Stage 14 profile

Stage 15: Loudenvielle to Plateau de Beille (mountainous, 198km) | Sunday 14 July

Stage 15 map

A nice relaxing weekend in the Pyrenees is rounded off with five climbs over a 200km route, all rated category one or harder. Expect fireworks among the yellow jersey contenders as they race to the finish atop Plateau de Beille.

  • Stage 15: Tadej Pogacar lands major blow to extend advantage over Jonas Vingegaard

Stage 15 profile

Rest day: Gruissan | Monday 15 July

Stage 16: Gruissan to Nimes (flat, 189km) | Tuesday 16 July

Stage 16 map

This is the final chance for the sprinters to bag a stage before the road kicks up into the mountains once more. Those in contention for the win will need to keep their composure as roundabouts punctuate the long final strip into the line in Nimes.

  • Stage 16: Jasper Philipsen seals hat-trick of sprint wins

Stage 16 profile

Stage 17: Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux to Superdevoluy (mountainous, 178km) | Wednesday 17 July

Stage 17 map

The peloton reaches the Alps for a day that will be draining as the road tilts from the start. There are bonus seconds to be collected at the top of the category-one Col du Noyer, before a fast descent to a small summit finish which caps a tough second half to this stage.

  • Stage 17: Richard Carapaz rides to victory as Remco Evenepoel takes time on Jonas Vingegaard

Stage 17 profile

Stage 18: Gap to Barcelonnette (hilly, 180km) | Thursday 18 July

Stage 18 map

A breakaway will certainly have a go at escaping up the road to clinch this stage, and they should be able to make it stick. The five official climbs are all category-three ascents which might mean some of the more well-rounded riders with a fast finish can clamber over them and be a threat at the end.

Stage 18 profile

  • Stage 18: New dad Victor Campenaerts claims emotional maiden Tour stage win

Stage 19: Embrun to Isola 2000 (mountainous, 145km) | Friday 19 July

Stage 19 map

Perhaps the most eye-catching stage when the 2024 route was unveiled was this one: three monstrous Alpine climbs, back to back, with a summit finish at Isola. The middle climb of the trio is the giant Cime de la Bonette (22.9km at 6.9%), the highest road in France at 2,802m. If the fight for the yellow jersey is still alive at this point in the race, this will be a thrilling stage for the story to unfold.

Stage 19 profile

  • Stage 19: Peerless Tadej Pogacar tightens grip on yellow jersey

Stage 20: Nice to Col de la Couillole (mountainous, 133km) | Saturday 20 July

Stage 20 map

It may be a little shorter at only 133km, but this is another brutally tough mountain stage featuring four climbs and another summit finish, atop the Col de la Couillole.

Stage 20 profile

Stage 21: Monaco to Nice (ITT, 34km) | Sunday 21 July

Stage 21 map

The race will finish without the usual procession through Paris and instead see the riders contest an individual time-trial from Monaco to Nice that could decide the outcome of the Tour. The last time-trial finale saw Greg Lemond pinch the yellow jersey on the Champs-Elysees, beating Laurent Fignon by eight seconds. This route is longer than the stage-seven time-trial, and a little more hilly too, so there is potential for some significant time gaps.

Stage 21 profile

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Road cycling at Paris 2024 Olympics: Preview, full schedule and how to watch live

Anna Kiesenhofer of Team Austria celebrates winning the gold medal on day two of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Fuji International Speedway on July 25, 2021 in Oyama, Shizuoka, Japan.

Picture by Tim de Waele/Getty Images

Road cycling is one of the stalwarts of the Olympic Games, having been held at the first modern Games in Athens and at every Olympic Games since Stockholm 1912.

At Paris 2024 , competition will take place around the streets of the French capital as well as in the neighbouring Île-de-France.

Competition begins with the time trials on 27 July and ends with the women's road race on 4 August.

Notably, of the Tokyo 2020 champions, both men's winners – Primoz Roglic in the time trial and Richard Carapaz in the road race – will not be back to defend their titles, with neither selected by their teams. Nor will the reigning women's time trial champion, Annemiek van Vleuten , who has since retired from cycling.

Read on for the stars to watch who will be in action, schedule and how to watch the action live.

  • Tom Pidcock doubles up at Paris 2024 as GB announce cycling squad
  • Taylor Knibb confirms double duty alongside world champion Chloé Dygert

Road cycling Paris 2024 Olympic Games stars to watch

The flat time trial route appears to favour the pure time triallists, such as the likes of Italy's Filippo Ganna , Great Britain's Josh Tarling , and never count out world champion Remco Evenepoel of Belgium on the men's side, while women's contenders could include USA's Chloé Dygert , who's the current world champion, Ellen van Dijk of Netherlands, and Australia's Grace Brown .

Meanwhile, the road races will feature steep, punchy climbs, including up the Butte Montmartre with under 10km to the finish line in both races. With over 2800m of altitude gain for the men and over 1700m for the women, it will not be an easy day – certainly neither a course for the sprinters nor for pure climbers. Instead, the one-day classics riders should come to the fore.

On the men's side, that should include Evenepoel and his Belgian teammate Wout van Aert depending on who takes the leader's role, Netherlands' Mathieu van der Poel , Great Britain's Tom Pidcock , French ex-world champion Julian Alaphilippe , and the name on everyone's lips, multi-time Tour de France winner Tadej Pogacar .

Meanwhile, over on the women's side, look out for the traditional strong Dutch presence, which this year includes the London 2012 world champion Marianne Vos , but also Belgium's Lotte Kopecky , Poland's Katarzyna Niewiadoma , and Italy's Elisa Longo Borghini .

Of note, USA's Taylor Knibb will also be competing in triathlon during the Games, not just in cycling, while a number of cyclists are competing in more than one discipline at Paris 2024, including Dygert and Ganna (track) and Pidcock (mountain bike).

Slovenian Primoz Roglic won the Tokyo 2020 men's time trial held at Fuji Speedway.

Full road cycling schedule at Olympic Games 2024

Road cycling is due to take place on 27 July, 3 August, and 4 August during Paris 2024. Click here for a detailed schedule .

How to watch road cycling live at Paris 2024

All the action from Paris 2024, including road cycling, can be watched via media rights holders (MRHs).

MRHs include Nine in Australia, Globo in Brazil, CBC in Canada, CCTV in People's Republic of China, Fuji TV / NHK / Nippon TV / TBS / TV Asahi / TV Tokyo in Japan, SKY NZ in New Zealand, SuperSport in South Africa, NBC in the United States, and Discovery Eurosport across Europe, alongside France Télévisions in France, ARD/ZDF in Germany, and BBC Sport in the United Kingdom, among others.

Check listings in other regions for your local broadcaster.

Related content

Tour winner Tadej Pogacar withdraws from Paris Olympics road race due to fatigue

3 day tour in paris

Tour de France winner Slovenia's Tadej Pogacar celebrates as he crosses the finish line to win the twenty-first stage of the Tour de France cycling race, an individual time trial over 33.7 kilometers (20.9 miles) with start in Monaco and finish in Nice, France, Sunday, July 21, 2024. (AP Photo/Daniel Cole)[ASSOCIATED PRESS/Daniel Cole]

PARIS (AP) — Three-time Tour de France winner Tadej Pogacar has withdrawn from the road race at the Paris Olympics. The decision came Monday, a day after he became the first rider to win the Tour and the Giro d’Italia in the same season in nearly three decades. The Slovenian Olympic Team announced Pogacar had withdrawn from the Aug. 3 road race due to fatigue. His professional teammate, Domen Novak, will replace him. Primoz Roglic, the defending Olympic time trial gold medalist, was not picked after he was left off the nation’s provisional lineup and because he is likely still recovering from a crash that took him out of the Tour.

Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


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