If you can’t decide how many days you would like to spend in Paris, I would recommend staying in Paris for at least 4 days.
Paris in 4 days will allow you to see the major sights in the city plus one of the nearby attractions such as Chateau de Versailles.
Hope this itinerary below will help with your trip planning! :)
- Morning: Arrive in Paris & check-in at the hotel
- Afternoon: Eiffel Tower → Montmartre (Basilique du Sacré-Cœur, Place du Tertre, Moulin Rouge) → Quartier Opera (Opera Garnier, Galeries Lafayette, Printemps)
[Tip: To get to the Eiffel Tower, get off at M-6 Bir-Hakeim or RER C – Champ de Mars Tour Eiffel.
To get to Montmartre from the Eiffel Tower, get on the metro at M-6 Bir-Hakeim, transfer at Charles de Gaulle Etoile on to M-2, and get off at Anvers station.
From Montmartre to Quartier Opera, you can either walk or take the metro. If you are not going to be spending time shopping in the Opera area, you can also walk down to Place Vendome. Even if you’re not shopping, it’s worth checking out Galeries Lafayette as the interior of this department store is beautiful!]
- Evening: Pont Neuf → Pont des Arts → Bateaux Mouches
[Tip: Pont des Arts is a pedestrian only bridge across the Seine river. In the Spring/Summer/Fall, I highly recommend having a little Parisian picnic on the bridge in the evening.
For Bateaux Mouches, I recommend taking the boat near sunset time. The boat ride if for about an hour and when you board the boat, you will be able to see Paris at sunset and near the end of the ride, you will be able to see the Eiffel Tower light show which takes place every hour after the sun sets down.]
- Morning: Musee d’Orsay → Jardin des Tuileries→ Arc de Triumphe du Carrousel → Louvre (from the outside only)
[Tip: Musee d’Orsay to the Louvre is walking distance, so you can stroll along the Seine river past the Tuileries gardens and Arc de Triumphe du Carrousel and you will see the Louvre.
If the weather is nice out, you can grab a sandwich and have lunch in the Tuileries gardens :) ]
- Afternoon: → Quartier Marais → Hôtel de Ville
[Tip: Louvre, Quartier Marais, and Hôtel de Ville are all within walking distance of each other. If you want to take the metro, you can also take metro line 1]
- Evening: Centre Pompidou → Palais de Chaillot (to see the Eiffel Tower by night)
[Tip: To go from Centre Pompidou to Palais de Chaillot, take M-1 Hôtel de Ville, transfer at Charles de Gaulle Etoile to get to M-6, and get off at M-6 Trocadero station. There will be exit signs indicating which direction to go to Palais de Chaillot to see the Eiffel Tower]
- Morning: Chateau de Versailles
[Chateau de Versailles is located outside of Paris, about 1 hour away if you take the RER train.
I’ve included Chateau de Versailles in this itinerary as it’s one of my personal favourite near-by attractions from Paris. However, depending on your personal preference, you can go somewhere else – like Auvers-sur-oise or Giverny.
Also, it’s best to go to Chateau de Versailles in the morning when it opens. Otherwise, you will have to wait in a long line-up to get your tickets.
- Afternoon: Île de la Cité → Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris
[Tip: Île de la Cité to Notre Dame to Quartier Latin are all within walking distance]
- Evening: Quartier Latin → Champs-Élysées → Arc de Triomphe
[Tip: To get to Champs-Élysées from Quartier Latin, take M-4 St.Michel to Chatlet, transfer to M-1, and get off at Champs-Élysées Clemenceau and walk along the Champs-Élysées towards Arc de Triomphe.
To get to Arc de Triomphe, you have to use the underground path (not above ground as there are too many intersections and cars crossing. Also, keep in mind that there are no elevators to go up and down Arc de Troiomphe, so you have to walk up and down 280 steps!]
- Morning: Louvre (see the museum)
- Afternoon: Check-out from hotel & leave for the next destination
** Alternatives for the above itinerary if you’re planning to get a Museum Pass:
Option 1) Get a Two day Museum Pass and turn one of the days into a full museum seeing day
- Keep day 1 as it is in the above itinerary.
- On Day 2, activate the two day museum pass and go to Musee d’Orsay in the morning, Louvre in the afternoon, and Centre Pompidou in the evening (using the museum pass at all three museums).
- On Day 3, keep the itinerary the same as it is above (and use the 2nd day of the Musuem Pass at Chateau de Versailles)
- On Day 4, go to Quartier Marais and Hotel de Ville.
>> The downside of this option is that it’s going to be very tiring to see 3 big museums in a day :(
Option 2) Get a Two day Museum Pass and pay regular admission for Musee d’Orsay on Day 4
- Keep day 1 as it is in the above itinerary.
- On Day 2, go to the Louvre in the morning (using the Museum Pass), then Quartier Marais and Hotel de Ville in the afternoon, and Centre Pompidou in the evening (using the Museum Pass).
- On Day 3, keep the itinerary the same as it is above (and use the 2nd day of the Museum Pass at Chateau de Versailles).
- On Day 4, go to Musee d’Orsay in the morning (without the Museum Pass and pay regular admission).
>> This option will be less intense as you are not seeing three museums in a day. The reason I have suggested going to Musee d’Orsay without the Museum Pass is because the regular admission is the cheapest out of the three museums. So this would be the most cost efficient way to see the three museums :)
Paris in 4 days – in photos: