Ultimate 3-Day Paris Itinerary
Are you planning to spend a few days in the capital and you don’t yet know how to organize your 3 days in Paris?
Don’t panic, I have prepared a short itinerary for you that will allow you to see most of the City of Lights during your stay.
Whether you are with family, lovers or friends, you will be able to make the most of the atmosphere of the capital while visiting its essential monuments.
You will even have the opportunity to take a tour of some of the most emblematic neighborhoods. Let’s go !
What to do and see in Paris over 3 days?
Welcome to Paris!
You are about to discover one of the most iconic and romantic cities in the world. With only three days to explore the city, it’s important to plan your visit plan carefully to maximize your time and get the most out of your experience.
Here is an itinerary with the city’s must-sees, such as the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame de Paris, the Louvre Museum, the Montmartre district and the city’s nightlife.
Don’t hesitate to get inspired!
Day 1: The Louvre, Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe
Let’s start these 3 days of visit with one of the unmissable attractions of Paris: the Louvre, the former palace of the Kings, which is located in the 1st arrondissement of Paris, is in fact one of the largest and most beautiful museums in the world, visited by more than 8 million people each year.
With a surface area of more than 360,000 m², it houses more than 35,000 works dating from Antiquity to our time. During your visit to this temple of culture, you will discover works of art renowned throughout the world, which will not leave you indifferent.
Oriental, Greek and Egyptian antiquities, sculptures, paintings, drawings, ceramics, objects of art… this museum truly houses wonders. The length of the visit really depends on what you plan to see, you can easily spend 2 hours there or the whole day!
I therefore advise you to spend around 3 hours there to see the essentials, like the Mona Lisa of course, as well as the collection of ancient and Egyptian objects. The museum is free for those under 18 and every first Sunday of the month, otherwise you will have to pay €17 for a classic entrance ticket.
At lunch, head to the Montorgueil district, which is located a stone’s throw from the Louvre, where you can enjoy good meals at rather affordable prices.
Climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower
Impossible to go to Paris without visiting the one that most represents France: the Eiffel Tower ! To do this, take the metro towards Place du Trocadéro where you will have a magnificent view of the Great Iron Lady, 325 meters high.
From there, you just need to cross the Seine via the Pont Iéna to get to its feet. If you have the chance, I really recommend taking a tour of the Eiffel Tower and going up to the top to enjoy a great panoramic view of the city.
From the top of the tower, at an altitude of 276 meters, you can experience an incredibly clear 360-degree view of the entire capital.
On a clear day, you will be able to see several tens of kilometers away, and you will discover in particular the Champs-Elysées, the Grand Palais and its immense glass roof, the Place de la Concorde, the Montparnasse tower, the Pantheon, the Georges Pompidou center, the Sacré Cœur and all the most beautiful monuments in Paris.
Allow around 2 to 2.5 hours to visit the Eiffel Tower and climb to its summit. You can also walk along the Champ de Mars and, if the weather is nice, you can even have a little picnic at the foot of the tower!
The Champs-Élysées and the Arc de Triomphe
At the end of the afternoon, I offer you another essential activity during your stay in Paris: a walk on the most beautiful avenue in the world, the Champs-Elysées 😉
Allow two hours to explore it, and even much more if you are in the capital to go shopping at Louis Vuitton, the Disney Store or even Sephora.
If you have time left, I can only advise you to climb to the top of the Arc de Triomphe, which overlooks the avenue. You will be entitled to one of the most beautiful views of Paris, with the Eiffel Tower and the Avenue des Champs Elysées.
Day 2: Notre-Dame de Paris and the Latin Quarter
Notre Dame de Paris
Following a fire on April 15, 2019, it is unfortunately no longer possible to enter this magnificent monument of Gothic art. Work is underway and should last until 2024, but nothing stops you from admiring the architecture from the square in front of Notre-Dame de Paris, and even taking an outdoor guided tour !
Indeed, you will have the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of its construction in 1163 and discover what was lost and, on the contrary, spared from the fire. You can also enter the crypt! For this activity, count on around €36!
You can also take the opportunity to visit the Sainte-Chapelle located in the heart of the Palais de Justice on the Île de la Cité. On its 15 glass roofs, 15 meters high, the stained glass windows represent scenes from the Old and New Testaments. The stained glass windows on the first floor which shine in the sun are a pure marvel.
Right next door, you can also discover the Conciergerie, this superb Gothic-style palace which was a royal residence until the 14th century, before later becoming one of the most important prisons during the French Revolution. It is here that Marie-Antoinette was imprisoned.
Tips for your Paris itinerary:
City Passes to visit Paris are a practical and economical option to discover the city’s main attractions in a few days.
The one I recommend is the Paris City Card, which will give you access to the second floor of the Eiffel Tower, entry to the Louvre and which will also allow you to take a cruise on the Seine in Paris.
You’ll also get a 10% personal discount to use on other attractions and activities! For this pass, it will cost €75.
The Latin Quarter, a Must for 3 Days in Paris!
In this charming and typical Parisian neighborhood located on the Left Bank of the Seine, there is so much to see that you will have to make a choice.
- For example, you can start your walk on Place Saint-Michel, which is located at the corner of rue Saint-André des arts and boulevard Saint-Michel. There you can admire the Saint-Michel fountain, one of the most beautiful monuments in the district.
- Also put on your agenda the Place de la Contrescarpe and Rue Mouffetard, a cobbled and pedestrian alley where there is no shortage of entertainment and where you can sit on the terrace for a short break in a very pleasant setting.
- I advise you to continue your walk with the Pantheon, burial place for the great men and women of France, such as Voltaire, Rousseau, Victor Hugo and Marie Curie.You will have a magnificent view of Paris from its dome, and you will also be able to access the crypt where many French historical figures are buried, as well as admire the impressive frescoes and sculptures that adorn the interior of the building.
- You can also visit the Jardin des Plantes, one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world which houses a wide variety of plants, trees, flowers and greenhouses. It also houses the National Museum of Natural History and the Menagerie du Jardin des Plantes, one of the oldest zoos in the world where nearly 150 species live, most of which are threatened with extinction.
- Another must-see in this neighborhood is the Institut du Monde Arabe, whose mission is to promote Arab culture and language, as well as to foster exchanges between the Arab world and the West. The building is a masterpiece of modern architecture from which you will have a breathtaking view of the Seine and the Parisian quays. You can discover a wide variety of exhibitions, shows and cultural activities, as well as visit the library and the different exhibition spaces.
A Dinner Cruise on the Seine
To end the day, a dinner cruise on the Seine is a unique experience that allows you to discover the charms of Paris from a different angle.
During this cruise, you will be able to admire the city’s most beautiful monuments, such as the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame de Paris, or the Musée d’Orsay, while enjoying a delicious meal! For this cruise, it will cost €59 🙂
Day 3: Montmartre, Musée d’Orsay and the Marais
The Marais District
The Marais district has many private mansions which are worth a little detour.
Some of the most beautiful museums in Paris are located in this district, such as the one retracing the History of Paris (and the former private mansion of Madame de Sévigné), the Museum of Arts and Crafts or the Carnavalet Museum.
The Picasso Museum is also very popular, as is the Maison de Victor Hugo.
You can also discover emblematic monuments of Paris in this historic district, such as the Saint-Jacques Tower, where Blaise Pascale carried out his experiments on atmospheric pressure and gravity.
By climbing the stairs of this tower, you can enjoy beautiful views of Paris. It is also here that the Paris City Hall is located with its superb Renaissance style facade.
On the Place de la Bastille side, you can admire the Opéra Bastille and discover the Port de l’Arsenal.
With its trendy boutiques located especially on rue des Francs-Bourgeois and rue Vielle du temple, the district is also the ideal place for shopping.
In rue des Rosiers, in the heart of Saint-Gervais, you can also find numerous pastries and bakeries which offer oriental specialties very popular with gourmands.
In Haut-Marais, you can also visit the Enfants Rouges market, one of the oldest markets in Paris, where you can find specialties from all over the world.
Tips for your Paris itinerary:
You are probably wondering where the Palace of Versailles is on this itinerary! Even if it truly represents one of the must-see places to visit during a trip to Paris, discovering the castle and its magnificent parks and gardens will take you at least half a day.
Add to that the travel time, and it quickly becomes a full day dedicated to it! This is why I would rather recommend visiting the Château de Versailles if you are staying longer in Paris 😉
3 Days in Paris: the Musée d’Orsay
The Musée d’Orsay is one of the most beautiful museums in Paris. It houses an incredible collection of paintings that every art enthusiast must see at least once in their life.
You will need at least two hours to admire the paintings of Renoir, Van Gogh and Gauguin. Here you can see world-famous masterpieces, such as Édouard Manet ‘s Luncheon on the Grass .
You absolutely must stroll through the (very sloping!) streets of this district where there are many attractions. First take a look at the Bateau-Lavoir, Picasso’s studio, then the vineyards of Montmartre.
Among the unmissable attractions of this district, don’t miss the Basilica of the Sacré-Cœur which is located at the top of the Butte Montmartre.
This immaculate white religious building which is recognizable among a thousand and one of the most visited sites in Paris.
If you don’t want to climb the steps, at the entrance to Square Louise Michel, you can take the Montmartre funicular, with a simple metro ticket. Otherwise, you can cross the square, or take rue Foyatier, entirely made up of stairs, and you can climb the 222 steps to reach the top of the mound.
At the end of the afternoon, you can admire a lovely view of the rooftops of Paris as well as a beautiful sunset that will stay with you for a long time.
A few steps from the basilica square, you can reach the most famous square in Montmartre: Place du Tertre. For well over a century now, this square has been the gathering place for many artists.
Big names such as Pablo Picasso, Auguste Renoir, Claude Monet, and Vincent Van Gogh in particular, lived in this district. Even today, you can see hundreds of painters offering their works and portraits to visitors.
During your visit to Montmartre, you can also make a short stop on the Place des Abbesses, where you will find many café terraces.
Then finish the evening in one of the local restaurants, then enjoy the night at the cabaret or in one of the many performance halls in Montmartre.
Note that among the other activities available in Montmartre or just nearby, you can go to the Musée de Montmartre, the Musée Dali Paris, the Marché Saint-Pierre (the largest fabric market in France, even in the world) and of course at the Moulin Rouge.
A GUIDED GASTRONOMIC TOUR OF MONTMARTRE
Why not discover Montmartre with a guided gastronomic tour of Montmartre? You will be guided through the picturesque streets of the Montmartre district and you will taste a variety of local specialties, from artisanal cheeses and charcuterie, to French wines from the region, and chocolates.
The guides will also share anecdotes and stories about the culture and history of the region! It will cost €99 for this visit, which I advise you to book in advance 😉
How to Get around Paris?
To get around Paris during your 3 days of visit, I of course advise against the car, which, in my opinion, will make you waste more time and money than anything else!
- The Paris metro network is very extensive and allows you to get around the city quickly. It is possible to purchase single tickets, books of 10 tickets, or unlimited passes for a day, a week or more.
- Paris also has a large bus network , which can be useful for traveling to areas less well served by the metro. The same types of tickets as for the metro are valid for buses.
- Vélib’: the city’s self-service bicycle service is an ecological and practical option for traveling short distances. Simply subscribe online or on site, then rent a bike from one of the many stations in the city.
- Taxis : Taxis are available throughout the city, but they can be expensive. It is recommended to book in advance or use a taxi booking app to avoid scams.
- Finally, many tourist sites are within walking distance. It’s also a great way to discover lesser-known neighborhoods and explore the city at your own pace.
Accommodation in Paris
If you don’t yet know where to stay in Paris during your trip, here is a small selection of very good establishments for different budgets.
The trendiest neighborhood in Paris, the Marais is defined by the hip Parisians who come to eat, drink, and shop in this uber cool quartier.
Though the tone of the neighborhood slants towards a younger set, the Marais’s diversity offers something for everyone – from its famed Jewish quarter to the historic Place des Vosges – for visitors who’ve checked off their sightseeing list, the Marais is the perfect place to understand Paris outside of the guidebooks.
- Best Hotel: Le Pavillon de la Reine & Spa
- Best Cheap/Midrange Hotels: Hôtel Marais Bastille • France Louvre
Saint Germain retains the timeless charm of the Left Bank while buzzing with a lively array of galleries, restaurants, and jazz clubs. From the upscale shops that dot the bustling Boulevard Saint Germain to the aristocratic calm of the Jardin du Luxembourg, this quarter is popular with locals and tourists.
This neighborhood typically attracts a well-heeled crowd who come seeking only the biggest names in food and fashion. Though at times the area may feel overrun with tourists, the biggest advantage is that you’ll find many shops and restaurants open in summer while other areas of the city are quiet.
- Best Hotels: Relais Christine • L’Hotel
- Best Cheap/Midrange Hotels: Holiday Inn Notre Dame • Welcome Hotel
The Latin Quarter is great for those who want a central location with classic Parisian charm while seeking something a little quieter.
Find somewhere away from the student hangouts for which the area is typically associated with and you’ll find yourself strolling down cobblestone streets, through leafy squares, and taking in some of the most diverse architecture in the city which includes Roman ruins, gothic spires, and the innovative Institut du Monde Arabe.
Great restaurants and wine bars abound in this part of the city as well as the lively market street Rue Mouffetard.
- Best Hotel: Hotel Parc Saint Severin
- Best Cheap/Midrange Hotels: Hôtel Les Dames du Panthéon • Grand Hotel Saint Michel • Hotel du College de France
4. The 7th
The 7th has everything you think of when you think of Paris – the Eifel Tower, the Seine, excellent museums, breathtaking architecture, charming markets, high-end shopping, and world-class restaurants.
Its diversity and versatility make it a popular choice for everyone, whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or a family vacation. Visit the family-friendly Berges de Seines and you’ll have a riverfront play area that stretches from the Musee D’Orsay to the Pont D’Alma.
Or at night, take a romantic stroll near the Pont Alexander III bridge, one of the most beautiful Beaux-Arts bridges in Paris where you’ll also have a view of the Grand Palais just on the other side of the Seine.
Be sure to explore Rue Cler, a charming market street that has a village-like feel and gives you a small slice of Parisian life.
- Best Hotel: Le Cinq Codet
- Best Cheap/Midrange Hotels: Cler Hotel • Hôtel du Champ de Mars • Hotel Duquesne Eiffel
Tourists who want a local Paris vibe should stay in South Pigalle. Just south of the former red light district, the city’s most up-and-coming destination offers quiet tree-lined streets dotted with fashionable boutiques, cafes, and a thriving restaurant and bar scene.
A few tucked away boutique hotels have popped up in recent years, allowing tourists to take advantage of its proximity to the hills of Montmartre and nearby Sacre Coeur.
- Best Hotel: Maison Souquet
- Best Cheap/Midrange Hotels: Hotel Saint-Louis Pigalle • Grand Pigalle Hotel
Montmartre’s charm and breathtaking views are the biggest reasons to stay in this part of Paris. Though it’s a bit far from the other main attractions, you can easily reach the rest of the city by metro or explore this neighborhood’s unique history.
Away from the touristy spots such as the Sacre Couer, Moulin Rouge, and Place du Tertre, you’ll find quiet cobblestone streets to wander with Avenue Junot having some of the most beautiful houses in Paris or Rue des Saules which climbs past the Vigne de Montmartre (Paris’s only vineyard).
The street also connects the Montmartre hilltop with the Lamarck-Caulaincourt neighborhood with several stretches of stairs and its beauty was immortalized by artists such as Cezanne and Van Gogh.
- Best Hotel: Le Relais Montmartre
- Best Cheap/Midrange Hotel: Best Western Plus Hôtel Littéraire Marcel Aymé • ibis Montmartre 18ème
7. The 1st
The 1st arrondissement is a great base for sightseeing.
You’re in the heart of Paris with many of the city’s sights within walking distance such as the Louvre, Tuileries Garden, and Notre Dame Cathedral while the Musee D’Orsay and Saint Germain are just across the river.
Combined with a fantastic dining scene including some of Paris’s best restaurants like Spring and Verjus, visitors have an abundance of activities to choose from both day and night.
- Best Hotels: Mandarin Oriental • Le Meurice
- Best Midrange Hotels: Hôtel Regina Louvre • Hôtel Paris Louvre Opéra
Where Should I Stay In Paris?
That’s my fault. Here are 3 great reasonably priced hotels. You can’t go wrong with any of these places.
- Hotel des Grands Boulevards – Fantastic 4-star hotel that is 30 seconds from a metro station and walking distance to the Louvre, Notre Dame, and both the Gare du Nord (direct trains to the airport) and Gare de l’Est train stations.
- Cler Hotel – Great 3-star hotel located in one of the most charming neighborhoods in Paris. Surrounded by local shops, cafes, and restaurants. Walking distance to the Eiffel Tower.
- Gardette Hotel in Paris – My favorite midrange hotel for families. Nice location in a non-touristy Paris neighborhood (bus still fairly close to the main attractions). Across the street is a nice square and grean area with a kids playground. Several great local restaurants are steps from the hotel’s front door. It’s an easy walk to the Marais and several metro stations.
And there you have it, we have finished this article!
I hope you enjoyed it and got some inspiration to plan your 3 day trip to Paris 🙂 If you plan to stay for less time, I also have an article on visiting Paris over 2 days.
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