Paris, the City of Light ! Every year, millions of visitors come to discover the French capital and its treasures. There is so much to see and do in this city that one can quickly feel overwhelmed. No need to panic ! Here is a detailed itinerary to enjoy the most of your 3 days in Paris. Follow the guide !
Day 1 : Paris’ hypercenter
To get your stay off to a good start, head to the Île de la Cité to admire the Notre-Dame Cathedral. Despite the renovation work following the 2019 fire, this cathedral remains a must-see in the capital. You are here at ground zero of the mileage count in France : here is the heart of the country ! Take advantage of your morning to visit not far from there the Sainte-Chapelle, jewel of the radiant Gothic style wanted by Louis IX and famous for its impressive stained glasses. Finally, don’t forget to take a walk on the Île Saint-Louis, with its charming cobbled streets, its craft stores and its famous Berthillon ice cream parlour.
Then head to the Latin Quarter, where you can stroll through the streets lined with bookstores, boutiques and cafés. The Saint-Séverin Church and the Collège des Bernardins are places not to be missed. You can then have lunch in one of the many typical restaurants of the rue Mouffetard or around the Place de la Contrescarpe, a very popular place for students and artists.
After lunch, take a walk in the Jardin du Luxembourg, a real haven of peace in the city center. Discover the statues, fountains and flowerbeds that adorn this garden, as well as the Palais du Luxembourg, which houses the Senate, one of the two chambers of the French Parliament. Admire on your way the Pantheon, where the great men of the French Republic, such as Victor Hugo, Emile Zola and Marie Curie, are buried. If you feel like having a snack, stop at the Great Mosque of Paris, a place of worship and relaxation where you can enjoy a mint tea and oriental pastries in its charming garden.
To finish this first day, we recommend you to take the metro to reach the Eiffel Tower. From the top of the Tower, on the 3rd floor, admire the Seine, the Grand Palais or the magnificent bridges of Paris : the Pont des Arts or the Pont Alexandre III. You can then finish the walk by passing by the Champ de Mars and the Trocadero. A good idea to end the evening can be to stroll along the quays of the Seine and to take a cruise on a flyboat to contemplate the city by night. What could be more beautiful than admiring the illuminated monuments and discovering the history of Paris thanks to the comments of a guide ?
2nd day : the right bank and the historic area of Paris
To begin this second day, go to the Louvre Museum. This world-famous museum houses a huge collection of artworks, including Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo. Plan to arrive early to avoid the long lines and take time to wander through the galleries. We recommend that you book a tour with an interpreter to discover the museum’s must-see masterpieces and make the most of your visit. Allow at least 3 hours for your visit. To visit the Louvre in its entirety would take several weeks !
When you leave the Louvre, head for the Tuileries Gardens, where you can relax and enjoy the green spaces, sculptures and pools. Then cross the Place de la Concorde, where the Obelisk of Luxor is enthroned, to reach the Avenue des Champs-Élysées. It is impossible not to walk along the most famous avenue in the world, lined with luxury boutiques, theaters and cafés, until you reach the Arc de Triomphe.
After lunch in one of the many restaurants in the area, head to the Montmartre district. Take the funicular or the stairs to the Sacré-Coeur basilica, which offers a panoramic view of the capital. Take the opportunity to visit the interior of this unique church, then stroll through the picturesque streets of Montmartre, discovering artists’ studios and local craft stores. Don’t miss the Place du Tertre, where painters and caricaturists exhibit their work. There are also 2 or 3 very good restaurants for a gourmet break. Same thing further down in the rue des Abbesses or the rue Lepic.
To conclude this second idyllic day in Paris, go down a little further to the lively Pigalle district and the famous Moulin Rouge. If you have reserved tickets in advance, you can attend a cabaret and French cancan show to immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere of the Belle Époque. If you prefer a quieter evening, opt for a dinner in a typical restaurant of the Butte Montmartre, where you will be able to taste specialities of the district like the eggs meurettes with foie gras. Yummy !
Day 3 : Enjoy the Marais !
On your third and final day in Paris, begin your day by exploring the Marais district, one of the oldest and most charming parts of the capital. Stroll through the narrow, cobblestone streets lined with historic buildings, art galleries and fashion boutiques. Don’t miss the Place des Vosges, one of the most beautiful squares in Paris (the most beautiful according to me writing this), where Victor Hugo’s house is located. Not far from there to the west is a monument that is quite disparaged by Parisians : the Centre Pompidou. It is an avant-garde building built in 1977 that houses the National Museum of Modern Art. Some like it, others find it very ugly. However, there are works by major artists such as Picasso, Matisse, Duchamp and Kandinsky. The panoramic view of Paris from the stairs or the roof terrace of the museum is also worth a visit.
For lunch, choose among the many restaurants and bistros in the Marais. We recommend “Chez Janou” for example, which offers excellent cuisine and a very friendly neighborhood atmosphere. We then recommend you to lose yourself for a few hours in the Marais’ alleys filled with beautiful little stores. This is where you’ll find some of the most famous designer artisans in the French capital.
In the middle of the afternoon, head to the Place de la Bastille, a place full of history where the French Revolution took off. From there, head north along the Canal Saint-Martin, a great place to stroll and enjoy the peaceful, bohemian atmosphere of the neighborhood. Don’t miss the locks and footbridges that line this picturesque canal. This is where Parisians come to spend their sunny Sundays.
Finally, we have chosen to end your stay in Paris in the lively and cosmopolitan neighborhood of Belleville. Murals and street art decorate the streets of this popular and artistic neighborhood. Take the time to get lost in the Parc de Belleville, which offers a breathtaking view of the city. For dinner, it is here more world cuisines that dominate, Paris being a city open to the whole world.
After dinner, why not take advantage of your last evening in Paris to discover the Parisian nightlife in the bars, clubs or concert halls of the 11th arrondissement ? We bet you’ll love it.
There are still many other beautiful places to discover in Paris like the Grands Boulevards, the big grocery store of Paris, the Buttes-Chaumont park… Or even the Versailles domain not far from there ! If you are only here for 3 days, then you know what you have to do: come back to Paris 😉