Are you planning a week in the French capital and want to make the most of it? Here’s our recommended itinerary to make sure you don’t miss a thing of the city and spend an unforgettable week. Off to Paris for a week!
Day 1: Latin Quarter and Trocadero
Start your French adventure by exploring the heart of the city: the iconic Notre-Dame-de-Paris cathedral. Currently undergoing renovations following a major fire in 2019, it’s nevertheless a must-see stop on your discovery of Paris. Take a tour to discover all its facets, as well as the Ile de la Cité where it’s located. After a good hour’s stroll, head west of the Ile de la Cité to visit the sumptuous Sainte-Chapelle, built by Louis IX to house Christ’s crown of thorns.
After admiring these monuments, head first to nearby Île Saint-Louis to discover what is perhaps the most beautiful spot in Paris. With its old buildings, ideal location right in the middle of Paris and famous Berthillon ice creams, there’s plenty to tempt you. Then cross the bridge to the south to stroll through the Quartier Latin, an area famous for its picturesque little streets and for having been a favorite haunt of students from all over Europe for centuries. Enjoy lunch in one of the district’s traditional brasseries, savoring authentic French dishes.
In the afternoon, continue your exploration of the Latin Quarter by strolling through the splendid Jardin du Luxembourg and discovering the majestic Pantheon. If you have time, you can push a little further into the 5th arrondissement to Mouffetard Street, a magnificent downhill street filled with delicious restaurants and boutiques.
Towards the end of the afternoon, take the metro to Trocadéro station. If possible, take line 6 to enjoy a superb panoramic view of Paris and the Eiffel Tower from the aerial metro. Once you’ve arrived at your destination, you’ll be amazed by the superb view of Paris’s most famous landmark, even more beautiful at sunset. To top off your first day, you can choose to climb the Eiffel Tower to admire Paris from a new angle, especially at dusk when the city lights begin to twinkle. Finally, why not round off your evening with a romantic cruise on the Seine aboard a bateau-mouche? This is a unique opportunity to see the monuments of Paris illuminated in the softness of the night.
Day 2: Discover the Louvre
The second day of your stay in Paris is dedicated to one of the city’s most emblematic institutions, the Louvre museum. This majestic building, once a fortress and royal palace, today houses some of the world’s largest and most impressive collections of art and antiquities. Try to choose a rainy day to visit the museum, so you can save the sunny days for the rest of the city.
Arrive early to avoid the crowds and begin your visit in the Cour Carrée, a quiet and beautiful inner courtyard, before passing beneath the museum’s iconic glass pyramid to begin your exploration. Here you’ll find works from a variety of civilizations and periods, from Egyptian, Greek and Roman antiquity to Renaissance masterpieces and beyond.
Start with Egyptian antiquities, where you can admire mummies, sarcophagi, statues and everyday objects that will immerse you in ancient Egypt. Then move on to the Greek and Roman section, where you can admire the famous Venus de Milo and the Victory of Samothrace. After this immersion in Antiquity, head to the painting galleries, where you can admire Leonardo da Vinci’s famous Mona Lisa, as well as other masterpieces of European art. Don’t miss the Galerie d’Apollon, home to the Crown of Louis XV and other jewels.
In the middle of the day, take a well-deserved break without leaving the museum grounds by visiting Angelina, located in the Richelieu era. This is an offshoot of the famous Parisian Belle Époque tea room, renowned for its hot chocolate and Mont-Blanc, a pastry made with meringue, chestnut cream and chantilly. Lunch at Angelina is an experience in itself, so take time to savor the elegant surroundings and refined cuisine. Try to take a rain check to avoid the crowds.
After you’ve eaten well, discover the Richelieu wing, home to French works of art including sculptures, paintings and objets d’art, as well as the Cour Marly and Cour Puget, two magnificent glazed courtyards. In the Sully wing, you’ll discover oriental and Islamic antiques. If you still have the time and energy, round off your day by exploring the Denon wing, where you can admire David’s impressive painting, Le Sacre de Napoléon, and other 19th-century works of art.
A full day may seem both exhausting and insufficient to explore all the treasures the Louvre has to offer, but it will give you a good insight into the incredible richness and diversity of the site’s collections. At the end of the day, treat yourself to a terrace in the nearby Palais-Royal district and head home for a good night’s rest before your 3rd day in the French capital.
Day 3: From the Marais to Montmartre
On your third day in Paris, immerse yourself in the charming atmosphere of the historic districts in the heart of the city. Start your day in Le Marais, a charming old quarter known for its 17th-century mansions and picturesque streets, but also for being a trendy area and the capital’s LGBTQIA+ district.
Take a stroll along Rue des Rosiers, the heart of the historic Jewish quarter, where you can enjoy falafel at L’As du Falafel or Eastern European pastries at La boutique jaune or one of the other bakeries and grocery stores in the area. Nearby, if you have the time and inclination, visit the Musée Picasso, home to an impressive collection of works by the famous Spanish artist.
Continue your stroll towards Place des Vosges, Paris’ oldest planned square and one of its most splendid. Surrounded by uniform red-brick buildings with slate roofs, this square is an ideal place for a short break. You’ll also find Victor Hugo’s house, where the author of Les Misérables lived for sixteen years, now transformed into a museum. Finally, to round off your morning in the marsh, discover Place Saint-Paul, with its beautiful church and warm atmosphere.
For lunch, we recommend one of the brasseries in the Place du Marché Sainte-Catherine, with its magnificent panoramic views.
After lunch, it’s time for a change of neighborhood! Take the metro to Abbesses station to discover Montmartre. This bohemian district is famous for its lively artistic life in the early 20th century, and offers a breathtaking view of the city from the hill on which it sits. From Abbesses, soak up the local atmosphere and climb quietly towards Sacré-Coeur, a gleaming white basilica that dominates the landscape. On your way, you’ll come across the superb Place du Tertre, famous for its artists who are ready to give you a piece of their mind. Once at the top, take time to visit the church and admire the panoramic view over Paris. It’s one of the most beautiful panoramas of the city, with distant views of monuments such as the Eiffel Tower, the Pantheon and the Church of Saint-Sulpice. It’s an inviting place to pause and contemplate (but beware of pickpockets and scalpers).
In the early evening, stroll the winding streets of Montmartre, past the Bateau-Lavoir, a former artists’ studio where Picasso and Modigliani worked, and visit the Musée de Montmartre if you’d like to learn more about the neighborhood’s history. Don’t forget to explore the more modern side of Montmartre by visiting the je t’aime wall in the small garden of Square Jehan Rictus.
What better way to end a day in Montmartre than with a show at a famous cabaret in the Pigalle district, such as the Moulin Rouge or Chez Michou? It’s real Parisian life with a taste of the good old days!
Day 4: Palais Royal and department stores
On your fourth day in Paris, immerse yourself in the city’s historic grandeur by visiting some of its most majestic palaces and gardens. Start with the gardens of the Palais Royal, a peaceful place that contrasts sharply with the noise and movement of the surrounding streets. Stroll through the covered galleries and stroll through the tranquil gardens, where Parisians like to read their newspapers on the tree-shaded benches. This is undoubtedly one of the city’s most beautiful spots, and home to the Constitutional Council and the Ministry of Culture.
Head north out of the Palais-Royal gardens to a charming area known as the Japanese Quarter of Paris, close to the Pyramides station. Through the narrow streets, head for the Opéra Garnier, a masterpiece of Second Empire architecture. You can admire the gilded façade and the statues that crown it, or take a guided tour to discover the opulence of the grand foyer and the magnificence of the grand auditorium. According to legend, this is where the famous Phantom of the Opera once resided.
From here, you can head a little further north to discover Paris’s department stores, located on the Grand Boulevards. Galeries Lafayette and Printemps are 2 iconic Parisian stores where you’ll find designer clothes, cosmetics and refined delicacies. If you choose this itinerary, don’t forget to visit the Printemps roof terrace for a breathtaking view of Paris. Finally, if you’re traveling during the festive season, take time out to admire the lively department store windows with your children. We recommend finding a restaurant for lunch on the Grand Boulevards or in the surrounding streets.
After lunch, stop off at Place Vendôme, famous for its luxury jewelry stores and its impressive column, erected by Napoleon to celebrate his victory at Austerlitz. Then head all the way down the impressive Avenue de l’Opéra to the Louvres, which you visited 2 days ago. Now it’s time to discover the magnificent Tuileries Gardens. It’s a very pleasant place, perfect for a stroll. Along the way, if you wish, you can discover the Musée de l’Orangerie, home to Monet’s Water Lilies, and the Musée du Jeu de Paume, dedicated to photography and the visual arts.
Finally, head east to Place de la Concorde, then turn left to Les Invalides. This historic complex houses several military museums, a church and the tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte. The gold of the Invalides dome is an unforgettable sight, especially at sunset. End your day with dinner in one of the many gourmet bistros in the area.
Day 5: enjoy a food tour of Paris
Why not dedicate one of your days in Paris to discovering French gastronomy? Indeed, if there’s one thing Paris is world-renowned for, it’s its cuisine! So why not let yourself be tempted? Let yourself be guided for a whole day by one of our gourmet local guides. On a food tour, they’ll introduce you to French culinary specialties and the best Parisian addresses. Enjoy croissants, escargots and pastries!
Day 6: A day at Versailles
Your sixth day in Paris takes you out of the city for a complete immersion in the opulence of the French monarchy: the must-see visit to the sumptuous Château de Versailles. Start your day by taking the RER C train to Versailles Rive Gauche. The journey takes around an hour from the center of Paris. Once you’ve arrived, it’s just a ten-minute walk through the charming streets of Versailles to the château entrance. We advise you to arrive before opening time, and to visit during a weekday. Queues can be long. Don’t forget to bring your picnic if you don’t want to leave the château grounds during the day.
Your visit to the Château de Versailles begins in the immense main courtyard, before entering the château to discover the royal apartments, where you can admire the extraordinary Galerie des Glaces, the sumptuous King’s and Queen’s rooms, and the various salons, each dedicated to a different god. Allow 2 hours to tour the castle and admire all the rooms and furnishings. Then it’s on to the gardens. Designed by André Le Nôtre, these formal gardens are a veritable work of art, with carefully arranged flowerbeds, sculptural fountains, ponds and avenues lined with precision-trimmed trees. Choose the perfect spot for a picnic before continuing your tour in the afternoon. Don’t forget to visit the Grand and Petit Trianon, pavilions built for Louis XIV and Louis XV respectively, as well as the Hameau de la Reine, a rustic village built for Marie-Antoinette, where she liked to retreat from court life. Perhaps you’ll meet her ghost along the way, as you apparently already have?
To round off your visit, we recommend pushing on to the farmhouses at the far end of the Versailles park. The thatched cottages are truly picturesque and give a good idea of life close to the court at the time. At the end of the day, all that’s left to do is catch the train back to Paris to enjoy your last evening in the French capital.
Day 7: Enjoy Paris a little longer
For your last day in Paris, we offer three different options to suit your mood. You can decide which one best suits your preferences and mood.
Option 1: Discover Paris’s trendy alternative districts
Start your day with a visit to the Saint-Ouen flea market on the outskirts of town, the largest flea market in the world, made famous by the Lupin series, perfect for bargain-hunting and discovering hidden treasures. Next, head to the Canal Saint-Martin, a trendy district ideal for a leisurely stroll, with many cafés and independent boutiques to discover.
Option 2: Day trip to Giverny
If you’re not in a hurry and are an art and nature lover, then definitely consider taking a day trip to Giverny, where you can visit Claude Monet’s home and gardens. You’ll marvel at the water lilies and Japanese bridge that inspired so many of his works. Please note that Giverny is about an hour by train from Paris, plus a few minutes by bus.
Option 3: Relax in the Bois de Boulogne
For a more relaxed day out, head west of the city to discover the Bois de Boulogne. You can hire a boat and paddle on the lake, visit the Jardin d’Acclimatation with its attractions for children, or the sumptuous Parc de Bagatelle with its rose garden and free-roaming peacocks.
Or perhaps you’d prefer to wander aimlessly along the Parisian quays or enjoy a shopping spree at Le Bon Marché? Whichever option you choose, be sure to make the most of your last moments in the magical city of Paris.
So, are you coming back soon?