Thinking about spending 3 days in Paris? That is an excellent choice because it is the perfect amount of time to spend in one of the best 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 is certainly enough to see a lot.
Let’s get started!
1. Eiffel Tower
What better way to start of your trip to Paris than with a visit to the Eiffel Tower. This is without a doubt the most iconic landmark in Paris (if not France!). The construct is a wrought iron lattice tower on the Champ de Mars in Paris, France. It is named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower. Constructed from 1887–1889 as the entrance to the 1889 World’s Fair, it was initially criticized by some of France’s leading artists and intellectuals for its design, but it has become a global cultural icon of France and one of the most recognisable structures in the world. The Eiffel Tower is the most-visited paid monument in the world; 6.91 million people ascended it in 2015.
2. Seine River Cruise
Another must-do experience in Paris is a river cruise on the Seine. Enjoy unique views over Paris on a Seine River Cruise and pass under top attractions from the Orsay Museum, Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame Cathedral. Get a unique perspective on Paris and take a majestic trip along the Seine River on the Bateaux Parisiens to discover the City of Lights from the water.
- 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. There are multiple operators running different routes around the city. 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.
- 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! The company Paris Walks has amazing tour guides who are all certified multilingual and very knowledgeable of the area. All guides are university graduates and are enthusiastic about Paris and its history. Paris is an excellent city to tour on foot!
- Tour Montparnasse
Last on our list for your first day in Paris is a trip up the Tour Montparnasse. This is arguably the location with the best view of Paris and the Eiffel Tower. 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!
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.
- Saint Chapelle
The Sainte-Chapelle is a royal chapel in the Gothic style, within the medieval Palais de la Cité, the residence of the Kings of France until the 14th century, on the Île de la Cité in the River Seine in Paris, France. Construction began some time after 1238 and the chapel was consecrated on 26 April 1248. 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.
- Notre Dame
No more than ten minutes walk from Sainte Chapelle is Paris’s most famous religious building. It is a medieval Catholic cathedral and is widely considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture. The innovative use of the rib vault and flying buttress, the enormous and colorful rose windows, and the naturalism and abundance of its sculptural decoration all set it apart from earlier Romanesque architecture. Reserve your tour by using the “Jefile” app, available on iOS and Google Play.
- The Louvre
The Louvre, or the Louvre Museum, is the world’s largest art museum and a historic monument in Paris. 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. True art lovers could lose themselves for days in the vast collection here!
- 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. The Arc de Triomphe, built in memory of those who died in the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars, is wonderfully photogenic. If you arrive in time, you can go to the top for an excellent view of the city, which includes the roads spanning out into the distance and the Eiffel Tower. As you journey up into the monument, you will also come to a museum which details some of its history.
Paris Itinerary: Day 3
On the last day of our 3 day Paris itinerary we’re heading out of the city center to take in one of Paris’s most famous Royal Palaces.
First on the list for day 3 is Versailles, the incredible palace that was the seat of French political power and home to French Royalty, including Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. There is easily enough to see here to fill an entire day. 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 get busier as the day goes on. Afterwards, head outside, where there is a great deal more to see. A walk in the incredible gardens is a must.
Head to the Montmartre region to finish off your day. Montmartre is a large hill in Paris’s 18th arrondissement. It is 130 m high and gives its name to the surrounding district, part of the Right Bank in the northern section of the city. 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. Montmartre is a maze of cute little streets, cafes and shops.