Paris in 3 days: a perfect guide for your first time
Spending 3 days in Paris for the first time? We have
You are willing to explore Paris in 3 days and 2 nights with your family, your lover and/or some friends? By walk, by metro or by bike? Follow our guide to enjoy your stay in Paris.
DAY 1 IN PARIS
THE EIFFEL TOWER
What about starting your day by visiting this world-famous Parisian symbol? The Eiffel Tower!! Our advice would be to arrive with the metro Trocadero. The great lady looks magnificent seen from the esplanade. You can then access the monument by crossing the Seine using the bridge Iena.
It’s time to go up the Eiffel Tower and to enjoy a wonderful view of Paris. We highly recommend you to keep a Q-jump ticket in order to avoid the queue that can be very long.
Read also all our good plans to make a successful visit in Paris.
Then go to the Musée du Louvre. You can’t visit Paris without going there at least once. The place itself is worth the trip(French leaders were located there until Louis XIV decided to move to Versailles). If this is not enough to convince you, the many masterpieces (The Mona Lisa, Liberty Guiding the People …) exposed in the museum and the collections of Egyptology and Antiquity departments will do it.
Takes a good 3 hours to visit the museum. On your way out, you might want to get some lunch.
At this point, there are 2 interesting options.
You can head to Montorgueil area, just a stone away from the Louvre. It is a very lively place where you can find many good restaurants at affordable prices.
The second option is to opt for a lunch-cruise formula with one of the many boat companies on the Seine Banks.
We usually recommend the dinner-cruise option which is more expensive and allows to discover Parisian monuments at night. But the lunch-cruise is good if you want to have a break while visiting Paris.
NOTRE DAME DE PARIS
You can then go to the square of the Cathedral Notre-Dame de Paris to visit this masterpiece of Gothic art. The construction of the monument began in 1163 and ended in 1345. The most courageous ones can climb the stairs of the North Tower approach the Gargoyles made famous by Victor Hugo. You can also visit the Sainte Chapelle district.
THE LATIN QUARTER
After climbing the Cathedral, you can rest by walking around the Latin Quarter. Stay around the Place Saint-Michel (you can see the Saint-Michel fountain, the Cluny Hotel, the Roman baths…) is one option, going to the lively district of Rue Mouffetard is another one. You will find bars, good little restaurants (perfect for dinner) and a very lively atmosphere in this picturesque cobbled alley of the capital.
You can also continue your walk to the Jardin des Plantes to the Institut du Monde Arabe or have tea at the Tea Room of the Grand Mosque of Paris. In the neighborhood, you can also visit other Paris famous places like the Pantheon or the Luxembourg garden but you will surely not have time to do everything. The choice will be yours.
DINNER-CRUISE OR DRIVE ON THE SEINE
If you chose not to eat in the Latin Quarter, give a dinner cruise on the Seine a try. You will have the opportunity to see or (re)visit the most beautiful monuments of the capital through another point of view …
All the cruises pass by the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museums, the Quai Branly, the Musée d’Orsay, Notre Dame, the Ile de la Cité and the Ile Saint-Louis. If you pick the boat, you will also have the chance to pass under the Pont Alexandre III, the Pont Neuf (the oldest in Paris) and the bridge of Sully.
A piece of advice: Book early!
DAY 2 IN PARIS
After your first night in the City of Light, how about you start with cultural visits in the morning and then discover a typical district of the capital in the afternoon?
THE ORSAY MUSEUM
Let’s start with one of the most beautiful museums in Paris: the Musée d’Orsay. It also has one of the most beautiful collections of paintings in the world such as Van Gogh, Renoir, Monet, and Gauguin. You will see major Impressionism, Post-Impressionism or Realism works… It’s a must-see for paint enthusiasts.
Book 2 hours of your time for this tour and take the audio guide.
THE INVALIDES OR RODIN MUSEUM
Afterward, depending on what you’re interested in, you can visit either the Invalides complex or the nearby Rodin Museum.
Then walk to the Champs Élysées. First, cross the magnificent Alexandre III bridge (you have already seen it from the Seine if you have had a boat trip). You will pass near the Grand Palais where you might be attracted by one of its exhibitions You will then arrive at the most beautiful avenue in the world by the roundabout of the Champs-Elysées.
THE CHAMPS-ÉLYSÉES AND THE ARC DE TRIOMPHE
It should take you around 2 hours to visit the Champs (more if you want to go shopping).
Our advice: climb to the top of the Arc de Triomphe. From there, you will enjoy one of the most beautiful views of Paris. The sight of the Eiffel Tower combined with the sight of the avenue of the Champs-Élysées is unmissable.
At the other end of the avenue is another important monument: the obelisk. It stands in the middle of the Place de la Concorde.
If you’re a high-fashion addict, you’ll be delighted to know that you are very close to the rue Montaigne and to the Place Vendôme, famous places of Parisian luxury. Peckish? The Champs-Élysées offer
The beautiful garden of Tuileries, closed to the Place de la Concorde, is also ideal for an outdoor pic-nic.
You’ve been in Paris for a day and a half, it is time to discover two of the most emblematic districts of the capital.
LA BUTTE MONTMARTRE
How would you feel about spending the afternoon in one of the most famous districts of the capital? Montmartre is full of surprises.
Still have a little room for culture? You can visit the Museum of Montmartre with its Renoir garden or the Espace Dali.
The must-see of the district is the Sacré Coeur located at the top of the hill Montmartre. When the sun sets, you can admire an amazing view over the rooftops of Paris from there along with many other tourists. If you’re brave enough to climb the Sacré-Coeur, you’ll be rewarded with the most breathtaking view of the city.
At nightfall, numerous good restaurants offer you a huge variety of food to chose from. Enjoy a meal that will honor the Parisian art of living. We would recommend Le Chamarré Montmartre, really tasty! Paris by night is lively, Montmartre by night is even more lively with its many bars, theaters, cabarets … Enjoy!
DAY 3 IN PARIS
If you are visiting Paris in 3 days, it is your last day in the City of Light. So we suggest that you end your visit slower.
THE CENTRE POMPIDOU
Let’s start this last day with the visit of another emblematic museum: the Centre Pompidou.
This Modern and Contemporary Art museum is already known for its original architecture revealing pipes, escalators, footbridges… It is also one of the most important collections of Modern Art in the world. The atmosphere on the square is very nice during spring or summer sunny days.
If you are not a fan of Modern Art, there are other alternatives such as the Cité des Sciences de la Villette (which also pleases children) or the Museum of the Middle Ages (the Cluny Museum).
There are several lunch possibilities in the neighborhood, going from typical Parisian brasseries to upscale restaurants.
On sunny days, you can go to the Marché des Enfants Rouge in the Marais. It is the oldest covered market in Paris, ideal to eat in a friendly atmosphere. Furthermore, they use organic products, the cuisine tastes delicious and prices are affordable. Many cuisines are available: Moroccan, Italian, Lebanese, Breton…
You can then spend the afternoon strolling through the narrow streets of the Marais district. Some of them date from the 13th century (street of the king of Sicily for example).
Mansions are not rare in the district such as the hotel of Sens or the hotel of Beauvais and the Rue des Rosiers, in the middle of one of the oldest Jewish districts in Europe, is a must see.
The area is well-stocked in terms of tourist attractions. For example, the Museum Carnavalet (History of Paris) is free and very appreciated by tourists. The Picasso Museum and the House of Victor Hugo are located in the very beautiful place of Vosges.
You will certainly notice that the neighborhood is very commercial. Many trendy boutiques and concept-stores are located in the area (Thanks or Fleux are the best known).
The Marais has become one of the favorite places to
Need a break? Have a tea or a coffee in one of the many terraces of the district.
At nightfall, you can enjoy the vibrant nightlife of the neighborhood with its many restaurants, bars,
Three days is obviously very short to visit Paris. You have
TIPS TO GET THE MOST OF YOUR 3 DAYS IN PARIS
HOW TO GET AROUND IN PARIS?
Several solutions are available:
The booklet of 10 metro tickets: (14,10 € or 7,05 for children). One or two notebooks are enough to travel for 3 days. These notebooks can be purchased at all Metro stations.
The Paris visite 3 days card: If you’re staying in zone 1, 2 or 3, the card costs 24,80 € (12,40 €). You can buy this card in all Metro stations.
It also allows you to access discounts to enter some monuments, museums or activities in Paris.
Find out more on the RATP website.
It has clearly become the ideal way to move in Paris especially since many bike paths have been developed the past few years. You can use the vélib service or even rent a bike. Find more info on the bicycle in Paris here.
Visiting Paris already requires a lot of walking! Many districts are pedestrianized on weekends such as the banks of the Seines, the Marais or Montmartre. On weekdays, it is also possible to walk in different places of the capital.
You might wanna pay attention to the fact that some monuments might appear to be closer than they are which can be exhausting and very greedy in terms of time.
We would recommend avoiding the car in Paris. Not only are you likely to be confronted with the many plugs that poison the life of the Parisians but in addition, you will have the “chance” to discover how difficult it is to park your vehicle in the capital.
This can be one of the best alternatives to the metro. Outside peak hours, it allows access to the main tourist places without being underground. Some buses of the RATP (the 85, 27, 174 …) have routes that allow you to have a view on the most beautiful monuments of the capital.
WHERE TO STAY FOR A 3 DAY VISIT IN PARIS?
You do not have to take a hotel right in the center of Paris to visit Paris successfully. Just make sure you are within 10 minutes walk of a subway station. Opt for lively neighborhoods like the 10th, 11th and 18th arrondissement to enjoy a Parisian lifestyle.
For further information, see: