I often get asked for advice and a few weeks ago a friend wanted my advice on her upcoming trip to France. She wanted the ideal itinerary for 3 days in Paris. I provided a few ideas and it might be helpful for those who might be going there for the first or second time. It’s hard giving advice when I really don’t know the person’s interests; however, here is my response.
I’m making one assumption: that one of the days falls on a Wednesday or Friday so that they can go to the Louvre at NIGHT time—it is less crowded and a beautiful time to go. But it’s only open at night on Wednesdays and Fridays (until 10 pm). [Note: it is NOT open on Tuesdays at all.]
Paris Itinerary For 3 Days:
- Get tickets in advance for the Eiffel Tower and if they’re really into museums, consider the Paris Museum Pass. I wrote a couple of posts on it. Paris Museum Pass: Good Value? Here’s the post on the museums: Museums In Paris
- They should also check out a few posts about Paris: Top Sites In Paris and Exploring Paris
- This itinerary is based on seeing sites inside and out and based on them staying somewhere near the Seine River, although they can get anywhere on the Metro.I’ve just done morning and afternoon. Besides the Louvre, one other option for an evening is to go to the show, “How To Become Parisian In 1 hour”—it’s in English and very funny. I’ve seen it twice. [Post: How To Become Parisian In 1 Hour]
- I’ve tried to include some unique experiences and also put links to other posts that give more information.
- Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour to get their bearings in the morning
- Notre Dame—visit inside and on top: buy a ticket to go to the top for a great view. You line up on the left side of the Cathedral. [Post: Different Views of Paris]
- Visit La Conciergerie and/or Saint-Chapelle (for the stained glass)—or do this at night and see a chamber music concert at the same time [Post: Saint-Chapelle]
- Possibly have lunch in the little hidden area : Place Dauphine. Lovely area west of St. Chapelle
- Or have lunch at Angelina’s—famous for their hot chocolate [Post: My Niece’s Experience at Angelina’s]
- Head to the Louvre, located just east of Angelina’s (just wander around the area, don’t go inside—do this at night)
- Stroll thru Tuileries Gardens toward Place de la Concorde
- Walk down the Champs Elysée to the Arc de Triomphe: go to top for a great view [Post: 10 Top Sites in Paris]
- Eiffel Tower. They could splurge and have lunch at the Le Jules Verne restaurant====need reservations, expensive
- Walk around the Eiffel Tower and then take a boat cruise (ie. Bateaux Mouches)—takes you along the Seine—definitely do it.
- Lunch: After the Eiffel Tower or boat cruise, head east toward the Musée Rodin. Perhaps have lunch in the area. [Post: Seeing Museums Differently Through The Movies]
- Afternoon or evening if they are active people: Fat Tire Bike company bike tour through Paris—I’ve done it twice and it is very safe and really enjoyable. It starts at the Eiffel Tower and ends with wine on the Bateaux Mouches (or it did when I did it) —even consider doing this the first day to get their bearings. [Post: Fat Tire Bike Tour]
- Sit at a cafe and watch people go by—perhaps on Boulevard Saint Germain which is east of Musee Rodin
- Night: Louvre
- Sacre Coeur—wander around Montmartre as well. Perhaps do a culinary tour where you’ll have a great lunch at 3 restaurant AND learn about the area. [Post: Culinary Tour Changed My Mind About Montmartre]
- Lunch in Montmartre
- Afternoon: Paris Opera ((Opéra Garnier)–get tickets in advance for a tour—very interesting and the inside of the Opera is gorgeous) [Post: Guided Tour Of The Paris Opera]
There are so many more places that they can visit and this is just a starting point. For those of you who need more ideas, check out these posts: 50 Reasons To Love Paris and Unique Paris Experiences.
Map Of Key Sites
Click on the map or on this link and you’ll be directed to a Google Map indicating all the places in this post.
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Check out my post Where To Stay In France about places to stay where I have hotel and apartment suggestions. I have stayed at all of these places.