3 Days In Paris-The Perfect Itinerary

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.

Day 1

Advice: see the Louvre Museum at night
See the Louvre Museum at night!
  • 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. [Since the fire occurred, you’ll have to just gaze upon Notre Dame as the reconstruction won’t be complete until 2024].
  • 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 [Read #5 in Unique Experiences in Paris)
  • 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 the top for a great view [Post: 10 Top Sites in Paris]
Advice: visit the Arc de Triomphe, Paris France
Arc de Triomphe, Paris France

Day 2

Advice: Consider lunch at Le Jules Verne at the Eiffel Tower
Consider lunch at Le Jules Verne at the Eiffel Tower
  • 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

Day 3

Advice: Visit the Paris Opera (Palais Garnier) and definitely take a tour.
Visit the Paris Opera (Palais Garnier) and definitely take a tour.
  • Sacre Coeur—wander around Montmartre and check out the 10 unique spots to discover unusual art, windmills, historic restaurants, award-winning boulangeries, and a festival celebrating the grape.
  • 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 this post: Unique Paris Experiences.

Map Of Key Sites

Map of 3 Days In Paris-Perfect Itinerary

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.

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  1. The GypsyNesters says:

    Sounds like a good itinerary for a short visit. Not trying to squeeze too much in. Love the idea of a bike tour.

    1. That was my goal: not to pack in too much. When in Paris one should be sure to have some time to sit at a cafe and watch people go by!

  2. Glad you didn’t pack in too much stuff to see on your 3-day Paris itinerary! Too much and you don’t get to enjoy anything. IMO Paris needs more than 3 days- and just walking the streets is fab- such a great walking city!

    1. Totally agree. In fact, my trip to Paris last year was for 10 nights…still not enough!

  3. Doreen Pendgracs says:

    I truly love the Louvre, and would definitely not miss the opportunity to visit. I love the architecture in Paris, but the people could certainly use some friendly pills! They are among the most unfriendly people I have encountered on this planet.

    1. So sorry to hear that. I actually rarely encounter rude French people. I find once I speak a few sentences, they loosen up. Have only had a few really bad encounters, like arguing with a sales lady over a sweater I was returning. I stood up to her and she backed off!

  4. Suzanne Stavert says:

    Loved your ideas. We have been to Paris many times, but never the Louvre at night or a bike tour! I will save this to share with anyone who is going! Great and helpful post Jan.

  5. Sue Reddel says:

    Terrific advice and itinerary Jan. Perfect amount of sight-seeing and down time. I have to admit that every time I’m in Paris I get so caught up in trying to do everything that I’m exhausted on my return. In the end, it’s worth it! Still haven’t eaten at the Jules Verne restaurant atop the Eiffel Tower. Definitely would love it!

    1. Hopefully the food is as good as it was when I went ….a LONG time ago! There’s just so much to see and one has to be resolved to return.

  6. Great list, I like the idea of the Hop on Hop off to get your bearings, especially for first timers.
    I would add, if I may, Le musée de la chasse et de la nature. It’s a great museum that is totally under the radar and has a lot to offer other than hunting trophies. It’s filled with amazing art and other interesting artifacts.

    1. I’ll definitely add that to my list for when I visit again in December.

  7. Catherine Sweeney says:

    Nice job on these suggestions for a Parks visit. I still need to check off the Jules Verne restaurant on my wish list. I like that you put a Hop On/Hop Off option on the itinerary. As you say, it’s a great way to get your bearings in a new city before you explore on your own.

    1. I think doing the Hop on Hop off bus tour is great in most cities. Helps you figure out where you want to go back.

  8. Irene S. Levine says:

    I love these itineraries! They’re perfect for sharing and I will!