A Three Day Paris Itinerary For First-Time Visitors
After three weeks of Paris you still wouldn’t be bored of the city, but unfortunately most of us don’t have longer than three or four days to spend here. Still, assuming you’ll fall in love with Paris – like most of us do – you’ll be back for your second, third and fourth visit in no-time. Every visit to the city is spent different – in fact a friend of mine travels to Paris three times a year and always finds new things to explore.. never getting bored. Your first visit of Paris should be all about taking in the highlights, the main sights and the overall atmosphere of the city. So that is why today I am going to share my favorite Paris itinerary for first time visitors!
Paris Itinerary – Day 1
9:00 – 11:00 Museum Du Louvre. Start your day early at Museum Du Louvre. Why? The best way to start a city trip is to start with the museums – while Museum Du Louvre is an art museum you’ll learn a lot about the city and her history which makes the rest of your trip more insightful. You can take in the things you learn at museums with you for the rest of your visit to Paris. Best thing about starting your day at a museum? No lines! I’m guessing that you’ll walk 2 hours around Museum Du Louvre unless you are an absolute art-lover.. than you’ll take some extra time.
11:00 – 12:00 Jardin Des Tuilleries. Take a walk around Jardin Des Tuilleries and enjoy a crêpe for lunch.. since you’re already there. Jardin Des Tuilleries is a highlight of the city, known as one of the most pretty gardens of Paris. Be sure to enjoy the garden, and if you want to stay a little bit longer than one hour I won’t blame you!
12:00 – 16:00 Champs-Élysées & Arc de Triomph. I’ll give you four hours to discover the Champs-Élysées and the Arc de Triomph. While the Champs-Élysées isn’t a four hour walk there is lots to discover – there are beautiful buildings, perhaps exhibitions you want to see at the Grand Palais, or perhaps some French stores and macarons you want to eat, see and discover. The Arc de Triomph as well isn’t a monument where you’ll stay for too long, but the queues are never missing here as it is one of the biggest tourist attractions of the city.
16:00 – 20:00 Jardin du Trocadéro and the Eiffel Tower. It’s time! You’re going to see the Eiffel Tower! And, I’m sorry in advance, ’cause you’ll be having a late dinner today. From the Arc de Triomph you can easily walk your way towards the Eiffel Tower, with a stop at Jardin Du Trocadéro to make some photographs of Paris’ most beautiful sight. Be sure to walk criss-cross towards the Eiffel Tower from the Arc de Triomph, as you’ll find lots of beautiful typical-Parisian looking streets here.
You should reserve a couple of hours for the Eiffel Tower – if you want to go to the top you have to take the elevator which means you’ll have to stand in line for at least an hour. Otherwise I advise you to climb the stairs to the second floor – cheaper and faster.
20:00 – 22:00 Dinner and a look of the Eiffel Tower lights. You’ll find plenty of good restaurants around the Eiffel Tower. Once you’ve walked through the Jardin du Trocadéro you should make your way over to streets like Avenue de la Motte-Picquet (close to École Militaire) where you’ll find some good restaurants. After eating your dinner walk back to the Eiffel Tower again and check out how it looks in dark – every hour the Eiffel Tower lights up like a Christmas tree so see it at 22:00 or wait till 23:00 before leaving to your hotel!
Paris Itinerary – Day 2
10:00 – 14:00 Explore the third and fourth arrondissements. With amazing streets, boutiques and cafés you can easily spend your time in the third and fourth arrondissements. Be sure to wander around and get lost. You might not have the time to walk around all the arrondissements if you want to enter some highlights so you will have to make some decisions for what you want to see. Here are some ideas and highlights:
– Centre Pompidou
– Les Halles
– Eat lunch around the Fontaine Stravinsky
– Explore Le Marais (according to locals I’ve met one of the most beautiful neighborhoods of Paris)
– Church of St Gervais
– Place des Vosges
– Jewish Quartier (Rue Des Rosiers)
– Place de la Bastille
14:00 – 16:00 Île de la Cité. After exploring the third and fourth arrondissement you can easily make your way over to Île de la Cité – the small island in the middle of the Seine and home of the Notre Dame. So that means.. time to visit the Notre Dame! Walk around the small island, enter the church and enjoy the view of the Seine.
16:00 – 17:30 Jardin du Luxembourg. When it is still light you can visit the Jardin du Luxembourg – my favorite park of Paris. Chill, walk around and fall in love with Jardin du Luxembourg for about 1,5 hour;-). If you want to you can also make a stop at the Pantheon – a museum very close by.
17:30 – … The Latin Quartier. While touristic, the Latin Quartier has a terrific ambiance. It’s the perfect place to spend your evening. With plenty of streets and a dozen of great restaurants you’ll be walking around for a while before making a decision of ‘where to eat?’. The Latin Quartier won’t disappoint you, and you’ll be sad when you’ll have to return home.
Paris Itinerary – Day 3
10:00 – 12:00 Musée D’Orsay. If you like art or want to visit another museum you can is it Musée D’Orsay, one of Paris best art museums – a lot of people actually prefer Musée D’Orsay in stead of Le Louvre because it is less crowded, and the art is equally pretty. If you are not into art you can fill in your morning however you’d like to spend it or make your way over to Versailles. Be sure to remember that you’ll spend more than a morning in Versailles and your last day at Paris will be very short.
12:00 – 15:00 A walk through the second arrondissement. From Musée D’Orsay you can walk your walk to the North of Paris through the second arrondissement. A slightly underestimated arrondissement but equally pretty to the rest. As earlier; be sure to wander of and to take in all the streets you see. Here are some sights you might want to add in your walk:
– The Passage des Panoramas
– The National Library
– The Opéra Comique
15:00 – 16:30 Gallery Lafayette. It depends on how much you want to spend how much time you need at Gallery Lafayette. I personally never buy something at Gallery Lafayette, but I always walk in to stare at the glass-roof and to make a walk to the rooftop of the building. However, if you’re not on a budget feel free to lengthen your time at Gallery Lafayette.
16:30 – … Montmartre. Spend your last evening in Paris in the most famous and vivid neighborhoods of Montmartre! Walk around the streets, Place du Tertre and of course the Sacre Coeur. Find a good place to eat and your last night is spend good! When you (and your budget) are lucky you can even attend a show at the Moulin Rouge!