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The Perfect 3 Day, 5 Day, or 7 Day Paris Itinerary

Traveling to Paris? I’ve got the perfect 3-day, 5-day, or 7-day Paris itinerary to fit your needs!

I love Paris! I don’t even care how cliché it is – it really is an amazing city! I’ve traveled to Paris 6 times now (and one of those times was a 3 month study abroad trip!), and I can never get enough. (Read about the craziness of my first trip to Paris here!)

There is so much to do in Paris, you truly could spend a full week (or even more!) exploring all the city has to offer. And while the sites are amazing, just wandering the streets, strolling along the Seine, exploring the parks and gardens, lingering over your lunch at a cafe… that’s what Parisian life is all about!

After extensive *ahem* research, I bring you the best 3 day, 5 day, and 7 day itinerary for the perfect Paris vacation. Only have three days? I’ve got the perfect blend of can’t-miss sites and off-the-beaten-tourist track spots. Have an entire 7 days? We’re going to get a full Parisian experience. 

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Paris Museum Pass

Before we start, I want to mention this pass. If you visit the landmarks I highlight on this itinerary, I think it is worth getting the Paris Museum Pass because 1) it saves you money and 2) it saves you time waiting in line at the ticket offices.

A 2 day (48 hour) pass costs 52 euro, a 4 day (96 hour) pass costs 66 euro, and a 6 day (144 hour) pass costs 78 euro. Most, but not all, of the attractions on this itinerary are covered by the Paris Museum Pass. You can buy it online ahead of time or buy it at the Paris Tourism office, or at any of the attractions where the pass is accepted.

In the itinerary, I’ll note which attractions accept the pass, and if a reservation is required.

NOTE: The Paris Museum Pass is NOT THE SAME as the Paris Pass. The Paris Pass is more expensive and not worth the cost, IMO.

Where to Stay in Paris

Paris is divided in 20 neighborhoods, called arrondissements. Each of these neighborhoods has a different vibe and feel, and there are different pros to staying in each of the arrondissements – some are really central, or near big attractions, some are in quieter areas or historic areas, some areas are cheaper or more expensive, etc, etc.

I actually have a whole post dedicated to the best arrondissements and hotels to stay in Paris. I pull out my top recommendations for areas to stay in Paris and why that area is a good spot (including what sites and attractions you are close to), and the best hotels in those arrondissements.

Read “Best Arrondissements and Hotels to Stay in Paris” here

Getting Around

I highly, highly recommend doing a combination of walking and taking the metro to get around Paris. The metro is cheap, convenient, and safe, and walking is a great way to see more of the city (and walk off all those pastries!)

When I visit, I like to save an image of the metro map on my phone to consult as needed. You can view a metro map here!

Paris Itinerary Day 1: Eiffel Tower Area

Check into your hotel and then head straight to….

Eiffel Tower

Let’s get the elephant out of the room right away: HAVE YOU HEARD OF THE EIFFEL TOWER? 

I think a great Paris itinerary starts with the Eiffel Tower – it’s iconic, it’s massive, and everyone’s excited to see it!

You can buy tickets ahead of time online – 60 days in advance for the elevators and 7 days in advance for the stairs, or just get them when you arrive.

In recent years, the Eiffel Tower has implemented new security measures. The base of the tower is now surrounded by clear plexiglass walls, and you have to go through a security checkpoint to get in and underneath. 

Climbing the Tower

There are three ways to go up the Eiffel Tower.

  • The first is to climb stairs up to the second level and then from there, take an elevator to the top.
  • The second is to take an elevator to the second level, and then take a second elevator to the top.
  • The third is to just take an elevator straight to the top. 

Unless you have a disability or issue with climbing stairs, I strongly recommend climbing the stairs to the first and second levels, and then taking the elevator to the top!

Even if you have a low level of fitness, I really think just about anyone can do this! (Note: Obviously, if you have concerns, do what you feel best with and/or consult your doctor)

Here’s why you shouldn’t be too worried about that climb:

  1. The staircase is wide and does a traditional switchback, instead of being a circular staircase (like in the Arc de Triomphe – more on that below). 
  2. There are regular landings where you can take a quick break. In fact, there are some posters with interesting facts about the Eiffel Tower’s history and architecture on the stairs as you climb, so you naturally will want to stop and read those as you go up.
  3. Because the stairs are so wide and there are landing platforms regularly, it is easy to take a break without feeling like you are in the way. There’s plenty of space for everyone going up and down. 
  4. I’ve done this climb with my dad, who had a stent in after a kidney stone surgery two days prior and couldn’t walk fast, and he was able to climb it. I’ve also done it with my mom, who had pretty bad feet problems and had some difficulty walking. I’ve also done it with myself being pretty out of shape. It’s very doable!

Plus, it’s just very, very cool to be INSIDE the Eiffel Tower! And it’s fun to see the views from the different levels.

At the second level, you’ll get in line for the elevator. Sometimes this line can be pretty long, so be prepared! But, it is worth the wait. You ascend through the middle of the tower, and the top is just breathtaking.  The view is spectacular, insanely high, and being on top of the Eiffel Tower is just such an incredible feeling!

Lunch

There are some crepe and sandwich stands by the river. What more do you need? But really, for today I recommend grabbing lunch here as you’re staying in the area for…

Seine River Cruise

On the river right at the base of the Eiffel Tower, you can jump on a Seine river cruise with the company Bateaux Parisiens. This approximately 1 hour ride takes you past Notre Dame and back. It’s a very nice introduction to Paris, as many famous landmarks are right on the Seine!

Get your Bateaux Parisiens tickets in advance here

Musée Rodin

This museum displays the works of the sculptor, Rodin, and also some from his mistress, Camille Claudel. The art is displayed in both the manor and on the grounds. And there are just so many good ones!

You know The Thinker? That’s on display on the grounds. The Kiss, another famous work, is in the house. There are many beautiful sculptures to discover, and the grounds are calming and peaceful – I love spending an hour or two here!

“The Thinker”

The best way to get to the Rodin Museum after doing a Bateaux Parisiens boat ride would be to take RER C from Champs de Mars – Tour Eiffel to the Invalides stop, and then changing to line 7 and getting off at Varenne. (Or you can walk, it’s about 30 minute by foot)

The Musée Rodin is closed Monday. It accepts the Paris Museum Pass.

Dinner

After Rodin, walk from the museum to Rue Cler, a market street by the Eiffel Tower.

Pick up baguettes from the boulangerie, cheese from the fromagerie, and fruit from the fruit stands, and make your way back to the Champs de Mars, the green space in front of the Eiffel Tower. Linger over your picnic on the grounds, and then as it gets dark, make your way past the Eiffel Tower, across the Seine, and to Trocadero, the platform that frames the Eiffel Tower perfectly. 

Trocadero!

Alternatively, if you want a hot meal, stop in at Le Petit Cler restaurant on Rue Cler, and then head to Trocadero!

Eiffel Tower at Night

As dusk approaches, the lights on the tower turn on, and then at the top of the hour, every hour, the Eiffel Tower sparkles for five minutes. I’ve seen the sparkles many, many times, but every time it is still magical.

And what better way to cap off your first day in Paris? You absolutely cannot miss it! 

Paris Day 1 Map:

Paris Itinerary Day 2: Louvre to Arc de Triomphe

Palais Royal

I recommend starting your day by heading to Palais Royal, just north of the Louvre, to see Les Colonnes de Buren: a courtyard with beautiful black and white striped columns. It’s become a bit of a well-known spot, and the courtyard is a unique place for a photo-op.

The courtyard opens at 8am, so it’s a nice quick stop that you can do while still hitting the Louvre at opening.

Louvre

The Louvre opens at 9, and I would recommend you be there right at opening. From the courtyard you actually enter through the iconic glass pyramid, where you descend down into the lobby.

If you chose to skip the Palais Royal and are arriving by the Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre metro station, you can go straight to the lobby via the Carrousel du Louvre metro exit. During high season, entering through the Carrousel du Louvre is a good choice, as the security line to enter the Louvre through the pyramid can get long.

The Louvre accepts the Paris Museum Pass, but you do need to make a timed reservation online.

Note: The Louvre is closed on Tuesdays.

My Favorite Spots in the Louvre

The Louvre is divided into three wings: Richelieu, Sully, and Denon. 

Now, everyone has their own preferences, but my favorite spots in the Louvre are: 

  • Denon Wing: 1st floor for the Winged Victory, the Mona Lisa, Napoleon’s Coronation, the Apollo Gallery, and the Venus de Milo
  • Richelieu Wing: 0 floor: Cour Marly and Cour Puget, which are sculpture galleries, and the Code of Hammarabi in the antiquities section.  2nd floor for French and Northern Europe paintings
  • Sully: 2nd floor for French and Northern Europe paintings

(Note: In France, the ground floor is 0, and what would be the 2nd floor in the USA is the 1st floor, etc)

Guided Tour Option

If you want more details about the art and history than what you can read on the placards, consider a guided tour of the Louvre! On these tours, an art history guide will take you to many of the major pieces, explaining the significance and background to the piece and the artist. This is a great option to really dive into the amazing works of art in the Louvre!

You can choose from several different group sizes depending on your preferences and budget. Check current rates for guided tours here!

Cour Marly

Final Notes

The fun thing about the Louvre is that the building itself is just as grand and impressive as the works of art displayed inside. This makes a lot of sense when you consider that the Louvre was actually the palace for the French kings, up until Louis 14th. I love the architecture and design of the Louvre itself. 

As someone who likes art, but doesn’t looove art, I find that 2-3 hours in the Louvre is the right amount of time for me. 

As you are leaving, stop by Maxim’s de Paris, a chocolaterie in the Carrousel du Louvre (an underground shopping area) that has excellent macarons. 

Jardin de Tuileries + Lunch

My favorite lunch in Paris is a picnic, and the Jardin de Tuileries is the perfect spot for a relaxing lunch. 

Just around the corner on Rue St Honoré is a Franprix grocery store. Take a 5 minute walk north and grab some picnic supplies and head back to the Tuileries. I absolutely adore a good Parisian picnic and wrote a whole picnicking in Paris guide, with different options for picnic components + our favorite things to grab at the grocery store!

This garden has beautiful pathways, trees and flowers, sculptures, and several ponds that are encircled with lots of chairs. Find some chairs, sit down, relax, enjoy the view, and eat some lunch!

When you’re done eating, wander west through the rest of the garden – be sure to note the great view from the main path to the Place de la Concorde and the Arc de Triomphe!

When you’re done, exit to Rue de Rivoli here

and stop by Angelina Café for some hot chocolate. This café has the cutest dining room and the most decadent, rich hot chocolate. It’s served in a really cute pitcher and teacups and the whole experience is delightful.

If you haven’t eaten lunch, the food here is also really high quality – although it is also fairly expensive. 

Place de la Concorde

This was the most famous guillotine site during the French revolution. Today, this obelisk, a gift from Egypt, marks the spot. 

Champs Elysées

The Champs Elysées is a long, grand, wide, tree-lined boulevard leading from the Place de la Concorde to the Arc de Triomphe. It is generally considered one of the grandest and most famous boulevards in the world. 

From Place de la Concorde, I would jump on the metro (Line 1, Concorde station) and take it up to Georges V. It’s just three stops on the line, but it’ll save you a mile, and walking the entire way up the Champs Elysees is actually a pretty long walk! (Although, if you want to walk the whole way, go for it!).

Alternatively, you could split the difference and get off at the Franklin D. Roosevelt stop. 

On the Champs Elysees there are a lot of luxury and trendy shops, movie theaters, and cafes and restaurants. It has a very distinct feel and is a pretty area – definitely worth experiencing. 

Arc de Triomphe

The Champs Elysées ends at the Arc de Triomphe.

This triumphal arch was commissioned by Napoleon to celebrate his victory at the Battle of Austerlitz. Parades regularly pass by the arch and down the Champs Elysees. During WW2, when Germany took Paris, Hitler and his Nazis rode through the arch. The Allies paraded around the Arc during the liberation of Paris in 1944, and the Tour de France always ends near the Arc.

Today, it continues to be a focal point in French national celebrations. 

Don’t stress about trying to cross the crazy traffic circle; use the underground tunnel to cross the roundabout around the Arc de Triomphe and you’ll come out underneath the arc. There you’ll find the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. 

To ascend, you’ll climb inside the Arc de Triomphe itself up a fairly narrow spiral staircase, and there are a LOT of steps. I actually think climbing to the top of the Arc de Triomphe is harder than climbing the Eiffel Tower, because the spiral staircase feels never-ending!

At the top, you get a great view of the 12 streets that expand from the arch – making it look like a star. There’s also a great view of the Eiffel Tower and La Grande Arch de la Defense. I love the feeling of being in the middle of it all.

The Arc de Triomphe accepts the Paris Museum Pass.

Dinner

Make your way back down the Champs Elysees and find a spot that strikes your fancy. It’s not that the best restaurants of Paris are here, but it is incredibly atmospheric and a nice way to end your day.

Paris Day 2 Map:

Paris Itinerary Day 3: Notre Dame, Garnier, and Montmartre

Notre Dame 

Start your morning at Notre Dame. This magnificent building was built in the 1100’s! I am always in awe of the immenseness and beauty of this building that was built with Middle Ages technology. 

Notre Dame is a great example of Gothic architecture: gargoyles, flying buttresses outside, pointed arches, and stained glass windows. 

Also, I don’t feel like pictures quite communicate this very well, but Notre Dame is BIG (this could be said for many of Paris’s monuments, actually). I highly recommend spending some time looking at the 3 main arches at the base of the cathedral – as they show different Biblical scenes.

Inside, with the high ceiling and the vast rooms and the ornate decorations, I can really see how worshipping in Notre Dame felt like a transcendent experience. The stained glass rosary is absolutely enormous and intricate. It is truly the heart of Paris.

Currently, Notre Dame is closed for reconstruction due to the big fire that broke out on its roof in 2019. I still think it’s worth stopping by though! While you can’t go in, you can still see the outside of the cathedral.

There is an approximately 15 foot high barrier around the cathedral. On the wall of the barrier are pictures and descriptions which tells the story of the fire, what happened, and the aftermath. We found this “exhibit” really interesting!

Walk the Seine

As Notre Dame is on one of Paris’s two islands, Ile de la Cité, now is a great chance to walk along the Seine. The section of the river by Notre Dame has stairs leading down to the banks, and there are pathways right along the water you can stroll on.

When considering what to do in Paris, don’t overlook this beautiful and peaceful area!

Opera Garnier

This opera house is opulent to the max and was used as the inspiration for the book “The Phantom of the Opera.” If you have seen the 2004 Phantom of the Opera movie, you’ll notice that they based a lot of the set off the actual opera house!

The opera has a grand staircase, made of white marble and lined with stone sculptures. At the top of the staircase there is a large balcony atrium, with intricate, large light features, and little alcoves overlooking the stairs. From here, you can continue towards the back of the building to the opera hall. Note that sometimes the hall is closed for rehearsals or maintenance. 

If it is open, you can pop in to take a look at a classic Romantic period opera hall, complete with velvet chairs, overlooking boxes, and thick curtains. 

Towards the front of the building is my favorite part of the whole opera: The Grand Foyer. It is lined with mirrors and sculptures, has murals on the ceiling, glitzy chandeliers, and seemingly everything is plated in gold. It is reminiscent of the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles, and truly rivals anything you will find at the palace

I love the Opera Garnier – it’s one of my favorite things to do in Paris on this 3 day itinerary!

Purchase Opera Garnier tickets ahead of time here!

Jaw-dropping opulence!

Lunch

Find the nearest boulangerie and grab a sandwich (or other lunch offering). 

Montmartre

From the Anvers metro station, you’ll head north to the Sacré Coeur basilica. 

Thanks to the particular travertine stone used in construction, the basilica stays an impressive white year after year. And thanks to being set on a hill (Montmartre means “Mountain of the Martyrs”), it towers over the surrounding neighborhoods, creating one of the more dramatic views you’ll find in Paris.

Be prepared to experience Sacré Coeur with hundreds of other people, but there are a lot of places to sit on the stairs and spread out. If experiencing Sacré Coeur without hordes of people is important to you, I would come here first thing in the morning and do Notre Dame and the Opera in the afternoon. 

You can walk through the inside of the basilica (entry is free) or go up in the domes (8 euros) and then make your way into the heart of Montmartre, an artsy, charming, little village within Paris.

This is my suggested walking tour of Montmartre!

  1. Walk around to the back of Sacré Coeur, the view from the back is just as good as the front!
  2. Staircases of Montmartre. There are staircases scattered around the hill and are a well-known feature of the neighborhood.
  3. Place du Tertre, a square where artists are out drawing, painting, and selling their pieces. 
  4. Le Consulat restaurant, a well-known and cute restaurant
  5. La Maison Rose, another famous and adorable restaurant, located on the super cute street of Rue de l’Abreuvoir
  6. Rue de L’Abreuvoir, one of the prettiest, quaintest little streets in Paris. In the fall time, the leaves on the vines turn vibrant colors – gorgeous!
  7. The Bust of Dalida. Tradition holds that it is good luck to rub her breasts, and as you can see, a lot of people have tried their hand at good luck. 
  8. Another picturesque Montmartre staircase
  9. Le Moulin Radet, one of four windmills in Paris’ Montmartre area. “Moulin” means windmill in French, and there actually used to be over 300 windmills in Paris!
  10. Rue Lepic, a charming street with some really pretty doors. There’s also a fantastic chocolaterie (A La Mere de Famille) on this street.
  11. Moulin Rouge. Admire the iconic Red Windmill!
  12. Mur des Je t’Aime, a wall with ‘I love you’ written in 250 languages. This wall is found in a little garden area tucked behind Place des Abbesses.
  13. Creperie Brocéliande – a fantastic restaurant serving galettes, buckwheat crepes from the Normandy region. You can order both sweet and savory galettes, and the flavor combinations are really interesting and delightful. I recommend ordering a savory galette for yourself and a sweet galette to share!

At this point, you are just around the corner from where you started, at the base of Sacré Coeur. From here you can make your way back to the Anvers metro station or explore further at your leisure. 

Guided Walking Tour of Montmartre

A guided walking tour is another great way to experience Montmartre. On this two hour tour, an English-speaking local will take you around the neighborhood and share insider info, historical significance, insider tips and recommendations, and just overall give a really good overview of the area and it’s history! Check current rates for this walking tour here

Paris Day 3 Map:

5 Day Paris Itinerary

You’ve now hit many of the must-see places in Paris and gotten to sample much of what the city has to offer, but there is so much more to experience.

Days 1-3 of your 5 day Paris itinerary stay exactly the same, but now you have time to add a visit to Versailles and explore the picturesque Latin quarter of Paris. 

Paris Itinerary Day 4: Versailles

Head out to the famously ornate and over-the-top palace of Versailles. Technically, it’s not actually in Paris (it’s in the city of Versailles), but it is still absolutely one of the top things to do in Paris!

Getting to Versailles

To get here, you’ll need to hop on the RER C and buy a special ticket for Versailles – a standard Paris metro ticket will not work, as Versailles is farther outside the city.

When you get to Chateau Rive Gauche station, exit the train station and head towards the chateau- it’s about a 10 minute walk away. You can check directions on your phone, or just follow everyone else, there will be lots of people heading to the palace. 

Tickets

While Versailles is included in the Paris Museum Pass, I highly, highly, HIGHLY recommend you consider buying a separate timed entry tickets online for Versailles.

It is a bummer to buy an extra ticket, but hear me out. With the Paris Museum Pass, you don’t get a timed ticket, just general admission. I’ve been to Versailles several times, and each time there has been a massive (I’m talking like at least an hour long) line to enter the palace. If you get a timed ticket, you can bypass that line.

Also, the Paris Museum Pass still does save you money, even with buying the extra Versailles ticket.

Now, if you are heading there in low season during the middle of winter, or if you want to just try to be in line before the chateau opens at 9am, you might be fine with just using the Paris Museum Pass.

Guided Tour Options

This guided tour is a great deal – it includes a guided tour and a skip the line ticket for entrance to the palace. After the tour of the palace you can explore the gardens at your leisure. This tour is excellent option if you want to hear lots of interesting stories and tidbits to make the palace and the reign of Louis 14th come alive. Check current rates for the palace tour here!

An alternate option for a day at Versailles that is a little more unique is doing this bike tour in and around Versailles. You’ll bike through the village of Versailles, the parks and gardens of the chateau (having a picnic on the grounds), and then get a guided tour of parts of the chateau, some of which are not open to the general tour. Check current rates for the bike tour here

The Chateau

Inside the chateau, you will start a self-guided tour of the parts of the castle. They regularly change up the route of the visit, so you may get to see different rooms on different visits. What is always impressive is just how vast the castle is – while you only tour a part of it, that part is still expansive – and how ornate everything is. 

A visit always includes a stop in the Hall of Mirrors. The Hall of Mirrors is beautiful, but it is always super crowded!

A visit to the chateau takes usually 1-2 hours, depending on how long you linger in each room. If you rent an audio tour headset, the tour could be longer. 

The Gardens

While I love going inside the chateau, and it absolutely can’t be missed, I ADORE the gardens. The Versailles park is huge, so even though there can be a lot of people around, it doesn’t feel crowded at all, unlike the chateau tour, which can sometimes feel pretty crowded.

I love walking down the path to the Latona Fountain. From here, you can continue walking down the long pathway towards the Apollo Fountain and the Grand Canal, or you can peel off and explore the different groves.

I recommend you do both!

The walk down to the canal is calming and beautiful, with trees and sculptures lining the path. But the groves are absolutely incredible – with intricate paths cut through the trees, leading to different focal points in the middle – sometimes statues, sometimes fountains or ponds. 

The Trianons

At some point during your afternoon, you’ll want to head over to the Grand Trianon, the Petit Trianon, and the Queen’s Hamlet. 

These were all designated “getaways” for the king and queen when they wanted to escape the stifling royal life at the palace. 

The Grand Trianon is more understated but also more elevated than some of the architecture you’ll see at the main palace. I particularly love the pink marble columns outside!

Pink marble columns of the Grand Trianon!

For me, the Petit Trianon itself was less exciting, but the Queen’s Hamlet is on the grounds of the Petit Trianon, and the hamlet is an absolute must-see

This part of the estate (the Petit Trianon and Hamlet) was given to Marie Antoinette as a refuge from court politics. She had the area renovated, and specifically developed the most charming little provincial village scene in the Queen’s Hamlet.

In addition to being absolutely adorable, it actually was a real working farm during Marie Antoinette’s time at the palace. 

My three biggest tips for Versailles are:

  • Get here early (with a timed ticket!) and plan to spend most of the day here. There is so much to see and do!
  • Don’t skip the groves, the trianons, or the Queen’s Hamlet! These are my favorite parts of Versailles.
  • Get yourself a map (even just download a map of the grounds on your phone). It’s way easier to navigate through the enormous grounds if you can see where everything is. 

Note: You can’t bring food in if you’re going through the palace, but there are restaurants in the palace and places to buy food on the grounds. 

Paris Itinerary Day 5: Latin Quarter

Today is all about exploring the Latin Quarter of Paris! The Latin Quarter is found in the 5th and 6th arrondissements of Paris, on the left bank of the Seine. The Sorbonne university is located here, and back in the middle ages students spoke Latin – thus the name.

It’s one of the oldest areas of Paris and over the years has attracted philosophers and intellectuals. There’s lots to see here!

Pantheon

Start your day at the Pantheon, a monument dedicated to distinguished politicians, military leaders, writers, philosophers, and scientists. Today, the crypt houses the remains of many of these famous French men and women, including Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Victor Hugo, Louis Braille, Marie and Pierre Curie, Alexandre Dumas, and Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. 

It’s a fascinating place to visit!

The Pantheon accepts the Paris Museum Pass.

Jardin de Luxembourg

This garden is very expansive, but is most noted for its large pond, its sculptures and flower beds. There are many chairs you can find throughout to sit and relax. The main building in the garden – the Palais de Luxembourg – is where the French Senate meets. 

This park is popular with runners, especially in the morning, with picnickers, and, with a playground on the grounds, it is also popular with families. 

Saint Sulpice church

The Latin quarter is full of impressive churches, and the Saint Sulpice is no exception. Its most unique feature is its absolutely massive columns adorning the front. It’s a nice stop on your way to lunch at…

Les Deux Magots or Café de Flore

These two cafés sit right across the street from each other and are the most famous cafes in Paris. In the early 1900’s, they attracted the sort of clientele like Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, Simone de Beauvoir, Julia Child. 

For many intellectuals and writers, it was a meeting place to discuss ideas. If you’ve seen the 2011 film Midnight in Paris, those cafe meetups were based on these cafes!

It’s a fun place to experience a piece of history – and bonus, you get lunch!

Musée d’Orsay 

After lunch, head to the Musée d’Orsay to get your fill of impressionist and post-impressionist art. The building housing the d’Orsay is interesting in its own right, as it used to be a train station. You can actually go up and stand right in front of the two large clocks on the top floor!

If you want to admire some of the best works of Degas, Renoir, and Monet, the Musée d’Orsay is your museum!

If you’ve walked between all the stops on today’s schedule, it’s only been about 40 minutes of walking total! At this point, the stops get a little more spaced out, so taking the RER or metro is possible if your feet need a break. 

The Musée d’Orsay accepts the Paris Museum Pass. The museum is closed on Monday.

Shakespeare and Company bookstore

This charming little English language bookstore is right on the banks of the Seine, across from Notre Dame. You can walk along the Seine to get here, or you can take the RER C here (get on at d’Orsay and get off at Saint Michel – a standard metro ticket will work for this). 

Catacombs

After you’ve perused the bookstore to your heart’s content, get on RER B at Saint Michel and take it to Denfert-Rochereau, where you will visit the catacombs of Paris. 

Descend under the streets of Paris to the literal past as you walk through part of a vast network of catacombs (honestly, between the extensive metro network and the vast catacombs, is there any solid ground underneath Paris??)

Started in the 1700’s to contain the remains of Paris’ population and relieve overcrowded cemeteries, today the catacombs hold the remains of over 6 million people! The bones are artfully arranged and the visit is a bit mind blowing.

It’s an off the beaten track place to visit in Paris for sure, and I think it’s really crazy to see (and only mildly creepy). They check your bags on the way out – so don’t pick up any “souvenirs”’ to take home with you.

This is another spot in Paris where a guided tour can really enhance the experience – you get historical context and interesting stories, as well as access to spots in the Catacombs not available to the self-guided tour. Check current rates for this tour here.

The catacombs are closed on Monday.

Paris Day 5 Map:

If You Have 7 Days in Paris:

You’ve visited the main attractions, experienced the extravagance of Versailles, explored some of the local haunts, and seen some lesser known spots. For your 7 day Paris itinerary, it’s time to see last points of interest in Paris, get off the beaten path, and possibly even take a day trip to see another castle, or an iconic painting location in real life.

Paris Itinerary Day 6: The Marais (and surroundings)

Today’s path centers mostly in the Marais, the 3rd arrondissement of Paris. 

Sainte Chapelle

This beautiful stained glass church is situated on Ile de la Cité. This is one of the few churches you have to pay to enter in Paris, but the floor to ceiling stained glass is worth it!

The stained glass tells Bible stories as you move through the room, so grab an info card and look for any well-known stories you may know! (Admittedly, even as someone who feels very well-acquainted with the Bible, about halfway through the room, I stopped being able to recognize most of the scenes. But they’re still beautiful!)

Sainte Chappelle accepts the Paris Museum Paris, but you do need to make a timed reservation online in advance.

Pompidou Center

As you walk to the Pompidou, you’ll pass Hotel de Ville, the city hall, an impressive ornate building.

Hotel de Ville means “City Hall”

In contrast, the Pompidou Center is maybe the wackiest building you will ever see!

The building is built “inside out,” with the colorful pipes, massive steel struts, and the distinctive, plexiglass elevator on the outside of the building. The Pompidou is a modern art museum (makes sense!), with the second largest collection of modern art in the world. It also has a public library inside. 

Whether you like it or hate it, it is undeniably a landmark building and a fun destination.

The Pompidou accepts the Paris Museum Pass. It is closed on Tuesdays.

Lunch

Pop over to Salon du Fromage Hisada for lunch. This cheese shop also has a small restaurant section, where you can order cheese plates with a variety of cheeses and accompaniments (like jams!). I love a good cheese-tasting restaurant – they are so fun, and you get to try a variety of different cheeses!

Place des Vosges

This square is unique in Paris – all the buildings lining the square are red brick, and a public park sits in the center. Victor Hugo’s house is in one of the corner buildings of Place des Vosges, and is now a museum about the famed author.  

The park is laid out very symmetrically, with tree-lined paths, green spaces filled with locals, a giant central statue, and a matching fountain in each corner. 

Père Lachaise Cemetery

The Père Lachaise cemetery is one of the oldest cemeteries in Paris, and is certainly the biggest. At 110 acres, it covers a vast area and, with its tree-lined, cobblestoned paths, is actually a really calming and beautiful place to walk through. 

The graves in the cemetery are all old and have large, grand above ground tombs and sepulchers marking the deceased’s resting places. 

Of course, any old and grand place like this in Paris will have ties to famous historical figures, and Père Lachaise is no exception. Artists, musicians, and writers, such as Moliere, Chopin, Edith Piaf, and Proust are buried here, for example (and many more – consult a map on arrival to find the location of your particular person of interest’s grave location). The most famous gravesite in the entire cemetery is that of the musician Jim Morrison. 

Parc Monceau

This is one of my favorite parks in Paris!

This park is set in the very upscale and very gorgeous 8th arrondissement. Check out the buildings around the park – they faaaaaancy.

It works though, because Parc Monceau is this perfect blend of upscale and chill.

There is a big rotunda at the main entrance, and intricate wrought iron, gold-tipped fence all around. There’s a pond with columns along the edge, and statues and a cute bridge just because, but there are also wide paths for running, lots and lots of lawn to sit on, and a playground for children.

I absolutely love coming here, walking around, and then settling in on a bench or on the grass to relax and enjoy a picnic and the afternoon. 

Paris Day 6 Map:

Paris Itinerary Day 7 : Lots of options!

Your last day in Paris can go one of two ways. You can either use the day to wander the streets, hit up any sites you may have missed the previous six days, eat more delicious pastries, and go back to your favorite spots (Eiffel Tower at night for a different view of the city, anyone?).

Or, you can take a day trip outside the city! If you’re in the mood for more castles, Fontainebleau and Vaux le Vicomte are two nearby, gorgeous chateaux.

If you want to see the settings for a famous painting come to life, head to Giverny. This charming town is home to Monet’s house, water garden, and flower garden. You can tour the home and grounds, and visit the pond and bridge featured so prominently in Monet’s Water Lilies paintings. 

You can take a train to Giverny from the Saint Lazare train station in Paris – the journey takes less than an hour!

A Few Travel Essentials for Paris

A good backpack and/or a crossbody purse with a zipper is a must! We like this one is waterproof bacpack, and I always bring this cognac crossbody purse with me on trips – always zipped and in front of my body to prevent pickpocketing.

Don’t forget – France uses type C plugs, so if you’re coming from the US (or another country that doesn’t use type C plugs), you’ll need a power adaptor. This set is affordable and comes in a 3-pack – perfect so everyone can charge their devices.

These packing cubes are my new best friend. Gone are the days of a suitcase full of clothes getting all mixed up and disorganized after 2 days of travel, with me always rummaging around for 5 minutes trying to find things. You can pack like items in different cubes and keep everything in its place.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance!

Securing some travel insurance is an important part of prepping for any international trip – you never know when something might happen, and your regular insurance generally won’t cover you overseas. Costs for a medical emergency on vacation can add up extremely fast, so it’s just better to be safe than sorry  (If covid has taught me anything, it’s that you never know what could happen!)  

I like booking insurance at Insure My Trip, as they offer a variety of plans with different coverages to choose from, so you can find the right option for you. Plus, they have great customer support if you need help before, during, or after your trip.

Check rates at Insure My Trip here!

Final Thoughts

Aaaaaaand that’s a wrap! The perfect itinerary for what to do with 3 days, 5 days, or 7 days in Paris. I love that no matter how long you have in Paris, you can experience some highlights and local spots, the main attractions and off-the-beaten-path locations! 

Paris is truly a magical city, with iconic views around every corner, cute streets, gorgeous architecture, well-dressed locals, and mouth-watering boulangeries dotting the city. I love this city and I hope you do too!

Check out my other Paris posts:

Planning a trip from Paris to Provence or the French Riviera? Check out my southern France posts!

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