Last updated on July 9th, 2022Paris, or the city of light, is well-known for its beauty, culture, and attractions such as the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, and the Louvre. This romantic city is the most populated in France. Whether you enjoy history, attractions, or food, there is guaranteed to be something that you will love about Paris. This 4 Day Paris itinerary includes the must-do activities while you are in Paris, France. If you only have 4 days in Paris, I recommend this itinerary to see all the highlights: Please note: This Paris itinerary excludes travel time and is based on having 4 complete days in France. Use the Metro and walking to get around Paris.
Day 1 – Avenue des Champs-Élysées, Arc de Triomphe, and the Eiffel TowerToday will take you through the Champs-Élysées and 7e Arrondissement neighbourhoods of Paris.
Avenue des Champs-ÉlyséesThe most famous avenue in Paris, Avenue des Champs-Élysées, is a 1.9 km avenue that runs between the Arc de Triomphe and Place de la Concorde. Dozens of luxury shops, cafes, and boutiques line this beautiful and iconic street. Even if you do not plan to shop in Paris, it is worth a quick walk along Avenue des Champs-Élysées. Make sure to try some pastries or macaroons while wandering along Avenue des Champs-Élysées, before heading to the Arc de Triomphe.
Arc de TriompheLocated along Champs-Élysées at Place Charles de Gaulle, the Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile is an important symbol for France. Commissioned by Napoleon in 1806 and completed in 1836, the monument honours the people who fought in the Napoleonic War and French Revolution. Standing at 50m tall, the viewpoint from the top offers a good view of other landmarks in Paris, including the Louvre, Notre Dame, and the Eiffel Tower. If you don’t wish to climb to the top and look out, it is still a wondrous monument to admire from the ground, like I did when I visited. To access the Arc de Triomphe, use the pedestrian underpass to walk under the heavily-trafficked roundabout. Arc de Triomphe Hours of Operation: Daily 10 am – 10:30 pm, closed Jan 1, May 1 & 8, July 14, Nov 11, and Dec 25 Cost: 13€ per adult with some exceptions, FREE first Sunday of each month Note: Last entry is 45 minutes before closing Once finished at the Arc de Triomphe, the next destination for today is the Eiffel Tower.
Eiffel TowerMention Paris, and you cannot help but think about the Eiffel Tower. Since its opening in 1889, the Eiffel Tower has become a world-known symbol of Paris. The Eiffel Tower is one of the most visited landmarks globally, attracting millions of visitors each year. Standing at 324m to the tip, it is the tallest tower in France and was once considered the tallest tower in the world before the Chrysler Building was erected in New York City. Within the three-level tower, you will find shopping and restaurants, as well as panoramic views of Paris. You can walk or take the lift to the 1st and 2nd levels, however, the top floor is only accessible using the lift. Eiffel Tower Hours of Operation: Daily 9:30 am – 11:45 pm Cost: 16.60-25.90€ lift ticket per adult, 10.40-19.70€ walking ticket per adult Note: The last lift ascent to the top is before 10:30 pm or 11 pm during summer. The last walking ascent is before 6 pm, or before midnight during summer Tips:
- There is no luggage storage available at the Eiffel Tower, please leave your large backpacks at your accommodations. A small backpack is okay to bring with you.
- Make sure you visit both during the day and at night to see the Eiffel Tower in its full beauty. Note: you do not have to climb the tower twice. During my visit, I climbed in the late afternoon and descended after sunset to admire the Eiffel Tower sparkling.
Day 2 – Catacombs, Jardin du Luxembourg, and Sacré-CoeurToday will take you through the Montparnasse, 6e Arrondissement, and Montmartre neighbourhoods of Paris.
CatacombsThe Paris Catacombs are a 1.5 km series of underground ossuary tunnels that contain millions of skeletal bones. The bones were rehomed from Paris’s earliest burial grounds during the late 1700s. Creepy but interesting, the Catacombs of Paris are one of the most famous ossuaries in the world. Located 131 steps below the city in a former quarry, the Catacombs are well worth a visit. Catacombs Hours of Operation: Tuesday-Sunday 10 am – 8:30 pm, closed Mondays, Jan 1, May 1, and Dec 25 Cost: 14€ per adult with some exceptions, or 29€ per adult for an online quick-access ticket Note: Only 200 visitors can be in the Catacombs at the same time, in 45-minute blocks. Tips:
- You will want to visit first thing in the morning to avoid missing visiting the Catacombs. The line-up to purchase tickets starts before the Catacombs opens and can grow long quickly. During my visit, I arrived approximately 30 minutes before opening, and the line had already started.
- No flash photography is allowed, nor are tripods or large backpacks.
- Dress appropriately as the temperature is a constant 14 degrees celsius, year-round.
Jardin du LuxembourgThe Luxembourg Gardens is a 23-hectare garden designed by Queen Marie de’ Medici in 1612 to remind her of Florence. You will find the Luxembourg Palace, dozens of statues, fruit trees, greenery, walking paths, and fountains within the grounds. A peaceful place to escape the city, feel free to sit and relax for a few minutes in one of the many chairs and benches available to sit and admire the garden grounds. Jardin du Luxembourg (Luxembourg Gardens) Hours of Operation: Daily – 7 am opening during summer, 8 am opening during winter, closing one hour before the sunset year-round Cost: FREE Note: You can book a guided tour on the 1st Wednesday of the month between Apr-Oct. From the Jardin du Luxembourg, hop on the metro and head to Sacré-Coeur.
Sacré-CoeurBuilt at the highest point of Montmartre, Sacré-Coeur Basilica offers beautiful views overlooking Paris. This Roman Catholic church is the second most popular landmark in Paris, after the Eiffel Tower. Whether you tour the inside of the Basilica or admire it from the outside as I did, it is worth a visit on your trip. Sacré-Coeur Hours of Operation: Daily 6 am – 10:30 pm Cost: FREE Note: You can climb to the top of Sacré-Coeur dome, however, please note that it’s 300 steps with no lift available, so please climb at your own discretion. Have more time and energy after all of today’s sightseeing? Check out this bonus activity for tonight.
Moulin RougeMoulin Rouge is a cabaret located in the Montmartre neighbourhood of Paris, marked by its red windmill. Known as the birthplace of the modern can-can dance, the extravagant show has been attracting visitors from around the world since opening in 1889. Head to Moulin Rouge for either dinner and a show, or just the 2-hour show. Moulin Rouge Hours of Operation: Daily – showtimes are 9 pm and 11 pm – dinner is 2 hours before the show Cost: From 87€ for the show only, or from 200€ for dinner and a show Note: You can purchase your tickets in advance online or at the ticket booth. Note: I did not see the show at Moulin Rouge so I can not share my opinion on it, however, I did walk by and enjoy the building from the outside. I will definitely watch the show on my next trip to Paris and share it with you. You have now completed Day 2 of this 4 day Paris itinerary.
Day 3 – Les Invalides, Pont Alexandre III, and the LouvreToday will take you through the 7e Arrondissement and the Tuileries neighbourhoods of Paris.
Les InvalidesThe Invalides is a series of 17th-century buildings containing monuments and museums, including the Musée de l’Armée and the Dôme des Invalides. The Army Museum has collections of army antiquities, in addition to other French treasures spanning from the Middle Ages up to World War II. The tallest church in Paris, the Dôme des Invalides is home to the tomb of Napoleon. Standing at 107 m, the golden exterior of the dome can be seen from the Eiffel Tower. Musée de l’Armée and The Dôme des Invalides Hours of Operation: Daily 10 am – 5 pm (April to Oct), 10 am – 6 pm (Nov to Mar), closed Jan 1, May 1, and Dec 25 Cost: 12€ per adult with some exceptions Note: Last entry is 30 minutes before closing After spending an hour or two at Les Invalides, walk over to Pont Alexandre III.
Pont Alexandre IIIPont Alexandre III is an extravagant 19th-century bridge that crosses over the Seine. The bridge was built for the completion of the French-Russian Alliance. Lined with decorative lamps and golden-winged horses, you will not want to miss walking across Pont Alexandre III. Fun Fact: Pont Alexandre III is featured in the movie Anastasia, as Anastasia was the granddaughter of Alexandre III. The next item for today is the Louvre. Prepare to spend at least a few hours exploring the Louvre.
LouvreLocated in central Paris, the Louvre is the most popular and largest art museum in the world. Originally a fortress in the 12th century turned into a museum in the 18th century, you can find sections of the remaining fortress, below the Louvre, in an exhibit. With almost 40,000 items spanning across more than 780,000 square feet of museum, there is no way that you can view everything in a single visit. When planning your visit to the Louvre, plan to view the items you desire to see the most first. For my visit, I went straight to admire the Mona Lisa and then wandered around from there until closing time. Louvre Hours of Operation: Mon, Thurs, Sat, Sun 9 am – 6 pm, Wed & Fri 9 am – 9:45 pm, closed Tuesdays, closed Jan 1, May 1, and Dec 25 Cost: 15€ per adult purchased at the museum, 17€ per adult for online purchases Note: Exhibits rooms start shutting down 30 minutes before closing Tips:
- It’s best to visit the Louvre in the early morning or in the evening to avoid larger crowds.
- If there’s a rainy day in your forecast, use it as your museum day.
Day 4 – Notre Dame, Pont Des Arts, and Seine River CruiseToday will take you through the Notre Dame, Saint-Germain-des-Prés, and the 7e Arrondissement neighbourhoods of Paris.
Notre DameNotre Dame is a Gothic-style medieval church that has become a widely recognized symbol for France. Millions of visitors visit Notre Dame each year, even more than the millions who visit the Eiffel Tower. Before the Eiffel Tower being completed in the late 1800s, Notre Dame was the tallest landmark in Paris. Fun Fact: In 1831, when Notre Dame was in desperate need of repairs and facing demolition, Victor Hugo wrote the novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame, which sparked popular interest in the cathedral and resulted in Notre Dame being saved. Notre Dame Note: The cathedral has been closed since the fire in April 2019, however, you can visit the exterior and view Notre Dame from afar. Notre Dame aims to open its interior again by 2024 for the summer Olympics. Once finished at Notre Dame, walk over to Pont Des Arts.
Pont Des Arts – Love Lock BridgePonts Des Arts were transformed into a love lock bridge in 2008, with lovers visiting Paris attaching their lock to the bridge and throwing the key into the river below to profess their love. Lined with thousands of locks, by 2014, the bridge had become too heavy and threatened to collapse. As a result of the locks’ weight, they were moved to be over the island where their weight wouldn’t affect the bridge’s structure. Even though the locks no longer span the entire bridge, it is still a romantic sight to see. Don’t forget to take your picture with the locks. After Pont Des Arts hop on a Seine River Cruise.
Seine River CruiseTake a relaxing cruise along the Seine River and admire various landmarks of Paris from the water, including the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, and the Louvre. Depending on which company you select, you will depart for your river cruise from either near the Eiffel Tower or Notre Dame. You can either choose a sightseeing cruise or a cruise with lunch or dinner. During my visit, I chose a sightseeing cruise departing from the Eiffel Tower. I have provided the details of the cruise I experienced. Seine River Cruise – Bateaux Parisiens Hours of Operation: Daily 6:15 pm and 9 pm Cost: 15€ per adult for sightseeing tour Duration: 1 hour To buy tickets online: Official Bateaux Parisiens website After finishing your river cruise, you have now completed this Paris itinerary. Prepare to fly out of Paris tomorrow or continue onto your next destination. Hope this information helped you plan your itinerary for Paris, France. Happy traveling!
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