Booked 2 or 3 days or a weekend trip to Paris and you’re not sure what to do? Let me help you with that, I have the perfect plan for you! Well, a couple of days is not very ideal for a vacation to Paris but with a suitable itinerary, it can be great.
In case you’re wondering when to visit Paris then the ideal time is during spring and summer, it’s the best time for sightseeing in Paris. Outside these months it’s going to be very wet and not comfortable to travel through the city.
So let’s start with your itinerary. If you thought of something very specific other than the famous monuments like the Eiffel Tower, Arc De Triomphe, Champs-Elysees, etc… then I’m sorry because I’m going to include on this itinerary only the must-see Parisian attractions in order to experience Paris to the fullest.
Where to stay in Paris
By far the best option in my opinion is to stay in the 7th arrondissement (zone). The 7th is the best place due to its location and its classic Europe vibes. There are a lot of attractions that will be close to you in case you book a stay there, like the Eiffel Tower, Musée d’Orsay, Pont Alexandre III, Musée Rodin, Les Invalides, and Champs de Mars.
If you want to explore other options you should look for accommodation in Paris in the 1st to 9th arrondissement.
How to travel in Paris
Usually, I’ll recommend you travel through Paris by foot, but your weekend trip to Paris itinerary needs to be fast and efficient. For this case, I’m going to suggest the metro, all the zones in Paris are well connected together via the metro lines, and every ride wouldn’t take long. The best plan for the metro is to buy the “Paris Visite Travel Pass” which will ensure 2 days of free rides in the city.
Your weekend trip to Paris
First day in Paris
1. The Louvre
Starting your weekend trip to Paris itinerary plan with the Louvre museum, which is probably the most famous museum in the world. In my opinion, the Louvre was the least exciting experience, but you just can’t visit Paris without seeing the glorious Monalisa painting. Besides that, you have to take the iconic picture of you holding the Louvre pyramid to get some likes on your Instagram page.
2. Parisian breakfast
You just can’t really enjoy Paris without a traditional good breakfast with some excellent French pastries. For that I gathered some of the best cafes to eat at near the Louvre Museum:
- Baguett’s Café is a cozy and warm place, just a walk’s distance from the Louvre towards the palace gardens.
- Café Blanc is well worth the wait. The place is usually packed with people because it’s just right outside the museum.
- Café Kitsune is not too far from the Louvre and it’s perfect if you want to enjoy a good coffee and a little treat, not more than that.
3. Arc de Triomphe
Now that your belly is full, you can continue touring the city. You’ll want to burn the calories from the croissant, so go climb the Arc de Triomphe and get one of the best views in the city.
The Arc itself is a very important monument in Paris with the names of all the French victories and generals inscribed on it. Take note that sometimes the queues are very long and you can buy skip-the-line tickets in advance.
4. The Champs Elysees
Even though not everyone can spend money on this expansive street(I can’t), it’s a road that you need to cross to see the fancy cars, the boutiques, the great cafes, and the tons of people in suits.
If you travel to Paris in the months with retail sales, then you can easily afford to do some shopping here. And if you’re a football fan, don’t forget to stop by PSG official shop!
5. Lunch at Chez Gabrielle
Chez Gabrielle is a great family restaurant with a warm and cozy ambiance. The place specializes in French cuisine, and I warmly recommend you to try their seafood dishes.
6. Sunset from the Trocadero
The Trocadero is one of the best viewpoints to see the Eiffel tower. Apart from that, it has an amazing vibe because there are usually good street performances at the Trocadero.
The place itself is positioned perfectly in order to get the best views and the best pictures of the Eiffel Tower, especially during the off-season when there aren’t a lot of tourists in the city.
7. The Eiffel Tower
After taking pictures of the tower from every angle there is and after you strolled around the beautiful Trocadero Gardens, it’s time to climb the Eiffel Tower. You just can’t stay in Paris without doing this!
The Eiffel Tower is the most paid visited monument in the world and there is no way you’re not going up on this weekend trip to Paris.
8. Dinner and cabaret show at the Moulin Rouge
Just one last thing before going to sleep: catch a show at Moulin Rouge! Yes, I know you’re tired but there isn’t a better thing to do in Paris at night than watching a cabaret show here. A Moulin Rouge show is indeed expensive but it’s worth your money and time.
And if you’re still not tired after the show, the streets around Place Pigalle are packed with bars and clubs for you to drink away your tiring day. Actually, because you’re on your first weekend trip to Paris, you shouldn’t skip the parties in this area!
Second day in Paris
1. Place de la Concorde
On the second day of our weekend trip to Paris, the names are less familiar but not less important and unique. Place de la Concorde is one of the largest squares in the city of Paris and, in my opinion, the most beautiful one.
Concorde Square is most famous for the Luxor Obelisk – a 3,300-year-old Egyptian obelisk gifted to France by Egypt. Another two monuments in the square are the Fontaine des Mers and Fontaine des Fleuves which are working only during spring and summer.
2. Jardin des Tuileries
Since the Tuileries Garden is very close to the Place de la Concorde, it’s natural to go for a stroll there. But it’s not only for the location of the gardens that you’re going to visit this spot: the Tuileries gardens are just the perfect place for a walk in spring or summer.
3. Breakfast in Paris
Since we’re close to the Louvre again, just pick one of the places that you weren’t at yesterday!
4. Notre Dame Cathedral
Now I know what you must be thinking: but the place is burned out, no? Yes, the place suffered a lot during the fire and you probably saw it on the news. But it’s still a great monument in Paris and one that you must visit on a weekend trip to Paris. You still can’t enter the cathedral as before but that doesn’t mean that you can’t admire it from the outside.
5. A different kind of crepe in Crêperie Chez Suzette
A great deal for lunch in Paris (and in France, in general) is eating French crêpes. While most people are familiar with sweet crêpes, salty crêpes hold a special place in French cuisine. La Crêperie Chez Suzette is one of the great places to experience this kind of crêpes.
6. Jardin de Versailles
I know this isn’t Paris anymore, but after living in Paris for almost 3 years, I just can’t let you give up on the Versailles Gardens. People have worked on growing those gardens for 40 years and you’re considering skipping them during your weekend trip to Paris?
This attraction might take you 3-5 hours (or a couple of days if you’re lost) only by strolling around those beautiful gardens, but it’s totally worth your time. The palace itself is very impressive as well and it’s packed with history from the 16th century.
7. Finishing your weekend trip to Paris
You are probably tired, no? In case you aren’t, then I suggest you grab dinner in Le Marais and the adjacent Les Halles district which is now the most lively district at night. Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Bastille, Champs-Elysées, Montmartre, and Montparnasse are top nightlife districts as well.
But visiting Paris doesn’t end here.
I know, I know, it was a very short weekend trip to Paris and you’re thinking to yourselves that you didn’t see anything. But let me tell you something: even after 2 and a half years I still haven’t seen everything and there’s always something new to visit in Paris! This city is one of the most magical ones I’ve lived in.
So get back home and plan your weekend trip to Paris, because there’s always more to see here!
Shon Atsil is the founder and writer of yourtriplanner.com. His goal is to create a community of people who love to plan their trips based on other people’s recommendations and experiences, so travelers will know exactly what to expect. Basically, he prefers that you don’t plan your trip in the dark and miss out on amazing attractions!
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