Paris Itinerary: Top Things To Do In 3 Days - Updated 2021

Paris Itinerary: Top Things To Do In 3 Days
Charis
Charis
Updated

There’s nothing quite like Paris. Like a grand masterpiece, its broad strokes and grandeur immediately impresses, but it’s the finer details in its intimate quarters that truly captivate. It’s best to become immersed into its little neighbourhoods at a leisurely pace, but if you are only here for a few days, here’s a list of places that will leave you charmed.

Day one: get acquainted with the city

There are several ways of getting around the city. The Paris metro is one of the oldest and best systems in the world and will get you within a couple of blocks of almost anywhere you’d like to go. You could purchase 3-day Le Paris Visite tickets for tourists. A more exciting way to take in the sights of the city is, of course, getting around above ground. Metro tickets can also be used for the buses. Paris is a large and sprawling city, so on Day One, you’ll want to spend some time getting acquainted with the highlights of the city. Paris L'OpenTour buses will take you on tour routes around all the major places of interest and to the most notable landmarks you need to see.

1. Basilica du Sacre-Couer de Montmartre

The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris
Source: Pixabay

The Basilica Sacre-Coeur is a significant political and social monument, symbolising both the defeat of France in the 1871 Franco-Prussian War and an embodiment of conservative moral order. Its design includes nationalist themes, with statues of the French national saints, Joan of Arc and King Saint Louis IX. Tourists can visit the top of the dome for a spectacular panoramic view of the city of Paris.

Today, on the surface, the Basilica may be touristy, but it still has a heart of gold. You will be delighted by its more personal charms like the musicians performing on the steps, or groups of friends picnicking on the hillside park. You can get to the Basilica by taking Buses 30, 31, 80, or 85 to the bottom of the hill the Basilica is built upon. From there, you could walk or take the funicular directly to the Basilica.

Basilica of the Sacred Heart Jesus

Address: 35 Rue du Chevalier de la Barre, 75018 Paris, France

Opening Hours: Daily 6.00 am to 10.30 pm

Duration: 1-2 hours.

Access: Take the subway to Jules Joffrin (M° 12) and Montmartrobus (Place du Tertre stop)

Contact: 0153418900

Website: Sacre-Coeur, Montmartre

2. Eiffel Tower

Paris 75007 Champ-de-Mars lawn 20170526 Eiffel Tower (2)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user xiquinhosilva used under CC BY 2.0

Of course, no visit to Paris is complete without a visit to the Eiffel Tower. Seeing the structure firsthand is astounding enough, but exploring its insides is something else. You could choose to go to its 1st floor with its transparent floor and have a meal in the Tour Eiffel restaurant, or go to the 2nd floor for views and to photograph the city. There’s a champagne bar at the top, where you can toast to finally being in Paris. The tower is open until late, so stay to enjoy the romantic views of the City of Lights. Lift entrance tickets to the top begin at 17,00 EUR.

Eiffel Tower

Address: Champ de Mars, 5 Avenue Anatole France, 75007 Paris, France

Price: from 21 USD

Opening Hours: 9 a.m. to midnight from mid-June to early September, from 9:30 am to 11 pm during the rest of the year.

Duration: Around 2-3 hours required.

Access: By metro, Line no.9, “Trocadéro” station

Contact: 33 08 92 70 12 39

Website: Eiffel Tower

3. Champs-Elysees

The iconic Champs Elysees
Source: Pixabay

Frequently described as the world’s most beautiful avenue, the Champs-Elysees is as much a symbol of Paris as the Eiffel Tower. Here, tourists and Parisians stroll the streets lined with restaurants, luxury boutiques, flagship stores, and nightclubs. Some of Paris’ top museums, including Grand Palais, the Petit Palais, and the Palais de la Découverte are located here. Every first Sunday of the month, the avenue is reserved for pedestrians and cyclists, and the museums are free.

Champs-Elysees

Address: Avenue des Champs-Élysées, 75008 Paris

Access: Take the Metro, Line 1 to Charles de Gaulle, George V, Franklin Roosevelt, Champs-Elysees Clemenceau.

4. Arc de Triomphe

The remarkable Arc de Triomphe at night
Source: Pixabay

The Arch of Triumph, in honor of all those who fought for France, particularly those in the Napoleonic Wars. Engraved on the inside and top of the arches are the names of generals, and every evening, a flame is lit on the tomb of the Unknown Soldier from the Great War. From the terrace, you have a great view of the Champs-Elysees, which is even more stunning at night.

Arc de Triomphe

Address: Place Charles de Gaulle, 75008 Paris, France

Price: from 9 USD

Opening Hours: 10 am –11 pm

Duration: around 3 hours required.

Access: There is an underground tunnel on the Avenue de la Grande Armee side of the circle. You can access this tunnel from the Wagram exit of the Metro. Take the Metro: lines 1, 2 and 6, station Charles-de-Gaulle-Etoile

Contact: +33 1 55 377377

Website: Arc de Triomphe

5. River Cruise on the Seine

The secrets of the Seine
Source: Pixabay

The River Seine has many secrets. The ashes of Joan of Arc were scattered here, and Napoleon apparently wished to be buried here, too. Today, a cruise on the Seine gives visitors a unique way to see Paris. You’ll glide past the Notre Dame Cathedral under the famous Pont Neuf, and catch a glimpse of Parisian landmarks, from the Louvre to the Tuileries Gardens. The river cruise takes about an hour and tickets start from 15 EUR (16 USD).

Seine Cruise

Address: Bateaux Parisiens Port de la Bourdonnais, 75007 Paris

Price: from 16 USD

Opening Hours: 10 am - 10.30 pm. Sightseeing cruise times according to schedule.

Duration: around 90 minutes required.

Access: Metro to Bir-Hakeim.

Contact: +33 01 76 64 14 45

Website: Bateaux Parisiens

6. Moulin Rouge

Moulin Rouge, Paris April 2011
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Christine Zenino used under CC BY 2.0

At night, prepare to be dazzled by arguably the best cabaret show in the world. Its popular Feerie play promises to be entertaining, with glorious feathery costumes, and a dazzling array of singing, dancing, and the unmistakable French can-can. This is entertainment like no other, set in a historic location. Shows start at 9 pm Online bookings can be made. You’ll want to pay attention to the dress codes, as jacket and ties are preferred, bermudas and sports attires are not.

Moulin Rouge

Address: 82, Bd de Clichy, 75018 Paris, Montmartre

Price: from 108 USD

Opening Hours: Shows start at 9 p.m.

Duration: More than 3 hours required.

Access: Metro stop Blanche on line 2 is a walking distance from the theater.

Contact: +33 01 53 098282

Website: Moulin Rouge

Day two

1. Pantheon

Inside the Pantheon
Source: Pixabay

The breathtaking architecture of the Pantheon is something you must see for yourself. The Pantheon Paris (from Greek Pantheon, meaning “every god”) was constructed under the order of Louis XV as gratitude to God after his health recovered. The views from here are fantastic — you can literally see almost all of Paris. Inside, the Gothic decorations and its classical style are visually amazing. The Pantheon crypt, located in its subterranean chamber, is the final resting space of respected French poets, writers, and scientists, including Voltaire, Rousseau, Louis Braille, and Marie Curie.

Pantheon

Address: Place du Panthéon, 5e

Price: from 8 USD

Opening Hours: Daily 10 am - 6 pm.

Duration: 2-3 hours required.

Access: Metro: Walking distance from Cardinal station.

Contact: 01 44321800

Website: Pantheon

2. Notre Dame

The beautiful Lady of Paris
Source: Pixabay

Perhaps most famous for its role in Victor Hugo’s Hunchback of Notre Dame, the Cathedral is widely considered one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture in the world. With its vast displays of sculptures, artwork, and stained glass art, this cathedral built eight centuries ago remains unrivaled in its display. There are tours offered every day in different languages and specific schedules are listed online.

Cathedral Notre-Dame of Paris

Address: Cathedral Notre-Dame of Paris, 6 parvis Notre-Dame - Place John Paul II, 75004 Paris

Opening Hours: 7.45 am - 6.45 pm.

Duration: 1-2 hours required.

Access: Short walk from St-Michel Notre Dame Metro Station (blue line)

Contact: + 33 01 42 345610

Website: Cathedral Notre-Dame

3. Luxembourg Gardens

Lovely day out at the Luxembourg Gardens
Source: Pixabay

After taking in the grand historic monuments, perhaps you’d like to head outdoors for a stroll in the landmark Luxembourg Gardens, the most romantic gardens in Paris with its flowers, statues, and fountains. Created under Queen Marie de Medici in 1612, the gardens are kept vibrant with outdoor cafes, activities for children, and Parisians playing chess.

Luxembourg Gardens

Address: Jardin du Luxembourg, 75006 Paris, France

Access: Take the Metro to RER B Luxembourg station.

Contact: +33 1 42 34 20 00

4. The Louvre

 The iconic landmark at night
Source: Pixabay

The Louvre is the world’s greatest art museum. It’s also one of the largest, with works from almost every civilisation on earth displayed in a structure with a history spanning nine centuries. The Mona Lisa is, of course, the main attraction, along with a myriad of other coveted masterpieces. The Louvre is open every day except Tuesday, and there is less of a crowd on Wednesday and Friday nights when the museum is open late. The entrance fee starts at 15 EUR; purchase online to avoid queues.

The Louvre

Address: Musée du Louvre, 75058 Paris - France

Price: from 18 USD

Opening Hours: 9 am - 6 pm. Closed on Tuesdays. Wednesdays and Fridays closing time at 9.45 pm

Duration: 4-5 hours required.

Access: Walk from Métro: Palais-Royal Musée du Louvre (lines 1 and 7)

Contact: +33 01 40205317

Website: The Louvre

Day three

On day three, explore the quieter quarters of the city.

1. Place des Vosges

Place des Vosges - One of the oldest squares in Paris
Source: Pixabay

One of the oldest and most beautiful squares in the city. Take a long stroll under the arches and along the paths of the central garden. Admire the red brick facade of the buildings. On Sundays, there are shops set up. To get to the square, take the Metro 1 to Saint-Paul or Metro 8 to Chemin Vert.

Place des Vosges

Address: Place des Vosges, 75004 Paris, France

Website: Place des Vosges

2. Place du Tertre

Place du Tertre, home of artists
Source: Pixabay

Another square that is worth a visit is Place du Tertre at Montmartre, home of artists and writers. In the 1880s, artists started communing and working here, giving the square the bohemian vibe it has to this day. This was where artists like Dali, Renoir, and Van Gogh found inspiration.

Place du Tertre

Address: Place du Tertre, 75018 Paris, France

Website: Place du Tertre

3. Centre Georges Pompidou

Modern architectural marvel
Source: Pixabay

Centre Pompidou is instantly recognisable by its enormous coloured tubing and external escalators. Visit this museum to admire a 20th-century architectural marvel and view more modern and contemporary art by artists like Picasso, Matisse, and Andy Warhol. The museum is open every day except Tuesdays. It’s located right in the center of the city.

Centre Pompidou

Address: Centre Pompidou, Place Georges Pompidou, 75004 Paris

Price: from 17 USD

Opening Hours: 11.00 am – 9.00 pm every day except Tuesdays

Duration: Around 1-2 hours required.

Access: Take the Metro: Rambuteau (line 11), Hôtel de Ville (lines 1 and 11), Châtelet (lines 1, 4, 7, 11 and 14); or Bus: 29, 38, 47, 75.

Contact: +33 01 44 78 12 33

Website: Centre Pompidou

Paris je'taime

The city of Paris is like a lady, beautiful inside and out. She has a million stories that have shaped more than just her facade but runs deeper into her culture, her soul. Paris something you must experience at least once, but be prepared to be charmed.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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