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Paris, France travel guide

With its iconic landmarks, exciting attractions, and some of the best food in the world, it’s easy to see why Paris is one of the most visited cities in the world – and why you need a Paris Itinerary! Paris is a European destination that you can’t miss!

With only a few days in the city, it can be daunting to decide what to do. That’s where I come in! This itinerary covers the major landmarks, popular sites, and a few lesser-known spots to visit.

Want to maximize your time here? Then check out this 3-day Paris itinerary!
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Eating ice cream in front of the Eiffel Tower

Day One of Your Paris Itinerary

Start at the Eiffel Tower

Head to the Eiffel Tower first thing in the morning. Buy your Eiffel Tower tickets ahead of time for as close to 9:00 a.m. (when the tower opens) to beat the crowds.

Now, the first question most people ask when I tell them to start with the Eiffel Tower is, “But don’t I want to go up in the tower at night?”

You can, but the Eiffel Tower doesn’t give you the best views of the city at night because you can’t properly see the tower lit up when you’re on top of it. I’m going to give you three night activities that will allow you to enjoy the views, history, and culture of the city that are better than going up in the Eiffel Tower at night.

Walk Along the Champ de Mars

The Champ de Mars is the long green park in front of the Eiffel Tower. From here, you’ll be able to take all those iconic Eiffel Tower pics you see on Instagram.

Visit the Luxembourg Gardens

Keep heading East to the Jardin du Luxembourg, also called the Luxembourg Gardens, which is my favorite park in the city. It’s home to the Luxembourg Palace and stunning landscaping, so get yourself some lunch and have a picnic here!

Notre Dame in Paris, France
See Notre-Dame

After the Luxembourg Gardens, make the relatively short walk to Notre Dame. At this time, the cathedral is still too damaged from fire to approach. But this architectural marvel is still worth seeing, perhaps now more than ever.

Across from Notre Dame is the famous Shakespeare and Company bookstore, which is worth a visit.

Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France
Climb to the Top of the Arc de Triomphe

Next, head to the Arc de Triomphe, making sure you arrive around 6:00 p.m. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is at the base of the Arc de Triomphe, and its flame is re-lit every night at 6:30. Arriving at 6:00 gives you time to explore the ground level of the Arch and get a good spot to watch the flame ceremony.

After the flame ceremony, head up to the Arch’s viewing platform. It’s here that you’ll have the best views of Paris at night, and all of your photos will have the Eiffel Tower in them. Make sure you stay long enough to see the five-minute Eiffel Tower light show that takes place every hour.

The Arc de Triomphe has some of the Best Views of Paris, and you can find all of the best places to see the Parisian cityscape here.

Dine on the Champs-Élysées.

End your day with dinner somewhere along the Champs-Élysées.

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Louvre museum in Paris, France

Day Two of Your Paris Itinerary

Visit the Louvre

Start your day at the Louvre Museum. Fun fact: if you spent 30 seconds on each piece of art, it would take you about 100 days to see everything.

So, unless you’re a huge “museum person,” I’d only spend your morning here. Lines can be very long, so purchase fast-track Louvre tickets ahead of time.

Stroll through Parc Monceau

Make your way to Parc Monceau, which is the inspiration and setting for six of Claude Monet’s paintings. Have lunch at a cafe along the way or have a picnic in the park.

Climb to the Sacré-Coeur

Next, head to the Sacré-Cœur. Pace yourself as you walk up all the steps to this magnificent basilica, and enjoy the views behind and below you as you go. You can go up into the Sacré-Cœur’s dome for more stunning views of the city.

Bring your camera and spend some time wandering through the Montmartre neighborhood around the Sacré-Cœur. This area has retained some of its original village aesthetics with narrow winding streets and historic buildings.

Moulin Rouge in Paris, France
Dinner and a Show at the Moulin Rouge

End your second day in Paris with dinner and a show at the Moulin Rouge. Dinner is at 7:00 p.m., and the show starts at 9:00 p.m., or there’s a late show at 11:00 p.m. without dinner. I recommend making reservations for the Moulin Rouge ahead of time.

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Palace of Versailles near Paris, France

Day Three of Your Paris Itinerary

Day Trip to Versailles

Take the train (or a car) to Versailles, and plan to spend your whole morning and most of your afternoon here. There are three main things to see in Versailles – the Palace of Versailles, the Gardens of Versailles, and the town of Versailles.

I recommend spending time in all three of them, but if you can’t or don’t want to do all of them, I’d rank the Gardens of Versailles above the other two. I recommend purchasing tickets and an audio guide ahead of time or booking a guided tour.

If you want a more off-the-beaten-path palace to visit that just as grand and amazing as Versailles for half the cost and with half the crowds, then I recommend the Château de Fontainebleau, which is just a short train or car ride from Paris. Fontainebleau is one of the Most Beautiful Castles in France, and it’s one of my top Budget Destinations in France!

Sunset Cruise on the Seine

Arrive back in Paris to take a sunset cruise on the Seine.

Have a final dinner at a rooftop restaurant for one more mesmerizing view of the city
Sunet cruise on the Seine in Paris, France
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Shop My France Essentials
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What would be on your Paris itinerary? Share below so we can work together on providing even more options for a Paris trip!
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Recommended Tours for Paris
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For Planning the Rest of Your France Trip

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This is not a sponsored post, and, as always, the thoughts and opinions expressed here are entirely my own. Some of these links are affiliate links, and, at no cost to you, I may earn a small commission.

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