Oh, Paris!  The city of love and romance.  That dreamy city where you sit in the grass by the Eiffel Tower and eat croissants all day without a care in the world.  I hear you asking yourself, how can you possibly see everything with only three days in Paris?  Well, you can’t see everything, but if you follow our Paris itinerary, we will have you visiting most of the touristy sights as well as taking some day tours from Paris.

Paris is a big, bustling city that can easily sweep you off your feet.  I mean, it’s an iconic city like London, Munich, Venice, and Rome.  Three days in Paris really isn’t a lot of time, but with some careful planning you can visit most of the “must see” sights and still have some time to relax.  Just be sure and do your research before going. Take notes of the items that you want to see the most so you aren’t spending precious time in Paris planning.  If you’re a foodie, check out this post on the amazing France food culture.  For tips on getting to Paris as cheaply as possible, you definitely want to read our post 5 Tips for Finding Cheap Airfare.

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Best Time to Visit Paris

We included Paris as part of a three-week summer trip to Europe.  This particular summer was the hottest on record in Paris, so it was not the most pleasant weather.  Normally that is not the case in Paris as June to August are typically some of the best weather in Paris with average highs in the 70s.  This, of course, draws big crowds and higher prices.  Winter is the best time to visit if you’re looking for a deal as crowds deplete because of the colder temperatures, usually in the 30s and 40s.  Do take note that Paris is one of the most visited cities in the world, so you can always expect some tourists and crowds.  So much of when you decide to go will depend on personal preference, budget, and tolerance for crowds.

If you’re looking for a more secluded area in France, Limoges might be just for you. All of the things to do in Limoges will keep you entertained while still allowing you to relax and enjoy France.

Where to Stay in Paris

Of course, everyone has different tastes, but I think we all dream of staying in the picturesque Paris neighborhood.  You know, the neighborhood where you can wake up in the morning and go buy croissants from the local bakery and awe at the beautiful wrought iron balconies draped with flowers.  Paris is broken into 20 neighborhoods, that Parisians refer to by their numbers.  My top pick would be the Marais (3rd/4th).  The Marais is centrally located and loaded with great architecture, bakeries, cafes, and amazing shopping.

We booked our Paris hotel using Hotels.com.  Not only did we get a great rate, and excellent customer service, but we were also earning free nights. You can’t beat that.  Click here to find your perfect Paris accommodations and start earning free nights as well.

To feel like you’re living in Paris, why not try an Airbnb.  Airbnb is a great way to get the real feel for a city.  You can stay in your own apartment with the benefits of a kitchen and ofter a washer and dryer!  Never tried Airbnb before?  Well, you’re in luck!  Use our link to get $40 off of your first booking.

For more detailed information, why not check out the 10 Best Places to Stay in Paris.

Day 1 of Your 3 Days In Paris:

Try a Hop on Hop Off Tour

When we visit a large city and only have a limited amount of time, Marty and I always get a one day pass for one of the hop-on-hop-off bus tours.  These tours always make stops at the major tourist attractions, and they are a great way to get a feel for the layout of the city.

Now I will tell you, we only did this tour for one day.  For our hop-on-hop-off tour, we chose the Gray Line L’Open Tour.  This tour waited too long at each of the stops.  We would see two buses from the competitor’s company, The Big Bus, pull up and leave while we were still sitting at the stop waiting.  Based on this experience, we will book our tour with The Big Bus from now on!

Expedia.com

Cruise the Seine River

A Seine River cruise is perfect for seeing the city through a different lens. Marty and I loved passing all of the little houseboats on the river, and picking out “ours”.  From the river, the landmarks you pass look so grand and beautiful.  I highly recommend taking some time and doing the Seine River Cruise.  For the ultimate experience, go on a Bateaux Parisiens Seine River Dinner Cruise.  This cruise will have you sipping champagne and enjoying a 3-course dinner while cruising past some of the most beautiful sights in Paris.

 

Visit the Eiffel Tower

I mean, the Eiffel Tower IS Paris, right?  Why not make it one of your first stops?  Take your camera and your selfie stick, because you are definitely going to want a picture in front of this iconic landmark.  Just make sure you are at one of the places with the best views of the Eiffel Tower!

If you are wanting to go to the top of the tower, I suggest making reservations in advance.  The lines can get very long, and they often sell out during peak season.  If you’re like me and HATE lines, then skip the lines by booking in advance here.

For an amazing experience in Paris, consider taking this tour that includes dinner at the Eifel tower or Seine River dinner cruise and a Moulin Rouge show!

Go to The Louvre

Another undeniably Parisian structure, the Louvre is beautiful.  The gorgeous glass pyramid beckons you to come inside.  The Louvre is so much more than just the Mona Lisa.  The Louvre is the largest museum in the world and is home to many priceless artifacts from around the globe.   Don’t go into the Louvre without a plan, it’s a bit overwhelming.  Before you go do your research and know the top tips for visiting the Louvre.

The lines at The Louvre can be LONG!  Your time in Paris is precious, so don’t spend it waiting in line when you could be seeing more of this amazing city.  Avoid the long lines by booking a Skip the Line Guided Tour.


Day 2:

Arc de Triomphe

This was a quick photo stop for us.  You can choose to go to the top of the Arc if you would like, but we decided our money would be better spent other places.

Avenue de Champs-Elysees

You have to walk down the Champs-Elysees and at least window shop.  The stores are so enticing that I couldn’t help but to pop into a few and just touch some of the items that I wouldn’t be buying (things are pricey on this piece of real estate).  I can at least say “I went shopping in Paris on the Champs-Elysees”.  I know, window shopping, but still!

Notre Dame

When we arrived in front of Notre Dame, I was mesmerized.  My eyes did not know where to look first.  Notre Dame is an amazing architectural feat.  It was the first building in the world to use the flying buttresses.  There is beautiful stained glass and statues staring at you from every angle.  Although we didn’t climb to the top, I wish we would have.  I hear there is an incredible view of Paris from above.

Notre Dame is free to enter (there is a small fee to climb to the bell tower) but is usually very crowded.  If you are visiting during high season, go early!  Be aware that Notre Dame is still an actively operating Catholic Church, so you unless you want to worship, you might avoid visiting during Catholic holidays.

After leaving the Notre Dame, be sure to walk over to the bridge of love locks and add your “lock of love”.

Moulin Rouge

Tonight is the perfect time to visit the Moulin Rouge, I mean voulez-vous coucher avec moi?  In my opinion, the best time to snap pictures in front of the Moulin Rouge is right at dusk.  Snap your photos, go get a bite to eat, and then come back once it gets dark.  Now the Moulin Rouge is alive.  Even if you can’t afford a show here, come and take some more pictures, and observe all of the action taking place in this lively area.

Don’t miss your chance to see a show at the world famous cabaret.  Awe at the magnificent costumes while enjoying all of the great music and dancing.  Shows at the Moulin Rouge often sell out, so be sure and book in advance by clicking here.

Day 3-Versailles or Montmartre Walk

Today, you can choose to tour the palace of Versailles or to walk around the beautiful neighborhood of Montmartre.  If you choose Versailles, please know that it will take up the majority of your day and you probably will not have time to fit in any other activities this evening.

Versailles

Get up early today because Versailles takes up an entire day, so be ready.  Take the RER suburban train by 8:00 am to arrive early at Versailles (it opens at 9:00).  Tour the chateau and then stop and rest for lunch.  After touring the chateau, consider touring the Royal Stables before the gardens as the gardens stay open later.

If you would rather someone else plan everything for you, then click here to take a guided trip to Versailles with skip the line priveledges.

Montmartre Walk

A great resource that Marty and I have found are the guidebooks written by Rick Steves.  Use his Paris book to guide you through the historic Montmartre neighborhood.  If Rick Steves isn’t really your style, then check out this post from Solo Sophie. This post is the reason I wanted to visit Montmartre and experience this beautiful neighborhood for myself.

3 Days in Paris Itinerary

I know this is a busy three-day itinerary.  Feel free to scale it back or add to it.  Ultimately this is YOUR trip and you should enjoy it!  If you have extra time in Paris, I recommend taking a day trip to the Chateau de Fontainebleau (especially if you skipped Versailles) or how about a visit to Strasbourg from Paris?

Please comment below and tell us about your favorite places in Paris.

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Planning a trip to Paris? Be sure and check out this complete itinerary to help you make the most of your time in Paris. We were able to have such a great time in just three days! #paris #parisitinerary #visitparis #thingstodoinparis

Planning a trip to Paris? Be sure and check out this complete itinerary to help you make the most of your time in Paris. We were able to have such a great time in just three days! #paris #parisitinerary #visitparis #thingstodoinparis

Planning a trip to Paris? Be sure and check out this complete itinerary to help you make the most of your time in Paris. We were able to have such a great time in just three days! #paris #parisitinerary #visitparis #thingstodoinparis

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34 Comments

    • Thanks Jen. My husband, Marty, is the designated photographer. He took all these with his iPhone. He didn’t want to take the big camera on this trip. He’s amazing!

  1. I am blown away you did Paris in three days. I don’t know if I will ever get to Europe but if I do I will probably only have so many days to spread out over so many cities, you definitely make it feel possible.

    • It was so much fun Ally. We added it on as a cheap city to fly in and out of. I’m so glad we did. You really should try to make it to Europe one day, just realize that it’s addicting!

  2. Oh wow! That is so much to see in just 3 days, I love how you’ve managed to make it all work. I think I could do just the ride down the Seine and be happy, but I would truly love to visit the Louvre. Thanks for sharing!

    • It was a whirlwind Kelly, but so worth it. I will go back one day, I just know it!

  3. Nice post! I was there for one more day so went to the Catacombs too. It’s one of my favorite cities.

    • Yes, the catacombs! The line was outrageous when we were there, and it was 103 degrees!

  4. I hit all of these haha, I feel so accomplished! Except Moulin Rouge, need to go back for a show since I only saw it during the day. Great list!

    • Thank you, Jen. The Moulin Rouge is so much better at night. I was kinda disappointed when I say it during the day.

  5. Great itinerary! I spent 3 days in Paris before and didn’t get to see this much. This itinerary would have been very helpful! I need to go to Versailles next time!

    • It just gives you a reason to go back 🙂

  6. I have spent kind of 4 days in Paris but at that time I didn’t have much money to visit museums. Only for that I will go back :))

  7. You did a great job of summarizing the highlights of Paris! I worked for a French river cruise company one summer so I spent a lot of time in Paris between/during cruises. Such a beautiful city! <3

    • Thanks so much, Christina! And what a fun job!!

  8. This takes me back to my last trip to Paris! We did most of what’s on here 🙂

  9. I am thinking about Paris for my 10th wedding anniversary (next year) so, this will be helpful. I have been to Paris but had only one day which was not good. This time I would like to stay at least a week to make several day trips.

    • That would be great Ruth. There is so much to do in the city itself and then add a couple of day trips and you could definitely fill up a week.

  10. It’s been years since I spent time in Paris. Reading this, I’m really jonesing to go back.

    • I understand Susan, I would like to go back as well. Maybe when it isn’t so hot! LOL!

  11. This is like walking down memory lane 🙂 We went during our honeymoon. can’t wait to be back!

    • That’s so fun! We went there and Rome for our honeymoon as well! 🙂

  12. This is seriously so timely for me, as we are going to Paris just for 2.5 days next month on a trip to Belgium and Amsterdam. We’re really looking forward to it and we will have to prioritize what to see in such a short time. Totally saving this, AND using some of your links to purchase tickets to skip lines. Thank you!

    • Thank you, Jessica! I am so glad that you found the post of use, and of course, we would greatly appreciate the purchases through our links :). I hope you have an amazing time. Keep in touch and let us know how your trip was! We want to go to Amsterdam, so I would love to hear about it!

  13. Ahh, so beautiful! I have yet to make it to Paris but my goodness, I will some day! Your pictures are lovely and I like that you included a hop-on-hop-off bus tour. I love them! Especially if you’re short on time in a big city. Can’t wait to visit this city soon 🙂

    • Thanks so much, Sophie. My husband is the official photographer, so I will be sure and pass on the compliments :).

  14. Lovely itinerary! And thanks for the hop-on-hop-off bus tip. We started using those kinds of tour buses years ago- great for seeing all the sites before you decide which to explore. Did you use the metro/metro-pass during your stay?

    • We did use the metro during our stay. We only did the hop-on-hop-off bus for a day. The rest of the time we used a metro pass. We found it pretty easy to navigate.

  15. I love seeing how everyone spends their time in Paris! I was there in March and am already ready to go back. You did a great job on including everything you can’t miss in three days!

    • Thank you, Leah. There is so much to see and do I think everyone has to find their personal interests 🙂

  16. That’s a lot. I imagine you would be so tired at the end of those 3 days. Lots to see though, so no chance to get bored. If you eat in the restaurant on the top of the Eiffel Tower, do you have to pay to go up or is it included in your dinner?

    • It is a lot to pack in 3 days. LOL! If you eat at Jules Verne then they have a separate elevator entrance that is included. If you eat at Restaurant 58 then you have to also purchase an elevator ticket.

  17. Love, love, love Paris! These photos make me so excited for our next trip in August. <3

  18. Love these quick European trips! Reminds me that there is no reason to wait until I have two weeks to go!