World-class museums, iconic monuments, hidden cocktail bars and third wave coffee shops. Here’s how to make the most out of 4 days in Paris.

Four days in Paris.

Even the thought of it sends a shock of travel excitement that makes me want to jump online and book the next available Eurostar; eager to re-live the intoxication that only Paris can deliver.

It’s a city that – like the French – puts its best foot forward. Rambling cobbled laneways meet grand boulevards where triumphant monuments to victories past stand unscathed from the battles that followed. Stunning buildings have swallowed the world’s finest art treasures, and towering basilicas showcase the most impressive stained-glass windows you’re ever likely to lay eyes on.

Four days in Paris is an experience.

Eating a pastry from a tiny boulangerie while strolling along the Seine; dipping into quaint atmospheric bistros and trendy hipster cafes; revelling in iconic views and exuberant nightlife; recuperating in serene parks.

We’re under no illusion that Paris can be fully explored in 3 or even 4 days. However, we’ve designed this itinerary to put all our favourite top sights (and some lesser-known gems) in the right order so first-time visitors to Paris need waste no time.

You won’t see all of Paris, but it’s a pretty good start.

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3 OR 4-DAY PARIS ITINERARY OVERVIEW

DAY 1 

Jardin du Palais Royal

Musée Louvre

Latin Quarter & Notre Dame

Le Marais

DAY 2 

Musée Rodin

Eiffel Tower

Champs-Élysées & Arc de Triomphe

DAY 3 

Musée D’Orsaym

Tuileries & Opéra

Sacré-Cœur & Montmartre

DAY 4

Day trip from Paris

3 OR 4-DAY PARIS ITINERARY OVERVIEW

DAY 1 

Jardin du Palais Royal

Musée Louvre

Latin Quarter & Notre Dame

Le Marais

DAY 2 

Musée Rodin

Eiffel Tower

Champs-Élysées & Arc de Triomphe

DAY 3 

Musée D’Orsaym

Tuileries & Opéra

Sacré-Cœur & Montmartre

DAY 4

Day trip from Paris

4-DAY PARIS ITINERARY - DAY 1 MORNING

JARDIN DU PALAIS ROYAL & MUSÉE LOUVRE

Begin your 4-day Paris Itinerary with a quick stroll through the box hedge framed symmetry of the Jardin du Palais Royal. It’s surrounded by the beautiful architecture of Paris and one end houses a polka dot art installation.

Walk the short distance to the Louvre to immerse yourself in possibly the world’s premier museum and a Paris icon. It’s impossible to see everything in one visit so this guide on what to see in the Louvre is a good starting point. The French & Italian masterpieces are the most popular thanks to a truly world-class collection including the Mona Lisa. Napoleon’s lavish well-preserved apartments are another gem.

Grab a classic lunch at the reasonably priced Au Vieux Comptoir where the service is friendly and the atmosphere trés French.


Musée Louvre / 9:00 – 18:00 Mon, Thu, Sat & Sun; 09:00 – 21:45 Wed & Fri | Price: €17 online; €15 at museum | Location: Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris

4-DAY PARIS ITINERARY - DAY 1 AFTERNOON

LATIN QUARTER, NOTRE DAME & LE MARAIS

After lunch take a 15-minute stroll down the Seine to the stunning Sainte Chappelle – easily one of the best places to visit in Paris. Tucked away behind the Palais du Justice, the upstairs chapel – completely adorned with stained glassed windows – is simply breath-taking.

Next, head back onto the left bank of the Seine to the Latin Quarter stopping at Shakespeare & Company bookstore. It’s a small but rambling store with old books crammed into every nook.

Exiting the bookstore, Notre Dame rises up in front of you. It’s been closed since the tragic fire in April 2019, and it’s not expected to reopen for another 5 years. You can visit the nearby tourist office and pay your respects or leave a donation for the rebuild.

Stop for an excellent ice cream at Berthillon – a local Paris institution, then head over the river to the impressive Hotel du Ville.

Now in the cool Le Marais, explore the shopping, drinking and eating opportunities in this vibrant part of Paris. Mustering the last pieces of tourist energy, potter around the modern art collection at the Pompidou Centre, which stays open until 9 pm.


Sainte Chapelle / 9:00 – 17:00 (1 Oct-31 Mar); 09:00 – 19:00 (1 Apr-30 Sep) | Price: €10 | Location: 8 Boulevard du Palais, 75001 Paris

Shakespeare & Company Bookstore / 10:00 – 22:00 | Price: Free | Location: 37 Rue de la Bûcherie, 75005 Paris

Pompidou Centre / 11:00 – 22:00 (Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun); 11:00 – 23:00 (Thu); Closed: Tue & 1 May | Price: €14 | Location: Place Georges-Pompidou, 75004 Paris

4-DAY PARIS ITINERARY - DAY 2 MORNING

MUSÉE RODIN, THIRD WAVE COFFEE & EIFFEL TOWER

Start the second day of your 4 days in Paris at the Musée Rodin. One of the most unique galleries in Paris, it has an excellent collection of Rodin’s sculptures both inside the museum and in the formal gardens. Works by Van Gogh and Monet are an added bonus.

Head to Coutume Café for brunch and one of the best coffees in Paris. They roast their own beans and work them into a dense velvety coffee, which goes perfectly with their small selection of seasonal brunch items.

Recharged, walk to Champ de Mars for a magnificent vista over the iconic Eiffel Tower – a view that rivals some of the best hotels in Paris with a view.

Personally, we think the views from other monuments are easier and better, but if you want to take the lift to the summit, make sure you buy tickets in advance to skip the queue.


Musée Rodin / 10:00 – 17:45 Tue-Sun; Closed Mon | Price: €12 | Location: 77 Rue de Varenne, 75007 Paris

Eiffel Tower / 9:00 – 22:30 for the top; until 23:00 late Jun to early Sep | Price: Multiple prices, book online here | Location: Champ de Mars, 5 Avenue, 75007 Paris

4-DAY PARIS ITINERARY - DAY 2 AFTERNOON

CHAMPS-ÉLYSÉES & ARC DE TRIOMPHE

Cross the river to the Jardins de Trocadero and collect some photos from one of the best vantage points of the Eifel Tower. Then, stroll along the river to the glorious Pont Alexander III and the nearby stunning Petit & Grand Palais.

Walk along the Champs-Élysées and stop at Ladurée for a delicious macaroon. Avoid the take away line by queueing up for the restaurant. Efficient servers whisk macaroon-only patrons past the gorgeous restaurant and up to the eccentric bar where it’s perfectly acceptable to lunch on macaroons and a cup of tea.

As the afternoon wanes, head to the Arc de Triomphe; a monumental arch built by Napoleon to honour his army. Today the tomb of the unknown soldier sits at its base and the eternal flame commemorating those that died in war is re-lit every day at 18:30. After admiring the decorative pylons from below, climb up to the viewing platform to enjoy one of the best views in town as the sun sets over the second of your 4 days in Paris.


Arc de Triomphe / 10:00 – 22:30 | Price: €8 | Location: Place Charles de Gaulle, 75008 Paris

4-DAY PARIS ITINERARY - DAY 3 MORNING

MUSÉE D’ORSAY, TUILERIES & OPÉRA

Start today at the Musée d’Orsay. Housed in a magnificent railway station, it has the world’s largest collection of impressionist and post-impressionist masterpieces in the world.

Cross over the Seine and explore the Tuileries. For a unique art experience, pop into Musée de l’Orangerie which houses Monet’s Water Lillies in a purpose-built modern room. The only place in the world you can see this creation.

Stroll past the Place de la Concorde, l’Eglise de Madeleine and the rather impressive Palais Garnier, before grabbing lunch in the covered shopping arcades. Passage des Panoramas is full of enticing food shops and quirky merchandise, the ideal place to grab some Paris souvenirs. Passage Jouffroy is packed full of quaint boutiques and cute bookshops.


Musée d’Orsay / 9:30 – 18:00 (Tue, Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun); 9:30 – 21:45 Thur; Closed Mon | Price: €14 | Location: 1 Rue de la Légion d’Honneur, 75007 Paris

Musée de l’Orangerie / 9:00 – 18:00 Wed – Mon; Closed Tue | Price: €9 | Location: Jardin Tuileries, 75001 Paris

4-DAY PARIS ITINERARY - DAY 3 AFTERNOON

SACRÉ-CŒUR, MONTMARTRE & PIGALLE

In the afternoon hop on metro 12 at Notre-Dame-de-Lorette to Abbesses. Stroll up the hill and around the delightful squares of Montmartre, before popping into Espace Dalí. It’s a fantastic collection of Dalí’s work and one of the many cool things to do in Paris. The gallery has insightful information to help interpret his more inaccessible pieces.

As the light wanes head to Sacré Cœur. This dome basilica offers a picture postcard Paris moment. Climb the 300 stairs to the top of the basilica for unrivalled views of the city in the fading light.

For dinner, head to Le Grand 8 for a modern casual good value French bistro with a short menu that changes every day – one of the great food experiences in Paris. As the evening rolls in stroll down to Pigalle to explore the area around Moulin Rouge and enjoy a proper Parisian cocktail in one of the many places packed into Rue Frochot.

Dirty Dick gets our pick for the weird cocktails and friendly staff. But if you’re more sophisticated than us, you might enjoy Glass. Either way, it’s a great way to end your 4 days in Paris.


Sacré Cœur / 6:30 – 22:30 (Basilica); 8:30 – 20:00 (Dome) May – Sep; 9:00 – 17:00 Oct – Apr | Price: Basilica free; Dome: €5 | Location: 1 Parvis du Sacré-Cœur, 75018 Paris

Espace Dalí / 10:00 – 18:00 | Price: €9 – €12 | Location: 11 Rue Poulbot, 75018 Paris

4-DAY PARIS ITINERARY - DAY 4

DAY TRIP FROM PARIS

If you have time to extend your Paris itinerary to 4 days, spend today on one of the many interesting day trips from Paris.  

Soak up the lavish surroundings of Versailles and learn about the chequered history of the palace since the time of Marie Antoinette. Perhaps you have a thirst that you just couldn’t quench in Paris. If so, head to Reims– the heart of the champagne region. champagne tasting tour is a great way to explore this beautiful area.  

For something far more sobering, visit the Somme Battlefields to see where the horrors of the First World War took place. There are memorials from each country impacted in the battle and the trench system where much of the conflict took place is still intact. 

At just 50 minutes from Paris, a day trip to the Monet Garden at Giverny is a stunning way to submerge yourself in the inspiration of one of France’s most celebrated artists.

FINISH /

Wrap up your 4 days in Paris with a back in the city with a late coffee. We’ve done extensive research to find the best of the thriving coffee scene in Paris. There’s no cutesy cafes on this list, just the best cafes serving Australian-quality coffee in Paris.

Why not follow us on Instagram, so you can fill us in on your 4 days in Paris while you’re enjoying that excellent coffee.

Otherwise, read on for our other tips including where to stay, attractions to book in advance and costs.

/ INFORMATION

We believe that a little pre-planning, research, and understanding what you are looking for in a destination, will help make your travels far more successful. Here’s some further information we think you might need to plan your own 4 days in Paris.

WHERE TO STAY IN PARIS

We recommend staying in Le Marais 4th arrondissement. It has a cool vibe and a wide range of cafes, bars and restaurants that span the spectrum from cheap eats to fine dining.  Le Marais is very central with many of the best sights nearby. Close proximity to a number of metro stations gives you access to easy transport links to other parts of the city.

There are some great hostels in Paris, and Airbnb is always a great option to avoid paying for things you might not need – why pay for a big boring hotel breakfast with so many great cafes to discover.

This article has some great suggestions on where to stay in Paris, otherwise, here are some recommendations from us.


ULTRA MODERN BUDGET

MAMA SHELTER


Mama Shelter is a stylish and modern hotel, nestled among artists studios and cobbled streets in East Paris. They do simple French cooking in the kitchen and exotic cocktails in the trendy bar. The buffet breakfast is very good.

HOTELS.COMBOOKING.COM

HIP & ELEGANT

THE HOXTON PARIS


Set in an 18th century mansion, the Hoxton is designed to be relaxed and comfortable without the uncessary frills. It’s buzzy, it’s cool and the aesthetic is designed for maximum satisfaction. The food is French styled small plates. Delicious.

HOTELS.COMBOOKING.COM

PERUVIAN BLING

1K PARIS


Set in the bustling Marais District, 1K Paris delivers high-tech Peruvian style in an excellent location. The rooms and bright and spacious with excellent amenities. Theres a breakfast buffet but the Peruvian food really shines at dinner.

HOTELS.COMBOOKING.COM

ULTRA MODERN BUDGET

MAMA SHELTER


Mama Shelter is a stylish and modern hotel, nestled among artists studios and cobbled streets in East Paris. They do simple French cooking in the kitchen and exotic cocktails in the trendy bar. The buffet breakfast is very good.

HOTELS.COMBOOKING.COM

HIP & ELEGANT

THE HOXTON PARIS


Set in an 18th century mansion, the Hoxton is designed to be relaxed and comfortable without the uncessary frills. It’s buzzy, it’s cool and the aesthetic is designed for maximum satisfaction. The food is French styled small plates. Delicious.

HOTELS.COMBOOKING.COM

PERUVIAN BLING

1K PARIS


Set in the bustling Marais District, 1K Paris delivers high-tech Peruvian style in an excellent location. The rooms and bright and spacious with excellent amenities. Theres a breakfast buffet but the Peruvian food really shines at dinner.

HOTELS.COMBOOKING.COM

BOOK BEFORE YOU GO

Book online for as many of the big attractions as you can so you can spend more time exploring Paris and less time waiting in a queue. In particular, the queues to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower can be oppressive and if you hit a large group, the Louvre wait can be very long. If you are after more local discoveries then read our friend Karis post of her favourite less visited Parisian sights.

Also before you go, read this list of what not to do in Paris.

OUR RECOMMENDED TOURS

Skip the queues and book these tours before you go. Tickets are delivered to your smartphone.

LOURVE MUSEUM

SKIP THE LINE

LOURVE MUSEUM

ROOFTOP TICKETS

SAINTE CHAPELLE

SKIP THE QUEUE

EIFFEL TOWER

SKIP THE LINE SUMMIT TICKET

OUR RECOMMENDED TOURS

Skip the queues and book these tours before you go. Tickets are delivered to your smartphone.

LOURVE MUSEUM

SKIP THE LINE

LOURVE MUSEUM

ROOFTOP TICKETS

SAINTE CHAPELLE

SKIP THE QUEUE

EIFFEL TOWER

SKIP THE LINE SUMMIT TICKET

COSTS OF OUR 4-DAY PARIS ITINERARY

The total cost of our 3 days in Paris for two people, excluding international flights, was €1,250. With Dec 2018 exchange rates of 0.9 British pound to the EUR and US dollar 1.14 to the EUR this equates to

US $1,425 / GBP £1,125 / EUR €1,250


3 nights in Airbnb – €550

Food and drink for 2 people – €475

Entrances to museums and monuments – €200

Transport and other sundries – €25

US $1,425 / GBP £1,125 / EUR €1,250


3 nights in Airbnb – €550

Food and drink for 2 people – €475

Entrances to museums and monuments – €200

Transport and other sundries – €25

GETTING AROUND PARIS

Most international flights land at Charles de Gaulle airport. It’s a 40-minute taxi ride to the centre of Paris, but it’s much cheaper to hop on the métro and take RER line B.

The Paris Métro is extensive and quick making it a good option for zipping around the city. A ‘carnet’ of 10 tickets costs €14.90 and is excellent value.

But by far the best way to get about the city is to walk. Paris is simply a stunning place to amble around. Our 3 days in Paris itinerary attempts to stroll the best parts of the city without doing too much walking on any one day. You can find all the places we visited on the map below, colour coded by day 1, day 2 and day 3.

BEST TIME TO GO TO PARIS

The best time to visit Paris is during the shoulder seasons of April to June and September to November. The crowds are fewer than in summer and the temperature milder than winter. Our personal favourite is May to June when the gardens are green and packed with flowers and the days are long.

But to be honest, any time is a good time to visit Paris.

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WHERE NEXT?

Firstly, if you found this guide useful, follow us on Instgram to stay up to date with our travels.

For all our city based guides, head over to our urban page where we have a selection of articles from some of the cities we love.

Read about our take on Istanbul’s uncertain future, or the legacy of the only Islamic Caliphate in Western Europe in Córdoba.

Got a second to vote for us?

We were honoured to be selected as one of the Best Cultural Travel Blogs by Teletext Holidays, which puts us up for the Best Travel Blog at the British Travel Awards

We would love it if you could spare a quick minute to vote for us.

Got a second to vote for us?

We were honoured to be selected as one of the Best Cultural Travel Blogs by Teletext Holidays, which puts us up for the Best Travel Blog at the British Travel Awards

We would love it if you could spare a quick minute to vote for us.

BOOKING RESOURCES

For all our travel resources, see our book page

HOTELS
CAR
ACTIVITIES

We use booking.com and hotels.com to book all our accommodation.

Our preferred car rental platform is Auto Europe. Select your home location to book.

Avoid the queues and purchase tickets to attractions and tours online.


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