Paris is full of wonderful sights to visit. So many that we came up with a list of 100 things to do in Paris !
However, we can say that in 3 days, it is impossible to see all of them, especially if you are a beginner in town. There are so many things to see and a short trip will never cover them all.
We are happy to help you organize your 3-day trip to Paris as a beginner with our perfect itinerary guide, so that you can take in the best of Paris.
Ready for an adventurous weekend in Paris?
Traveler's Tip: A very popular way to save time and money during a city trip is purchasing a city pass. Check out our guide to the Best City Pass for Paris to compare prices and included activities and make the most of your visit!
A 3-Day Itinerary for Beginners in Paris
Particularly for a first-time visitor, your Paris visit should include the Seine River, the Eiffel Tower and Notre-Dame Cathedral. The most essential museums are the Louvre Museum and Orsay Museum, that combine the entire world of art and history together. Moreover, the iconic street of Saint-Germain, the Latin Quarter and Montmartre Quarter will help you to feel a real sense of this great city.
Saving time is key, and as a visitor in Paris you can save plenty of time you buy your tickets before you arrive. If you arrange your visits early, you can just go to the boat or walk into the museum entrance without waiting in line. You can also find the best-sellers like the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre Museum sold out, even if you waited until the last couple of weeks. So, here we suggest a great itinerary, with links to tickets you can buy for a safely organized trip.
Day 1 - Full of Culture : Eiffel Tower, Seine River Cruise, Notre-Dame Cathedral & Center of Paris (Ile de Cité), Le Marais Quarter.
Day 2 - Like a Bohemian : Louvre Museum, Champs-Elysées and Triumphal Arch, Montmartre Quarter and Sacré-Coeur.
Day 3 - Relaxed Atmosphere : Orsay Museum, Latin Quarter with Pantheon and Saint-Germain.
Now, let's get to the details of this 3-Day itinerary for Paris.
DAY 1 : A Cultural Day
After the tower, the most practical connection is a Seine River Cruise. If you have extra days in Paris, walking along the river is always a good option. But for 2-, 3- or 4-day trips, a boat ride from the tower to the glorious Notre-Dame is an unmissable opportunity.
You can see the heart of Paris from a stunning angle and in the most efficient way. This ride takes you under the historic bridges, while are able to observe the centuries-old silhouette of the city.
The Day 1 starts with the Eiffel Tower because of two reasons. First, it is in everybody's checklist, second to see the entire landscape of Paris from above is the best option when starting. The icon of modern Paris will impress you while presenting one of the most dominant views over this city. A ticket in advance saves crucial times particularly for using the elevators.
And the program already brought you to the legendary medieval cathedral of Paris. Notre-Dame is like a landmark on the central island of Paris, around which the city had grown. In short, you are at the perfect point to discover the routes of Paris while walking on the bridges surrounding these two small islands in the river.
The early evening hours are very pleasant around the center. The second island connected behind Notre-Dame is called Saint-Louis. A walk through there, towards Marais Quarter, reveals a fascinating side of Paris as well. Marais pleases its guests with an old and characteristic architecture. Various stylish boutique stores and art galleries present a nice setting in its ancient streets.
Your day is over. Maybe eat in one of our recommended rooftop bars and restaurants in Paris, get a good nights rest and prepare for tomorrow. It's going to be a big day!
DAY 2 : A Bohemian Day
Day 2 begins with the Louvre Museum, which is the richest collection of civilizations in a giant royal building complex. It is so vast that you need a proper plan and so popular you need your ticket before you go. Of course, it is up to you to stay 90 minutes or 4 hours depending on your expectations. But here is an app for the shortest way into the Louvre and the best self-guided tour to get the most in an ideal duration.
Once you leave the museum towards Tuileries Garden, you will start a quite enjoyable walk. Following the former royal gardens, Concorde Square comes with statues that show the way to Champs-Elysées Avenue.
You will find parks, shops, restaurants all along this long boulevard until you reach Napoleon Bonaparte's Arc of Triumph. If you can spare some time to climb over this monument, if you will enjoy it. Just decide as you wish considering the time of the year and weather of the day.
The next stop for a perfect afternoon or evening is the hill of Montmartre. This former village, now a quarter, is famous with its artistic heritage and white basilica at the top, Le Sacré-Coeur. This area feels like another Paris and is known for its lively nightlife.
Day 2 of your Paris discovery is now over. Treat yourself to a nice Michelin-Stared restaurant in Paris and get some energy for your third and last day in Paris.
DAY 3 : A Relaxed Day
Day 3 opens up with the Orsay Museum, where you can see the best collection from the masters of modern painting, from Monet to Van Gogh. The former train station was transformed into perfect stage to enjoy impressionist art.
Orsay has been selected several times as the best museum in Paris by travelers in recent years. This popularity also means that you need purchase your tickets before they sell out.
Paris is one of the intellectual capitals of the world. The famous Latin Quarter in Paris carries this heritage in the most genuine manner along its winding cobble-stone streets. This corner of the city has been through a lot since the ancient Roman times and the remnants are still visible. The top of this tiny hill houses the large Pantheon national monument. Its details tell about the French history since the revolution.
As one of the most charming neighborhoods in Paris, Saint-Germain is very nearby. A short walk following the renowned Saint-Michel Bridge will take you to many delightful options for eating and drinking.
Otherwise, Luxemburg Gardens is a perfect spot to end up. Thus, it is exactly what you need before finishing your program in Paris. With its beautiful architecture and chic stores, Saint-Germain is pure joy to be around.
Naturally, you can play with the program according to your interests and specifics of your timing like the days or length of the day.
For example, if you want to make a long and calm Louvre Museum visit, consider going there Friday afternoon, because it stays open until 21:30.
Or, if you would like to spare some more time for shopping, go Saint-Germain or Marais a bit earlier in order to visit delightful boutiques there. After all, you will most likely find yourself thinking about a second visit.
Congratulations! You have successfully completed your 3-day itinerary in Paris. Now, you have seen all the main things and discovered enough history to tell your friends and family as if you were a Parisian yourself!
If you have more time, definitely check our 15 other attractions in Paris and find the ones you would enjoy. Don't hesitate to tell us what is your favorite part of this 3-day trip to Paris in the comments below!
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