Are you looking for the ultimate 2 days in Paris itinerary? Want to visit the most Paris has to offer in two days? Do not allow a limited amount of time in Paris to keep you from visiting and enriching your life more than you could ever imagine. You will be dazzled by all that Paris has to offer in just two days! For the purpose of this Paris itinerary, I’ve selected the best Paris has to offer you as your 2 days in Paris itinerary. Please feel free to schedule my suggestions any way that works best for you and those visiting Paris with you.
Arrival day, which is usually an exhausting experience, is not considered a “day” in the two days in Paris itinerary. The afternoon/evening of your arrival could be spent strolling the banks of the River Seine, admiring the architecture of the bridges and surrounding buildings, or after your dinner, exploring the myriad of Parisian pastry shops and indulging in decadent desserts! If you are arriving in Paris by bus, train, or car, then this itinerary will be true to the two days but if you are flying in on a red-eye, you may need to modify.
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The Ultimate 2 Days In Paris Itinerary
Table of Contents
Day 1: Begin your 2 Days in Paris by visiting the Louvre Art Museum, Eiffel Tower, And The River Seine.
Stop 1: Have Your Breath Taken Away at the Louvre Art Museum.
Plan to spend most of the morning on the first day of your two days in Paris itinerary exploring and being awed at the Louvre, a must-see for anyone visiting Paris. The building started out as a palace and has been destroyed and rebuilt a number of times, and it has retained much of its ornateness. It houses many precious artifacts and paintings and you could spend days exploring the Louvre without ever seeing it all.
The Louvre is divided into eight departments, so there is lots to see but the museum is totally doable even if you have just two days in Paris. The entrance in itself is notable: the Louvre Pyramid, one of Paris’ landmarks, which you will most likely pass through to enter the museum. Purchasing entry tickets online well in advance is highly recommended, although my family and I did not do so, and we did not encounter any long lines when purchasing our entry tickets from a kiosk the day of our visit.
My two main goals when I was at the Louvre Art Museum, was to see Leonardo da Vinci’s most recognized painting, the Mona Lisa, and Venus de Milo, the sculpture of the goddess Aphrodite missing her two arms. Directions to find both of these masterpieces are in the Louvre Art Museum brochure that you can pick up when you enter or is available all along your journey as you travel through the museum. The Mona Lisa painting is guarded and under glass, so you won’t be able to get very close to her, but certainly close enough to snap a selfie with her. Aphrodite, on the other hand, stands unobstructed in all of her glory for you to marvel at, no guards, no restrictions. Snap those close up pictures!
Before you leave the Louvre Art Museum, there is a restaurant at the Louvre, with a wonderful outside terrace, for you to have a quick lunch, and a rest before you head to the next monument in your 2 days in Paris itinerary. If you only have two days in Paris, I highly recommend spending at least 3 hours at the Louvre, if not more, so you can get the most out of the experience.
Stop 2: The Eiffel Tower
After lunch, you will head over to the iconic Eiffel Tower, arguably one of the most popular of all Paris’ attractions. The tower was originally built as the gateway to the 1889 World’s Fair in 1889, held in Paris. Plan to spend a few hours of your afternoon there during your first day on your 2 days in Paris. If a bird’s eye view of the city of Paris and the River Seine interests you, are you up for climbing the 1,665 steps all the way to the top of the Eiffel Tower!!? If so, you will be rewarded with wonderful panoramic and spectacular vistas of the city of Paris for your troubles.
If climbing does not interest you, there are elevators for you to take to several observation levels or all the way to the top. The lines for the elevators are very long and you will need an entry ticket. It is far better to purchase a ticket online well in advance of your arrival, especially if you just have 2 days in Paris to spend. There are even skip-the-line options available to speed things up for you! For additional photo opportunities (perhaps you choose not to go inside the tower at all, like me) stroll to the merry-go-round, a bright and colorful sight itself, or even farther crossing the Seine River, to the Trocadero Palace which is built into the side of a hill and offers fabulous views of the Eiffel Tower. Either way, make sure that the Eiffel Tower is on your 2 days in Paris itinerary and budget at least an hour, if not more time to spend here.
Stop 3: Sunset Cruise on the River Seine
As evening nears on the first day of your 2 days in Paris itinerary finish the day off with a bang. After your morning at the Louvre Art Museum and afternoon at the iconic Eiffel Tower, it is time to relax and view the City of Light while cruising the Seine River. The boat docks are only a short walk from the Eiffel Tower where you will climb aboard a river cruise boat and sail off into the sunset.
You can sit inside, as I did when I cruised the River Seine if it is chilly out. There are floor-to-ceiling windows for you to view the sights, or you can sit outside on the top level of the ship, where you will be able to take pictures and have a bird’s eye view of everything, up close and personal, as you pass them by. Either way, the River Seine cruise will be a highlight on your 2 days in Paris itinerary!
A crew member will narrate your river cruise, and you will be able to listen when sitting outside or use the headphones you are given by the crew, to plug into the audio system to listen. Either way, the narrator will point out the various bridges and buildings/monuments and explain their architecture and historical significance. Upon debarkation, you will pass through the river cruise ship’s souvenir shop and you may want to pick up a memento for yourself!
After a filling Parisian dinner, and fancy dessert from one of the many exquisite French pastry shops, you may have energy enough to have a nightcap at one of Paris’ popular rooftop bars. Cheers to a wonderful first part of your 2 days in Paris itinerary!
Day 2: Visit Champs-Elysees & Arc de Triomphe, and Notre Dame & St. Chappelle
Stop 1: Sightseeing and Shopping at the Champs-Elysees
On the morning of the second day of your two days in Paris itinerary, you may want to try something a bit adventurous (and ever so popular in Europe,) and that is rent a bike to get around. You can rent one at a Velib station, and luckily, you do not have to return the bike to the same location you rented it. Prices are very affordable and you can get a week pass for $8 or a day pass for $2 and the first 30 minutes of your ride is completely free! If that option does not interest you, Paris has an excellent subway system which will let you get around Paris in two days with ease.
Head on over to the most famous avenue in the world: the Champs Elysees! It houses the most valuable property on the planet and has high-end couture shops, moderately priced brand shops, and restaurants galore. Perhaps plan for brunch or lunch, or do a little or a lot of shopping!
Stop 2: Visit the Arc de Triomphe for French Military History and Epic Vistas during your 2 days in Paris
Another very popular French monument, the Arc de Triomphe, is situated at the western end of the Champs Elysees, a short ways away from where you are. The Arc de Triomphe is a military monument honoring those who fought and died for France. And there is also a Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I, with an eternal flame.
Are you aware you can go inside the Arc de Triomphe? I did not know that either! The Arc De Triomphe actually offers the best views of the Eiffel Tower in Paris so make sure to add it to your two days in Paris itinerary. You can climb all the way to the top, to an outside observation deck where all of Paris is on display for some very epic picture taking!
The Arc de Triomphe is the “star” or origination point of the twelve avenues that radiate out from it. The climb to the top was relatively difficult as there were so many stairs. There is no elevator option here, so please plan on taking your time. Along with your climb, you will see military drawings and photographs of French war history. You can climb the stairs as slow or fast as you like, but please make sure that you are in good physical condition! The stairwell is very narrow and winding. In the end, the view of the Eiffel Tower is well worth making this a stop on your 2 days in Paris itinerary.
Stop 3: Visit Notre-Dame de Paris
Two religious Parisian icons are on the 2 days in Paris itinerary, the first being Notre Dame (Our Lady of Paris.) Hop back on a bike at the Velib station adjacent to the Arc de Triomphe, or the Paris subway station also located next to the Arc, and head over to the Cathedral Notre Dame. She is a prime example of French Gothic architecture, and construction took several hundred years.
Inside of Notre Dame, the very beautiful church can get very busy. The entry line may look daunting, but it actually moves quite quickly. Once inside, look for the stained glass rose window, it is just one of the many highlights. Mass or another Catholic service may be happening when you visit, and being quiet and reverent is appreciated. Don’t forget to look for the gargoyles (remember the Hunchback of Notre Dame movies??!) on the exterior of the church. You may also climb the steps to the infamous Bell Tower, but that requires an additional ticket and a separate line. I have never made that climb, but I hear the Parisian views from the top are spectacular!
Stop 4: Get ready to be awed at Sainte-Chappell during your 2 days in Paris itinerary
Your next destination, within walking distance of Notre Dame, is the dazzling Sainte-Chapelle, a definite must-see on your two days in Paris itinerary!
Her upper level has over 1,000 exquisite stained glass windows, which tell the story of the Bible. There are 15 main windows, where the striking stained glass unfolds the Biblical stories of the Old and New Testaments.
When you first enter the bottom level, which resembles a basement, it may not be as ornate as you would expect. It is very pretty but not the main chapel, as back in the day it was for the staff and servants of the resident French King. You will move along to the staircase that you need to climb, also extremely plain, to the top level. Once on the second level, you will enter Sainte-Chappell.
Be prepared to be mesmerized and maybe even overwhelmed by the beauty before you! There are pamphlets available, in several different languages, explaining what Biblical story each of the fifteen main panels, and the individual stained glass windows within them, is telling. In the chapel, there is also a stunning stained glass rose window, which tells the story of the Book of Revelation, the last book of the Bible. This chapel is not very large, and you should be able to visit it in under an hour and it is a must see during your 2 days in Paris itinerary!
Two days in Paris is ample time for you to visit many of her most iconic monuments and churches, using the ultimate 2 days in Paris itinerary, and I do hope you visited numerous pastry shops to delight in French sweets! I definitely did when I visited. Paris will welcome you with open arms whether you only have 2 days in Paris, more, or less! Spending a weekend in Paris will be a trip that you won’t soon forget.
Have you ever been to Paris? Share one highlight that was your favorite thing to do, or place to visit. What would be your top destination recommendation?
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