Are you looking for the best 3 days in Paris itinerary that covers the top sites?
There are so many fabulous things to do in Paris in three days. This is a generous amount of time to explore the City of Light.
Planning your trip to Paris France last minute?
Make sure to book ahead! Hotels and tours usually sell out the closer you get to your trip. Here are our top selections for Paris!
Top Experiences and Tours in Paris France:
- Louvre Museum Timed Entrance Ticket (Skip the line!)
- Eiffel Tower Summit/2nd Floor Direct Access (Likely to sell out!)
- One-Hour Seine River Cruise (Starts at the foot of the Eiffel Tower)
- Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour (24 and 48-hour tours available)
Top Hotels In Paris France:
I am familiar with the best of Paris, both the extremely popular and the offbeat locations as well. If this is your first visit to Paris, I have plenty of tips to share!
Feel free to change up my suggestions from day to day to make your Paris 3-day itinerary tailored to your specific needs during the time you are visiting Paris.
For this article, your arrival day is not considered the first day of your itinerary for 3 days in Paris. My suggestion is to keep the arrival day low key especially if your journey to Paris involves a long travel day.
Take the arrival day to relax from the long travel. Get some rest, sleep, and most importantly, hydrate. Take a leisurely stroll of the district where you will be staying and have a nourishing dinner!
Now, let’s look at what to do in Paris!
3 Days in Paris Itinerary: The Only One You Will Need
Day One: Classic Monuments and Hidden Gems
Stop 1: The Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower is probably the most popular attraction in Paris. I think almost anyone visiting Paris would be disappointed if they missed out on seeing one of the most famous landmarks in France.
Begin your 3 days in Paris itinerary at the Eiffel Tower. It is located at the Champs de Mars, in Paris’ seventh arrondissement.
The tower is over 1,000 feet tall and is one of the tallest edifices in the city. Built to serve as the gateway to the 1889 World’s Fair, today the Eiffel Tower is the worldwide symbol of Paris!
You will want to set aside a few hours of your first day in Paris to discover all that the Eiffel Tower has to offer.
You will find restaurants within her wrought-iron beams and panoramic views of Paris that are breathtaking!
Did you know you can climb up into the Tower? You can climb up to the top using 1,665 steps! If you don’t want to walk up, you may ride the elevator which most people choose to do.
Be aware that lines are extremely long most days. You will be far better off purchasing tickets before you arrive.
However, simply walking alongside the Eiffel Tower is a very memorable thing to do. You’ll get a perspective of just how large the famous monument is.
To photograph lasting memories of the Eiffel Tower during 3 days in Paris, stroll across the street to the merry-go-round.
Or walk across the Seine River to the Trocadero Palace, built into the side of a hill, which affords EPIC shots of the Eiffel Tower.
Scooter Around Paris As An Alternative Way To Get Around
When you visit Paris, you will see clumps of e-scooters everywhere. They offer a unique way to explore the city for both tourists nad locals alike!
During your 3 days in Paris itinerary, if scootering around town appeals to you, here is what you need to do.
Download the phone application of one of the scooter companies and input your credit card information. Once you have created an account, GPS shows where available scooters are in your vicinity.
You can rent a scooter for as long as you think you will need one. When you have arrived at your destination, you verify through the app on your phone that you are done.
Then you simply leave the scooter and walk away. More likely than not, there will be someone who will scoop it up and be on their way very soon.
Stop 2: Visit The Musee d’Orsay
The Musee d’Orsay is a few minutes from the Eiffel Tower. It is also located in the seventh arrondissement on the River Seine’s left bank.
It is inside Gare d’Orsay, an old yet extremely ornate railroad station.
Housing mainly French art between the years 1848 to 1914, this museum will surely have something to please you. there are large collections of paintings, sculptures, designs, and architecture.
The most popular exhibitions are its Impressionist and Post-Impressionist collections.
There is an admission fee, and I recommend allotting two hours to tour this exciting art museum. Add it to your 3 days in Paris itinerary!
Stop 3: Visit Notre Dame Cathedral
One of the most well-recognized cathedrals in the world is Notre-Dame de Paris, a medieval Catholic cathedral on the Île de la Cité in the 4th arrondissement of Paris
She is acknowledged worldwide as one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture anywhere. Her history is spectacular and it took hundreds of years to construct her.
UPDATE: Due to the fire in spring 2019, please research Notre Dame updates. At this time it is closed, but it is definitely worth it to visit the church to see it and walk around the exterior grounds.
Restoration construction has slowly begun. Even though the church is closed, the area is crowded and worth a few moments of your time to see Our Lady of Paris in person and snap a few pictures.
Stop 4: Be Utterly Amazed At Sainte Chapelle
Within walking distance from Notre-Dame de Paris is the dazzling Sainte-Chapelle, a MUST-SEE during your 3 days in Paris! It is one of the lesser-known chapels in Paris.
Since it is so near Notre Dame, many people just visit Notre Dame and skip this extremely exquisite chapel, because they are not aware of it.
Sainte-Chapelle’s upper level has over 1,000 striking and gleaming stained glass windows that tell the story of the Bible.
Arranged across 15 main windows, the stained glass panes display over 1,000 scenes from the Old and New Bible.
There are pamphlets available in many languages explaining each of the 15 panels, and the panes of stained glass contained in them.
There is also a sumptuous rose stained glass window at Sainte-Chapelle which describes the Book of Revelation through its stained glass panels.
Do not be disappointed when you first walk into the building, the Palais de la Cite. It is dark and rather dreary. This is where the servants lived.
You will be guided upstairs to the king’s chapel where the stunning glass panels are.
I recommend NOT SKIPPING this historical jewel when planning your Paris 3-day itinerary. I suggest allotting for about an hour there.
Stop 5: Explore The River Seine
You have spent your first day in Paris exploring the City of Light’s attractions around the River Seine. Another unique and very popular way to discover Paris is to take a Seine River cruise.
The options to select from are endless, depending on your budget, desires, and time. A narrated cruise is like having your own personal tour guide for Paris without the high cost!
This is a great way to snap some memorable pictures of Paris as well.
Book Here: 2-Hour River Seine Lunch Cruise
Day Two: The Louvre, The Champs de Elysees, The Arc de Triomphe
Stop 1: Take In Art At The Louvre Museum
In my opinion, no trip to Paris would be complete without visiting the famous Louvre Art Museum at least one time.
Located on the right bank of the River Seine within the Louvre Palace, the museum contains some of the world’s most precious paintings and artifacts.
It is a great way to begin day two of your 3 days in Paris itinerary.
Did you know the Louvre in Paris is the largest art museum in the world? More people visit it every year than any other art museum. And rightly so. There is so much to see!
The museum is divided into eight departments full of antiquities, paintings, sculptures, prints, and drawings. Some of the collections include Egyptian, Greek, Roman, and Oriental.
When you arrive, grab a map of the museum to guide you to the specific collections and periods that interest you.
Most visitors, want to see the famous Mona Lisa by Leonardo DaVinci.
A second highlight that draws large crowds is the classical sculpture, Venus de Milo. A classical sculpture from the fourth century B.C., it is the armless figure of the goddess Aphrodite. She is indeed beautiful.
Operating hours vary, so check online before you plan your day. Lines for admission tickets can be extremely long, so purchasing online beforehand is prudent.
As additional assistance, there is a Louvre Art Museum app for your phone. It is a great way to familiarize yourself with the museum and its exhibits.
I suggest that you budget at least half a day at the Lovre Art Museum, at minimum.
Book Here: Louvre Museum Timed-Entrance Ticket
Stop 2: The Garden Of The Tuileries
Located in the 1st arrondissement between the Louvre Museum and the Place de la Concord, the Jardin des Tuileries is one of the very popular gardens and parks in Paris.
There are tree-lined walkways, statues, and famous fountains.
Tuileries Gardens are where Parisians eat, meet, and stroll. At one end you will find the iconic Louvre Museum. It is certainly one destination to add to your 3 days in Paris itinerary.
Stroll through tree-lined and fountain-filled promenades and you will come to the beginning of the most well-known avenue in the world, the Champs-Elysees. It is a grand view!
Stop 3: Visit The Champs-Elysees
Head out to the fashionable Avenue des Champs-Elysees to visit one of the most well-known avenues in the world. And some of the richest real estate on the planet!
Upscale and not-so-upscale shops, cafes, and restaurants dot the Champs Elysees on both sides of the street. This will certainly be an eclectic place on your 3 days in Paris itinerary.
Stop 4: Go Inside The Arc de Triomphe
The Avenue des Champs-Elysees ends at the Arc de Triomphe, another of the famous monuments of Paris. They are the reasons why Paris is considered one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.
The Arc de Triomphe honors those who fought and died for France. And there is a Tomb of the Unknown Soldier located there with an eternal flame that commemorates the war dead who were never identified.
Did you know you can walk and tour inside the Arc de Triomphe? And that there is an observation deck on the top of the Arc de Triomphe? I did not either.
The climb to the top was difficult because there were so many stairs, but it wasn’t impossible.
Unfortunately, there is not an elevator to the top, so anyone wheelchair-bound or the infirm, or those unable to climb steep steps, will not be able to participate.
Please be aware of this fact when planning your trip to the Arc de Triomphe.
Book Here: Paris: Arc de Triomphe Rooftop Tickets
Day 3: Montmartre and Outstanding Architecture
Stop 1: Montmartre and Sacre-Couer
Begin the third day of your 3 days in Paris itinerary by venturing into the 18th arrondissement to explore the Montmartre neighborhood. Located on the Right Bank, it has an eclectic and artsy flare!
Montmartre is the bohemian part of Paris and a great place to explore on foot. You will find artists peddling their wares and many interesting shops, cafes, and restaurants.
Located at the summit of Montmartre, the highest point of Paris is the Basicila of the Sacred Heart, Sacre-Coeur. It is not as “fancy” nor does it display as much excess as other styles of architecture in the area.
Because the church sits atop a hill, there are MANY steps to climb to the top. There is an incline railway to catch if climbing is too daunting or there are elderly in your group.
Because of the height, the top of Montmartre affords exceptional views of Paris and her communities and her most famous monuments.
Back at the bottom of the hill in front of the basilica, you will find streets bustling with people, as well as tons of souvenir shops and restaurants.
It is my experience that the souvenir prices in the neighborhood are the cheapest in Paris.
This is an unforgettable destination to add to your 3 days in Paris itinerary.
Stop 2: Make Time To See The Moulin Rouge
Located at the bottom of the hill in the eclectic Montmartre district, is the most famous cabaret in the world: the iconic Moulin Rouge.
World-class international stars such as Frank Sinatra and Elton John loved this venue and it is the center of many movies throughout history.
You can have dinner and be entertained by the dazzling Broadway-style show. But be aware there is a proper dress code and keep that in mind when you visit.
Of course, purchasing tickets online beforehand is always prudent.
Stop 3: Visit The Opulent Palais Garnier
The Paris Opera House, known as Opera Garnier, is so opulent is it often referred to as Palais Garnier. You will need to travel to the 9th arrondissement in Paris to see it. This spectacular theatre seats almost two thousand people.
These days, the theater is used mainly for ballet performances. It has been a French historical monument since the early 1900s.
The Palais Garnier is probably one of the most famous opera houses in the world. And one of the major symbols of Paris, right alongside Notre Dame Cathedral, The Louvre, and the Eiffel Tower.
For an admission fee, you can discover the treasures of 19th-century theatre art by taking a guided or self-tour of the facility. The Grand Staircase is a sumptuous sight in itself to behold.
Do not miss out on seeing the Gold Room. It displays baroque opulence that is stunningly beautiful! You will want to allow one hour here.
Book Here: Opera Garnier Entry Ticket
Stop 4: Shop at Galleries Lafayette
The Galleries Lafayette is literally within walking distance from the Paris Opera House. It is where the locals and international visitors both shop and eat.
This is a definite must-add to your 3 days in Paris itinerary!
A series of opulent buildings connected together by a series of bridges make up the Galleries Lafayette.
You do not have to shop to visit there. A visit to the Galleries Lafayette is worth your time during your Paris 3-day itinerary, just to see the sumptuous art nouveau architecture.
During the holidays the Christmas ornaments and the spectacular themed Christmas tree in the main foyer are unbelievable.
You will want to take a stroll out onto the Glasswalk in the main foyer. It is 53 feet high and extends out an amazing 29 feet. On it, you have spectacular unrestricted views of the stained glass windows in the main dome.
This is one of the best Paris Instagram spots!
Stop 5: Visit The Rooftop Terrace At Galleries Lafayette For Spectacular Parisian Views
Head up to the rooftop deck at the Galleries Lafayette for panoramic views of the city of Paris. Many tourists do not know about or take advantage of this unique opportunity.
It is the BEST location for spectacular views such as these, which is free and open to the public.
When we visited it was not that crowded. The other visitors there when we were, were very cooperative and everyone took turns to get their perfect shots.
Viewing the rooftop views from Galleries Lafayette is something to seriously consider when you are planning your 3 days in Paris itinerary!
Packing Tips For Your 3 Days In Paris Itinerary
I think that using these useful packing tips will enhance your trip to Paris and help you remain organized while there.
Read my tips on how to pack light for your 3 days in Paris.
A concealed travel pouch may be one of the most important items you bring with you on your 3 days in Paris itinerary. This unisex RFID-blocking concealed travel pouch is lightweight and comes in several colors.
It has lots of organization to give you peace of mind. You can keep your most valuable documents safe and secure next to your body.
This configuration comes with enough passport and credit card sleeves that the entire family would be protected. They are slim too, so they will easily fit into your current pouch or wallet. These are the kind my family and I use not only when traveling but at home as well.
If you are planning on taking a lot of pictures with your phone you will definitely want to consider an external charging battery. This Anker high-speed phone charging battery is the exact one I carry with me on all of my trips.
It can be used on a variety of phones, not just an iPhone like I have. And wow is it fast! I like that it holds its charging capabilities for several uses so I do not have to worry about it while out and about. And if I forget to recharge it at night, it will still be good to go the next day.
My daughter gifted me with this FugeTek Selfie Stick and Tripod for my birthday. It has Bloothtooth connectivity so it is very easy to use. It is made of durable aluminum and is very lightweight and easy to carry. I love mine and I think you will enjoy it too!
I was never a fan of packing cubes until I tried them out! Now I am sold. These Bagail packing cubes are the exact ones I use whenever I travel. I cannot believe how much more organized I am now! And I never leave without them anymore.
These TSA-approved luggage locks will add another layer of protection as you travel. I lock my luggage when I leave my hotel room or Air B&B. This is important especially if there is no room lock.
Hydration is so important. You want to remain hydrated to support your immune system which in turn will be stronger to fight off any germs you will encounter during your 5 days in Paris. You will want to bring your own refillable water bottle with you.
I never leave home on a trip without my Bobble filtration bottle. The 18.5-ounce size is perfect for travel and it will fit nicely in the pocket of a backpack or your purse.
These carbon replacement filters ensure you will have fresh drinking water.
You will want to bring a backpack or daypack with you to store snacks, your water bottle, phone, extra clothes, etc. This foldable water-resistant backpack would be great. It is very affordable and is available in many color options for you to choose from. The fact that it folds down into a zippered pouch will make it easy to pack.
Perhaps you need a more substantial backpack for your international travel. This antitheft backpack has a charging port, is water-resistant, and can comfortably carry up to a 15.6″ laptop.
It comes in a range of colors to choose from and it is inexpensive as well.
You will be walking more than usual during your 5 days in Paris. A sturdy and comfortable pair of walking shoes is a must-have. These waterproof all-season shoes are extremely affordable and yet fashionable.
Mostly everyone is familiar with the Skechers brand, and these Air Run high fashion sneakers come in a lot of colors to match your outfits and are still affordable.
You may be visiting Paris in warmer weather and you may want a pair of sandals to wear while exploring. I highly recommend these Vionics adjustable strap orthotic sandals.
I have several pairs of these exact Vionic sandals in several colors that I bring with me *everywhere* I travel. They are very comfortable. I also sometimes bring along my Vionic Tides flip-flops. The toe post is so comfortable which makes wearing these super comfortable.
Bring a lightweight scarf or shawl. Scarves and shawls are very popular in Europe and Paris is no different. Both men and women wear scarves, decoratively and as a layering piece to keep warm.
We all need to protect our eyes from the sun’s harmful UVA/UVB rays. These unisex polarized sunglasses come in a lot of lens colors and frame designs and are extremely affordable too.
If you are fond of the aviator-style of sunglasses these polarized aviators may interest you. I like polarized sunglasses because they remove the glare of the water and help you to see things more clearly. This will be very helpful in Paris.
Don’t forget to bring along a universal power adapter on your 3 days in Paris. This worldwide power plug is a great example and will charge your phone at the end of your busy days.
This world traveler adapter kit can charge several devices at the same time. This is what you will need when there are several people traveling in your group, or if you bring several electronic devices on your trip that require charging at the same time.
If you are in need of new luggage, this expandable soft side spinner luggage is affordable and comes in lots of colors. If you like hard-sided better, then you may favor this hard-sided luggage set better.
Both sets come with TSA-approved zipper locks and 8 wheels per piece. Either will be great for the plane or train or even your car depending on how you plan to travel to France.
How To Get Around Paris During Your 3 Days In Paris Itinerary
Paris is very easy to navigate. If you are able, I’d suggest walking. Paris is a visually beautiful city, and there’s much to see and absorb, which you could miss if you are not walking.
Make sure you leave ample time to arrive at your destination and wear sturdy, comfortable walking shoes.
The metro train system is very extensive in Paris, and probably the best transportation option you have. It’s fast and cheap, arriving and departing frequently. You can purchase tickets at every station.
The metro is not an option for the wheelchair-bound nor for those unable to walk long distances or climb up and down stairs frequently.
There are also city buses and trains to consider when doing your 3 days in Paris. You always have the option to get a taxi or hire an Uber driver.
I do not recommend driving in Paris because of the traffic and difficulty finding parking. That is an option, however.
Quick Tips For Your 3 Days In Paris Itinerary
Here are some quick tips and tricks that will make your three days in Paris, France, more enjoyable.
Remember, always stay hydrated! Bring a reusable water bottle and refill it often. You will take care of your health and save numerous disposable water bottles from being sent to the landfill.
Do not worry about the language barrier when traveling to Paris. I know only a few basic French words and had absolutely NO difficulties when I visited.
The French people in Paris know a few English words and you will be able to communicate enough to make your wishes known.
You can even use a translator app on your phone to assist with your communications. My family and I use Google Translate.
Call your credit card company and verify if your credit card does or does not have foreign transaction fees.
If it does, inquire about applying for a credit card that does not charge you a small fee every time you use it when out of your home country.
When you visit an ATM in Paris, make sure it is in the same network as your bank so you are not charged transaction fees every time you withdraw cash.
Also, consider withdrawing larger amounts of cash, to limit the transaction fees.
Buy advanced tickets to must-do Paris attractions whenever possible. First off, usually, tickets purchased in advance online are less expensive.
Secondly, when you purchase tickets for the monuments and art museums, you will have a schedule planned out and be able to pace yourself when you know the plans for every day of your trip.
If you travel to Paris, France, from far away check out my tips for surviving long international flights.
Three days in Paris is an ample amount of time to get to know the City of Light and marvel at all she has to offer.
There are so many monuments, museums, street markets, cafes, and pastry shops. I have recommended many of the highlights Paris has to offer for your consideration as you plan your 3 days in Paris!
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Have you ever been to Paris? What was your favorite thing to do? What would be your #1 recommendation for a first-time visitor? Please comment below.