Like any other capital, Paris is a huge city, but different from the others it still preserves all the charm of the Renaissance. Despite its classic atmosphere, Paris is full of life. It doesn’t limit itself to history and museums but offers a whole new 21st-century life.
To have the full experience you would definitely need at least one week, however, 3 days in Paris is enough to have a good idea of the city. You can always go back again at some point!
For those who are visiting Paris for the first time, this beginners guide to Paris will help you to plan and give you a good idea of what to do in Paris in 3 days, it will guide you through the most important points in the city to make sure you will see enough in your short staying there, also, don’t forget to check the things to know before going to Paris.
I highly recommend buying the Paris City Pass, for those staying 3 days in Paris to one week, it gives you FREE access to over 60 attractions, free transportation within zones 1-3, skip the line of most of the attractions, besides loads of discounts and many advantages during your staying in the city.
Another good idea is to buy the Hop on Hop off bus ticket, it will bring you to the main tourist points in Paris is an easy and economical way. Like this, you save money and time trying to figure out how to get from one point to the other. Plus it gives you a great view of the city while you wander through the streets with the bus.
If you need help packing your bags for your trip, don’t forget to have a look here, and don’t forget to get your Paris Travel sheet with the list of places you must see in Paris in your 3 days, the list includes the main tourist attraction that should be on your Bucket list, to make sure you won’t forget any. You can mark the items as you make your way through them.
3 Days in Paris as a Beginner
You can start your day by visiting the famous Notre Dame, if you opted not the buy the hop on hop off bus, you should make your way to the metro station called St-Michel Notre Dame that brings you right in front of it. Notre Dame is located in the Île de la Cité, which is the largest island in the Seine river.
The construction of the Cathedral started in 1163 by the Pope Alexander III, but it was only completed in 1345.
The entrance is free, however, do expect a long line in to get inside, but don’t worry, it is completely worth!
The interior is beautiful with some stained glass and statues decorating the cathedral, including the statue of Jeanne d’Arc, who is considered a heroine of France and was beatified here in Notre-Dame by Pope Pius X in 1909, becoming a saint 11 years later.
For a small fee, it is possible to climb to the top of Notre Dame, where you have a nice view of Paris, including the Eiffel Tower.
After leaving Notre Dame, you can explore the neighborhood a little bit. There are some local artists exposing their art alongside the canal. In a walk distance from Notre Dame, you find St Chapelle, a famous chape but it is a less touristic spot in Paris, to get inside though, you have to buy a ticket.
Time to visit the Eiffel Tower, if you opt for the metro again, Champ de Mars Tour Eiffel Station takes you really close to it. A picnic in front of the Eiffel Tower is always a good idea during the summer. Prepare yourself and buy some sandwiches on your way there.
If you like panoramic views you can buy the ticket to climb the tower, but my suggestion is to pass it, as we will have another spot later where we gonna have an even better view, after all, what’s the point in having a view of Paris that you can’t see the most important touristic point of it?!
If you have the opportunity, don’t hesitate to take the Seine Cruiser. At first, it might sound like a too touristic thing. However, you will not regret it especially if you have only a few days to see the whole city, with the cruise, you will see enough.
I did the tour with Bateaux Cruise, and it was amazing! If you are able to, choose a trip during the sunset time, this way you are able to see the city in the daylight, and with the city light when you are on your way back.
Time to explore some museums, Paris has plenty of museums, some very famous, others not that much, but in my opinion, it is the city with the biggest number of historically important and interesting masterpieces.
If you are a big fan of museums, you might be willing to visit the Louvre Museum, after all, it is the biggest museum in the world, and totally worth a visit.
But it requires time, and if you have only 3 days in Paris, I don’t recommend you to visit it, especially in the summer, where the place is crowded and you need to wait for your turn to appreciate any piece of art.
Instead, you can pay a visit to the Musée d’Orsay, one of the most famous museums in Paris, and just a walk distance from the Louvre. It contains paintings, sculptures and other masterpieces by important artists including Monet, Renoir, and Van Gogh. Click here to buy your skip the line ticket.
Nothing stops you from admiring the Louvre from outside though. Visit the Jardin des Tuileries, and head to the Place de la Concorde, where you can see the Obelisk, the Fountain des Mers and of course, the Big Wheel.
The Place de la Concorde indicates the beginning of the most famous avenue in Paris, Champs Élysees, where you can find the finesses stores and if you go during the winter, it’s where you will find the best Christmas Market of Paris.
Prepare yourself because it is a huge avenue and it will be a long way to our next stop. Yeah, you guessed it right, the Arc de Triomphe.
Finally, now you have the chance to get one of the best views in Paris, not everybody knows but you can climb in the Arc de Triomphe, and it is there that you have one of the best views of the city.
This is our last day in Paris, and assuming you might be tired, we will pick a simple routine, that will let us enjoy the Parisian nightlife a little bit.
Take the metro to the Montmartre area, head to the Sacre Coeur and climb its stairs. If you are smart, you can take the cable car to the church. I only found out about the cable cars when I got up there. From there, you have an amazing view from Paris, and it is free.
It will probably be crowded if you go during the summer, the entrance is free. Unfortunately, it is not allowed to take pictures inside the church.
After visiting Sacre Coeur, you can take the cable car again, (or the stairs, your choice) and go have some fun around the neighborhood. Montmartre is one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in Paris, and definitely the one with the best nightlife.
Explore around, you will find stores selling all kind of stuff. There are many cafes where you can have a good meal.
As night approaches, go see the Moulin Rouge, another must-see point in Paris. During the night, the lights are on, which gives an absolutely new charm to the place. Unfortunately, the show’s prices are a bit salty.
If you are not tired yet, you can find a good bar in Montmartre, to enjoy the rest of the night in the best Parisian style. Or you can just run straight to your hotel to hit the bed.
Where to stay in Paris
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