3 Days in Paris Itinerary

There are so many things to do in Paris, places to see and history to learn, that a short visit to the city may sound a bit overwhelming. Definitely 3 days in Paris is not enough to admire every detail of the French capital, however, it is enough to see the most important attractions.

If it is your first time in Paris, this is a list for you! This beginner’s Paris guide will help you to plan your first visit in order to see all the main tourist points. You will definitely leave the city satisfied, despite the short period of time.

I highly recommend buying the Paris City Pass, for those staying 3 days in Paris for a week, it gives you FREE access to over 60 attractions, free transportation within zones 1-3, skips the line of most attractions, besides loads of discounts and many advantages during your stay in the city.

what to do in Paris in 3 days

3 Days in Paris Itinerary

How to get around

Paris has a great, well-connected metro system, all the must-see places to visit in Paris are very easy to get to, and they normally have a metro station nearby. If you are thinking about using the metro, you can download the metro map here.

In my opinion, though, the best way to see a city is by taking the bus, as you can admire the views from the window while getting to your final destination, this is also a cheap option if you are traveling on a budget.

Now, if you want a cheap option where you will have all the comfort of being left exactly in front of every tourist point you want to visit, the best option of all, and my favorite option, is to buy the Hop on Hop off bus ticket.

It is the best option especially if you are spending a few days in Paris, as it will bring you to all the important spots, which will save you time from moving around and figuring out your way, plus it is a cheap option to get to all the tourist points in Paris.

Where to stay in Paris

Looking for a perfect stay in Paris? If you dream about waking up to a view of the Iron Lady, Paris’ iconic landmark, check these hotels with Eiffel Tower view.

For more option you can check the map of the hotels in Paris:


What to do in Paris in 3 days: Day One

You can start your day by visiting the famous Notre Dame Cathedral, if you opted not to 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 Cathedral 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 Pope Alexander III, but it was only completed in 1345. The entrance is free, however, from the expectation of a long line in to get inside, but don’t worry, it is completely worth it!

The interior is beautiful with some stained glass and statues decorating the cathedral, including the statue of Jeanne d’Arc, who is considered a hero of France and was beatified here in Notre Dame by Pope Pius X in 1909, becoming a saint 11 years later.

Notre Dame Cathedral Paris

Probably the most famous piece inside though is the altar, which is definitely one of the most beautiful altars I have ever seen and counts with the iconic statue Pieta by Nicolas Coustou.

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. Along the channel, you will see the traditional Bouquinistes, selling used and antique books.

In walking distance from Notre Dame, there is probably the most beautiful chapel in the city, known as Sainte Chapelle. Although it is famous, it is still a less tourist spot in Paris. To get inside though, you have to buy a ticket. Depending on the day, you will still need to face a long line.

The gothic chapel was built in 1246 to be the chapel of the royal palace. The palace building was completely destroyed though and the Palais de Justice was built on the same site.

Eiffel Tower visiting Paris in 3 days

Time to visit the symbol of Paris. If you opt for the metro again, Champ de Mars Tour Eiffel Station takes you really close to it.

The Eiffel Tower was built in 1889 by Gustave Eiffel to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution and to demonstrate France’s industrial prowess to the world.

It was not meant to be a permanent though and was built just for the 1889 Universal Exposition and was definitely not Parisian’s favorite landmark. However, it soon became a symbol of Paris.

A picnic in front of the tower is always a good idea during the summer, and also a common activity for Parisians, and you will see many people doing this especially on the weekends, so prepare yourself and buy some sandwiches on your way there.

Don’t miss the chance to climb the Eiffel tower, to have a panoramic view from Paris. I truly recommend booking your ticket prior though, otherwise, you will have to take a long line to buy your ticket then another long line for the elevator.

Seine Cruiser

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.

What to do in Paris in 3 days: Day Two

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 definitely the most iconic one.

But with a collection of over 380,000 objects, it requires time. If you only have 3 days in Paris, I don’t recommend you to visit it, especially during the summer, where the place is crowded and you need to wait for your turn to appreciate any piece of art.

Of course, if the Louvre is a must for you, you can always make a quick visit, visiting only the most important masterpieces of the Louvre. You can buy your skip the line ticket for Louvre here.

Among its highlights are Mona Lisa, Venus of Milo, and the Winged Victory of Samothrace.

Instead of visiting the Louvre Museum, you can pay to visit the Musée d’Orsay, one of the most famous museums in Paris, and just a walk away 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.

If you are visiting the Musée d’Orsay, don’t forget to take a look at the Bal du Moulin de la Galette by Renoir, Self Portrait, and Starring Night, both by Van Gogh.

Louvre Museum visiting Paris in 3 days

For those who choose to visit the Musé d’Orsay, do spend some time outside the Louvre though. The buildings that now houses the biggest museum in the world, used to be a palace before, and next to it, there was another palace, known as the Palais des Tuileries, whose building was unfortunately destroyed.

However, its gardens remain and can be visited and appreciated nowadays. The Jardin des Tuileries is the garden in front of the Louvre, it extends from the museum until the Place de la Concorde, out next stop.

Take your time to sit in one of the chairs in front of the small lake while you have a snack and watch the little ducks swimming.

From the Jardin des Tuileries, you can follow the Place de la Concorde, one of the main squares in Paris, where you can see the Obelisk, the Fountain of Mers and of course, the Big Wheel.

Place de la Concorde was once called Place de la Revolution, and was the main square where criminals during the Revolution were executed by the guillotine. Marie Antoinette and her husband King Louis XVI were executed here, in front of a crowd.

The Place de la Concorde indicates the beginning of the most famous avenue in Paris, Champs Élysees, considered the shopping heart of Paris, here you will find a great number of famous shops, and if you go during the Autumn or Winter, it’s where you will find the one of the best Christmas Market of Paris.

Jardin des Tuileries visiting Paris in 3 days

It has several attractions including a skating rink, other amusement park-style toys, and innumerable stalls selling food, souvenirs, and cold clothes.

Standing at the Charles de Gaulle Place, the Arc de Triomphe was built in honor of those who lost their lives during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.

To get to the Arc de Triomphe, you will have to walk the whole avenue, so get ready because it is a huge avenue and it will be a long way until you reach the Arc.

But it’s worth it because there is in the Arc de Triomphe as beautiful and immense as Paris. It is also possible to climb the Arc de Triomphe, and from above, it is possible to take one of the best panoramic photos of Paris, as the Eiffel Tower will be included in your photo, this time.

What to do in Paris in 3 days: Day Three

This is our last day in Paris, and assuming you might be tired, we will pick a simple routine, which 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, something that I didn’t notice at first,  I only found out about the cable cars when I got up there.

Sacre Coeur visiting Paris in 3 days

From there, you have an amazing view of Paris, and it is free.

The Sacre Coeur will probably be crowded, especially if you go during the summer, but the entrance is free, so no reason to give up. Bear in mind, 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 have some fun around the neighborhood. Montmartre is one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in Paris, and definitely the one with the best nightlife.

You will probably recognize many streets and scenes from paintings you saw elsewhere, as this is a very famous spot for artists, besides romantic, it is considered the Bohemian neighborhood of Paris, so everything an artist like.

Explore around, you will find stores selling all kinds of stuff, it is a good place if you are looking for souvenirs to bring back home. There are many cafes where you can have a good meal.

The night approaches, go to the Moulin Rouge, the most famous cabaret and a must-see in Paris. It was built in 1889 and is one of the few traditional cabarets that are still working. The Moulin Rouge offers amazing performances that can be watched while you enjoy your dinner inside the cabaret.

Moulin Rouge visiting Paris in 3 days

During the night, the lights are on, which gives an absolutely new charm to the place.

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.

Read more

Things to know before going to Paris

Room with a view of the Eiffel Tower


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Sobre Isadora

Writting and sharing travel experiences

(31) Comments

  1. Love this post, and the photos.

    1. thank you! 🙂

  2. Kyle Studstill says:

    Great shot of Jardin desTuileries 🔮🙏


  3. Quite a complete programme for 3 days.
    What about 3 months?
    Até logo

    1. That would be quite an opportunity! Paris has so many hidden pearls that even if you spend a long time, you will never get tired of this city.
      Besides, there are many interesting one day trips that one can take from the capital!
      Are you going by any chance?

  4. HI Isadora,
    Thanks for following my blog. Paris is our favourite place. We are actually moving to France soon and looking forward to weekends in Paris and not just in Springtime. Last year we visited the northern area for buttons and bows, linens and leather and especially loved Reines. A seamstresses delight.

    1. Lucky you, France is beautiful I hope you enjoy it fully! Paris is full of charm and hidden pearls, there is so much to be seen! I would suggest for you to explore Marais, there are amazing bars and shops there, during springs and summers take a walk around the Bastille area, it is beautiful! For more eccentric views, visit Belleville! I wish you all the best!

  5. Caitlin Stewart says:

    These are some great tips! Lots of iconic places! My parents are actually headed to Paris in April! I’m going to have to pass this post along to my mom!!!

    1. I really hope they like it!! At least to give them an idea!! 😀

  6. I love Paris! Cannot stop enjoying it whether being there or reading about it!

  7. This is what I would need for a city trip to Paris! A beginners guide to a beautiful city.

  8. Michelle says:

    These are great suggestions for a short visit to Paris thanks, saving it to my Pinterest Paris travel inspiration board for sure! Especially love the idea of having a picnic close to the tower – that would be so romantic!

    1. Thank you so much! 😀

  9. Great tips for first timers to Paris. My favorite city.

  10. Andrea says:

    Thank for you this! Very informative and learned a couple of new things that I’ll will now consider for my future trip to Paris.

  11. Great post. I think there are not many more specially places left to see. hence I think 3 days are great to spend in Paris. Thanks for sharing this piece. Cheers.

  12. Viviane says:

    Really well thought itinerary for a short stay in Paris! Hitting up the highlights in the limited time available. When I was in Paris for the day we ate sandwiches before the Eiffel Tower, ate my first macaron, went into Notre Dame (no crowds in June/Julyl; how?) met someone new at a cafe and more. Oh and climbed arc de triomphe at the start. It was one of the most magical days of my life and roughly like your itinerary but in just one day!

    1. wooow that amazing that you managed to do so many things in only one day!! Paris is really a magic city!!

  13. In only a month I will be in Paris for the first time. You have given some great tips – I am considering bypassing the Louvre now since we don’t have a lot of time ti go inside. Thank you.

    1. Thank you Josie!! I hope you enjoy Paris as much as I did!

  14. I’m saving this post for a future travel date to Paris TBD. Good tip about the views from inside the Arch de Triomphe.

    1. Thank you Jamie! 🙂

  15. I’ve been to Paris a few times now and can vouch for your itinerary. Great guide for first timers looking to catch the highlights of the city.

  16. Nice Post Dora and great photos. You must’ve started touring early in order to get pics with so few people in them (especially around the Louvre!), good job!!

    1. Hey Mike! Thank you so much! 🙂 I really did!! I heard of how crowded it could be, so I got there pretty early, just to make sure hahaha

  17. I’ll be in Paris soon, so this is super helpful!

  18. Just reading the post makes me want to pack my bags and leave! What a charming writer you are!

  19. So many helpful tips here! Will definitely be looking to the city pass.

  20. I love Paris. I’ve been several times, so have done the main sights. But I just love wandering the streets and soaking in the atmosphere.
    Beautiful photographs.

  21. Paris is on my bucket list for so long. Would love to refer to this post for tips 😍

  22. Nicole says:

    This is a perfect list for a first time visit to Paris! Love your photos and it reminds me me of my first time in Paris. I would’ve loved a list like this before my first visit.

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