Guides Paris Paris in 3 days: A Complete itinerary guide you should have

Paris in 3 days: A Complete itinerary guide you should have

City Guide July 18, 2023


Welcome to Paris, one of the world's most (if not the most) beautiful cities. Paris in 3 days is the perfect time to see the highlights and explore hidden gems in the city of lights. Don’t get us wrong, you can spend a lifetime in Paris and barely scratch the service— but we’ll make sure you do as a tourist when you visit Paris.

Unsure of what to do in 3 days in Paris? In this Paris guide for 3 days, we’ll be taking you around different parts of the city in a manner that highlights key aspects of the city. You’re welcome to stray from the beaten path and carve your own. These are simply suggestions since we understand how exhaustive planning and travel are.

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Day 1

The main attractions


Start your day by visiting Angelina or Café Kitsuné, depending on when you arrive— Angelina tends to have a long queue. Both are renowned for their coffee and pastries. Angelina is known for its famous hot chocolate, while Café Kitsuné offers a trendy and modern café experience.

After enjoying breakfast, head to the Louvre, one of the world's largest and most famous museums. Spend a few hours exploring its vast collection of art and historical artifacts, including the iconic Mona Lisa. If this isn’t your first time in the city or you don’t want to see the Louvre (or want to do both), we suggest going to the Musée d’Orsay.

The Musée d'Orsay is housed in a former railway station and showcases works by renowned artists such as Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh, and Degas. The museum is across from Louvre, making it a similar distance.

After visiting the Louvre, you have two options to reach the Champs-Élysées. You can either take a leisurely walk or use the metro. If you choose the metro, you’ll take line 1 and arrive directly at the arch. If you decide to walk, watch the Place de la Concorde, a historic square, and the beautiful Jardin des Tuileries, a charming garden.

For lunch, you can eat on the iconic Champs Élysées. We have two recommendations depending on your appetite. If you're in the mood for a classic French dish, head to L'Entrecôte. They specialize in steak frites, served with their secret sauce.

We recommend this choice for those with a bigger appetite since the fries are essentially bottomless. If you're craving a tasty burger and have a smaller appetite, try Dinand Par Ferdi, which offers a variety of gourmet burgers. The burgers are highly reviewed; some even claim they are the best burger in Paris.

After lunch, make your way to the Arc de Triomphe, a famous monument at the western end of the Champs-Élysées. Admire its grandeur and enjoy panoramic views of the city from the top. We recommend between this and the Eiffel Tower for views with the three-day constraint.

Next, head to the iconic Eiffel Tower! Take your time to explore the area, take photos, and consider going up the tower to enjoy breathtaking city views while munching on macaroons from Pierre Hermé. If you're lucky, you might catch a stunning sunset and golden hour as a backdrop to the stunning pictures you’ll take.

For dinner, we recommend a Seine cruise. You can take a Seine River cruise that includes dinner on board, allowing you to enjoy a meal while cruising along the river and taking in the bright beauty of the city. You can also take a Seine cruise and have dinner near the cruise stop or your accommodation.



Day 2

More iconic sites


Start your day by visiting Montmartre, a charming neighborhood known for its artistic history and bohemian atmosphere. Explore the narrow streets, browse the art shops, and soak in the unique ambiance. Make your way up to the Sacré-Cœur Basilica, located at the city's highest point. Enjoy panoramic views of Paris from the basilica’s terrace.

While you visit Montmartre, head to Café Carrette to indulge in their famous hot chocolate. This historic café is known for its rich and decadent hot chocolate, a perfect treat to warm up and recharge. The Montmartre location is only for takeaway, but it is the perfect beverage to hold on to as you explore the nooks and crannies of the old part of town.

Close to Café Carrette, you’ll find the Mur des Je t’aime, or the “I Love You Wall.” It’s a beautiful mural featuring the phrase “I love you” in different languages. Take a moment to appreciate this lovely symbol of love.

Take a stroll from Montmartre to Pigalle, another vibrant neighborhood in Paris. Pigalle is known for its lively nightlife, trendy bars, and music venues. Here can spot the iconic Moulin Rouge. The area can be overwhelming, but we recommend returning at nighttime and checking out bars and clubs if you like it.

While in Pigalle, enjoy a delicious lunch at Bouillon Pigalle, a traditional French restaurant offering affordable and hearty meals. This classic brasserie serves various French dishes, including favorites like steak frites, coq au vin, and escargots.

If you’re not too keen or unfamiliar with French food, this is a great place to sample various dishes because of its prices! If there’s a dish that you really like, you can choose to try it another time during your trip to another French brasserie.

Another great aspect of Bouillon Pigalle is the draft wine. Grab a liter (or two) while dining here. No one will judge, we promise.

Once you’ve finished your feast, take the metro line 2 from Pigalle to Île de la Cité- you’ll have to transfer to line 4 or the RER C- where you can visit Notre Cathedral and Sainte-Chapelle. Notre Dame Cathedral is a Gothic architecture masterpiece and a Paris symbol. Admire the stunning façade and explore the interior. Afterward, visit Sainte-Chapelle, famous for its exquisite stained glass windows.

Located near Notre Dame, Shakespeare, and Company is an iconic English-language bookstore. Browse through its vast collection of books, enjoy the cozy reading nooks, and soak up the literary history of this legendary bookstore. There’s a cute area on the top to leave a little note. If you need inspiration with what to write, you can use this to thank yourself for your trip or to leave a travel tip for others!

Depending on your time, go to the Jardin du Luxembourg in the Latin Quarter. These beautiful gardens offer a serene retreat from the bustling city. Stroll, relax by the fountains and enjoy the picturesque surroundings.

Lastly, head to Rue Mouffetard in the Latin Quarter for dinner, known for its vibrant food scene. This lively street has various restaurants, cafes, and food stalls. Explore the area and choose a budget-friendly eatery that catches your eye.

You’ll find a wide range of international cuisines and traditional French dishes. You can’t leave before trying the crepes here! We understand there’s a separate compartment in your stomach for dessert, so make room for this tasty treat!



Day 3

We’re going shopping


Today is all about shopping and seeing why Paris is the shopping haven. Even if you bear no interest in shopping, the places we’ll discuss here are architecturally and historically significant to the city.

Start your day with a delicious breakfast at Cédric Grolet. This renowned pastry chef's patisserie offers a wide selection of delectable pastries, including their famous fruit-shaped creations. Enjoy a leisurely breakfast to fuel up for a day of shopping. The lines here can be long, so get to the bakery early.

After breakfast, go to the Opéra Garnier, a stunning opera house known for its grand architecture. Take a moment to admire the exterior. The interior is also very admirable, but you’ll have to check that out when you have more than three days!

Just a short walk from the opera house, you'll find Galleries Lafayette, a famous and gorgeous department store. Explore the store's multiple floors and browse through a wide range of luxury fashion, cosmetics, accessories, and more. Check out the ReStore on the department store's third floor if you like vintage and second-hand finds.

While there, visit the rooftop of Galleries Lafayette for a stunning view of the city. The rooftop terrace offers panoramic views of Paris, including a close-up view of the iconic Eiffel Tower. Oh, did we mention rooftop access is free, making it one of the more accessible rooftops in the city?

From Galleries Lafayette, head to Printemps, another renowned department store nearby. It offers a diverse range of high-end fashion, beauty products, and home goods. Perfect for souvenirs to take home or for yourself!

The area has many cool eateries for lunch, but our recommendation is Perruche. Perruche is a stunning rooftop restaurant and bar located on the top floor of the Printemps department store in Paris. It offers a unique and memorable dining experience with panoramic city views. Enjoy one of the handcrafted cocktails as you recharge for the rest of the day.

After lunch, make your way to La Samaritaine, a historic department store that was recently renovated. Admire the beautiful architecture and explore the shops inside. To knock out another historic building, visit the Hotel de Ville and admire its structure. If you’re lucky, you might witness an event taking place.

In the afternoon, explore the boutiques and shops in the trendy neighborhood of Le Marais. Known for its inclusive and diverse atmosphere, Le Marais is a popular destination for fashion, vintage shops, concept stores, and independent designers. Le Marais has many restaurants to choose from if you’re looking for dinner. We recommend Chez Janou, a cozy bistro known for its traditional French cuisine, including delicious Provencal dishes and a wide selection of wines.

End your day with a nightcap at Bisou, a trendy bar in Le Marais known for its creative cocktails and lively atmosphere. Here there’s no menu— each drink is carefully crafted just for you. Sip on delicious drinks and unwind before heading back.


Tips for your 3 days in Paris Itinerary

1. Museum Pass

The Paris Museum Pass is a convenient and cost-effective way to explore the rich cultural heritage of the city. With this pass, visitors gain skip-the-line access to over 50 museums, monuments, and historical sites in and around Paris.

The pass covers many cultural sites, from world-famous museums like the Louvre, Musée d'Orsay, and Centre Pompidou to historic landmarks such as the Palace of Versailles, Arc de Triomphe, and Sainte-Chapelle. It also includes lesser-known gems like the Musée Rodin, Musée de l'Orangerie, and Musée de l'Armée. The Paris Museum Pass comes in different durations, including 2, 4, or 6 consecutive days. It is available for adults and children, with reduced rates for younger visitors.

While many of these are not in the itinerary, they provide savings and flexibility if you visit other sights during your trip!


2. Metro Tickets

Many attractions are close to one another, but we still recommend the Paris Visite Pass. The Paris Visite Pass is designed for visitors who wish to explore Paris and its surrounding regions extensively. Available for durations of 1, 2, 3, or 5 consecutive days, this pass offers unlimited travel on the metro, RER, buses, trams, and certain regional trains within specific zones. The ticket also includes a 25% discount on admission to the Montparnasse Tower observatory.

Remember to put your first name, last name, and date of purchase on the ticket, just in case! & keep them away from cell phones because it’ll damage the magnet.


3. Tax-Free Shopping

When shopping in Paris, non-European Union (EU) residents can take advantage of tax deductions, also known as tax-free shopping. To qualify, ensure you are a non-EU resident and check if the store participates in the tax refund program. After you shop, the store will give you a Tax-Free Shopping form with details of your purchase.

Before leaving France, go to the customs office at the airport with your purchases, passport, and completed forms. The customs officer will stamp and validate the forms. You can then receive your refund in cash at the airport, have it refunded to your credit card, or request a refund by mail.

We hope this Paris in 3 days guide helps you make the most of the city, and if you're looking for some info for an even shorter trip, check out our 48 hours in Paris guide!

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