Paris is a large city comprised of 20 arrondissements
With such a wide array of things to do in Paris, travel planning might become overwhelming when thinking about what you can squeeze into a period of a couple days. I took my time during my six day trip to Paris and I saw things that were important to me.
Guidebooks and travel blogs always list different things to do around the city and it can be hard to settle on exactly what you want to do. Here is a list of the things that I did and hopefully they can provide a foundation in helping you to plan your trip.
Day 1: Figure out the Layout of Paris
Take A Walking Tour
To get your bearings on the layout of the city, it is always a good idea to take a walking tour. I took a free tour with Sandeman’s New Europe and got a great feel for the city.
Stroll down the Champs-Élysées
Located in the 8th arrondissement, the Champs-Élysées is one of Paris’s most famous streets. While strolling down the street, I popped into the famous Ladurée (75 Avenue des Champs-Élysées) for some delicious macaroons!
Visit the Arc de Triomphe
Witness the beauty of Paris by overlooking the city from the top of the Arc de Triomphe. In the distance, you can see the Eiffel Tower
Location: Place Charles de Gaulle right off of the Champs-Élysées
Directions: (RER A) station Charles-de-Gaulle-Etoile (Metro) Lines 1, 2 and 6, Station Charles-de-Gaulle-Etoile
Day 2: Explore the Parks
Visit Le Jardin du Luxembourg
At a size of 25 hectares, the Luxembourg Garden is a gorgeous park with manicured lawns, beautiful statues, and a lot of botanic biodiversity.
Location: 6th arr.
Directions: (RER B) Luxembourg station Senate (Bus) 21, 27, 38, 58, 82, 83, 84, 85, 89 (Metro) Odéon (lines 4 and 10), Mabillon (10), Saint-Germain-des-Prés (4)
Visit Parc de la Villette
Ride a bike or walk along the Bassin de La Villette at night to the Parc de la Villette. It is absolutely beautiful. In addition to being able to lie down in the park by the river, the park had various gardens, events, and places to eat.
Location: 19th arr.
Directions: (Metro) Line 5 – Porte de Pantin / Line 7 – Porte de la Villette (Tram): Line 3b – Porte de Pantin, Ella Fitzgerald or Porte de la Villette (Bus) Lines 75, 151, PC2 and PC3 – Porte de Pantin / Lines 139, 150, 152 – Porte de la Villette
Day 3: Cemeteries, Secrets, and Biking
Visit the Cimetière du Père-Lachaise
Located in the 20th arrondissement, the Père-Lachaise cemetery houses legendary individuals such as Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison.
Location: 16 Rue du Repos
Directions: (Metro) Line 2 – Père Lachaise / Line 3 -Père Lachaise or Gambetta
Walk along the La Petite Ceinture
La Petite Ceinture is an abandoned railroad track hidden in plain site in the middle of Paris. It is a little tricky to get into, but using my clues will help you to discover it for yourself (if you dare).
Visit the Bois de Vincennes
Located near 12th arrondissement on the edge of the city of Paris is Bois de Vincennes, the largest park in the city and that is absolutely stunning.
While in the park, grab a Vélib bike and ride the perimeter of the park for beautiful views. In addition, you could rent a boat to ride around the park’s Lake Daumesnil for an hour or two.
Directions: (Metro) Line 8 – Porte Dorée (Bus) 46, 87, 111, 112, 180, 281, 325
See the Eiffel Tower glitter at night
Every night for the first five minutes of each hour, the Eiffel Tower sparkles. It is a truly magnificent sight to behold, and one that should not be missed during your trip to Paris.
Location: Champ de Mars, 5 Avenue Anatole France [7th Arr.]
Directions: (Metro) Line 6 – Bir-Hakeim / Line 9 – Trocadéro (RER C) Champs de Mars – Tour Eiffel station (Bus) 42,69, 82, 87
Day 4: Museums & Churches
Visit the Louvre
The Louvre is one of Paris’s most famous museums, and one that you can easily spend an entire day in.
If you want to avoid the long line to get into the museum, try to enter through the Porte des Lions, which is open most days of the week.
If you must enter through the pyramid, it is highly recommend to get your ticket in advance, which will let you skip both the security and the ticket lines.
Location: 1st arr.
Directions: (Metro) Line 1 – Palais-Royal–Musée du Louvre station (Bus) 21, 24, 27, 39, 48, 68, 69, 72, 81, 95
Visit Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris
The Cathedral of Notre Dame is arguably the most famous church in all of Paris
In addition to being beautiful on the outside and the inside, it is FREE to enter!
Location: 4th arr.
Directions: (Metro) Line 4 – Cité or Saint-Michel / Line 1, 11 – Hôtel de Ville / Line 10 Maubert-Mutualité or Cluny – La Sorbonne / Lines 7, 11, 14 – Châtelet (RER B or C) Saint-Michel – Notre-Dame (Bus) 21, 24, 27, 38, 47, 85, 96, Balabus
Day 5: Palaces & Boat Rides
Visit the Château de Versailles
Located outside of Paris in the town of Versailles, France, the Château de Versailles (Palace of Versailles) has a lot of history and beauty.
Arrive when the palace opens, and spend the entire day on the grounds riding around the property by bike, having lunch, and visiting the palace.
Location: Place d’Armes, 78000 Versailles
Directions: (Bus from Paris ) 171 – Chateau de Versailles (RER C) Versailles-Rive Gauche
Take a Night Boat Cruise down the Seine River
I took a night boat cruise down the Seine River with Bateaux Parisiens and had a wonderful time.
Day 6: Fashion, Museums, and Wandering
No, not me silly!
Visit the first couture house of Chanel and see her famous apartment on 31 Rue Cambon.
I missed out on seeing the apartment as I was overly excited to find her first shop on 21 Rue Cambon. While you are at the first shop, you might as well buy something! I only purchased a simple eyeliner, yet I was treated like royalty. While my bill was being handwritten by the store manager (you won’t find any cash registers here), I was given free juice and was seated on a plush chair.
Location: 31 Rue Cambon [1st arr.]
Directions: (Metro) Line 1,8,12 – Concorde
Visit the Musée d’Orsay
A former railway station turned art museum, the Musée d’Orsay now holds art from great artists such as Van Gogh, Renoir, Monet, and Cézanne.
Location: 1 Légion d’Honneur Street [7th arr.]
Directions: (Metro) Line 12 – Solférino (RER C) Musée d’Orsay (Bus)24, 63, 68, 69, 73, 83, 84, 94
Montmartre is my absolute favorite neighborhood in Paris.
Home to the Basilica of the Sacré Cœur (35 Rue du Chevalier de la Barre), and the Moulin Rouge (82 Boulevard de Clichy), this hilly neighborhood overlooking the city of Paris is where you will find many of the city’s artists.
Location: 18th arrondissement
Directions: (Metro) Line 12 – Porte de la Chapelle-Mairie d’Issy / Line 2 – Porte Dauphine-Nation