Oh, Paris. The city of lights, love, romance, and most importantly, croissants! This iconic city has been at the very top of my bucket list since I can remember, so I'm thrilled to finally be able to put together an itinerary for you all. I understand! How can you spend only three days in this magical place?! As you all know, Paris is a vast city with a wide range of sites to see and things to do, but if you plan it just right, 72 hours can be the perfect amount of time to explore. Traveling to Paris can be overwhelming for first time visitors. (At least I know I was)! I was worried that I wasn't going to be able to see and do everything I wanted in three short days, so I've put together this itinerary to settle any doubt or worry you may have.
Included in this itinerary are three separate Paris itineraries for each day. Therefore, if you are in Paris for more or less time, you can follow each day individually!
The first day is all about seeing those iconic sites and attractions that you’ve seen on the big screen. My friend and I started out at Notre Dame, and worked our way up the Seine River. But you'll want to map out the order to see everything depending on your hotel/airbnb/hostel accommodations, and where it's located! We got to Notre Dame around 11 am, and it was bustling with tourists. Going inside the cathedral is free so make sure you take advantage of it. The famous stain glass windows and Gothic architecture make for an astounding walk through the church.
Next stop was the Louvre Museum! We walked along the Seine River and crossed the Pont du Carrousel Bridge and then arrived at our destination. The Louvre is obviously a must, but be sure to carve out a good chunk of time to explore the museum. You could easily spend an entire day there, so once you arrive grab a map and prioritize what you want to see. Side note, if you have a student visa entry is free! If not, regular admission is 17 euro.
We were only interested in seeing certain pieces so we were on a mission as soon as we stepped inside the Louvre! After the museum we set out towards the gardens in front of the Louvre. It is the perfect spot for a picnic or just to take a second to relax. It has open grass, several fountains, beautiful statues, and an incredible view of the Eiffel Tower.
Café de Flore
The next plan of action was to enjoy some tasty treats from the famous Café de Flore. When in Paris, it’s a must! Café de Flore is is one of the oldest coffeehouses in Paris, and is well known for serving famous clientele throughout its history. Its charming French flare continues to attract tourists from all over the world, as well as Parisian locals!
Take a look at their website! cafedeflore.fr/?lang=en
Once we filled our bellies with pastries, we were ready to set out to the Eiffel Tower!! It was a beautiful walk, and it was nice to use that time to explore every crevice we could.
Regardless of eating an hour prior, we were in the mood for a little picnic under the Eiffel Tower. I mean who wouldn’t be?! We found the nearest grocery store, bought some wine, olives, croissants, and French cookies, found an open spot on the grass and just had ourselves an afternoon! In my opinion, a casual picnic under the Eiffel Tower is a right of passage when traveling to Paris!
Dinner Cruise on the Seine
After relaxing and enjoying our picnic, we ran back to our hostel to change for our dinner cruise! The dinner cruise was something we had been really looking forward to. We had heard high praise, so squeezing it into our weekend was important. The cruise we went with picks you up right on the Seine near the Eiffel Tower, and takes you down the river to see about a dozen of the most famous attractions by water! Along with the views, you get a delicious 3 course meal, wine, and optional photographs.
This dress is not yet on Zara's US website, but here is another option!
While walking to our cruise we came across this stunning view, so we had to snap a few pictures.
To book the same dinner cruise go here: www.viator.com/tours/Paris/Bistro-Style-Seine-River-Dinner-Cruise/d479-6557DINNERCRUISE
Brunch at Café le Bistro
The following day, we let ourselves sleep in a bit to be fully rested for another day! We came across a darling little café on our walk towards the train station. It’s quite far from all the main attractions, but if you find yourself near this area I highly recommend sitting down for a yummy meal, and ordering the brunch - believe me it’s more than enough and quite delicious.
Palace of Versailles
After we, quite literally, devoured our meal, we set off to the Palace of Versailles. We figured out that we were able to take the metro all the way there so we decided to navigate the trains rather than spend €50+ on a bus package. Depending on where you’re leaving from, the train takes about 45 minutes to a little over an hour to get you to the palace, and the ticket was only €10! The metro is actually quite simple to navigate once you get the hang of it. So don’t hesitate to take advantage of it.
Be sure to carve out a good amount of time to visit the palace, especially if you’re going on a weekend. We bought our tickets online once we arrived, and stood in line for about 45 minutes before going in. Don’t freak out if the line looks never ending, it moves fast and you have time to take in the beauty of the palace from the outside. But if I could give one piece of advice, try to avoid going on weekends to steer clear of big crowds, and to experience the palace with ease!
To purchase a ticket for full access to the Palace of Versailles and Gardens for only 20 euro go here: www.getyourguide.com/paris-l16/palace-of-versailles-full-access-passport-ticket-t59565/?referrer_view_id=b42a9abf2ce0e9cc68588bfb578fe4f8&referrer_view_position=1
The detail and intricacy of the palace is incredible, and everyone who takes a trip to Paris has to include this in their itinerary. The way in which it has all been preserved and looks exactly how it did when Louis XIV lived there, truly makes it feel like you’ve stepped back in time.
I’ll be the first to admit that it’s hard for a museum or historical attraction to keep my attention for very long. But your ticket includes an audio guide that takes you through each room and describes its significance. It was the perfect way to learn the history of Versailles on your own terms!
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The world famous “Hall of Mirrors”
After walking through the palace and soaking in all its history, we headed to the gardens. A lot of people who have visited Versailles have told me that you don’t quite understand the vastness of it until you see it for yourself - and they were right! The gardens are huge, and there are so many different aspects of the property to see. If you have the time, I recommend grabbing some food on the grounds and having a nice picnic to take a little break from all the walking!
Arc de Triomphe
Once we arrived back in Paris we made our way to see the Arc de Triomphe - a historical monument which honors those who fought and died in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. It stands at the west end of Champs-Élysées, a famous street in Paris.
A Sparkling Eiffel Tower
After walking along Champs-Élysées, we hopped back on the train towards the Eiffel Tower. Once the sun sets and the city becomes dark, the Eiffel Tower sparkles every hour on the hour for 5 minutes. We had seen it the night before briefly, but we wanted an up close experience! Snag a spot next to the Pont D’lena (the bridge directly in front of the tower) for the perfect view to see it sparkle!
Dinner at Café Ribe
After walking around, we had worked up an appetite. We wanted something close to the Eiffel Tower, so we could enjoy some delicious food and wine next to the world famous monument. We came across Café Ribe, and after a quick glance over the menu, we concluded it was the perfect fit. Stefani ordered onion soup with a salad and mashed potatoes, and I got the cheeseburger and French fries! (Don’t judge me I was needing a little taste of home)! Haha! But all in all, it was a fabulous restaurant and the service was impeccable. Even though it was right next the Eiffel Tower it definitely wasn’t a tourist trap!
Marché des Enfants Rouge
We started out our last full day in Paris by exploring Marché des Enfants Rouge, an amazing food market selling everything from fresh fruits and veggies to organic crêpes. One can come to the market to pick up fresh meat for dinner, or even sit down and have a fresh meal. It was beautiful to see all of the locals and tourists all in one place, seamlessly enjoying the market as one!
Jardin des Plantes
The next destination on our list was Paris's botanical gardens. This isn't something that normally comes to mind when you think of the city of lights, however, it's extremely beautiful, has little bistros to grab a snack, and even has a zoo attached! It's the perfect place to sit and relax to take a break from the hustle and bustle of Paris. It's also great for kids!
See Paris by Scooter
After our relaxing walk through the gardens, we hopped on the metro to get closer to the main attractions. All weekend we had been seeing people on lime green scooters all over Paris. We jokingly mentioned how we would love to rent one, but was hesitant on the idea of navigating Paris traffic. However, ealier in the day, as we were eating some delicious quiche and croissants there were a few directly in front of us, so we thought we would give them a go! We downloaded the "Lime" app, punched in our payment info, and hopped on! And let me tell you something, it was the best decision we had made all weekend, haha! Seriously, so much fun!
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Pont Alexandre III
As we were zooming along on our scooters (lol) we came across the famous Ponte Alexandre III bridge. It's known as one of the most ornate and extravagent bridges in the world, and I definitely understand why! We took a few minutes to snap some photos and enjoy the view of the Seine before heading to our next destination.
Shop my black leather jacket here!
Sunset at Tuileries Garden
We wanted to watch the sunset with a beautful view, so we chose to have another picnic at the gardens next to the Louvre museum. We grabbed some snacks and found the perfect spot to spread out and witness a sunset with a view of the Eiffel Tower. We turned on some music to create the perfect scenario, and truthfully I wish it could've lasted a lot longer than it did!
Go to the top of the Eiffel Tower
To conclude our weekend, we wanted to make the trek up the Eiffel Tower for a panoramic view of the city at night. We went around 8 pm, and the line wasn't terrible. If you're a student a ticket is only 12 euro, and a regular adult ticket is 25,50 euro. You can buy cheaper tickets if you want to take the stairs to the second floor, but we wanted the luxury of the elevator for sure!
Once we made it to the top, it’s easy to see why they call it the "City of Lights". It was the perfect ending, to a perfect day, to our perfect weekend! I hope this guide is helpful and informative, because I had so much fun putting it together for you all. I truly hope you can use these itineraries if and when you decide to travel to Paris. Because after all, "Paris is always a good idea". -Audrey Hepburn
I'm Emma Kay
A girl from Kentucky with high hopes and big dreams. I love all things fashion, travel, and long sessions of retail therapy.