Paris, the beautiful capital of France, they call it the city of love or the city of lights but no matter how you choose to call it, it will be hard to not be impressed by the Paris landmarks. Paris holds its own special place in my heart. On my first visit there, I spent 3 days in Paris, and it quickly became one of my favorite cities in the world. You can come here a thousand times and there will always be more to see, do, and try. These are my suggestions for your 4 days itinerary in Paris
If you’ve never been there, this guide will be very useful for you, as I mention all of the places to visit and some Paris traveling tips. Also, you will find a lot of information on how to save money as a Paris vacation can get very expensive. So without further ado let’s get to this Paris travel guide.
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How to travel in Paris? How to get around Paris?
Parts of Paris are divided into twenty arrondissements. There is no such thing as downtown Paris since all of its main attraction are spread all over the city. The best way to get around the city is by using the metro or by walking. I find the subway the cheapest and most convenient way. It is easy to navigate and can take you to different and remote places very quickly. You can also use Uber in Paris, and you will find that it’s more expensive and in some cases even slower than the subway.
RER trains will be the best option to use if you are going somewhere outside of the city. I used it to get to Disneyland and Versailles.
Travel Tip:If you are visiting Paris for a few days, make sure to check what kind of ticket package will be the most suitable for you. It can save you a lot of money in the end, depending on how long you’re staying in Paris.
1 ticket: € 1.90
10 tickets: € 16.90
There are also passes made especially for tourists for 1, 2, 3, or 5 days. Prices range depending on whether you want to use it only in Paris or include outside places like Disneyland and Versailles.
Check: Paris Travel Passes
Where to stay in Paris?
The process of choosing the right accommodation can get pretty overwhelming. That’s why I created this Airbnb list to help you choose the right one for you from the best ones in Paris.
What is the best time of the year to go to Paris?
The best time to visit Paris will be either fall or spring. The weather will be warm and sunny most of the time and you still will have to deal with less tourists. To be exact from April to June and October to mid November will be the best times to go to Paris.
During the summer months the weather is even better but don’t forget that 30 million tourists visit Paris every year. So, even though you’ll have more day light, in my opinion less tourists is always better. The cheapest months to visit Paris are early December, January and February.
How many days do you need in Paris?
- You need at least 7 days in Paris to be able to explore it properly. If you are short on time and want to see only the main attractions 4 days might be enough, but then you’ll have to buy your tickets online in advance, so you don’t waste your time waiting in line. You’ll have to be up pretty early and spend the whole day exploring.
- If you’re staying in Paris for several weeks you will still have a lot of options on what to do and where to go. How much time you’re going to need will highly depend on your budget and the amount of places that you would like to visit. Even though there are a lot of ways to save money while in Paris, it can also get pretty expensive. You just have to be strategic when it comes to planning your itinerary.
- There are also a lot of Paris day trips that you can take, so if you want to do that as well consider spending even more time there.
All mentioned prices are valid for 06.2020 and are for one adult without discounts. My advice is to check every place for discounts for children, students, seniors, or groups (4 or more people).
What to do in Paris
Activity list of things to do in Paris is endless. From guided tours to unique experiences, there is so much to choose from. Get Your Guide always has been my go-to platform for choosing the best tours for the best price. Head over here for more of my favorite tours and choose the right one for you.
How to find more interesting things to do in Paris
If you want to find more fun activities in Paris and don’t want to go on another guided tour, I highly suggest you check the Airbnb website. Even though I always mention them for finding the best accommodation, another great category that they have is called Airbnb Experiences.
There, you can find a huge amount of different activities in any given city. Another plus is that most of them are offered by locals and they will truly give you an authentic experience.
While we were in Paris for 4 days, we couldn’t book a lot of activities but because I was with my boyfriend, I wanted to do a romantic photo shoot for the two of us. When I searched online most of the professional photo shoots were around $400. On the Airbnb website we were able to book one for $140 for both of us.
You can find so many options there like wine and food tours, cooking classes, shopping trips, bike or scouter tours, organized day trips and so much more! The list is truly endless!
Here are just some suggestions that you have to add to your 4 days in Paris itinerary on your first visit.
The Eiffel Tower (La Tour Eiffel)
I just cannot start this list without mentioning the most iconic monument in Paris. Some people still hate it, some people love it, I could see both sides, but I for sure choose to love it.It’s simply one of the most recognizable Paris must see attractions. Paris just wouldn’t be the same without it. Don’t admire it only from the bottom, you have to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower. There are 3 levels on which you can go. The first level is 57 m., the second one is 116 m., and the last one called “Summit” is 276 m. high.
Travel Tip: My most important advice if you want to get to the top of the tower is to BUY your tickets ONLINE. This will save you unnecessary worries and wasting time waiting in huge lines. Tickets online are limited, so it’s important to buy them, as early as you can.
Official website: The Eiffel Tower Tickets
More places to enjoy the view of the Eiffel Tower
Arc de Triomphe. I will talk about it below once again.
Pont Neuf Bridge. Amazing place to have a picnic with a unique view of the Eiffel Tower from a slightly different angle.
The Montparnasse Tower. This tower is 210 meters tall. You can enjoy many beautiful 360 views of Paris from the 56th floor. The feeling of standing so high up and having the whole city in front of you is indescribable. And again you’ll save a lot of time by buying your tickets online.
Another very popular and free place to enjoy the view of the Tower is Trocadero Square, especially at sunset.
Last important thing about the Eiffel Tower. During your trip, you have to, at least once see how all of a sudden the whole tower starts to twinkle with thousands of lights. This happens every night, for 5 minutes, at the beginning of every hour, and lasts until 1 or 2 a.m. It’s truly breathtaking!
Louvre Museum/Musee de Louvre
It doesn’t matter if you like art or not, this is another Paris must visit place that you have to visit at least once in your life. At the end of the day, this is the biggest museum in the world for a reason. Obviously, you won’t be able to see everything in one visit. Take a look at the map of the Louvre beforehand and decide which exhibits you would like to see the most.
Here again, my advice to you is to buy your tickets online. The line here can get very long and you don’t want to spend your precious time in Paris waiting in lines.
Ticket bought online costs 2 euros more but it’s definitely worth it in my opinion.
Online 17 euros. In the museum 15 euros.
Official website to buy your tickets: Ticket Louvre
Notre Dame de Paris
Another place that doesn’t need explanation. All of these are true landmarks that simply can’t be missed. You don’t need tickets to get inside. That’s why you have to visit them as early as possible, to avoid the crowd.
After the fire on the 15th of April 2019, to this day Cathedral remains closed for public visits.
You can visit the official website to stay on top of all the information: Notre Dame Paris
Arc de Triomphe
I believe that getting to the top of the Arc is also mandatory. It offers one of my favorite views of Paris and its charming streets. The line here isn’t as long as the lines at other landmarks.
Dedicate around 40 minutes for your visit.
One ticket costs 13 euros.
We bought our tickets online but if you’re traveling during the busy season, this is the website to buy them online: Paris Arc De Triomphe
Sacré-Cœur Basilica is a Roman Catholic Church dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ. It was built in 1914. I didn’t manage to get inside but from the outside, it looks stunning.
To get to the top of the hill Montmartre, where the church is located, you can use a lift but I just walked there on foot as it’s not far. Take a moment to appreciate the wonderful view of Paris from the top of the hill.
Travel Tip: Get off the metro station which is located on the upper side of the basilica. That way you’ll have to walk only down the hill. Otherwise, you’ll have to climb 270 steps.
Sacre-Coeur is open every day from 6 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Entrance is free.
There are no organized tours inside, but you can visit their official website, from where you can download the free guide, to learn more about the Cathedral.
Sacre Coeur Montmartre
Montmartre and Moulin Rouge
This is the place where you don’t need tickets nor a plan to visit. Explore this beautiful art district, enjoy the impressive architecture, and get lost in its streets.
You can find Moulin Rouge here as well . World-famous Red Mill. You can visit one of their famous evening shows. Ticket prices start at 100 euros.
As I already mentioned it’s a 210 meters high office skyscraper, which offers breathtaking panoramic views of Paris. The view covers a radius of 40 km, so everything that you will see from there will be tiny.
The price for an adult ticket is 18 euros. There is also an option to buy a Day and Night Ticket for 23 euros to enjoy the view twice.
Official website: Tour Montparnasse
Saint Chapelle is a royal chapel in Gothic style, located very close to Notre Dame. It was built in 1248, and it’s another place that has to be visited.
You just have to see those impressive 15-meters high stained-glass windows. There is even an app to see and learn all the small the details and discover all the secrets of 1,113 windows.
You can download it here: Saint Chapelle App
Built as a church, now a resting place for a lot of famous people in the heart of the Latin Quarter. Among people buried in its necropolis are Voltaire, Rousseau, Victor Hugo, Jean Moulin, Louis Braille, Jean Jaurès and Soufflot, its architect and Marie Curie
You can get an audio guide in 11 languages. Price of the ticket is 11.5 euros and online reservation is necessary: Paris Pantheon Website.
Another very popular, interesting, and different thing that you can do in Paris is to go down the catacombs.
Opened to public visits in 1874. 20 meters deep underground tunnels, that stretch for miles (11,000 square meters) below Paris. They will help you learn more about the history of Paris.
These tunnels contain the bones of more than 6 million people.
You will have to go down 131 steps and then climb 112 to get out. The average temperature there is 14 degrees Celsius and it is very humid.
Today, their existence is threatened, because of the presence of groundwater. So if you want to visit this place, don’t delay it!
Plan an hour and a half to visit the catacombs.
Official website: Catacombes
Website for buying the tickets: Billetterie Parismusees
Last-minute (Same Day) ticket: 14€ Advance ticket: 24€
Jardin du Luxembourg
This is probably my favorite one out of all the free things to do in Paris. This park, covering 25 hectares of land, offers you an escape from the busy streets and tourist attractions.
Divided into two, French and English parts, by a large lake, this park was established in 1612.
There are many attractions and fun activities for children and adults. You can even play tennis or enjoy an open-air exhibition here.
There are no tickets or entrance fees.
Picnic on the Banks of the Seine River
Perhaps one of the most enjoyable and soothing things you can do in Paris is to have a picnic on the Seine. Buy some French food from a local “boulangerie” (bakery) or “patisserie” (pastry shop), buy some cheese from “fromagerie” and a bottle of good wine and just relax. Enjoy the view along the iconic river flowing through Paris and fully take in the atmosphere. Simply enjoy the fact that you are in this magnificent city.
A street that has become one of the emblems of Paris. It is a luxurious shopping street leading to the Arc de Triomphe. It’s worth to take a walk on this street even if you’re not planning on buying anything. But still do not linger for too long here, as there is still much to see.
Galeries Lafayette is a first-class French department store chain. Simply put, this is a mall with many luxury stores.
Even if you are not interested in shopping in Paris, I think it’s worth stopping by.
Especially if you’re visiting Paris around Christmas time, you must visit Galeries Lafayette. Every year their decoration is the best and they have the most original Christmas tree. There is even a short music show at certain times.
Official site where you can see a list of all stores: Galeries Lafayette
This is perhaps one of the least known places on this list. Rue Cremieux is a small hidden street that has become very famous mainly because of Instagram. When you see it in real life you will really understand why. Opened in 1865, with its colorful houses, it attracts the attention of many tourists. However be respectful and quiet while taking your pictures, because these are still inhabited houses.
Located in a former train station, this museum has mostly French art from 1848 to 1914. Right here you can see that big clock with a window overlooking Paris.
I recommend visiting the official website of the museum to find out which exhibitions are currently available.
The ticket price is 14 €.
The museum is free on the first Sunday of each month if you are under 18 and for all citizens of the European Union between 19-25 years.
Official website: Musee Orsay
Château de Versailles
Also known simply as Versailles. Is one of the former residences of the French kings, closely associated with Louis XIV, which is a must-visit.
It is located outside Paris, in the city of Versailles and as I already mentioned the easiest option to get there is to catch an RER.
Another thing that not many people know is that in addition to the castle and its gardens, you can also visit the royal stables. They are located opposite to the main entrance, across the street.
I advise you to spend the whole day exploring the palace here.
There are a variety of tickets depending on what you want to see and whether you want to join an organized tour or not. It is best to browse the official website and choose the most suitable one for you.
If you are interested to know, I bought the so-called “passport”, which includes all parts of the residence, the castle, and the gardens. The price of the ticket was 20 € or 27 € if the music show is included.
Official website: Chateau Versailles
This is one of the fun things to do in Paris.As you can tell from the name of the museum, this is a museum of chocolate.Here you can learn the history of chocolate, try it and see how chocolates are made.This is a very suitable place for anyone who loves chocolate and a particularly great place to visit with children.
The ticket price for the museum is 11 € per adult.
A € 35 ticket is also available, which includes a visit to the museum and a 45-minute lesson where you can try to make your own chocolates.
Official site: Musee du Chocolat
A large square, a former royal palace and a park located near the Louvre. Another beautiful place for a walk. This is where you can find those photogenic black and white art installations (Buren’s columns).
The Grand Palais is a large historic site, exhibition hall and museum complex located on the Champs-Elysées.
The reason I want to mention it here separately is if you visit Paris in the winter.
It’s a must-go for skating if you have the time. I’m not the biggest fan of skating, but the experience was truly breathtaking.
It was like an unique light show but we were a part of it. The symphony of music and lights was simply magical. The price to skate in the evening is a little higher, but for me, it is definitely worth it.
We paid 25 € for the evening session.
Planning for Disneyland Paris and Tips
- If you’re staying in one of the Disneyland Paris hotels you’ll be able to take advantage of the extra magic hours and enter the park one hour earlier or stay 2 hours later.
- Don’t get discouraged if you’re not staying in one of the Disney hotels, you will still be able to ride almost all of the Disneyland Paris rides. I was able to do it both of the times I went there. It’s all about being strategic and using your Disneyland Paris FastPass in a smart way.
- Don’t forget to grab your Disneyland park map right after entering the park. You’ll be able to see all of the rides there and the timetable for different shows and parades, so you don’t miss anything .
- Don’t rush to leave the park before the beautiful Disneyland fireworks, they are a must see.
How to get to Disneyland Paris?
When I say that RER is the best way to get to Disneyland, I mean it. When I wanted to go to Disneyland on my second trip to Paris, on their website I saw that they were offering a package park tickets with bus shuttle included. It seemed like a more organized option, so I decided to try it. However, in the end, it definitely wasn’t. Our bus came 20 minutes later than it was supposed to. It got full very quickly, and we were left waiting in line with at least 20 more people. We then had to go and catch a RER train because the shuttle bus was simply overbooked! Of course, they paid for our tickets, but we got to the park much later than we wanted to. In Disneyland, every minute counts!
Interesting Disneyland facts
- In any given moment there is only one Mickey present in the park. That way children can truly get that sense that the character is unique.
- No store sells chewing gum in the Disney parks to keep them as clean as possible.
- Disney has always been all about small details and quality. From the smallest facts like hidden Mickeys, magical music and sounds playing all around the park, to the big ones like the fact that the castle at Disneyland Paris faces south, so that visitors may take pictures from Main Street without worrying about the sunlight.
More must see places in Paris:
Tuileries Garden – a park for a pleasant walk
Center Pompidou – a collection of modern art
Palais Garnier – Paris Grand Opera
Food in Paris. What and where to eat in Paris?
Here is the list of the main French desserts that you must try at least once in Paris, and sometimes even more than once, because you may simply not have hit the right place
- Pain au chocolat – croissant with chocolate
- Tarte Tatin – something like a fruit pie, originally made with apples
- Mille-feuille – dozens of very thin sheets of puff pastry with sweet cream
- L’escargot chocolat pistache – means snail in French, but this is only because its shape resembles a snail, made with chocolate and pistachios
- Paris-Brest – a type of dessert created in Paris for a competition in 1910, and has stayed since
- Lemon Tarte – lemon cake
- Crème brûlée, Profiteroles, Soufflé and a lot more
Boulangerie & Patisserie
Bread really has a different and even better taste in France. And their desserts are unreal. Stop as often as possible and buy as many pastries as you can from local bakeries. No matter what you take, it will probably be something very tasty. The food in Paris is truly amazing.
Here is the list of the main French desserts that you must try at least once, and sometimes even more than once, because you may simply not have hit the right place
Pain au chocolat – croissant with chocolate
Tarte Tatin – something like a fruit pie, originally made with apples
Mille-feuille – dozens of very thin sheets of puff pastry with sweet cream
L’escargot chocolat pistache – means snail in French, but this is only because its shape resembles a snail, made with chocolate and pistachios
Paris-Brest – a type of dessert created in Paris for a competition in 1910, and has stayed since
Lemon Tarte – lemon cake
Crème brûlée, Profiteroles, Soufflé and a lot more
I had to put it on a separate list because you’ve probably tried freshly baked croissants before, but in Paris, they’re simply better.
Blue Sucré is a place worth mentioning if you don’t know where to go exactly. You will definitely get a fantastic croissant there.
A big, thin pancake. Be sure to try it once sweet and once salty. You can find them everywhere on the streets, but if you really want to try it in a restaurant, I recommend Breizh Café or Brother’s Crepes & Café
This is the most famous French dessert, which can be found in stores all over the world, but has nothing to do with the real one. It also depends a lot on which flavor you choose, as they come in a variety of flavors and some just aren’t that good. So again, until you try them yourself, you won’t know which ones you like the most.
A world-famous tea house, founded in 1903. Probably the most famous item they offer is their hot chocolate. There is even a small stand outside in front of the restaurant that will sell it to you. Many people come only for the hot chocolate. There was a huge queue outside when we went there. I think it’s worth the wait, but only if you like very sweet chocolate.
Lás du Fallafel
I know it’s weird to talk and think about falafels when you’re in Paris, at least that’s what I thought, but just trust me. I heard from other people about this place and decided to go there and see why there is so much talk about it. Only falafels are offered there and they are really unique, otherwise, I wouldn’t mention it to you. And believe me, we weren’t the only ones there, there was a huge queue in front, but don’t let that scare you as it moves very fast.
L’éclair de genie
And of course, while you’re in France, you should try their eclairs. L’éclair de genie was the place we went to and it was amazing. Yes, these will not be the cheapest eclairs you can find and I would even say that they are a bit expensive, but I am obliged to offer you only the best. And you now have to decide which of these to take and which to skip.