Three Day Guide to Paris
Paris, the city of love, is a place you must go at least once in your life. As I wipe the crumbs of a croissant from my face, I can honestly say the culture, history, and vibe of Paris is like no other. Through this guide, I will show the places you can’t miss during your trip.
Day 1: Arc de Triomphe, Louvre, Sainte Chapelle, Notre Dame, and Eiffel Tower
Get ready for your day with an espresso and a pain au chocolat (chocolate croissant) at any local bakery for breakfast. Then, take the metro (1.90€) to the Arc De Triomphe. If you’d like to take a view from the top, you can for 12€.
From the Arc de Triomphe, walk down the Champs Elysees (or take the metro) to the Louvre Museum and say hi to the Mona Lisa. The Louvre is huge, so make sure you plan to spend at least two hours there, but you will probably need more.
Then, take a short, 12-minute walk to Sainte Chapelle, a beautiful stained glass chapel. This is where King Louis IX housed his historic relics, including Christ’s Crown of Thorns, which is now housed in the Notre Dame.
After visiting Sainte Chapelle, take a 9-minute walk to the Notre Dame. It is free to go inside, but you will need to pay 8.50€ to go up in the tower.
End your day at the Eiffel Tower. Go to the top of the Eiffel Tower near sunset, and you will have such a breathtaking view of Paris. Stay there until it gets dark, and then cross the river to the Palais de Chaillot. Here, you can get an amazing view (and picture) of the Eiffel Tower at night. The Eiffel Tower blinks its lights every hour on the hour at night, so make sure you don’t miss it!
This seems like a lot for one day, but the Notre Dame, Arc de Triomphe, and Saint Chapelle only take about 15-20 minutes each to see but could be longer if you decide to go to the top of the Notre Dame and Arc de Triomphe.
Day 2: Sacre Couer, Montmartre, and the Catacombs
After you’ve had your croissant, take the metro to the Sacre Couer. From here, you have another amazing view of Paris for FREE.
Once you have taken in the view, make your way down the hill to Monte Martre, one of my favorite places in Paris. The area of Montmartre has such a cool vibe. It is full of artists selling their work, cute restaurants, and culture. Make sure you don’t miss La Maison Rose, a pink restaurant.
Afterward, take the metro to the Paris Catacombs. If you are creeped out easily, the Catacombs probably isn’t the best place to go, but I found it very interesting. You go deep underground, even under the metro, to an old quarry. It is filled with the bones of 6 million people arranged in an artistic way. Definitely creepy, but the history behind it is interesting.
Day 3: Versailles
On your last day in Paris, take the train from Invalides to the Palace of Versailles. It takes about 30-40 minutes to get there, but it is worth it. This palace is where King Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette lived. The property is huge. Once you see the palace, which consists of two floors of beautiful rooms, make your way to the gardens. After the gardens, Marie Antoinette had her own pink marble palace on the property that you can tour as well. This will take almost a whole day, so make sure you have enough time.
Things to Keep in Mind:
- When visiting museums, make sure to check the days and times of operation. You don’t want to arrive at a museum to find out it’s closed.
- The Louvre is closed on Tuesdays, but open the other days of the week from 9 am – 6 pm. On Wednesdays and Fridays, the Louvre stays open until 10 pm.
- The Palace of Versailles is closed on Mondays but open from 9 am – 5:30 pm the other days of the week.
- I found that I took the metro many times in Paris so I would suggest buying 10 metro tickets for 14.90€. This saves you money, as one ticket is 1.90€.
- If you are a European Union (EU) citizen under the age of 26, you can get into most museums free–the Louvre, Palace of Versailles and Sainte Chapelle. If you are from outside of the EU, but are studying abroad in the EU, and under 26, you can get these same deals. Just these three museums alone will be about €30 to €40 combined, so being a young EU citizen/resident can definitely save you some money.
Speaking of saving money, food in Paris can be expensive so you can check out my article on how I ate in Paris for four days under $40.
If you need other cheap travel tips, I have an article on that as well.
Where to Stay:
- I always recommend hostels. St. Christophers Hostel is an amazing chain of hostels that I like to use, and there is one in Paris. You can check it out here. If you book directly from their website, instead of from a third party, you get FREE breakfast.
- There are many amazing Airbnb’s as well throughout Paris, so be sure to browse around to find the perfect accommodation for you.
- If you would like a traditional hotel, try booking.com