Exploring the city of light and love can seem a little daunting, as there are so many things to do! If you have four days in Paris, this guide will show you how to plan your trip in the most efficient way. I’ve visited Paris quite a few times (five, to be precise) and it’s given me a pretty good indication on how to make the most of your time. This 4 day Paris itinerary is filled with the main highlights, along with a few hidden gems to make your trip a little bit more special!
Our 4 Day Paris Itinerary
Day 1 Paris itinerary: Pink
Day 2 Paris itinerary: Dark Blue
Day 3 Paris itinerary: Yellow
Day 4 Paris itinerary: Light Blue
Paris Day 1
On the first day of your four days in Paris, we’ll explore the north of the city centre. The neighbourhood around Montmartre in Paris’ 18th arrondissement is mainly known for its artistic history, street artists and amazing nightlife. Starting from Galeries Lafayette, we make our way to the best spots around Montmartre for a beautiful first day in Paris.
Our first day in Paris starts at Galeries Lafayette. This upmarket French department store is probably one of the most beautiful shopping centres I’ve ever been to. The store was opened in 1912 and its stained-glass dome makes you feel like you’re in a fancy opera house! Make sure to climb to the roof terrace, where you have one of the most spectacular views across Paris.
Address: 40 Boulevard Haussmann, 75009 Paris, France
Opening Hours: Every day from 9:30 AM till 8:30 PM (except Sunday, when it’s open from 11 AM till 8 PM)
It’s then time to make our way to Montmartre. Like I said before, this part of Paris is known for its artistic history and amazing nightlife. It’s also home to one of Paris’ most iconic buildings: the Sacre Coeur. This beautiful basilica is a white catholic church dedicated to the sacred heart of Jesus. Constructed in 1919, on the top of Montmartre hill, this basilica is a piece of architectural art. You can climb the hill (300 steps) up to the second-highest point in Paris for a beautiful view and a chance to visit the Sacre Coeur.
NOTE: Even though the Sacre Couer is an absolutely beautiful sight in Paris, it’s also known to be the place where tons of tourists get robbed/pickpocketed. During our trip to Paris, we were almost robbed there too. So please, keep an eye on your belongings while visiting!
Address: 18th Arrondissement Parvis du Sacré-Coeur – 35 rue du Chevalier de la Barre – 75018 Paris
Opening Hours: Every day from 6 AM till 10:30 PM. Entrance is free.
Montmartre Walking Tour
Take the afternoon to explore the rest of Montmartre. The cobblestoned paths where street artists draw pictures of the beautiful view from the Sacre Coeur really do feel magical. It has so many beautiful places to visit and to make you feel like a real Parisian. Some of the highlights I’d recommend include:
- Montmartre Museum: To learn more about the rich history of Montmartre, you can pay a visit to Montmartre Museum (Musée de Montmartre). Located inside a building that used to host many famous writers and artists, adding just another bit of history to this museum.
- Montmartre Cemetery: The resting place of many famous icons, including many writers, poets, musicians, politicians, and scientists. With 10.48 hectares of land, the Montmartre cemetery is also the largest park in Paris.
- Wall of Love: The Wall of Love (or Le Mur Des Je T’aime in French) is a must for those on a romantic getaway to Paris. This piece of art was made by Frederic Baron and Claire Kiton in 2000. The wall includes 250 languages and acts as a perfect background for some photos.
- Amélie Film Locations: If you’re thinking “wow, this really reminds me of the film Amélie”, then you’re right! Many spots inside of Montmartre have been used as film locations for this iconic film. You can find a full list of places that can be seen in the film in this Amelie Film Set Guide.
Alternatively, you can book a walking tour through Montmartre with a guide to make the most of your visit.
In the evening, Montmartre turns into a nightlife hotspot. There are many bars, restaurants and, of course, the famous Moulin Rouge. This popular cabaret was founded in 1889 and known as the birthplace of the seduce dance style, the can-can. Nowadays, the Moulin Rouge still acts as a place for shows. The antiquity and atmosphere is something that draws in customers from all across the globe. If you’re not interested in seeing a show, you can always take a quick picture of the iconic windmill and find a quieter bar in the neighbourhood for a drink.
Address: 82 Boulevard de Clichy, 75018 Paris
Paris Day 2
The second day in Paris will be spent visiting some of the most iconic Parisian highlights. Starting at the Louvre museum for your daily dose of culture, the Champs-Elysee for your shopping needs and we end it with a picnic in front of the iconic Eiffel Tower.
The morning of the second day in Paris is filled with culture and art at the Louvre Museum. Home to some of the world’s most famous pieces of art (including the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo), the Louvre adds so much value to your visit to Paris, even if you’re not a huge fan of museums. The building itself, which was built on the right side of the Seine in the 12th century, is a piece of art on its own. Then there is the iconic glass pyramid, that’s located outside the Louvre and acts as the entrance. You could spend an entire day at the Louvre and not get bored as it’s the world’s largest art museum. But because we only have 4 days in Paris, I’d recommend spending 2-3 hours there.
TIP: Book your tickets for the Louvre in advance. You can save yourself some time by buying skip-the-line tickets for the Louvre. Especially since you only have a limited time to see the best of Paris, I’d highly recommend doing this! You’d much rather spend more time inside the museum than waiting outside in a queue.
Address: 1st Arrondissement Pyramide du Louvre – 75001 Paris
Opening Hours: Every day from 9 AM till 5:45 PM. On Wednesday and Friday, the Louvre is open until 9:45 PM instead.
From the Louvre, you can walk towards the Champs Elysee. The beautiful street probably doesn’t need an introduction, as it’s one of the most famous sites in Paris. From the Place de la Concorde to the Place Charles de Gaulle, where the Arc de Triomphe is located, this 1.9-kilometre long street is a shopping paradise for Parisians and tourists alike. French brands, luxury brands but also the usual budget brands like Zara and Sephora can be found on this street. It is also famous for being the finish line of the annual Tour De France.
Arc de Triomphe
At the end of the Champs Elysee lays the Arc de Triomphe. It’s a place to pay your respect to fallen unknown soldiers that gave their lives for France during the French revolution and Napoleone Wars. Underneath, you can find the Tomb of unknown soldiers of the First World War. The Arc de Triomphe is located in the middle of the world’s largest roundabout – an absolute traffic nightmare! You can get to the Arc de Triomphe by using underground passageways, so you can avoid the busy roads.
TIP: Climb the Arc de Triomphe for a gorgeous view across Paris. If you have an EU passport and are aged between 18 and 25, you can enter for free!
Address: Place Charles de Gaulle, 75008 Paris
Opening Hours: Every day from 10 AM till 10 PM
This Paris itinerary wouldn’t be complete without one of the most iconic buildings of the entire planet: The Eiffel Tower. This 324-meter tall structure was commissioned for the World’s Fair back in 1889. It took the constructors 22 months to build! Since then, it has grown into one of the most visited sights in the world.
TIP: Walk across the bridge in front of the Eiffel Tower to get to Trocadéro Gardens. From there, you have the best view to take pictures with Paris’ Iron Lady.
TIP: Due to its popularity, queues to climb up the Eiffel Tower can get extremely long. To avoid waiting in the queue, you can pre-book a skip-the-link ticket for the Eiffel Tower. These allow you to go up to the 2nd and 1st platform.
Address: Champ de Mars, 5 Avenue Anatole France, 75007 Paris
Opening Hours: Open every day from 9 AM till 12:45 AM.
Picknick in front of the Eiffel Tower
End the day with a lovely picnic in Champ de Mars. This park is located at the back of the Eiffel Tower and gives you a lovely sight over the Iron Lady. Especially during late spring, summer and early autumn, the weather is usually good enough to grab some snacks and spent a couple of hours in the park. It’s almost like you’re a real Parisian yourself!
Paris Day 3
Day three in Paris takes us to the Old Town. Filled with history and some beautiful architecture, the old town has so much character. Especially when travelling without a guide, you might want to check out this self-guided walking route through the Old Town in Paris. It guides you through some of the best spots, including some of the following:
Du Pain et Des Idees
Paris (and France as a country for that matter) is known for its pastries and croissants. You cannot leave Paris without having tried some freshly baked ones! Start your third day by visiting Du Pain et Des Idees, a beautifully authentic Parisian bakery. They use mostly organic ingredients to make tasty, but healthy bread and pastries.
Address: 34 Rue Yves Toudic, 75010 Paris
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 7 AM till 8 PM
After breakfast (or a snack) at Du Pain et Des Idees, we walk over to Centre Pompidou. This architecture highlight of the city was designed by Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers and is known as the “inside-out” building. I must have seen pictures of this building at least a hundred times while studying French in high school! The pipes outside the building are colour coded. The green pipes are used for plumbing, the blue ones regulate climate control and the yellow wires and pipes look after the electricity. Inside Centre Pompidou, you can find the National Museum of Modern Art. Tickets can be bought here.
Address: Place Georges-Pompidou, 75004 Paris
Opening Hours: Every day (except Tuesday) from 11 AM till 9 PM. Centre Pompidou is open for an additional 2 hours (until 11 PM) on Wednesdays.
NOTE: The Notre Dame is currently closed due to the devastating fire early 2019. Even though you cannot entre this beautiful cathedral at this moment, visiting it and seeing it from afar is still worth your time!
In the old town of Paris, you can find another one of the most famous highlights of the city: The Notre Dame. This stunning Gothic Cathedral was built between the 13th and the 15th century. It is by far one of the most beautiful examples of Gothic architecture in France, if not the world.
You can visit the Notre Dame for free and enjoy its beautiful stained glass windows. If you’re looking for another view across the city, you can climb the Notre Dame. Please do make sure to book these tickets in advance to avoid long queues.
Shakespeare & Company Bookstore
Within walking distance from Notre Dame, you can find arguably the most famous independent bookstore in the world: Shakespeare and Company. This English bookstore used to be a gathering place for many aspiring writers, under which Ezra Pound, Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald. The bookshop offered them a place to stay and has housed more than 30.000 writers since. The beds are still there and you can look out over the Notre Dame from the window. No wonder these writers got so inspired with such a beautiful view!
Paris Day 4
The last day in this four day Paris itinerary has arrived. Today, we’ll explore the more Southern part of the city centre.
Panthéon & Latin Quarter
Today, we start in the Latin Quarter of Paris. The Pantheon was originally built as a church but was turned into a mausoleum during the French Revolution. It is now mainly used as a burial place for many French heroes, including Victor Hugo and Marie Curie. This beautiful neoclassic building was modelled after the Pantheon in Rome and sets a perfect tone for the rest of the Latin Quarter.
After visiting the Pantheon, you can stroll around the area to explore the Latin Quarter a bit more. Consider taking a 2-hour walking tour, which guides you through all the highlights. This part of the city reminds us what medieval Paris looked like, with its narrow cobblestoned alleyways. Other things to check out in the Latin Quarter include:
- Natural History Museum: A collection of museums where you can learn all about plants, minerals, birds, dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals.
- The four historic churches: Saint-Severin, Saint-Etienne-du-Mont, Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre, and Saint-Médard give the Latin Quarter’s skyline that beautiful historic look.
- La Sorbonne: The oldest university in Paris (founded in 1257)
On the border between the Latin Quarter and Saint-Germain-des-Prés, you can find the Luxembourg Gardens. These beautiful gardens were created in 1612, inspired by the Boboli Gardens in Florence. The gardens cover over 25 hectares and include 106 statues, making it look like an open-air museum by itself. It’s free to visit the gardens, but there is a small fee if you want to enter the zoo or the museum.
In the afternoon, you can choose to visit the Catacombs. This attraction is a bit darker than any of the other things that I’ve included in this itinerary, but it has left a huge impression on me when I visited it. The underground alleyways that form the catacomb are also known as the “Empire of Death“. When in the 17th century, cemeteries in Paris were overflowing, these underground tunnels were created to burry more than 6 million Parisians. When visiting, you climb down 131 steps to enter the underground tunnels. The entire route takes you about an hour (it’s 1.5 kilometres long).
Due to safety regulations, only 200 people are allowed in the Catacombs at the same time. To avoid waiting in line, you can buy skip-the-line tickets for the Catacombs.
We end this Paris itinerary with one of the best views across the city from the Montparnasse Tower. Rather than standing on the Eiffel Tower or Arc de Triomphe, from the Montparnasse Tower, you are actually able to see all Paris’ highlights. The lift takes you up to 200 meters above Paris in only 38 seconds.
When spending four days in Paris, you’ll be able to cover quite some ground. This itinerary is perfect for those who haven’t visited the city of love and light before, but can also be used for those who just want to re-visit this beautiful French capital. Before we dive into all the sights and things to do in Paris, here are some handy tips to prepare you for your Paris city trip:
How to get to Paris
There are multiple ways of getting to Paris to start off this 4-day itinerary. The most used ones include plane, train and car. When travelling by plane, I’d recommend trying to fly to Charles de Gaulle Airport. This isn’t always possible (especially when using budget airlines, as they often fly to Beauvais airport instead), but it’ll save you a lot of hassle getting into the city centre.
Plane: Charles de Gaulle Airport
- Book an airport transfer in advance: Prices vary depending on where you book your transfer, but it will take approximately 30-45 minutes to get to the city centre. It’s an easy way to get straight to your hotel quickly.
- Take a taxi: Taking a taxi from Charles de Gaulle airport to the city centre will cost approximately €50.
- By train: Take the RER train Line B to get to the city centre within 30 minutes. This will cost €10, as you have to buy a single ticket valid from zone 1-5.
- By bus: Busses line 350 and 351 go towards Paris city centre. The bus is a cheap alternative, as they only cost €6 for a one-way ticket. But it takes over an hour to get to the city centre.
Plane: Orly Airport
- Book an airport transfer in advance: Similarly to Charles de Gaulle Airport, booking an airport transfer is the easiest and quickest way to get to your hotel from Orly Airport.
- Take a taxi: Taking a taxi from Orly Airport will get you to Paris city centre for €70-€80
- Taking the train or bus: Using public transport to get to Paris from Orly airport can seem a little bit complicated. To find out what the best and easiest way it, check out this detailed guide on how to use public transport to get to Paris City Centre from Orly Airport.
Plane: Beauvais Airport
- Book a bus transfer: Because Beauvais Airport is located pretty far from Paris city centre, taking the bus is the cheapest and easiest option. The bus usually takes around 75 minutes to get to the city centre and can be booked in advance. They leave 20 minutes after the arrival of each flight.
- Book an airport transfer: It is possible to book an airport transfer to get to Paris city centre from Beauvais Airport, but I’d advice against it. Due to the location of the airport, it would be very expensive (around €130) and wouldn’t be much quicker compared to the bus.
- Take a taxi: Similarly to the airport transfer, taking a taxi from Beauvais airport would be very expensive and won’t be much quicker compared to the bus transfer. It would be around €140 and still take a good hour.
Travelling to Paris by train
Travelling to Paris by train is especially popular with residents of neighbouring countries. Using the TVG, it’s super easy to get straight into the heart of Paris. Downsides to travelling by train are that it’s often more expensive than flying and takes a lot longer. On the other hand, it’s a unique experience and much better for the environment!
Travelling to Paris by car
If you’re planning to see more of France after or before visiting Paris, it makes sense to bring your car. But otherwise, I’d advise against it. Getting around Paris is much easier by metro and finding a place to park inside the city centre is almost impossible. Even if you do manage to find a parking spot, it’s not cheap (€25 per day). If do you travel by car, I’d try to find accommodation that offers parking space.
How to get around Paris
There are many ways to get around Paris, but for this 4-day itinerary, I’d highly recommend sticking to the Metro and RER train lines. Paris’ metro system consists of 303 lines that make up 219 kilometres. It’s the easiest, most convenient and cheapest way to get from A to B. The metro is open every day from 5:30 AM till 1 AM, which gives you enough time to explore all the highlights during the day.
To use the metro, you have to buy a ticket. Single tickets can be bought for €1.80 or 10 for €14.10 at any metro station. Alternatively, you can get a Navigo Card. This contactless smart card allows you to travel by metro and RER unlimited for a week or a month (depending on the subscription you purchase). For one week of unlimited travel, you only pay €22.80. Getting a Navigo Card does require a photo and an upfront €5 fee. It’s used by many Parisians and is perfect for those who are visiting the city for longer than 3 days. Ideal for this four-day itinerary!
Another option would be getting a Paris Museum Pass. This pass gives you access to 50+ museums and other tourist attractions, but it also allows you to use the Paris public transport network for free.
Money in Paris
The currency used in France is Euros (€). Even though Paris is a fancy city, it’s not more expensive compared to similar European cities like London or Amsterdam. For a mid-range hotel in the city centre, you’d pay around €80 per night. A meal at a restaurant will cost around €15. Tipping isn’t always necessary, but when the service was good it’s good custom to leave 10%. Scroll down to find some tips on how to save money during this 4 day Paris itinerary.
The official language spoken in Paris is French. Don’t worry if you haven’t spoken any French since high school! Most French people speak basic English and especially in the tourism industry, you don’t need too much French to get by. It is, of course, nice to learn a few basic things to say to the Parisians. Some basic phrases you can learn before you visit Paris include:
- Yes / No = Oui / Non
- Thank you = Merci
- Hello = Bonjour
- Do you speak English? = Parlez-vous Anglais?
- Can I have the bill, please? = L’addition s’il vous plaît.
Best times to visit Paris
Paris has a continental European climate. The summers are dry and hot (25 °C), the winters rainy and cold (5 °C). Personally, I’d always try to visit Paris in April, May, June or October. You’ll catch nice, mild weather and avoid the huge crowds that happen in summer and Christmas time. If you’re looking for a cheap trip to Paris, you should look at winter times. January and February are usually the cheapest when it comes to hotels.
Where to stay in Paris
For this four day itinerary, staying in Montmartre. This area is located very centrally and it’s easy to get the metro to any other sights that you want to visit. It also has a lovely atmosphere and those real Paris-vibes. Also important, it’s probably one of the most affordable areas to stay inside the city centre.
Staying safe in Paris
Even though Paris is generally a pretty safe city in Europe, petty theft is quite common. During one of my trips to Paris, my boyfriend and I were almost robbed near the Sacre Coeur. Of course, sometimes these things are out of your control. But with these tips, you’ll be able to avoid some of them!
- Never leave your bags or belongings unattended! Especially when visiting touristy areas or sights.
- Keep your important belongings close to you.
- Avoid areas like Gare du Nord, Pigalle, Chatelet and Les Halles at night. These areas tend to get a bit rough when the sun does down.
- Always make sure you’ve got the correct travel insurance!
Then there are the protests, which seem quite common in Paris as well. Protest usually happen near tourist sights, because they attract a lot of attention there. Sometimes, they turn pretty violent. Think tear gas, water cannons, fights… The best way to avoid these protests is to find out if there are any protests planned for when you are visiting, and avoid those areas. Especially the Champs Élysées. Even though no tourists were ever injured during the protest, it’s better to be safe!
How to save money in Paris
Like mentioned above, Paris isn’t crazy expensive. It’s pretty much the same as other European cities like Berlin and Amsterdam. But saving money where possible is never a bad idea.
Free entree with EU passport (under 26): EU residents under the age of 26 get free admission to many tourist attractions. These include theCentre Pompidou, the Louvre, Palais de Versailles, the Pantheon, the Arc de Triomphe and many more. Simply wave your passport at entree and the entree fee gets scrapped. It’s such an easy way to save over €100!
Paris Museum Pass: Over 26 years old or not an EU resident? You might want to look into getting a Paris Pass. This pass is perfect for those who are planning to visit many museums and other tourist attractions. The pass gives you access to 50+ of them and unlimited access to the Paris public transport network. They are kinda pricey (varying from €70-€43 per day depending on how many days you book it for), so it’s worth planning ahead. Check how much you’d spend on hotels and transport and see if it’ll be cheaper getting the Paris Pass.
Paris day trip: Disneyland Paris
Paris is also known to be the home of Euro Disney. When in Paris, you might want to add one or two days to your itinerary to relive your childhood at Disneyland Paris. From the city centre, it’s super easy to get to the park by public transport. I’ve written a full guide on Disneyland Paris, which you can check out by clicking the button below.
Disneyland Paris Travel Guide