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3 Days in Paris: Complete Itinerary With Maps

To know Paris is a dream for many people.It was mine and I managed to do it on my first backpacking trip through Europe.Check out in this post my itinerary tips for 3 days in Paris and see which are the best places to stay in the city.

Be sure to read other very valuable tips I’ve gathered here on the blog for your first trip to Europe:

And also read about other amazing destinations very close to Paris:

3-Day Itinerary in Paris

A 3-day itinerary is the enough to get to know just the basics of Paris, which is a very immense city, full of history and attractions.Imagine that Paris was, along with London, the main city in the western world…

My partner has been to Paris several times, which helped me a lot to put together this itinerary.So take advantage of the tips in this post, because they are very valuable!

In my 3-day Paris itinerary, I chose the sights so that I could do everything on foot or by subway.

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It is a delight to walk along the banks of the River Seine

As you will see on the maps I make available in this post, each day the attractions are very close to each other.You have to travel smart when you’re short on time.

So here’s the tip: wear comfortable clothes and shoes, and prepare your camera to photograph some of the most famous places in the world:

  • Itinerary – Day 1 in Paris: Eiffel Tower, Champ de Mars, Jardin du Trocadéro, Arc de Triomphe, Av.and Champs-Élysées Gardens, Alexandre III Bridge and Musée D’Orsay.
  • Itinerary – Day 2 in Paris: Luxembourg Garden, Pantheon, Pont de l’Archevéché, Notre Dame Cathedral , Saint Chapelle, Hotel de Ville, Center Georges Pompidou and Louvre Museum.
  • Itinerary – Day 3 in Paris: Palace of Versailles, Montmartre, Moulin Rouge and Sacré Coeur Basilica.

Where to Stay in Paris

The city of Paris is divided into neighborhoods called “arrondissements”.The lower the arrondissement number, the closer you are to the historic center of Paris.Of course, this is also the part with the most expensive hosting options.

But if you’re a budget traveler, don’t worry.There are other arrondissements in Paris that are great locations to stay, and with the city’s excellent metro system everything is very easy.

If you want to stay in Paris on a budget, choose Montmartre (9th arr. ), because it is a very strategic place, close to the subway, cheap (in a way) and the 3rd day of this itinerary is almost entirely there.I’ve listed some options for great hostels in the neighborhood below (click to see pricing and availability):

Le Regent Montmartre:

If you prefer to stay in a hotel, Montmartre also has mega comfort options:

If you want the best possible location, check out these two hotels right next to the Louvre Museum:

3-Day Paris Tour – Day 1

On the first day in Paris we went get down to business, getting to know the city’s main postcards: the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs-Élysées Avenue.

Click on a point on the map to see its caption

Arc de Triomphe

The famous Arc de Triomphe is a construction in honor of the military victories ofNapoleon Bonaparte.The ascent is via stairs.

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View from the top of the Arc de Triomphe

Tickets to go up the Arc do Triunfo has an appointment and the price varies.Consult all the necessary information for your visit on the official website, by clicking here.

It is also possible to reach the square below it.Do not attempt to cross under any circumstances other than through one of the underground passages.He gets a fine and will probably get hit by a car too.

In the underground passage there’s a kind of little Arc de Triomphe museum.

How to get to the Arc de Triomphe:There are several metro stations close to the Arc de Triomphe, the best option being Charles de Gaulle – Étoile, which has an exit right at the foot of the monument.

Av.and Champs-Élysées Gardens

The Champs-Elysées Avenue (Campos Elysées, in Portuguese) forms the main historic axis of Paris.

With almost 2 km in length, the luxurious avenue begins on Place de la Concorde, next to the Louvre Museum, and goes up to the Arc de Triomphe.

It is known as the “Most Beautiful Avenue in the World”, and also as the second most expensive in all of Europe, when considering the rent.

Av.Champs-Elysées

On our 3-day Paris itinerary, we visited the Champs-Elysées right after the Arc de Triomphe.

We walked along the avenue, feeling like we were in a movie, and went to the Jardins des Champs-Elysées, a large green space where many people stop to rest in the shade and have a picnic.

Actually the Jardin des Champs-Elysées is a gateway to other attractions.So just enter and cross, taking advantage of the shadows (and avoiding the scammers who are there asking for donations, but it’s all a lie).

Ponte Alexandre III

There are many bridges crossing the River Seine in the center of Paris, but the Pont Alexandre III is certainly the most beautiful and imposing.Don’t worry, we’re getting there…

Eiffel Tower seen from Alexandre III Bridge

Museum D’Orsay

On a 3-day itinerary in Paris, it’s impossible to see everything about the city, especially if you like to spend hours admiring works of art in museums.

I was aware of my time short and decided to visit just one museum on my first day in the French capital, the Musée D’Orsay.

And why not the Louvre?I’ll explain below.

The Musée D’Orsay is on the banks of the River Seine.Its building is an old train station and it has that super charming architecture that we imagine when it comes to anything in France:

The building charm of the Musée D’Orsay

The interior of the museum is dominated by an immense lobby with side exits to smaller exhibition rooms.

Interior of the Musée D’Orsay – Photo: Moonik / CC BY-SA

Some of the most interesting works that we found there were by the likes of Van Gogh, Matisse, Monet, Renoir and dozens of others.The lines and textures are just too wonderful.

For prices, visiting hours and all other details about visiting the Musée D’Orsay, check the official website by clicking here.It’s a good idea to plan ahead because tickets sell out.

Eiffel Tower, Champ de Mars and Jardin du Trocadéro

The Eiffel Tower is visible from many parts of Paris, but arriving at the Champ de Mars, the square where it is located, and seeing the tip of the tower disappear at the top, is very moving.

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Eiffel Tower seen up close

It is possible to get to the foot of the Eiffel Tower without paying anything and without queuing, and for me this was the best way to get to know this icon of Paris.

I know it’s very tempting to go to the Eiffel Tower early, but here’s a tip:

We visited the Eiffel Tower at the end of the day.We traveled in the summer, and at that time the sun sets at 10pm, so we were already tired from the day walking around.

We arrived there with our backpacks filled with wines, cheeses and other delicious things we bought at a supermarket.We found an empty patch of lawn on the Champ de Mars and enjoyed the view in peace until the lights on the Eiffel Tower came on.

We spent hours there and we weren’t the only ones.Many Parisians and tourists picnic on the Champ de Mars to enjoy the outdoors and the view from the tower.It’s hard to imagine a more pleasant evening.

Pic nique also takes place during the day – Photo: xiquinhosilva from Cacau / CC BY

If you want to climb the tower, then things get more complicated and you need to plan well.

Check everything, including opening hours and amenities (restaurants, restrooms, shop, accessibility…), on the official website of the Eiffel Tower by clicking here.On the website you can find the busiest times and other tips for visiting according to the season.

Image: toureiffel.paris

Another place very close to the Eiffel Tower that is worth visiting for amazing photos is the Jardin du Trocadéro.

This very large garden has a wonderful view of the Eiffel Tower.The look is completed with the reflecting pool that shoots jets of water into the air.

View of the Jardin du Trocadéro – Photo: Chadi saad / CC BY-SA

How to get to the Eiffel Tower: There are 4 metro stations close to the Eiffel Tower.They are Trocadéro, École Militaire, Bir-Hakeim and Champ de Mars – Tour Eiffel.

See which station is easiest to get to considering your accommodation and which Paris Metro line runs close by.

If you prefer to arrive via Jadin Trocadéro, to get this panoramic view of the tower first, get off at Trocadéro station.You can do everything on foot, of course, but it is quite a walk.

3-Day Paris Tour – Day 2

On the second day in Paris, we went to see more amazing places , all easily accessible on foot, ending the day’s tour at the Louvre Museum:

Click on a point on the map to see its caption

Luxembourg Gardens and Palace

The Luxembourg Gardens and Palace form an immense park in Paris, with many green areas, fountains and sculptures.

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Luxembourg Palace

You can spend hours photographing this beautiful garden and watching life unfold.The Pantheon is a mausoleum where notable Frenchmen were buried.The architecture of the building is incredible, even from the outside.

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Pantheon of Paris

The name “Pantheon ” means “of all the gods”, and is not a building devoted to a specific religion.

In addition to serving as a mausoleum, the Pantheon now houses temporary exhibitions inside.

Interior of the Pantheon – Photo: Alex Proimos from Sydney, Australia / CC BY

Pont de l’Archevêché

Pont de l’Archevêché is one of the many bridges that cross the River Seine .She became famous for the amount of locks that romantic couples hung on her.When I went there, the padlocks still existed, but they have already been removed.

The reason for this cleaning is that the weight of the padlocks made the bridge run the risk of collapsing, in addition to being able to cause accidents when falling on the boats that they navigate underneath.

Still, the bridge is worth visiting, from which you have a privileged view of the back of Notre Dame Church and the surroundings of the River Seine.

Notre Dame in the background – Photo: Francis Hannaway / CC BY-SA

Tourists visiting Paris continue to lock this and other bridges , and the government continues to work to remove them.Ah, go!At least the Disney cartoon you know what it is…

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Facade of Notre Dame Cathedral

The construction of this church it took 200 years and every detail leaves us mesmerized.A fire destroyed much of the church in 2019 and it remains closed for restoration (updated in Oct/2020).

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Notre Dame Details

Entrance is free, but be prepared for long lines.

Notre Dame de Paris before the fire, with a huge line to get in

My companion once went to Paris in late autumn and there was no one in line.Check prices and opening times on the official website by clicking here.

Sainte Chapelle

A church of Gothic architecture, famous for its amazing stained glass windows:

Sainte Chapelle – Photo: Didier B (Sam67fr) / CC BY-SA

In its interior are some of the most important relics of the Catholic world, including the crown of thorns and a fragment of the cross where Jesus was nailed.

Check opening hours and ticket prices on the official website by clicking here.

And read more about it on the Let’s blog Fly Away: Sainte Chapelle, the Most Incredible Church in the City

Hotel de Ville

This is the Paris City Hall building.The building’s architecture is magnificent and deserves a closer look.

Paris City Hall

I had the misfortune to I saw it at work (which is common for those traveling through Europe in the summer) and I only saw it from afar.

George Pompidou Center

An art cultural complex modern and postmodern.In addition to the museum, there are also spaces for temporary exhibitions and cultural events.

Centre George Pompidou – Photo: Cristian Bortes from Cluj-Napoca, Romania / CC BY

The building seen from the outside is crazy, and the square outside is home to very unusual works, which contrast with all the classic architecture that you see walking around Paris.

If you want to see at least the main works of the Louvre Museum, reserve a whole morning or afternoon for that.The building is immense and takes days to walk through it calmly.

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Opposite the Louvre Museum

Many people told me about the disappointment of visiting the Mona Lisa, the main work of the Louvre Museum, including my companion.

In addition to being a small painting, the crowd of tourists trying to take a selfie with it kills everyone’s patience.

Look at the turmoil!

Keep this in mind and assess whether you will really enjoy a tour of the Louvre Museum.

I preferred to stroll around the museum’s outdoor area and dedicate my time in Paris to other things, enjoying the warm weather in squares and parks.

The glass pyramid is one of the entrances to the Louvre Museum

My companion once entered the museum, in late autumn, when there were no long lines.The Palace of Versailles combines history and culture and is one of the most touristy places in all of France.

At the time of its construction in the 1600s, Versailles was a rural area.

Because it is outside the city of Paris (away from dirt and disease), in a wide and good hunting area, Versailles was chosen to host the French court.

Gardens of Versailles

The Palace of Versailles has been renovated, expanded and decorated several times.Today it is possible to visit the place with much of its original furniture and decoration.

Interior of the Palace of Versailles

It is important to choose and guarantee your ticket, which can be done on the official website.Find out about opening hours and whether any part of the palace is closed at the time of your visit.

The different types of ticket give you access to different parts of the Palace of Versailles, and you can only visit some parts of it, like the gardens.Tickets have visiting hours, which is why it is also important to purchase them in advance.

Inside the palace you will visit the king’s and queen’s rooms, the offices, a chapel and the Hall of Mirrors, a

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Gallery of Mirrors

On the outside, the gardens were built with such care and dedication as the interior of the palace.In summer there are light and water shows at the fountains.

Versailles and its gardens

Besides the main palace, It is also possible to visit the Trianon, a space with 2 other small palaces, where the king and queen took refuge for more privacy.

In the Little Trianon was where Marie Antoinette found her favorite place and built more rustic gardens, without all the symmetry and “freshness” of the other parts of the palace.

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Marie Antoinette’s gardens

We visited all parts of the Palace of Versailles and its gardens on foot, but for those who prefer, there is the possibility of renting golf carts, segways or even taking a train that connects the gardens to the Trianon.

Cart golf course in Versailles

How to get there:The easiest and cheapest way to reach the Palace of Versailles is with the RER C5 train, which passes through several metro stations in Paris .

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Main entrance to the Palace of Versailles

To reach the palace, get off at the “Versailles Rive Gauche” station and walk about 10 minutes to the main gate.

Anyone who has watched “The Fabulous Destiny of Amélie Poulain” (if you haven’t watched it, watch it!) will recognize many parts of Montmartre, where some of the film’s main scenes take place.

Montmartre is located in an area elevated, so it’s great for panoramic views of the city.

Montmartre – Photo: Jean-Pierre Dalbéra from Paris, France / CC BY

Basilica of Sacré Coeur

The Basilica of Sacré Coeur (Basilica of the Sacred Heart) sits high on a hill and is the perfect place to watch the sunset.So keep an eye on the weather forecast for your days in Paris and choose a clear day to go up to the basilica.

The church steps are filled with tourists, street vendors and street performers performing for a little money.

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Sacré Coeur at the end of the day

It is well worth walking along the little streets of Montmartre, both in the upper part of Sacré Couer and below.

Carousel at the foot of the Sacré Coeur

Moulin Rouge

Another place in Montmartre that has been immortalized in a film is the Moulin Rouge, the most famous cabaret in the neighborhood .

It is possible to attend shows at the Moulin Rouge, but we only pass in front of the venue itself.Follow our blog and videos on YouTube.

How about making your next trip cheaper?We have several discounts with our partners, click hereto check them out.

Do you know where you’re going to spend your holidays?Get inspired by our Destination Index.

Also read the tips from the blog A Different Journey: Lille: What to Visit in 2 Days?

And for those traveling as a couple, be sure to check out the tips from the blog Descobrir Viajando: Romantic Tours in Paris

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