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Paris Holiday – 7 days in Paris on Holiday

Thinking about a Paris Holiday and need advice on how to plan your trip? We’ve prepared itineraries based on holidays of differing durations. The following guide will walk you through a holiday in Paris, ranging from 1 day to 7 days, or more. We suggest printing this page and highlighting areas of particular interest. The options are endless! We will start with those who are just stopping in Paris for 1 day, and show how they can get the most out of their limited holiday. We then move on to longer trips, and show how you can maximize your time and get to see all the sights in a relaxed and comfortable pace.




Paris in a Day

If you have a limited time in Paris but want to make the most of your holiday and see as much of Paris as possible, consider taking a whirlwind tour past 17 of the city’s main attractions. If you only have one day in the city of lights you could get through this itinerary at the speed of light. Consider these top attractions to accomplish this.

Stop 1: Begin by taking the metro to Cite on the Ile de la Cite. When exiting the station, turn right and cross Place Louis Lepine. Once you get to Boulevard du Palais you will start your adventure at Sainte-Chapelle.

Sainte-Chapelle is a pristine gothic chapel constructed in 1242 and offers breathtaking views of stain-glass windows.

Stop 2: As you exit Sainte-Chapelle turn right, when you reach Pont St-Michel turn left along Quai du Marché Neuf until you reach Notre Dame.

Notre-Dame is considered a masterpiece in gothic art. It was constructed circa 1163 – 1250 and contains stunning stain glass windows and architecture.

Stop 3: Proceed down Rue du Cloître Notre Dame, cross the Pont St-Louis taking you to Ile St-Louis.

Ile St-Louis is a small island on which Notre Dame resides. The village consists of 17th century town houses along with picturesque charm.

Stop 4: Cross over to the Right Bank via Pont Marie or Pont Louis-Philippe and walk along the quays.

Quays of the Seine offers panoramic views of Paris. Paris is constructed with 37 bridges and many are architectural landmarks.

Stop 5: On Pont des Arts, turn right onto the Cour Carrée and take in the breathtaking Louvre.

Musée du Louvre is considered one of the world’s greatest museums. It houses many masterpieces, however one of the famous is the Mona Lisa.

Stop 6: Proceed through the Cour Carrée and across Cour Napoleon. Cross the Place du Carrousel to the Jardin des Tuileries.

Jardin des Tuileries is an elegant garden offering sculptures and ornamental ponds.

Stop 7: Depart the gardens at one of the exits on the right to Rue de Rivoli. Proceed north on Rue de Castiglione to Place Vendôme.

Place Vendôme is dominated by a column that celebrates Napoleon’s Battle of Austerlitz in 1806. Surrounding the square is the Ritz hotel and top luxury jewelry shops.

Stop 8: Cross the square and proceed north on Rue de la Paix until you reach Opéra Garnier.

Opéra Garnier is an ornate spectacle that houses the National Opera as well as being one of the most famous opera houses in the world.

Stop 9: Conveniently located to the left of the Opéra Garnier is Café de la Paix.

Café de la Paix has been in existence since 1862 and offers a delectable lunch or luxurious coffee for a break on your tour.

Stop 10: Catch the metro line 8 to Concorde to Place de la Concorde.

Place de la Concorde contains a 3,300 year old obelisk of Luxor. From this location can view the Arc du Triomphe and Champs Élysées.

Stop 11: Head northwest on Champs Élysées on the left side of the street. You will have photos opportunities of Petit Palais and the Grand Palais. When you reach Place Clemenceau take metro line 1 to Charles de Gaulle-Étoile and proceed to the Arc de Triomphe.

Arc de Triomphe is a dedication to the French army and for those that gave their lives for the cause. Buried beneath is the tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Stop 12: From Charles de Gaulle-Étoile take metro line 6 to Bir-Hakeim. Exit to see the Eiffel Tower.

Eiffel Tower is one of the city’s greatest monuments. Constructed in 1889 as winner of the Great exhibition this attraction is visited by nearly 6 million people per year.

Stop 13: Take the yellow RER C line from Champ de Mars Tour Eiffel to Musée D’Orsay.

Musée d’Orsay is a former rail station that housed renowned art from the 19th century.

Stop 14: Depart the museum, turn left and proceed down Rue de Bellechasse. Then on Saint Germain, take a right until you reach Église-St-Germain-des-Prés.

Église-St-Germain-des-Prés is the former abbey of St Germain with one of the oldest clock towers in Paris from 1000 A.D.

Stop 15: The Golden Triangle 

Take a break and stop for a drink or a bite to eat at one of three elegant cafes known as The Golden Triangle. Les Deux Magots, Brasserie Lipp, and Café de la Flore are all located a short walk from the church.

Stop 16: Take metro line 4 to Les Halles. Once arrived take the Rue Rambuteau exit and turn left. Proceed along Rue Rambuteau, after crossing Boulevard de Sebastopol you will see Centre Pompidou on your right.

Centre Pompidou a controversial modern structure of the 70s that houses a public library as well as a museum of modern art.

Stop 17: Take the metro line 4 to Barbès Rochechouart. Change on line 2 for one stop departing on Anvers. Turn right on Rue de Steinkerque where you will be at the foot of Sacré-Coeur.

Sacré-Coeur this 19th century basilica tops magnificent views over Paris. After exploring the basilica enjoy the district of Montmartre and finish with a drink at one of the bars on Rue des Abbesses.

I’m going to Paris for holiday…what should I do?

So you’ve made your reservations and you are excited to be visiting Paris. But what will you do, what will you see, how should you plan? We’ve done some research for you and here are some sample itineraries.

First Day in Paris

Start your day by taking the metro to Charles de Gaulle- Étoile. When you exit the metro you will be greeted by the Arc de Triomphe! Consider taking the elevator or stairs to the top of the monument for a panoramic view of Paris. From here you can gander down the Champs Élysées toward the Louvre and Place de la Concorde which is where you will be going to next.

If time permits and you want to take in the culture of the area, walk Champs Élysées to the Louvre which is approximately 2.1 miles. If you prefer a quick trip, take line 1 of the metro beneath the Arc de Triomphe to the Champs-Elysées-Clemenceau station which is the third stop from the Arc.

Departing the metro, cross to the north side of the avenue and continue north on the Avenue de Marigny to the Rue du Faubourg St-Honoré and turn right. St-Honoré is known for the Palais de l’Élysée, residence of France’s president and other important embassies, boutiques, and a few of the city’s top restaurants.

At rue Royale, turn right and walk to the Place de la Concorde. Stop to admire its fountains, grand views and Egyptian obelisk.

From the Place de la Concorde, turn left and wander through the Jardin des Tuileries to the Musée du Louvre. The museum is extremely large and it is suggested for your visit to choose a section of the museum and then visit a select set of rooms to make the most of your time. This is one of the world’s largest and finest museums, and would take months to see it all.

Stop and have lunch and rest either before or after your Louvre visit. There are several casual restaurants located in the Jardin des Tuileries with indoor and outdoor seating. Alternatively you could plan a picnic in the courtyard of the Louvre or proceed a bit farther and cross the first part of the Pont Neuf bridge to the Square du Vert Galat and find a quaint spot to have a meal.

After lunch, proceed southeast on the Île de la Cité by the Quai des Orfèvres to the Notre Dame. Catherdale. Take time to tour the Notre Dame and take it all is splendor.

After touring Notre Dame, cross the Pont au Double and proceed to the Left Bank, from there turn right, and walk west along the river for four blocks to the Place St-Michel. This is a great location for a break and to enjoy a stop at one of the many lively cafes.

Explore the Left Bank a little, pick a side street and walk down it. It is recommended to explore the Rue St-André-des-Arts, which will lead you west out of Place St-Michel.

End your day with a delightful dinner at a quaint bistro and a night time view of the Eiffel Tower. This is a perfect way to conclude your first day in Paris.

Two Days in Paris

Day 1: Follow the itinerary for the One Day in Paris.

Day 2: Paris’ largest public park and one of the most popular spot for a stroll or an outing with kids is the Jardin du Luxembourg. Located on the Left Bank in the heart of the Latin Quarter the Luxembourg attracts both visitors and locals year round. The Luxembourg is well known as a place for children including a playground and puppet theater, carousel, pools and fountains. The Medici Fountain reflects the heritage of Queen Marie de Medici as well as statues of other queens that overlook the majestic pools.

Not far is the Sorbonne, the Panthéon and walking distance to other attractions the Left Bank and Boulevard St. Michel has to offer. Grab a bite to eat while in the gardens as there are a few small restaurants that offer light refreshments.

Three Days in Paris

Day 1: Follow the itinerary for the One Day in Paris.

Day 2: Go to the Île de la Cité to view the Towers of Notre-Dame, onward to the Palais de Justice to admire the splendid Sainte Chapelle and Conciergerie. Go on to explore the Latin Quarter and the Invalides before taking the metro to the Trocadéro station for a walk downhill from the Palais de Chaillot to the Eiffel Tower and Champ-de-Mars.

Day 3: Option 1: Take a trip to Montmartre to see the Basilique du Sacré-Coeur and the art filled Place du Tertre. Choose a few of Paris’ museums to visit. There are dozens however pick those that offer art work reflecting your taste and excitement. Top ideas include the Louvre, Musée d’Orsay, Grand Palais, Centre Georges Pompidou or Carnavalet.

For a break from site seeing, find a local café or restaurant to enjoy Parisian delicacies and to enjoy being part of the Paris lifestyle.

Option 2: if you prefer lavish palaces over museums, plan a trip to Versailles. Château de Versailles was erected by Louis XIV and is located approximately 14 miles southwest of Paris.

In addition to the Château is the town of Versailles. This is a wealthy suburb of Paris and offers a charming place to visit outside of the city. Versailles is a historic center offering immaculent churches, building, museums, fine dining as well as the Marché Notre Dame.

Seeing the palace and its gardens can take the better part of a day, especially if you plan to tour the smaller royal residences, the Petit and Grand Trianon, and Marie Antoinette’s country hamlet. The royal palace gardens are worth viewing. They offer fountains beyond compare and elegance and tranquility for a weary traveler.

Four to Five Days in Paris

Four or five days makes for plenty of time for a visit to Paris and allowing enough time to see the top attractions as well as get the flavor of living like a Parisian.

Day 1- 3: Follow the itinerary for the Three Days in Paris. (Visiting the first option on Day 3)

Day 4: Visit Le Marais which was once a swamp and now the historical Jewish quarter as well as being a trendy district filled with arts and crafts. After exploring Le Marais, make your way to some of the many lovely parks and gardens. Start with the Jardin du Luxembourg or explore the medieval monuments at Église St-Germain-des-Prés or Museé du Cluny.

Day 5: If you prefer lavish palaces plan a trip to Versailles. Château de Versailles was erected by Louis XIV and is located approximately 14 miles southwest of Paris.

In addition to the Château is the town of Versailles. This is a wealthy suburb of Paris and offers a charming place to visit outside of the city. Versailles is a historic center offering immaculate churches, building, museums, fine dining as well as the Marché Notre Dame.

Seeing the palace and its gardens can take the better part of a day, especially if you plan to tour the smaller royal residences, the Petit and Grand Trianon, and Marie Antoinette’s country hamlet. The royal palace gardens are worth viewing. They offer fountains beyond compare and elegance and tranquility for a weary traveler.

Seven Days in Paris

7 days is the perfect mix of time and relaxation to visit Paris. Allowing enough time to see the top attractions as well as get the flavor of living like a Parisian.

Day 1- 3: Follow the itinerary for the Three Days in Paris. (Visiting the first option on Day 3)

Day 4: Visit Le Marais which was once a swamp and now the historical Jewish quarter as well as being a trendy district filled with arts and crafts. After exploring Le Marais, make your way to some of the many lovely parks and gardens. Start with the Jardin du Luxembourg or explore the medieval monuments at Église St-Germain-des-Prés or Museé du Cluny.

Day 5: If you prefer lavish palaces plan a trip to Versailles. Château de Versailles was erected by Louis XIV and is located approximately 14 miles southwest of Paris.

In addition to the Château is the town of Versailles. This is a wealthy suburb of Paris and offers a charming place to visit outside of the city. Versailles is a historic center offering immaculate churches, building, museums, fine dining as well as the Marché Notre Dame.

Seeing the palace and its gardens can take the better part of a day, especially if you plan to tour the smaller royal residences, the Petit and Grand Trianon, and Marie Antoinette’s country hamlet. The royal palace gardens are worth viewing. They offer fountains beyond compare and elegance and tranquility for a weary traveler.

Day 6:

Option 1: Discover Chartres that is located in the Centre-Val de Loire region and about one hour by train from Paris. The main attraction is the 12th century cathedral, which is considered by many historians to be the finest surviving example from the High Gothic period.

The city offers views of half-timbered houses including the Maison de al Truie qui File which was named after the carvings on its wooden uprights. Take a stroll down to the river and walk the street to the remains of the old city gate. English language tours of the cathedral are offered where you can learn more about the cathedral as well as the stain glassed windows. If a view is what you desire, climb to the top of the north tower to see a panoramic view of the town and countryside and on a clear day you can actually see the Eiffel Tower in the distance. The cathedral is equipped with a labyrinth and offers guided tours. If hiking is on your radar, there are trails available by the river Eure which passes through the town.

Option 2: Giverny is a delightful Norman Seine village that lies on the north bank of Normandy’s largest river and close to the town of Vernon. Impressionist master Claude Monet lived here where he would turn it into an artistic pilgrimage.

Monet designed several extraordinary colorful gardens with his most ambitious project of creating a garden with lily ponds. Monet’s inspiration with the ponds led to one of his finest paintings, Les Nymphéas. Monet had become a hugely admired artist by this time and a colony of followers came to visit him which changed the face of the village. Monet lived here until his death in 1926.

Following Monet’s death, his property gradually fell into decline. Thankfully to generous donations, the house and gardens have been restored. The picturesque village still draws artists as well as art lovers, along with its many welcoming teashops and restaurants.

When Monet and his family settled in Giverny in 1883 the property sloping gently down from the house to the road was planted with an orchard and enclosed by high stone walls. The land is divided into flowerbeds where clumps of flowers of different heights create volume. Fruit trees and ornamental trees dominate the climbing roses. Monet mixed the simplest with the rarest varieties. The central location is covered over by wrought iron arches on which climbing roses grow while other rose trees cover the balustrade. Monet did not like organized or constrained gardens; rather he married flowers according to their colors and left them to grow freely.

There are two parts to Monet’s garden, a flower garden known as Clos Normand which is located in front of the house and a Japanese inspired water garden on the other side of the road. These two parts of Monet’s garden contrast and complement one another. The water garden is comprised of asymmetric and curves with a Japanese bridge covered in wisterias along with accents of weeping willows and bamboo.

While in Giverny you can also visit the Musée des Impressionnismes Giverny. The focus of this museum traces the history of impressionism and post-impressionism and how they have influenced art in the 20th century.

The Hôtel Baudy is a great location to stop to enjoy the café which once housed famous guests such as Rodin and Cézanne who would visit Giverny and Monet.

Day 7: As you are wrapping up your trip to Paris you might consider a few last minute ideas or revisit a museum that was awe inspiring to take a bit more time to gander at your leisure.

If you are looking for simple pleasures consider a cruise on the River Seine. The River Seine flows through the heart of Paris offering spectacular views that you may not have seen while walking around the monuments. The River Seine has 32 bridges which are pieces of art in and of themselves. Look at our suggestions for river cruises.

Consider a trip to the Catacombs. The Catacombs are a popular tourism spot for locals and tourists. It is an underground cemetery positioned directly beneath the streets of Paris. The tunnels wind for 200 miles and hold the remains of approximately six million people. The Catacombs became an attraction site early in the 18th century and was opened to the public in 1874.

Spend the afternoon in Père Lachaise. It is estimated between 300,000 to 1 million souls are buried in Père-Lachaise. Père-Lachaise Cemetery is located on the northeast side of Paris. Occupying approximately 110 acres among a forest of trees and is considered not only the largest cemetery in Paris but also the largest park.

Seven to Ten Days in Paris

The advantage about having a week or more for your Paris adventure is that you can relax and savor the city while you stroll its districts, attend a service or concert at one of the many churches, people watch at a sidewalk cafè, investigate the quality museums, or take a cruise on the River Seine.

Follow the itinerary for Seven Days in Paris and then add in excursions further out of the city in the Île-de-France and beyond.

Disneyland Paris

For those traveling with kids of all ages or just young at heart, check out Disneyland Paris.

In 1992 when Disneyland Paris opened, skeptics considered whether it would attract visitors with all the grandeur of Paris nearby. In 2012, Disneyland Paris welcomed over 16 million visitors making it one of the most visited tourist destinations in Paris.

Disneyland Paris is a suitable day trip to put on your list or you can stay overnight at one of the Disney hotels. There are many packages available to choose from. Eurostar plus tickets, bus tours that include tickets, so you’ll want to look at the options and choose what will work best for you. You can also buy individual tickets online through the Disney website, where you can search for deals.

Busiest times are from late May through September, with the slowest times being in November, January, and February.

Disneyland Paris is approximately 24 miles east of Paris and is easily accessible by the RER, trains and by car.

Châteaux on the Loire

It’s possible to visit a grand château on the Loire on a day-trip from Paris, however more time would allow you to spend several days to see many breath taking mansions. Some of the best chateaux can be visited easily on a day-trip excursion from Paris while others require an overnight stay. Some can be reached easily by train or bus; others are best reached by car or on a tour.

Below are a few top choices of châteaux you should consider visiting:

Châteaux Amboise is a striking structure that rises above the Loire in the town of Amboise. Once on the property, walk to the terrace where you will see fabulous views of the Loire and the rooftops of the town. This monument and its gardens offer one of the most remarkable panoramas of the Loire valley. The château is best seen late in the afternoon from across the river as the sun turns it a glorious golden color.

Château de Clos Lucé is legend for the spirit of Leonardo de Vinci who is buried nearby in the small Chapel of St-Hubert.

Château de Chenonceau is surrounded by lovely gardens and its interior is decadent with Renaissance style fireplaces, elegant tapestries and furnishings and paintings from centuries past.

Château de Chaumont is a feudal style structure with many towers and is said to look like a fairytale castle accented with Renaissance décor.

Château de Blois overlooks the town of de Blois and is a medieval fortress once occupied by Louis XII among other nobles. The Louis XII wing offers a fine arts museum for your viewing pleasure. After the château explore the town and gardens to end your day.

Château de Chambord is a spectacular structure with over 400 rooms and is comparable to the size of Versailles. This palace was built for Francois I with constructive guidance by Leonardo da Vinci. Due to the large size of this château, allow yourself plenty of time to discover not only the inside but the gardens as well.

For the lovers of Architecture

In architectural terms, Paris is more homogenous than most capitals thanks to work of Baron Haussmann’s modernization in the 19th century. The Haussmann style of architecture is key to Paris’s charm however there are other elegant styles and periods that help define Paris.

Begin at Ile de la Cité

  1. Cathédrale de Notre-Dame was constructed circa 1163 – 1250 A.D. making Notre Dame an archetypal Gothic cathedral. Key features of the design include flying buttresses, vaulted ceilings and rose windows.

Next: Proceed north on Rue de la Cité. Cross the Seine and continue on Rue St-Martin. Turn left onto Rue de Rivoli. At the Louvre, turn left onto Rue de l’Amiral de Coligny and go into the Cour Carrée.

  1. The Louvre was constructed in 1530 and is a supreme example of Renaissance architecture. The Louvre is decorated with pilasters, bas-reliefs and pristine symmetry.

Next: Take metro line 1 from Louvre-Rivoli to Concorde. Change onto line 8 or 12 to Madeleine.

  1. Église de la Madeleine was constructed at the instruction of Napoleon I as a neoclassicist temple. It was to be a Temple of Glory of the Great Army but was not completed when it became a church in 1842.

Next: Tour around the church and proceed down Rue Tronchet to Boulevard Haussman.

  1. Boulevard Haussmann was named after Haussmann who was known to have transformed Paris in the 19th century. Haussmannian architecture is comprised of wrought-iron balconies that are aligned with the structures windows to create a sense of perspective.

Next: After passing Printemps and Galeries Lafayettes on the left, turn left on Rue de la Chaussée d’Antin to Trinité d’Estienne d’Orves. Take metro line 12 to Abbesses.

  1. Métro Abbesses designed by Hector Guimard in 1900, is one of the two original metro entrances that remain in Paris. These entrances are a classic example of art nouveau.

Next: Take metro line 12 to Madeleine, change onto line 14. Depart at Bibliothèque François Mitterand.

  1. Bibliothèque Nationale de France (BNF) was designed by Dominique Perrault who was a contemporary architect. This library opened in 1996 with underground reading rooms and books housed in glass towers. The shape of each tower resembles an open book.

For the Literary lovers

If literature is a passion or fascination you might consider taking a tour of some of the haunts of literary geniuses.

Begin: Place de la Contrescarpe.

  1. Place de la Contrescarpe formerly a working class district was known as a haven for outsiders including those tormented with fictional characters in their heads. Ernest Hemingway lived in Place de la Countrescarpe in the early 1920s. Hemingway’s memoir, A Moveable Feast begins with a description of the grubby Café des Amateurs, which was located, the picturesque square in Place de la Contrescarpe. While the cafe is no longer there, but there are plenty of writers dives nearby on the Rue Mouffetard.

Next: Head northeast on the square along Rue Cardinal Lemoine.

  1. Rue Cardinal Lemoine is where Hemingway and his wife Hadley occupied their first apartment. Farther up the street is where writer James Joyce completed his modernist classic Ulysses in the 1920s.

Next: Turn left onto Rue Monge, which will become Rue Lagrange. At the river, turn left. On the left will be Shakespeare and Co.

  1. Shakespeare and Co was opened in 1919 by Sylvia Beach whose bookstore became a meeting place for all Anglophone writers who resided in Paris in the 1920s.

Next: Continue along the Seine to St-Michel and take metro line 4 to St-Germain-des-Près

  1. Brasserie Lipp was part of the shift in the literary / artistic center of Paris in the 1920s. This café became one of Hemingway’s favorite canteens where he would sometimes write his works.

Next: Turn right out of Brasserie Lipp and right onto Rue Bonaparte. Cross Rue de Vaugirard and continue along Rue Guynemer.

  1. Jardin du Luxembourg Hemingway frequently strolled through the gardens on his way to view the renowned art of Gertrude Stein.

Exit the gardens on Boulevard St-Michel and take RER B to Port Royal.

  1. La Closerie des Lilas was another favorite café of Hemingway where he and novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald planned a rouge trip to Lyon.

— Paris is magnificent, but it’s also super-sized, often crowded, and fast paced. Having a planned itinerary is not a bad idea to help you prioritize the sights you want to visit on your stay in Paris. With the right approach and a shred of patience, you’ll fall head over heels in the City of Romance.