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With its iconic Eiffel Tower, cute cafes and various neighbourhoods, Paris is one of the most popular places to visit in Europe.

The French capital is always great to explore, no matter how much time you have. I’ve been there many times on weekend trips already, but to properly see the city, you need more than just a day or two.

That’s why we’ve put together this 4 days in Paris itinerary. Four days in Paris is just enough to see the highlights, and if you follow our suggestions, you will discover the best this city has to offer.

To make things easier for you, we have also put together a map of tourist attractions in Paris. That way, you can see at a glance where you’re going. Plus, we always have lots of practical information at the end of the post.

So keep reading to find out what to do in Paris for 4 days.

AT A GLANCE

Make sure to check out these handy resources that will help you book your trip!

Hotels in Paris:

Book your tickets to the Eiffel Tower on the official website. Booked out? Then try booking the entry ticket in combination with a tour.

Buy your Louvre tickets on the official website or at Get Your Guide, where you can find different availabilities.

Skip the queue in Versailles and reserve your tickets online before you go!

Take a boat tour on the Seine River and see Paris from a different angle.

Tourist attractions in Paris – Map

If you want to know the location of the best tourist attractions in Paris, this map will be helpful.

We have split up the markers by day, so you can easily see where you’re going on which day. Plus, our map of attractions in Paris is interactive, so click on it to navigate more easily.

4 Days in Paris itinerary

Day 1: Eiffel Tower, Champs-Élysées and the Seine

#1 Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel tower as seen from Concorde Square in Paris

If you follow this itinerary for Paris, 4 days are going to pass much faster than you think.

Start your exploration by visiting the most famous sight in Paris – the Eiffel Tower. Gustaf Eiffel designed the tower in the late 1800s for a world fair, and it has since become a symbol of Paris.

Around the Eiffel Tower, you can find the Champs de Mars. Walk along these gardens to take nice pictures before heading to the tower itself.

You have two options for ascending. The easiest is to take an elevator, which can bring you all the way to the top. This is also the most popular option, which often sells out many days in advance.

View of the Eiffel Tower in Paris

Alternatively, you can walk up the stairs to the first floor. While it’s not as spectacular as standing on the top, you still get a great view from here, and the queues are much shorter.

One way to reduce waiting time at the Eiffel Tower is to buy your ticket online. You can do so on the official Eiffel Tower website, but the tickets for sale are limited. Another option is to go to a third-party website like Get Your Guide and book a combination of the entry ticket and a guided tour.

It’s more expensive, but you’ll find far more time slots available.

If you didn’t manage to buy tickets online, you could also get them at the bottom of the Eiffel Tower. Depending on the season, you should expect long queues.

2h

#2 Arc de Triomphe

View of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris

From the Eiffel Tower, cross the Seine towards the Jardins du Trocadero. The palace here houses multiple museums, so if you have some extra time and are interested, you could make a stop here.

From the Trocadero, head northeast. It’s only a short walk to the Arc de Triomphe, another famous symbol of Paris. It stands in the middle of a roundabout, in a location which was once called “Place de l’Étoile”. Étoile means star and refers to the 12 streets that radiate from this place.

These days, it’s called “Place Charles de Gaulle”, and the Arc de Triomphe here honours those who died in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.

You’ll notice that the roundabout around the Arc is very busy, so to cross, it’s easiest to take one of the underpasses. Underneath the Arc de Triomphe, you can find the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from WWI, with an eternal flame that burns in memory of all dead unidentified soldiers.

At the top of the Arc, you can find a small museum and a viewing platform. From here, you can see the Eiffel Tower and the Trocadero, but you also have a great view of the Champs-Élysées, which starts at the Place Charles de Gaulle.

If you’re planning on visiting all of the sites mentioned in this itinerary, it might be worth buying a Museum Pass. The price is approximately the same as individual tickets, but if you visit Versailles on a day when the fountains are active (you can find all dates online), then the Museum Pass is worth it.

If not, buy your entrance ticket to the Arc de Triomphe online to skip the queue.

1h

#3 Champs-Élysées

View of the Champs-Elysees in Paris

If you look at the map of things to do in Paris, you’ll notice that the Champs-Élysées stretches from the Arc de Triomphe to the Jardins de Tuileries. If you walked in a straight line from the Arc de Triomphe, you would cross these gardens and eventually end up at the Louvre.

We’ll keep the Louvre for another day, so you have enough time to see the exhibits properly. For now, focus on the Champs-Élysées.

The avenue is almost 2 kilometres (1,2 miles) long and one of the most famous shopping streets in the world. Around 300.000 people come here every day! It’s a great place to go shopping, as you can find almost everything from cheap chains to luxury stores.

If you’re hungry, you can find multiple restaurants and cafes along the Champs-Élysées.

1h

#4 Seine River boat ride

A boat during a Seine river cruise

Finish the first day of your Paris 4-days itinerary with a boat ride on the River Seine.

The iconic boats are called “Bateaux Mouches” and start and land at Port de la Conférence. To get here, when coming down the Champs-Élysées from the Arc de Triomphe, turn right on the Av. Franklin Roosevelt and then right again when you reach the River Seine.

You don’t need to book your tickets in advance; you can get them from the ticket office. However, if you prefer the peace of mind and don’t want to queue, you can get your tickets online.

Depending on your budget and how much you want to splurge on this trip, you can also book a dinner cruise.

1-2h

Day 2: Louvre and Île de la Cité

#1 The Louvre

Louvre Pyramid as seen from outside

Today, your Paris-in-4-days itinerary takes you to the most famous museum in Paris – the Louvre.

Make sure to reserve your tickets online to avoid queueing. You can do so on the official website of the Louvre, where you can also reserve a timeslot if you have the Museum Pass. If your preferred time is already booked out, check if it’s still available on Get Your Guide.

We suggest coming to the museum as soon as it opens. Go down the stairs in the middle of the pyramid, turn right and head straight to the Mona Lisa. You will have time later to return to all the other important sights, but if you get to the Mona Lisa before all the other visitors, you won’t have to queue.

Sculpture inside the Louvre Museum in Paris, France

Once that is out of the way, think about what else you want to see. The Louvre is huge, and you could easily spend the whole day here.

Besides an impressive collection of paintings, you can discover ancient Greek and Roman statues, artefacts from Egypt and Babylon, as well as a 9000-years-old statue. The Ain Ghazal Statue is so old that it even predates the pottery period and is made from plaster.

The two oldest statues in the world both come from Germany and are 35.000 – 40.000 years old. You can see one of them, the Venus of Hohe Fels, in Blaubeuren, which is best visited on a Germany road trip.

Before becoming a museum, the Louvre was a palace. If you’re interested in the history of the building, you should check out the apartments of Napoleon.

One of the entrances of the Louvre Palace

As the Louvre is large enough to get lost, we recommend that you grab a map as soon as you enter the museum. That way, you can plan your visit and visit the collections you’re interested in. You won’t be able to see everything, so it’s good to focus on the items you like and leave the rest for another time.

4-5h

#2 Lunch at Au Petit Riche

Au Petit Riche, a restaurant in Paris

France is famous for its food, and while in Paris, you should stop for lunch at one of its many great restaurants.

Au Petit Riche is within walking distance of the Louvre and is most famous for its Crême Brulée. After having had lunch here, we can confirm that the Creme Brulee is indeed delicious and one of the best we’ve ever eaten. Maybe it’s the fresh vanilla from Madagascar or the perfect caramel crust?

Au Petit Riche also has fantastic main dishes. We had the beef tenderloin and the duck Parmentier, but I’m sure everything else is also good. Plus, you have the option of getting a menu. It’s not super cheap, this is Paris, after all, but considering the quality of the food you get, it’s an excellent deal.

As Au Petit Riche is quite popular, it’s a good idea to book a table in advance.

1 1/2h

#3 Île de la Cité

View of Notre Dame and the Seine river in Paris

In the afternoon, head to the Île de la Cité. This island in the middle of the Seine should always be part of a four-day trip to Paris, as it’s home to some famous and important buildings.

Start by walking around the island to get your bearings. On the eastern end, you can see Notre Dame Cathedrale. A devastating fire partially destroyed its roof in 2019, but fortunately, restorations have been going well. The cathedral is scheduled to reopen in 2024, exactly five years after the fire.

While here, check out the “Point Zero” marker in front of the cathedral. It supposedly represents the centre of Paris, and while a quick look at a map reveals some doubts about this claim, this is the spot from which all distances in France are measured.

View of Ile de la Cite in Paris

From Notre Dame, walk past the Sainte Chapelle (which you’ll visit in a moment) to the Conciergerie. This building was once a royal palace until people turned it into a prison during the French Revolution. Marie Antoinette spent the last days of her life here before she was sentenced to death and executed.

Behind the Conciergerie, if you keep walking, you’ll come to Place Dauphine. If you need a break, this is a great spot to sit in one of the cafes and enjoy a drink.

2h

#4 Sainte Chapelle

Interior of Sainte Chapelle, Paris

I can’t believe I went to Paris five times without hearing about Sainte Chapelle.

This chapel is famous for its stained-glass windows, which are one of the world’s best medieval stained-glass collections.

Sainte Chapelle is part of the Palais de la Cité, the residence of all French kings until the 14th century. The chapel dates back to the 1200s and was initially built by King Louis IX to store his relics.

The building consists of two levels; originally, the upper floor was designed to display these relics. Only the King, his family and important guests were allowed to come here. On the lower level, servants and soldiers could come together to pray.

These days, Sainte Chapelle is no longer a church but one of the most spectacular sights in Paris. The glass windows on the lower floor are already beautiful, but the top level is stunning.

Since the chapel is popular with tourists, make sure to book your ticket online. If you’ve got the Museum Pass, you need to reserve a time slot in advance, or you’ll get stuck in an endless queue.

1h

Day 3: Versailles

#1 Versailles Palace

Front view of the Versailles Palace

The best itinerary for Paris has to include a trip to Versailles, especially if you have four days in the French capital.

Getting to Versailles is easy. You can take the RER line C to Versailles Château – Rive Gauche. Make sure to buy the correct ticket; a single ticket for Paris won’t cover you for this trip!

Even though most people associate Versailles with its palace, it’s more than that. It’s a cute city next to Paris, and if you’ve got additional time, it’s worth going for a walk through its centre.

For now, head directly to the palace.

Around 15 million people visit the Palace of Versailles every year, making it one of the most popular tourist attractions in the world. That means you should reserve your tickets in advance. If you’ve got the Museum Pass, you can book a time slot online, so you don’t have to queue for hours.

The Hall of Mirrors of Versailles

Once you’re inside, you can choose between walking around by yourself or getting an audio guide.

Louis XIV, also known as the Sun King, moved the whole court to Versailles and expanded the former hunting lodge. Now, you can find more than 2,300 rooms in the palace!

You can’t access all of them, and you probably wouldn’t want to, either. But if you follow the signs, you’ll get to explore the most important ones while seeing some stunning decorations and paintings along the way.

The highlight is the Hall of Mirrors, the most famous room in Versailles. It can get crowded, so walk all the way to the back if you want to get nice photos.

2-3h

#2 Versailles Gardens

One of the fountains in the Versailles Gardens

After visiting the palace, head to the gardens. The estate behind the Palace of Versailles is enormous, and you could easily spend a day walking around without seeing everything.

One of the highlights is walking down the central path northwest of the palace. Here, you can find multiple fountains as well as sculptures. Make sure to head off into the sections left and right, all of which have their own intriguing design.

If you walk long enough, you’ll eventually find the Trianon and the Queen’s Hamlet. Not all tourists make it here, so this is a great area to explore if you want to escape the crowds.

2-3h

#3 Trianon Estate

The Petit Trianon from outside

In 1670, Louis XIV commissioned the Grand Trianon to escape the difficult life in court. In addition, he was having an affair and was looking for a remote place to get together with Madame de Montespan and his other mistresses.

While the Grand Trianon is not as crowded as the Palace of Versailles, it is just as stunning.

Nearby, you’ll come across the Petit Trianon, a much smaller palace. If you keep exploring the grounds, you can also discover the Queen’s Hamlet. This building looks out of place here on the grounds of Versailles, and when Marie Antoinette commissioned it, she made sure that the architects turned it into a working farm.

Marie Antoinette loved coming out here for relaxing walks and teaching her children about farming.

If you have the time, this is a great place to stop before heading back to Paris.

1-2h

Day 4: Montmartre & The Catacombs

#1 Montmartre

On the last day of your 4-day Paris itinerary, head to Montmartre. This neighbourhood is famous for its charming cobblestone streets, and many artists like Picasso and Van Gogh lived here.

Wandering around Montmartre is the perfect escape from the noise of Paris, as the area feels more like a village than a city. That’s because it was once a village, completely separate from Paris. As the city grew, Montmartre kept its charm, despite becoming a neighbourhood of the French capital.

The best way to ensure that you see everything Montmarte has to offer is to go on a guided walking tour. If you want to dive even deeper, you could also take a food tour through this famous neighbourhood.

If you don’t have time for a walking tour, wander around by yourself and stop in some of the cute cafes and shops. Try also to find the small vineyard, one of the very few that still exist in Paris.

2-3h

#2 Sacre Coeur

View of Sacre Coeur in Montmartre, Paris

While wandering around Montmarte, you have likely caught a glimpse of Sacre Coeur. This white church stands on top of a hill in the middle of the neighbourhood. From in front of the basilica, you have a fantastic view of Paris.

Despite the city’s smog, Sacre Coeur has kept its creamy white colour. This is due to the calcite used in its construction, which bleaches the building every time it rains.

Don’t stop here, though. Instead, make sure to visit the interior of Sacre Coeur. The entrance is free, and it’s worth it for the beautiful mosaic you can admire inside.

Just after entering the basilica gates, turn left, and you can find the ticket counter to access the dome. You need to climb 300 steps to reach the top, and there’s no elevator, but you have a great view from up here. We highly recommend going through the effort, as it’s one of the highlights of Montmartre.

1h

#3 Moulin Rouge

Moulin Rouge from outside

Before you leave the area, make sure to stop by the famous Moulin Rouge. While this theatre technically isn’t part of Montmartre, it’s often considered a highlight of this neighbourhood. Plus, it’s one of the most famous Paris landmarks, so it’s worth stopping by.

The Moulin Rouge is very touristy, so don’t come here expecting many locals.

Nevertheless, it’s a very iconic building, and you can book tickets online if you want to join a show.

15min (2h if you join a show)

#4 The Catacombs

In the afternoon, head to a different corner of Paris.

It’s time to see the Catacombs, one of the more unusual tourist attractions in Paris. The Catacombs are an ossuary underneath Paris that holds the remains of more than six million people.

Until the 18th century, locals used the Holy Innocents Cemetery. Due to overcrowding, the authorities had to close this cemetery in the 1870s and moved the remains to the Catacombs.

Due to the overcrowding and terrible hygienic conditions, many corpses had only partially decomposed. Only one year after moving them, the city tore down the church of Holy Innocents and replaced the cemetery with a herb and vegetable market.

Since many bodies had not decomposed properly due to overcrowding, the corpses had developed large quantities of “corpse wax”. This fat was collected and turned into candles and soap.

To visit the Catacombs, you should reserve your ticket in advance. You can do so on the official website, but you can also check out Get Your Guide, where you might find different availabilities.

1-2h

Bonus: Dinner on the Eiffel Tower

Daniel eating at the Eiffel Tower restaurant

One of the most iconic things to do when you’re in Paris for 4 days is to visit the Eiffel Tower.

But you know what’s even better than going to the top? Having dinner on the Eiffel Tower.

You can find two restaurants in the Eiffel Tower, one on the first and the other one on the second floor. Madame Brasserie occupies a space on the first floor, whereas Jules Verne is on the second floor.

Madame Brasserie is often described as a more “simple” restaurant, whereas the chefs at Jules Verne serve a more elaborate cuisine. However, we went to Madame Brasserie, and we can assure you that the food is anything but simple.

The chef of Madame Brasserie, Thierry Marx, earned multiple Michelin stars in previous restaurants where he worked. He creates delicious menus where you’re sure to find some dishes that you enjoy.

On the upper floor, Jules Verne offers an even more exquisite menu. The restaurant received a Michelin star and offers either a lunch or a dinner menu.

No matter which of the two locations you decide to visit, you need to book your table well in advance.

For Madame Brasserie, you can make a reservation on the restaurant’s website. If your preferred time slot is already booked out, you can also try on Get Your Guide.

For Le Jules Verne, you need to check out their website, where you can make a reservation.

Practical information

Best time to visit Paris

A restaurant covered in flowers in Paris

The best time to visit Paris is in spring or autumn, from April to mid-June or from September to October. You can experience mild temperatures in spring and autumn, and you won’t quite see as many tourists as during the summer months.

Paris is always busy, but most visitors come in July and August, when you will encounter long queues at all tourist attractions. The weather can also get unbearably hot, so we recommend avoiding those months if possible.

Late autumn and winter (from November to March) are the months with the fewest tourists. On the other hand, the weather can get cold, and you should also expect rainy days. It’s perfect for visiting museums like the Louvre, but it’s not as nice for going for a walk along the Seine.

How to get to Paris

A street in Patis with people walking and biking

Getting to Paris is easy, as the city is well connected by air and train.

Note that Paris has two airports, so if you arrive or leave by plane, double-check your ticket. You’ll find the Paris Orly airport in southern Paris, while you’ll have to go to the northeast to get to the Charles de Gaulle one.

If you somehow go to the wrong airport or need to transfer, it takes 60-90 minutes to move from one airport to another.

Another option, if you’re already in Europe, is to go to Paris by train. The French capital is well-connected to many cities in Europe.

Unfortunately, just like Paris has multiple airports, it also has multiple big train stations – six, to be exact. Always double-check your station to make sure you go to the correct one!

How to get around Paris

Entrance to a Metro Station in Paris

Getting around Paris is easy. The metro connects all of the main tourist attractions. You can look up the metro map online or at any station.

To get on the metro, you need to buy a ticket. There’s the option to purchase a day ticket, but we found it wasn’t worth the money. It’s great if you use the metro often, but not for just a few rides. Therefore, we recommend either getting single tickets or buying a booklet of 10 rides.

To get to Versailles, you need to take a suburban train (line C). Make sure to buy the correct ticket, as the regular Paris tickets won’t be enough. Some tourists report online that they had to pay a fine because they didn’t get the correct ticket, so don’t make that mistake.


We hope you found this post helpful and now have a good overview of how to spend four days in Paris.

While you’re here, check out the following articles and resources that you might find useful:

Until your next adventure!

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Author

Ilona is a world traveller passionate about sharing her experiences and giving advice to fellow travellers. Having visited over 70 countries, she is always excited about her next trip.

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