Would you like to have enough time for visiting Paris’ most exciting sights? Our 5 days in Paris itinerary gives you the opportunity to get the most out of your visit. With these suggestions, you can prepare your trip perfectly and don’t miss out to get to enjoy the city at a pleasant pace so that you can take in the unique atmosphere accordingly.
Paris Itinerary – 5 Days
Where To Stay In Paris
First of all, book a hotel in the center but in a quiet neighborhood. We stayed at the Hotel Saint Germain des Prés in the arrondissement 6 only a stone’s throw away from the Seine and the Ile de la Cité, the nucleus of Paris’ old town.
Hotel Saint Germain des Prés
It is a posh neighborhood and offers exclusive shops, restaurants, and the medieval Église de Saint-Germain-des-Prés, the oldest church in Paris. Streets lined with galleries lead to the Musée d’Orsay, famous for Impressionist works. On the Boulevard Saint-Germain, literature enthusiasts visit the Café de Flore, where writers like Hemingway used to hang out.
An additional reason why we recommend Hotel Saint Germain des Prés is because it’s in a very quiet area of the city and it’s kept its original old French style which is an experience in itself. We slept exceptionally well and breakfast strengthened us easily for a whole day of explorations. If this hotel is full at the time of your travels to Paris, you can find further hotels closeby. Click here for a search.
5 Days In Paris – What To Do
Paris is packed with sights, museums, and history, but it’s not always easy for visitors to decide what to include in their program. It should stay relaxed, right?
We put together a Paris itinerary for 5 days which should be most enjoyable in the French laid-back way without missing out on famous sights and activities. The big highlights are included, peppered with some of our favorites, and with the shortest possible but attractive routes in between. You can see and download the Paris Attractions Map here for free.
You don’t have to buy an entrance ticket or bus pass every time. Buy the Paris Passlib’ which allows you access to almost ALL of the major cultural attractions, over 50 museums and monuments, public transport, sightseeing tours by bus or boat with one handy ticket that also saves you bundles of money in the process. Click here to get it online. It’s value for money.
Paris Itinerary – Day 1
You may arrive at your hotel around 13:00 when you can get into your hotel room to store your luggage and refresh yourself. With the afternoon left for your first discoveries and full of excitement to start your explorations, we suggest that you book a bicycle tour. You can get all the information here and book it online as well.
The starting point is only a 1,2 km (17 Min.) walk from your hotel. Walk through the most beautiful Saint Germain des Prés Quartier to the Latin Quarter. Click here for your walking map to the starting point of your bicycle tour.
Explore The City’s Hidden Spots By Bicycle
The bicycle tour is a great way to get a bit of exercise after traveling and to enjoy an overview of Paris’ center. Starting at 15:00 you should have enough time to walk to the starting point at 7 Rue Lagrange. With the “Secrets of Paris”-bike tour you discover the real heart of the city, led by a friendly English-speaking guide.
This tour is focused specifically on the hidden backstreets and romantic arrondissements. You will be amazed by how much you will see in only 3 hours – but that’s simply the benefit of traveling by bicycle! Book your bicycle tour here.
Dinner In Le Marmiton de Lutèce
Next to where the bicycle tour ends, in the area around Saint-Michel, there is a collection of small alleys where one restaurant follows the other. This area is super-touristic and the restaurants are qualitatively very different.
Tip: You will find the restaurant Le Marmiton de Lutèce in the 6 Rue Saint-Séverin. Here you can enjoy classic French dishes such as Boeuf Bourguignon, as well as fondue and raclette in a rustic ambience. The price-quality relation is great, especially if you order the set menu.
Paris Itinerary – Day 2 and 3
Breakfast At Café De Flore
The famous Café de Flore is just around the corner of your hotel at 172 Boulevard Saint Germain and is rated as one of the best restaurants in Paris. Have a cup of coffee and a croissant there as many intellectuals did before you.
Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre, and artists like Alberto Giacometti, Pablo Picasso, Boris Vian, Guillaume Apollinaire, and Jean Cocteau were regular guests. More information about Café de Flore
Hop-on Hop-off Open Bus Paris
Now that you strengthened yourself, there is one easy way to see most of Paris without any stress. Book a Hop-on Hop-off Open Bus Tour for two consecutive days and maybe add the night tour to see the Eiffel Tower by night when it is at its most beautiful.
The closest starting point to your hotel is no 44 just next to Café de Flore at 147 Boulevard Saint-Germain. Book your ticket for the Hop-on Hop-off Open Bus Tour online beforehand.
The following guided walking tours are in English and for free (but please tip the guide):
Get off at stop 6. The tour departs at 13:00 from the horse statue outside the Notre-Dame. Look for the guide in the pink vest. Please note that the tour does not include access to the Notre-Dame.
- The Paris Landmarks:
Champs-Elysées, Louvre, Opéra, Napoléon and the Sun King. Meeting every day at 10 am in front of the Musée de l’Orangerie, rain or shine. Closest stop: 7. Duration: 90 minutes.
Book the Hop-on Hop-off Open Bus here. You get your ticket directly delivered to your mobile phone.
Get 10% OFF with the Code INPARIS10, when you check out.
20 Top Attractions In Paris
Get your Paris Attractions Map For Free.
Abbaye de Saint-Germain-des-Pres
One of the oldest churches just beyond the outskirts of early medieval Paris, whose cathedral’s interior is highlighted by a series of colorful frescoes. was the burial place of Merovingian kings of Neustria. Click here for more landmarks and things to do in Saint Germain des Prés
Jardin du Luxembourg
Situated on the border between Saint-Germain-des-Prés and the Latin Quarter, the Luxembourg Gardens, were inspired by the Boboli Gardens in Florence and commissioned by Queen Marie de Medici in 1612. 25 hectares, split into French and English gardens.
Montparnasse Observation Deck
Paris, seen from Montparnasse Tower
You get very good views of Paris which you reach with Europe’s fastest lift to a height of 196 m in 38 seconds. There are numerous audio-visual and interactive installations.
In summer the tower is open until 23:30, in winter until 22:30. The last admission is half an hour before. At a height of 210 meters, you stand on the roof terrace of the high-rise building with a fantastic view of the Eiffel Tower at night. Book the ticket here.
This neo-classical church is situated in the Latin Quarter and 5th arrondissement of Paris. On the top of Montagne Sainte Geneviève, you’ll have a panoramic view of the whole city. Get your priority entrance ticket here.
Notre-Dame Island, Sainte-Chapelle & Conciergerie
The Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris was built in 1163 and lasted over 170 years. Until the building of Amiens Cathedral in the 13th century, it was the largest religious building in the West. After the fire on April 14th, 2019, the interior of the cathedral will not be open to visitors for some time. But of course, you can still view it from the outside.
Sainte-Chapelle is a masterpiece of the Gothic style with its huge, stained glass windows. Inside the hidden church, a very special atmosphere awaits you. From the street, you can’t see the church at all, only the security check.
When you want to enter the church, you need your ticket. It is worth ordering the ticket online in advance. You should plan about 60 to 90 minutes for the Saint-Chapelle. By your ticket for Sainte-Chapelle online here.
If you’d like to book a guided tour around the picturesque Île de la Cité by skipping the line tickets to royal Sainte-Chapelle and the Conciergerie which was Marie Antoinette’s last pit stop during the French Revolution, click here.
Pit Stop For A Café In Brasserie Les Deux Palais
Back on the street, after your visit to the Saint-Chapelle, look to the left, you will see the Brasserie Les Deux Palais on the corner on the other side of the street. For a break and to experience the Parisian café flair, this is an excellent place.
From the brasserie, walk across the Pont au Change bridge to the other bank of the Seine. Then turn right and stroll along the bouquinistes towards the Hôtel de Ville. The bouquinistes are dealers in antiquarian books who have had their stalls on the banks of the Seine for centuries. You can stock up on the somewhat different souvenirs of Paris at their shop. In addition to antique books, you will find, for example, beautiful reprints of the Eiffel Tower opening poster.
Hôtel de Ville (Town Hall)
Hotel de Ville
The town hall is one of the most beautiful buildings in this quarter. Unfortunately, you cannot visit it, as there is actually work going on here. Nevertheless, the town hall is a great photo motif!
On the square in front of the town hall, visitors and locals alike are offered something to see from time to time. Sometimes there are exhibitions, in winter there is an ice rink and in summer the square is filled up with sand and beach volleyball tournaments take place.
Best View Of Notre Dame
If you look at the town hall and turn right, you are walking straight towards the bridge that leads you to Notre Dame. From the banks of the Seine right next to Notre Dame you have an excellent view of the 800-year-old window rosette, which unbelievably survived the fire unscathed. It’s best to go down to the quay, from where you can take the best photos.
With its eight-hundred-year-old history, the Louvre has been influenced by numerous architectural trends, from the medieval fortress of the 12th century to the glass pyramid by Pei (1989). Nowadays, the museum houses western works of art dating from the Middle Ages to 1848, in addition to collections of ancient oriental, Egyptian, Greek, Etruscan and Roman civilizations, as well as graphic and Islamic arts.
The Louvre opens at 9:00 in the morning. I recommend planning your visit as early as possible. On Saturdays and Sundays, there is a lot going on at the Louvre from 10:00 am. You should definitely order your ticket online in advance, preferably with a fixed time.
You should get to the Louvre half an hour before the time indicated. You have to expect at least three hours for a visit. Here are your tickets for the Louvre Museum.
From the Louvre, walk through the Tuileries gardens and across the Place de la Concorde to the Champs-Élysées.
The open space of Grand Palais is an ice rink by winter, haute couture catwalk during Paris Fashion Week, and playground to renowned artists. The rotating exhibits can focus on anything from Renaissance masters to Impressionist works. Buy skip the line ticket
Entrance to the Petit Palais
The museum houses art from the French and Italian Renaissance and works from antiquity through the 20th century and medieval collections, French paintings, and sculptures from the 19th-century. The permanent exhibition is free. If you still haven’t had enough of art after your visit to the Louvre, you can, of course, take a tour of the museum. Buy the ticket for a temporary exhibition here.
Un Café S.V.P
After so much art, it’s time for coffee and a snack. There is a surprisingly cheap café hidden in the courtyard of the palace. This small, green oasis is the perfect place for a break!
Musée de l’Orangerie
The Musée de l’Orangerie is a gallery of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings. The larger-than-life Water Lilies by Monet are the main event. Book your skip the line ticket here.
Whether you just want to go for a walk or go shopping at Sephora, Louis Vuitton, H&M or Adidas, a stroll along France’s best-known boulevard is a must.
Quick Lunch In Between
Quite high up, just before the Arc de Triomphe, you will find Brioche Dorée on the right side of the street. Here you will find filled baguettes and many other delicacies.
Arc de Triomphe
Arc de Triomphe
Inspired by the great arches of ancient Rome, Napoleon commissioned the Arc de Triomphe shortly after his victory at Austerlitz. The Arc de Triomphe is already impressive if you just stand under it. Standing 50 m tall, the view from the platform atop the arch is worth the climb.
Under the Arc de Triomphe, you can stroll around for free. To climb it using the stone spiral staircase inside, you need a ticket. As so often, it makes sense to order this ticket online in advance. If you want to climb the roof of the Arc de Triomphe, you should expect 60 to 90 minutes for this visit. Book the ticket for your Arc de Triomphe visit here.
If you want to spend as little time as possible in the queue, you should get up early. The Eiffel Tower opens at 9:00 am in summer and 9:30 am in winter. You should definitely buy tickets here in advance, as the queues are often very long.
There are different ticket options. Your guided visit to the Eiffel’s summit will open your eyes to the storied structure’s tumultuous history, surrounded by beams and rivets. This is an Eiffel Tower experience like no other.
Look down from the airy heights of the world-famous tower, and enjoy the pretty lights and landmarks of Paris. Take an insider’s tour to the summit with a guide, peek inside Gustave Eiffel’s apartment and get unparalleled views of Parisian landmarks like Montmartre, the Louvre Museum and more.
Meet your guide at the base and shoot straight to the top of the Eiffel Tower! Get the lowdown on how and why the tower was built, and find out why people wanted it knocked down.
Attention: If you do not book the option to the top, there is no possibility to book the access later on. When buying a ticket, you have to decide whether you want to go to the top or only to the second floor.
You should expect three to four hours to explore the Eiffel Tower in detail. Buy your ticket here.
Boat trip with Vedettes de Paris
Directly at the bridge by the Eiffel Tower, you will find the stairs down to the landing stages. Go down with the Eiffel Tower at your back to the left. There you will find the boat tour operator Vedettes de Paris.
Time for street food! Since you’ve probably spent a lot of time on the Eiffel Tower, it’s probably good to have a snack before going on the boat. Luckily, there is a stand at the boat dock with crêpes, panini, and pizza. So you are well prepared for the one-hour round trip on the Seine.
The tour ends after one hour at the same place where you got on the boat. Book your boat trip on the Seine here.
After the boat trip, cross the bridge, away from the Eiffel Tower and just go straight up towards Trocadero. From the platform, you have the very best view of the Eiffel Tower and the city.
Musée de l’Armée – Les Invalides
Paris’s Musée de l’Armée is one of the three largest arms museums in the world and home to one of the biggest military history and art collections on the planet. Napoleon Bonaparte has been resting here since 1861, in his tomb. Get priority entrance ticket here.
A visit to the artists’ quarter Montmartre is a good idea. The bus stops close to the Moulin Rouge. Go right from the Moulin Rouge up into the Rue Lepic, directly into the artists’ quarter.
Every evening, the Moulin Rouge stage comes to life with 1,000 costumes, shimmering with feathers, rhinestones, and sequins. Since 1889, the artistes of the famed French cabaret have dazzled guests with their celebratory show. Book your evening out here.
You can pass the Liebesmauser at the Place des Abbesses and proceed then a little further up the hill to the Place Émile-Goudeau which is an idyllic spot.
Have A Rest At Le Relais de la Butte
If you’re roaming around Montmartre and want to take a break for a glass of wine or beer, Le Relais de la Butte is a great spot to park off in the sun and to enjoy the sights and sounds of Paris.
Then, take a short walk across the Place du Tertre with its artists before you head for the Sacre Coeur. From May to September the Basilica is open until 22:30, in winter unfortunately only until 17:00. Admission is free, you just have to go through a security check before you can enter the Basilica.
Dinner or Lunch at Le Relais Gascon
Head for Le Relais Gascon (13 Rue Joseph de Maistre). The Restaurant is located a little bit away from the big tourist hustle and bustle and is also quite popular with the locals, which is always a very good sign.
When the weather is fine, You can sit outside. There is French cuisine and above all, there are gigantic salads, which are called Salade Géantes. Try the Salade du Bernaise!
Street Art in Montmartre
Paris Itinerary – Day 4
The Palace of Versailles is one of the most visited attractions in the Paris area. Every year more than 7 million visitors come to the Château de Versailles, which was the cultural and political center of France until the French Revolution of 1789.
Château de Versailles
We suggest that you plan a day trip to the Palace of Versailles on your fourth day in Paris to get an impression of the splendid lifestyle of the kings and queens and have enough time to enjoy the beautiful park of Versailles as well.
The magnificent estate in its present form with the impressive castle, its numerous outbuildings, and the huge park and gardens were built in the 17th century under the Sun King Louis XIV.
How to get to Versailles
The easiest and cheapest way to get to Versailles Castle is to take the RER C. This will take you from the centrally located Paris stations Saint-Michel Notre-Dame, Musée d’Orsay, Invalides or Champs de Mars to the station “Versailles Rive Gauche” in about 30-40 minutes. This station is located in the immediate vicinity of the Château de Versailles (approx. 10 minutes walk).
Besides the direct stop “Versailles Rive Gauche” there are other Versailles train stations where you can get off for a visit to the castle of Versailles. At the height of summer, the RER C is closed for maintenance work in central Paris. Take instead the suburban train (line L).
For example, from Paris Saint-Lazare station, you can take the suburban train (line L) to Versailles Rive Droite station in less than 30 minutes. This trip is a bit more expensive than the RER C and the walk from the station to the Château of Versailles is also a bit longer (about 17 minutes). Get your entrance tickets to Versailles here.
Paris Itinerary – Day 5
You will have to check out of your hotel at about 11:00 am at the latest. Time to have a tasty breakfast at your hotel or get a fresh croissant at the boulangerie. You hopefully saved one of the most interesting museums for your last day:
The Musée d’Orsay’s collections represent all expressive forms, from painting to architecture, as well as sculptures, decorative arts, and photography. You can enjoy world-famous artworks like Van Gogh’s iconic Starry Night Over the Rhone, Matisse’s Luxe, Calme et Volupté, and collections of Impressionist art with masterpieces by Monet, Renoir, Degas, and Cézanne. Buy your entrance ticket online.
Paris Itinerary – 5 Days Of Indulging in Art
With all these impressions of the last 5 days in Paris in your mind, you can be sure you will want to return to this unique city again. It’s such an amazing testimony of the culturally rich past combined with nowadays vibrancy that it leaves nobody untouched. What did you enjoy most of your trip to Paris? Please, share your tips with us and we will gladly add them to this blog post.
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