how to “do” Paris in 5 days

    Is it possible to explore Paris in 5 days? Yes!

    Paris is a wonderful city that you can visit again and again, and still discover something new each time you go, but you don’t necessarily need a lot of time to get something out of a trip to the City of Lights.

    A little tip before we start: if you only have a few days in Paris and you’re not under 26, you should definitely buy a Paris Museum Pass, that will let you go to all the museums and monuments you want, as many times as you want, and best of all, without standing in line, for cheap. If your age is under 26 you get free entry to most museums, but honestly, I wouldn’t visit Paris without that pass anyway. Just bypassing the long lines was well worth the euros for me!

    So, you want to know how to “do” Paris in 5 days?

    Here’s the ultimate itinerary for a trip to Paris, taking in all the must-see places, sights and activities on and off the beaten track!

     

    Day 1  – 8th and 14th arrondissement of Paris

     

    CHAMPS ELYSEES

    Champs-Elysées-Clémenceau – Line 1 (yellow) or line 13 (light blue)

    First of all, how was your flight? I hope you landed safely in Paris! Now drop your luggage off at the hotel and get ready for some serious sightseeing! Your first stop will be Avenue des Champs Elysées.

    The Avenue des Champs Elysées  is one of the main touristic places of the capital city and some people say it is the most beautiful avenue in the world. It is truly majestic, seventy meters wide and almost two km long from the place de la Concorde to the place Charles de Gaulle. Parisians gather here faithfully for annual events such as the Bastille Day parades and the finish of the Tour de France, and to see the sparkling holiday light displays.

    how to “do” Paris in 5 days

     

    ARC DE TRIOMPHE

    Charles de Gaulle Etoile – Line 6 (green-blue)

    After a long stroll up the Champs Elysées you should definitely climb the Arc De Triomphe.

    To reach it don’t try to cross the square, Paris’s busiest traffic hub, death is certain! Take the underground passage and live a little longer. Climbing up the Arc de Triomphe means climbing up 284 steps, but it’s totally worth it: walking up those stairs not only will give you a great workout, but at the top you’ll be rewarded with one of the best views in Paris!

    best views in Paris arc de triomphe

     

    TOUR MONTPARNASSE

    Montparnasse Bienvenüe – Line 6 (green-blue)

    Now it’s time to celebrate your first evening in paris with a with a kick-ass sunset! If you come from the Charles de Gaulle Etoile Station (Arc de Triomphe) you just need to take the Metro line 6 to Montparnasse Bienvenüe.

    Tour Montparnasse is a 210-meter tall office skyscraper located in in the area of Montparnasse. Its gigantic proportions and monolithic appearance have been often criticized for being out of place in Paris’s urban landscape and, as a result, two years after its completion, the construction of skyscrapers in the city centre was banned. Still, the tower deserves a visit simply because of the gorgeous 360° view it provides. A super-fast lift will take you to the top where you’ll be able to shoot that one-million-dollar photo from the open air roof terrace.

    paris in 5 days

     

    Day 2 – 7th arrondissement of Paris

     

    TOUR EIFFEL

     Trocadéro – Line 6 (green-blue) or line 9 (yellow)

    Rise and shine little birdies, it’s time to get your second day started! As corny and cliché as it sounds, seeing the Eiffel Tower for the first time is just one of those inexplicably memorable life moments that you will remember forever. But don’t worry, Paris is a city where embracing the clichés is perfectly fine.

    Trocadéro is definitely the best place in Paris for admiring the Iron Lady. Just one rule: be a tourist and don’t apologize for it. Kiss the tower, hold the tower and take as many pictures as you want, you’re traveling the world for goodness sakes! Enjoy it – however you want!

    how to “do” Paris in 5 days

     

    SEINE RIVER AND ALEXANDRE III

    Invalides – Lines 8 (light purple) and 13 (blue-green).

    When you’re done taking about a million pictures of the Eiffel Tower go toward the Seine and the Pont Alexandre III (on the right with your back facing the Tower).

    A stroll along the Seine will show you wonderful sights of the everyday Parisien’s life. Take your time, wander and enjoy all the beautiful landmarks built through the centuries. Spanning the Seine between the Grand Palais and the lawn of Invalides, the splendidly ornamental Pont Alexandre III is a romantic backdrop that often pops up in wedding photos and even in Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris. This is definitely my favorite bridge in Paris! With its golden framework and symmetrically defined portrait is beautiful by day and especially charming at night.

    how to do paris in 5 days

     

    JARDIN DE TUILERIE AND ORANGERIE

    Invalides – Lines 8 (light purple) and 13 (blue-green).

    Cross Pont Alexandre III, turn right and then walk through the Jardin de Tuileries – a huge garden with fountains and crushed stone walk ways. Since you might be quite tired from the long walk, Jardin de Tuileries is the perfect place to eat an ice-cream and take a breath with an outstanding view.

    Also the intimate Musée de l’Orangerie is a lovely break during your stroll through the city. Home to Claude Monet’s masterpiece water lily series called Nymphéas, the Musée de l’Orangerie is one of Paris’ artistic gems. Sit in the center of the grand oval gallery, you’ll be surrounded by the enchanting flow from blues to greens in his oversized water lily paintings.

    free things to do in paris

     

    MUSEUM D’ORSAY

    Solférino – Line 12 (dark green)

    Crossing the previous bridge in the opposite direction you will find yourself in front of the lovely Museum D’Orsay, highly regarded by many art lovers who come to Paris to enjoy some valuable items of French art. The museum exhibits plenty of late French art dated the late 19th – 20th centuries. The most valuable collections of the museum include the works of the impressionists including Monet, Degas, Renoir, and others. The Musee d’Orsay is perhaps the best Impressionist museum in the world set in the middle of the home of Impressionism. It’s definitely a must!

    how to do paris in 5 days

     

    Day 3 – 1th and 2th arrondissement of Paris

     

    LOUVRE

    Palais-Royal–Musée du Louvre – (Line 1, yellow)

     I hope you slept well and are refreshed enough to take on a new day! I suggest that you start with the Louvre before heading over to the rest of the sights – this place needs your full un-blurred attention.

    With a collection of some 30.000 works of art and relics, the Musée du Louvre is the world’s largest and most visited museum with representative examples from almost every civilization on Earth. The collection is divided among eight curatorial departments: Egyptian Antiquities; Near Eastern Antiquities; Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities; Islamic Art; Sculpture; Decorative Arts; Paintings; Prints and Drawings. To best see everything in the Louvre, it is good to have a plan of action and choose in advance which works see. The Louvre visit can be tiring, but I promise, you will not be disappointed!

    how to do paris in 5 days

     

    OPERA

    Opéra – Line 3 (green); line 7 (pink); line 8 (light purple)

    In the same district of the Louvre Museum, there is the Opera Garnier, one of the world’s renowned opera-houses. The Opera Garnier is certainly one of the most beautiful buildings in Paris. Not only does it welcome world-class opera and ballet performances, but its architectural beauty and interior decoration make it a visit not to be missed. At the end of the 19th century, the Opera Garnier was to the place to be for society life and small talk among the elite!

    how to do paris in 5 days

     

    THE GALERIES LAFAYETTE

    Opéra – Line 3 (green); line 7 (pink); line 8 (light purple)

    After this cultural overdose it is time to give your brain a break and let your wallet feel a little light. By a little I mean a lot, and by a lot I mean a boatload. The Galeries Lafayette in Paris are in the same vein as Harrod’s in London, Bloomingdale’s in New York or Isetan in Tokyo. You can find all the major brands of ready to wear and lingerie, cosmetics, fragrances and jewelry. A tip for you, it is possible to visit the terrace on the top floor! Its access is free and allows you to have a panoramic view of Paris.

    how to do paris in 5 days

    Day 4 – 18th arrondissement of Paris 

    SACRE COEUR

     Abbesses – Line 12 (green); Anvers – Line 2 (blue)

    Montmartre is the highest Paris hill at 130 meters. Rural until 1900, it became famous in late 1800 with the arrival of artists such as Renoir, Van Gogh and Picasso. In spite of the affluence of tourists from all over the world, Montmartre still keeps its charm and its village-like atmosphere, which sets it apart in Paris busy city. Montmartre’s most recognizable landmark is the Basilica du Sacré-Coeur, constructed from 1876 to 1912. The white dome of this Roman Catholic basilica sits at the highest point in the city, at the summit of the “butte Montmartre” and the church is visited by millions of tourists each year.

    how to do paris in 5 days

     

    PLACE DU TERTRE

     Abbesses – Line 12 (green); Anvers – Line 2 (blue)

    The lovely Place du Tertre is located just a few blocks from the basilica. It is here that today’s artists set up their easels and tempt passers-by with their works of art. Many will ask if they can paint your portrait, which – of course – would be a lovely souvenir of Paris!

    The square is also lined with lovely 18th-century buildings featuring busy restaurants, crepe stands, and cafés. Many places have outdoor seating, allowing tourists to soak up the scene.

    how to do paris in 5 days

     

    Day 5 – 3th, 4th and 5th arrondissement of Paris

     

    SORBONNE AND LATIN QUARTER

     Cluny, La Sorbonne – Line 10 (yellow)

    No trip to Paris is complete without a visit to the Latin Quarter in the 5th arrondissement! The area’s many cafés and restaurants are laid-back, welcoming and filled with Parisians, students and tourists. There are several attractions to visit, among them the Pantheon, the Musée National du Moyen-Âge, the Luxembourg gardens and museum and the Arènes de Lutèce. As you stroll through the district you will also come across the Sorbonne, the best known university in Paris.

    how to do paris in 5 days

     

    CENTRE POMPIDOU

    Rambuteau – Line 11 (brown)

    Straight ahead, on the opposite bank of the Seine, you will find the Centre Pompidou and the Marais district.

    Just as modern on the outside as it is on the inside, the Centre Pompidou is housed in a building you will not soon forget. The museum not only features well-known masterpieces by the likes of Picasso, Duchamp, and Miró, but those of 5,000 other artists as well. Explore the history of Cubism, Surrealism, Fauvism and Abstract Expressionism with over 50,000 works of late 19th-20th century art spread over 5 acres.

    must-see museums in paris

     

    NOTRE DAME

    Saint-Michel – Line 4 (Purple)

    If Paris has a heart, then this is it. One of Paris’ most popular attractions, Notre Dame de Paris is a Gothic cathedral built in the 12th and 13th centuries. It was the site of Joan of Arc’s canonization and the coronation of Napoleon I. It is perched on the Ile de la Cite, which, as I said, is really the heart of Paris. In fact that’s the exact point where Paris was born when the Parisii celtic tribes settled here a long, long time ago.

    how to do paris in 5 days

    That’s a delightful way to end your visit to Paris, right?

    So there you have it, a perfectly planned out 5-days stay in Paris.

    Happy travels!

     

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