Now that I have been to Paris twice. I pretty much get the glimpse of it and can guide what to cover if you are making a short trip to Paris. Paris scenery is endless and to be honest, it never ends. I can sit in a cafe and enjoy the view and can never get tired of it. Now I get why people praise Paris so much, there is something in the air, the view, the scent, the tourists, everything adds up nicely together. The trouble with visiting Paris is that it’s hard to figure out where to begin. There is so much more than Effiel Tower and you will need a couple of weeks if you wanted to cover EVERYTHING! But if you are in Paris for a good 72 hours, you can still cover the major attractions and feel as if I have seen it all. Below, I am categorizing itineraries to cover each day. Keep reading below to plan your perfect 72-hour stay in Paris!
Start your day with breakfast at the cafe as Paris is known for its cafe experiences. Parisians are known to have their meals and small breaks at cafes. And the cafes in Paris are endless, you will find them at every corner of the street.
Now if you are an explorer like me, dive into the city or start with a district like Le Quartier Latin. Known as the historic district of Paris, it’s where you will find ancient churches and schools. The area is admirable for its antique building designs. You will find notable structures like Saint-Michel fountain, the Cluny Museum, the Saint-Michel fountain, the Pantheon, and the Luxembourg park. There’s a lot to cover here so once you are done visiting the structures, which will take about good 3-4 hours, go ahead and grab lunch nearby.
Once you are done with lunch, head north to La Sainte Chapelle. Known for its stained-glass window, the chapel is a gothic architecture featuring glass-painted stories of the bible. The stories start with Adam/Eve and end with the Apocalypse. The visit shouldn’t last for more than an hour. After this, I would have recommended the Cathedral of Notre-Dame but it has been closed due to fire earlier this year.
One of the main monuments all tourists come to visit is the Effiel Tower. No surprise it is the most visited monuments in the world. If you want to get a nice view of Effiel Tower then see it either at sunrise or sunset. I am not a morning person and never have been so sunset is all I am here for. If you climb into the Effiel Tower, you can get a beautiful glimpse of the city. It is recommended to book the elevator in advance to avoid any delay. Given it’s super busy all day long, booking ahead of time will surely reduce the waiting time.
Once you have visited the Effiel Tower, next to it is the Champs de Mars (large public greenspace). Call it a park with an Effiel Tower view. It’s a place to do a picnic or just sit on the grass and enjoy the breeze and view. We went there around sunset time and just plainly enjoyed the sight and had good food. If you want to be a true Parisian, take an extra step and make it a French picnic with baguette, cheese, and pastries.
After you have had your breakfast, head over to the largest and most visited museum in the world, le Louvre. The museum carries about 25,000 pieces of artwork including European artists and Egyptian historical remains. Majority of the tourists come to see the famous Mona Lisa. Of all places, you guys really don’t want to miss this!
Right next to le Louvre is Tuileries Garden, it is a huge public garden and is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the breeze. We spent about 1 hour before we headed to a cafe for a nice latte. We actually didn’t have time for Musée de l’Orangerie because our toddler was getting a little irritated. If you have time, I would suggest visiting the museum as it is located in the west of Tuileries Garden. The museum is also an art gallery carrying impressionist and post-impressionist paintings. Located between Tuileries Gardens and Champs Elysées is a public square space called Place de la Concorde. It is the largest square in Paris. It is definitely a place to go to and since it was next to the garden, there is no harm in checking it out. We went there to just look at it for not more than 5 mins. We are getting quite hungry so we left to have lunch.
Now the other half of the day should be dedicated to Champs Elysées. If you are a shopaholic like me, this is worth the street. It runs about 2km long, starts from Place de la Concorde and ends at Arc de Triomphe. The street is always busy and always has something going on day and night. Given Paris is the fashion district of the world, I literally wanted to visit most of the stores just to experience it. From luxury brands to budget-friendly brands, they have it all. You can also experience the French Macarons from the known Ladurée as well. If you are not a spender, you can also explore the theatres and exhibitions. Champs Elysées will take pretty much half of your day and I wouldn’t recommend anything after that. As Champs Elysées ends, you may also want to look at Arc de Triomphe. Unless you want to see the Champs-Élysées from above, it’s not worth getting a ticket to Arc de Triomphe.
Start your third day at the historical district of Paris, Le quartier du Marais. The neighborhood is a pleasant place to walk as it will cover beautiful architecture and fine food. While we didn’t eat there, the place covers rich and tasteful restaurants. The district also is a great place for fashion enthusiasts like me as there are many clothing clothes to shop from.
Next, you want to head to La basilique du Sacré-Coeur. A known Catholic Church and one of the most visited monuments, you will find the ceilings decorated by the largest mosaics in France. Once you get to the top, you can get to the dome and get a beautiful view of Paris. This is definitely worth a visit!
Now take the subway and head South to visit Musee d’Orsay. The museum carries a beautiful selection of Impressionist paintings and architecture, including sculptures and art pieces. Located not too far away is the Musée de l’Armée des Invalides (Army Museum). As the name itself gives it away, the museum carries a range of military equipment used over the centuries. Lastly, if you have time, you can see Rodin Museum which carries all type of work like paintings, drawings, ceramics, prints.
To end your last day, it is worth getting a glimpse of the city by sailing on the river. There are different cruises available and some run throughout the day covering breakfast, lunch, and dinner. As much as I wanted to, my toddler was not feeling too well and we thought it was best not to take him at the moment. We are definitely pinning this for our next trip.