Three Glorious days in Paris

Get yourself a good map of the city. 

Day one: The right bank

  • Spend the first morning in the Louvre or the Musee d’Orsay.
  • After your visit, head north up rue du Louvre through the Les Halles quarter toward St-Eustache church.
  • Enjoy lunch on rue Montorgueil, either stopping in a café or grabbing a sandwich and pastry to go.
  • Afterwards, walk down rue Montorgueil and turn left at the bottom, past the underground mall called Les Halles, and head towards the Pompidou Centre.
  • Turn right on rue Renard (or rue Beaubourg depending on where you reach it). Head towards City Hall (Hotel de Ville), and cross the river towards Notre Dame.

Free culture, vintage shopping and tasty falafel in the Marais

  • After a quick visit to the church, head back to the Right Bank and wander the Marias.
  • The old Jewish neighbourhood also houses some of the city’s best free Museums like the Victor Hugo House and the Cognac-Jay Museum.
  • Be sure to check out the stellar Musee Carnavalet. and the stunningly beautiful Place de Vosages, designed to be the royal palace under Henry IV.
  • The Marais is also the place to try your hand at vintage shopping, so don’t be afraid to rummage through some of the piles of scarves to find the one that matches your taste.
  • Once you’ve had enough of exploring, grab a falafel at night on rue des Rosiers followed by ice cream for dessert at Amorino or Pozetto.

Evening options

  • During the evening, either head to the Eiffel tower or another option is take the metro to Montparnasse and take the lift to the top of the tower, for one of the best views of the Eiffel tower and the city by night.
  • Depending on the evening, the Louvre or the Musée d’Orsay are also options.
  • For dinner Rue Mouffetard in the Latin Quarter is lined with cafes, crepe stands and food shops.

Day 2: Left Bank

On the second day, spend most of your time on the Left Bank, taking more time to explore.
Sights and crepes in the Latin Quarter

  • Start at St-Michel and the fountain of the archangel slaying Lucifer.
  • Walk south to Luxembourg Gardens via Boulevard St-Michel. After a stroll through the gardens, head up rue Soufflot towards the domed Panthéon.
  • The church of St-Etienne du Mont, just behind Panthéon, is worth a quick visit.
  • Then head over to rue Mouffetard for several lunch options. Consider a takeaway crepe with ham and cheese (a classic!).
  • Be sure to check out the old Roman ruins at the Arenes de Lutec, and maybe grab a quick €2 mint tea at the Mosque just down the street.

Boutique shops, macarons and historic churches in St-Germain

  • Afterwards, stroll west along Boulevard St-Germain or along the cobblestone banks of the Seine (or a Metro ride to be quick—line 10).
  • Back towards St-Michel, take rue Saint-André des Arts and explore the boutiques and shops in this well-traveled part of St-Germain.
  • Head up rue de Seine towards the St Sulphice church—also worth a quick visit for some beautiful Delacroix paintings—and splurge on macarons on rue Bonaparte (Pierre Herme or farther north at Ladurée).
  • Visit the St Germain Church one of the city’s oldest.

Napoléon’s tomb and ancient military artefacts

  • Head down the street to Les Invalides and check out the old 17th-century military hospital that today houses Napoléon’s tomb and a great collection of wartime artefacts from the Middle Ages to World War II. The big draw is that even non-history buffs can appreciate the museum because everything’s translated in English (€8 entry, free to walk through main courtyard to see the cannons).

Evening options

  • Head back to St-Germain for a meal of steak-frites.

Day 3:  Grands Boulevards and Montmartre

  • Day three, start around the Opéra area and, if you have some spare cash, take a visit of the gorgeous interior (€9).  You can enter the main lobby for free, but you will need to go through the security measures first.  
  • Afterwards, just around the back of the Opéra, take the escalator to top of Galeries Lafayette for a panoramic (and free) view of the city.
  • Shop and walk east along Boulevard Haussmann to the regal covered passages to explore before or after lunch.
  • Walk south through Passage des Panoramas to get a sense of what these 19th-century shopping malls looked like.
  • Once you arrive at the other end, exit, turn right and then take the first left onto rue Vivienne. Walk a few blocks and turn left into the Galerie Vivienne (near restaurant le Grand Colbert). Soak it up and browse some of the old books and be sure to look up and down at the gorgeous ceilings and the mosaic floors.
  • Continue south from the exit of the galleries through the Jardin du Palais Royal and its designer-filled arcades.

Grab an affordable Japanese lunch

  • Once hunger hits, explore rue Saint-Anne for lunch. The neighbourhood is known for it’s cheap Japanese food (just in case you were sick of duck and cheese).
  • After a quick bite, take nearby Metro line 14 at Pyramides to Madeline, switch to line 12, and head up to the stop called Abbesses to explore Montmartre.

Fondue and a stunning vista from Sacre Couer

  • Explore some of the best bakeries in Paris on rue des Abbesses while following in Van Gogh’s footsteps towards his residence at number 54 rue Lépic.
  • Wander the picturesque streets up towards the Sacre Coeur Basilica for a visit to one of Paris’ newer, but iconic churches.
  • Finish the evening with a glass of wine at a café and/or dinner at nearby  Relais de Gascogne  or fondue at Refuge des fondus.
  • Depending on the time, watch the lights of the city come alive as the sun sets over the city while seated on the stairs in front of the Sacre Coeur.