The Paris skyline of the Eiffel Tower and the Seine River. Paris is a great place to visit for the weekend or for 4 days. This is the perfect four day itinerary to Paris to make the most of your time in France

How to Spend 4 Days in Paris

Planning a trip to Paris can get overwhelming with all the things there are to do in Paris and how large the city is. Paris has a little something for everyone so it’s a great destination in Europe. This itinerary is designed for first-time visitors to Paris and takes in all the main sights of the city.

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Planning Your Trip to Paris lAST mINUTE?

Planning your trip to Paris? Below are some places to stay, things to do, and more.

Best Tours and Experiences in Paris
  1. Louvre Museum Timed-Entrance Ticket (Most popular activity in Paris!)
  2. 1-Hour River Seine Cruise (Amazing reviews)
  3. Eiffel Tower Summit or Second Floor Access (Guided tour)
  4. Moulin Rouge Cabaret Show Ticket with Champagne (Enjoy this unique experience)
  5. Walking Food Tour (Try French delicacies)
  1. Versailles Skip-the-Line Tour & Gardens Access (Most popular day trip!)
  2. Loire Valley Castles Day Trip With Wine Tasting(Beautiful Castles)
  3. Normandy D-Day Beaches Guided Day Trip (Perfect for WW2 history buffs)
Top Hotels in Paris
  1. Hotel de Suez  (Great location in the Latin Quarter)
  2. Hôtel La Comtesse (Has views of the Eiffel Tower)

Paris is a huge city so this four-day itinerary to Paris is four full days, not including arrival or departure days. If you are arriving from overseas the first day will likely be very low-key so you will probably want to stick to the neighbourhood around your hotel. If you are arriving in the morning from another destination in France or Europe, it would be fine to start this itinerary on your first day in Paris.

The Eiffel Tower is a must for any itinerary to Paris and can be seen from many different places all over the city. In four days in Paris, you should be able to see the Eiffel Tower and check out nearby sites.

How Many Days to Spend in Paris?

While you can have a great time in Paris with less than 4 days, it is a large city and there is a lot to do. I would give yourself at least three full days to see Paris, but you could shorten it to two days if you don’t want to visit museums. Paris has plenty of day trip options, I mention a few at the end of this itinerary, so you may want to add on extra days for visiting sights around the city. There are also plenty of hidden gems in Paris to discover on your visit.

Paris is one of my favourite cities but France has so much to offer I highly recommend adding another place or two to your trip. You should consider adding Strasbourg or the Loire Valley and Normandy to your France itinerary.

If you are looking for a day trip from Paris, it’s possible to make long day trips to the D-Day Beaches, Loire Valley Castles, or Mont Saint Michel although I do recommend staying overnight if possible. There are a lot of great day trips from Paris and they are rounded up at the bottom of this post.

Four Day Paris Itinerary

Except for day two of this itinerary, this itinerary is fairly relaxed. There are lots of things to see and do in Paris but one of the best things is the city itself. There are so many streets and parks to wander around at a relaxed pace. There’s also a ton of great restaurants and bakeries to enjoy. You could easily spend your entire four days in Paris wandering the different neighbourhoods.

Day 1: Montmartre and Sacre-Coeur

Sacre-Coeur Basilica

Start off your trip to Paris with a visit to Montmartre. Montmartre sits on a large hill so you can either walk up the stairs to get to the top or take the funicular. The Sacre-Coeur Basilica is the highlight of the Montmartre area as it sits high above Paris offering an amazing view. You can enter Sacre-Coeur for free to see inside the church but it does cost money to go up the belltower.

Sacre Coeur sits atop Montmartre and is a must see when visiting Paris

Explore Montmartre Neighbourhood

Make sure to explore behind Sacre-Coeur to get great views of the basilica without all the people. After viewing the Sacre-Coeur, explore around the Montmartre area. Montmartre is famous as an artist haven because during the Belle Epoque era (1871-1914) many called it home including Picasso, Degas, Monet, and van Gogh. It’s a beautiful area to walk around in but can be quite crowded. Keeping with its history of art, in Place du Tertre there are many artists in the street creating artwork and selling their pieces. There are lots of cafes and bakeries to stop in for a quick bite.

The Windmills of Montmartre

Give yourself some time to wander the streets of Montmartre as there are lots of hidden gems. This part of the city was at one time, full of windmills. Now there are only two remaining, known as Moulin de Galette. Le Moulin Radet is the more scenic of the two if you only have time for one, Moulin Blute-Fin is the other. If you want to experience more of the Bohemian side of Montmartre, check out this tour with a local guide.

Moulin Rouge

The famous Moulin Rouge cabaret bar in Montmartre

Making your way down the hill of Montmartre, you will come across the Moulin Rouge in the Pigalle district. You can easily see the famous windmill and venue from the street. You may want to time it out so it is dusk or nighttime as it will look more spectacular lit up. If you want to see the cabaret at the Moulin Rouge, make sure to book in advance, like this Moulin Rouge show and Seine River cruise option.

Day 2 Around Notre Dame


Even though Notre Dame is closed because of the fire, you can still see it from a distance across the river. Walk along the Seine to see Notre Dame and then head over to Sainte-Chapelle. This gorgeous Gothic chapel is almost entirely made of stained glass and is a stunning sight to see. After, head to the nearby Conciergerie.

Sainte-Chapelle Church in Paris is worth seeing to see all of its stained glass windows and gothic architecture.


The Conciergerie might not feature on many Paris itineraries but it’s worth the visit. It’s part of what was the Royal Palace and was used as a prison. It’s most famous prisoner was Marie Antoinette. When you tour La Conciergerie, you can see Marie Antoinette’s room, now a chapel. During the Reign of Terror of 1793-94, the Conciergerie was the main prison in Paris, housing 2,700 people that were executed by guillotine. Touring this impressive fortress gives insight into the conditions those prisoners were subject to. It’s no longer used as a prison but for Paris law courts.

Tip: You can buy a combined Sainte-Chapelle and Conciergerie ticket to save money. Both of these sights are free on the first Sunday of the month in the off-season (Jan-Mar, Nov-Dec)

Exterior of the Conciergerie of Paris. Most famously Marie-Antoinette's prison, you can now tour the Conciergerie to see the old prison cells and Marie-Antoinette's chapel.

Jardin des Tuileries

Walk along the Seine River towards the Jardin des Tuileries in front of the Louvre. The gardens here are huge and offer up many photo opportunities. If you won’t be going to the Louvre on this trip to Paris, check out the Louvre glass pyramid before heading to L’Orangerie at the end of the Tuileries Gardens.

Musee de l’Orangerie

Musee de l’Orangerie is the one museum I recommend visiting in Paris. Art museums aren’t everyone’s thing but this museum is small enough that it’s a great intro to art museums kind of place.

One of Monet's Water Lilies on display at the Musee l'Orangerie in Paris. If you only visit one museum in Paris, make it the Orangerie

L’Orangerie showcases Claude Monet’s masterpiece paintings. The upper level of L’Orangerie was built according to Monet’s specifications so that the light would fall correctly on these massive paintings. In two huge circular rooms, there are 8 massive paintings of water lilies. There are other paintings to see on a lower level as well but the water lily paintings really are the highlight here. You don’t need much time here, budget for around one hour. You can buy purchase your ticket for L’Orangerie in advance.

After exiting l’Orangerie make sure to check out Place de la Concorde and the huge Egyptian obelisk at its center before heading off to the Arc de Triomphe.

Arc de Triomphe

Arc de Triomphe in Paris doesn't take long to visit and is a fantastic place to see the sunset from, it has a great view of the Eiffel Tower. The Arc de Triomphe is set in a huge traffic circle at the end of Champs d'Elysees

After visiting l’Orangerie, head over to the Arc de Triomphe to see it at sunset. It’s a very imposing sight and from the top, you have a fantastic view over Paris. It’s also located right on Champs Elysees so it’s a good time to visit this famous street in Paris. If you want to go to the top of the Arc de Triomphe, you will have to purchase tickets to do so.

Day 3: Art Museums and the Eiffel Tower

Visit Musee d’Orsay or Louvre

Devote the day to visiting either Musee d’Orsay or Musee du Louvre. Both are fantastic museums but on a four day trip to Paris, you probably do not need to see both unless you are majorly into art.

Musee d’Orsay is smaller and can be seen in a shorter time. Orsay also is easier to navigate as it is set up in an old train station and has fewer stairs than the Louvre.

The Louvre is what I would recommend if you want to see archeology artifacts along with artwork as they have a fantastic Egypt section. With either choice, you can easily spend 4 or more hours there.

Make sure you buy your tickets in advance to the Orsay or the Louvre to avoid lineups as they are both extremely busy.

If you are tight on time, you may want to consider doing this 2-hour guided tour of the Louvre to see all the highlights.

Tip: The 48-Hour Paris Museum pass is worth it for this itinerary if you do all of these activities and choose to visit the Louvre over Orsay. If you leave the Louvre out of this itinerary it is more expensive to buy the pass than the tickets separately. The pass does give you access to many sites in Paris and gives you some flexibility but it is still necessary to book a time slot to visit the Louvre.

Eiffel Tower and Trocadero

Eiffel Tower from the Trocadero in Paris, France. Visiting the Eiffel Tower is a top activity in Paris and should be included on your one week to France itinerary.

Make sure you’ve left yourself enough time to explore the area around the Eiffel Tower. If you plan on going up the tower, buy your tickets in advance as lines can be very long here. I would try to time it so that you are in the area just before sunset so you can see the tower lit up at night.

Visit the nearby Trocadero as well for great views of the tower. The Trocadero is one of the best places to view the Eiffel Tower from and is beautiful in its own right as well.

After exploring around the Eiffel Tower, you can join a nighttime cruise of the Seine River.

Day 4 Latin Quarter and Catacombs

On your final day in Paris, you can either spend the day around Paris or use this day to take a day trip from Paris.

Luxembourg Gardens

If you choose to stay in Paris on your final day, start your day off by visiting the Luxembourg Gardens. This large park is a much smaller scale of Versailles Gardens and is an enjoyable place to wander around. Afterward, visit the Pantheon.

The Luxembourg Gardens or Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris make for a relaxing way to start your day. The nearby neighbourhood is fantastic to stroll around and offer up classic beauty in the Parisian streets.


The Pantheon of Paris is a very impressive sight. The site that the Pantheon sits on has actually been occupied by a series of monuments, with the Pantheon being built from 1758-1790. This building is heavy on the Gothic architecture and its crypt houses some very famous French figures including Voltaire, Victor Hugo, Emile Zola, and Louise Braille.

Paris's massive pantheon is the final resting place of many famous Parisians including Voltaire and Victor Hugo

Saint Sulpice and Latin Quarter

Continue your exploration of the Latin Quarter by visiting the Saint-Sulpice church. It’s an enormous 17th-century church that is free to enter. This neighbourhood is a great one to wander around. There are lots of delicious food to try nearby including Pierre Herme, my favourite macarons in Paris.

Saint-Sulpice church in the Latin Quarter of Paris makes for a good quick stop to explore while you are in this beautiful arrondissment.

Paris Catacombs

After exploring Paris’s 5th and 6th arrondissements, head to the Paris Catacombs. This underground ossuary is full of the bones of 6 million Parisians that were relocated there after cemeteries became too full in the 1700s. A visit here takes about an hour. You do have to be prepared for many stairs and to wait in line as this is a popular site. You may want to buy your tickets in advance for the catacombs to skip the line.

Day Trips from Paris

For most of the day trips from Paris it makes the most sense to either do it independently using trains or to join a day tour. It will be a lot of hassle to pick up a rental car for a single day.

Paris has lots of great day trip options but Versailles is definitely the most popular and one of the most convenient options. There are many day trip guided tours for Versailles from Paris. You can do it independently using the RER trains or join a tour that visits Versailles.

Giverny is a great day trip option from Paris if you are looking for something nearby. You can easily access it by train or by day trip. You can find my full guide to Giverny and Monet’s Gardens here.

Loire Valley
This is another very popular day trip from Paris. Most of the day trip options from Paris include one or two of the most famous chateaus along with wine tasting. You can check out my guide to the Loire Valley here.

Strasbourg can be easily visited using the high-speed train. If you’re visiting in late November or December I think this is one of the best day trip options because you get the opportunity to see one of the best European Christmas Markets.

Mont Saint Michel
Mont Saint Michael is absolutely gorgeous but makes for an extremely long day trip from Paris. If you’re going, I would consider joining a tour instead of driving as it is a ton of driving. I have a full guide to Mont Saint Michel here, including day trip options from Paris.

D-Day Beaches of Normandy
As a 3-hour drive, the D-Day beaches of Normandy can be done as a long day trip from Paris. I do recommend staying overnight as the area is gorgeous to explore but if you are short on time, I would join a day tour from Paris so you don’t have to worry about driving. You can see my full guide to Bayeux and the D-Day beaches here.

Where to Stay in Paris

My favourite arrondissements to stay in Paris are the 5th and 6th arr. Both are full of great restaurants and bakeries to explore. It’s never far from the metro and is in walking distance to many top sights. It can be more expensive so book your hotels in Paris as soon as you have your travel plans.

Budget: Hotel de Suez is located in the Latin Quarter (5th arr.) and is a great central location to walk to the top sights in Paris. It is close to a Metro station and some rooms have great views of the streets and rooftops of Paris.
Luxury: Hôtel La Comtesse is a 4-star hotel with some rooms having views of the Eiffel Tower. It’s located in the 8th arr. with great access to local sights and the Metro. It has great reviews for having quiet rooms with comfortable beds.

Where to Eat in Paris

L’As du Falafel is what I recommend everyone to visit when they are in Paris. It’s located in the Marais district so it’s just a short metro ride away from most sights. It’s worth taking the trip as the falafels they serve up here are phenomenal and super cheap.

Le Grenier de Notre Dame is a fantastic vegetarian restaurant located just across the Seine from Notre Dame. It serves up yummy vegetarian spins on French classics like cassoulet.

While I did try to eat actual food in Paris, I mostly was living off of pastries. Check out my full guide to the best desserts in Paris for my pastry recommendations.

When to Visit Paris

Paris is best seen in spring and autumn. It’s also a great winter destination because there are tons of cozy cafes and museums to wander around. I’m firmly in camp avoid-at-all-costs in summer. Paris gets extremely busy during the summer. If you have to visit in July or August prepare yourself for the lineups and being part of a tourist horde.

The Paris skyline of the Eiffel Tower and the Seine River. Paris is a great place to visit for the weekend or for 4 days. This is the perfect four day itinerary to Paris to make the most of your time in France

What days are attractions in Paris Closed?

Planning your Paris itinerary can get a bit challenging because many museums and monuments have a day when they are closed, usually a Monday or Tuesday, that you have to plan around. You will likely have to change up the order of this itinerary depending on when things are closed. Try to keep day 2 and 3 together as it may be cheaper to buy a 48hr Paris Museum pass for these days. I’ve included the sights that have closures in the table below, all other main sights are open daily.

SiteClosed MondayClosed Tuesday
Musee l’OrangerieX
Musee d’OrsayX
Musee du LouvreX
Centre PompidouX
Musee RodinX

What to do in Advance of Visiting Paris

Paris one place I highly recommend purchasing your entry tickets to in advance. It’s very popular as a travel destination and even in low seasons like winter, you can end up spending a lot of time waiting in line. Buy any tickets that can help you skip the line. For the Louvre, Eiffel Tower, and catacombs you should book a ticket and an entry time.

You should also book any tours or shows in advance like this tour of Montmartre with a local guide or a cabaret show at the Moulin Rouge show with a Seine River cruise.

Tickets to Purchase in Advance

48hr Paris Museum pass– Worth it if visiting the Louvre. Also includes Arc de Triomphe, Sainte-Chapelle, Orsay, Conciergerie, Pantheon, + more.
Art Museum Tickets: Musee d’Orsay + l’Orangerie combined ticket OR l’Orangerie and Musee du Louvre
The Conciergerie
Arc du Triomphe
Eiffel Tower

4 Day Paris Itinerary

I hope this four day Paris itinerary helps you plan your perfect vacation to Paris. It’s one of my favourite cities and there is so much to explore there.

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  1. Thank goodness you managed to avoid the pickpockets! How did you know they were trying?

    I feel like with this many things to see (and with all those possible day trips) most people need much more than 4 days in Paris. Still, this is SUCH a good start.

    p.s. thanks for including all the days things are closed. I always forget to check that kind of thing(!!)

    1. One pickpocket it was late at night walking out of the metro on one of those people movers and there were two of them, one walked in front and slowed down forcing a slower walk while the other one got really close and unzipped the backpack. There was nothing in it but an extra sweater and some pens so just didn’t worry about it and didn’t want a confrontation. The other time was in the Louvre while looking at a display a man reached and put his cellphone right in front of me to take a photo of the display as a distraction while someone else unzipped my backpack, I was able to quickly turn around and stop that.

      Oh this is definitely a lot to see in 4 days. I could easily spend a week or more there but the cost of accommodation in Paris is real deterrent for that.

  2. Paris looks so lovely! Thank you for the packing tips as well. I only visited Paris for 2 days but wished I had more time to check out all these wonderful places!

    1. There’s definitely a lot you can do in 2 days but it really has a lot to offer. I’ve visited twice and both times I felt like I could stay longer and not run out of things to do.

  3. Ive been to Paris and you covered all the best spots to visit! Very detailed and will have to check out some of the spots you recommend!

  4. My husband and I were just in Paris last month! We only spent 3 days there but we tried to cram in as much as possible. That was actually my 2nd trip to Paris though. I went in 2013 with my mom and sister, and we got to go to Montmarte. My husband and I didn’t get to go there this time around. We got so sick during our trip. We plan to go back to do a do-over in the next few years. Thanks for sharing!

    1. That sucks that you got sick while in Paris! Being sick on vacation is the worst. I’ve also visited Paris twice. There just is so much to do there that there are still things I feel like I missed out on.

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