How to Spend 4 Days in Paris Itinerary
Looking for an itinerary for 4 days in Paris? Paris is one of those cities that will forever be a dream travel destination for most people. The City of Lights is best known for its cuisine, art, elite fashion, and architecture. Whether you choose to have a picnic in front of the Eiffel Tower, head to a jazz club in Marais, or get caught in the rain in Montmartre there’s a little something for everyone to enjoy in Paris.
As an avid traveler, it’s one of my favorite cities for so many reasons. Not only is it affordable (compared to New York and California prices) but the food is everything, you can get a bottle of wine for 10 euros, and it’s one of the prettiest cities I’ve ever visited. Take time to wander around this romantic city and get lost in the beauty of everything that surrounds you. Finally, in this Complete Paris Travel Guide, I’ll list the best things to do in Paris along with sharing a complete 4-day Paris Itinerary.
Best Time to Visit Paris
The weather in Paris is mild all year but it’s best to visit during the fall and spring when tourism is down and the temperatures are moderate. When booking your trip know that July & August are the hottest months as well as the busiest time to travel to Paris. Along with that, most Parisians will take the month of August off so a lot of smaller businesses will be closed during that month. Finally, we’ve been to Paris twice – at the end of October and mid-November and would recommend visiting during those months.
Best Places to Visit in Paris
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Visit the Eiffel Tower
The most iconic landmark in Paris and arguably the world. The Eiffel Tower is named after the architect who created the iron lady, Gustave Eiffel. It was constructed for the 1889 world fair and is housed on Champs de Mars. Many tourists visit the top of the Eiffel tower for one of the most stunning views over Paris. To save time book a skip-the-line ticket and guide. For a more affordable version, you can book an entry ticket and skip the summit to check out the view from the 2nd level. Finally, every evening starting at dusk the Eiffel tower sparkles for a few minutes at the top of the hour. This happens until 10 pm (the last sparkle).
Best Eiffel Tower Views
- Trocadero gardens
- Rue de l’universite
- Bridge pont d’ilena
- Avenue de New York
- Avenue de Camoens
- Jardin d’Erevan
Visit A Museum
Paris is home to a myriad of art museums, galleries, and art masterpieces including Da Vinci’s – The Mona Lisa. Most people flock to the Lourve and while it is a fan favorite, there are a ton of other museums to explore on a rainy day in Paris. It’s the best way to experience the culture Paris has to offer. If you plan on visiting more than 1 museum consider purchasing a Paris museum pass which gives entry to multiple museums for a discounted price (€52 for entry to all museums for 2 days).
Let’s start with the Lourve. This museum is the largest museum in the world and houses many world-renowned art pieces. Art from all around the world including Egyptian, ancient greek, and ancient roman sculptures. Not only that but the Lourve pyramid is one of the most iconic sculptures in Paris. It’s a must-see when visiting Paris and being that it is the most visited museum. Because of that, you are bound to encounter crowds during your visit. I highly recommend booking a skip-the-line ticket guided tour to not only skip the line but hear the intricacies behind the world-renowned pieces of art. Finally, you can find a few restaurants located on the grounds with the most famous being Cafe Marly.
My personal favorite museum in Paris is the Musée d’Orsay. This museum is housed in an old train station and the interior of the building itself is simply stunning. It’s famous for its impressionist paintings, located on the 4th floor of this museum, some call it impressionist heaven. You can also find iconic paintings by Van Gogh, Monet, and Renoir. Finally, you can’t miss the clock atop the museum which showcases a beautiful view of the seine and 1st arrondissement.
Musée De L’Orangerie
The Musée De L’Orangerie is famous for housing Monet’s Water Lilies installation. While it’s not the only thing to see in this museum it is most definitely the highlight. It’s a smaller museum located in the Tuileries Gardens. Finally, it houses collections from Renoir, Cezanne, Matisse, Picasso, and Soutine.
Other museums and galleries to add to your perfect Paris itinerary: visit: Musee Rodin, FAondation Louis Vuitton, Grand Palais, Centre Pompidou, and Musee Rodin.
Another popular place to visit in Paris is the Palais Garnier. It was home to the Paris Opera for many years however now hosts mostly ballet performances. This Palais was made famous in the book The Phantom of the Opera. It’s named after its architect who completed the opulent structure in 1875, Charles Garnier. It’s also one of the best examples of Neo-Baroque Architecture in the world. The Palais offers so much to see from the grand foyer which was designed after the hall of mirrors in Versailles to the intricate Grand Escalier which was built with four floors of balconies so you can view the important guests that were arriving at the opera. Finally, book your Palais Garnier Entry Ticket in advance for the first time available and line up outside 30 minutes before opening.
See the Arc De Triomphe
The Arc de Triomphe stands at the center of Paris and is one of the most popular structures. It was created to honor the people that fought for France. Did you know you can climb to the top and see a bird’s eye view of Paris? It’s an amazing activity to experience and you’ll want to book your tickets in advance. Finally, the Arc is located on Champs-Élysées which is notably the most famous street in Paris lined with trees and home to many luxurious storefronts.
Visit Notre Dame Cathedral
Notre Dame is one of Paris’ most iconic landmarks. I was lucky enough to visit before the fire and climbed the 422 steps to the gargoyle’s point of view at the top. I have no doubt in my mind that it will be restored to its original beauty but unfortunately, for now, there is no access to Notre Dame until further notice. However, you can visit the exterior of the church as they have fences surrounding the structure with information about the construction as well as Notre Dame itself.
Wander Around Montmartre
Montmartre is the most charming town filled with tiny cobblestone streets and located on a hill in Paris in the 18th arrondissement. It is well known for being an artist’s haven and is home to the white-domed Basilica of the Sacré-Cœur. Not only that but you can find markets, cute restaurants and cafes, musicians lining the street, and the Instagram-famous Maison Rose. You can spend an entire afternoon exploring this part of Paris and it is not to be missed! Here are some places to visit when in Montmartre:
- Basilique du Sacré-Coeur
- La Maison Rose
- Le Moulin de la Galette: Windmills
- Place des Abbesses
Explore the Jardin des Tuileries
The Jardin de Tuileries is a public garden centrally located between the Louvre Museum and Place de la Concorde. This picturesque garden is perfect to post up and people-watch, go for a daily stroll, or to catch a beautiful sunset with the Eiffel tower in the distance. It was added as a UNESCO world heritage site in 1991 and is one of my favorite spots. Finally, Place Vendome is a popular shopping spot in Paris and is within walking distance from the Jardin des Tuileries.
Visit the Palace of Versailles
Easily the best part of this 4 days Paris Itinerary is the Palace of Versailles. This 17th-century palace is full of opulence and surrounded by 2000 acres of lush garden displays. Versailles is easily one of the greatest achievements in French 17th-century art. There is so much to see and do at the Palace of Versailles! Not only can you explore the main palace but there are several other palaces on the property that I go into detail about later in this blog.
You can visit Versailles by booking a tour or taking the metro to Versailles and walking 20 minutes to the palace. We splurged (because it’s Paris and if you’re not going to splurge here, where are you going to splurge?) and purchased a guided tour from Viator which included transportation, a small group tour of all the palaces, and lunch in the garden at La Petite Venise. Finally, a great pro travel tip is to book a reservation for breakfast at their onsite restaurant Oro. It costs roughly €40 per person and includes entrance into the palace itself.
The Grand Trianon is a unique architectural composition featuring a central colonnaded gallery opening onto the central courtyard on one side and the gardens on the other. Built as a retreat for King Louis the XIV and his mistress this opulent Pavillion has the most stunning rooms I have ever seen. The ornate geometric gardens were planted with tens of thousands of flowers. Finally, the elegant pink marble facade is a stunning feature that is to be admired.
The Petit Trianon
The Petit Trianon is a neoclassical chateau located on the grounds of Versailles. It was a gift to Marie Antoinette from her husband King Louis XVI. This smaller version of the Grand Trianon boasts stunning marble and opulent interior designs. The vast staircase is extremely dreamy and to think of who walked up and down that in the past! Finally, Marie Antoinette’s apartment overlooks the gardens and the love monument.
The Queen’s Hamlet
The Queens Hamlet was constructed for Marie Antoinette in 1783. This rustic retreat was built to resemble a common village of Normandy so that she could live “the simple life”. It acted as a private meeting place for her close friends and still has a working farm to this day.
Unique Places to Visit in Paris
Les Deux Plateaux: Commonly known as Colonnes de Buren. The courtyard of the Palais Royal is dominated by 280 black and white striped truncated columns, made of Carrera marble, created by artist Daniel Buren. It’s a tribute to ancient art as the shape of the columns is reminiscent of classical architecture.
Galeries Lafayette: the prettiest department store with 360-degree views of Paris from the rooftop that is free to visit.
Paris Catacombs: located 65 feet underground in an old limestone quarry is the Paris catacombs. Towards the end of the 18th century, the city was having a problem with overcrowding at graveyards so this was the solution. It spans 300km below the city and is home to over 6 million dead Parisians. Tickets to access cost €28 euro per person.
The Pantheon: located in the Latin Quarter is The Pantheon which is a monument and houses the remains of great French citizens, including Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Victor Hugo, Èmile Zola, and Marie Curie.
Jardin de Luxembourg: located in the 6th arrondissement these gardens are very popular with french locals. It spans over 56 acres and is famous for its lawns, tree-lined promenades, tennis courts, flowerbeds, model sailboats on its octagonal Grand Bassin, as well as the picturesque Medici Fountain.
Pont Neuf: visit the oldest bridge in Paris by seeing Pont Neuf which ironically translates to a new bridge in English. It was constructed in 1578 and was the heart of the city during medieval times.
Moulin Rouge Cabaret: this is another Paris bucket list item especially if you love the movie!
4-Day Paris Itinerary
Here is the best way to utilize your time with your 4-Days in Paris Itinerary:
- Visit the Louvre
- Walk around Jardin de Tuileries
- Take pictures at Les Deux Plateaux
- Visit the Palais Garnier
- Shopping at Galeries Lafayette
- Dinner at Gambino
- Visit the Eiffel Tower
- Explore Montmartre
- Lunch at Pink Mamma
- Take the metro to the 6th arrondissement
- Walk around Jardin du Luxeomburg
- Paris Catacombs
- Early Dinner at Cafe de Flore
- Breakfast at Le Train Bleu
- Explore the Le Marais neighborhood
- Visit Musee d’Orsay
- Walk the Champs-Élysées and visit the Arc de Triomphe
- Dinner at Kong Paris
- Visit Avenue de New York to watch the Eiffel Tower sparkle
- See the Moulin Rouge Cabaret
- Visit the Palace of Versailles
- Shopping at Place Vendome
- Dinner at Girafe Rooftop
Best Restaurants in Paris
I plan on writing an entire blog post dedicated to the best restaurants in Paris however for now these are the top contenders to visit!
Pink Mamma ($$) – delicious Italian food and a beautiful restaurant. This restaurant lives up to the hype and it’s best to make reservations. Pro tip – ask to sit on the third floor for beautiful rooftop views.
Gambino ($$) – Hands down the best Italian food we have ever had. And we’ve been to Italy! We have visited this restaurant four times now because of how good the food was. 10/10 would recommend it!
Cafe de Flore ($$$) – Easily the most infamous cafe in Paris and one of the oldest! Located in the 6th arrondissement it’s best known for its famous hot chocolate with chantilly cream. It’s a great spot to post up and people watch especially in the rain.
Le Cafe Marly ($$$$) – Let’s be real, the reason why this restaurant is so notable is because of the Lourve views. But hey, it’s Paris! You have to splurge a little. This restaurant is located inside the museum and is best for lunch!
Girafe Rooftop ($$$) – Rooftop views of the Eiffel tower. I’ve heard the food isn’t the best but you come here for the views.
Le Train Bleu ($$$) – located in Gare du Nord train station this is the prettiest restaurant in Paris. Make reservations and it’s best to visit for breakfast (ends at 11 am).
Kong Paris ($$$) – Asian fusion restaurant made famous from Sex and the City.
4-Days in Paris Itinerary: Best Way to Get Around Paris
There are 20 arrondissements surrounding Paris. Each arrondissement is a little unique and has its own vibe. A good starting point when traveling to Paris is the first arrondissement. It’s the center of the city with many main attractions in Paris. You can work your way out from there but here are the best ways to get around Paris.
Short for Métropolitain, the subway system is one of the best ways to get around Paris. The subway map covers all the arrondissements and there are multiple lines to take you all over the metro Paris area. Not only that but it is extremely inexpensive to ride. Only €1.50 for a one-way fare and €15 for an all-day unlimited pass. Finally, be aware of your surroundings when taking the subway. Do not leave your phone in your pocket, put your backpack. in front of you, and don’t take the metro with designer shopping bags.
Vélib’ Métropole is a popular bike-sharing program all around the Paris city center. Their kiosks are extremely easy to use and you can rent bikes by the minute. We had a little trouble finding a docking station around the 1st arrondissement during peak hours, however, I would highly recommend renting bikes to best explore Paris.
Sure Paris is a huge city but in order to get a taste of the local life, it’s best to walk and take in the sights. There is so much beauty to be seen here that if you’re in a taxi you may miss some of the intricate details that make this city so beautiful.
Thank you for reading my “How to Spend 4 Days in Paris Itinerary: a Complete Travel Guide”. I hope it helps when planning your trip to beautiful Paris. Don’t forget to check out more of my European travel guides!