Updated: September 29, 2020
Ah, Paris. The city of lights, love and fresh croissants.
The truth is, you could probably spend four months in Paris and never run out of things to do or see. But in all reality, you probably just have three or four days in Paris.
Which is perfect to be honest. Because that’s all the time it takes to fall in love with the city! And once you’ve fallen in love with Paris, it’s pretty much a guarantee that you’ll be back.
In fact, I just came back from my fifth trip to Paris. And let me just say that every single time you visit the city, you will always find something new to explore.
That’s why I’ve decided to create the perfect guide for four days in Paris!
First, I share my tips on where to stay in Paris and how to get around the city. Then, I break down each day into an itinerary full of the best things to do in Pairs. Featuring classic sights, hidden gems and delicious eats. And at the end of the post, I share my ideas on unique things to buy in Paris. Not your typical souvenirs.
Let’s get into it!
The Ultimate Guide for Four Days in Paris
This post contains affiliate links, to find out more information, read my disclaimer. If you have any questions, please contact me. Also, please note that the Paris Visitors Bureau provided me with two Paris Visite passes during my stay. All opinions are my own.
Where to Stay in Paris
There are literally thousands of places to stay in Paris. So, to help make your planning process easier, I’ve rounded up some of my personal favourite places to stay in Paris!
- Generator Hostel – Upscale hostel with air conditioning and free wi-fi. Perfect for solo travellers. Dorm beds starting at $25 per night.
- Hotel du Home Moderne – Contemporary 3-star hotel located in a quiet and spacious part of Paris. Single rooms starting at $70 per night.
- Hotel du Printemps – Boutique hotel just steps away from a metro station. I stayed here during my first trip to Paris and loved everything about it! Double rooms starting at $100 per night.
- citizenM Gare du Lyon – Modern hotel with rainfall showers and sweeping city views. Just steps away from one of the main train stations in the city. Double rooms starting at $150 per night.
- Saint James Albany Hotel – Beautiful hotel & spa located just opposite the Louvre in central Paris. Classic double rooms starting at $250 per night.
- Hotel D’Aubusson – A 5-star hotel located inside a private mansion in the heart of the Latin Quarter. Complete with a jazz bar, marble statues and an antique fireplace. Superior double rooms starting at $300 per night.
Or, if you prefer more of a local experience, then I highly recommend booking an apartment or private room on Airbnb! If you’re new to the site, sign up using my referral code and get $45 off your first trip!
How to Get Around in Paris
Paris is a big place. And although it’s nice to just walk around and get lost, you want to ensure that you will be able to visit all corners of the city while you’re there!
Luckily for you, Paris has an aaaamazing public transport system.
Take advantage of it and book yourself a Paris Visite Pass, which is a public transport pass for tourists. It includes unlimited travel on all metro lines, buses, trams, RER trains and even the Montmartre funicular – which is a really cool experience on its own!
Honestly, getting a public transport pass (in any big city) just makes your overall experience so much easier. You’ll be able to cover more ground in less time. And your feet will thank you at the end of the day!
You can purchase the Paris Visite Pass online and have it delivered to your home or just pick it up at one of the tourist offices in the city.
Day 1: Best Things to do in Paris
1. The Louvre — Why not start your first day in Paris with one of the most iconic sites in the city, the Louvre Museum! Arrive early to get there before the crowds. That way, you can grab some amazing photos of the pyramids and have the shortest line if you want to actually go inside the museum. I highly recommend entering the museum through the secret entrance at Porte des Lions because the entrance through the pyramids is always chaotic.
2. Jardin des Tulleries — One of the most beautiful gardens in Paris just so happens to be located right beside the Louvre! Take your time walking through and consider heading to the nearby Angelina Cafe for the BEST hot chocolate in Paris. It’s seriously delicious.
3. Champs-Élysées & Arc de la Triomphe — Take the metro from Place de la Concorde to the Arc de Triomphe, your stop is called Charles de Gaulle Étoile. Spend some time gawking at this iconic building and then walk down the Champs-Élysées. Pop into any of the shops that catch your eye and be sure to visit the flagship Ladurée shop! This place invented the macaroon, so it seems like a good place to try one!
4. Avenue Montaigne — If luxury shopping or celebrity spotting is on your agenda while in Paris, walk over to Avenue Montaigne, which begins on the Champs-Élysées. You’ll find stores like Givenchy, Saint Laurent and Chanel! Maybe you’re like me and can’t actually afford any of these places… In which case, it’s just a nice street to walk along!
5. Place du Trocadero — This place will arguably give you the best view and photo opportunity of the Eiffel Tower. So, bring a fully charged camera battery with you! Also, be careful as there tends to be a lot of shady characters around here. Avoid the pickpockets, street gambling and anyone asking you to sign a piece of paper for charity – it’s a scam.
6. Eiffel Tower — Probably the moment you’ve been waiting for! Take your time walking around the Eiffel Tower and enjoying all of the amazing views. Perhaps plan ahead and bring some snacks with you. That way, you can sit in one of the nearby parks and have a late Parisian lunch! For a great Instagram shot, head to Rue de l’Université – thank me later.
7. Sightseeing Cruise — Go ahead and end your first day in Paris with a boat cruise along the Seine! Bateaux Parisiens begin all of their cruises underneath the Eiffel Tower and costs around 15 euros per person. It’s a great way to relax at the end of the day and see the city from a unique perspective. When you get back to the Eiffel Tower, you should be able to catch the light show that happens every hour!
Day 2: Historic Sights in Paris
8. Luxembourg Gardens — Get your day off to a bright start at the Luxembourg Gardens, which houses a museum, a beautiful old palace and some picturesque statues. It’s a great place to sit down, relax and just people watch.
9. Pantheon — The neighbourhood around the gardens is also quite nice, so take to the streets and head over to the Pantheon. This is a famous mausoleum in Paris that will surely leave you with some amazing photos. Directly opposite of the Pantheon is one of the main buildings of the Sorbonne – the oldest University in France.
10. Latin Quarter — No trip to Paris is complete without a visit to the Latin Quarter! This neighbourhood is jam-packed with restaurants and souvenir shops. My personal favourite place to eat here is called Creperie Genia, which is home to some of the cheapest (and most delicious) crepes in all of Paris! If you are looking for a sit-down restaurant, head to Pizza Sarno, a family-owned Italian restaurant with seriously delicious pizza.
11. Saint-Germain-des-Prés — Much like the neighbouring Latin Quarter, Saint-Germain-des-Prés is a legendary neighbourhood in the heart of Paris. Although it was once known for its swinging jazz clubs and literacy legends, it is now known for its upscale fashion boutiques and pretty scenery. It’s a great place to wander around in the evening.
12. Ile De La Cité — Finish off your second day in Paris at the Ile De La Cité – home of the famous Notre Dame Cathedral. In my opinion, it’s the only thing worth seeing on the island. So, after taking your photos, cross the nearby bridge to Ile Saint-Louis – the oldest part of Paris! Take your time wandering around the narrow streets and consider stopping at Berthillon Glacier for a scoop of the best ice cream in Paris!
Day 3: Local Sights & Hidden Gems in Paris
13. Montmartre — Start your third day off in the Montmartre district of Paris. This iconic neighbourhood is full of cobblestoned streets, artistic little houses and lively squares. I highly suggest climbing up to the Sacre Coeur Cathedral first to beat the crowds. The ascent will be much easier with a transport pass, as the funicular is included! Take your time walking through the district because there are some truly amazing stores, bakeries and galleries.
14. Moulin Rouge — Make your way down the hill to Boulevard de Clichy, which is a somewhat dodgy neighbourhood full of shawarma shops and strip clubs. It also happens to be home to the famous Moulin Rouge, which is a site that any Nicole Kidman fan will not want to miss!
15. 9th Arrondissement — Either walk or take the metro into the 9th arrondissement (translation: neighbourhood) which is the theatre and shopping district in Paris. Catch a glimpse of the Palais Garnier, which is home to the Paris Opera. Head on over to Boulevard Haussman, which is where you will find two famous Parisian department stores: Printemps and Galeries Lafayette – which also happens to have an amazing (and totally free) view of Paris from their rooftop!
16. Le Marais — There are so many amazing things to do in Le Marais, that you could probably spend an entire day in this neighbourhood alone. What’s not to love? It’s full of cute streets, amazing architecture, boutique shops and delicious eats. It also happens to be home to one of the most beautiful palaces in the city, Place des Vosges and the historic Jewish neighbourhood. Pose for some photos, grab a falafel and be sure to head to Free’P’Star – the best thrift store in Paris.
17. Rue Crémieux — This is hands-down the most picturesque street in Paris. It’s full of bright pastel houses and unique little windows. It’s charming, quirky and worth going out of your way to get that perfect Instagram shot!
Day Four: Your Choice
If you have four full days in Paris, leave yourself some free time. After all, you never know what neighbourhood you’ll want to explore again! Here are some of my personal recommendations for other things you can see on your last day in Paris. So, try and tailor this day to your liking!
If you’re at a total loss of things to do in Paris, here are some suggestions:
18. Catacombs — Admittedly, this attraction might not be for everyone. But if you’re into history, creepy places and well, skeletons – then don’t miss the famous Catacombs of Paris! Since they limit the number of people that can enter at any time, the line up to get into the Catacombs is kind of crazy. So, I highly recommend arriving here early – like an hour before they open.
19. Père Lachaise Cemetery — Consider dedicating an afternoon to visit the largest cemetery in Paris, which also happens to be the most-visited cemetery in the entire world. It is home to several famous graves, including the likes of Oscar Wilde, Jim Morrison, Chopin and Molière. When you’re there, it feels less like a graveyard and more like a museum with all the impressive tombstones and statues.
20. Versailles — If you want to take a day trip from Paris, head to the nearby town of Versailles! It should take you about an hour to get there from downtown and only costs about 7 euros round trip. Versailles is obviously known for the royal palace – where you can easily spend an entire day just walking around the gardens and enjoying the amazing architecture But make sure you also reserve some time to walk around the actual city. Rue de Satory is a pedestrian-only street filled with a bunch of cute shops and restaurants.
Best Souvenirs from Paris & Things to Buy in Paris
Rather than buying a shot glass or magnet as a memory for your time in Paris, why not opt for something a little less cliché. Wouldn’t your friends and family appreciate something unique instead? I’ve rounded up the very best souvenirs and things to buy in Paris. In fact, you can probably find most of these at the local supermarket!
- Chestnut Paste — Traditionally, I think this chestnut paste is used as a crepe filling or on top of baked goods. But it’s also delicious to eat straight from the tube!
- Haribo Tagadas — These strawberry-flavoured candies are a local French favourite. You can pick up a big bag for about 1 euro in any local grocery store.
- Chocolate — Pick up one or two bars of Côte d’Or chocolate at any grocery store in Paris. It’s delicious Belgian chocolate at a low price – what more could you ask for?
- Yogurt in Glass Jars — Okay, so probably not the best idea to bring home yogurt. But I find French yogurt so delicious that it would be a shame to not recommend it to you. So, buy a yogurt, eat it in Paris and then bring home the jar as a souvenir!
- Skincare — During your trip to Paris, duck into one of the many pharmacies and pick up some luxury (yet affordable) skincare items to bring home. Look for brands like Caudalie, Avene, La Roche-Posay, Biotherm and L’Occitane.
- Bensimon Shoes — Every Parisian woman has a pair in her closet. These are basically the Toms of France – they’re simple, sophisticated and seriously comfortable. Plus, they’re only around 30 euros per pair!
- Longchamp Le Pliage — The quintessential French bag. It’s light, durable and folds into a small square. I bought a Le Pliage during my first trip to Paris nearly 5 years ago, and it is still one of my go-to bags.
What are your favourite things to do in Paris?
I hope you enjoyed reading my (sort of in-depth) guide on how to spend four days in Paris!
If you’ve been to Paris before and know of any awesome sights, bakeries or hidden gems – please leave them in the comments below and share them with everyone else! After all, Paris is just one of those places that’s impossible to discover on your own.
So, let’s talk all things Paris in the comments!