Travel

The Ultimate Guide to Four Days in Paris

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 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

Planning a trip to Paris? This four day Paris itinerary will show you the best things to see, do and eat in the city of lights! #paris #travelguide

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.


*** If you need someone to help plan a trip with you, contact me! I’m a certified travel agent for a company called tripcentral.ca, which has been in business for almost 30 years. Although I am located in Hamilton, Ontario, I work with clients from all over Canada! Click here to visit my Facebook Page and enquire about my services. ***

Where to Stay in Paris

places 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!

Budget: 

  • 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.

Mid-Range:

  • 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.

Luxury:

  • 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 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 public transport

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 it’s 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 One: Classic Paris

free things to do in paris

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.

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.

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!

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!

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.

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.

Sightseeing Cruise — Go ahead and end your first day in Paris with a boat cruise along the Seine! Bateaux Parisiens begins all of their cruises underneath the Eiffel Tower and cost 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 Two: Historic Paris

best bakeries in paris

Luxembourg Gardens — Get your day off to a bright start at the Luxembourg Gardens, which houses a museum, beautiful old palace and some picturesque statues. It’s a great place to sit down, relax and just people watch.

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.

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.

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 it’s swinging jazz clubs and literacy legends, it is now known for it’s upscale fashion boutiques and pretty scenery. It’s a great place to wander around in the evening.

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 Three: Local Paris

best instagram spots in paris

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.

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 of the famous Moulin Rouge, which is a site that any Nicole Kidman fan will not want to miss!

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!

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.

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 Paris

paris blog post

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 of 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:

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 amount 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.

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.

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 & Things to Buy in Paris

things to buy in paris

Rather than buying a shot glass or magnet as a momentum 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’s your favourite thing 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!

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13 Comments

  • Louann Kristy

    Hope you don’t mind, I pinned your post ! So many amazing tips! Always wanted to go to Paris. So much to see and do.

    January 7, 2018 at 18:25 Reply
  • Tegan

    I first visited Paris back in 2012 and I fell in love with it. I was there for a week and there is so much to see and do. I stayed at Hotel de L’Empereur and it was right across the street from Les Invalides and a very short walk to the Eiffel Tower.

    January 10, 2018 at 11:22 Reply
  • Krista @ Reroute Lifestyle

    OMG Maya, I freaking love this post. I was actually just looking at Generator Hostel YESTERDAY, so I think my life is telling me that I need to book the hostel and spend a few days exploring Paris. Beautiful photos!

    January 13, 2018 at 14:12 Reply
  • Ronni Hill

    Agreed. This post is awesome!! I

    I love all the information you provided & how you’ve categorized the post. It’s amazing.

    January 17, 2018 at 01:31 Reply
  • Diam

    This post has me missing Paris! I’m actually thinking of visiting Paris again next month!

    February 3, 2018 at 03:17 Reply
  • Kathy

    Tip planned in June can’t wait loved your post will refer to while there!

    February 16, 2018 at 18:58 Reply
    • Maya

      That’s awesome Kathy! Let me know if you have any questions before your trip! 🙂

      February 17, 2018 at 00:00 Reply
  • Christine

    Thanks so much for these great tips, Maya! My daughter, a few of my girlfriends and I will be there in May and I’m so excited!!!

    February 23, 2018 at 23:23 Reply
    • Maya

      You are very welcome Christine! Hope you all have an amazing time in Paris! 🙂

      February 24, 2018 at 13:30 Reply
  • Amanda

    This is perfect! I saw it just in time. I’m actually going to Paris for four days very soon and I’m DEFINITELY going to use this guide 🙂

    Amanda
    https://simply-amanda.com

    March 13, 2018 at 15:55 Reply
  • Aline

    I have been in Paris many times for work and never was able to see all that you mention here. I need to plan a visit where work is not in the plan so that I ca explore more and enjoy! Great post!

    April 2, 2018 at 21:30 Reply
    • Maya

      Thanks for reading the post Aline! 🙂

      I don’t know about you, but I think I could wander around Paris for the rest of my life and STILL never run of things to do or see.

      Hope you found some inspiration for your next trip!

      April 6, 2018 at 11:35 Reply
  • Sonny

    Great Post. Thank you for providing information. It is really helpful. Great pictures.

    April 12, 2018 at 14:51 Reply
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