As I made arrangements for my trip, the feelings of enthusiasm and disappointment randomly took turns. I was happy because “Paris is always a good idea” and sad because I had only three days to experience it. A long weekend may sound cool, but nothing is long when you’re walking down the Montmartre district or sipping Bordeaux in one of Marais’s bistros. But what was done was done. All that was left for me to do is to turn up my organizational skills to Monica Geller level, and create a perfect itinerary for my three-day trip to the City of Lights.
Day 1: Breathe… You’re Actually in Paris
If you are anything like me, you’ll need someone to pinch you every hour or so to be aware that you are truly in Paris. And there is no better part of the city than Marais to convince you that you have arrived at your dream destination.
This historical neighborhood is the living image of how we see Paris in movies and old photographs. It is also the perfect place to drink your morning café au lait with croissant. The streets of Marais are made for window shopping, so don’t forget to explore the colorful stores, from petit chocolatiers to high-end designer fashion. If the shopping wears you out, stop by for a falafel.
Centre Pompidou is a must-see in Paris, both for its art and the building’s architecture. Everything about it is amazing, from its glass façade to Picasso’s and Warhol’s art pieces. Since these adventures will probably take a few hours, you should find a great dinner place. Most of the Parisian restaurants and bistros require reservations, so always check a couple of days before you arrive. If you are prepared to see La Lumiere Ville in its full glory, walk to la Tour Eiffel. Don’t forget to grab a bottle of burgundy and a wine glass. Sit on the lawn and fill your eyes with beauty.
Day 2: Stretch Your Legs
Here’s where my Monica Geller mode surfaces: on day one you will probably be too tired to walk, on day three you will need to save your strength for the trip back home – so day two it is.
Get your breakfast and caffeine fix and go take a stroll along the Seine. There, you’ll hear talented street musicians and see many bouquinistes (people who sell used books). When you arrive to the Tuileries Garden, make sure you visit Musée de l’Orangerie.
After lunch, you’ll be ready to tackle one of the most famous symbols of Paris – Louvre. Since the museum occupies enormous space, you should check the floor plans before going there and decide about your priorities. You’ll definitely need a few hours to finish the tour, though.
Dine in one of the authentic bistros, such as L’Ami Jean. Alternatively, you can save time (and your legs) and decide for a dedicated tour. Go through some Paris holidays offers and see if you can squeeze in a Seine cruise, segway tour or even a typically Parisian cabaret show.
Day 3: It’s Almost Time to Say Au Revoir
The third day in Paris is the hardest one since you know that your visit to Paris for holidays will be over soon. However, that is no reason to despair but rather a motivation to live every day, like it was your last day in Paris.
Have a petit dejeuner and head towards the bohemian neighborhood Canal Saint-Martin to experience Paris far from tourists’ eyes. Explore the art scene, boutiques and stores. Stop by the legendary boulangerie Du Pain et des Idées.
Move on to the other side of the Seine to the famed Notre Dame Cathedral. Take a walk to the Luxembourg Gardens and finish with a visit to the Rodin Museum. Make your last evening in Paris truly exceptional by dining in the famous Septime (make reservations before the trip) and stop by a cocktail bar for some Parisian classics like Mimosa, French 75, and Pepa.
Now comes the worst part: packing your bags and heading home. But, as you’re dragging your suitcase towards your terminal and remembering the aromas of wine, chocolate and croissants, there is one lingering thought that will never ever leave your head: You’ll always have Paris.
About the author
Marie Nieves is a lifestyle blogger who loves unusual trips, gadgets and creative ideas. On her travels she likes to read poetry and prose and to surf the Internet. Her favourite writer is Tracy Chevalier and she always carries one of her books in her bag. Most of her free time at home she spends walking her Labrador Retriever named Max. She is an avid lover of photography who loves to talk about her experiences. You can find Marie on Facebook or follow her on Twitter and Pinterest.
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I enjoyed taking an imaginary walk through the Paris streets as I read your post! We were recently in Paris for a quick visit – only 36 hours, which included two nights, leaving only one day to enjoy Paris without over-scheduling ourselves. A bike tour by Paris Secrets and Charms was a wonderful way to see a lot of the city – and parts we wouldn’t normally have visited – during the morning. The afternoon was for shopping, a leisurely stroll, and a cup of coffee while people watching in the Tuileries. The day ended with a wonderful dinner cruise on the Seine. One day is never enough for Paris (nor is a long weekend!), but it’s certainly better than no days in Paris!
Hi Laura, I couldn’t agree more – one long weekend is not enough in Paris but is still better than nothing. I visited Paris several times during my student life in France ans I still haven’t visited all the places but is always time for a next one.
Thank you for the travel tips I would really love to go to Paris soon
Hi Yulie, I hope you can get to Paris soon so you can enjoy the beauty of the city.