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Fabulous 4 Days in Paris Itinerary For First Time Visitors

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Are you wondering what to do in Paris in 4 days? Et voilà! Our fabulous 4 days in Paris itinerary will show you the who, what, why and how of Paris. 

City breaks are the perfect opportunity to see famous landmarks, try out new foods and dip your toes into the local culture. And one of the most chic city break destinations where you can see and do all this and more is – of course – Paris, the epitome of European city break locations.

Paris is where romantics go to gaze into each other’s eyes with the city’s lights sparkling in the distance. And where solo travellers go to drink good wine and admire the iconic sights.

My husband and I have been lucky enough to visit Paris together many times over the years. (Thank you direct Eurostar from London!) And now we’re here to show you how to see the highlights of Paris in 4 days. We hope you find our Paris itinerary helpful!

Pretty bridge in Paris, France at sunset

Is 4 Days In Paris Enough?

If you’re wondering whether 4 days in Paris is enough time to see everything you want to, then the answer is yes.

As Paris is a walkable city, it’s definitely possible to see all the main highlights of Paris in 4 days without rushing, as well as some lesser known sights too.

Of course, if you also want to combine your Paris city break with day trips to places like Disneyland Paris, Versailles or further afield, then you’d need longer. 

But if it’s just the typical Parisian sights you’re after then here’s how to make the most of your 4 days in Paris…

4 Days In Paris Itinerary At-A-Glance

When embarking on city breaks, we usually try to arrive late in the afternoon or evening before starting our sightseeing the next day. 

This is so that we don’t waste any full days when travelling and it means we’re more likely to be raring to go the next day. 

Therefore, this 4 day Paris itinerary is planned with that idea in mind. So please read the first day as your first full day of sightseeing as opposed to when you’ll start travelling.

Here’s a map of all the highlights you’ll get the chance to see during this 4 days in Paris itinerary:

4 Days in Paris Map

Day 1 (Purple): Louvre, Jardin du Tuileries, Place de la Concorde, Avenue des Champs-Élysées, Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower

Day 2 (Red): Montmartre

Day 3 (Yellow): Musée d’Orsay, Notre Dame, Paris Panthéon, Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris Catacombs 

Day 4 (Blue): Atelier des Lumières, Cimetière du Père Lachaise, Parc des Buttes-Chaumont 

Day 1: Top Tourist Hotspots

If you’ve never been to Paris before, you will probably be excited to see all of the places you’ve seen on postcards and plastered across Instagram. So this itinerary lets you see some of the most talked about spots in Paris on the very first day!

Musée du Louvre

Paris is an amazing city for soaking up all the art, culture and beauty on offer. And we start at the Louvre!

This is where you come to admire world famous works of art including none other than the real Mona Lisa. Aside from this stern looking lady, which is a little overrated in my opinion, there is also the Venus di Milo statue, an underground layer of Roman ruins and room upon room of other masterpieces to see.

Expect the Louvre to be fairly busy (with most visitors clamouring to see the Mona Lisa as quickly as they can). But if you arrive early in the morning, then you should beat most of the queues and crowds.

When you arrive, you certainly can’t miss the Louvre, with its iconic glass pyramid hiding the famous artwork underground. You’ll likely want to admire the pyramid itself for a few moments, especially if it’s been raining, and thus, you can see it reflected in the glassy puddles surrounding it.

As for exploring inside, you can easily spend several hours roaming the never-ending corridors. Take your time, walk slowly, admire the masterpieces and simply stop clock-watching until you’ve seen enough.

There are certain days throughout the year when you can score free entry to the museum, such as the first Saturday of every month between 6pm and 9.45pm and on Bastille Day (July 14th).

So now there’s nothing stopping you from marvelling at the famous Mona Lisa, the impressive Venus de Milo statue or any of the other amazing works of art this museum has to offer – enjoy!

Jardin des Tuileries

Just across from the Louvre pyramid is the beautiful Jardin des Tuileries. These gardens are big enough for an hour-long stroll and have simple pathing throughout making them one of the best places to walk in Paris.

As you’ve just spent many hours inside the Louvre, you may be getting a little hungry. There are a number of food stalls in the gardens. 

Our suggestion would be to grab a cheese toastie or fresh baguette to go. Or if you’ve thought ahead, you could even bring your own picnic!

Paris picnic

Place de la Concorde

If you walk the length of the Jardin des Tuileries, you will come across the Place de la Concorde where you can see a 75 foot high obelisk. 

This is the Obélisque de Louxor, which once stood at the entrance of the Luxor Temple in Egypt, but has been in Place de la Concorde since 1836.

From here, you can also catch your first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower from across the River Seine. If you’re anything like me, this will get you very excited for the rest of your day, giving you a boost to keep on walking!

Don’t Miss: Pont Alexandre III

This ornate arched bridge is a famous sight to see in Paris – and is beautiful! You’ll find it close to the Luxor Obelisk so it’s only a quick detour from your route.

Avenue des Champ-Élysées

Many images are brought to mind when thinking about Paris; one of which is the tremendous fashions this city has brought to the world.

Well, then, you can’t possibly refuse to walk the length of Avenue des Champs-Élysées and gaze into the luxurious designer shops and boutiques around you. Who says you actually need to buy anything? Although this may take a tremendous amount of willpower.

From Place de la Concorde, you can simply follow the road until you reach Champs-Élysées – the most chic of all shopping districts.

Named for the Elysian Fields (‘heaven’ in Greek mythology), this area is quite simply a shopaholic’s paradise in heaven. With so many shops around and with clearly a lot of effort going into the window displays, you’re bound to enjoy walking this final stretch of the Tour de France.

Spend some time window shopping in the designer boutiques, doing a little people watching and maybe even buy some macarons to satisfy your afternoon cravings for something sweet.

Paris in 4 Days: Macarons

Arc de Triomphe

Found close to Champ-Élysées is the Arc de Triomphe (another iconic Parisian landmark). 

Some of the best views of Paris can be seen from the top of the arch, so we will always recommend paying the entry fee and climbing the steps inside to the top.

From up high, you’ll be able to see the nearby Eiffel Tower and remarkable Paris skyline. Take your time admiring the views until you feel ready to do some more walking.

Eiffel Tower

If this is your first time to Paris, you will likely be most excited to see the Eiffel Tower. Throughout the day, you would have seen glimpses in the distance, but now, it’s time to see it up close in all of its iron glory.

It takes about 30 minutes to walk from the Arc de Triomphe to the Eiffel Tower via some pretty gardens and views of the River Seine. 

Once you’re at the Eiffel Tower, you can spend as long as you want roaming the Champs de Mars park, which the tower sits on.

There is one reason we’ve saved the tower until last – that is so that you can see it at night, when it puts on a delightful light show, causing it to sparkle in the surrounding darkness. You will want to stay here for hours just watching the lights sparkle. Simply beautiful!

Some of you may choose to catch the lifts to the top of the tower, but our advice would be to skip this. You’ve already seen some great Parisian views from the top of the Arc de Triomphe, and at this time of day, you will be more captivated by the Eiffel Tower itself, sparkling away in the night sky.

River Seine

No trip to Paris is complete without a relaxing stroll along the River Seine.

With the river winding its way through most of the main parts of the city, it doesn’t necessarily matter where you might decide to walk. But our suggestion would be to opt for the walkway across the river from the Eiffel Tower.

From here, you will be able to continue gazing at the iconic landmark as well as the glistening river. Might we suggest eating some macarons on your walk for a few euros – you will feel most Parisian whilst doing so.

Pretty bridge in Paris, France

Optional Extra: Palais de Tokyo

If you want to change up a few things on this first day then another art museum we can highly recommend in this area is Palais de Tokyo. Known for its large and quirky displays, you’re sure to find something here that will surprise you. 

When I first visited a few years ago, there was this bizarre spider web-like tunnel you could crawl through that wound its way around the length of the museum. Although I went for the tunnel, I stayed for the quirky art – and it was easily one of the highlights of my trip. 

So if you can find the time or just really love art, then definitely try to fit this one in if you can.

Palais de Tokyo in Paris

Where To Eat In Paris On Day 1

Lunch on your first day should most definitely be a Parisian affair in Jardin des Tuileries. 

Whether you choose to buy something at one of the food stalls such as a brie toastie or a fresh baguette, or opt to take your own French picnic with you; either way, nothing will beat a quiet lunch break in a picturesque park.

As for dinner, you’ll likely want to remain fairly close to the Eiffel Tower, so that you can continue to see it sparkling away. There are a number of great restaurants in the vicinity such as Les Ombres or La Bonbonniere de Marie. But given how popular this area is, be sure to book ahead!

Day 2: Epic Views and Iconic Instagram Locations

On your second day, it’s time to venture a little further away from the centre of Paris into the 18th arrondissement to see yet more epic views and iconic Instagram locations. 

Sacre Coeur

Wherever you are in Paris, you will most likely be able to see the dove-white domes of the Sacre Coeur basilica glinting down at you. 

Set high atop a hill and up a number of stone steps, you can of course expect the Sacre Coeur to offer yet more picture perfect views of the Parisian skyline.

Sacre Coeur, Paris

Inside the basilica, you can happily spend a couple of hours admiring the intricate pillars, mosaics and interesting architecture. Entry is free to all, unless you want to embark on a guided tour of the dome and crypt.

And then once you’re ready to step back outside, those fantastic views will be there to greet you once again. Take your time admiring them, but keep your eyes on your valuables too. 

Sadly, the Montmartre area is awash with stories of pickpocketing. Additionally, you may also be confronted by a seller on the steps of the Sacre Coeur, who sadly do try to con unsuspecting travellers out of their money. Basically our point is, feel free to admire the views, but don’t get completely lost in them or forget where you are!

Whilst you’re in this area, there is an exquisite little artisan chocolate shop called La Cure Gourmande along Rue de Steinkerque, not too far from the Sacre Coeur. Our recommendation would always be to browse through their store and expect to leave it laden with delicious treasures.

La Cure Gourmande

Don’t Miss: These Famous Instagram Locations

You don’t need to look far within Montmartre before finding cafés, restaurants and cobblestoned streets made famous by Instagram

Some of the most famous in this area are:

  • Le Consulat: Cute café most known for its stunning white facade and red and green striped awning.
  • Place Dalida: Winding street known for its pretty wisteria in the spring and its glowing red autumn colours.
  • La Maison Rose: This pretty café on the corner of Rue de l’Abreuvoir stands pretty in pink with green shutters.

Moulin Rouge

Crimson. Iconic. Legendary. Evokes passion. These are just a few of the words we could find to describe the famous Moulin Rouge theatre.

Forever immortalised within the Baz Luhrmann film of the same name, this theatre will forever and always be a perfect photographic destination.

Stand back, admire the replica windmill and be transported into a world of fantastical costumes, catchy music and the finest champagne… even if all if this is entirely within your own imagination, whilst standing in the street! 

Or you can of course catch a show (providing you’ve booked ahead). 

Moulin Rouge Theatre and windmill at night

Where To Eat In Paris On Day 2

For lunch, we’d recommend grabbing a bite to eat in one of the cute cafés mentioned above. And afterwards, be sure to select some delicious chocolates from La Cure Gourmande.

As for dinner, do you fancy dinner and a show at the Moulin Rouge theatre? It’s a total bucket list item!

Day 3: Culture, Cafés and Catacombs

Your third day in Paris should involve yet more amazing highlights as well as some obscure gems; this time south of the River Seine.

Musée d’Orsay

Housed within a former railway station, Musée d’Orsay is an art museum with a difference.

Inside, you’ll find Van Gogh’s ‘The Starry Night’, Monet’s ‘Blue Water Lilies’ and lots of other famous and lesser known French art. 

But perhaps its most interesting feature (in my opinion) is the large clock that frames picture perfect views of Paris – and makes for one hell of an Instagram backdrop!

Musee d'Orsay

Notre Dame

Because of the catastrophic fire in April 2019, you can no longer go inside Notre Dame, while the outside has scaffolding up, so it’s not the same beauty it once was. 

But if you’ve never seen this gothic cathedral made famous by Disney’s ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ before, then you won’t be able to resist wandering past as you continue onto more highlights of Paris.

Don’t Miss: Shakespeare & Company

Just around the corner from Notre Dame is a charming bookshop called Shakespeare & Company where you can find contemporary English language books, as well as rare and vintage finds. They also own a café next door – perfect for bibliophiles!

Paris Books

Paris Panthéon

Ever wanted to visit Rome but haven’t had the chance yet? The next best thing would be to see the Panthéon in Paris’s Latin Quarter. 

While it’s not as old as Rome’s version (the Paris Panthéon was built in 1790), it’s interesting to explore the crypt and catch the views from the dome inside if you’ve got time.

Jardin du Luxembourg

Inspired by the Boboli Gardens in Florence, Jardin de Luxembourg is a charming garden to explore. 

In the warmer months, the park is full of flowers, birds and sparkling water in the fountain.

There are various chairs placed around the garden to rest your feet during your walk and you have the opportunity to admire the beauty that is Luxembourg Palace. 

Jardin de Luxembourg in summer

Originally built for the mother of Louis XIII of France, this palace is marvellous to look at whilst you wander through the accompanying gardens.

Take some time here to sit, watch the birds, marvel at the palace and smell the flowers. If you’re not fed up of French picnics by now (err, hello! how could you be?!), might we suggest another picnic in the park?

Paris Catacombs

If you have an interest in dark tourism and Halloween-inspired attractions, then you’ll certainly enjoy a visit to the Paris Catacombs, which are a maze of skulls and bones from Parisian graveyards 20 metres below ground. 

The museum is open until 8.30pm (except on Mondays when it’s completely closed), so this definitely makes for a spooky way to end your third day in Paris.

Where To Eat In Paris On Day 3

You can probably tell that we’re huge fans of picnics, and when in Paris, we really don’t know what could be better. Thus, lunch should be spent in the Jardin du Luxembourg.

However, if you really have had enough of picnics by now, then there is also a lovely café called Au Vieux d’Arcole just around the corner from Notre Dame, which is definitely worth a visit. It’s said to be one of the prettiest cafés in Paris. 

Alternatively, Café de Flore is also nearby, which is said to serve some of the best chocolats chauds in the city!

Chocolats chauds and pastries in a Parisian cafe

Day 4: Pretty Parks and Impressive Sunsets

On your final day of 4 days in Paris, it’s time to wander around the 11th and 19th arrondissements in search of dazzling art installations, Oscar Wilde’s grave, pretty parks and epic sunsets.

Atelier des Lumières

Who doesn’t love artwork made from light projections and displays when on a European city break

The Atelier des Lumières (Workshop of Lights) is a must see in Paris for drastic floor-to-ceiling art displays that are totally immersive!

Cimetière du Père Lachaise

You’ve likely heard of the literary legend Oscar Wilde. Even the name itself conjures up reimaginings of ‘The Happy Prince’, ‘The Nightingale’ and of course ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’.

Bizarrely, it has now become a Parisian fashion statement to visit Cimetière du Père Lachaise and kiss his grave. 

You used to be able to kiss the stonework itself (notice the hundreds of lipstick kisses plastered across it). But now, you will have to settle for a glass cover instead. Mwah!

Oscar Wilde's Grave with lipstick kisses on it

But even if literature and kissing graves isn’t your thing, this cemetery is still a charming place to wander through. Although a little spooky in its eerie silence, the lack of people and noise means this is a great place to come for a relaxing walk in Paris. Just try not to get too spooked out by the graves around you!

Parc de Belleville

Be sure to check out Parc de Belleville on your way to Parc des Buttes-Chaumont. It’s little but packs a punch when it comes to views of the Paris skyline, which include the Eiffel Tower in the distance.

Parc des Buttes-Chaumont

Who doesn’t love strolling through beautiful parklands and green spaces when visiting cities?

Set upon yet another large hill, within the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, you will have the opportunity to glimpse the Paris skyline from a different angle. You will also be able to find interesting grottoes, flowing waterfalls and a magical temple-topped island here.

Although man-made, this park offers so much beauty and is such a tranquil place to wander through, whilst you relax, people watch and chase your worries away.

Be prepared to spend a few hours here – you will definitely want to! 

Seeing as it’s the late afternoon by this point, you should hold out for the sunset due to come, framing the Parisian skyline perfectly.

Where To Eat In Paris On Day 4

For lunch, there are a huge range of cafés, bistros and eateries near the workshop of lights museum and cemetery. Some of the most top-rated ones in this area include Le Servan, La Comète and Le Square Gardette.

Later in the day, you will hopefully have found yourself in Parc des Buttes-Chaumont admiring the glorious sunset. It’s here that we’re going to suggest having another French picnic, this time at dusk with fabulous wine, breads and plenty of cheeses. 

The perfect way to end your fabulous 4 days in Paris, wouldn’t you say?

Was this Paris itinerary not quite what you were looking for? We also offer custom travel planning services!

Where To Stay In Paris

Inside a Paris hotel lobby

Thanks to the city’s efficient metro system, it’s possible to stay almost anywhere within Paris’s twenty arrondissements for 4 days without having to spend too much time getting from A to B.

If you’d prefer to stay central though then the 1st, 2nd and 8th arrondissements are the ones for you. Here are some top-rated central hotels to consider:

But if you have dreams of seeing the Eiffel Tower every day, then the 7th arrondissement is the place to be. Check out these pretty Parisian places to stay:

If you’re on a budget though, we’d recommend heading for the 18th or 19th arrondissements. Here are a few options to consider:

Plan Your Trip To Paris

Check out our other Paris travel blogs to help you plan your dream trip:

We hope you like this 4 days in Paris itinerary! What are you most excited to see and do first? Is there anything else that you’ll be adding to your must see list?

Need more help planning your trip to Paris? We also offer custom travel planning services!

Think someone else might like this 4 day Paris itinerary? Don’t forget to share it!

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Justine Jenkins

Justine is one half of the married couple behind the Wanderers of the World travel blog. She lives in Bristol, UK and has travelled extensively within Europe and beyond since 2013. After her trips, she shares detailed travel itineraries, helpful travel guides and inspiring blog posts about the places she's been to. When she's not travelling overseas, you'll find her joining her husband, Scott on various day trips, weekend getaways and walks within the UK, which she also writes about on Wanderers of the World. Aside from travelling and writing, she also loves reading, crafting and learning about nature.

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