4 days in Paris – the complete guide!
if you wonder what to do in 4 days in Paris, don’t look any further, we’ve got you!
4 days in Paris are not an eternity but good news are: it’s enough to see the highlights, to check out some hidden gems and to try the quintessence of french cuisine. With our “Paris in 4 days itinerary” you are all set for an epic trip, read on to get all the info you need and know what to see in Paris in 4 days.
Is this your first trip to Paris? Don’t miss our “know before you go to Paris”! I suggest to read also our post about how to get from theCharles de Gaulle airport to Paris, it will save you much research time 🙂
4 days in Paris: Where to stay?
Paris is an expensive destination and this applies especially to accommodations.
However, Paris is quite small after all. The excellent public transportation system grants you to move around quickly and hassle free, no matter where you stay in Paris. If your hotel or Airbnb is within the city limits of Paris, you can be sure to have a Metro station close by.
Pro Tip: get the Paris City Pass – it grants you free admission and priority access to more than 60 museums, exhibitions and attractions, it’s also a valid Metro travel card. Click here for more info and rates.
Just keep in mind that Paris is a busy city with extensive nightlife and many many tourist. Both locations I am recommending below, Montmartre and the Latin Quarter/Marais are within in centre of action – which is convenient but it can be also a bit overwhelming and loud.. especially if you are searching a hotel for your family in Paris! If you are searching for a more quiet, but central location, you might also want to search around Porte de Vanves or Belleville. Click on the locations to know more!
≡ “Budget” Hotel option for 4 days in Paris : Montmartre
If you are travelling to Paris for 4 days on a budget, I suggest to stay around Montmartre. The district is beautiful and iconic but luckily not as pricey as other nice locations in Paris. Montmartre lays a bit outside the centre but with good public transportation access. If you’re moving around by Metro, it takes around 20 Minutes to reach St.Michel, the centre of Paris. Montmartre is a good starting point to explore the city during your four days in Paris.
≡ Central Hotel Option: Marais or Latin Quarter
If your budget is less tight, a Hotel in the Marais or the Latin Quarter is perfect base when visiting Paris in a short time. Both areas are very central and close to many sights, restaurants and bars. They are also directly connected to to both airports and the train station Gare du Nord.
Check the map below to see all hotels in the Quartier Latin and the Marais
● Day 1 in Paris – start of your itinerary for 4 days in Paris!
You have arrived, you are in Paris! Bienvenue!
After you checked in to your hotel, I suggest to start it slowly to settle in: take a classic sightseeing tour by bus. That might be an odd cliché idea, but hear me out: you might be tired from your flight, maybe even jet lagged and you’re generally not having overly much time in Paris. You can either start straight away with your sight seeing program and risk to pass out at 7pm or you lean back and relax while taking a tour. (click here for rates and reservations) Big advantage of a bus tour is certainly that you’ll cover Paris in a very short amount of time. Knowing that you have at least seen everything in Paris will take away the pressure for the 2 days to come. Plus, their audio guide provides more information than you probably would get while walking around with your guide at hand.
Alternatively you could take a cruise on the Seine. Well.. it’s not less touristic but it is actually a really nice thing to do. Apart from allowing you to lean back and relax, you get a unique view on the city that is definitely worth it. (click here to read our River Seine Cruise review)
If you are traveling to Paris with kids, you can be sure they’ll love a cruise, and it’s a good and fun way to start your Paris family trip!
Dinner and evening in Paris
Assuming that you’re most likely quite tired after traveling to Paris and soaking up first impressions of the city of light, it’s best to have dinner in proximity to your hotel.
≡ Eat out in the Marais
The Marais is one of the areas of Paris that is known for their bars and restaurants. Being the jewish quarter of Paris, it’s not surprising that it’s the go to area if you want to eat a really good Falafel. “L’As du Fallafel” is probably the most famous food stall within the area and it’s known to be the favourite Falafel place of Lenny Kravitz. If you’re up for something casual, you really don’t wanna miss this place – you can either eat in the restaurant or get a sandwich for take away.
You prefer to enjoy some classic french food in a cosy Parisian restaurant? No problem! Have dinner at the Camille and try typical french cuisine with snails (they have other starters, too, no worries), Magret de Canard and a yummy Crème brûlée. Make sure to book a table in advance: restaurants in Paris can be very busy at times and it’s not assured that you’re getting a table if you just show up. Click here to make a reservation online and secure your spot.
≡ Spend an evening at Montmartre
If you’re staying in Montmartre, you can’t do much wrong when it comes to Dinner. Montmartre is not as central as the Marais, but you’ve got plenty of restaurants to choose from, the area is lovely and not unimportant: it’s rather budget friendly. Especially if you’re checking lafourchette.com: a platform that lets you make dinner reservations online and grants you on top reductions of up to 50%.
● Day 2 in Paris
You best start your day traditionally: have a coffee and a croissant (or baguette with jam and butter) at a nearby café. If you are on a budget, stay at the bar – it’s more expensive if you sit down!
Don’t miss our Paris Mistake post to avoid the most popular tourist traps and silly Paris mistakes!
≡ Morning option 1: visit the Louvre
Once you’re ready to start the day, head over to the Louvre. To avoid the queues, get a skip the line ticket in advance and head straight to the exhibitions. Frankly, you could probably spend the entire 3 days of your Paris vacation in the Louvre without having seen even half of it.. this being said, I strongly recommend to get the official audio guide. Besides loads of information about many many exhibits, the best feature are the tailored tours. I enjoyed very much the “masterpieces” tour. You can either download it on your own mobile device or lend a Nintendo DS at the Louvre for 5€. (I only tested the official audio guide from the Louvre and it’s grand!)
Opening times of the Louvre
Daily (except Tuesdays): 9 a.m.–6 p.m.
Wednesday, Friday: 9 a.m.–9:45 p.m.
Closed on Tuesdays, January 1, May 1 and December 25
Rooms begin closing 30 minutes before museum closing time.
Pro trip for budget travellers: The museum has extended opening times on the first Saturday of the months: 6pm to 9:45pm- admission during this time is free
≡ Lunch near the Louvre
After spending the morning by enjoying breathtaking art at the Louvre, it’s best to have lunch nearby. The Louvre is very centrally located in a very busy and rather expensive area of Paris. If you’re not on a shoe string budget, you’ll find easily a restaurant to have lunch and to rest a little. Otherwise – or if you want to plan ahead – just have a look at tripadvisor to find the best restaurant deals around the Louvre – many restaurants are also bookable online directly over tripadvisor!our recommendation:
If you are unsure what to have for lunch, what about Galettes and Crêpes? Galettes are basically the hearty version of Crêpes – filled with cheese, cold cuts or an fried egg – they are a yummy treat for lunch – and a local french specialty, too! Make sure to leave a bit space for a sweet Crêpes for dessert though! In direct proximity to the Louvre, you have the very popular – and good! – Crêperie Framboise – – reserve your table here and save up to 20%!
≡ Morning option 2: visit the Eiffel Tower
If you prefer to enjoy a view, head over to the Eiffel Tower instead. Just keep in mind that the Eiffel Tower experience is heavily depending on the weather – if it’s not great, the view will be very limited – to say at least.
To avoid waiting time and an unnecessary waste of time, I recommend to get a skip the line ticket in advance to get up straight to the 2nd floor without queuing for hours. Read our post about visiting the Eiffel tower and know everything your need to know before you get there!
Opening times of the Eiffel Tower:
14th of June to 31st of August: daily from 9:00am to 0:45am (stairs and elevator)
rest of the year: daily from 9:30am to 23:45pm (stairs are only open until 18:30)
Note that the last exit is roughly 1 hour before closing time (2hours if you plan to visit the summit)
Budget lunch around the Eiffel Tower
In case you’re looking more into a lower priced lunch option, try Galettes! Yes. I am a fan of Galettes – a french specialty typical for the region Bretagne (Brittany). Galettes are hearty Crêpes made from buckwheat flour that are coming with different fillings like cheese, ham or a fried egg. Traditionally you have a cup of cider with it.. and a sweet Crêpe for dessert. There are a few good Crêperies in walking distance of the Eiffel Tower and some are offering nice discounts of booked online. Have a look here to see all Crêperies around the Eiffel Tower and book online – it can get really busy!
≡ Afternoon and Evening
After you visited one of the most rated sight in Paris and enjoyed a classic french lunch, head over to the very centre of Paris, to St.Michel. The area around the fountain of St.Michel is a good starting point to explore central Paris with the Latin Quarter and the Marais at your own pace. This area is definitely one of the top places to visit in Paris in 3 days. Visit Notre Dames and the Jardin du Luxembourg, do some shopping at the Rue Rivoli or Le Halles, have a long walk at the Seine or get a bottle of wine and some nibbles and have a picnic at the Ponts des Arts.our recommendation:
Even though its convenient and cheap, avoid the little, cute and inviting looking restaurants next to St.Michel. The places around Rue de la Harpe and Rue de la Huchette are not absolutely horrible but they are purely for tourists and you get better quality food for not much more at many other places just a few streets away from there.
Read more about popular Paris mistakes and silly tourist traps here!
The area is great to tick off top items from your “must see in Paris in 3 days” list. The map below gives you an idea of what you can see by just strolling around St.Michel. The Marais is roughly the area above the Seine (right banks) and the Latins Quarter below (left banks)
However, there is of cause plenty more to see and do in Paris 🙂 Check out our 80 hidden gems in Paris and see if you can squeeze the one or other gem into your Paris trip.
If you are a having sweet tooth and are a fan of french pastries, you also could spend your afternoon with taking a pastry class! Learn how to bake Croissants or get filled in to the art of creating delicious Macaron -> click here for more info
Not far from St.Michel is one of the best area to go out and to have dinner: Rue Mouffetard. This pedestrian street in the Latin Quarter is one of the oldest roads of Paris – it has been there already in roman times. As it’s located on a hill – the hill Sainte-Genevieve – it remained untouched by Baron Haussmann, who created the famous Haussmann buildings that are big parts of the Parisian cityscape. Knowing this, it’s not surprising that the Rue Mouffetard has the flair of the old Paris – with cobbled stone roads and almost medieval buildings.
However, today rue Mouffetard is know for it’s day market and for the many specialty shops. If you plan on bringing back home some french treats and gourmet food, the rue Mouffetard is a great place to buy cheese, cold cuts, wine, pastry and other yummy treats.
≡ Dinner at rue Mouffetard
Very conveniently the Rue Mouffetard (and the entire Latin Quarter actually) is a very lively neighbourhood with loads of bars and restaurants. It’s a popular place for Parisians to go out for dinner or drinks; you find something for every taste.
What about going for a special treat on your last evening to end your 4 day trip to Paris with a delicious meal? Book yourself a table at the restaurant au bon coin! This excellent restaurant serves french classics like Foie Gras, Terrines or Scallops in a typical Parisian setting. Click here to reserve your table online
If your budget is a little smaller after spending the whole afternoon in one of Paris’ best shopping areas, check out the offers from lafourchette.com; plenty of restaurants around Rue Mouffetard are offering up to 50% discount if you book a table online!
If you area searching for more offbeat tips for Paris, check out our secret Paris guide and learn about 80 hidden gems.
● Day 3 in Paris
I know you came to Paris to .. well, see Paris – but there is so much to see in France that it’s worth to quit town for a few hours to make another awesome memory. The surrounding countryside of Paris has as much to offer as the city itself, and an itinerary for 4 days in Paris can’t be complete without a little side trip – and if it’s just a half day spent in the Castle of Versailles and it’s beautiful gardens.
Below you find a selection of the most popular day trips, but do check out as well our post about the best day tours and trips from Paris to get more info and valuable tips.
- Disneyland Paris – click here for rates and tickets
- Wine or Champagne tasting – know more about it here
- take a tour to the famous castles along the Loire
- visit the D-Day Landing beaches in Normandy
- The gardens of Monet in Giverny – click here for more info on a half day tour
- and of course: Versailles! check here for all options
● Day 4 in Paris
It’s you’re last day in this beautiful city and depending on your departure time, you either just grab a Croissant and a Café and head over to the last destination of your trip, or you start the day slow with a brunch (check here for the best brunch places in Paris).
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≡ Montmartre and the Sacre Coeur
A trip to Paris is not complete without a stroll around Montmartre. The cute cobbled stone streets, the painters, the view over Paris and of cause: the Sacre Coeur.. you surely don’t wanna miss that. Half way up to the Basilica take sometime for a break at one of the little cafés around Place des Abbesses (I recommend the Le Templier de Montmartre, good food and very good service) or at Rue des Martyrs and watch the lively and busy Montmartre life. Just around you also find the “I Love you: the wall“, a popular sight in the area. From there you can either walk up until the Sacre Coeur or you take half way the Montmartre Funicular
The Montmartre Funicular requires just a regular Metro ticket but you don’t have to worry about it if you are holding a Paris Pass it’s included. (click here for more information about the Paris Pass)
If you have a bit more time, I advise to leave the hill of Montmartre by taking the little streets and steep stairs behind the Sacre Coeur. While the frontside is busy and touristic, the back is the opposite; laid back, calm and almost off beat. Very few tourist make it there and it’s worth to experience this part of Montmartre as well.
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