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Last update on 9th of August 2022 by Lena

Whether you are visiting Paris for 2 days during your Europe vacation, as an extended layover, or just as a short weekend getaway, a trip to Paris is always exciting. If you have only 48 in Paris, read on because we have the perfect 2 day Paris itinerary for you.

Is it worth it to visit Paris for 2 days? 

To give you a short answer to this often-asked question: Yes, it is! Paris is a beautiful and exciting city that is well worth a visit, no matter how much or how little time you have.

However, if you spend just two days in Paris, you should not leave your itinerary to chance. Good preparation for your trip is already half the story, and you should spend a bit of time researching what to see when you are in Paris for 2 days.

River Seine in Paris
Île-de-la-Cité in Paris, one of the Islands on the Seine

To make your trip planning easier, I created a perfect 2 days in Paris itinerary for you. Go ahead and copy it! My itinerary is laid out in such a way that it lets you explore Paris in 2 days efficiently, but not rushed.

Tip: Buy your entrance tickets in advance, many sights are sold out on a shorter notice

  • Eiffel Tower: Buy your summit tickets here
  • Louvre: secure your admission ticket here
  • Seine River Cruise: Book here

 

This Paris in 2 days itinerary contains all the Paris highlights you can’t miss, hidden gems, places to eat, where to stay, and many insider tips that allow you to experience Paris in its quintessence. If you have a bit more time after all, also get inspired by my 4 days in Paris itinerary. 

 

Know before you go: Paris Travel Tips

Before starting with the 2 days Paris program, I want to share some mistakes many Paris travelers make. I am placing this paragraph at the beginning of this article for you not to miss it.

So, Paris is a fantastic city for getaways and short stays. The Parisian flair is iconic, and the city is stunningly beautiful. But nevertheless, I hear rather often in my group (join here on Facebook, it’s free) that travelers stumble upon scams or misunderstandings, feel taken advantage of, or even simply find themselves caught off guard in unexpected situations.

two days in Paris itinerary
The Eiffel Tower as seen from the Palais Tokyo

 

Honestly, there is only one way to avoid these pitfalls and get the trip you deserve: Know about the most common Paris mistakes before you travel to Paris!

 

Don’t skip the list below!

It contains the most common reasons why Paris visitors are not as happy as they should be when thinking back on their 2 days Paris trip.

To keep this list short, I am linking to additional resources that might help you when prepping your trip.

» Know about Scams! Read our article about the most common Scams in Paris and know how to protect yourself.

» Book your Eiffel Tower Tickets in Advance! The Eiffel Tower is often booked out weeks in advance. Make sure to book your ticket in time. For example, here.

» Don’t trash your Metro Ticket! If you can’t show your ticket when controlled, you will be paying a fine. They don’t have mercy, no matter how good your excuse. Also read our Metro guide to the Parisian Metro.

» Say Bonjour! If you approach someone (in a restaurant, shop, or a tour guide) say Bonjour first. Many complain that the French are unfriendly, unknowingly that they have been outright rude in the first place by not properly greeting.

» Know how to save Money in Paris: see our Budget in Paris guide

 

 

2 Days in Paris: Your Perfect Itinerary

When planning your Paris itinerary, don’t miss the essentials. At the end of this 2 day Paris program, you find some hotel recommendations for every budget that fit perfectly with my proposed itinerary.

For more Paris travel tips, also read my post about common Paris scams and mistakes not to make in Paris.

 

Paris Itinerary: Day 1 

Start your day with one of the most delicious treats in Paris: a flaky croissant from a Parisian bakery. There are more than 1000 bakeries in Paris and you should not run into any trouble at all finding one near your accommodation.

2 days itinerary Paris
2 Days in Paris – Day 1

After a quick breakfast and maybe a little café in a brasserie, you are all set to start day 1 of your little Paris break.

 

» Morning Program


The Eiffel Tower

Click here for Eiffel Tower tickets

A trip to Paris is simply not complete without visiting the most famous landmark of Paris (if not the world!), the Eiffel Tower. To avoid spending too much time in queues and to get tickets in the first place, book your admission already in advance, the earlier, the better. The Eiffel Tower is mostly sold-out weeks in advance, especially early and late tickets are very popular.

You can book your ticket directly on the Eiffel Tower website or at a ticket provider like Get Your Guide. Personally, I recommend using Get Your Guide. Contrary to the official vending point, their tickets are available on a shorter notice and fully refundable until up to 24h before.

two days in Paris
A lunch cruise on the Seine is perfect to take in the beautiful panorama

» Lunch Time


Seine Cruise with optional Lunch

See all available Seine River Cruises here

One highlight chases the next. A cruise on the river Seine is a must-do for everyone visiting Paris and can’t be missing in this 2 days in Paris itinerary.

The Seine divides Paris into left banks and right banks, and many of the most important sights are just on its shore. For Example, Notre Dame, Petit Palais, the Pont Neuf, Place de la Concorde, just to name a few.

Very conveniently, this Seine River Lunch Cruise leaves right by the Eiffel Tower. During a 2-hour journey, you can marvel at the Parisian Panorama, while enjoying a 3-course à-la-carte lunch. It is the most popular Lunch Cruise in Paris, and it’s often booked out. See here if they have availabilities on your travel dates.

 

» Afternoon Program


Arc de Triomphe

reserve your tickets here

From the departure point of the Seine cruise, off to the next highlight of your 2 day itinerary in Paris: The Arc de Triomphe. It is a nice walk to the famous arch, and you will come across some of the most admirable buildings in Paris. Starting with the Trocadero (an excellent Eiffel Tower Photo spot!) you will walk by some of the most impressive Parisian Haussmann buildings.

The Arc de Triomphe is one of the big 5 of Paris, and you should definitely see the crazy roundabout around the monument with your own eyes. However, you don’t necessarily need to climb the Arc de Triomphe to visit the sight. The place and the tomb of the unknown soldier is free to visit, however for a splendid view of Paris, you should visit the top of the Arc de Triomphe. You can buy your tickets here.

Interesting read: 35 Facts about the Arc de Triomphe

 

Champs-Élysées

The Champs-Élysées is one of the most prestigious streets in the world and a centerpiece of every Paris sightseeing program. Whether you are just strolling along, admiring the fancy storefronts, or are keen on an exclusive shopping trip, the Champs-Élysées is well worth a visit.

However, personally, I would not spend too much time on this avenue. It is very touristy and often packed, so a quick walk is enough to take in the beauty and move on to something else.

A word of advice: Don’t take a coffee or a drink on one of the Terraces on the Champs-Élysées. It is overpriced, and the waiters might try to convince you that you are expected to tip. You are not.

Cheap tickets to sights are usually a scam
Visit the Arc de Triomphe for free – the first sunday of the month

 

Place de la Concorde

The Place de la Concorde marks the end of the Champs-Élysées. Originally planned as a place to honor King Louis XV, it got renamed to Place de la Revolution after the French Revolution, and finally to “Place de la Concorde”.

The place itself is not too spectacular, but its location on an axis with the Champs-Élysées and the Pyramide of the Louvre,  does make it special. Plus, you have a good view of the Eiffel Tower from there.

If you walk up straight, you enter the Tuileries garden (it’s on tomorrow’s itinerary), if you head right, you’ll cross the Seine and on the left, you have the Hotel Marine.

 

Hotel de la Marine

reserve your tickets in advance here

The Hotel de la Marine is maybe an unusual point to be added to your 2 days itinerary. in Paris, as the museum is still rather new and not too well known yet. Inaugurated only a couple of years ago, it is an excellent alternative to the Château de Versailles. Plus, it is right by the Place de la Concorde and can be perfectly fitted in your two days in Paris program.

 

The resemblance to the Château de Versailles is not by chance. The palace was created by the architect of King Louis XV, who, together with Marie Antoinette, were beheaded during the French Revolution.

Hence, if you are sad not to be able to fit Versailles in your short stay in Paris, the Hotel de la Marine is where you should be heading to.

 

 

» Evening Program


Montmartre

No matter how short your stay in Paris is, you should not miss Montmartre. I even would go that far and say that you haven’t really been to Paris if you’d skip the artist district in the North of town.

Montmartre is a perfect location for spending an evening in Paris. Whether you are keen on simply sipping wine in one of the many street cafés, going dancing at “La Machine de Moulin Rouge” or just taking the occasion to stroll the cobbled stone alleys. The nightlife of this iconic neighborhood has something for everyone. You even find one of the best cocktail bars in Paris near there.

Montmartre in Paris
Montmartre

But regardless of what’s your jam, one thing you should not miss though: the view from the Sacre Coeur over the illuminated Paris. It is one of the most breathtaking viewpoints of Paris.

 

Where to eat in Montmartre

For budget dinners in France, crêpes and galettes are always a yummy choice.Comptoir Breizh is a good address to try both. If you want to taste something more original, they also have Sardines with an assortment of sides and nibbles. It is not on the menu, but they prepare it for you if you ask.

Alternatively, you also can queue to get a seat at the traditional Parisian Bouillon Pigalle.

Are you looking for traditional French cuisine at moderate prices? Reserve a table at Chez Pitou or at Sacree Fleur. The latter is also popular for its steaks.

But Montmartre is also home to a few Michelin Restaurants. If you want to savor French gastronomic dishes at Signature Montmartre, make sure you reserve your table well in advance.

You also can go all in and book yourself a spot at one of the popular Dinner Show at the famous Moulin Rouge cabaret.

Paris Itinerary: Day 2

2 Days in Paris - Day 2
2 Days in Paris – Day 2

» Morning Program


The Tuileries

The Tuileries is a great spot to start your second day in Paris. Get a Croissant at a nearby bakery and enjoy it in one of the iconic green chairs that you find all over the garden. For a good coffee, you also could step by Kitsuné, a tea and coffee shop in the Jardin Royal (Emily in Paris filming location!), just across the street from the Tuileries. It is a Japanese French coffee shop that has not only coffee, but also a great Matcha Latte and all sorts of Teas.

Tuileries in Paris

 

The Louvre

buy your admission to the Louvre here and save much time!

The Louvre opens at 9 am and I advise you’re there before the crowds, but best before 10 am. Your time at the Museum will be short, but you’ll have enough time to see the most famous paintings in the Louvre.

The Museum is huge and truth be told, you could spend days there. However, with limited time, it’s best not to set off to explore the Louvre just wandering around, you will miss most of it.

Your best (and most affordable) choice is to follow one of the free Louvre’s visitors’ trails. They cover different topics, and you can be certain to have covered the Louvre’s basics. I did the Masterpieces Tour a couple of times myself, it’s a good and efficient tour. In 1.5h you get to see the most essential exhibits plus some background info.

You only need to hold a ticket to the Louvre and either download the tour in advance or take one of the free paper guides they provide on-site.

Tip: if you travel with children or teenagers to Paris, they can access the Louvre free.

 

» Lunch Time


Marais

From the Louvre, it’s just a 15-min walk to one of the nicest quarters of Paris: The Marais. Until the French Revolution, it was home to the Parisian Aristocracy and many of the elegant city palaces are still defining the shape of this old quarter. Today, the Marais is known as the center of Jewish and LGBTQ culture in Paris, and moreover, as a great place for shopping, strolling, dining, and enjoying the Parisian nightlife.

So, surely, the Marais is a place that you shouldn’t miss if you wonder what to do in Paris for 2 days. It’s best if you just stroll around and seek a place to have lunch.

Marais in Paris, rainbow umbrellas in Paris

However, a sit-down lunch would probably take up too much time, and the Marais is renowned for its excellent Falafel Sandwich places.

L’As du Fallafel is by far the most popular Sandwich store, and it’s even listed as a hidden gem in Paris in many Paris travel guides.

 

» Afternoon Program


Saint Michel

After lunch, head over to Saint Michel. Ok, Saint Michel is really just a pretext to get you walking in the right direction because except for the fountain, there is not much to see. But on your way you’ll pass by Notre Dame, at least one of the Islands on the Seine with a beautiful Panorama, and the bookstore Shakespeare & Company. With a tiny detour, you even cross the Pont Neuf and are granted another spectacular view over Paris.

Tip: If you did not have Lunch yet, resist the temptation of the pretty and cheap restaurant near the Fountain. They are not horrible in and of themselves, but absolute tourist traps. You just find better food for not much more anywhere else.

Cour du Commerce Saint-Andre
Cour du Commerce Saint-Andre

 

Saint Germain

Just a stone’s throw away from the St. Michel Fountains lays Saint-German-des-Prés, another iconic district of Paris, which you explore best by just wandering around.

From St. Michel head to Odéon, pass through the beautiful Cour du Commerce Saint-Andre, and walk along the popular Rue du Buci. It’s the perfect location by the way to take a little break, either in the Instagram famous Café Sauvage or a little further down at the Le Deux Magots or Café de Flore.

 

Jardin du Luxembourg

The Jardin du Luxembourg might not be the most important place to see in Paris, but it’s always nice to have some greenery. Plus, it’s one of the Parisians’ favorite hang-out spots, the Medici Fountain is beautiful, and the park has despite its central location many local vibes. Furthermore, it’s just between Saint-German and the Latin Quarter, and when you walk there anyway, better to walk pleasant.

If you find yourself rushed or too tired, you can also take the Metro (Line 10 until Place Cardinal Lemoine) or rent a Vélib and cycle your way to the Latin Quarter

 

» Evening Program


Quartier Latin

The Latin Quarter is the university district of Paris and of the few areas that were spared by Baron Haussmann when remodeling the city into its iconic shape. Hence, it’s here where you find the most cobblestone and narrow alleys and something that comes close to an old town.

But while you will of course marvel at the beautiful Pantheon and the cute street of Paris, the Latin Quarter is more than anything else a fantastic location to spend an evening. You can choose from a plethora of restaurants and bars, that are hard to beat elsewhere in Paris.

The go-to location within the Latin Quarter is always Rue Mouffetard and you are off to a good start when heading there.

You find budget eateries like the crêperie au p’tit grec or the excellent Sichuan restaurant Tran Tran Zai for spicy noodles and dumplings, but also many brasseries for a more French experience. If you are in for a treat, I can recommend the restaurant Le Grand Dictionnaire, a bit further down the Latin Quarter, but well worth the detour.

 

Travel Essentials for your Paris Getaway

If you did not lay out the organizational details of your trip yet, the following will help you to plan the pillars of your Paris vacation.

 

Where to stay for 2 Nights in Paris?

If you are in Paris for as little as 2 days, I strongly recommend looking for a hotel in the very center of Paris. You are not only getting the fullest dose of the most amazing Paris vibes, in fact, almost all landmarks, sights, and museums are also in the center of Paris and on your doorstep.

Therefore, staying in the center of Paris when following your two day in Paris itinerary is a huge time saver.

To make the hotel hunt easier for you, I put together a list of the best hotels in Paris that fit perfectly this 2 days in Paris itinerary. Even though I am covering all price ranges, keep in mind that Paris is overall more on the pricey side and rates rise quickly depending on season and demand.

 

Affordable Hotels in Paris


also, see my article about the best located Ibis Hotels in Paris

» Home Latin – classic hotel in the heart of Paris – see prices on booking.com

» Hotel Rivoli – simple rooms in a stellar location on Rue Rivoli – see prices on booking.com

» Saint Georges Lafayette – No frills close to Pigalle – see prices on booking.com

Hotel for 2 nights in Paris
Hotel Trianon Rive Gauche Paris

 

Midrange Hotels in Paris


» Hotel Trianon Rive Gauche – great value for money &  location – see prices on booking.com

» Hotel Residence des Arts – neoclassical style at St. Michel – see prices on booking.com

Hotel Residence des Arts

» Le Basile Hotel – modern and cozy hotel near the Louvre – see prices on booking.com

Le Basile Hotel

» Hotel Henri IV Rive Gauche – great location with a nice view – see prices on booking.com

 

Upscale Hotels in Paris


» Hotel Maison Colbert Paris – elegant rooms with a view of Notre Dame – see prices on booking.com

» La Clef Louvre Paris – spacious & elegant suits by the Louvre – see prices on booking.com

Hotel in Paris for 2 nights in the Center of Paris
Hotel Maison Colbert in Paris

 

Luxury Hotel Choice


» Le Meurice Dorchester Collection – Luxury at the Tuilieries and an inhouse Michelin Star Restaurant – see prices on booking.com

 

Tip: If you are staying in Paris for 2 nights with an early flight out, spend the last night by the airport. It is cheaper, and it can be a nightmare to get to the airport early in the morning.

Roissy CDG Airport: For budget accommodation, consider the Ibis Paris CDG Airport and the Pullman Paris Roissy if you want more comfort. Both Hotels are located in the Roissy CDG Airport.

Orly Airport: This airport has only 2 hotels on site: Ibis Paris Cœur d’Orly Airport for budget stays and the Novotel Paris Cœur d’Orly Airport for more comfort.

 

 

How to get from the Airport to Paris?

If you come by plane to Paris, you arrive either in the South at the Orly Airport or in the North at Charles de Gaulle Airport.

 

By Public Transportation to Paris

Both airports are well connected to Paris and you won’t run into issues boarding an RER train and heading into town. Tickets are available at the ticket machines or at the Service center and everything is clearly indicated. For more information, read also our Paris CDG Airport Guide and our article on how to use the Parisian Metro.

2 days in Paris - take a taxi from the airport
The sign of an offical Taxi in Paris

By Taxi to Paris

A more convenient option is taking a private transfer or a taxi. Taxis are available at both airports and are well indicated. Just follow the taxi signs to get to the official pick-up point. The prices are flat rates, it’s €53/€58 from CDG to Paris depending on your destination, and €32/€37 from Orly. 

Attention! Do not under any circumstances accept a transfer offer from a driver that waits for clients in the arrival area. They are not legal and can and will charge you horrendous amounts. 

 

By Private Transfer to Paris

The most convenient and easiest transfer option is to organize a private transfer prior to your travel. Like this, you can be sure everything is taken care of, and you just need to get into the car.

I recommend considering booking a transfer with Welcome Pickups. They track your flights to be aware of delays, wait for you. in the arrivals area, and bring you safely to your accommodation. Get your Welcome Pickups quote here.

 

 

Double-check the coverage of your Travel Insurance

Before traveling to Paris, make sure that you have Travel Insurance! If you are not covered, for example by your credit card company, make sure that you take precautions. I recommend getting a FREE quote from World Nomads. They are my go-to travel insurance and cover as well many COVID-19-related events.

Why buy travel insurance from World Nomads.com?

  1. Backed by specialist insurers and global assistance partners
  2. Buy Online, even if you’ve already left home
  3. Buy more cover and claim online while traveling
  4. Covers a range of adventure sports and activities
  5. Give a little back and support a community development project

All of the information provided about travel insurance is a brief summary only. It does not include all terms, conditions, limitations, exclusions and termination provisions of the travel insurance plans described. Coverage may not be available for residents of all countries, states or provinces. Please carefully read your policy wording for a full description of coverage.

 

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2 days in Paris