4 Days in Paris Itinerary, The City of Light

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15 min read
The Eiffel Tower in Paris

This 4 Days in Paris itinerary is designed to pack in a lot of fun in a short amount of time. Helping you explore everything the city has to offer.

Paris is the capital city of France. It has a population of over 2 million people, making it the most populated city in France. With over 25 million visitors per year, it is also one of the most visited in France. People from all over the world visit Paris for museums and other historical and architectural landmarks.

Paris was one of the first European cities to use gas street lighting. Because of this, Paris was called "The City of Lights". Rumours exist that Paris is the home to the first-ever "bloody mary" drink, specially made for Ernest Hemingway when the American journalist was in the city.

This historical city has a lot of activities and adventures that are easily accessible to anyone visiting. Whether you are solo, with a partner or with your family - Paris is a convenient city to visit. Paris is also a very dog-friendly city.

  • 4 day itinerary
  • Average of 3 stops per day

Museums, Monuments and Sightseeing

River Seine
River Seine
Louvre Museum and Pyramid
Louvre Museum and Pyramid
Night view of the Louvre Pyramid
Night view of the Louvre Pyramid
Avenue of Champs-Élysées
Avenue of Champs-Élysées
Arc de Triomphe
Arc de Triomphe

Paris is famous for its museums. It is home to some of the world's most famous artwork. Some of the highlights are:

There are so many other important and timeless pieces of artwork and sculptures to ponder and contemplate while visiting the museums of Paris.

You can't take a trip to Paris without visiting the museums and sightseeing all the historical monuments, towers, and structures.

The most convenient way to experience Paris is with the Paris Pass. Paris Pass is an excellent investment because it provides free entry to over 60 museums and monuments, a hop on hop of bus tour, "skip the line" benefits as well as a guide book that can help you plan your trip and check off all your things to see.

Louvre Museum

The Louvre Museum is considered by many to be the world's greatest art museum. Over 10 million people a year walk through the doors of the Louvre for a chance to view its famous paintings, sculptures and other celebrated pieces of art. The museum is massive and can comfortably fit 15,000 people walking its halls.

Not only does the building contain a lot of history, but the building itself is also historical. It was originally built as a fortress before becoming the royal palace in the 16th century. It finally became a museum in 1793.

As said earlier, The Louvre is massive, and it will be impossible to see all the art that the museum holds, even if you spent your entire 4 days in Paris, you still wouldn't come close to seeing everything. Your best bet is to pick out the pieces you want to see beforehand and map out where they are.

There are guided tours as well as audio tours available. The museum also offers "visitor trails" where you can choose a theme and a length of time, and it will create a trail for you to see pieces related to that theme. There are 15 themes to choose from with durations of up to 3 hours.

The Louvre Museum has eight cultural departments broken up into categories. They have 215 paintings, including the legendary Mona Lisa, 207 Egyptian antiquities, 207 Greek, Etruscan, and Roman antiquities, 182 Near Eastern antiquities, 83 sculptures, 261 decorative arts, 12 works of Islamic art and 186 prints and drawings.

There are also collections of Masterpieces which include:

The other collections include jewellery, writings and much more. You can walk through the Carrousel & Tuileries Gardens and view over 20 sculptures plus 200 statues and vases dating back to the 17th century.

Since the museum is such a popular place to visit, it is recommended to book a timeslot prior to your visit which you can do so online. Admission prices vary, if you buy your ticket online, it is less than $20 USD, but if you buy it at the museum, it is $16 USD. It is important to remember that your ticket is only valid for the date and time you chose, and you cannot be readmitted.

Louvre Pyramid

Located just outside the Louvre Museum is the famous Louvre Pyramid and it is technically the main entrance to the museum itself.

It was completed in 1989 by Chinese-American architect named I. M. Pei. The pyramid itself is made from glass and metal and has since become a landmark of Paris in its own right.

It reaches a height of 71 feet and the base measures 112 feet across. The pyramid was created to accommodate the ever-rising number of visitors to the museum.

Carrousel du Louvre

Carrousel du Louvre is a beautiful underground shopping mall with 36 shops and 9 restaurants. It is open every day from 10 am to 8 pm. It is considered one of Paris's premier shopping destinations.

It is also home to the inverted pyramid (Pyramide Inversée) created by Ieoh Ming Pei.

Champs-Élysées

Another infamous shopping must-see for 4 days in Paris is the Champs-Élysées. Also known as "the world's most beautiful avenue", the Champs-Élysées is just over a mile long avenue lined with shops, cafes, restaurants, boutiques, book stores, theatres, cinemas and monuments.

The avenue is home to exclusively French brands, luxury brands as well as budget-friendly shops.

Arc de Triomphe

At the western end of the Champs-Élysées is the Arc de Triomphe. The Arc de Triomphe is also the end of 11 other avenues, forming a dodecagonal shape.

The Tomb of The Unknown Soldier is located at the base of the Arc. The tomb is in recognition of an unknown soldier who died during World War 1. Every night at 6:30 PM, the flame is relighted to honour him.

Thrill and Chills

Residential streets in Paris
Residential streets in Paris
Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris
Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris
The hallways of the Paris Catacombs
The hallways of the Paris Catacombs
Eiffel Tower Paris
Eiffel Tower Paris

Paris has a side you might not know about, a side that is a little creepy and otherworldly. Take a walking tour of a world-famous cemetery and then take a stroll through the underground catacombs.

Pere Lachaise Cemetery

Pere Lachaise Cemetery is probably one of the most visited graveyards in the world. The cemetery is the final resting place for quite a few famous figures from throughout history. Take a walk through the area and see who you can find taking their eternal nap.

You can take guided tours, but most people visit on their own.

  1. Jim Morrison - The lead singer of "The Doors" died in Paris when he was 27. His death was controversial because it was listed as a heart attack, but Morrison was struggling with addiction. He was found dead in a bathtub on July 3rd 1971. Before his death, Morrison was known to walk the paths of the Pere Lachaise Cemetery.
  2. Oscar Wilde - One of the most famous playwrights in London during the 1890s, Wilde is best known for the play "The Importance of Being Ernest", and the novel, "The Picture of Dorian Gray. Wilde was convicted and jailed for "gross indecency with men". After his release, he left Paris until he was brought back after his death to be buried here.
  3. Chopin - Chopin was a child prodigy, a composer and pianist from the Romantic Era. His talent showed up when he was just a child at 6 years old. Chopin insisted on playing in dark rooms because he was so shy. Chopin died at age 39 supposedly from tuberculosis. People occasionally still play his music at his burial site.
  4. Edith Piaf - a very famous French singer and songwriter from the 1930s. She often sang of her love, life and loss.
  5. Moliere - born Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, Moliere was used as his stage name. He is still known as one of France's most influential and most celebrated writers of all time and often wrote about comedy. Moliere died doing what he loved; he was performing and suffered through a coughing fit induced by tuberculosis. He finished the show and died a couple of hours later.
  6. Isadora Duncan - This French/American actress was tragically killed when her scarf caught fire in the wheels of the car while she was travelling. Isadora was known as "The Mother of Modern Dance".

The cemetery is open Mon-Fri: 8 am to 6 pm, Sat 8:30 am to 6 pm and Sun 9 am to 6 pm, and it is free to enter.

Paris Catacombs

The catacombs under Paris hold the remains of more than 6 million men, women and children. The catacombs were built to relieve the overflowing cemeteries within the city.

The network of underground tunnels is lined with bones and skulls in a beautifully intricate, endless creepy work of art. After a series of wall collapses at cemeteries, work began in the late 1770s to construct the tunnels. After it was completed, the tunnels were allegedly forgotten about.

The catacombs themselves have a bit of history as well. The tunnels were used during WWll, and the Nazi's made use of them as underground bunkers.

In more recent times, people have used the catacombs as venues for concerts, parties and screenings and in 2004 police even found a fully functioning movie theatre within the tombs.

Today you can take guided tours of the catacombs, which is highly suggested so that you don't get lost and become part of the decor.

Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower is arguably the most recognisable symbol of Paris. Constructed in 1889, the Eiffel Tower was built as the entrance arch to the 1889 World's Fair. Paris was hosting the 1889 fair to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution.

The tower took two years, two months and five days to build and was originally only supposed to stand for 20 years, but it was such a popular attraction that it has remained standing to this day.

The Eiffel Tower reaches 1063 feet into the air and has a total number of 1710 steps. However, the public can only access the first two floors.

The Eiffel Tower shrinks or grows based on how hot or cold it is, and it is built to withstand super high winds.

The Eiffel Tower is open every day of the year.

From mid-June through to September, the opening hours are 9:00 am to 12:45 am, and the last elevator ride to the top departs at 11:00 pm.

From October through to May, the tower is open from 9:30 am until 11:45 pm, and the last elevator ride to the top departs at 10:30 pm.

Admission prices depend on a lot of different variable such as age, time of day, if you bought tickets online and what floor you're going to. Your best option and cheapest option is to buy online before visiting the tower. Buying before will give you all the options in detail and will also allow you to purchase a fast track entry pass allowing you to bypass long lines.

From any height, the tower offers unforgettable views of Paris, both during the day and night.

Outdoor Attractions

The Eiffel Tower from the River Seine
The Eiffel Tower from the River Seine
A boat cruise on the Seine river
A boat cruise on the Seine river
Luxembourg Gardens and Palace
Luxembourg Gardens and Palace
Stairs down Montmartre
Stairs down Montmartre
Moulin Rouge Cabaret in Paris
Moulin Rouge Cabaret in Paris

Paris is a beautiful city, and there are several places that should be on your Paris sightseeing list, including gardens and river cruises.

Seine River Cruise

The Seine River is 483 miles long and is one of the busiest rivers in France. The river divides Paris into two sections known as the Left Bank and the Right Bank.

There are so many different types of boat cruises you can take on this all-important river. You can take boat rides for brunch, lunch and dinner. You can go on a wine and cocktail cruise, luxury cruise, discount cruise, sightseeing cruise, hop-on/hop-off cruise and a romantic sunset cruise.

Depending on who you're travelling with, there is a perfect cruise for you.

Luxembourg Gardens and Palace

The Luxembourg Gardens are one of the most beautiful gardens in Paris and is spread over 55 acres of land.

The gardens are filled with flowers, statues, fountains, tree-lined promenades and plenty of areas to sit and enjoy the sun or a picnic. There is even a little duck pond where you can rent a tiny wooden sailboat to play with on the shores of the pond.

The palace and gardens were designed in 1612 by Marie de’ Medici as a memory to her childhood home in Florence, Italy.

The palace and gardens have not always been a happy and beautiful place. During the French Revolution the palace was used as a prison and during WWll the Germans used it as barracks and even dug a bunker in the gardens.

The Gardens have two sides, the French Gardens and the English Gardens. There is a small forest and a pond splitting the two. You can also look for the old apple orchard as well as an orchid and rose garden.

Montmartre

Montmartre is a hill in Paris, and The Basilica of the Sacred Heart is a popular site located at the summit of the 430-foot high hill. The Basilica of the Sacred Heart is the massive, beautiful white domed building.

The hill is also famous for its artistic history as many artists have made the area home. Maurice Utrillo, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Suzanne Valadon all painted and lived here. There are several museums and homes turned into museums that are dedicated to the arts. There is the Musée de Montmartre as well as the Espace Dalí which is dedicated to the art of Salvador Dali.

Montmartre also has a thriving nightlife and a "red light district". The area is largely dedicated to music with stores, concert halls and theatres.

The area also has its very own vineyard called Clos Montmartre Vineyard.

Moulin Rouge

The infamous Moulin Rouge. This cabaret is famous and best known for introducing the "can can" dance to the world. It was nicknamed The First Palace of Women and was a place where people from all walks of life gathered to be entertained by skilful dancers, musicians and actors.

Moulin Rouge first saw success with over the top shows, reminiscent of the circus. There were also operas and concerts and plays. Everything was extravagant and entertaining.

You can still go to the Moulin Rouge for a dinner and show as well as matinees and VIP evenings.

Churches and Chapels

The view from Sacre Coeur Cathedral in Paris
The view from Sacre Coeur Cathedral in Paris
Notre Dame Towers
Notre Dame Towers
The famous stained glass windows of Sainte Chapelle
The famous stained glass windows of Sainte Chapelle
Pont Alexandre lll Bridge
Pont Alexandre lll Bridge

Paris is home to some of the most breathtaking churches, chapels and cathedrals. You can take walking tours or sight seeing tours of the best ones.

Notre Dame

Notre-Dame Cathedral is one of the most iconic and prominent buildings in Paris. Originally built between 1163- 1345, Notre-Dame receives more visitors than the Eiffel Tower. It is one of the largest religious buildings in the world and was home to the Crown of Thorns, one of the most sacred religious artefacts.

In April of 2019, this world-famous cathedral was ravaged by a fire.

While many of the important relics and artwork were saved like the three stained glass rose windows that date back to the 13th century, there was massive structural damage done to the nearly 900-year-old building. The cathedral's spire, the roof and most of the upper walls were destroyed. The vaulted stone ceiling saved the rest of the structure because it contained the fire within the roof.

Restoration donations have reached over 1 billion dollars from all over the world, and rumours suggest that by 2026 it should be completed. However, there is still a debate going on whether to restore the cathedral to what it was or to give it a few updates.

As of now, you still cannot enter the cathedral. However, you can view it from afar or enjoy a beautiful Parisian sunrise from here.

Sainte Chapelle

The Sainte Chapelle is famous for its massive stained glass windows. There are 15 in all, and just like the ones in the Notre Dame, they all date back to the 13th century. Over 1000 biblical figures can be found amongst the stained glass as well as scenes from the old and new testament. There are also windows depicting how kings and queens should live.

While the chapel was built under the order of King Louis IX in 1242, no one knows who actually designed this amazing church. The King needed the chapel to house his legendary religious relics collection. Among his collection was the Crown of Thorns, The Image of Edessa, fragments of The Holy Cross and The Holy Lance, relics related to the Virgin Mary and The Holy Sponge.

Pont Alexandre lll Bridge

Deemed by many people to be the most beautiful bridge in Paris, the Pont Alexandre bridge was built in 1896. It was also built for the World's Fair so visitors could easily see all the exhibits as they were set up on both sides of the river.

It is one single span across the river, anchored by four granite columns. It is 132 feet wide, 353 feet long and sits 18 feet above the water. At one end of the bridge is Les Invalides, the final resting place of Napoleon. The Pont Alexandre III connects the Grand and Petit Palais on the right bank with the Hôtel des Invalides on the left bank.

The Grand Palais is a massive building which includes a museum and an exhibition hall as well as a police station underneath of it to protect all the relics and valuable things inside.

The Petit Palais is also a museum with several travelling exhibitions and permanent collections. They also do events and workshops.

The Take Away

Even if it is your first time visiting Paris, this 4 days in Paris guide will help you see the very best things and maybe some things you didn't even know about.

Hopefully, these tips on places to visit will help you have a memorable trip. Don't forget to book your Paris Museum Pass so you can receive the maximum benefits, save money and enjoy a no-hassle vacation.

This article was first published on Feb 10, 2020 19:35 UTC.


Written by Amanda Strube

Amanda_Strube WRITER I grew up in a beach town in New Jersey. I started traveling up and down the east coast of the US for surf trips and then moved to Nicaragua and then New Zealand. Im currently back home, planning some new adventures.


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