3 days in Paris: tours and visits

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3 days in Paris: tours and visits

Planning a three-day stay in Paris? Discover our tours, our ideas for activities and our selection of tourist attractions to visit Paris in 3 days and enjoy an unforgettable stay in the City of Light.

Paris in 3 days: must-see places

With the Seine running through it, Paris is one of the world's most popular tourist destinations. Perfect organization is the key to making the most of your three-day stay, and multiplying your visits and experiences.

Day 1: visit Paris Rive Gauche

Traditionally, the Left Bank is associated with a bohemian, artistic image. The arrondissements to the south of Paris are indeed home to neighborhoods renowned for their creative effervescence, major universities, museums and famous monuments.

Interested in painting, sculpture and the decorative arts? Start your first day in Paris with a visit to the Musée d'Orsay. Housed in a former railway station built in the late 19th century, the museum showcases the Impressionist movement, with masterpieces such as Claude Monet's Le déjeuner sur l'herbe, Edouard Manet's Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe, Georges Seurat's Le cirque, Pissarro's Paysage à Éragny, Gustave Caillebotte's Les Raboteurs de parquet and Vincent van Gogh's Nuit étoilée. The museum opens at 9:30 a.m., and takes around 2 hours to admire its emblematic works.

Then head to the Latin Quarter, one of the oldest in Paris. Take a stroll through its streets and alleys, and admire the Saint-Michel fountain, Saint-Séverin church, Pantheon and Sorbonne. As lunchtime approaches, a gourmet stop-off in rue Mouffetard is a must! This medieval-style street is renowned for its lively atmosphere and numerous restaurants. After this interlude, head for the Musée de Cluny. Housed in a medieval palace built on ancient thermal baths, this museum is home to the Lady of the Unicorn Tapestries. Allow around 1h30 for your visit.

The Hôtel des Invalides, originally intended to house the former soldiers of Louis XIV's armies, is now home to the Musée de l'Armée. A minimum of two hours is recommended to discover the most beautiful pieces in its collections, such as the Armure aux lions, a parade cuirass said to have been worn by François I, a Japanese Uchidashi Do Tosei Gusoku suit of armor, or one of the cabs that took part in the Battle of the Marne.

In the late afternoon, head for the Eiffel Tower. The monument that embodies the very soul of Paris is open in the evening. It offers a unique vantage point from which to watch the sunset over the rooftops of Paris, and to discover some of the city's most beautiful monuments from a different perspective. Several restaurants welcome you for an unforgettable dinner: you can choose between Le Jules Verne, a Michelin-starred gastronomic restaurant, or Madame Brasserie, a gourmet establishment run by chef Thierry Marx. Anticipate your visit, and book your ticket online, including priority access to the Eiffel Tower and dinner at Madame Brasserie: enjoy contemporary French cuisine while admiring the panorama from the 1st floor.

Day 2: visit Paris Rive Droite

How can you visit Paris without making a detour to the Louvre? By starting your day with a visit to the world's largest museum, you can avoid the busiest hours. Spend at least 2h30 visiting the museum to discover some of the finest pieces in its collections, such as Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo, Paul Veronese's The Marriage at Cana, Eugène Delacroix's Liberty Guiding the People or Michelangelo's The Dying Slave. If you're in a hurry, you can book a visit to the Louvre with priority access: you'll save time at the entrance and a guide will take you right up to the Mona Lisa, surely Leonardo da Vinci's greatest masterpiece. You can then continue exploring the museum at your own pace.

We then invite you to board a barge for a lunch cruise on the Seine. Enjoy a bistronomic or romantic meal while taking in the breathtaking views of some of Paris's most beautiful monuments as you cruise along the river. Allow 1h30 for this unforgettable experience.

You can also walk up the Champs-Elysées. The most beautiful avenue in the world is home to numerous luxury boutiques and international brands. The Arc de Triomphe, whose construction began under the reign of Napoleon I to commemorate the victory of the Battle of Austerlitz, is open to visitors. The view from the panoramic terrace is the monument's main attraction, and is second to none in Paris.

Return to the heart of Paris, to the Palais Garnier. This prestigious opera house is world-renowned for its exceptional programming. The building itself is also a must-see tourist attraction in Paris, with its eclectic architecture and historicist style typical of the second half of the 19th century. A tour of the building, which lasts around 1 hour, includes a dome painted by Marc Chagall at the request of André Malraux.

We invite you to round off the day by heading for Montmartre. Take the funicular to the Sacré-Coeur basilica, enthroned at the top of the hill. Its Romanesque-Byzantine facades and domes house a hidden treasure: a huge mosaic, one of the largest in the world, adorns the choir vault. You can then head back down to the Place du Tertre, where numerous artists and caricaturists can "sketch" you in just a few minutes. You'll have a unique souvenir of your three-day stay in Paris!

At the foot of the hill lies the Pigalle district, renowned for its unbridled nightlife. This is the home of the Moulin Rouge, one of Paris's most prestigious cabarets. The best way to round off your second day in Paris is with a dinner and show, where you can enjoy top-quality French cuisine and admire an internationally-renowned revue.

Day 3: between islands and gardens

For your third and final day in Paris, we suggest you take a more leisurely pace.

The Jardin des Plantes is a haven of greenery and tranquility in the heart of Paris. Our 1h30 discovery tours of the Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle give you plenty of time to admire the exhibits, gardens and zoo. If you're in a hurry, you can opt for a one-hour themed tour.

The Ile de la Cité, the historic heart of Paris, is home to several must-see monuments. Architecture buffs can admire Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral and the Sainte-Chapelle, two gems of Gothic art renowned for their elegance and the finesse of their stained-glass windows. The Conciergerie, meanwhile, has had several lives: this royal palace was transformed for a time into a prison during the French Revolution, and was notably the place where Queen Marie-Antoinette was detained. You can spend an hour visiting the Sainte-Chapelle, and an hour or two exploring the rooms of the Conciergerie.

Need a break for a bite to eat? A number of restaurants welcome you on the Ile de la Cité or in the Louvre district. Or head to neighboring Saint-Germain-des-Prés for lunch at Café de Flore, home to such famous artists as Pablo Picasso, Alberto Giacometti, André Derain and Simone Signoret.

The afternoon begins with an unusual visit to the Père Lachaise cemetery. This immense 44-hectare park provides a final resting place for many famous figures: Molière, Jean de la Fontaine, Balzac, Colette, Maria Callas, Sarah Bernhardt, Marcel Proust, Alfred de Musset and Jim Morrison are all buried here for eternity. Some tombs take on the appearance of monuments, attracting large crowds: such is the case of writer Oscar Wilde's tomb, adorned with a monumental sphinx, or the tomb of Héloïse and Abélard, two lovers from the Middle Ages with a tragic history. Two-hour guided tours are available to familiarize visitors with the secrets of the site.

For the last visit of your three-day stay in Paris, we offer you a choice of two cultural destinations. North of Paris, the Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie stands on the edge of the Parc de La Villette. This establishment offers a playful approach to scientific, technical and industrial culture aimed at the youngest visitors, from the age of two. It's a great way to round off a family vacation. You can also head for the Jardin du Luxembourg, which surrounds an imposing building housing the Senate. The Musée du Luxembourg has also found a home within the walls of this 19th-century palace, and is a must-see exhibition and conference venue in Paris.

Our tips for visiting Paris in 3 days

A three-day tour of Paris requires meticulous preparation. Here are some tips on how to save money, optimize your travels and save precious time.

The Paris Museum Pass: 3 days of unlimited visits

Our program includes visits to several museums and monuments. To save money, opt for the Paris Museum Pass! This package gives you unlimited access to some 50 museums and monuments in and around Paris, with average savings from the fifth visit!

Among the sites accessible with the Paris Museum Pass are the Arc de Triomphe, the Conciergerie, the Musée de Cluny, the Musée de l'Armée, the Panthéon, the Musée du Louvre and the Sainte-Chapelle.

Public transport and tourist buses

The Paris Visite 3-day pass gives you unlimited use of the metro, RER, streetcar and bus lines, and is much more economical than buying individual tickets.

Your journeys can also be transformed into tourist experiences, thanks to the panoramic coaches that serve the capital's main monuments and tourist sites. The TootBus Paris Pass and Big Bus Paris Pass let you travel freely for as long as you like. You can hop on and off whenever you like: a trip to the Eiffel Tower, the Latin Quarter, the Opéra Garnier, the Louvre or the Hôtel des Invalides becomes a privileged opportunity to discover the treasures of Paris! These tourist coaches offer audio guides and commentaries in several languages to satisfy your curiosity.

Choose the duration of your stay in Paris

Would you like to shorten or lengthen your stay? We offer a range of sightseeing tours and ideas: 

  • 1 day in Paris: the must-see monuments to help you fall in love with Paris for good.

  • 2 days in Paris: a program for two unforgettable days in Paris.

  • What to see in Paris:: museums, monuments and activities to discover the most precious treasures of the City of Light.

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