Perfect 4 Day Itinerary for Paris, France

Perfect 4 Day Itinerary for Paris, France

January 2017

Perfect 4 Day Itinerary for Paris, France

Oh Paris– we knew this was going to be one of our favorite trips. I love this itinerary so much that I am concerned we would repeat the same thing on a return visit! While I figured we would eat well on this trip, I do not think we were prepared for the gastronomic overhaul Paris exposed us to. This trip was definitely the highlight reel since we had never been to Paris before and I would love a return trip to be a deeper dive into what Paris has to offer.

Know before your go

There is far more to Paris than the Eiffel Tower. When I hear someone say they did not like Paris, I think it is because it was not explored properly. Paris is magical – there is a pulse to this metropolitan city. It is not just a tourist destination but it is one of the most influential cities in the world. Do your homeowner to avoid tourist trap locations ahead of time – there are many to be had and you do not want to waste your time there. Also be alert and aware of your surroundings for any petty theft or scams. We felt very safe on our visit but these are precautions you should have when visiting any new location. Learning basic french will take you a long way with the locals- simple hello, goodbye, thank you, please, do you speak English?, will afford you all the kindness that Parisians have to offer. That being said, we also had no problem finding English speakers. The city is very walkable and there is a reliable metro that you can take advantage of as well. Make sure if you have a credit card with no foreign transaction fee – highly recommend getting one if not – that will be fine for your trip. You can also take out euros to use.

Where to stay?

This was actually one of the more stressful parts of planning this trip. Picking the right neighborhood (known as “arrondissement”) was quite challenging. I went with something centrally located but close to a major metro stop to allow us flexibility to see as much as the city as we could in the short trip. We stayed at this Airbnb in the Le Marais district / 3rd arrondissement and it was perfect for our trip. We also felt very safe in this part of the city which was very important to us.

What is there to do?

There are so many icons in Paris to visit and it is very possible to check them off your list in a short trip:

  • Notre Dame was devastated that the fire in April 2019, it is projected to be rebuilt by 2024 and still worth to walk by and admire the facade
  • Eiffel Tower – we loved our first view from the boat ride on Pont Neuf but do not miss the sparkle show at night 
  • Walk up to Sacre Coeur for sunrise and sit for a peaceful morning inside 
  • Visit the Louvre and Musee d’Orsey museums – both were wonderful!
  • Palais Garnier – the theater that Phantom of the Opera is based on – was a surprising treat and stunningly detailed 
  • Take advantage of many day trip destinations! Go wine tasting in one of the many nearby wine regions, immerse yourself at Château de Versailles, or take the train to Disneyland Paris – there is so much to see!

Where to eat?

It pains me when someone mentions they had a bad meal or was unimpressed by the food in Paris. While some less delicious options exist in any tourist city, there is a culinary culture that you have to dig underneath to discover. Please do not

  • Do not miss the famous pastry goodness of Du Pain et Des Ideas Boulangerie – order one of the pistachio and chocolate escargot (named for the snail shape of the pastry)
  • When visiting the Louvre, stop by Juveniles Wine Bar – we had a fantastic lunch and there is a large selection on wine. We could have stayed here all day! 
  • ASPIC is your must do dinner spot – hands down, no question. We recommend this restaurant to everyone as it is not just one of the best tasting menu experiences we have had but the best value ever. When someone says they are going to Paris, we immediately respond to make reservations at ASPIC.
  • Casse Noix was a lovely, cozy option by the Eiffel Tower for traditional dishes – we did not have a reservation and were so happy they were able to sneak us in! 
  • Berthillon is a must for ice cream – stop here while wandering to the Notre Dame

Here was our complete itinerary! 

Activity Food
Tuesday Evening Flight to Paris
Wednesday Morning
Afternoon Berthillon
Evening Bateaux Vedettes du Pont Neuf
Night Frenchie’s
Thursday Morning Du Pain et Des Ideas Boulangerie
Afternoon Notre Dame

Shakespeare and Company

Le Comptoir
Evening Casse Noix
Night Eiffel Tower
Friday Morning Sacre Coeur Coquelicot
Afternoon Louvre Juveniles Wine Bar
Evening Angelina
Saturday Morning E.Dehillerin
Afternoon Palais Garnier Breizh Cafe
Evening Musee d’Orsey
Night ASPIC
Sunday Morning Flight home Ellsworth

Read the full trip details here!

If you have been to Paris before, let me know what I missed and what your favorites are!


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