4 Days In Paris: Complete Travel Itinerary For First-Time Visitors

Spending 4 days in Paris, France? Paris is one of the most famous cities in the world and hosts countless tourists every year. The city offers plenty of great restaurants, trendy districts, impressive monuments, and beautiful sights. Here’s my four days in Paris itinerary to guide you through the city. 

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Are 4 days enough in Paris?

In a city like Paris, you can stroll around forever. Four days in Paris is however the perfect amount of time to see many of Paris’ top sights.

This guide is suitable if you’re visiting Paris for the first time. It’s a packed schedule that includes a lot of walking around. You can make it a bit more relaxed by erasing a few activities if you want to. 

Let’s jump right into this perfect Paris itinerary, starting in the heart of Paris: Île de la Cité.

Day 1: All around the latin quarters

Before lunch: Île de la Cité, Latin Quarter and Jardin du Luxembourg

Begin your Paris trip by taking the metro to the heart of Paris – Île de la Cité (metro station Cité). Prepare yourself for the touristy parts of the city, although very much worth a visit. Near the metro station you’ll find a cute market, Marché aux Fleurs et aux Oiseaux, where they sell flowers, soaps, candles etc. If you are there on a Sunday you’ll get to meet the birds!

After strolling through the market, walk to the other side of the island and visit Place Dauphine, known as the “peaceful square”. Even though the square is located in the center of Paris, it has a quiet and tranquil atmosphere. Before you leave Île de la Cité, don’t miss Notre Dame Cathedral. Since the Notre Dame fire in 2019 the cathedral is closed for visitors, and probably will be until 2024. It’s still worth passing by to get a glimpse of it though.

Across the bridge from Notre Dame is the Latin Quarter of Paris. Don’t miss the famous bouquinistes – they sell magazines, books, postcards and posters in the green boxes along Seine. Very Parisian, indeed. Now you are also very close to the one hundred year old, and very cute, bookshop Shakespeare & Company.

If you need a rest you can stop for a café au lait at one of the many cafés around this area. If not, continue to Jardin du Luxembourg, the most popular garden in Paris. It is centered around Palais du Luxembourg, and contains both tennis and boule courses.

Before you head to my favorite area Saint-Germain-des-Prés for lunch, you might want to stop by Le Bon Marché – one of Paris’ famous department stores, founded in 1838. I like this one better than both Galeries Lafayette and Printemps.

 Read more: Top 18 favorite things to do in Paris

Le Bon Marché department store 

Now it’s time for lunch. Let me suggest either Café de Flore, the famous café where it is said that both Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir were regulars. Another option is to go to Ralph Lauren’s beautiful restaurant Ralph’s. It’s a bit expensive but worth it just for the interior and luxurious experience. Book a table a few weeks before, and don’t forget to visit the beautiful bathroom. Both of these restaurants are on Boulevard Saint-Germain.

➳ Read more: 13 great restaurants in Paris

After lunch: Saint-Germain-des-Prés

Now you’re in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, my favorite area of Paris. Spend the afternoon strolling around. Here are a lot of galleries to check out, and don’t miss the Ladurée and Kusmi tea shop. If you are more into art and museums, you are also close to Musée d’Orsay. This museum is located in an old railway station and is really cool.

Rue Guillaume Apollinaire

Day 2: The Louvre Museum and Marais

Before lunch: The Louvre Museum, Tuileries and Pont des Arts

I suggest you start your day with a bit of culture: Visit the Louvre Museum – the most visited museum in the world. Even if Mona Lisa is really small, she’s worth to pay a visit. And if not for the art, then go for the beautiful building, which is a former royal residence.

If you want to visit the Louvre Museum, and several other museums around Paris, it might be worth to buy a Paris museum pass. With the Paris museum pass you have free admission, without waiting in line, to over 50 museums and monuments in Paris

Fun fact: An energetic Frenchman once told me that if you spend 5 seconds looking at all the paintings inside the Louvre, you would have to be there for 4 months.

The Louvre is very beautiful to visit when it’s dark.

After your museum visit, take a walk in Jardin des Tuileries. From this garden you can see straight to the Luxor Obelisk at Place de la Concorde, up Champs-Elysées and then Arc de Triomphe. It’s really an amazing sight. While you’re in the area: Take a walk on Pont des Arts, the bridge that use to be covered in padlocks. Even though the locks are removed (for safety reasons) the bridge is worth a visit. You will get a beautiful view of Île de la Cité and Notre Dame.

Now take the metro to St. Paul (the yellow line, no. 1). Now you’re in the heart of Marais. If you are hungry for lunch, go straight to L’as du Fallafel. They are known to have the best falafel in Europe. It’s really delicious!

The falafel from L’as du Fallafel.

After lunch: Marais and Île Saint-Louis

Continue your day with a walk around the trendy area of Marais. Many stores, galleries and restaurants are located at Rue des Rosiers. Also, don’t miss Paris most romantic square Place des Vosges. This is also where Victor Hugo lived.

Place des Vosges, the most romantic square in Paris.

Then walk towards Seine river and grab a café au lait at Le Louis Philippe. It’s one of my favorite cafés in Paris. Not because it’s cheap or have great service, but simply because it’s cute and authentic. After your pause, walk over one of the bridges to Île Saint-Louis, the smaller island next to Île de la Cité. Have an ice cream at one of the Berthillon ice cream shops (the caramel beurre salée is heaven) and enjoy it in the afternoon sun along Seine river.

Le Louis Philippe café

Spend your evening as you like, preferably at one of Paris’ great restaurants. Maybe this is the evening you visit the Eiffel tower. During the evening, when it’s dark outside, the tower sparkles for 5 minutes every full hour. It’s magical every time!

Day 3: All around Montmartre

Before lunch: Montmartre, Sacré-Cœur and Moulin Rouge

A thing you can’t miss when visiting Paris is Montmartre. Montmartre is a district in the 18th arrondissement in northern Paris, most famous for the Sacré Coeur Basilica and the many studios and artists. The district is located on a hill, and reachable by stairs (or the Montmartrobus, if you’re not into stairs!)

How to get to Montmartre: Take the metro line 2 to Anvers and walk north, and you will easily spot the grand Sacré Coeur basilica. The heart of Montmartre is located up on that hill, behind Sacré Coeur.

Take a walk in the area, see the many artists work on their paintings at Place du Tertre, and explore Sacré Coeur Basilica. When heading back, take a detour to Pigalle, the neighborhood where the iconic Moulin Rouge cabaret and many other picturesque spots are located.

➳ Read more: Best Photo Spots In Paris

Sacré-Cœur basilica and La Maison Rose in Montmartre.

Now it’s time for a picnic lunch in my favorite park Buttes-Chaumont. I suggest that you buy your picnic food from a market somewhere near you. On weekends many food markets pop up all around Paris. Take the metro to Colonel Fabien and walk to Buttes-Chaumont from there. Spend the afternoon with a picnic and a walk around the park.

➳ Read more: Top 18 favorite things to do in Paris

Parc de Buttes-Chaumont.

Day 4: The Eiffel Tower

Before lunch: The Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe

You can’t leave Paris without visiting the Eiffel Tower. Take the metro to Trocadero and follow the Eiffel Tower signs to get to the right exit. Now you reach Palais de Chaillot and have the Eiffel Tower just in front of you. Walk down to the tower, and if you like, have a picnic in Parc du Champ de Mars in front of the Eiffel Tower.

Is visiting the top of the Eiffel Tower on your Paris bucket list? You can reach the Eiffel Tower summit for €25. You can buy tickets online here, or at the counter.

Tips! Looking for views over Paris? I would recommend you visit the top of Arc de Triomphe instead of the Eiffel Tower. It’s cheaper, and the Eiffel Tower becomes part of the view.

➳ Read more: Get the best Eiffel Tower view at any of the locations in my 10 Best Eiffel Tower Photo Spots guide.

The view of the Eiffel Tower from Av. de Camoens.

If you have the energy, walk 25 min towards Pont Alexandre III – the most beautiful bridge in Paris. It’s a nice walk along Seine. From there you can continue towards Avenue des Champs-Élysées and Arc de Triomphe. Grab a lunch at one of the cafés on the way. Visiting the top of Arc de Triomphe will cost you 12 EUR.

The view from Arc de Triomphe.

After lunch: Shopping

…or window shopping. If you want regular shopping (with regular I mean clothes that people can actually afford) then go to Rue de Rivoli. The street is filled with stores all the way from metro station Louvre-Rivoli to Saint-Paul. Or why not visit the underground shopping center Westfield Forum des Halles. If you want to splurge in luxury I suggest you go to Rue Saint Honoré. This is the home of many designer labels, such as Saint-Laurent, Chanel, Dior, Givenchy, Lanvin and Hermès – and all of them are showcased in elegant store windows. A truly elegant experience.

Do you have more than 4 days in Paris?

There are a lot of things to do in Paris, more than can fit in a 4 days Paris itinerary. These travel guides might come to use as you plan your Sri Lanka trip:

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