Last Updated on April 13, 2023
Paris is known for being one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and a long weekend in Paris is the perfect way to experience it for yourself. Paris truly has something for everyone to enjoy, from a world-renowned arts and culture scene to rich history evident in museums and landmarks, and stunning architecture around every corner. There is so much to see and do in Paris that it can be overwhelming to plan a weekend visit on your own. This Weekend in Paris itinerary is perfect for those who can only visit the city for a weekend and want to make the most of their time.
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Table of Contents
Is Three Days Enough in Paris?
Paris is always a good idea. Truthfully, you could spend three months in Paris and not see everything that the city has to offer! Don’t let that discourage you, though: three days in Paris or a long weekend in Paris is still a great amount of time to get a taste of all the Parisian vibes. It’s absolutely worth it to plan a three day or long weekend trip to Paris to see a lot of the main sights. You’ll definitely be busy exploring, so make sure to get plenty of rest and pack comfortable walking shoes!
Is Paris Expensive?
While we wouldn’t necessarily call Paris a cheap vacation destination, it’s entirely possible to plan an amazing weekend in Paris while on a budget. The most expensive part of your visit will be your hotel as well as eating out at restaurants. If you don’t mind more casual food options or the occasional Parisian picnic – which is wonderful regardless of your budget! – it is definitely doable to have a budget-friendly weekend in Paris.
Is it Rude to Speak English in Paris?
No need to worry – there are millions of tourists who visit Paris every year and don’t speak any French at all! Nearly everyone you interact with in Paris will be able to speak English, but we do suggest learning how to say some basic information in French. Speaking a little bit of French goes a long way and people will typically be very appreciative of the gesture.
Hello = Bonjour
Goodbye = Au revoir
Thank you = Merci
You’re welcome = De rien
My name is = Je m’appelle …
How are you? = Comment allez-vous?
Do you speak English? = Parlez-vous anglais?
Is Paris Safe?
Similar other large cities around the world, petty crime such as pickpocketing is a fairly common problem. In Paris, there are multiple types of scenarios where the pickpockets will try to get your wallet or cell phone. Always be aware of your surroundings, especially on the metro just before the doors close. Sometimes you may also see groups of teenagers where one or more will distract you while the others snatch your belongings.
Another common scam in Paris in crowded areas is for someone in front of you to abruptly stop, or walk really slowly, all the while someone behind you grabs your wallet or purse. It is exceedingly rare that the Paris pickpocketers will harm tourists, they are just out to make some quick cash. Having your wits about you and always, always, always being aware of your surroundings will make your trip that much more comforting.
How to Get Around Paris in a Weekend
Our personal favorite way to explore Paris and get a taste for the city is by walking. Walking is a fantastic way to discover new areas of the city you may not have found otherwise, and of course, it’s entirely free! It’s important to note, however, that this weekend in Paris itinerary does have you covering a lot of ground. For activities and destinations that require traveling longer distances, we highly recommend taking the metro or an Uber/taxi so you can spare your feet from the extra mileage!
In regards to the Paris metro, it is a very easy-to-use method of transportation, but you definitely have to remain aware of pickpockets. Generally, pickpockets are not a danger to you, but they are very common throughout the city, so expect to encounter them at some point during your weekend.
The Perfect Weekend in Paris Itinerary: Day One
The start of your perfect weekend in Paris itinerary will have you hitting some of the best sights in Paris all in one action-packed day! Bring your walking shoes, appetite, and embrace all that the city has to offer.
Start Your Day with Sunrise at Jardins du Trocadéro
The perfect way to start your weekend in Paris is with a sunrise visit to Jardins du Trocadéro. Jardins du Trocadéro is a large open space located beneath Trocadéro Platform and near the Eiffel Tower. The gardens are beautiful and a wonderful place to walk through and wander around. From Jardins du Trocadéro, you’ll also be rewarded with incredible views of the Eiffel Tower. We featured Jardins du Trocadéro on our list of the 42 Most Instagrammable Places in Paris, so make sure to take lots of pictures! If you happen to be visiting in spring, the entire garden will be in bloom which is a magical sight.
Location: Jardins du Trocadéro
Helpful Tips: Don’t forget to visit the fountain in Jardins du Trocadéro as well – it has 20 water jets that put on an impressive display!
Visit the Iconic Eiffel Tower
A Weekend in Paris Itinerary would not be complete without a visit to the Eiffel Tower! The Eiffel Tower is located just a short walk from Jardins du Trocadéro, making it the perfect early morning activity. The Eiffel Tower is one of the most well-known landmarks in Paris and the entire world, so visiting earlier in the day will help you avoid some of the large crowds that tend to gather during the afternoon.
There are three floors in the Eiffel Tower that you can visit: the first and second, which can be accessed via stairs, and the top, which is only accessible by elevator. The floor that you want to visit, and whether you want to take stairs or an elevator for the first two floors, will determine the ticket you need to purchase, as well as the price.
Of course you can also get great photos of the Eiffel Tower from many places in Paris. We’ve even put together a list of the best Eiffel Tower views in the city so you can be sure to capture some amazing photos of this icon.
Location: Eiffel Tower
Hours: From April 16 to May 7, you can visit the Eiffel Tower from 9:00 AM to 11:45 PM. The rest of the year, you can access the Eiffel Tower via the elevator from 9:30 AM to 10:45 PM, or via the stairs from 9:30 AM to 6:30 PM.
Cost: To access just the second floor via stairs, adult tickets are 10,70€ ($11.25 USD), youth (ages 12-24) are 5,40€ ($5.70 USD), and children (ages 4-11) and disabled visitors are 2,70€ ($2.85 USD).
To access just the second floor via elevator, adult tickets are 17,10€ ($18 USD), youth are 8,60€ ($9 USD), and children/disabled visitors are 4,30€ ($4.50 USD). Guided tours are also extremely popular to the Eiffel Tower second floor.
To take the stairs to the second floor and then the elevator to the top, adult tickets are 20,40€ ($21.50 USD), youth are 10,20€ ($10.75 USD), and children/disabled visitors are 5,10€ ($5.40 USD).
To take an elevator the entire way up to the top, adult tickets are 26,80€ ($28 USD), youth are 13,40€ ($14 USD), and children/disabled visitors are 6,70€ ($7 USD). Guided tours for the full experience are available.
Children under the age of 4 are free.
Helpful Tips: Booking your tickets in advance online will ensure you’re able to visit this iconic spot during your long weekend in Paris! You can also purchase tickets at the Eiffel Tower itself, but you run the risk of there being large crowds and long waits.
Breakfast at Carette
After sightseeing at Jardins du Trocadéro and the Eiffel Tower, you’ve probably worked up quite the appetite, so it’s now time to grab some breakfast. From the Eiffel Tower, make your way back across the River Seine, enjoying the experience of the city awakening as you head to Carette. Carette is a classic Parisian café that is a must-visit during your weekend in Paris. Carette is known for offering up some delicious pastries and sandwiches, and the café itself is a picture-perfect sight.
Hours: Carette is open from 7:00 AM to 11:30 PM Monday through Friday, and 7:30 AM to 11:30 PM on Saturday and Sunday.
Helpful Tips: Make sure to order the Vienna Hot Chocolate! It is one of Carette’s most famous offerings, and you won’t be disappointed. It is not only rich and creamy, but very Instagrammable as well!
Visit the Arc de Triomphe
The next location on our weekend in Paris itinerary is another famous Parisian landmark: the Arc de Triomphe. Erected in 1836, the Arc de Triomphe monument serves to honor soldiers who fought and died in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. The Arc de Triomphe is an incredibly famous sight, and well-worth a visit during your weekend in Paris.
Aside from enjoying the view of Arc de Triomphe from the street, you can also buy tickets to go inside the monument as well. There is an elevator that will take you up part way, and then you can continue to the top of Arc de Triomphe via stairs. Alternatively, if you’re up for a challenge, you can also take stairs the entire way to the top!
To not waste any time on your weekend in Paris, consider purchasing “skip the line” tickets for entry up to the Arc de Triomphe viewing platform.
Location: Arc de Triomphe
Hours: The Arc de Triomphe is open to visitors every day from 10:00 AM to 11:00 PM, excluding certain holidays (check the official Arc de Triomphe website when planning your visit for the most up-to-date information).
Cost: Normal ticket price is 13€ ($13.70 USD). Entry is free for visitors under the age of 18, visitors ages 18-25 who are nationals of European Union countries or non-European regular residents on French territory, and disabled visitors as well as one companion.
Helpful Tips: Be aware that Arc de Triomphe is located at the intersection of 12 streets, and is thus prone to heavy vehicle traffic. Part of what makes it so famous is the incredible organized chaos that ensues in traffic as it moves around the large roundabout.
Go Shopping on Champs-Élysees
After taking some time to explore the Arc de Triomphe, you can embark on a short walk to Champs-Élysées to do some shopping. A weekend in Paris would be incomplete without some shopping, and Champs-Élysées is one of the best places in the city to release your inner shopaholic! Champs-Élysées is a famous avenue that is known for being home to some incredible, high-end stores.
Even if you’re not a big shopper, Champs-Élysées itself is a beautiful street and a great place to walk around and explore more of the city. There are also a number of cafes located along Champs-Élysées, so you can truly spend a whole afternoon on just that street.
Helpful Tips: Be prepared for lots of crowds, as Champs-Élysées is a very popular destination, especially on the weekends.
Palais Garnier (Paris Opera House)
Situated in Paris’s 9th arrondissement, Palais Garnier, or Paris Opera House, is an incredible destination that is stunning both inside and out. Although it was originally built in 1861 as the home for the Paris Opera, Palais Garnier is now well-known for hosting ballet performances. Palais Garnier is considered one of the most famous opera houses in the world, making it a must-see addition to this weekend in Paris itinerary. The architecture of Palais Garnier is incredibly intricate and detailed, and the interior is just as opulent.
Location: Palais Garnier
Hours: Palais Garnier is generally open to visitors from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, unless there is an interfering afternoon performance.
Cost: An adult ticket (visitors over the age of 26) costs 14€ ($14.70 USD), or 12€ ($12.60 USD) outside of exhibition periods. A reduced rate of 10€ ($10.50 USD) or 8€ ($8.40 USD) outside of exhibition periods) is available for visitors ages 12-25 and other exceptions. Admission is free for children under the age of 12 and other exceptions. Complete ticket information can be found on the Palais Garnier website.
Helpful Tips: While you can freely photograph the exterior of Palais Garnier, professional photography is frowned upon inside the building itself. Staff are also wary of visitors wearing large ballgowns, so plan your visit (and outfit) accordingly!
Rooftop Terrace of Galeries Lafayette
If you didn’t get your fill of shopping at Champs-Élysées, Galeries Lafayette is another great place to visit. Galeries Lafayette is a popular department store with several locations throughout Paris. One location in particular also has an incredible rooftop terrace that we suggest visiting even if you don’t plan to do any shopping. The terrace offers stunning views of Paris and is the perfect place to watch the sunset. The best part about this spot is it’s completely free to visit!
Location: Galeries Lafayette
Helpful Tips: During the warmer months, the rooftop offers food and drinks! Keep that in mind as you plan your long weekend in Paris as this makes a great place to spend a few hours!
Iconic French Dinner
A visit to Paris isn’t complete without sitting down for a traditional French meal. Paris has no shortage of amazing French restaurants where you can sample some of the countries most famous and delicious dishes! One of our favorite locations is not overly central, but they do have amazing food: Brasserie Rosie.
If you’re looking for somewhere to eat near Montmarte, our favorite salad restaurant, Le Relais Garcon, is located nearby, with two locations. Le Relais Garcon serves many things other than just salads, but we their fresh, and very hearty salads (featuring lots of potatoes) are delicious, and typical of French cuisine.
Hours: Brasserie Rosie is open from 7:00 PM to 10:30 PM each night of the week and from 12:00 NOON to 3:00 PM on Saturday and Sunday. Le Relais Garcon is open from 11:00 AM to 11:30 PM every day.
Helpful Tips: Brasserie Rosie is most famous for their truffle pasta, and it is so delicious that if you love truffles, it is worth traveling from anywhere in Paris for! If you don’t love truffle flavor, look for something else delicious on the menu!
The Perfect Weekend in Paris Itinerary: Day Two
Day two of the perfect weekend in Paris itinerary doesn’t stop brining out the best of the best Paris landmarks. From the famous Louvre to stunning Sacre Coeur, it’s another unforgettable day in Paris.
Explore the Louvre
Start off day two of your weekend in Paris with a visit to the Louvre. The Louvre is an incredibly famous museum, and holds the distinction of being the most-visited museum in the entire world! The Louvre is home to a large number of significant works, including the Mona Lisa. The Louvre is one of the most popular destinations in Paris, so you’ll want to ensure you plan your visit for earlier in the day when there will be fewer crowds.
Location: The Louvre
Hours: The Louvre is open from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM Wednesday through Monday (closed Tuesdays).
Cost: Tickets purchased online at 17€ ($17.85 USD) and tickets purchased at the museum (only a limited number available during off-peak times) are 15€ ($15.75). Additionally, some visitors are entitled to free admission. Admission info can be found on the Louvre website.
Helpful Tips: You can honestly spend multiple days exploring the Louvre, so go in with a game plan of the top areas and items you want to see!
Wander the Expansive Jardin des Tuileries
This next destination on our weekend in Paris itinerary is another public park located within walking distance of the Louvre. Jardin des Tuileries can be found on the grounds of Palais des Tuileries, a palace that was once the home of Queen Catherine de Medici in the mid-1500s.
Jardin des Tuileries is a massive park that is amazing to wander through any time of year. Throughout the garden you’ll find statues, ponds, and meticulous landscaping that is beautiful in every season. Jardin des Tuileries is the perfect spot to walk around, take photos, or bring a picnic!
Location: Jardin des Tuileries
Helpful Tips: Jardin des Tuileries is such a beautiful spot that we also featured it on our list of the 42 Most Instagrammable Places in Paris!
Basilica Sacre Coeur
Another fantastic destination for a long weekend in Paris is Basilica Sacre Coeur, a Roman Catholic church located in the neighborhood of Montmartre. Montmartre is an artsy district located atop a hill that overlooks all of Paris. The easiest way to get to this area is by train or Uber, since it’s a bit removed from the central heart of Paris. Basilica Sacre Coeur can be found at the summit of Montmartre, making it the tallest point in the city.
From Basilica Sacre Coeur, you’ll find sweeping views of the entire city that are simply jaw-dropping. The inside of Basilica Sacre Coeur is also beautiful, so make sure you take the time to fully explore this spot.
Location: Basilica Sacre Coeur
Hours: Basilica Sacre Coeur is open from 6:30 AM to 10:30 PM every day of the week.
Cost: Admission to Basilica Sacre Coeur is free!
Helpful Tips: If you’re up for the challenge, you can also visit Basilica Sacre Coeur’s famous dome from 10:30 AM to 7:00 PM. Tickets are available at the ticket office (rates vary) and you’ll have to conquer 300 steps to make it to the top!
After visiting Basilica Sacre Coeur, take some time to continue exploring the Montmartre area before you head back to central Paris. Montmartre is a very popular area for tourists and is known as being very artsy and quirky. Aside from Basilica Sacre Coeur, Montmartre is also home to Moulin Rouge, another popular destination in Paris. Don’t be afraid to wander the streets of Montmartre and get a little lost exploring all the cafés and stores!
Helpful Tips: While you’re in the area, make sure to photograph the famous Sinking House of Montmartre! The house can be found directly to the right of Basilica Sacre Coeur. Achieve the famous “sinking” effect by tilting your camera until the ground is level and the house appears to be falling into the ground!
If you love a hearty salad, the restaurant Relais Gascon serves up some delicious, and giant, French salads among other specialties from the South of France. Since you’re in the area, why not stop by Moulin Rouge for a cabaret show! You can opt for a Moulin Rouge cabaret show with champagne, or why not try a full dinner show!
Best Time to Visit Paris
Our favorite times to visit Paris are late spring or early fall, but we’re also firm believers in the notion that Paris is always a good idea! Regardless of what time of year your visit, the city is sure to amaze. Here are some things to keep in mind as you plan your weekend in Paris:
Winter in Paris
Winter in Paris can be quite grey, rainy, and cold. However, it is simply magical to visit in December and see the city decorated for Christmas! Champs-Élysées in particular is fully decorated with lights, Christmas trees, and Christmas markets can be found all over the city! Another place you won’t want to miss for amazing holiday décor is Galeries Lafayette.
Spring in Paris
Spring is an exceptionally beautiful time of year to visit Paris if you want to see all of the trees in bloom. Throughout spring, new trees bloom throughout Paris almost every week! Timing your trip for the cherry blossoms or another specific bloom can be difficult as the exact timing varies each year. However, you can almost be guaranteed that some sort of tree will be blossoming during the time you visit Paris in Spring.
Summer in Paris
Summer is by far the most popular time for vacations, so be prepared for lots of crowds and hot weather. It can be exceptionally beautiful to walk the River Seine on a warm summer evening, however be prepared to share that experience with many others! You will also find prices for hotels to be higher, and it may be more difficult to get restaurant reservations or scheduled attractions. Another thing to note is that not all hotels or restaurants offer air conditioning.
Fall in Paris
Those beautiful trees that bloomed in spring will turn bright yellow and orange in the fall which is a stunning sight. The weather can be a bit unpredictable but is typically still very nice in fall, and you’ll also encounter fewer crowds. If you plan a weekend in Paris during fall, you’ll also find that prices tend to be lower since it is no longer peak tourist season.
Best Place to Stay for a Weekend in Paris
Simply put, there are a ton of hotel options throughout Paris that cater to every budget and personal preference you can imagine. For this long weekend in Paris, we recommend a hotel that is centrally-located so you can cut down on transportation times and make the most of your short visit.
Budget Hotel Options
Located just a few minutes from the Eiffel Tower, Hotel Saphir is a great option for those seeking a comfortable, budget-friendly stay. Room prices are around $100 USD per night, though they do vary a bit depending on the time of year you visit. Hotel Saphir offers simple, clean rooms in a great location!
Mid-Range Hotel Options
If you’re open to spending a little more money, Hotel Eiffel Kensington is another great option near the Eiffel Tower. Some of the rooms even offer views of the iconic landmark! With rooms ranging from $130 USD to $150 USD a night, Hotel Eiffel Kensington offers understated accommodations that are perfect for a long weekend in Paris with a fantastic location in a great neighborhood.
Luxury Hotel Options
For those looking to splurge on their weekend in Paris, the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome is a fabulous option. Located near the Louvre, the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome is an upscale hotel in a historic building. Rooms are typically at least $1,000 USD per night, but you’re sure to have an incredibly luxurious experience that is worth every penny. The Park Hyatt Paris is one of the preeminent hotels in Paris and will take your weekend in Paris up a notch.
The Perfect Weekend in Paris Itinerary Summary
We hope you find this itinerary helpful as you plan your weekend in Paris! Paris is truly an amazing city that is the perfect destination for a long weekend trip! Let us know in the comments if we missed any must-visit locations in Paris!
Be sure to pin this post to your Paris Pinterest board to have everything ready to go when you jet off for your weekend in Paris!