Paris – the city of culture, art and romance. This Paris itinerary for 7 days will guide you on how to see, do and taste and snap the best pictures in the beautiful capital of France.
The question is how to fit everything in and gain the most of your visit.
Paris Itinerary For 7 Days: Day 1 – Exploring Montmartre
What to see in Montmartre?
Visually, be prepared for a real treat! Where this area of Paris is situated offers perhaps the best view of the city. You can see all the major monuments including the Eiffel tower.
Not only can you enjoy this unique view but you are up close to the amazing and elegant ‘Sacre coeur’. Designed by Paul Abadie this place of prayer is unlike any other, overlooking and sharing it’s charm with all of Paris.
At Place du tertre you will see a typical Parisian scene – artists, music and flowers.
What to do in Montmartre?
Take the metro to either Abbesses or Anvers and there is a funicular which will take you up to the Sacre coeur. The address is 35 rue du Chevalier de la barre 75018. The opening times are 6.30am to 10pm and if you would like to attend mass there are several throughout the day: at 7.00am, 11.15am, 18.30pm and 22.00pm.
There is also a free audio guide. If you wish to climb up to the Basilica be ready to climb 270 steps! Well worth it if you are fit and able. Absorb Place du tertre which may make you feel like you are in a French movie set however keep in mind that it is very commercial and you may wish to shop around before making purchases or buying souvenirs.
It would be a pity to restrict your visit to Montmartre to a morning or afternoon as it is somewhere to stroll, take in the culture and enjoy the scene.
Where to eat in Montmartre?
“Chez Eugenes” will tempt the taste buds. Situated at 17 Place du terte, it is comfy and cosy with a bright interior. Staff is friendly. The house special is ‘boeuf bourguignon’. There are also salads and vegetarian options. Non alcoholic drinks are served but if you want to sample a ‘good red’ there are no shortages.
Days in Paris: 2 – Le Louvre
What to see in Le Louvre?
There lots to see, beyond Mona Lisa. At this very large impressive museum in central Paris 80% of visitors queue up, take a photo of the Mona Lisa then leave. However there is so much more on offer here! There are 40,000 works of art including Venus de Milo and the coronation of Napoleon.
Of course it is not only the art work on display but the grand building its self which is awesome. The more recent pyramid outside the older building is actually one of five pyramids at the Louvre and it was designed by I.M.Pei. Parisians were at first horrified by this addition however they eventually came round to the idea and it is now a focal point of the city.
What to do in Le Louvre?
If you want to take in some culture, history and are willing to walk the Louvre is the place to be. Within the 1st area of Paris it is central and easy to reach. It is good to know a few pointers about this wonderful museum: the queue is long! However the trick is to be savvy without paying a fortune.
On Wednesdays and Fridays it is open late – until 21.45pm and is not quite as busy. It is 15 euros for entrance however there are other options including a two day pass to skip the lines, allowing access to partner monuments and museums.
This can be a smart choice as you can visit the Louvre at your your own pace and not feel like you have to cram everything into one day.
Where to eat in Le Louvre?
Assuming you are all ready with camera in hand to do some serious art spotting it would be logical to dine in the “Cafeteria de la Pyramide” within the museum. This will let you recuperate and plan the next part of your visit at the Louvre. The cafe has good reviews and it is stylish but be prepared for it being quite pricey.
Depending on your intentions you may wish to eat outside and there is an abundance of eateries on the nearby ‘Rue Rivoli’ and a picturesque garden just beside the museum: Le Jardin de Tuilleries.
Days in Paris: 3 – Pere Lachaise & Parc Buttes-Chaumont
What to see ?
Seeing but also feeling! If you like places which are atmospheric then the cemetery ‘Pere Lachaise’ will not disappoint you. Whatever your tastes there is likely to be the tombstone of someone you have heard of and has had a possible positive influence on you.
If music is your thing, you may want to visit the grave of Jim Morrison which is quite something else – fans have made it their own shrine! Other musicians buried there include Edith Piaf and celebrated piano soloist Chopin.
Moliere and Oscar Wilde have their stones there too. After all that atmospheric stuff The Parc Buttes Chaumont offers a Parisian escape – it is a gorgeous man made park on a hill with swans and boats.
What to do?
The cemetery is open until 6.00pm every night and can be reached by travelling to Metro stop ‘Pere Lachaise’, line 2 and 3. It is located at Boulevard de Menilmontant. You could spend from 2 to 4 hours wandering around this cemetery depending on your interest but it is the most visited in the world.
The nearby park Buttes Chaumont is located at 1 rue Botzaris 75019. Relax and enjoy this chilled out park which has the least amount of tourists giving a true authentic Parisian experience.
Where to eat?
“Le Pavillon du Lac” within the Park will take care of your hunger pangs, rest assured. It is a modern day restaurant where everything is homemade, seasonal and delicious. The chef is creative with food and gives a country feel to this restaurant right in the middle of the city. There is even an express menu for only 15.5 euros!
Guided tours are another excellent way to experience Paris, France. Follow this link for more than 20 private tours.
Days in Paris: 4 – The Eiffel Tower & vicinity
What to see near the Eiffel Tower?
No trip to Paris can be complete without going to the Eiffel tower, it is a must see and not only because it is beautiful but it is the iconic symbol of France! There are two essentials and that includes going up the tower and going to a great vantage point to witness the wonder of it in full.
The Trocadero is just opposite the tower and great pictures/footage can be taken. The area is surrounded by Haussmann designed buildings and it is all very impressive.
While in the area there is a military museum called ‘Les Invalides’ Even if you do not step inside, the building its self is worth a glance at with golden architecture.
If you do step inside you will see Napoleons tomb and that is in the chapel which was built at the end of the 17th century.
What to do near the Eiffel Tower?
Depending on season, budget and whether you are fine with heights it is really worth venturing up the tower. Options are vast but a simple visit to the top costs 25 euros. Many recommend the summit and the glass floor.
If you are feeling extravagant why not have a champagne while up the top. For a guided climb with summit access it is around 30 euros. The Trocadero is a lovely setting and in the summer it is not unusual to see Parisians and tourists going into the fountains to cool down!
Where to eat near the Eiffel Tower?
There are a total of five dining options located within the tower and one which is particularly appealing is the chic picnic, it is quite pricey at 41 euros however it is the Eiffel Tower after all!
If you want to escape from the touristy tower to dine then a great restaurant nearby is “Chez l’ Ami Jean” at 27 rue Malar also in the 7th area. The ‘cuisine’ is Basque (south of France, north of Spain) Mains are tasty, reputable and reasonable at 20 euros. Bon appetite!
Days in Paris: 5 – The Latin Quarter
What to see?
The quarter boasts the prestigious university of ‘La Sorbonne’, The Pantheon and a host of quaint characteristic places to eat.
The Pantheon has the tombs of what are claimed ‘The great men’ and the inscription reads ‘To great men, Their country is grateful’. Some state that those who do not make it to the Pantheon go to ‘Pere Lachaise’ instead.
Here at the Pantheon is the burial place of Voltaire and Victor Hugo. There is also the rue Mouffetard which is frequented by many students and with it’s cobbled sidewalk it is sure to win you over.
What to do?
Take your time and stroll the Quarter, even if you get lost you will find some kind of hidden treasure. Explore the Pantheon and take note of the great men for sure but do notice that Marie Curie is also laid to rest inside the huge dome building. Walk along rue Mouffetard and maybe have a drink at one of the many bars/cafes at the ‘Place Contrescarpe’ which is bustling with natives, students and tourists.
Cafe Delmas is a great place to sit and contemplate the beauty around you. A hidden gem just close by at rue de Navarre is something rather unexpected, it is an actual ancient Roman theater full of history. You will rarely find it sign posted and it is worth seeing.
Where to eat?
The best crepes are in rue Mouffetard and you will find many people strolling with their lunch/dinner in hand. If you want to blend in they are delicious and be sure to ask for a ‘galette au fromage’ when at the vender, if you would like one with cheese.
When it comes to dining in the Quarter, take your time and take in the aromas as you pass the various eateries. There are a lot of Greek restaurants in this area but many classical French ones too.
Days in Paris: 6 – Notre Dame Cathedral & River Seine Cruise
What to see?
Sitting prominent right in the middle of the river Seine in ‘Ile de la Cite’ is the Notre Dame Cathedral. Named by the French as ‘Our Lady’ it is over 800 years old. It was completed in 1345 and is the place where Napoleon was crowned Emperor.
Not only is it historical but a stunning piece of architecture too. Inside you will find statues and many paintings. It is considered as a catholic treasure. Inside there may be ceremonies going on which adds to the content of the visit.
An ideal complement after visiting the cathedral is a boat Cruise along the Seine, giving full view of many sights.
What to do?
Arrive at rue du cloitre Notre Dame, opening is at 10.00am and be ready with 10 euros. If you are feeling energetic there are 402 steps to the top and this offers a brilliant view and you will also see famous gargoyles and the great bell.
Consider a boat cruise afterwards – there is one called ‘Bistro style seine river dinner cruise’ this is great value starting at around 40 euros per person and includes a three course meal. It lasts 75 minutes. This leaves from Ile de la cite.
Where to eat?
If you want to try the ice cream from “Berthillon“, a world famous ice cream parlor then you are in the right area. It is at rue saint Louis. At 3 euros a scoop, it is not inexpensive but well worth it.
Flavors are unique, tasty and creamy and people will line up for those ice creams to cool down on a hot summers day. If you go on the boat cruise your meal is taken care of otherwise head to ‘Sur le pouce’ at nearby rue d’Arcole for a selection of French and European dishes.
Days in Paris: 7 – Arc De Triomphe & Champs-Elysees
What to see
Known as the most beautiful avenue in the world, when you get there you will see why. Full of designer shops, cinemas and restaurants there is plenty to see. The Arc is located at the end of the Champs Elysee and it is quite a walk but it is spectacular.
Right in the center of Avenue de la grande armee, it may look larger than on the TV screen. It is place of the unknown soldier and has been since 1921. It is significant to the French for this and as a work of art in its own right.
What to do near τhe Arc and Champs-Elysees
Stroll along the Avenue and do a spot of shopping if it is your thing, designer stores include Louis Vuitton. Have a coffee at one of the many of the outdoor cafes and watch the Parisians go by.
When you reach the Arc consider climbing up to the top, where the view is outstanding, you will see over to the area of ‘La Defense’, the business area of Paris.
At the opposite end of the Champs Elysee you will find Place de la concorde which is also note worthy.
Where to eat near the Arc and Champs-Elysees
“L’Orangerie” at the four seasons hotel at 31 Avenue Saint George is known for a warm reception and refined dining. It is near enough the Champs Elysee but is not a tourist trap. Do not miss the ‘amuse bouches’ (appetizers )they are very much recommended.
Best Places to Stay in your Paris itinerary
Here is a selection of best hotels for your Paris itinerary, depending on the neighborhood.
- Best Luxury Hotels in Paris: Shangri-La – Four Seasons George V
- Best Mid-range price Hotels in Paris: Hotel Emile
- Best Cheap Hotels in Paris: Generator Paris – Hotel Chopin
- Best Boutique Hotel in Paris: Relais Christine – Grand Hôtel Du Palais Royal
- Best hotels for families in Paris: Four Seasons Hotel George V, Shangri-La Hotel, Relais Christine, Mandarin Oriental Paris, Le Royal Monceau-Raffles, The Peninsula, Hotel Le Bristol
The Best Hotels in the Marais, Paris
The Best Hotels in Saint Germain
The Best Hotels in South Pigalle
The Best Hotels in the Latin Quarter
The Best Hotels in the 7th
Tips for your your Paris itinerary
If your schedule allows Versailles is magnificent and only a train ride on the RER away.
The bus tours are very useful but it is easy to feel rushed.
We didn’t mentioned breakfast but the best croissants many claim are at the boulangerie at rue Vaugirard in the 6th area.
Paris is great to walk around. These 3 items are essential for walking.