To Paris With Love: A 4-Day Itinerary
Arts & Culture
Food & Wine
Exploring Paris is an amazing experience that offers a unique blend of history, culture, art, and cuisine. From the iconic Eiffel Tower to the charming streets of Montmartre, Paris offers a wealth of iconic landmarks and hidden gems waiting to be discovered. With its rich history, stunning architecture, and vibrant energy, Paris is truly a city like no other and is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to explore the best of Europe.
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Where to stay
Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme
Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme is an unforgettable destination located in the heart of the city featuring an array of thoughtful amenities, exquisite decor, Michelin-starred gastronomy and unparalleled elegance.
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Four Seasons Hotel George V
Splurge-worthy Parisian icon just off the Champs-Élysées, with three Michelin-starred restaurants, Eiffel Tower views and renowned service.
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An opulent boutique hotel in the heart of Saint Germain with extensive history and palatial-style suites perfect for a romantic holiday.
Complimentary welcome drink and one minibar snack / beverage per guest.
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Day 1: Arrive in The City of Light
Depending on where you are traveling from, you are likely to arrive in Paris late-morning or early-afternoon. Either way, I always recommend heading to your hotel as soon as possible. Best case scenario, your room is ready, worst case scenario, you can at least ditch your luggage and start your Parisian adventure.
If you're not too jet lagged, head over towards the Arc de Triomphe and admire one of the most famous monuments in all of Paris. It is possible to go to the top, but I don't think it's worth the price of admission. You will have plenty of opportunities for great views during your visit.
Once you feel like you've taken it all in, take a stroll down Champs-Élysées, known for its theaters, cafés and luxury shops. If you start to feel hungry, there is no shortage of street facing cafes to take in a great meal and the first of many glasses of wine.
When your stomach is full and your thirst is quenched, head over to the Tuileries Garden, which separates the Louvre from the Place de la Concorde. The Tuileries Garden is a beautiful place to take a stroll and a nice contrast to the hustle and bustle of Champs-Élysées. After exploring the gardens, there should be just enough time to tour one of Paris' main attractions: The Louvre.
The Louvre can easily take up a full day, if not more, but if you're like me, you want to make sure to see the highlights, which should be easily done in a couple of hours. I HIGHLY recommend walking through the museum with Rick Steves' Louvre Museum Tour podcast. He makes sure you see all of the fan favorites with some really interesting color commentary.
At this point, you should be pretty exhausted, but hopefully you feel like you made the most of your first day. Get some rest, because tomorrow we head out to the countryside.
Day 2: The Palace of Versailles
After a day of travel and exploration, you hopefully got a good night's sleep and feel well rested for today's excursion. Grab some breakfast and coffee at your hotel, because you'll need the fuel for a full day of exploring the Palace of Versailles.
A few tips that I found helpful/wish I knew:
Get your tickets in advance (make sure they include access to the Gardens - the real star of the show).
There are a few trains that run to Versailles. Regardless of which one you take, make sure it is running express. I made the mistake of getting on a local train and it added at least 30 minutes to our trip.
Pack a sandwich from your local boulangerie - you will get hungry (though there are food and beverage options).
There is no shame in renting a golf cart. Even for half of the day. It is more walking than you think. This place is HUGE.
There is truly so much to see here, so it will take the entire day (including travel to and from). I personally could have done without the Estate of Trianon. It wasn't nearly as impressive as the main palace and gardens, and was kind of far from both.
Once your are done, head back to the hotel, re-energize and head out for dinner. I had the best time at Miss Kô in the 8th arrondissement.
Day 3: Active Recovery
When exploring a city with as much to see as Paris, it's easy to get burned out. So with that in mind, day 3 is a lot less intense, but still filled with great experiences.
Start the day off right with a lovely breakfast at Maison Sauvage Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Make sure to grab a seat outside as the floral decorations cannot be missed. From here, take a short walk across Pont Neuf to the Île de la Cité to take in the magnificence of both Sainte-Chapelle and the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris.
Next stop is one of Paris' most popular neighborhoods: Le Marais. Start by exploring the Place de Vogues - the oldest planned square in Paris, lined with trees and red brick houses, and built by Henry IV in 1612.
After all of the walking you've done, you'll undoubtedly be ready to eat again. L'As du Fallafel in the Jewish Quarter simply cannot be missed. The line will be long, but it moves quickly. Regardless of how long you wait, I promise you it will be worth it.
From here, it's really about what you want to do. Continue to explore Le Marais, head back to the Latin Quarter or explore the nooks and crannies of Saint Germain. Once your feet can't take it anymore, head back to your hotel for a break and to wash up for another exciting evening.
Once the sun goes down, the adventure continues and we are heading back towards Pont Neuf for a boat ride down the Siene with Vedettes du Pont Neuf. I have toured with them several times and I am never disappointed. If you get lucky, you'll pass the Eifel Tower just as the hourly light show starts!
Dinner tonight will be at Perruche - a rooftop restaurant in the Printemps Haussmann department store serving classic Provencal cuisine and stunning views of the city.
Day 4: The Classics
Day 4 is bittersweet. Although it is your last day, we will be seeing some of the best sights the city has to offer. With that, we start our day at arguably Paris' most famous attraction: The Eiffel Tower.
I am a big believer in not spending your vacation waiting on line. So I highly recommend buying tickets in advance and getting there on the earlier side. You should be able to do the entire experience in a couple of hours and not feel like it was stressful or rushed.
From here, we head to Montmarte, a vibrant neighborhood home to the Basilica of the Sacré-Cœur, cafes and street artists. The panoramic views from outside the Basilica are some of the city's best. After taking in the view, make your way down to the the world-famous Moulin Rouge. I've always loved the way this building pops against the more muted tones of the ones around it.
After some more exploring, head back to your hotel to get ready for your last dinner in Paris. This evening we will be dining at Girafe Restaurant, serving gourmet seafood dishes with a terrace and Eiffel Tower views.
As you finish your last bite, it is officially time to say au revoir to Paris. But with so much left still to explore, it is only a matter of time until you return.
Need to Know
For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Katie Fornataro's guide, 3-Day Itinerary in Paris for Foodies.
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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Paris.