Ultimate 3 Days in Paris Itinerary (With Hidden Gems)!

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Spending 3 days in Paris is an absolute dream. Streets full of sidewalk cafes, the famed Eiffel Tower, and world-renowned art museums make Paris one of the most amazing cities in the world. 

Seriously, you could just spend your 3-day break in Paris by wandering the streets and popping into various charming places, and you’d have a great time. But, if you’re coming all the way to Paris, it definitely helps to have a plan. It is a rather large city after all. 

After having lived in France and visited Paris numerous times, it was definitely hard to narrow down my absolute favorite spots for your 3 days in Paris itinerary, but I’ve come up with the perfect plan for your trip. 

Without further ado, let’s get into the best 3 day trip to Paris! 

3 Days in Paris Itinerary

Best 3 Days in Paris Itinerary

For the best way to see Paris in 3 days, here is a quick guide:

Day 1: Main Sights and Impressionists

  • Croissants at Maison d’Isabelle
  • Eiffel Tower
  • Louvre
  • Lunch at Relais de l’Entrecote 
  • Musee de l’Orangerie
  • Dinner at Dame Nation

Day 2: Food and a Hidden Gem

  • Coffee at Le Pelaton Cafe
  • Walk along Seine
  • Le Marais Food Tour
  • Marche aux Puces de Saint-Ouen
  • Bar Perruche
  • Dinner at La Jacobine
  • Drinks at Castor Club

Day 3: Sculptures and Montmartre

  • Breakfast at Les Deux Magots
  • Musee Rodin
  • Lunch at L’As du Fallafel 
  • Explore Montmartre
  • Dinner at Bouillon Pigalle

Now that you have a quick guide to the best of Paris in 3 days, here are more details below! 

Le Marais in Paris - Paris Bucket List

Three Perfect Days in Paris Itinerary

From gorgeous museums to amazingly delicious restaurants, this is how to spend a 3 day trip to Paris. 

Day 1: Main Sights and Impressionists

Eiffel-Tower-in-the-distance-in-between-two-buildings

Kick off the very first day of your Paris itinerary with some famous places but also some hidden gems. And, if you’re familiar with my itineraries on my other blog, World Wide Honeymoon, you know I even put food recommendations in here too! 

Start your morning off pretty early with a stop at Maison d’Isabelle for one of the best croissants of your life. Seriously, this award-winning boulangerie has some tasty bread and croissants. 

So be sure to pick up a few things and hop on the metro for 30 minutes to Paris’ most famous landmark: the Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower on a sunny day

Of course, you definitely want to hang out in the Jardin de la Tour Eiffel. This is a great place to set up your breakfast picnic of all the goodies you just purchased at Maison d’Isabelle. 

Thankfully, as you’re starting the day earlier, you’ll not have to worry about the crowds. But if you want to get other neat glimpses of the Eiffel Tower for the ‘gram or just for fun, here are a few spots to check out nearby:

  • Rue de l’Universite
  • Place de la Varsovie
  • Champ de Mars
  • Quai Branly
  • Pont d’Iena
  • Trocadero

There are so many other great places to capture photos of the Eiffel Tower, but it is fun to wander around and enjoy the Eiffel Tower from her many flattering angles. 

And if you would like to go up the Eiffel Tower, be sure to book tickets ahead of time

Kat spinning on Rue de l'universite in Paris with Eiffel Tower in the background

After exploring the Eiffel Tower, it is time to wander along the Seine on a 45-minute walk to France’s most iconic art museum: the Louvre. On the way, you’ll even have the chance to walk through the lovely Jardin des Tuileries and Place de la Concorde

Kat sitting by the fountain at the Louvre in a wide angle shot

This former palace turned museum now houses art ranging from antiquities and ancient Egypt to the Renaissance. It can take hours and hours to go through it if you really want to. However, I have found that about 3 hours is more than enough time to get the gist of the museum. 

After that amount of time, it can be a bit repetitive with the Renaissance art especially. Yes, they are absolutely magnificent, but they can easily become overwhelming after several hours. So spend a few hours in the Louvre, spotting the Mona Lisa, and definitely exploring the art from around the globe before lunch! 

The Louvre is certainly a bucket list Paris activity for first timer’s!

PS- Be sure to snag skip-the-line tickets to the Louvre ahead of time. Lines can be crazy long, and there is no time to waste during your three perfect days in Paris! 

Lunch & a Smaller Art Museum 

After all of that walking and exploring some famous Parisian sights, it is time for lunch. I have just the place, and it’s only about a 10-minute walk from the Louvre. Le Relais de l’Entrecote in Saint-Germain-des-Pres is a lovely spot for lunch. This place is well-known for its steak frites. 

Steak Frites - 3 Days in Paris

This is the place where you sit down and the server will ask you if you like your steak rare or medium-rare. Once you answer your preference, you’ll be served a salad with walnuts, followed by a tasty steak and a mound of crispy fries. 

Oh, and it is slathered in a delicious sauce. Now while that sounds filling, once you finish your steak or fries they’ll just load it back up. 

It is so much fun to spend part of your afternoon lazily watching the world go by as you eat a copious amount of fries and steak. Heaven. 

After that, it is time to head back across the Seine and wander over to Musee de l’Orangerie

Now most people who visit Paris in 3 days will certainly visit the Louvre and perhaps the Musee d’Orsay. That is, after all, where some of the famous impressionist pieces are held. But after visiting such a large art museum, I love how intimate Musee de l’Orangerie is. 

Also, as a bonus, it happens to be where you’ll find the gigantic Monet Water Lily paintings! 

L'Orangerie Monet Exhibit

This smaller museum is across the Tuileries from the Louvre and a 20-minute walk from the restaurant. This museum has plenty of incredible impressionist paintings as well as a special exhibition. 

Hands-down this is my favorite art museum to visit in Paris, so it is well worth a stop during your Paris plan! 

After all of that walking around and seeing some of the top things to do in Paris, it is time to head to dinner. DAME NATION is the place to go! This is about 30 minutes by metro from the museum. If you finish up at the museum earlier in the evening, you can wander around the nearby area. 

Check out Rue Cremieux, the colorful street in the 12th arrondissement, before walking to the tucked away DAME NATION. 

Rue Cremieux

This quiet bistro is super charming, and the food is amazing! They have a couple of Norman-style dishes like Norman veal or sirloin, and they offer other unique things on their menu that makes it a great restaurant to visit during your 3-day itinerary for Paris! 

Pork and potatoes at DAME NATION

Just be sure to make reservations ahead of time! You can do that online

After all of the delicious food, exciting sights, and all that walking, it may be a good idea to head to bed after this and prepare for day 2 in Paris! 

Church in the Latin Quarter of Paris with the Pantheon in the background

Information For Day 1 in Paris:

  • Maison d’Isabelle: Open Tuesday-Saturday 6 am-8 pm and on Sunday from 6 am-6 pm. 
  • Eiffel Tower: Open daily 9 am-11:45 pm, and open from May 7-June 17, 2022 from 9:30 am-10:45 pm. Book your ticket here! 
  • Louvre: Open Wednesday-Monday from 9 am-6 pm. Book tickets here!
  • Relais de l’Entrecote: Open Monday-Friday from 12-2:30 pm and 6:45-11 pm. Weekends and holidays open from 12-3 pm and 6:45-11 pm. 
  • Musee de l’Orangerie: Open Wednesday-Monday from 9 am-6 pm. Book tickets here!
  • DAME NATION: Open Monday-Saturday from 11:30 am-11 pm. 

Day 2 of Your 3 Day Trip in Paris: Food and a Hidden Gem

After a nice night of sleep, it is time to welcome the day with some coffee. You don’t have to get up early today, but when you do, stroll on over to Le Peloton Cafe for a flat white and a pastry before strolling along the Seine or around the Ile Saint-Louis for a bit. 

Then, start moseying up to where your food tour starts in the Le Marais neighborhood! 

This food tour of the Le Marais is such a fun tour in one of the best foodie neighborhoods in Paris! The tour makes stops at a local bistro, a spot for cheese and wine tasting, a chocolate shop, and more! The tour starts at 10:30 am and lasts for 3-4 hours. 

Trust me, you’ll definitely be full afterward with all the delicious French treats! Book it here!

Cheese at the Marche Les Enfants Rouges

After your tour, you’re heading to a hidden gem. If you’re a fan of the movie Midnight in Paris, you may recognize this place: Marche aux Puces de Saint-Ouen. It’s about a 30-minute metro ride to get here, but this is known as the Paris Flea Market! 

Kat exploring the Paris Flea Market

Now it isn’t just a few dusty old records and rickety chairs. We’re talking about taking a step back through time with several shops and stands selling silverware and dishes, furniture, paintings and sculptures, and even old postcards. 

It feels like its own museum, only if you have the money, you can certainly purchase the goods! Spend the remainder of your afternoon exploring this hidden gem spot in Paris and perhaps purchase a few mementos from times gone by! 

Paris Flea Market

Drinks & Dinner & Drinks Again…

Once you’ve finished exploring the flea market, it is time to enjoy a fantastic view of Paris, from the top of a shopping mall! 

About 30 minutes back down into downtown Paris, Bar Perruche is a fantastic rooftop bar at the Printemps mall. Head here for a fun late afternoon drink as you enjoy the sights of the city, including the Eiffel Tower! 

Views of the Eiffel Tower from the roof of Bar Perruche

After a fun cocktail at Bar Perruche, it is time to take a nice long walk past the Palais Garnier, across the Seine, and over to the Odeon area for dinner at one of my favorite restaurants in Paris: La Jacobine

La Jacobine

This adorable tiny restaurant is tucked in a small passageway and is instantly charming. Their onion soup is literally the best soup I’ve ever tasted, and the coq au vin and duck confit will wow you. For typical French cuisine in a cozy atmosphere, this is definitely the place to go! 

Just be sure to make reservations! It is small and books up fast! 

Alright, after dinner, why not check out a fun cocktail club nearby? This is a great time to head to Castor Club. With great vibes, good music, and even better cocktails, this place is a fun way to end a night on the town! 

Drinks at Castor Club in Paris - Paris in 3 Days

Information For Day 2 in Paris:

  • Le Peloton Cafe: Open Monday-Friday from 9 am-5:30 pm and on the weekends from 9 am-6 pm. 
  • Marche aux Puces de Saint-Ouen: Open Friday from 8 am-12 pm, Saturday-Sunday from 10 am-6 pm, and Monday from 11 am-5 pm. 
  • Bar Perruche: Open daily from 12-4 pm and 7 pm-2 am. Reservations are recommended but for drinks it’s a bit more casual. 
  • La Jacobine: Open Tuesday-Sunday from 12-11 pm and on Monday from 6:30-11 pm. 
  • Castor Club: Open Tuesday-Wednesday from 7 pm-2 am and Thursday-Saturday from 7 pm-4 am. 

Day 3: Sculptures and Montmartre

I couldn’t let you leave Paris without checking out one of its most famous neighborhoods! So today, you’ll be exploring an iconic cafe, a dreamy museum, and the beautiful neighborhood of Montmartre. 

Start your morning with breakfast at Les Deux Magots. This is one of my favorite cafes in Paris, not only because the people watching is amazing, and it is in the charming Saint-Germain-des-Pres neighborhood, but it is a famous cafe that was a former haunt of the Lost Generation. 

Entrance to Les Deux Magots

Known for the likes of Hemingway, Picasso, and more, this cafe has seen a lot in its time. So it is a neat place to grab breakfast. But another thing I love about Les Deux Magots is its ancient hot chocolate. 

I have never had a better hot chocolate than this one, and Paris is well known for its hot chocolate! This creamy, melted candy bar-esque hot chocolate is the stuff of dreams and something you’ll want to try during your visit to Paris in 3 days. 

Overhead shot of coffee, bread, and hot chocolate at Les Deux Magots

After a scrumptious breakfast, you can then walk on over to the Eglise de Saint-Germain-des-Pres. It is just across the street from Les Deux Magots and is one of my favorite churches in Paris. It’s small and quiet, and far less crowded than Sainte-Chapelle. 

This is a fun quick stop on your way to Laduree nearby for its famous macarons. Grab a few to go and then walk 20 minutes to the Musee Rodin

This hidden gem of a museum is full of sculptures from the famed artist, including The Thinker. But it also feels like a little oasis in the middle of the city, with gorgeous gardens tucked behind the walls of the museum. 

Rodin Museum in Paris exterior

On a warm summer day, it is lovely to spend the morning frolicking amongst the statues and flowers, watching the ducks swimming in the water. So take some time to enjoy the interior and exterior of the museum! 

After that, you can either walk or take the metro over to one of the best lunch spots in the Le Marais: L’As du Fallafel. This place is seriously incredible. With heaping falafel sandwiches, fluffy pita, and creamy hummus, you’ll definitely want to split a few things and try as much as possible! 

L'As Du Fallafel sandwich

Now I will warn you that around lunchtime this place is packed. Like line wrapping around the block. Don’t worry too much, as this place quickly serves. The last time I visited Paris I noticed that the line to eat inside the restaurant was faster than the takeout line, so if all else fails try that! 

Regardless, you won’t regret the wait, it is worth it! 

Explore Montmartre 

Post-falafel, the afternoon is all about visiting Montmartre. This is definitely one of the Paris places to visit in 3 days! 

If you’re in no rush, feel free to walk the hour to get there, but just be warned: it is hilly to get to the top of the Sacre Coeur church! But if you’re up for the challenge go for it! 

Sacre Coeur in Paris

You could also take the metro and funicular to get to the top as well. Start exploring Sacre Couer and admiring the view from the top of the hill. 

While you could go inside Sacre Couer if you please, there is also a hidden gem church just on the other side of the church called Paroisse Saint-Pierre de Montmartre, which dates back to the 12th century! 

After that, I recommend visiting the Love Wall (or Le Mur des Je t’aime). This wall has “I Love You,” written in 250 languages. It is a romantic place to visit during your 3 days in Paris, and a place where many couples will pose for a photo or even get engaged! 

Kat and Chris kissing in front of the Love Wall in Paris

Other places you’ll want to wander around to see in Montmartre include the Montmartre Museum with information about the history of the neighborhood and is next to Montmartre Vineyard, explore the Montmartre Cemetary with famous gravestones, spot the Moulin Rouge, and stroll down Paris’s most beautiful street: Rue de l’Abreuvoir

Most beautiful street in Paris

You can easily spend the rest of your day exploring the charming Montmartre neighborhood. And to wrap up your 3 days in Paris itinerary, have dinner at Bouillon Pigalle

Located just a few minutes from Montmartre, this restaurant is a casual place with tons of great French comfort food. Try French classics including cheeses, sausage, escargot, boeuf bourguignon, foie gras, and even some tasty desserts. 

Alright, now I know this has been a packed itinerary including great places to eat, drink, explore, and muse about, but if you’re feeling up to it on your last night, you may want to head back to the Eiffel Tower just to see it lit up at night.

Eiffel Tower lit up at night

It’s a stunner any time of day, but at night during its light show, it really is magical. The sparkling happens for 5 minutes on the hour every hour from dusk until 1 am. So you have plenty of chances to see her shine! 

Phew! After all of that, it is time to head back to your hotel and say goodbye to your amazing visit to Paris in 3 days! 

Information For Day 3 in Paris:

  • Les Deux Magots: Open daily from 7:30 am-1 am. 
  • Eglise de Saint-Germain-des-Pres: Open Monday and Sunday from 9:30 am-8 pm and Tuesday-Saturday from 8:30 am-8 pm. 
  • Laduree (Saint-Germain): Open daily from 9:30 am-7 pm. 
  • Musee Rodin: Open Tuesday-Sunday from 10 am-6:30 pm. Book tickets here!
  • L’As du Fallafel: Open Sunday-Thursday from 12-11 pm, Friday from 12-4 pm, and Saturday from 6:30-11 pm.
  • Sacre Coeur: Open daily from 6:30 am-10:30 pm. 
  • Paroisse Saint-Pierre de Montmartre: Open Tuesday-Friday and Sunday from 9 am-12 pm and 3-6 pm, and Saturday from 9 am-12 pm and 3-7 pm. 
  • Montmartre Museum: Open Wednesday-Monday from 10 am-6 pm. 
  • Bouillon Pigalle: Open daily from 12 pm-12 am. 

If You Have More Than a Three Days in Paris Itinerary

parc des buttes chaumont

If you happen to have more time in Paris, you’re in luck! There is still plenty to see and do in the city! 

Here are some ideas:

  • Visit many parks like Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, Jardin du Luxembourg, or even the Bois de Vincennes
  • Visit other museums like Musee d’Orsay, Musee National Picasso-Paris, Musee de la Vie Romantique, Musee Gustave Moreau, and Musee des Arts Forains to name a few
  • Explore the lovely Canal Saint-Martin area
  • Take the time for a cruise along the Seine
  • Explore the Champs-Elysees and Arc de Triomphe 

The ideas are never-ending! There are also ample day trips from Paris you could take too. Here are a few ideas:

Overview of the Gardens of Versailles

Where to Stay in Paris

During your 3 day trip to Paris, there are definitely a ton of hotel options! I even have a whole guide about where to stay in Paris based on your travel style

However, here are some great hotel ideas based on your budget: 

Budget: Libertel Canal Saint-Martin

If you’re on a budget in Paris, this hotel starts at under $100 per night and has A/C, clean, comfortable rooms, and great views of the Canal Saint-Martin area. 

Book it here! 

Canal Saint Martin - Where to Stay in Paris

Mid-Range: Au Manoir Saint Germain Des Pres

With opulent fixtures, and beautiful views, and is located in the heart of the Saint-Germain-des-Pres neighborhood, you can’t go wrong with this hotel. Prices start at around $270 per night. 

Book it here! 

Luxury: Grand Hotel du Palais Royale

This is within walking distance to the Louvre and many attractions nearby! This luxury hotel has a Turkish bath, chic rooms, and great terraces to enjoy the views. Prices start at around $430 per night. 

Book it here! 

Getting to Paris & Getting Around 

Metro station in Paris

Getting to Paris is easy, as you can fly to either Paris airport: Charles de Gaulle or Paris-Orly. If you’re flying from the US or further away, chances are you’ll land in Charles de Gaulle, whereas if you’re flying a discount airline in Europe, you’ll likely end up at Paris-Orly. 

Check flight prices on Skyscanner!

From Charles de Gaulle, you can either take a taxi, Uber, bus, or train. From Orly, you can take a taxi or Uber, or you’ll need to catch the Orlyval metro to the Anthony Train Station. Then, from there, you’ll take either line RER B or RER C. There is also the Orlybus that goes from the airport to downtown. 

And if you’re coming from elsewhere in France or nearby countries, you can even take the train! This is much more convenient as the train stations in Paris are much closer to the hotels than the airport! 

Once you’re in Paris, it is very easy to get around. For starters, it is a pretty walkable city. There are times when taking the metro is best, but you can also walk to many places. 

Aside from walking, there are scooters, bike rentals, buses, and the metro. You can even download the Paris Metro Map App for an interactive transport map. 

Other Tips For Visiting Paris

Paris Date Ideas - Montmartre Museum

Before you land in the City of Lights, here are some other tips to know:

  1. When is the best time to visit? Luckily, I have a whole guide to help you decide! But I have visited in winter, spring, summer, and fall and have enjoyed my stay! 
  2. Be sure to wear some comfortable shoes. These Stan Smiths are very popular and super comfortable for walking around all day. For more on what to wear in Paris, check out my guide here!
  3.  If you’re planning to see and do a lot in the city, opt to purchase the Paris Museum Pass. It includes admission to 60+ museums and monuments in the city. 
  4. Be sure to attempt a little bit of French. At the very least, know how to say “Hello” (“Bonjour” if before 5 pm and “Bonsoir” if after 5 pm) and say this when you enter a shop. It is rude not to, and don’t expect much help from employees if you don’t say it. 
  5. Only have a day in Paris? We have a whole blog post to help you maximize your time! And here is an itinerary if you have 2 days in Paris.

These are definitely the top things to do in Paris in 3 days. From exciting museums to romantic locales, you can’t go wrong with a trip to Paris. 

I hope this Paris travel guide helps you plan your perfect trip to Paris! Let me know about your favorite place in Paris! 

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