Eager to explore the city of love, but you’re not sure what to do in Paris, France, for a week? Raise your hand if this sounds like a familiar situation. Trust me. You wouldn’t be the first.
Not because of a lack of things to do, though. The exact opposite, the city teems with a seemingly limitless amount of Paris monuments to visit, things to do, sights to see, and so much more.
It’s definitely not called the city of love for nothing as there is something to fall in love with around every corner of Paris.
Now, let’s get to why you’re here — what you can (and definitely should) do in a week in Paris, France.
What to do in Paris France in a Week: Quick Breakdown
Table of Contents
- What to do in Paris France in a Week: Quick Breakdown
- Day One: Champs-Élysées, Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, Seine River
- Start Your Morning With a Stroll Along the Champs-Élysées
- View Paris From the Top of the Arc de Triomphe
- Spend Your Afternoon at the Eiffel Tower
- Cruise Down the Seine River
- Day Two: Montmartre, Jardin Du Luxembourg, Latin Quarter
- Discover Montmartre
- Explore the Jardin du Luxembourg
- Lose Yourself in the Latin Quarter
- Day Three: The Palace of Versailles, Gardens of Versailles
- The Palace of Versailles
- Gardens of Versailles
- Day Four: Île de La Cité, Le Marais, Sainte-Chapelle
- Île de La Cité & Notre-Dame
- Treat Yourself at ODETTE Paris & Explore Le Marais
- The Gothic Sainte-Chapelle
- Day Five: Louvre Museum, Musee d’Orsay, Opera Garnier, Galeries Lafayette
- Tour The Louvre Museum
- Explore Musee d’Orsay
- Be Mesmerised by Palais Garnier
- Catch The Sunset From The Galeries Lafayette
- Day Six: Canal Saint-Martin, Sacré Cœur, Moulin Rouge
- Discover Canal Saint-Martin
- Sacré Cœur in Montmartre
- Cabaret At The Moulin Rouge
- Day Seven: Musée de Cluny, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris Catacombs
- Musée de Cluny
- The National Library of France
- Descend Into The Paris Catacombs
- And that’s Paris in a Week
Getting the best out of Paris in seven days can be quite the challenge, but that is where the fun lies. This itinerary covers the monuments, the beauty, and the culture of the city. There is a plethora still left to discover beyond what is covered here.
But, by the end of the week, you’ll be more than eager to extend your stay. There’s nothing wrong with that, and choosing one of these top hotels in Paris with a view, might just be the best way to do so.
Day One: Champs-Élysées, Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, Seine River
Now, although some would argue against seeing the big attractions of Paris on the first day of any trip, I can’t think of a better first-day escapade.
Start Your Morning With a Stroll Along the Champs-Élysées
Easily one of the most recognisable streets in the world, this is where your first morning will start. It’s world-famous for its vast number of high-end stores, illustrious cafés, and architecture.
Spanning just about 2 kilometres, starting at the Place de la Concorde leading west to the Place Charles de Gaulle. The Champs-Élysées lead right through the heart of the 8th arrondissement of the city.
Here you’ll be able to grab the perfect Parisian breakfast as you venture up the road. If your sweet tooth is acting up, you can find some of the best macarons in the many cafés.
View Paris From the Top of the Arc de Triomphe
No trip to Paris would be complete without an adventure to the top of the Arc de Triomphe, be sure to book your tickets ahead of time. Napoleon I commissioned its construction to honour his victory at the battle of Austerlitz, and it’s been a Parisian staple ever since.
It sits at the end of the Champs-Élysées, in the centre of Place Charles de Guille. Ascending to the top, at 50 metres high, will give you the perfect spot for some morning views of the city.
The Arc de Triomphe is also one of the best spots to catch epic views of the Eiffel Tower, and at sunset, it’s a feast for the eyes.
Spend Your Afternoon at the Eiffel Tower
There is nothing as synonymous with Paris as the Eiffel Tower. And after a morning spent at two of the other most iconic places in the city, enjoying your afternoon at the tower just feels right.
Crossing the Seine and heading into the 7th arrondissement of Paris, the Eiffel Tower is in every sense a scene stealer. You can opt for a picnic at the tower’s base, as many do, and then head up to the monument.
The first and second floors of the tower, accessible either by elevator or stairs, provide only a taste of the authentic experience you can expect here. The top floor of the tower is only accessible by elevator.
Fair warning, though, lines for the tower are always extremely long, so best to get a skip-the-line ticket or book your Eiffel Tower tour well in advance.
Cruise Down the Seine River
To end day one of your Paris adventure, there is no better choice than a boat cruise down the Seine. After exploring the Eiffel Tower, a later afternoon or dinner cruise down the river is an idyllic experience.
A natural marvel of the city, opting for a boat cruise along the Seine will give you a totally new perspective on the city. As many floating bars line the river banks, you can always hop off whenever you wish.
But, true magic happens as the sun sets. Views from a Seine cruise of the Eiffel Tower’s illumination and the city’s lights are absolutely otherworldly.
Day Two: Montmartre, Jardin Du Luxembourg, Latin Quarter
Your second day in Paris involves a lot more exploration of the city. From its most famous neighbourhood to eye-catching gardens and the oldest district in Paris.
A true reflection of the bohemian influence within Paris, the famous neighbourhood Montmartre is where you’ll start on day two. If you’re looking for one of the best spots to catch the sunrise over the city, this is it.
Often viewed as a village within the city, Montmartre sits around a 130-metre-high hill in the 18th arrondissement of Paris. The artistic history of this area draws thousands each year, and it’s a great place to wander around. Opt for a walking tour and get the most out of Montmartre.
Here you can fill your morning discovering the artsy part of Paris, and you can be sure to find many hidden gems, boutique stores, and delicious eateries along its streets.
If you’re heading to Paris in Spring don’t miss reading my articles on things to do in Paris in April and things to do in Paris in May.
Explore the Jardin du Luxembourg
An ode to King Henry IV, the gardens of Luxembourg, was created starting in 1612 by Marie de’ Medici, his widowed wife. The grounds offer a calming escape from the hustle of the surrounding city streets.
In the 6th arrondissement of Paris, the garden terraces showcase statues of famous French Queens and Saints. The gardens are a paradise if you’re a nature lover or looking for the perfect photo-ops.
Be sure to visit the apple and pear tree orchards in the garden’s southwest corner and the théâtre des marionnettes, a puppet theatre located in the gardens.
Lose Yourself in the Latin Quarter
To end your second day, a visit to the 5th arrondissement of Paris, otherwise known as the Latin Quarter, is a perfect way. It’s officially the oldest district in the city and is a regular haunt for students. Packed with cafés, bars, and famous landmarks, you should spend quite a while here.
Shakespeare & Company, the famous bookstore, is here, as well as the Panthéon — the final resting place of icons such as Voltaire and Marie Curie. And to cap off the day, grab a cabaret show at Paradis Latin, one of the oldest cabarets in the city.
Day Three: The Palace of Versailles, Gardens of Versailles
Prepare to spend day three as an adventure to Versailles.
The Palace of Versailles
You might wonder, should I spend an entire day at the Palace of Versailles? The indefinite answer is a resounding yes. Ideally, you want to start the day early as the trip to Versailles is about an hour from Paris itself.
Booking a tour to Versailles is the best way to experience everything the palace and its surroundings offer. The former royal residence is a massive complex with a lot for you to see. Tours of the complex kick off with the château, which drips in opulence, perfect for some social media snapshots.
The Estate of Trianon, formerly Marie Antoinette’s estate, is a must-visit. It also includes a fake peasant village, which had the sole purpose of providing scenic views to the queen. Oh, and it also produced fresh milk and eggs, just for the palace, of course.
Gardens of Versailles
To equal, the grandeur of the palace itself, the gardens of Versailles are a feast for the eyes. Planned by famed architect André Le Nôtre, you can bask in the beautiful gardens, which are massive.
The real treat of the gardens lies in its fountains. Not just ornamental, you can view the musical fountain show at night. The fountains dance to Baroque music while a spectacular light show accompanies them.
And upon your return to the city, dinner at any of the city’s Michelin-star restaurants is the perfect end for day three.
Day Four: Île de La Cité, Le Marais, Sainte-Chapelle
Your fourth day in Paris is another tour-de-force of what makes the city so unique. This includes Notre Dame, a famous café, and some of the gothic history of Paris.
Île de La Cité & Notre-Dame
The 4th arrondissement of Paris, or Île de La Cité, is where you can genuinely appreciate Paris’s different great historical monuments. The island, which sits on the Seine River in the city’s heart, is a standard feature on many city tours.
It’s the oldest settlement in the history of Paris and the grounds of one of the most famous buildings in the entire world. Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, the mediaeval Catholic cathedral, highlights the tiny island. Although unfortunately, the main building is still undergoing repairs, many tours of Notre Dame visit the exhibits on its grounds.
Treat Yourself at ODETTE Paris & Explore Le Marais
Paris is famous for many things, and its culinary history is a testimony to its status. One of the most beloved pastry shops in the entire city is ODETTE Paris. The exterior and interior still scream classical Paris, while the menu is brimming with delicious treats.
For lunch, I highly recommend you indulge in the sweet delights on offer, especially the cream puffs, which are famous in the city. And for some epic views of Notre Dame, the tiny second floor offers unparalleled photo-ops.
And to kick off the afternoon, the vibrant and highly-fashionable Le Marais district beckons. The social hub of the 4th arrondissement, you can find unique boutique stores, stunning art galleries, and the hidden arcades of Paris here.
The Gothic Sainte-Chapelle
Standing since 1248, the gothic-inspired Sainte-Chapelle is one of the most iconic monuments of Paris. For the best experience, visit it on a tour like this. Having contained some of the most sacred relics of Christianity since then, it is now an unmissable attraction for numerous reasons.
Tours of the cathedral will allow you to delve into the history of not just the building but the entire city. It is home to the world’s most extensive collection of 13th-century stained glass windows, and catching them at sunset guarantees an unforgettable sight.
Day Five: Louvre Museum, Musee d’Orsay, Opera Garnier, Galeries Lafayette
On your fifth day in Paris, it’s time to go museum-hoping, culture-diving, and sightseeing.
Tour The Louvre Museum
The most-visited museum in the world, The Louvre, sits on the banks of the Seine River, and I can’t imagine any trip to Paris without a tour of it. Now while you can decide what time of day to head to the museum, crowds are always massive. Get a skip-the-line entrance ticket to make your wait a bit shorter.
And for a good reason, some of the world’s most famous art pieces, including the Mona Lisa, are kept inside. The Louvre sits on Rue de Rivoli, a fabulous street for some retail therapy after a morning in the museum.
Explore Musee d’Orsay
On the opposite side of the Seine, you will find one of the most unique museums in Paris. Housed in a former railway station, it now serves as one of the home grounds for impressionism in the world. Opt for a tour and cruise for the best experience.
And while you might think that just means it’s an impressive building, it primarily exhibits French Impressionist artwork. You can view famous artists’ works on a tour here, including Monet, Manet, and Renoir.
Be Mesmerised by Palais Garnier
Beyond cabaret, art, fashion, and cuisine, another of the city’s claims to fame include its contribution to opera and ballet. The Palais Garnier is the premier opera theatre with seating for 1979. The Italian-style building was constructed from 1871 to 1875 and has since been a feature of the Parisian skyline.
You can opt for any performances on show throughout the year or indulge in a self-guided tour of the opera house. The Palais Garnier is in the 9th arrondissement of the city, a few minutes from the Louvre.
Catch The Sunset From The Galeries Lafayette
It is a bustling retail centre, but the Galeries Lafayette is an architectural standout at its core. Its Art Nouveau influence, accompanied by exclusive high-end boutique stores, and world-class restaurants, draws thousands.
Now, while this 9th arrondissement department store boasts a lot as is, the two building terraces provide some of the best spots to catch a sunset over Paris. You can look forward to stunning views of the iconic Parisian skyline from either.
Day Six: Canal Saint-Martin, Sacré Cœur, Moulin Rouge
On day six of your trip to Paris, you’ll visit a few more Parisian classics and end the day with one of its most popular attractions.
Discover Canal Saint-Martin
This is one of the lesser-known waterways in Paris’s equally less well-known neighbourhood. Popular though amongst younger Parisians, this area and the canal showcase the non-touristy vibes of the city.
With many cafés, bars, and restaurants lining the canal, you can take a tour down to where it meets the Seine. Or you can opt for a picnic along the banks, which is also becoming a favourite activity.
Sacré Cœur in Montmartre
If the castle on the hill had a Parisian counterpart, it would be the Basilica of Sacré Coeur de Montmartre. Although you would have seen this landmark during your morning in the neighbourhood on day two of your week in Paris, it’s officially time to dive into this icon.
Sitting atop Montmartre hill, the Basilica (otherwise known as the holy heart of Montmartre) operates as a Roman Catholic Church. You can book a guided tour and admire its architectural beauty and stunning city views.
Cabaret At The Moulin Rouge
The literal birthplace of the modern can-can, the Moulin Rouge, is synonymous with Parisian nightlife. And although famous in its own right, the movie of the same name has propelled this venue into legendary status.
In existence for over 120 years, spending an evening here, either at the dinner show or the late-night performance, is a must. Sitting right by the Blanche exit of the Metrorail, it’s the heartbeat of nighttime in the 9th arrondissement of Paris.
Day Seven: Musée de Cluny, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris Catacombs
Your last day in the city of lights includes some history, a library unlike anything you’ve seen before, and a spine-chilling tour.
Musée de Cluny
Saving one of the most history-rich museums in the city for your final day, the Musée de Cluny, or the Cluny Museum, is worth it. It’s the National Museum of the Middle Ages and thus contains the best surviving mediaeval architecture in the city. Guided tours are best, or an entry ticket is a good alternative.
It’s in the 5th arrondissement of Paris, and fun fact, the abbey was built over a Roman Bath, which you can view inside.
The National Library of France
Now I know you’re thinking, why visit a library? Simply put, this is not just any old library, although it is very old. The Bibliothèque Nationale de France contains literally everything ever written or codified by France and in France.
The grandiose nature of Parisian buildings is evident here, and your photo-ops here will be unlike anything else. The library’s rotunda is a must-visit, and you have to view the permanent collection of massive 6-metre-tall globes as breathtaking.
You can find the library in the 13th arrondissement, on the banks of the Seine, along the avenue de France.
Descend Into The Paris Catacombs
To cap off your week in Paris, why not dive into the darker depths of the city? Quite literally. Below the city’s surface lies a seemingly endless catacomb system housing the remains of thousands of long-dead Parisians. It’s grim, yes, but a total must-visit.
A small section is open to tours by the public, and you should visit early after sunset to get the full effect. I suggest not wandering from your tour group, though, as it is creepy down there.
You can find the entrance to catacombs in the 14th arrondissement, on Avenue du Colonel Henri Rol-Tanguy. But, check their official website because the catacombs sometimes close without notice or explanation.
And that’s Paris in a Week
Well, that’s it—Paris, done and dusted in seven days. Now I’ll be honest, discovering everything Paris has to offer can fill up countless days. And you’ll never be at a loss for something to do or see.
But if you want to cover surefire memorable landmarks, unforgettable attractions, and epic sights, this petit itinerary is your next best friend.
And, the best part is the longer you stay in the city, the easier it is to discover the most fascinating facts about Paris. Which just begs the question, when are you going?
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