Are you planning to spend a weekend in Paris but not sure what to do? This Paris weekend itinerary will guide you on the best places and things to do in Paris in 2 days.
There is no doubt that we would all want to spend more than just a weekend in Paris but sometimes circumstances, like family, work, finance, or general life obligations don’t allow us.
But even with just a weekend trip to Paris, you can still enjoy the city of love and see all the major attractions!
And to show you that you can actually enjoy Paris in a weekend, I am sharing with you my detailed weekend in Paris itinerary including everything that I believe you should see, especially if it’s your first trip to Paris.
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But for starters, I want to disclose that this weekend in Paris itinerary assumes that you have 2 full days in the city and that you want to see as much as possible in those 2 days in Paris and you’re ready to walk since most places are all near each other — after all Paris is a city best explored on foot.
And the best part is that this Paris in a weekend itinerary includes a little bit of everything that makes Paris what it is, from the famous monuments like the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, shopping places like Champs-Élysées and Galeries Lafayette Haussmann, beautiful parks like the Tuileries Gardens and not forgetting the famous Louvre museum for art lovers.
So regardless of which kind of traveler you are, this itinerary will help you have an amazing weekend trip in Paris.
However, if you’re visiting Paris for the first time, make sure that you read this post for tips on how to get to Paris, how to get around the city, where to stay, and all the general practical tips for a first-time visitor to Paris and don’t forget check out these fun facts about Paris to learn more about the city.
Before You Go, Here’s How to Plan Your Visit To Paris: Practical Quick Tips
WHERE TO STAY
Best Eiffel Tower Views: Hôtel Le Walt (9.0)
Luxury stay: Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel (8.2)
Mid-range stay: Hôtel Eiffel (8.7)
Budget Stay: People – Paris Bercy (8.9)
Apartment Rental: Résidence Charles Floquet (9.1)
- Considering travel insurance for your trip? World Nomads offers coverage for more than 150 adventure activities as well as emergency medical, lost luggage, trip cancellation, and more.
- Prepare your trip extensively with this Paris Travel guidebook.
- Don’t forget a universal travel adapter, a travel neck pouch, and comfortable walking shoes.
- Consider getting either the museum pass or the Paris city pass if you plan to visit a lot of attractions. The city pass comes with free transportation and access to the hop-on-hop-off bus. You can read my Paris museum pass review to see if it’s right for you.
- Book this private transfer from CDG airport to Paris to avoid the hustle of figuring out how to get to Paris.
Where to Stay on your weekend break to Paris
But since you’re just in Paris for a weekend, I recommend staying near the famous attractions so that you don’t waste time in transit.
So here are a few of my recommendations on where to stay while exploring Paris in a weekend.
If you’re traveling to Paris on a budget, then Generator hostel in the 10th. arrondissement is the best choice for you. The facilities of this hostel are beyond the price you pay and the views you get from its rooftop are incredible.
City Inn Paris
Located in the 19th. arrondissement, this hotel is another budget option that is perfect for backpackers. It is of great value, clean and above all perfectly located which makes it easy to reach all the places during your 2 days in Paris.
Hôtel Paris La Fayette
Centrally located in the 10th arrondissement, and a few minutes from the metro, Hôtel Paris La Fayette is the best place to stay while in Paris for a weekend. The rooms are nice and clean, and the staff is welcoming and friendly.
Hôtel Eiffel Turenne
Located 1 km away from the Eiffel Tower, Hôtel Eiffel Turenne in the 7th. arrondissement is the perfect place to stay if you want to be in close proximity to the Eiffel Tower while being next to the metro which guarantees direct access to almost all the major attractions listed in this Paris weekend itinerary.
Shangri-La Hotel, Paris
Located in the 16th. arrondissement, Shangri-La Hotel, Paris is one of the most luxurious hotels in Paris that also offers stunning views of the Eiffel Tower. So if you want to wake up to the iron lady during your long weekend in Paris, Shangri-La Hotel is your perfect stay.
Located just 2 minutes from the Champs-Elysees and the Arc de Triomphe, Hôtel Raphael is perfectly located to make sure that you have a great stay in Paris. And beyond the location, it serves impressive views of the Eiffel Tower.
How to Get to Paris From The Aiport
Paris has 3 airports; Charles de Gaulle (CDG), Paris Orly, and Beauvais, though the main ones are the first 2!
Depending on where you’re coming from, you can either fly to CDG or Orly since they’re the most connected! In fact, just a few people fly to Beauvais and I wouldn’t recommend it since it’s far away and not well connected to the city. To give you a quick run down, here is how to get from both CDG and Orly to Paris!
How to Get From CDG to Paris
If you’re not sure how to connect to the city from CDG on your short trip to Paris, here is a summary to help you!
By Private Transfer: This is the easiest and most convenient way to get to Paris! You just book your transfer here and your car will be waiting for you when you arrive!
By Train: If you’re traveling on a budget, the train is the best choice. You’ll take RER B from the airport to the city centre. The train makes stops at many major stations like Gare du Nord, Châtelet les Halles, Saint Michel Notre Dame, and more. Depending on your stop, it can take anywhere from 25 to 50 minutes.
By Bus: The RoisyBus (Shuttle) is another option that connects directly to Paris. Basically, it starts from the airport directly to Opera bus station in Paris. This bus stop is right next to Opera metro station so you can easily take the metro from there to reach your final destination.
Others: Other options include calling an Uber/Freenow or any of the competitors when you reach the airport. Also, you could just take a Parisian taxi.
This is really just a brief but I have a detailed article on how to get from CDG to Paris that goes into where to take the taxi from, where to await your Uber, taxi, RER B, and the shuttle from, and much more!
How to Get From Orly to Paris
If your perfect weekend in Paris starts at Orly, then here is how to connect to the city centre.
By Private transfer: If you need a private transfer, this is the one I recommend!
By Train: Unlike CDG whose train route is direct, it’s a little different at Orly. First, you take the airport’s train Orly Val and then the Train (RER B). You can just buy a combined ticket for both Orly Val and Train (RER B). The journey takes about 35 minutes.
By Bus: The cheapest way to get from Orly airport to Paris is by Orly Bus. The bus starts from the airport to the Denfert-Rochereau bus station in Paris.
Others: There are other ways like Tramway, taking the city bus, and RER C but I wouldn’t recommend these as some require multiple connections and others are just too slow! They’re not worth it in my opinion.
How to Get Around Paris in a Weekend
While you can get around Paris using a car, uber, taxi, bus, etc., for your 2-day weekend trip in Paris, I recommend sticking to the metro.
Paris’ metro is very well connected and you can be sure to find a train to go to any of the places mentioned in this Paris weekend itinerary.
And by taking the metro, you avoid wasting time in traffic jams – which can be crazy if you use an Uber, taxi, or even a car. And above all, the metro is incredibly cheap in Paris so you can be sure to save on transportation.
For your 2 days in Paris, you can buy a carnet of 10 train tickets which is cheaper than buying individual tickets. Alternatively, you can buy a Paris transportation pass for 2 days known as the Paris Visite travel pass.
With this pass, you won’t need to buy any transport tickets throughout your entire stay in Paris as it works on all forms of public transportation be it trains, Subway, buses, or trams.
Another way to get around Paris is by walking! You should actually prepare for this because you’re gonna walk a lot. Walking is the easiest and cheapest way to get around while in Paris for a weekend.
And since most of the Paris attractions are next to each other, you’ll just be walking from place to place which is also the best way to see some things you would have otherwise missed.
What to pack for a weekend in Paris
Since you’ll just be in Paris for a weekend, you don’t need to carry lots of stuff but rather a few essentials. To help you with that, here is the list of things to pack for a Paris weekend trip.
- Portable power bank: With no time to charge during the day, you’ll need to carry a portable power bank like this one.
- A European travel adapter: You can carry this European travel adapter or better yet this international travel adapter so that you don’t keep buying one every time you travel to a new country.
- Travel neck pouch: Keep all your day’s travel items safe with this travel neck pouch which will keep away pickpockets especially when visiting popular Paris attractions.
- Travel insurance: Whether you’re going to Paris for a weekend or 10 days, never leave travel insurance behind. World Nomads is what I recommend.
- Collapsible water bottle: With all the walking involved, you’ll need water to keep hydrated and this reusable collapsible travel water bottle will come in handy.
You can also check out this complete Paris packing list for ideas on what to pack and for ideas on what to wear check out this list of what to wear in Paris in summer, this list of what to wear if your weekend trip to Paris is during springtime, or this fall Paris packing list if you’re visiting in the fall.
Now that we have a few tips on how to navigate the French capital, let’s look at how to spend a weekend in Paris to get the most out of your stay.
Weekend in Paris: The Ultimate Weekend Paris Trip Itinerary
Here are the best things to do in Paris for a weekend!
Day 1 of your Weekend in Paris Trip
Brace yourself as this day is going to be packed with lots of activities from sunrise to sunset. Wear your most comfortable walking shoes, pack all the day’s essentials, stay hydrated, and enjoy the first day of your Paris weekend break.
Step 1: Sunrise at the Trocadéro
To kick off your weekend in Paris, wake up early and head to the Trocadéro for the most beautiful Paris sunrise with the Eiffel Tower.
This gigantic square that is directly opposite the Iron Lady offers some of the most beautiful views of the Eiffel Tower which becomes even more magical at sunrise.
The best part is that at sunrise, there will be very few people at the square which means that you’ll get the perfect sunrise photos without people in them since the Trocadéro is one of the best Eiffel Tower photo spots.
Step 2: Have a French breakfast
There is no way you can enjoy a weekend Paris trip without indulging in a French breakfast. And since at this time, the Eiffel Tower will not yet be open, the best way to use your time is to have breakfast if you didn’t have one at your hotel.
There are a number of cafes near the Trocadéro, so you can just pop in one and enjoy a Parisian breakfast which usually includes the famous croissant, baguette, butter/jam, tea/coffee, and anything you’d like to try on the French breakfast menu!
Some of the cafes/restaurants near the Trocadéro where you can have breakfast include; Café du Trocadéro, Le Malakoff, Les Gourmandises Du Trocadero if you just want a quick bite for breakfast, etc.
Step 3: Stroll through the Trocadéro gardens
After enjoying a nice breakfast, head back to Trocadéro and stroll through the gardens. The gardens are a beautiful place to take in the views of the Eiffel Tower from another dimension.
Stop and take some photos of the beautiful Fountain of Warsaw which creates a magnificent backdrop of the Eiffel Tower photos.
Continue walking down until you reach the Eiffel Tower. If you reach early before the opening time, you can stroll around the Champs de Mars which is another beautiful park where the Eiffel Tower sits.
Step 4: Climb the Eiffel Tower
Even if you’re just in Paris for a weekend, you can’t leave the city without climbing the Eiffel Tower as it’s one of the best things to do in Paris.
The Eiffel Tower, which is the international symbol for France is one of the most visited attractions in the country and the most photographed one.
Constructed by Gustave Eiffel between 1887 to 1889, the tower is also the most-visited paid monument in the world and it would be a shame to miss it on your weekend to Paris.
One of the advantages of visiting the Eiffel Tower in the morning is that the queues are not quite long yet so you don’t waste time since you want to get the most out of your 2 days in Paris.
To make your climb even faster, I recommend buying this skip-the-line ticket that will give you priority access to the second floor and if you want to take in the stunning views of Paris, I recommend buying this skip-the-line ticket to the summit.
While some people choose to take the steps for an even more thrilling experience, I recommend booking a ticket with the lift since the idea is to make good use of your time during this Paris weekend trip.
The idea of climbing the Tower might be exciting, but there is nothing more magical than the views you’ll get when you reach the top, from Paris’ rooftops, Notre Dame Cathedral, Sacré Coeur, the beautiful bridges of Paris with the Seine under them, to the Arc de Triomphe!
Climbing the Eiffel Tower is truly one of the best things to do on a Paris weekend getaway.
Pst… If you want to learn more about the tower and its history, you can book this highly recommended tour with a friendly and knowledgeable tour guide to answer all your questions about the Iron Lady.
After climbing the Eiffel Tower, which should take you 2-3 hours depending on how long you want to stay, take a subway to the Arc de Triomphe.
Step 5: Visit the Arc de Triomphe
Another stop on your trip to Paris in a weekend is the famous Arc de Triomphe on the western end of the Champs-Élysées Avenue.
Arc de Triomphe is a Parisian monument that honors the soldiers that fought and died for France during the French Revolution and Napoleon Wars.
The Arc itself is very impressive with the names of all the French victories and generals inscribed on it as well as the eternal flame that keeps burning beneath it in honor of an unknown soldier from world war I but what’s even more surreal are the views it gives when you climb to its observation deck.
In my opinion, Arc de Triomphe offers the most beautiful views of Paris. From seeing the Eiffel Tower, the view of the 12 roads as they diverge from the Arc itself, the Louvre Museum, the entire Champs-Elysées stretch, to Grande Arche de La Défense, nothing beats such a view!
But since Arc de Triomphe is a popular tourist spot, you’re bound to have long queues there and the best way to skip them is to buy this entry ticket in advance.
You can also read my post on the interesting facts about the Arc de Triomphe to have an idea about it before your visit.
Click here to buy your skip-the-line ticket to the Arc de Triomphe
Step 6: Stroll along the Champs-Elysées
After enjoying the views from the Arc de Triomphe, the next thing to do on your weekend break to Paris is to stroll the Champs-Elysées which is one of the most beautiful avenues in the world.
The avenue is full of world re-known clothing brands and it’s perfect for people who want to shop some of France’s best fashion brands from French shoes, French handbags, French luxury jewelry, and more! But you also need to know that it’s an expensive street to shop on so be ready to dig deep in your pocket.
But even if you don’t end up buying anything from there, just window shopping will still be enjoyable as you explore Paris’ best shopping hub.
From luxury brands like Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co, and Lacoste to affordable brands like Gap, Zara, and Sephora, you can’t fail to get anything from here.
While the avenue might be known for shopping, it’s not the only thing there is to do, there are so many restaurants to dine at and this will be the perfect place to have a quick lunch and also indulge yourself in some of the French parties.
If you don’t know which pastries to try, check out my post about the must-try pastries in Paris.
Step 6: Visit the Pont Alexandre III, Grand Palace, and Petit Palace.
Pont Alexandre III is the most beautiful bridge in Paris in my opinion. The bridge offers stunning views of the Eiffel Tower, the Invalides, and the entire area is just too beautiful to miss.
However, I suggest not spending so much time here but rather just taking a stroll and taking in all the views you can. I recommend walking up to the Invalides just to capture photos of this impressive building, admire the architecture, and turn back.
On your way back, stroll past the Grand Palace and Petit Palace which are just 3 minutes from the Pont Alexandre III.
But since you’re just in Paris for the weekend, there is not enough time to enter both palaces but just a stroll outside will be enough.
And to be honest, even if you’re a bit short on time, I highly recommend checking out this entire area as it’s incredibly beautiful.
From here our Paris weekend guide leads us to Montmarte! Just take the subway and you’ll be there in a few minutes.
Step 7: Visit Montmartre – Maison Rose restaurant, street artists, and the Love wall
Montmartre is one of the most charming districts in Paris that you have to see on your 2-day weekend in Paris trip.
The entire district is full of charm, artistic and chic vibe that can’t be found anywhere in Paris.
From the cute Montamatre restaurants & cafes, cobblestoned pretty streets, and the stunning basilica, to the brimming art, this district on the top of a hill is a must-visit.
I know most people would want to go straight to the Sacré-Cœur instantly since it’s the most famous attraction in the district but I recommend starting with just strolling the streets of Montmartre to fully understand its charm.
You can start your walk at Rue de l’Abreuvoir which is one of the prettiest streets in Paris! This street is famous for having the popular Maison Rose restaurant (the pink house) which is actually now a famous Instagram spot.
But even if the Maison Rose restaurant stands out, the entire street is incredibly beautiful and you can find other cute houses that are worth stopping for.
And if you walk till the end of the street, you’ll be able to see how incredibly beautiful it is with a sneak peek of the Sacré-Cœur.
Another beautiful street to stroll around in Montmartre is the Rue du chevalier de la barre. This is the street that leads to the Sacré-Cœur which means that you get to have a view of the famous Basilica. You can also check out Rue Norvins and the famous Le Consulat restaurant.
Honestly, there are so many cool things to do in Montmartre that it’s hard to see everything if you’re just staying in Paris for a weekend but another thing not to miss is watching the street painters at Place du Tertre.
Over 300 artists are licensed to work from here and you’ll see a number of tourists sitting and being drawn by the artists. The place is also home to a number of notable cafes and restaurants that bring out the real charm of Montmartre.
And if you walk to Pigalle district which is also known as the red light area of Paris, you will spot Moulin Rouge where the famous Cabaret dance happens.
But don’t take long here as you’ll be back later, the idea is to see the place during the day and appreciate the entire vibe this area brings out.
If you’re still up for the walk, I recommend heading to the Love Wall. This wall is a love-themed wall of 40 square metres in the Jehan Rictus garden square that depicts the phrase “I love you” 311 times in 250 languages.
After taking a long stroll in Montmartre, now head to the famous Sacré-Cœur. It’s a must-see even if you’re only spending one weekend in Paris.
Step 8: Visit Sacré-Cœur Basilica
Perched on a hill in Montmartre which is also the highest point in the whole of Paris, Sacré-Cœur is one of the best places to visit in Paris.
Built at the end of the 19th century in the Romano-Byzantine style, its exterior architecture is as impressive as its interior.
The ceiling of the Sacré-Cœur is beautifully decorated with the largest mosaic in France and the archways plus the hand-painted murals of the biblical scenes in the basilica will take your breath away.
Don’t just stop there, the crypt that is usually forgotten by some people is incredibly impressive as well.
But what’s even more impressive are the stunning views you get when you go to the dome. You will be able to see the entire Paris and the views are mindblowing.
From the towers of the basilica itself, the le Parvis of Sacré Coeur, Notre Dame Cathedral, Invalides, the Eiffel Tower, to the business district of Paris, you can see absolutely everything from here and that’s why it makes it to the list of what to do in Paris for a weekend.
If you followed this Paris weekend itinerary, it should be sunset time by now and you’ll get to watch one of the most beautiful sunsets in Paris from the top of the Sacré-Cœur.
And the best thing about visiting the basilica is that it’s absolutely free and you only need to pay 6€ if you want to climb to the dome for the views.
And while you’re there, don’t forget to see one of Paris’ famous illusions — the sinking house! It might look like an ordinary house but when viewed from the steps of the Sacré-Cœur, it looks like it’s sinking into grass creating a picture-perfect spot!
Pro tip* I know it seems like a lot to navigate Montmartre and the Sacré-Cœur but it’s totally doable. But if you still feel like you need guidance, then I recommend taking this amazing combined guided tour of Montmartre and Sacré-Cœur. The guide will take you to the must-see places in the district and will also give you more info about the basilica while visiting this magnificent site.
After an amazing time at the Sacré-Cœur, it’s time to wind down your day at the Moulin Rouge.
Step 9: Watch a cabaret show at Moulin Rouge
To wind down the busy first day of your weekend in Paris, head to Moulin Rouge to watch an incredible Cabaret show.
There is no denying that the show is expensive but it’s also worth every penny! And there is nothing as rewarding as seeing the beautifully dressed dazzling dancers that will help you shake off the day’s fatigue.
The show has two openings, one at 9 pm and another one at 11 pm! But since day 2 of your weekend in Paris will also be packed with activities, I recommend going for the 9 pm show so that you can get enough sleep during the night.
And you also have to remember that these shows sell out super fast so you need to buy your ticket way in advance. You can buy this ticket if you want to have dinner with it or this cabaret ticket if you just want to watch the show without dinner.
Pro tip* However exciting is it to have dinner at the show, it is still expensive. So if you don’t have it in your budget, I suggest having dinner at one of the many restaurants in Montmartre before the show so that you just pay for the show without dinner — but at least don’t skip the champagne.
Yay, you made it to the end of day 1 of your weekend break in Paris and now it’s time to prepare for day 2 and make sure that you have enough sleep.
Day 2 of your weekend trip in Paris
Just like day 1, day 2 is also gonna be packed with lots of activities so you’ll need to wake up early as well to get the most out of your weekend in Paris.
Step 1: Go to Place de la Concorde
Place de la Concorde is one of the major squares in Paris and also the largest in the city.
But unlike other squares in Paris, this one is mostly famous for the Luxor Obelisk — a 3,300-year-old Egyptian obelisk gifted to France by Egypt and the most fascinating fact is that even at its size, (23 meters high ) it was just shipped from Egypt to France in its entirety.
The other two monumental things to see at Place de la Concorde are Fontaine des Mers and Fontaine des Fleuves.
Step 2: Stroll through Jardin de Tuileries
Since Place de la Concorde is right next to Jardin des Tuileries, (actually they separate the Louvre from the Place de la Concorde) the next item on your Paris weekend itinerary would be walking through one of the most beautiful parks in Paris.
Being the biggest park in Paris, the Tuileries Gardens boast a variety of tree and flower species that botanical lovers will appreciate. But even if you’re not a huge fan of plants, the beautiful colorful flowers will draw your attention.
And while you’re strolling, stop at the central fountain where you’ll have a picture-perfect view of the Arc de Triomphe, the Champs-Élysées, and the Luxor Obelisk.
The Tuileries Gardens are also a great warm-up to see the Louvre as they’re like an open-air museum with lots of sculptures and statues.
Step 3: Cross the street and visit Pont des Arts (Optional)
If you still have some time before the Louvre opens, then cross the street from the Tuileries Gardens and head to Pont des Arts.
Pont des Arts is a pedestrian bridge that crosses the Seine but it’s mostly famous for being the “original” love lock bridge in Paris where lovers attach padlocks with their first names or initials engraved on them as a sign of love, though love locks can be seen on almost every bridge in Paris.
However, now the authorities encourage tourists not to leave love locks on this bridge as the weight of over 700, 000 locks started to weigh it down! Actually part of the parapet on the bridge collapsed in 2014 due to the weight and it was just replaced.
So when you visit, don’t add any more locks but rather take photos, enjoy the views of the Seine and a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower, and a sneak peek of the Orsay museum.
Step 4: Have breakfast
After a quick visit to the Pont des Arts, you can go and take a quick breakfast. There are so many restaurants and cafes near Places Vendome, so you can just go to any.
Step 5: Explore the Louvre Museum
If you’re wondering what to do on a weekend in Paris, then visiting the Louvre Museum is one of them. The museum is the largest art museum in the entire world.
Home to the famous Mona Lisa painting, the Louvre Museum houses over 38,000 works of art that will take your breath away.
But with all those artworks on display, it’s hard to see everything in one visit. In fact, even if you spend 1 second at each display, you’ll need months to see everything.
And now that you’re just in Paris for a weekend and in the museum for just a few hours, you’ll need to strategize on what to see and what not to see.
Whether it is the Italian Artwork and Paintings, the French, African, Asian, or Oceania and the Americas you want to see or only the most famous artwork in the Louvre.
Regardless of what you choose to visit, I recommend at least 3 hours in the museum to at least get a feel of the Louvre and enjoy all the amazing artwork.
Some of my favorite pieces and the most famous artworks to see in the Louvre include; the Venus de Milo, Liberty Leading the People, Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss, the Coronation of Napoleon, the Winged Victory of Samothrace, the Raft of the Medusa, and of course the famous Mona Lisa.
And while you’re planning to visit the Louvre, I recommend buying this ticket in advance to skip the long lines as you can be sure you’ll find them. You can also check out my previous post for more ways to skip the long lines in Paris.
Also, to fully enjoy your visit to the Louvre, I recommend taking a guided tour like this one with knowledgeable guides that will tell you everything about each piece you visit while guiding you to where to go and what to see because it is so easy to get lost in this grand museum.
I personally can’t remember how many times I moved in circles the first time I visited the Louvre because I thought I’d do great on my own! But no, booking a guided tour is the best way to visit the Louvre and this is the tour I recommend taking.
Pro tip* Before you go, you might want to read some facts about the Louvre to get a deeper understanding of this famous museum.
Step 6: Have lunch
After hours of exploring the magnificent Louvre museum, you’ll be tired and hungry, so it’s time to take a break and have lunch.
There are so many restaurants near the Louvre but one of the mistakes you’ll make in Paris is eating right next to popular tourist attractions because such restaurants are usually expensive.
But if you don’t mind the price or you’re not a budget traveler, you can just pop in any and enjoy a meal otherwise try to walk a bit far from the Louvre and you’ll be able to find a fairly priced restaurant but also equally good.
Related post: Best restaurants with Eiffel Towe views
Step 7: Go to Île de la Cité – Pont Neuf
Île de la Cité is one of the 2 islands on the Seine in Paris. Though the Island has some of the popular places in Paris, start by admiring Pont Neuf translated as the New Bridge even if it’s actually the oldest bridge in the city.
Continue your walk up to Notre Dame!
Step 9: Admire the famous Notre Dame Cathedral
Notre Dame Cathedral might have suffered during a fire that saw its roof burning down, but it’s still an important landmark to add to your Paris weekend itinerary.
You’ll not be able to enter but you’ll still get to admire it from the outside and appreciate its exterior architecture and at least partially tick it off your Paris bucket list.
Step 10: Check out Shakespeares & Co.
While still in this area, make it a point to visit one of the famous English bookstores in Paris — Shakespeares & Co which is located right next to Notre Dame Cathedral.
The Bookstore which was founded in 1919 used to be a popular gathering spot for then aspiring and renowned writers and poets like Ernest Hemingway, Djuna Barnes, and James Joyce but has now become a popular stop in Paris for tourists.
Step inside and get lost checking out various historical books or just admiring its decor but if books are not your gem, then head up to the second floor to get stunning views of the Notre Dame Cathedral from the store’s window.
Step 10: Be amazed by the stained glass wall at Sainte-Chapelle
Paris might have many beautiful churches but Sainte-Chapelle gotta be the most impressive in my opinion.
I mean it’s not every day that an interior of a building is covered in stained glasses that dazzle in different colors and shapes which makes this royal chapel incredibly beautiful.
Originally built to house Louis IX’s collection of religious relics, including the Crown of Thorns (which was later taken to the Notre Dame Cathedral and later the Louvre since the fire), Sainte-Chapelle is a masterpiece that must not be missed on your weekend trip to Paris.
On top of the stained glass wall, other features of the Sainte- Chapelle that are worth paying attention to include; the Rose window of the upper chapel, the Chasse which held the sacred relics, and other colorful murals of biblical figures.
Also, it’s important to note that the queues can be quite long so you’re better off purchasing this skip-the-line ticket in advance. And if you want to get the most out of your trip, I recommend taking this guided tour.
After taking in that beauty, it’s time to take the metro and go see another Parisian beauty; the Opera Garnier
Step 11: Appreciate the beauty of Palais Garnier
Also known as the Opéra Garnier, Palais Garnier is one of the most famous opera houses in the world.
It houses a number of concerts but since you’re in Paris for a weekend, I don’t recommend watching the show but rather admiring the incredible glamour it showcases.
You can stroll inside and admire its architecture, the famous double staircase leading to the foyers, and the various floors of the theatre. Take your time admiring the grand foyer and take in all the shimmers it comes with.
While you can just visit any time, I recommend purchasing this skip-the-line ticket in advance to avoid wasting your precious time.
You can learn more about it before your visit by reading these Opera Garnier facts!
Step 12: Head to Galerie Lafayette for shopping and sunset views
If you didn’t shop much in the stores at Champs Elysees, then Galerie Lafayette is the perfect spot. In fact, in my opinion, it’s the best place to go shopping in Paris.
With 280 stores housed in this grand Parisian department store, you can find everything and anything here.
From women’s designer collections, children’s clothing, men’s wear, jewelry, French watches, accessories, music, electronics, French skincare products, and more, you can’t fail to get anything from here.
And even if you’re not into shopping, you can just go to glance at the Galeries Lafayette’s famous glass Coupole — a 43 meters glass and steel beautifully decorated rounded dome that has become the symbol of the entire store.
And if that wasn’t enough, Galerie Lafayette offers some of the most beautiful views of Paris if you head to its terrace on the 7th floor.
From here, you can get breathtaking views of the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Garnier Opera House and so much more.
And the best part is that by this time, it will be sunset, so you can be sure that your breath will be taken away when you watch a sunset with some of the major Paris landmarks in the backdrop! Honestly, nothing beats such a view.
Step 13: Relax from a Seine Cruise
To wind up your weekend in Paris itinerary, hop on a seine cruise. There is nothing as relaxing as a cruise on the Seine after a long day of non-stop sightseeing.
A Seine cruise is also the best way to end your Paris weekend trip as you get to appreciate the beauty of Paris at night.
From enjoying the views of the famous attractions and their illuminating lights to watching the Eiffel Tower sparkle for 5 minutes at every top of the hour, a Seine cruise is one of the best things to do in Paris at night.
However, there are so many seine cruises that it can be hard to choose which one to go for but as someone who has taken a number of them, I can confidently recommend this Seine river night cruise. It comes with dinner, so you don’t have to worry about looking for dinner after the cruise.
Pro tip* It gets really cold, so don’t forget to pack a jacket or a fleece to keep you warm.
Step 14: Stroll around the streets of Paris at night (Optional)
It’s very likely that you’re worn out now but if you still have some energy, you can choose to take a stroll in Paris during nighttime to get a glimpse of what the city looks like during the night hours and enjoy the romantic feel of Paris.
But if you’re completely tired after the Seine cruise, you can skip this step and head back to your hotel for a good night’s sleep!
2-day Paris Weekend Itinerary Summary
If you’re looking for things to do in Paris this weekend, then I have no doubt this article will help you!
However, it was soo detailed that a few people might find it overwhelming! If that’s you, then here is a summary of how to spend weekends in Paris.
Day 1 of Your weekend getaway to Paris
- Sunrise at Trocadéro Square
- Have a French breakfast
- Stroll through the Trocadéro gardens
- Climb the Eiffel Tower! Here is the ticket you’ll need!
- Visit the Arc de Triomphe! Purchase your ticket here in advance.
- Stroll along the Champs-Elysées
- Visit the Pont Alexandre III, Grand Palace, and Petit Palace
- Visit Montmartre – Maison Rose restaurant, street artists, and the Love Wall. You can book this walking tour of Montmartre if you’re short on time.
- Visit Sacré-Cœur Basilica
- Watch a cabaret show at Moulin Rouge. Tickets sell out fast, so book your ticket here in advance.
Day 2 Of Your Weekend Trip In Paris
- Go to Place de la Concorde
- Stroll through Jardin de Tuileries
- Visit Pont des Arts
- Have breakfast
- Explore the Louvre Museum. Get your timed entry ticket here.
- Have lunch
- Go to Île de la Cité – Pont Neuf
- Admire the famous Notre Dame Cathedral
- Check out Shakespeares & Co.
- Be amazed by the stained glass wall at Sainte-Chapelle. You’ll need this skip-the-line ticket to avoid the long queues.
- Appreciate the beauty of Palais Garnier. Grab your ticket from here before you go.
- Head to Galerie Lafayette for shopping and sunset views
- Relax from a Seine Cruise. This is the Seine River dinner cruise I recommend.
- Stroll around the streets of Paris at night
FAQs. about visiting Paris for a weekend
If you still have more questions about what to do in Paris this weekend, the FAQs below should answer them.
Can you do Paris in a weekend?
Yes, it’s totally doable and if you follow this Paris weekend itinerary I’ve suggested, you’ll see that you’ll be able to see a reasonable part of Paris.
What to do in Paris in 2 days
This weekend Paris itinerary should have given you a number of ideas on the best things to do in Paris in 2 days but if you’re looking for specific things not to miss, then they are; climbing the Eiffel Tower, appreciating art in the Louvre Museum, going on a Seine cruise, visiting the Sacré-Cœur Basilica and taking in panoramic views of Paris from the Arc de Triomphe.
How much does a weekend trip to Paris cost?
This is such a tricky question to answer as it totally depends on your traveling style. Are you a backpacker, mid-range, or luxury traveler? Will you eat at fancy restaurants or at bistros?
There are so many factors that come into play that it can be hard to come up with a round figure to spend on a weekend in Paris. From where you’re traveling from (flight fares or train fares differ a lot etc.) to the kind of way you travel.
But to give you an idea of how to create a budget for your weekend trip to Paris, I linked to activities you’ll probably do with their prices and some hotels depending on your budget. You can compile those prices plus your flight fare and that should give you an idea of what to spend in Paris on a weekend trip.
However, on average, I’d say plan for 200 Euros a day if your budget is a bit limited! This includes your hotel, food, and some activities. For mid-range, anywhere between 200-300 Euros. But again, it depends on your travel style.
Is 2 days in Paris enough?
If you’re planning a quick trip to Paris on the weekend, you might wonder if, in fact, a weekend in Paris is enough!
The simple answer is No! But don’t feel bad about that because I live in Paris and I haven’t seen everything this city offers, so you won’t be able to see it in 2 days either!
However, with 2 days in Paris, you’ll be able to see the city’s highlights like the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Montmartre, and more.
You’ll not be able to see its surrounding cities, take day trips, or even discover some hidden gems, but you’ll get a good introduction to it which I believe is enough to say you’ve seen a bit of Paris and maybe even make you want to return sometime.
So if you have just a weekend, don’t be afraid to make that trip! If you follow this weekend in Paris itinerary, I guarantee you’ll see quite a number of things. You can also use this article if you’re looking for what to do in Paris on a Saturday.
Final Thoughts on the best weekend itinerary in Paris
If you were looking for what to do in Paris for a weekend, I hope that this Paris weekend itinerary gave you ideas of what to do in Paris in 2 days.
Yes, it might seem like a lot but I know it’s totally doable if you wake up early and be committed to doing as much as possible.
But remember that you don’t have to follow this weekend Paris itinerary religiously. If an activity I suggested doesn’t work for you, just replace it with another one that you’d like to do.
Have you been to Paris before? How many days did you spend in the city and which activities were you able to do?
Let me know in the comment section below and if you’re planning some weekend trips to Paris and have questions, still leave them in the comments below and I will answer them asap.
Check out these posts to help you plan your trip to Paris
- Big mistakes to avoid in Paris
- Things to Pack for Paris
- Best Eiffel Tower photo spots in Paris
- Where to stay in Paris
- Best hotels in Paris with an Eiffel Tower view
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