Weekend In Paris – The Perfect 2-Day Itinerary

Do you have a long weekend coming up and are planning for a weekend getaway in Paris?

From famous boulevards and museums, monumental sites, the Seine and the notorious view of the Eiffel Tower, there are definitely a handful of places to see in Paris.

It is no wonder that Paris is considered the city of love and one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

In this post, I will be sharing how to spend a 2-day weekend in Paris with places to see, things to do, and where to stay and eat to help you plan an unforgettable weekend in Paris.

Summary of Weekend Trip in Paris Itinerary

Please note that this itinerary considers the locations of Paris attractions, the time spent visiting each of them and the time spent traveling in between them.

This Paris two-day itinerary covers the best of Paris:

Day 1

  • Notre Dame 
  • Louvre Museum
  • Jardin des Tuileries
  • Place de la Concorde
  • Champs-Élysées

Day 2

  • Eiffel Tower
  • Opera Garnier
  • Sacré-Cœur Basilica
  • Moulin Rouge

Weekend in Paris – Day 1 Detailed Itinerary

Notre Dame

Notre Dame - weekend in Paris

We start the first day of your Paris weekend itinerary by visiting Cathédrale Notre-Dame. The Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, or in English, “Our Lady of Paris,” is one of Paris’s most prominent Gothic monuments.

The beauty of its striking architecture is still evident though most parts of the building were damaged by the great fire in 2019.

The church currently doesn’t receive any visitors until December 2024. Even so, you can still visit its bewildering skeleton and walk through the storyboards in front of the building, which explains the timeline of the repair since the fire event.

Suppose you revisit Paris in the future, then visit the interior and get soaked into this monument’s history.

Stop by a cafeteria in a small street to get a nice cup of coffee just next to the cathedral and enjoy the view of the church while you can.

As for now, taking momentary photos in front of this iconic cathedral is what you can do.

Most parts of the building are covered in scaffolding, so I suggest going to the bridge just across the cathedral, Petit Pont Cardinal Lustiger, to snap a photo of the view of the building overviewing the River Seine.

If you want to get in-depth into the storied history of Notre Dame and see the old city’s foundation, you might be interested in joining this Paris: Notre Dame Outdoor Walking Tour with Crypt Entry.

Metro: Line 4 (Purple), Cité.

Louvre Museum

If you are a museum enthusiast, there is no better way to spend your Paris weekend trip than visiting the infamous Louvre Museum!

Located in the heart of the city, Louvre Museum used to be a former palace and is deemed to be the largest museum in the world.

It is usually easily discernible by its beautiful Renaissance style and the glass and metal pyramids built in the Louvre Palace’s central courtyard.

The museum holds many other valuable sculptures, artifacts, treasures and masterpiece paintings, such as the renowned portrait of Monalisa.

The Louvre Museum is open daily except on Tuesdays. If you are a Paris Museum Pass holder, remember to book your visit slot and present proof of the booking. 

Visitors can visit the museum free of charge each first Friday of the month after 6 pm or for visitors aged under 18 years old with proof of official ID.

Spend at least 3 hours visiting most of the exhibitions in the museum. 

Once your visit is done, head straight to Le Café Marly for a nice lunch at its open-air passageway overlooking the Louvre. Make a reservation online to book a table and avoid disappointment.

Grab this Paris: Louvre Museum Guided Tour with Skip the Line Entrance if you want a skip-the-queue entrance and guided tour.

Metro: Line 1 (Yellow), Louvre-Rivoli.

Jardin des Tuileries

Just across the Louvre Museum is the Jardin des Tuileries – the iconic French garden in the heart of Paris. 

Dubbed the royal garden of the Louvre Palace, this garden is styled to give out the Parisian vibe and elaborate landscape area, where you can see greenery, flower beds, paths, fountains and statues.

There are seats around the fountains, which provide a place to chill while enjoying the view of La Concorde and the giant Ferris Wheel on the other side of the park.

Visiting the garden during spring is a plus, as you can set up a picnic with baguette or French pastries to enjoy while appreciating the sun.

The garden is currently accessible to the public free of charge.

Suppose you want to appreciate the masterpieces by Renoir, Monet, and Manet. In that case, you may also visit Musée d’Orsay, located just across the garden. Or take this Paris: Musée d’Orsay Guided Tour to utilize your time effectively and fully.

Metro: Line 1 (Yellow), Tuileries.

Place de la Concorde

As you stroll across the greeneries of the garden, you will see a big and busy square decorated with fountains, statues and an astounding Egyptian obelisk, where lies Place de la Concorde.

This square has a gruesome history as it used to be where King Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette and the bourgeois once guillotined in this very square.

The square was then renamed Place de la Revolution before being changed to its current name.

Visiting this square is a nice pit stop before continuing to the Avenue Champs-Élysées as it gives a great view of the Arc de Triomphe & the Eiffel Tower.

From here, walk up to the Avenue Champs-Élysées. Alternatively, you may also take the Paris metro to get to the mid-section of the avenue.

Metro: Line 1 (Yellow), Concorde.

Champs-Élysées

From the square, head down to Avenue Champs-Élysées, which runs through Jardin des Champs-Élysées and a few impressive buildings such as Petit Palais and Grand Palais.

This avenue is situated in the 8th arrondissement of Paris. It is well-known for its high-end shops, cafés, restaurants, cinemas and departmental stores stretching over 1.9km, ideal for strolling and shopping during the first day of your weekend.

The avenue ends at the opposite side of L’arc de Triomphe, one of the main symbols in Paris alongside the Eiffel Tower.

The monument was built to commemorate the military victories during the Napoleon era.

Take the trip to the terrace of the Arc of Triomphe to get a bird’s eye view of Paris. You can access the monument using the Paris Pass to get into the line directly or purchase this Paris: Arc de Triomphe Entry with Seine Cruise in advance.

Tips:

  • Come at the opening hour, 10 am, before it gets flooded with tourists.
  • You can also opt to visit in the evening to experience the Eiffel Tower light show. It usually takes place from 8 pm to 1 am during the first 5 minutes of each hour.
  • Buy tickets online to save yourself from standing in the ticket-buying line, but you might still need to stand in line for security for a while.
  • You may take the circular stairs to get to the top, but elevators are also available if you do not feel like climbing up the stairs.
  • Take the iconic photo of the avenue with the background of the Arc of Triomphe when crossing the street. Stop for a while in between the road where the traffic lights are, quickly make your pose, and snap the photo!

Metro: Line 1 (Yellow), Champs-Élysées Clemenceau/Franklin D. Roosevelt/George V 

Weekend in Paris – Day 2 Detailed Itinerary

Eiffel Tower

Welcome to day two of your Parisian adventure, where we will explore one of the world’s most iconic landmarks – the Eiffel Tower!

Whether you’re visiting Paris for a romantic weekend or to take in the city of light, you’re only in Paris with the Eiffel Tower being the highlight of your trip!

Take the metro line 6 (green) and stop at the Trocadéro metro station. Heads up to Place du Trocadéro, a massive square decorated with statues, and take as many photos with the background of the Eiffel Tower to your heart’s content.

Alternatively, you can climb down to Jardin de Trocadéro, where you will find a big fountain to take more photos. This is one of the main venues where the final part of the Paris Olympic 2024 Opening Ceremony will be staged.

Cross the Pont d’Iéna which connects the Eiffel Tower with the Jardin de Trocadéro.

As you approach the tower, your heart might start racing at the thought of climbing the stairs, but fear not! Elevators are also available, so you can choose the route that suits you best. 

Once you reach the summit of the tower, you’ll be treated to a spectacular view of the city that will take your breath away.

The city’s famous landmarks stretch out before you – the Seine River, the Basilique du Sacré-Cœur, the Arc de Triomphe, and the Notre Dame Cathedral, to name a few. 

For a more personalized experience, get this 3-Course Lunch at Madame Brasserie in Eiffel Tower.

Tips when visiting the Eiffel Tower:

  • It is best to buy your tickets prior to the visit to avoid the long lines at the base of the tower. If you wish to get to the summit with a guide, grab this Paris: Eiffel Tower Guided Tour by Elevator.
  • Plan your visit early morning or late afternoon to avoid large crowds and when the light is most beautiful.
  • Climbing up the tower during winter might be challenging as it will get freezing and windy on top – remember to wear thicker clothes!

Once you’re done with your visit, relax and chill at the Champs de Mars, a vast garden just next to the tower. Don’t miss having a picnic in this garden with a clearer view of the tower if you are visiting Paris during spring or summer, 

Opera Garnier

Undoubtedly, one of the best places to visit in this iconic capital city is the Opera Garnier.

This stunning opera house boasts impressive architecture and opulent interiors, making it an unforgettable experience for anyone who loves music, theatre, or art. 

The most prominent feature of the Opera Garnier is the Chagall ceiling, which is covered in vibrant colors and intricate designs that are truly breathtaking.

The grand chandelier that hangs above the auditorium is another iconic feature of this stunning theatre.

In addition to the fantastic architecture and stunning decor, Opera Garnier is also known for its spectacular performances.

The theatre has hosted some of the world’s most prestigious productions, including ballets, operas, and orchestral concerts.

The most famous story associated with the Opera Garnier is the tale of the Phantom of the Opera.

This haunting story has captured the imagination of millions worldwide, and the Opera Garnier is the perfect setting for experiencing it firsthand.

The grand staircase – Grand Ecalier is a popular spot for photos for visitors looking to capture a piece of this history. 

Purchase your ticket here to avoid long lines.

Metro: Line 7 (Pink) & Line 8 (Purple), Opéra

Basilique du Sacré-Cœur

Basilique du Sacré-Cœur is a must-see when visiting Paris. It is deemed as one of the city’s best places to visit and popular tourist attractions. 

Situated atop a hill in Montmartre, it offers a stunning view of the city of love. Without a doubt, reaching the basilica requires some effort but it is worth every step. You can get there by funicular or climbing the stairs.

The Basilique is also known as the Sacred Heart of Paris and it was constructed between 1875 and 1914. The exterior is made of travertine stone from Château-Landon and Montmartre, which gives the Basilique its beautiful white color, visible from many places in the city. 

Quaint, narrow and cobblestoned streets surround the Basilique with souvenir shops and eateries.

However, please be extra careful of panhandlers and con artists sneaking around the staircase trying to lure clueless tourists with fake goods and services.

To avoid the steep climb and the hagglers, catch the metro to Lamarck Caulaincourt (line 12) and enjoy the short stroll to the Basilique. 

Alternatively, you can take the metro to Anvers (line 2) which stops at the front entrance of the Basilique.

If you wish to know more about the Montmartre area, join this tour- Paris: Hidden Gems of Montmartre with a Local Guide.

Moulin Rouge

Moulin Rouge is a famous cabaret located in Montmartre, one of the most picturesque neighborhoods in Paris.

This iconic venue is just a stone’s throw from the stunning Basilique du Sacré-Cœur. It is a famous site in Paris for anyone visiting the city of lights.

It is famous for its vibrant and dynamic atmosphere, where visitors can enjoy the talents of dancers, singers, and acrobats as they perform in exotic costumes that perfectly complement the show’s vivid and colorful aesthetic.

The Moulin Rouge experience is not just about the mesmerizing performance; it is also about indulging in a delicious dinner from a menu of traditional French cuisine while enjoying the spectacle.

However, booking in advance is strongly recommended as the Moulin Rouge sells out quickly, especially during peak tourist season. You can grab your seat at Moulin Rouge here.

Being able to spend a weekend in Paris by watching a show at the Moulin Rouge will be an experience you will remember sometime soon. 

Where to eat in Paris?

Travel to Paris is incomplete without trying out French specialties.

From pastries, macarons, coffee and restaurants with great French cuisine, Paris has a lot to offer.

Everyday Parisian has a comprehensive list of places to eat and drink in Paris.

I love going to the food street (Rue de la Roquette & Rue de Lappe) in the Bastille area as there are many restaurants to choose from, whether it’s French cuisine or Asian cuisine.

As for pastries & bread, I prefer buying from artisans’ bakeries and local pastries shops that can be found anywhere around Paris, as I found their quality is better and cheaper than the ones found near the tourist attractions.

Where to Stay in Paris?

Budget – If you want a cozy place to crash in without breaking the bank, then Auberge de jeunesse Hosho Paris Sud – Porte d’Italie will suit you best. It provides clean and stylish dormitories with a great breakfast. If privacy is your concern, check out ibis Daumesnil Porte Doree too. Both are located in good locations and are accessible easily by metro.

Mid-range – Hotel Villa Nicolo and Hôtel de Roubaix are highly rated on Booking.com. Both are strategically located with many key point landmarks, metro stations, eateries and supermarkets easily accessible from the hotels. 

Luxury – If you are looking to splurge for your long weekend in Paris, Four Seasons Hotel George V Paris should be your top choice of hotel in Paris. Located in central Paris, next to the famous Avenue Champs-Elysées, this hotel provides spectacular views of Paris, where you can see the Eiffel Tower directly from your private balcony. It also provides spa and Michelin restaurants where you can experience French Cuisine at its finest.

More Fun Things to Do in Paris

Day Trip From Paris

Do you have more than 2 days in Paris and are searching for a city break from Paris? Search no more! Below are some of the possible places perfect for a getaway from Paris:

Trip to Paris – How to Get There?

If you’re planning a weekend trip to Paris, the first thing you’ll need to consider is how to get there.

A few options are available; you can reach France by flight, bus, car, or train.

If you’re traveling from outside of France, you’ll likely want to fly into one of Paris’s airports. Charles de Gaulle Airport is the most prominent and well-connected, while Orly Airport has more domestic flights.

Once you arrive, you’ll have a few options for getting into the city center. The most inexpensive way is to take the RER train. You may also grab a taxi or Uber to Paris City for more convenience, but it will be more costly.

If you’re thinking of taking the train, it depends on where you’re coming from and where you’re staying in Paris. The main train stations in Paris where most European trains depart and arrive are Gare de l’Est, Gare du Nord and Gare Lyon Depardieu.

Another way to get to Paris is by bus. Check out Eurolines and Flixbus, which serve international bus lines across Europe.

You may also use the carpooling service under Blablacar. I have tried using it before and I totally recommend using Blablacar if you want to get to your destination comfortably while not ripping off your wallet.

Make sure to consider the travel time when planning out your weekend itinerary. If you’d prefer to drive to Paris, be aware that the city has a reputation for being difficult to navigate and find parking.

Some park-and-ride systems are available on the city’s outskirts, but these may not be the most convenient or cost-effective for a short weekend stay. 

How to Get Around Paris?

Paris is a big city, thus using the metro is the best way to get around the city as the metro system in Paris is extensive and reliable.

Since no two-day travel passes are available for the metro, I recommend you buy the Mobilis travel pass for unlimited travel in Zone 1 & 2 (within the peripheric of Paris).

The ticket is valid for only one day. Thus, you will have to purchase another one on the next day.

The tickets can be purchased directly from any metro, RER, or tram stations and at all bus booth sales. 

Another way to explore Paris is by using this Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour with an Optional Cruise with the possibility of buying a 24-hour or 48-hour ticket.

I hope the Paris 2-Day Itinerary has helped you to plan a perfect weekend in Paris! 

You may find other things to do on GetYourGuide or visit Booking.com to find the best hotels deals to stay in Paris.

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