Paris is usually a “must” destination on trips both to France in particular and to Europe in general.
City of fashion, light, and cinema, capital of France but also of the 19th century and fundamental to understanding the 20th century… Can you reach a certain number of days to get to know this endless city? Yes… And no.
Time is precious, especially for those of us who like to travel, and knowing how to manage it is an apprenticeship that can take…a lifetime! That’s why, in this post, we will share a one-week itinerary in Paris.
In case you only have 7 days to get to know this city, you can make the most of it. Here we go!
The Best of Paris in One Week
Depending on the arrival time, the itinerary may vary. But, as every traveler knows, you start traveling before the trip, and you arrive before you set foot in your destination.
Where are we going? Let’s make a plan! Always plan everything.
Day 1 in Paris. Eiffel Tower
If we arrive with some time to take advantage of the afternoon or, at least, the sunset, the ideal thing would be to visit the Eiffel Tower.
The Eiffel Tower needs no further introduction. Almost everyone knows the Eiffel Tower; they have seen it in posters, movies, books, etc. It is perhaps the most symbolic monument in Paris, even though it was hated at first. (But that’s another story)
The Eiffel Tower, named after the French architect who built it, is an iron structure about 300 meters high that is fascinating in itself and also allows you to appreciate the surroundings in a special way.
Located at Champ de Mars 5, Av. Anatole France, several streets are offered as possible ways to reach it, either from one side or the other of the Seine.
The Tower is mainly surrounded by the following avenues: Av. De Suffren, Av. Charles Floquet, Av. Elisée Recius, Av. De la Bourdonnais, Av Joseph Bouvard, Quai Jacques Chirac.
If you are coming from the other side of the Seine, from the Jardins du Trocadéro, you must cross the Pont d’léna to access the Tower in all its splendor.
From the Musée d’Orsay and Des Invalides area you can take Quai d’Orsay, Rue de l’Université, or Rue Saint-Dominique heading west towards the Champ de Mars where the Tower is located.
Finally, from the Grenelle area, the following streets are offered as possible routes: Quai de Grenelle, Rue Jean Rey, Rue Desaix, or Rye de Presies to the east until you reach the Champ de Mars.
To make the most of this visit, we recommend purchasing tickets in advance to avoid lines and waiting times, which can be considerable.
Anyway, if for some reason that seems impossible, just be patient. After waiting in so many places, waiting at the Eiffel Tower doesn’t seem so bad, does it?
But why the Eiffel Tower at sunset? Because it is “the” monument of Paris and, at the same time, an ideal place to take pictures and have some of the most beautiful panoramic views of the city.
The light of the sunset contributes to the beauty of the whole: the urban landscape that mixes gray with the beige colors of its walls, the blues and reds of its roofs, and the green of trees and the gardens.
Moreover, we could arrive earlier, and find ourselves there, just like in the movie “Before Sunset” (Linklater, 2004). Did we say Paris is the city of love? That film will tell us why.
Depending on your arrival time, either visit the Eiffel Tower to take pictures of it or get some tickets and go to the top. The best time of day to climb the Eiffel Tower is before sunset.
Of course, the more time we have, the more you can extend this experience.
In any case, the Eiffel Tower is located in front of the Trocadero Gardens and relatively close to other points of interest, such as the banks of the Seine or Les Invalides.
If you have a little bit more time, we highly recommend you take a free tour around the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe.
Take advantage of free tours and make the best of them. Basically, every hour, there are new groups that we can join without major complications.
Day 2 in Paris: L’Île de la Cité
Once the Eiffel Tower has been visited, the list of destinations in Paris should include the Notre Dame Cathedral and its surroundings.
Notre-Dame De Paris
This Cathedral, famous for its rich and varied history and for its prominence in the life of the city, is located on the Ile de la Cité in the 4th arrondissement.
It is an emblem of Paris, a dream for lovers of Gothic architecture, and a must for tourists in the city.
In addition to being one of the oldest cathedrals in the world, it is part of a World Heritage Site.
The construction of Notre Dame started in 1163 and lasted for almost two centuries, being modified throughout its subsequent history. It presents numerous attractions on its exterior as well as in its interior.
To continue with the film references, in addition to Before Sunset (2004), we can see the Cathedral in Arde Notre-Dame (2022), Hugo (2011), The House of Jack (2018), or the classic Breathless (1960).
Also in the children’s classics, Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996) and Ratatouille (2007).
For book lovers, the novel Our Lady of Paris (1831), by Victor Hugo gave the Cathedral the fame it deserved. It tells the story of Quasimodo and other characters that gave rise to these films.
Latin Quarter of Paris
Before or after the visit to the Cathedral, we recommend taking a free tour of the Latin Quarter, especially in the morning, when you can walk through it at your leisure.
At midday, when the body needs to stop for a while and relax, it would be ideal for sitting down for lunch in the Latin Quarter. After walking all day, recharge your batteries.
The Latin Quarter is one of the cheapest places in Paris to eat. It is bustling and allows us to get lost among the people and find ourselves again.
Paris is a city that offers so much, and it is better to recover with lunch than with a nap: we need the afternoon to take advantage of other things to do!
In the afternoon, we recommend you visit the Louvre Museum, “the” national museum of France dedicated to fine arts, archeology, decorative arts, and the history in general of various civilizations.
This must-see place is open every day except Tuesdays. Always from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, except on Fridays, when closing hours are extended to 9:45 pm.
As with other historic sites, we encourage you to purchase tickets in advance as tickets are not usually available on the same day. The price is approximately 15 euros.
What will we see at the Louvre? Whatever we can, whatever we want. This former royal palace-turned-museum contains pieces spanning almost 10,000 years of history.
In other words, it will be something like a “selective” time travel. Divided into three wings (Richelieu, Sully, Denon), the palace-museum invites you to travel through various civilizations and histories, from France to ancient Egypt.
Day 3 in Paris
If you didn’t do it the first day because of schedules, fatigue, organization or whatever, don’t miss the opportunity: take the opportunity to start the day by climbing the Eiffel Tower early in the morning.
It never hurts to remember this recommendation for any historical monument that you plan to visit: buy tickets in advance. Yes, in addition to saving time, it allows you to plan the chosen day and time.
After visiting the Tower or, if you have already visited it, after breakfast, it may be time to walk along the Trocadero and travel along the Seine on foot or on a cruise.
These tours not only allow us to get in touch with another form of Paris, but above all to appreciate it from the perspective of integrating the urban with the natural, artistic and architectural.
Let’s start with the “Trocadero,” an expression that refers to several buildings and gardens built for the Universal Exposition of 1937, one of those events in which Paris showed itself to the world as a cultural capital.
In that sense, it is not surprising that what is built for those dates is imposing and majestic. The Gardens, for example, cover some 94,000 square meters.
What’s at the Trocadero? The best answer would be: everything. From incredible views of the Eiffel Tower in the square, with the best perspectives for photos, to historical and artistic attractions in the gardens.
To begin with the Square, built in 1869 during the Second Empire, there we can take the best postcard photos of the Eiffel Tower.
Tourists crowd there to take pictures of the monument from a good angle and perspective.
Then, along the Gardens, which we recommend you walk through at your leisure to stop and appreciate the surroundings, you will find statues and ancient sculptures.
These sculptures can refer to artistic and mythological figures as well as to war commemorations, such as the statue of Marshal Foch on horseback.
Finally, it is also worth mentioning the Chaillot Palace and the Trocadero fountain located right there, which features ponds and water cannons that form a fairytale oasis in the middle of the city.
In the afternoon, the ideal would be to take a new free tour, but this time through another of the flagship neighborhoods of Paris, a symbol of the bohemian and art of the nineteenth and twentieth century, particularly of impressionism Montmartre.
Montmartre is located in the 18th arrondissement. It is an entire neighborhood, with numerous points of interest. Numerous here means very many.
Therefore, we recommend arriving at noon or early in the afternoon and taking a free tour, which will give us a panoramic and comprehensive tour from which we can explore further.
A clarification, perhaps not a minor one: Montmartre is located on a hill, which is why comfortable footwear is not only recommended, comfortable shoes are practically obligatory.
Its atmosphere is magical in itself, with its cobblestones, narrow and cozy streets, that kind of outdoor intimacy of places where different eras coexist.
As for streets and places of interest, we have listed a few in no particular order: rue Lamarck, rue Norvins, rue des Martyrs, rue Saint Rustique, the Sacre Coeur Basilica, the Place du Tertre, the cemetery…
These are some of the places… There we will see cobblestones, artists painting in the street, galleries, places inhabited by historical characters of vital importance for art, among other things.
¡Ah! To continue with the cinema tours: rue Lepic, where the café Les Deux Moulins will allow us to remember the famous Amelie Poulin and the soundtrack of Yann Tiersen, which seems to be the music of the neighborhood.
After such a wonderful day and a lot of walking, the best thing to do is to relax and enjoy a beautiful and elegant dinner.
Since we come from the café Les Deux Moulins and some film locations, we will continue down from Montmartre towards the Moulin… Rouge.
The famous film starring Nicole Kidman is set in this famous Parisian theater that combines both entertainment and gastronomy, making it the perfect ending to this day.
The dinner, in addition to being exquisite, will be set not only in the theater but also accompanied by a special performance for the dinner, including a musical show.
Dinner hours start at 7 p.m., so those who arrive hungrier in the evening will be able to take advantage of the hours. The menus may vary and there are usually three gourmet options to choose from.
Again, it is highly recommended to get tickets in advance. As for prices, they usually start at approximately 120 euros. How far in advance you need to buy your tickets varies according to the season.
If you are traveling in high season or on a significant date such as Valentine’s Day, you need to book at least 2 months in advance, sometimes more. Take a look once you start planning your trip to Paris.
Day 4 in Paris: Visit the Palace of Versailles
Capital cities are always presented as destinations in themselves but also as connection points to other destinations. In addition to visiting the city, we also recommend to visit what’s near.
Paris, in this sense, has several day trips that are very tempting, which we have already mentioned on other occasions.
One of the most recommended, perhaps a must visit for several reasons, from the time available to the proximity and link with the history of Paris, is Versailles.
Visit Versailles in one day
Spending the day at the Palace of Versailles and its gardens is a proposal that includes stations and train rides, royal palaces and gardens, history, art and architecture in equal parts.
To get to Versailles, all you have to do is go to a metro or RER station in Paris. metro or RER station in Paris and look for the train towards Versailles Château Rive Gauche station.
The train ride takes between 60 and 90 minutes depending on the departure point.
In case you prefer to plan everything in advance, you can buy train tickets and palace entrance tickets online in advance..
Once in the Palace, the best thing to do is to let yourself be carried through the various galleries, halls and rooms of the Palace to delve into history, especially from the time of Louis XIV until 1789, the year of the French Revolution.
The history of the Palace of Versailles as the home of the royal family dates back to the 17th century. Its interior is synonymous with imposing, and walking through it is like traveling back in time.
Every detail of the architecture, every salon and every luxury of royalty fascinates and at the same time allows us to understand how the French Revolution came about in the midst of a context of crisis and famine outside the palace.
Particularly interesting, in this sense, are the Galerie des Glaces or Hall of Mirrors and the rooms of Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette, which give us a glimpse of the ways of life of royalty at that time.
Outside the palace, the gardens. These vast territories, with paths and landscapes that served as theaters for numerous walks and secret conversations. The garden is an integral part of every palace.
In Versailles, the gardens invite us to walk through fountains, stairs, paths… To highlight, the Grand Canal of Versailles, the largest of the ponds just like a fairy tales.
Day 5. Day Trip from Paris
Again, we can choose between a day trip or visits to sites in Paris. Depending on your mood, energy, desire to go outside again or stay in the city, it’s just a matter of choice.
In the case of day trips, there are several possible destinations, depending on the date and the season of the year (there are destinations that, on certain dates, are best used).
For day trips, we will recommend three (among many others) possible, so that the choice is according to interests, desires and contexts that can vary considerably.
Some of these destinations are listed in the entry on One-day getaways from Paris by train which we recommend checking for more variables and details.
First Possible Getaway: Giverny
Also known as “the village of Monet”, Giverny is a small village located in the French region of Normandy.
Although Monet was born in Paris, he lived in Giverny from 1883, when he was attracted to what was then a village of 300 inhabitants.
So, for painting lovers, going to Giverny and visiting Monet’s house is like visiting and touring the interior of a painting, its history and its posterity. The gardens are, precisely, part of the painter’s work.
To say Giverny is to say Monet, and to say Monet is to say gardens. So, in case of being in spring or summer, this is one of the ideal getaways, since the gardens bloom and show all their splendor.
It was in 1890 that Monet acquired the house that can be visited today and built the gardens that he painted in paintings such as Water Lilies.
And it was the same number but changed, in 1980, when the city became the tourist spot it is today as a result of the restoration of the painter’s house.
Obviously, Giverny has other points of interest, also linked to painting, particularly impressionism.
First of all, the Museum of Impressionism, which houses permanent exhibitions (on and around Monet) and temporary exhibitions (which change every year).
Secondly, there are the houses of other impressionist artists, such as Florence Ramier, Christophe Demarez and Claude Cambour.
To get to Giverny, which is about 80 km northeast of Paris, it is best to go by car or train. By train, it takes about 40 to 60 minutes from Gare Saint-Lazaire.
In case of going by train, it is important to remember that the ticket will be to “Vernon” and, from there, take a cab or make an hour walk (5 km on foot).
2nd Option: Day Trip from Paris: Visit the Châteaux de la Loire
If you are passionate about architecture and history in general, and castles in particular, this excursion is worth a day in the agenda.
“Châteaux of the Loire” is the name given to several châteaux grouped under this appellation because of the region in which they are located and because of various coincidences in their origin.
Located on the course of the Loire River in central France, these castles were built or rebuilt during the French Renaissance, when royalty rested on these banks or “Valley of the Kings”.
These castles can be visited by train from Paris. As they are many and very extensive, it would be advisable, in case of going by train, to opt for one of the castles.
In case of spring or summer, the gardens will be appreciated in all their splendor. In any case, if you go in winter or autumn, you will take more advantage of the interiors and appreciate the outdoors in a different way.
As every traveler knows, to choose is to give up and the important thing is not only to arrive, but above all to return. There will surely be an opportunity to visit the others.
Among the most recommended, we highlight three: Château de Chambord, Château de Chenonceau and the Château and village of Amboise.
The Château de Chambord is the largest and most famous of the Loire châteaux.
The trip by train and bus takes 1 hour and 45 minutes from Paris by SNCF train from Austelitz to Bios-Chambord and then the 35 min bus from the station to the castle. The scenery will make the time pass beautifully.
As for the castle, it is one of the most recognized in the world for its architectural and historical value, combining French Renaissance architecture with medieval forms and classical Italian structures.
It was built to serve as the hunting lodge of King Francis I, who reigned from 1515 to 1547. Little used, in any case, the number of rooms and rooms will give account of the magnificence of his time.
Detail, for admirers of Leonardo Da Vinci: the great oak spiral staircase of the castle is the work of the Florentine genius.
Another option is to visit the Château de Chenonceau, also known as the “ladies’ castle”, also a royal residence with several beautiful and interesting gardens, such as that of Diana of Poitiers or Catherine de Medici.
This castle can also be reached by train, a journey of about 3 hours to the station and a short walk from there.
Finally, the third option is the castle and village of Amboise, which contains several castles nearby and also the tomb of Leonardo Da Vinci. It takes approximately 2.5 hours to get there by train.
- The Château Royal d’Amboise,
- the Château du Clos Lucé (the last residence of Leonardo da Vinci before his death)
- and the Château Gaillard.
The town, rural and picturesque, is charmingly beautiful and transports us to another era. It may be, perhaps, a trip within a trip worth remembering.
Third getaway option: the Champagne region
Visiting the Champagne region, east of Paris, can be an attractive option for several reasons, can be an attractive option for several reasons, beyond getting to know the capitals of the famous bubbly beverage associated with various festivities.
Like the excursion to the Loire, it covers several possible cities, and is more practical to do by car in case you want to visit more than one.
Reims, Épernay, Châlons-en-champagne and Troyes are some of the cities that are part of this region.
Otherwise, it can be done perfectly well by train. In general, the trip to the different cities takes between 40 minutes and 2 hours, depending on the destination chosen.
More 1-day getaways from Paris
- Complete guide of what to see in Bruges in 1 or 2 days.
- Visit London in 1 day from Paris
Fourth option to stay in Paris: Some Ideas
If you prefer to stay in Paris you can visit some of the most recommended points of interest, such as Montparnasse and Catacombs. As always, we recommend that you take the time of the day for each visit.
Get to the top of Montparnasse Tower
It is advisable to start the day from the top, so that it does not become “uphill” as energy diminishes. In the morning, we recommend you to get to the top of Montparnasse Tower.
Located at 33 Avenue du Maine, the Montparnasse Tower is a skyscraper 209 meters high, the second tallest in France. That is to say that there we will be able to enjoy the best views of Paris.
The Tower has 59 floors, including the terrace, of which 52 are offices. There is also a restaurant and, as a curious detail, the terrace can dismantle its railings and serve as a heliport if necessary.
When we went there, a pint of beer was only 5€. Yes, ONLY 5 euros! If you know the prices in Paris, you will see that this price is cheap, hehe ….
On the other hand, in case after climbing the tower there is still time to walk, the Tower is located in a real estate complex that includes shopping malls and Galeries Lafayette.
If, on the other hand, the desire to walk has more to do with some other tourist or historical point, then the ideal is to visit the Catacombs of Paris. Visit the Catacombs of Paris before lunch.
The Catacombs of Paris
The Catacombs, also called the Paris Necropolis, is a network of tunnels dating back to Roman times, when they were used as limestone mines.
It was at the end of the 18th century that the mines and subway passages were transformed into the common cemetery that, today, is maintained as an ossuary with more than six million human skeletons.
As a warning, just be careful not to get lost (the network of tunnels is very wide and sometimes very dark), follow the instructions of the route and, in case of claustrophobics, consider abstaining.
Other than that, it is a unique place and the largest ossuary in Europe. It should be noted that the visit open to tourists covers less than 1% of the existing subway paths in the French capital.
In addition to the bones, you can appreciate some graffiti dating from the 18th century, Latin inscriptions dating from Roman times, altars and epitaphs.
We will also see mentions of the Paris Commune and the Second World War, times in which the Catacombs were the scene of resistance and uprisings.
So many bones may spoil our appetite a bit, but the hike and the thrills of the tour will undoubtedly make sitting down at a restaurant for lunch a very tempting plan.
For that, we recommend eating something in the Montparnasse area. Hay para elegir en cantidad, en general de muy buena calidad y precios de módicos a moderados.
After recharging your batteries, in the afternoon and to counteract the confinement of the Catacombs or the Shopping Center, it would be advisable to visit the Luxembourg Gardens.
Located in the 6th arrondissement, near the Sorbonne and Saint-Germain-des-Prés, these gardens comprise about 25 hectares of green lung of the capital since their creation in 1612 at the idea of Marie de Medici.
Garden of the capital in general, of the French Senate located in the Luxembourg Palace in particular, there we can enjoy a haven of tranquility outdoors, surrounded by sculptures, games, pond and flowers.
There is also, especially for children but interesting for those who want to delve into French traditions, a puppet theater, called Théâtre du Luxembourg.
Grand Mosque of Paris
To end the day, in the afternoon, we recommend visiting the Great Mosque of Paris and finish in the Jardin des Plantes (Plant Garden), then go to dinner at the Mosque or nearby, where the offer is varied.
Esta última parte del día se concentra en el distrito V.
The Great Mosque is one of the largest in France, inaugurated in 1926 to pay homage to the Muslims killed by France in the First World War.
It is open from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm every day of the year.
Inside the Mosque there is a traditional oriental food restaurant, in case you want to come back and dine there.
As for the Jardin des Plantes, it is a botanical garden open to the public covering some 23.5 hectares. It contains, in addition to plants, greenhouses, laboratories, flowerbeds, etc.
Among its attractions are the various galleries covering botany, geology, paleontology, comparative anatomy and evolutionary history.
We recommend you to read: Secret places of Paris.
Day 6 in Paris, from the Champs Elysées to the Concorde
In the morning, it is best to start with a walk along the Champs Elysées to Place de la Concorde.
The Champs Elysées is the main avenue of Paris, 1910 meters long and 70 meters wide framed by rows of perfectly aligned trees. An urban paradise that invites you to walk and see.
Along the almost two kilometers of the Champs Elysées you can enjoy the shopping and boutiques located along the avenue. I also enjoy walking outdoors and taking urban photographs.
The Champs Elysées culminate at (or start from) the Place de la Concorde, so getting there will not be complicated. In it we can appreciate the Luxor obelisk and the beautiful fountains of the square.
In between, we recommend a visit to the Petit Palais: the Paris Museum of Fine Arts, with free admission. There you can appreciate works by Parisian painters as well as art from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.
The walk can continue to the Opera Garnier, the palace that serves as the Opera House and is named after the architect who built it. An architectural postcard of the French capital.
In the afternoon, it will be time to visit Le Marais, a surprising and multicultural, vibrant and lively neighborhood that combines cultural, gastronomic and historical offerings.
There we recommend visiting the Pompidou Center (in the square of the same name), the Picasso Museum at Rue de Thorigny 5 and the Victor Hugo House at number 6 Place des Vosges. In the afternoon, everything will be open.
As for strolling and eating, the beautiful Rue des Rosiers and the unique Rue des Écouffes are worth mentioning.
In the first one, the flowers and the beauty of the street will enchant us. In the second, there are popular places to eat oriental dishes such as shawarma and pastrami or other foods of Jewish gastronomy.
Also worth a mention if possible please visit the Marché des Enfants Rouges, a covered food market, the oldest in Paris, where we can have a casual lunch.
Place de la Bastille
To end the day, the best thing to do is to visit the Place de la Bastille and take a breath of fresh air before dinner as the sun goes down. There we can see the symbols of the French Revolution and admire its monuments.
If there is still desire and energy left, then it will be time to walk along the Seine at night, with its magical atmosphere of lights and shadows, to the Louvre Museum.
The monuments and the river are particularly photogenic at night. Don’t forget to bring a tripod to take the most beautiful pictures and the best postcards of the capital of light.
Day 7 in Paris
If everything begins before we start, when we plan, everything ends before we finish, when we start moving from one place to another.
Therefore, it is advisable not to exhaust the last day with visits (unless essential) and reserve it for leisure, shopping, souvenirs or gifts, since we know how much money we have.
For that, nothing better than a visit to the Galeries Lafayette Haussmann. Emblematic and monumental, these 10-story galleries form one of the largest shopping malls in the West.
Even if it’s not for shopping, a visit to the Galleries is recommended both for its imposing character and for the view of the dome, which is undoubtedly impressive.
At noon, you can eat on the top floor of the Printemps galleries, which are close to the Lafayette galleries, and have several dining options overlooking the Eiffel Tower.
The rest of the day, we can walk around, prepare our return at our leisure and, in case we have time left over, review any pending issues that we have left.
Both what we have visited and what we have left to visit are part of our visit. As they say in the film Casablanca (1942), “we will always have Paris”.
Plan Your Trip to Paris
- What to see in Paris in 5 days
- The museums of the 16th arrondissement of Paris
- What to wear in Paris according to the season of the year
- The best free walking tours of Paris
- The most famous streets of Paris
- The best streets for shopping
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