Paris in 2 Days – Guide to the Best Quick Trip to Paris

Paris in 2 days

Planning a short visit to Paris? With so many things to see, eat, and do, it can be hard to fully experience Paris in two days. After living in Paris for months and visiting several times since, I still feel like I’ve yet to uncover all that the French capital has to offer. Nonetheless, you can still have an incredible time during a short trip to Paris, even if you only have a weekend! Follow this itinerary to see the best of Paris in 2 days.

Is this your first time visiting France? Read this post for everything you need to know before you visit!

Palais Garnier Paris
Palais Garnier

Tips for Making the Most of Your Time in Paris

If you only have a short amount of time in Paris, you’ll want to make every moment count! Here are a few tips to maximize your time.

Tip 1: Choose centrally located accommodation. Whether you pick a hotel, hostel, or rental apartment, try to stay near the center of the city. So many main attractions- like the Louvre, the Tuileries Garden, and more, are located in the middle of Paris. To cut down on travel time, try to stay near the things you want to see! I recommend staying in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, or 6th arrondissements.

Tip 2: Learn how to use the metro! Paris has a great public transport system, and there are so many metro stops throughout the city. Taking the metro can save a lot of time when going from place to place!

Wine with a View
Wine with a View

Tip 3: Plan ahead and make reservations for your main meals. If you plan out your meals and make reservations ahead of time, you can save time by avoiding the nightly “where should we eat” debate! Wondering where you should eat while visiting the French capital? Check out my guide to my favorite places to eat in Paris!

Tip 4: Buy tickets for major attractions ahead of time. If you buy your tickets online, you can bypass long lines for attractions like the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower! This can be a great way to save time if you plan to visit these major attractions.

Sunset at the Eiffel Tower
Sunset at the Eiffel Tower

Paris in 2 Days Model Itinerary

I’ve created this model itinerary to help you plan for your 2 days in Paris! This is just a suggested guide to help you maximize your time in the city, so feel free to change it to suit your interests and travel style!

Day One: Quintessential Paris

Morning: Visit a museum. Start your first day in Paris with a croissant and espresso before heading to a museum! Parisian museums are home to some of the most famous works of art in the world. Read my full guide to art museums in Paris for more museum suggestions! Be sure to check opening days and times before going- most museums in Paris are closed one day a week. Buy your tickets ahead of time for the Louvre or the Orsay so you don’t have to wait in long lines!

Inside the Orsay Museum
Inside the Orsay Museum

Afternoon: Take a walk through the 1st arrondissement and the Île de la Cité. These neighborhoods are home to some of the most iconic Parisian landmarks. When walking through the 1st arrondissement, you’ll pass the Louvre Museum, the beautiful Tuileries Garden, the Palais Royal, and the Place Vendôme. On the nearby Île de la Cité, you’ll find the Notre Dame Cathedral, Sainte-Chapelle (a chapel famous for its impressive stained glass), and the Conciergerie (a former castle and prison). The Notre Dame is currently closed because of the fire that damaged its spire and roof. You can stay up to date on its progress on the official website.

Evening: Watch the sunset by the Eiffel Tower before enjoying a classic French dinner. If the weather is nice, spend your evening enjoying the sunset from the Champ de Mars, a park by the Eiffel Tower. Bring a bottle of wine and some snacks and watch as the tower lights up. Once the sun has set, the tower will set off its first hourly twinkling light display of the night! After that, head to dinner nearby for a classic French meal. I highly recommend getting the prix fixe dinner at Au Bon Accueil for incredible (and reasonably priced!) French food near the Eiffel Tower.

Monmartre Paris
Sacre Coeur in Paris

Day Two: Beyond the Eiffel Tower

Morning: Visit a famous landmark of your choice. There’s so much to see in Paris, so spend this morning visiting one or two of the sights you’ve always wanted to see in Paris! If you love shopping, I highly recommend visiting the Galeries Lafayette, a famous department store. If you’re interested in French history, visit the Hôtel des Invalides, home to the French military museum and Napolean’s tomb! Walk down the Champs-Élysées, a famous shopping street, and visit the Arc de Triomphe (and go inside for wonderful views of the city!). You could also use this time to visit another museum, like the Pompidou or Orangerie, or visit the Palais Garnier, a famous opera theater, if you’re an art lover.

Charcuterie in Saint Germain Paris in two days
Charcuterie in Saint Germain

Afternoon: Explore Saint Germain des Prés or Montmartre. In the afternoon, check out a new Parisian neighborhood. I personally love Saint Germain des Prés because it has so many cute cafes and shops. I could spend all day with a meat and cheese board outside at one of the cafes in this area. Lots of people also love visiting Montmartre, a neighborhood that several Belle Époque artists lived in during the 1800s and early 1900s. Although Montmartre is far more touristy today, it still retains some of its artistic charm. This area is also home to the Moulin Rouge and the Sacré-Cœur, a beautiful white basilica located at the top of the hill, overlooking the city.

Evening: Go on a dinner tour! When you’re pressed for time, dinner tours are a great way to try local dishes while seeing the city! I’ve done several dinner tours in Paris, including cruises on the Seine and a luxury gourmet bus tour! Read my reviews of those experiences for a better idea of what to expect on a dinner tour in Paris. I’ve really enjoyed every dinner tour I’ve taken, and I think taking a dinner tour of the city would be a lovely way to end your 2 days in Paris!

Outside the Louvre Museum
Outside the Louvre Museum

Paris in Two Days – Making the Most of a Short Trip

Even though it’s impossible to experience all Paris has to offer in two days, you can still get a taste of the French capital and see some of the city’s best sights by following this guide!

What would you do during a 2 day trip to Paris? Let me know in the comments!

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