Welcome to Paris! This first-timers guide is designed to help you make the most of a weekend in Paris. It covers all the must-see attractions like the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, along with some hidden gems in the city’s charming neighborhoods. From historical landmarks to local hotspots — this itinerary is packed with the best Parisian experiences for a spectacular weekend in Paris.

With two days in Paris, you’ll have enough time to see the top highlights, try some delicious restaurants, and get a feel for one of the world’s most beautiful cities. So, without further ado, let’s dive right in!

This post was written by guest contributor Jenoa from The Travel Folk. Some of the links in this blog post are affiliate links, meaning that I earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase at no additional cost to you. This helps me keep the content on my website free for you to enjoy!

Two Days in Paris Itinerary: Day 1 

Traditional French Breakfast

Start your Parisian weekend right by indulging in a traditional French breakfast of coffee and a croissant — yum!

For the ultimate experience, make your way to the famous Café de Flore. Arrive early to secure a spot at this legendary cafe — once a local favorite of famed authors and artists in the early 20th century. Just imagine the likes of Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, and Pablo Picasso once gathered here deep in discussion. The food is delicious but offers a little piece of history!

Order a cappuccino and croissant for breakfast, or go for a French omelet. You can check out the menu ahead of time on the restaurant’s website.

Musée d’Orsay 

Next, walk through the beautiful neighborhood of Saint-Germain to the Musée d’Orsay. This is one of the best impressionist museums in the world. You’ll find famous artworks by Monet, Renoir, Degas, Cezanne, and other iconic artists inside. 

Located in an old train station — the building itself is a masterpiece! The fifth floor has some of the most significant pieces of artwork and incredible views overlooking the Seine. You should plan on spending at least three hours here admiring all the artwork.

The Musée d’Orsay is open Tuesday to Sunday from 9:30 am – 6:00 pm (open until 9:45 pm on Thursdays). A full-price ticket costs €16 (about $17.50). It is recommended that you purchase your tickets in advance.

The golden clock at the Musée d’Orsay, one of the best things to do during a weekend in Paris

Musée de L’Orangerie 

Next, cross the Seine River to the Musée de L’Orangerie — a beautiful small museum in Paris. This museum is known as the home of the famous water lily panels by Claude Monet. 

Inside the museum, you’ll find two oval-shaped rooms that transport you to Monet’s garden in Giverny, France. The eight giant panels are meant to showcase Monet’s pond with water lilies during different times of the day. The rooms were designed specifically to highlight these masterpieces, and unfortunately, Monet never lived to see them completed. 

The museum has two floors. Downstairs, you’ll find a modern art gallery by Matisse, Picasso, and other famous artists. Plan to spend one hour at this museum.

The Musée de L’Orangerie is open Wednesday to Monday from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. A full-price ticket costs €12.50 (about $13.50). Make sure to book your time slot in advance online at the official website, as tickets sell out quickly. 

Jardin des Tuileries 

After your morning jam-packed with museum hopping, a stroll outdoors through the Jardin des Tuileries will be a refreshing change of pace. Jardin des Tuileries is the most beautiful park in Paris! Grab a seat on one of the green chairs and people-watch, or wander around the gorgeous manicured gardens. 

At one end of the park is the Louvre, and at the other end is the Place de la Concorde. When you’re finished in the Jardin des Tuileries, head to the Place de la Concorde, where you’ll begin the long walk down one of the most famous streets in Paris. 

A Ferris wheel in a lush, green garden, one of the best things to do during a weekend in Paris.


After enjoying a relaxing walk around the garden, stroll down the Champs-Èlysées — the most iconic street in all of Paris. Stretching 1.9 kilometers (about 1.2 miles) towards the Arc de Triomphe, this avenue is filled with world-renowned designer shops like Louis Vuitton and Chanel. 

Even if shopping isn’t on your agenda, you can experience high fashion in Paris by visiting Le Galerie Dior. Located just a short walk from the Champs-Èlysées, this is one of the best fashion museums in Paris, where you can experience the world of Dior through its iconic designs from the past to modern-day collections. 

As you get closer to the Arc de Triomphe at the end of the street, pop into Pierre Hermé for a box of delicious French macarons to snack on throughout the day. Some of their best flavors are pistachio, chocolate, raspberry, and creme brulee.

Arc de Triomphe

Your journey down the Champs-Élysées ends at the magnificent Arc de Triomphe. Completed in 1836, this monument symbolizes French pride and history. It commemorates all the men and women who fought for France during the French Revolutionary War and World War I. 

At the arch’s base, you’ll see the Eternal Flame and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which were added after the end of World War I. For one of the most breathtaking views of Paris — the top of the Arc de Triomphe is a hidden gem. While the Eiffel Tower might be the most famous viewpoint, the view from the Arc de Triomphe offers a unique perspective, including stunning panoramic views of the Eiffel Tower itself and the Parisian skyline. 

Book your tickets online in advance to bypass the lines. A full-price ticket costs €13 (about $14). The Arc de Triomphe is open from 10:00 am to 11:00 pm from April to September. It is open from 10:00 am to 10:30 pm from October to March. 

Rue Cler 

After marveling at the views from the top of the Arc de Triomphe, hop on the metro and make your way to the 7th arrondissement. Rue Cler is one of the most charming streets in Paris, featuring many restaurants, cafes, food shops, and boutique stores. 

This area feels like a small, quaint neighborhood in the center of one of Paris’s most posh neighborhoods. It’s a lovely area to get a feel for local life or to sit down and have a bite to eat. Alternatively, if you want a picnic by the Eiffel Tower, this is the perfect place to curate an idyllic French picnic. Grab a baguette from the bakery, some meat from the butcher, some cheese from the cheese shop, and some fruit from the fruit stand. You can find this all on Rue Cler or the surrounding streets.

If you’re looking for a dinner spot between here and the Eiffel Tower, check out Milagro Paris. They serve fantastic French dishes with a modern twist.

The Eiffel Tower 

The Eiffel Tower is one of the most well-known monuments in the entire world. Since you only have two days in Paris, you must have the quintessential Parisian experience — seeing the Eiffel Tower at sunset.  Either take your picnic from Rue Cler for a relaxed evening on the lawn or climb to the top of the tower for breathtaking views of the city.

If you plan to visit the top of the Eiffel Tower, it is necessary to book your tickets well in advance. Tickets sell out quickly, and purchasing tickets the day of or even just a few days before your visit is nearly impossible. Full-price tickets to the second floor cost €18.10 (about $19.50), and the top cost €28.30 (about $30.50).

Whether you head to the top of the Eiffel Tower or enjoy a picnic on the lawn, stick around until after dusk to see the Eiffel Tower when it sparkles and lights up the night sky. It’s breathtaking! Then, head back to your hotel to rest before the second (and last) day of your weekend in Paris.

Two-Day Weekend in Paris Itinerary: Day 2 

Sacré Coeur 

Beat the crowds and head to Sacré Coeur in the morning, ideally arriving before 9:00 am. This early start will give you ample time to explore and make the most of your second day in Paris. There are several steps to reach the top of the hill, so if you prefer, you can take the Montmartre Funicular instead. The cost is €2.10, and it’s also included in the Paris Visite travel pass. 

Atop Montmartre, you’ll find The Basilica of Sacré Coeur, which is free to visit. Take your time to wander inside and admire the beautiful interior, such as the Mosaic of Christ in Glory. Outside the basilica, take in the stunning views of Paris and try to spot historical monuments in the distance, like the Notre Dame Cathedral or the Pantheon. 

A view of the cathedral and buildings on the Sacré Coeur.


After your visit to Sacre Coeur, continue your Parisian adventure by exploring the quaint streets of Montmartre, located just behind the church. This historic neighborhood was a hub for modern artists in the early 20th century, and its artistic legacy lives on today. 

As you wander through Montmartre, you’ll find yourself in a bustling square with artists painting. From portraits to iconic Parisian sites, you can purchase some local art as a souvenir to take home with you.  Be sure to stop by the iconic La Maison Rose — a picturesque pink cafe perfect for a photo or a quick drink. Remember, as a popular tourist spot, prices are a bit higher here. 

Then, stroll down the Rue de L’Abreuvoir, known as one of the most beautiful streets in Paris, as you make your way back down the hill. There are plenty of cafes, bakeries, and restaurants around here if you need to pick up a quick bite to eat, or you can go on a guided food tour. If you’re in the mood for one of the best crepes in Paris, stop by Breizh Cafe Abbesses for a typical Breton crepe. With various savory and sweet crepes, it’s a wonderful spot for brunch. 

Louvre Museum

Next on your Paris weekend itinerary is the world-famous Louvre Museum. This is the largest art museum in the world, and its collection features some of the most important pieces of artwork that span centuries and continents. 

Since the Louvre is so enormous, deciding which sections to visit and what art to see can be overwhelming. A word of advice — plan in advance and list the top ten pieces of artwork you want to see so you don’t spend your entire visit feeling lost. 

The historic buildings and glass triangle that houses the Louvre Museum, one of the best places to visit during a weekend in Paris.

To help, here are the top five artworks you shouldn’t miss: 

  1. Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci 
  2. Venus de Milo by Alexandros of Antioch
  3. Winged Victory of Samothrace
  4. Liberty Leading the People by Eugène Delacroix
  5. The Coronation of Napoleon by Jacques-Louis David

You could easily spend days seeing all that the Louvre has to offer, but since you’re on a tight 48-hour schedule, plan on spending three to four hours here to have enough time to see other sights in Paris. The Louvre is open Wednesday – Monday from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, except Fridays when it’s open until 9:45 pm. Full-priced tickets cost €27 (about $29). Book your tickets online in advance to avoid the lines. 

Notre Dame 

A visit to the Notre Dame Cathedral is essential during your weekend in Paris. Even though it’s currently undergoing restoration due to the tragic fire in 2019, you can still experience its incredible Gothic architecture from the outside. 

Located on the Ile de la Cité, after seeing the cathedral, take the opportunity to wander along the Seine. Shop at some of the bouquinistes (the green stands selling vintage posters, books, and other souvenirs) or enjoy the views.

The Notre Dame Cathedral, one of the best places to visit during a weekend in Paris.

Latin Quarter

The Latin Quarter is a historic neighborhood in Paris with quaint streets, charming shops, and typical Parisian buildings. Make sure to stop by the iconic bookstore called Shakespeare and Company and get a book stamped with their logo. You can also grab a drink at one of the many bars or cafes here for a quick break from all the walking. 

Shakespeare and Company Bookstore in Paris, with a green exterior and yellow sign.

Jardin du Luxembourg

Jardin du Luxembourg is another stunning park in central Paris. Walk around the park and enjoy views of the palace and the beautiful French gardens. Surrounding the park are many typical French restaurants, such as Restaurant Georgette, which is a nice spot for dinner. 

The gorgeous yellow flowers and green grass in the Jardin du Luxembourg, one of the prettiest parks in Paris.

Seine River Cruise

If you’re still up for one last adventure during your weekend in Paris, take a Seine River Cruise at dusk. This experience is one of the best ways to see all the famous landmarks and monuments in Paris while slowly cruising along the Seine River.

Vedettes du Pont Neuf is a popular company that offers tickets starting at €13 (about $14) per person.

What Is the Best Way to Get Around During a Weekend in Paris?

Most of the sights in this two-day weekend in Paris itinerary are within walking distance from each other. However, you must take the metro a few times to get between places. You have a couple of options for taking the metro:

  • Metro pass — Purchase the Paris Visite metro pass, which offers unlimited rides on the metro and bus for two days. This costs €22.05 (about $24) for adults and €11 (about $12) for children. This pass is the most cost-effective choice if you plan to take the metro at least ten times. 
  • Pay as you go — The other option is to pay as you go. A single-ride ticket on the metro and bus costs €2.10 (about $2.25). This may be a more feasible option for your weekend trip to Paris, as you won’t be taking the metro too many times. 

Tips for Your Two-Day Weekend in Paris

  • Get up early — If you want to make the most of your weekend in Paris, get up early to avoid the crowds and to ensure you have enough time to see everything. 
  • Get the museum pass — By purchasing the Paris Museum Pass, you will save money overall on all your museum visits. Make sure to book your time slots in advance!
  • Wear comfortable shoes — Wear shoes that you can walk in all day. You will walk a lot, and the last thing you want is sore feet in Paris!
  • Book restaurants in advance — If you have a couple of restaurants in mind that you want to eat at, make reservations in advance to ensure you get a table. 

FAQs: Two-Day Weekend in Paris

Is two days enough in Paris?

While a weekend in Paris may seem short, it’s enough time to explore the significant highlights and get a taste of what the city offers. However, spending four to five days in Paris is ideal, as you wouldn’t have to rush from place to place, and you would be able to see more museums and sights overall.

Should you get the Paris Museum Pass for a weekend in Paris?

Yes! If you visit every museum listed on this itinerary, you’ll save money by purchasing the pass. The two-day pass costs €55 (about $60) and includes access to the Louvre, Musée d’Orsay, Musée de L’Orangerie, Arc de Triomphe, and more. When you purchase the pass online, you’ll receive an e-ticket with instructions on how to book your time slots. 

When is the best time to spend a weekend in Paris?

Paris is beautiful during all four seasons, but spring or fall is the best time to visit. During spring, you’ll get to experience the city in bloom. The parks are particularly gorgeous during this time of the year, and the weather is mild. During the fall, there are fewer rainy days than in the spring and mild temperatures.

Follow This Two-Day Weekend in Paris Itinerary to See the Best of Paris

If you only have a two-day weekend in Paris, you can still see the best of what the city has to offer! Follow this guide to stay busy and see the highlights of Paris — then start planning your next trip back to experience all the things you missed during your weekend in Paris. Bon voyage!

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About the Author

Hi, I'm Brit! I'm a writer from Phoenix, AZ who loves coffee, golden retriever puppies, and obviously, travel! I help ordinary women (like me!) dream, plan, and do extraordinary travel experiences.