Here’s your Practical 2 Days In Paris Itinerary!

By Patricia Rios

Paris, known as the City of Light, is famed for its chic style, rich culture, and iconic landmarks. As the world’s top tourist destination, Paris boasts a captivating history with majestic monuments and renowned museums.


In just two days, you’ll dive into Parisian charm with this practical itinerary. Every moment counts as you explore must-see sights, ensuring a memorable experience before your journey continues in France. With my extensive visits to Paris, I’m here to guide you through its bustling streets.

Your Two Days Itinerary

Here’s a snapshot of what your two days in Paris itinerary will look like:

Day 1:

  • Start at Île de la Cité
  • Visit Notre Dame
  • Explore Sainte-Chapelle
  • Discover the Conciergerie
  • Explore the Musee d’Orsay
  • Stroll through Marais
  • Choose between visiting the Eiffel Tower or joining a Food Tour

Day 2:

  • Explore either the Louvre or Montmartre
  • Wander through the Latin Quarter
  • Take a walk down Champs Elysees
  • Experience the Arc de Triomphe at twilight
  • Explore the Catacombs

Book tickets to popular attractions in advance to avoid long wait times. This post provides links for booking tickets. Also, check the opening hours and days for each attraction to avoid disappointment upon arrival.

2 Days In Paris Itinerary

Day 1

Start your day at Île de la Cité, Paris’ historic core, which Victor Hugo described as “the very head, heart, and marrow of Paris.”

Notre Dame

Begin with Notre Dame, the world-famous cathedral known for its stunning architecture. Although closed for restoration following the 2019 fire, it remains an iconic symbol of Paris, set to reopen in 2024.

Notre Dame

Then, explore the neighboring Place Louis-Lepine, home to the lively Marche aux Fleurs or Flower Market.

Consider booking a combined skip-the-line ticket to visit nearby attractions such as Sainte-Chapelle and La Conciergerie. This will minimize wait times, especially during busy periods.

Sainte-Chapelle Cathedral

Built by Louis IX, Sainte-Chapelle is a royal chapel renowned for its Gothic artistry. Commissioned to house the crown of thorns believed to have been worn by Jesus during the crucifixion, it’s a treasure of religious history.

Sainte-Chapelle Cathedral

The chapel features two levels. Be sure to ascend to the upper chapel for a truly awe-inspiring experience.

The upper chapel is a visual feast. Its 15 magnificent stained glass windows, dating back to the 13th century, depict over 1,000 biblical stories. The interplay of light through these windows creates a mesmerizing spectacle of color and brilliance, leaving visitors spellbound.


For history enthusiasts, the Conciergerie offers a captivating journey into the past. This medieval marvel, adorned with turreted towers, dates back to the 12th century.


Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Conciergerie gained notoriety during the French Revolution when it served as a tribunal. Its dungeons housed many notable figures, including Marie Antoinette, awaiting their fate at the guillotine in the Place de la Concorde.

After exploring the Conciergerie, stroll to Place Dauphine at the island’s tip. This charming square provides an ideal spot to pause for lunch.

Before continuing your adventure, consider indulging in an espresso or a delightful meal at Au Vieux Paris d’Arcole, one of Paris’s most charming coffee shops.

Musee d’Orsay

Following lunch, go to one of Paris’ most treasured attractions, the iconic Musee d’Orsay.

Musee d’Orsay

This renowned museum is celebrated for its impressive collection of French Impressionist masterpieces by artists such as Manet, Monet, Pissarro, and Renoir. Visitors can also admire various Post-Impressionist artworks, including pieces by Van Gogh.

It’s highly recommended that you book your tickets in advance to ensure a seamless experience. Consider opting for a guided tour to appreciate the museum’s highlights fully.

For further assistance planning your visit, refer to my guide on exploring Orsay’s masterpieces and valuable tips for navigating the museum.

Musee d’Orsay

Have you already explored the Orsay? If not, consider delving into a lesser-known museum off the beaten path.

On the Left Bank, options abound, including the Rodin Museum, which showcases remarkable sculptures by the renowned Auguste Rodin. Alternatively, you might find intrigue in the Maillol Museum, another sculpture haven, or the Cluny Museum, which delves into the fascinating world of the Middle Ages.

I am fond of the Rodin Museum, a tribute to the genius of Auguste Rodin, one of France’s most revered sculptors.

Before immersing yourself in this neighborhood’s charms, stroll along the Seine’s quays. Don’t miss the opportunity to browse the offerings of the bouquinistes, the open-air street vendors lining the Seine, who offer diverse literary treasures.

Latin Quarter

Once you’ve finished exploring the museums, stroll to the vibrant Latin Quarter. This charming district encompasses the areas around St. Severin, Ste. Genevieve, and Place St. Michel. For a more authentic experience, avoid the tourist hotspots along Boulevard St. Michel and Rue de la Huchette.

Latin Quarter

Cross the Petit Pont bridge from Notre Dame to the Left Bank to bypass the crowds. This will lead you to the picturesque Square Viviani.

While in the area, visit the iconic Shakespeare & Co bookstore and explore the historic churches of St. Julian-le-Pauvre and Saint-Severin.

Be prepared for a potential wait at the bookstore, but trust me, it’s worth it. Its creaky stairs, hidden corners, and shelves brimming with books make it a genuinely enchanting literary haven.

Latin Quarter

The Romanesque Le Pauvre is steeped in history. It is one of Paris’ oldest churches and is currently undergoing renovation.

On the other hand, Saint-Severin holds a special place in my heart. Its flamboyant Gothic architecture, featuring spiraling vaults and exquisite stained glass in the apse, is a true marvel. Plus, don’t miss the opportunity to attend one of the evening concerts.

The Latin Quarter is a refreshing contrast to Paris’s typical Haussmann architecture. Its maze-like medieval streets promise to enchant and captivate visitors at every turn.

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Additionally, the Latin Quarter boasts a wealth of attractions, including intriguing museums, stunning churches, and other historical gems.

It’s also the academic heart of Paris, bustling with students from institutions like the Sorbonne and Ecole des Beaux-Arts.

For history enthusiasts, visiting Cafe Procope, Paris’ oldest cafe nestled on a charming cobbled street, is a must. And don’t miss the opportunity to explore the ancient Roman arena, the Arenes de Lutece.

Make sure to include visits to the churches of St. Etienne-du-Mont and the Pantheon in your itinerary.

St. Etienne-du-Mont stands out for its elegant architecture. It boasts the last remaining rood screen in Paris. Inside, exquisite stained glass windows and a chapel dedicated to Saint Genevieve’s relics are displayed.

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The Pantheon is Paris’ prestigious resting place for notable figures such as Victor Hugo, Voltaire, and Alexandre Dumas. This grand Neo-Classical basilica features a dome reminiscent of its Roman counterpart.

Inside, marvel at the intricate frescoes, pay respects to France’s heroes in the crypt, and ascend to the rooftop for unparalleled views of Paris.

Just south of the Pantheon lies the charming Rue Mouffetard, Paris’ oldest street, with a market dating back to the Middle Ages. Explore its food stalls, crepe vendors, bakeries, and unique shops.

At the Place Contrescarpe nearby, unwind at cozy cafes with an espresso or a glass of wine, soaking in the vibrant atmosphere.

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After your exploration, take a leisurely stroll through the Luxembourg Gardens, which are adorned with renowned sculptures and feature the breathtaking Medici Fountain.

Before leaving the Latin Quarter, visit the remarkable Cluny Museum, the Museum of the Middle Ages. This museum offers a unique dual experience.

First, explore the medieval collections housed in the historic Hotel de Cluny. Then, venture into the ancient Gallo-Roman baths, where you can view the caldarium, frigidarium, and tepidarium.

Two must-see highlights of the museum are the King’s Gallery, which showcases 21 of the original 28 heads from the statues on Notre Dame’s facade, and the captivating Lady and the Unicorn tapestries, woven in 1500 and displayed in their own dedicated room.

Food Tour Or Eiffel Tower Summit

Embark on a food tour to savor the flavors of French cuisine and immerse yourself in the local culture. Several enticing options are available:

  • Enjoy a classic 3.5-hour Le Marais food and wine tour.
  • Delight in a 3-hour Montmartre food and wine tour.
  • Experience a 10-tasting Paris food tour.
  • Explore a 3-hour Saint-Germain food tour.
  • Dive into a 3-hour Christmas food tour.

My favorite is the Saint-Germain tour, which showcases Paris’ most gastronomically rich neighborhood. This intimate tour offers tastings of cheese, meats, pastries, and chocolate, providing a delightful culinary journey.

The Eiffel Tower

No visit to Paris is complete without marveling at the iconic Iron Lady, the Eiffel Tower, situated on the Champs de Mar.

To reach the tower, you can hop on the metro to the Champs de Mar station or take a taxi from the Marais. While the Eiffel Tower tends to draw crowds and attract persistent vendors, it remains Europe’s most renowned landmark and a beloved national emblem.

Erected in 1887, it was the world’s tallest building at the time of its completion.

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To make the most of your Eiffel Tower experience, booking a timed-entry skip-the-line ticket in advance is highly recommended. These tickets grant you access to elevators swiftly transporting you to your desired level. Ticket prices vary based on the height you wish to ascend and whether you opt for elevator access.

Watch for the mesmerizing light show, where 20,000 twinkling lights adorn the tower for a dazzling 5-minute display at the top of each hour. If you want to visit the summit, ensure your ticket includes access to the summit, as some tickets only provide access to the second floor. Consider booking a guided tour, especially during peak times like December, for guaranteed skip-the-line access to the summit.

Alternatively, if you’re up for the challenge, you can climb the stairs to the second platform instead of waiting for the elevator. Be prepared for a workout, though, as you’ll need to climb 700 steps to reach the top.

For a memorable dining experience, consider dining at the one Michelin-starred Jules Verne restaurant on the tower’s second floor. However, reservations for this acclaimed restaurant fill up quickly, so book well in advance.

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If scoring an Eiffel Tower ticket isn’t feasible or doesn’t align with your budget, you can still enjoy stunning views from afar at Champs de Mar Park, which sprawls out like a lush green carpet at the tower’s base.

Afterward, consider dining at Les Ombres, a relatively new restaurant atop the Musée du Quai Branly, which showcases non-Western art and is adjacent to the Eiffel Tower. This avant-garde eatery boasts a glass-roofed dining area with floor-to-ceiling windows offering panoramic views of the iconic tower, making for a memorable dining experience alongside French classics.

A Seine River cruise is a fantastic alternative if you’ve already checked off the Eiffel Tower from your list. Choose from various options like a sunset cruise, champagne cruise, dinner cruise, or a nighttime illuminations cruise to soak in the beauty of Paris from a different perspective.

Day 2

Kick-off day 2 with a visit to the Louvre, the world-renowned museum that draws millions of visitors annually. To beat the crowds, aim to arrive when it opens at 9:00 am.

There are several ways to bypass the long lines at the Louvre: consider using the Paris Museum Pass, securing a timed entry skip-the-line ticket, or joining a guided tour.

Inside, you’ll encounter an unparalleled collection of artistic treasures, including Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People, the Venus de Milo, and Michelangelo’s Slaves. Additionally, you can explore many artifacts spanning ancient Greek sculptures, Roman antiquities, Medieval relics, Dutch Golden Age artworks, Renaissance masterpieces, and Baroque art.

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If you prefer modern and contemporary art, head to the Pompidou Center in the Les Halles neighborhood on the Right Bank. It’s a treasure trove of eye-catching masterpieces.

Now, let’s get back to the Louvre. With its vast collection of masterpieces, the Louvre can be overwhelming. Ideally, it’s best explored over several days, but with just two days in Paris, you’ll have to make the most of your time.

Consider focusing on one or two wings of the museum. The Denon wing is particularly popular. To help you plan your visit, check out my virtual tour of the Louvre.

Montmartre Alternative

If museums aren’t your thing or the Louvre feels too daunting, consider exploring the charming Montmartre district in the north of Paris.

Montmartre is one of Paris’ most historic neighborhoods, steeped in history and immortalized in art. While it’s usually a must-visit, it’s a bit out of the way and might require some effort to reach if you only have two days in Paris.

Montmartre exudes a village-like atmosphere, reminiscent of a scene straight out of a market with baguettes in hand. A stroll through its romantic streets transports you back a century to when it was a haven for bohemian artists who reshaped the art world.

Like the Louvre, exploring Montmartre in the morning is best before the crowds gather. Consider booking a guided walking tour to make the most of your visit.

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Begin your Montmartre adventure at Sacre Coeur, the striking white basilica perched atop the hill. You can ascend the steps via Rue Steinkerque or take the funicular for a more leisurely ride. Alternatively, hop on the metro to the Abbesses stop and enjoy a 10-minute walk.

Once at Sacre Coeur, soak in the panoramic views of Paris from the terrace. While the interior might not be as captivating, consider climbing the dome for an exhilarating experience and breathtaking 360-degree vistas. The climb entails tackling 300 steps without an elevator, but the views make it well worth the effort.

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After Sacre Coeur, take a leisurely stroll through the bustling Place du Tertre, known for its touristy vibe with souvenir shops and artists showcasing their talents. While it may be crowded, it’s worth a quick visit to witness artists painting en plein air.

Next, venture to the Musee de Montmartre, located just behind the Place du Tertre. This charming museum offers insights into Montmartre’s rich history and association with renowned artists. Explore its permanent collection and exhibition space, and don’t miss the delightful cafe and gift shop. A highlight is the collection of Toulouse-Lautrec’s cabaret posters from the Belle Epoque era.

Continuing on Rue Corot from the museum, turn right onto Rue des Saules to discover Montmartre’s last remaining vineyard. Directly ahead lies the legendary Lapin Agile, a historic cabaret once frequented by Picasso. This adds another layer of cultural significance to your Montmartre experience.

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Afterward, stroll down Rue de l’Abreuvoir, widely regarded as one of Paris’ most picturesque streets. Don’t miss the iconic pink house, Maison Rose, famously depicted by artist Maurice Utrillo, which now serves as a charming café.

For lunch options in Montmartre, you’ll find numerous inviting cafes, including Cafe Consulat, Cafe Poutbot, and Cafe Marlette. Each offers a delightful culinary experience.

If time permits, consider exploring the Gustave Moreau Museum located just south of Montmartre, in the Pigalle district. This museum showcases the works of Symbolist painter Gustave Moreau, who influenced Surrealist art and mentored Henri Matisse. Housed in Moreau’s former residence, the museum exudes charm with its eclectic collection of paintings stacked throughout the space.

Near the museum on Rue de Martyrs, you’ll find an array of cafes for a quick bite. Stereo Wine Bar is known for its vegetarian-friendly menu with a hint of Bangladeshi cuisine.

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After visiting the Louvre or Montmartre, transition to exploring the Right Bank.

Begin by rejuvenating yourself with a stroll through the Jardin des Tuileries. Then, head north along the upscale Rue Royale, home to prestigious establishments like Laduree tea salon, Lalique, and Maxim’s restaurant.

Make sure to include a stop at the Madeleine Church, though note that its facade is undergoing restoration. This monumental church resembles a Greek temple, distinguished by its Corinthian columns, a departure from the typical Parisian church architecture. Additionally, consider attending a classical concert here in the evening for a memorable experience.

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If shopping is on your agenda, visit Galleries Lafayette and Printemps, two of the world’s most renowned department stores on Boulevard Haussmann.

Both establishments boast an array of dining options, catering to various tastes, from casual to upscale. For stunning views, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the rooftop viewing platform at Galeries Lafayette.

While in the area, stroll past the extravagant Opera Garnier and explore Galerie Vivienne, one of Paris’ most exquisite covered passages on Rue des Petits Champs.

To taste luxury, visit the elegant Place Vendome, home to prestigious shops. This square exudes luxury and charm, initially designed by Louis XIV to rival the Place des Vosges in the Marais.

Marais District

Afterward, head east to the Marais district for a delightful exploration and lunch. It’s conveniently located less than a mile from Galerie Vivienne. With so much to see, you might consider booking a guided walking tour to maximize your time.

The Marais is steeped in history, boasting chic boutiques and stunning architecture. Unlike other parts of Paris, it retains its medieval charm and offers a glimpse into the city’s past.

Be sure to wander through the charming streets of Rue Sevigny, Rue Vielle de Temple, Rue des Francs-Bourgeois, and Rue de Rosiers. The latter is renowned for its delicious falafel, with L’As Falafel being a standout favorite among locals and visitors alike. Expect a queue, but trust me, it’s worth the wait.

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In addition to its picturesque streets, the Marais boasts many outstanding museums, including the Picasso Museum, the Musee Carnavalet (recently renovated), the National Archives, and the Victor Hugo Museum.

Having personally visited each of these museums, I have a special fondness for the Picasso Museum. However, due to its immense popularity, securing a ticket in advance is essential.

Located in the beautifully restored Hotel de Sale, the museum offers a captivating journey through Picasso’s life and artistic evolution. From his early works to his later masterpieces, you’ll witness the evolution of his style and the influence of his many muses.

The Marais is also home to several charming squares, such as the Place des Vosges, Square George Cain, and Place Saint-Gervais, adding to its allure as a cultural hub in Paris.

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Place des Vosges is undeniably one of the most captivating spots in Paris. As the oldest royal square in the city, it boasts a harmonious blend of 36-row houses adorned with elegant arcades and charming balconies.

Be sure to stroll around the entire square to appreciate its beauty fully. A passage leads to the magnificent Hotel de Sully’s courtyard, although access to the interior is restricted to the public.

Another architectural gem not to be missed is the Hotel de Sens, a rare medieval mansion in Paris. While exploring its exterior is impressive, visiting the Bibliothèque Forney, a public library specializing in decorative arts, is a must-do experience.

Arc de Triomphe

After exploring the Marais, visit the iconic Arc de Triomphe on the Champs Elysees. This French landmark is a must-see and is open until 11:00 pm.

You can reach the Arc de Triomphe by strolling down the Champs Elysees. While it’s not necessarily the best spot for shopping, the glittering ambiance and late-opening stores make it an interesting visit. Alternatively, you can take the metro or taxi from the Marais.

To maximize your time in Paris, consider booking a skip-the-line rooftop ticket for the Arc de Triomphe. The panoramic views from the top are unparalleled, offering a stunning perspective of the cityscape, including a fantastic view of the Eiffel Tower itself.


Conclude your two-day Paris adventure with a visit to the haunting Paris Catacombs. Conveniently located near the Denfert-Rochereau metro station, the Catacombs remain open until 8:30 pm.

Situated on the Left Bank, the Catacombs are Paris’s “city of the dead.” This popular attraction is part of the city’s underground quarry network and houses the skeletal remains of over 6 million Parisians.

These bones were originally interred in church cemeteries. However, a public health crisis emerged due to sanitation issues. Consequently, the bones were relocated to the underground catacombs, a process that began in 1785.

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You’ll traverse the intricate and dimly lit corridors of the quarries and ossuary during your visit. Unless it’s winter, securing a skip-the-line ticket in advance is essential.

I highly recommend a guided tour, which offers access to additional hidden spots, such as carved stone sculptures, the quarry workers’ atelier, and altars. I recommend the 2-hour tour led by an excellent storytelling guide named Victoire.

Final Tips

Planning Your Paris Trip

Before embarking on your Paris adventure, review my comprehensive tips for planning a trip to the city. This guide offers a step-by-step approach to organizing your visit, covering all the essential information you need to make the most of your time in Paris.

Getting Around Paris

Paris boasts an efficient metro system highly recommended for getting around the city. Given its vast size, using the metro can save considerable time and effort when visiting attractions.

Metro Tickets

For convenience, consider purchasing a “carnet” of 10 metro tickets. Alternatively, if you plan to use the metro frequently, opt for a multi-day pass, which you can purchase online before arrival. Tickets are available at all stations from ticket windows or vending machines. Note that non-smart chip credit cards are not accepted at vending machines.

Other Transportation Options

Apart from the metro, you can explore Paris using various transportation methods, such as:

  • Segway tour
  • Hop-on-hop-off bus
  • 3-hour electric bike tour
  • Night tour in a vintage car
  • Hop-on-hop-off Seine cruise tour

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Exploring on Foot: In Paris, opting for walking tours is a wise choice, as navigating through the city’s streets can offer an enriching experience while avoiding the hassle of traffic and parking limitations.

Avoiding Cars: Given the chaotic traffic and limited parking spaces in Paris, avoiding using cars altogether during your visit is advisable.

Walking Tours: Consider joining one of the many walking tours available, which can help you make the most of your sightseeing in specific neighborhoods. Here are some options to consider:

  • 2-hour walking tour of the Marais
  • 2.5-hour walking tour of the Latin Quarter
  • 2.5-hour walking tour of Montmartre
  • 2-hour Ile de la Cité walking tour (including Notre Dame)

Paris Museum Pass

For those aiming to explore numerous museums and cultural attractions during their 2-day stay in Paris, investing in the Paris Museum Pass can be a wise decision.

  • Duration and Benefits: The pass is available for 2, 4, or 6 days and provides convenient skip-the-line access to various museums and sites across the city.
  • Extension Options: Should your museum pass expire during your visit, you can still enjoy cultural experiences by visiting one of Paris’ free museums, such as the Petit Palais.

Patricia Rios

I have been writing makeup and beauty content for more than ten years. My passion is to uplift you, my reader, to feel better about yourself.

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