Whether you’re visiting for the weekend or simply stopping over, this itinerary will help you figure out what to do. Do all you can to make the most of your time in the City of Lights. Paris is a truly spectacular place with stunning architecture, world-famous museums and exciting history to learn.
Where to Stay
With a city as major as Paris, deals abound for numerous hotels throughout the romantic city. To ensure that you stay somewhere luxurious for a fair price, check out Voyage Privé, a service with unbeatable offers. Overlook the Eiffel Tower from the deck of L’Edmond Hotel or relax in the upscale, purple-themed MonHôtel Lounge & Spa.
Once you’ve found your home base, you’re ready to plan the rest of your vacation. Read on for some stellar ideas for a weekend in Paris.
Arriving for just a weekend of Parisian exploration, you’ll want to find a nice spot for dinner on Friday night. When you arrive, head for Restaurant Les Ombres. There is simply no beating the restaurant’s terrace. With a stunning direct view of the Eiffel Tower and modern décor, this chic restaurant is the definition of Paris.
This elegant place is beloved by Parisians and tourists alike, and will make the perfect spot for romance as the sun sets and the stars appear. Situated atop the Musée du Quai Branly, it’s a reflection of the museum below. The menu features everything from sea bass Carpaccio and beef tenderloin meals to smoked eel and French dessert pastries.
Spend your first full day exploring the city’s museums and gardens. Luckily, many of the gardens lie just outside some of the best museums around. This makes it easier to combine the two. And what is better than a day filled with art and nature? The two go hand-in-hand.
The most obvious museum to visit is The Louvre, though if you want to visit others you may not have time to do the whole museum. Even the exterior of this museum is astounding, blending old with new glass pyramids and fountains. You will want to make sure you see the famous Mona Lisa while here. The Jardin des Tuileries also lies outside of The Louvre, with rows of trees, green grass and small ponds.
One really stupendous museum is the Musée d’Orsay. Housed in an old train station, it’s stunning on the inside, and houses some amazing art as well. One other spot to stop by is the Jardin des Plantes. Here, you’ll find the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle—the natural history museum—and the Grande Galerie de l’Evolution. This is also home to the Paris menagerie, or zoo.
Some other museums popular for quick trips include Musee de l’Orangerie, Musee Rodin, Musee Picasso, Musee de Montmartre and Musee du Luxembourg.
On your last day in town, spend your time exploring the landmarks and history of Paris. Obviously, stops to the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe are in order. At the tower, learn about its creator as you traipse up the stairs—it’s much more magical than an elevator. At the arch, take in the ceremony that occurs daily below while visiting the eternal flame of the Unknown Soldier. Then, make your way to the top of the structure for an interior museum and spectacular views of the city.
Visiting structures like Sacre Coeur, Notre Dame and Sainte-Chapelle also provide some history in addition to stained glass and gargoyles. Though not a church, the Pantheon is a great spot as well, offering a mausoleum below the first floor’s museum.
While this doesn’t cover every amazing thing Paris has to offer, it includes a basic overview. Save anything you miss for a longer, more in-depth exploration of the magical City of Lights.