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2 Days in Paris Itinerary & Best Tips by a Local

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10/07/20

2 days in Paris, what to do? We love Paris for the million reasons that everybody loves the city. Paris is beautiful, incredibly romantic, and there is no city that is easier to spend time in like Paris. The kind of place where one always finds new things to see and do, Paris truly is a moveable feast!

Paris in two days is a bit short, we recommend spending at least 3 days in Paris to get a good picture of the city. But if you only have 2 days in Paris, what to visit? Don’t worry, we have prepared the perfect Paris 2-day itinerary so you can have the time of your life during your 2 days in Paris.

If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast” – Ernest Hemingway

Paris 2 day Itinerary – Our Proposal for Paris in 2 Days

What to see in Paris in 2 days? Here’s an overview of the perfect itinerary for 2 days in Paris.

  • Day 1 in Paris – Right Bank, with Ile de la Cité, the banks of the River Seine, the Louvre Museum, the Tuileries Garden, and Montmartre.
  • Day 2 in Paris – Left Bank, with the Latin Quarter, Saint-Germain-des-Près, Trocadéro, and the Eiffel Tower.

We decided to split this 2 days in Paris itinerary into Paris Right Bank and Paris Left Bank. This has an obvious logistics advantage: all our proposals for the day are concentrated on the same side of Paris so the walking and metro distances are optimized.

During your 2 days in Paris, you are going to explore different arrondissements of Paris. It’s important to know that Paris is made up of 20 arrondissements. These arrondissements are individual districts which make up the entire city of Paris. For this Paris in two days itinerary, we are going to cover the most popular Arrondissements of Paris, leaving the lesser-known districts for longer Paris itineraries. Still, it’s recommended that you read our Paris by Arrondissement guide, with the story and main highlights by arrondissement. This will make your itinerary planning for your two days in Paris much easier.

This Paris itinerary 2 days comes with 2 different maps, one for each day spent in Paris and with our suggested points of interest.

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PARIS TRIP PLANNER

Practical Info

» Basics: Language is French but English is widely spoken; Currency is Euro

» Paris Travel Guide

» Plan: Paris Travel Planner; check out when is the Best Time to Visit Paris;

» Flying to Paris: find the best prices and book your flight tickets with CheapoAir.com

» Paris by Train: find the best prices and book your train tickets with Trainline

» Where to Stay: Best Districts to Stay in Paris

» Find your Bearings in Paris: Districts of Paris Quick Guide

» Getting around: Metro of Paris Quick GuideParis by Bike Guide

» Top-Rated Paris Tours & Tickets:

Want skip-the-line access and awesome discounts at museums & attractions in Paris? Get your hands on a Paris Museum Pass!

» Food & Drinks: Paris Food Guide

» Side Trips: Versailles Quick Guide, check out the Best Day Trips from Paris

2 Days in Paris Itinerary
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2 Days in Paris, Day 1: Paris Right Bank

Notre Dame | Louvre Museum | The Tuileries Garden | Montmartre | Moulin Rouge

Paris is crossed by the River Seine (La Seine, in French) which flows westwards to the English Channel cutting the city into two. The isle that you can see in the middle of the Seine is named Ile de la Cité, from where we are going to start this ultimate 2 days in Paris itinerary.

In Paris, you will often hear about Paris Rive Gauche (Paris’ Left Bank) and Paris Rive Droite (Paris’ Right Bank): when facing downstream, the northern bank is to the right, and the southern bank is to the left.

In Medieval times, the royal and religious powers were located in Ile de la Cité and in the Right Bank of the city. It is in this area where we find the Conciergerie, Notre Dame de Paris, the Sainte Chapelle, and the Louvre Museum.

2 Days in Paris Itinerary Map - Day 1
2 Days in Paris Itinerary Day 1 Made with Google My Maps

Click here to view this 2 days in Paris map, day 1 on Google


1. NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL (FROM OUTSIDE)

Notre Dame Cathedral Paris

Grab a coffee and head to Ile de la Cité, the heart of Paris. From metro station Cité (line 4) look for Notre Dame’s twin towers, this will be the starting point of this 2 days in Paris itinerary.

On April 15, 2019, Notre Dame Cathedral was badly damaged by a terrible fire and it is currently closed to the public for reconstruction works. However, we still find a good idea to start this Paris for 2 days itinerary from the Cathedral because Notre Dame is (and will always be) the heart and soul of Paris.

Admire Notre Dame‘s main facade, this Cathedral is a jewel of Gothic architecture and one of Paris’ main sights. Notre Dame de Paris is dedicated to Our Lady of Paris. You can see Her represented on the rose-window.

With the restoration works, this spot is not visible right now but just in front of the cathedral’s main façade there is a plaque indicating France’s km 0 so you are in the center of France! All the French roads are measured from this point.

USEFUL INFO & TIPS

» Notre Dame opening hours: closed to the public until further notice

» Notre Dame Towers opening hours: closed to the public until further notice

2. THE BANKS OF THE SEINE RIVER

This 2 days in Paris itinerary continues on the Right Bank. Take Rue d’Arcole and cross the bridge: you just reached the Seine’s Right Bank. Start walking north-west following Quai François Mitterrand, always having the river on your left side.

Walk along the Seine River

From here you have a better view of Ile de la Cité and you can admire sights like La Conciergerie (the building with the pointed towers), the iconic rooftops of Paris, or the Pont Neuf (New Bridge), which is actually the oldest bridge in Paris! After a pleasant 20-minute walk, you will reach the Louvre Museum.

3. THE LOUVRE MUSEUM

Best Way to Visit the Louvre in 2 hours

When spending only 2 days in Paris, you might have time for only one museum. Pick either the Louvre or the Musée d’Orsay. We recommend the Louvre Museum.

First-timers in Paris find it difficult to resist the temptation of visiting the Louvre Museum, even if they spend only 2 days in Paris! Originally built as a royal palace, the Louvre Palace is today one of the best and most visited museums in the world. Admire Pei’s glass pyramid, located in the Louvre’s inner court, and enter the museum for a short visit.

MAKE IT SPECIAL: the famous tea-house Angelina has an establishment inside the Louvre Museum, not far from Napoleon iii apartments. Enjoy Angelina’s famous hot chocolate or taste the incredible Mont Blanc dessert without the crowds!

USEFUL INFO & TIPS

» The Louvre Museum opens from Wednesday to Monday from 9 am to 6 am. On Wednesdays and Fridays, the Louvre opens until 9.45 pm.

» Buy Louvre skip the line tickets and don’t waste time standing in line: you only have 2 days in Paris!

» Check how to get the most out of the Louvre in 2 hours or less!

4. THE TUILERIES GARDEN

Tuileries Gardens Paris

After visiting some of the most famous Louvre artworks, let’s head to the Tuileries Garden for a walk in the fresh air.

The Tuileries Garden is one of the most beautiful parks in Paris and the oldest French garden in the city. It was designed in the 16th century on the site of ancient tile factories that gave the park its name. The current layout still keeps the spirit of André Le Notre’s design, the same landscape designer than the Gardens of  Château de Versailles and the gardens of Château de Chantilly.

Take a stroll around the park to see the ponds, the flowers, and admire the different sculptures. If you have not eaten yet, the park has a couple of guinguettes where you can get coffee and a quick eat.

MAKE IT SPECIAL: do you want to learn about the fascinating history of the park whilst having fun? Check out this DIY Tuileries Garden Quest for a unique view of the Tuileries Garden in Paris.

If the first of your 2 days in Paris comes with the rain or it’s too cold outside, explore some of the most beautiful covered passages of Paris, located not far from the Tuileries Garden.

5. MONTMARTRE

We will spend the last hours of this Paris in 2 days itinerary in the most famous hill in Paris. From Tuileries, take the metro to the iconic neighborhood of Montmartre. We suggest arriving at Anvers metro station (line 12) and follow this Stories of Old Montmartre Walking Tour which explores the top sights of Montmartre such as the Sacré Coeur, the Moulin de la Galette, Place du Tertre or the Wall of Love.

From Sacré Coeur down to Place des Abbesses, take your time to read the stories behind the main sights, perhaps with a coffee break in between.

MAKE IT SPECIAL: climb up to Sacré Coeur’s dome for amazing panoramic views of Paris! The access to the dome is from outside the basilica, on the left side.

Evening at Moulin Rouge or Montmartre

Moulin Rouge

6. MOULIN ROUGE CABARET SHOW

For the first evening of this 2 days in Paris itinerary, head to the Moulin Rouge for a fun night of music, can-can, and lots of bubbles. The Moulin Rouge is one of the most popular cabarets in Paris so you may want to buy your Moulin Rouge tickets well in advance!

7. MONTMARTRE AT NIGHT

Alternatively, you can decide to spend the first evening of your 2 days in Paris by exploring other bits of Montmartre under the moonlight and have dinner in one of the best restaurants in Montmartre. Finish your day with a cocktail at one of our favorite rooftop bars in Paris, the Terrass Rooftop Bar, admiring the Paris skyline and gazing across the lights and landmarks that define the City of Lights.

USEFUL INFO & TIPS:

» Click here to buy your tickets to the Moulin Rouge show

» Terrass Hotel and Rooftop Bar is located at 12 Rue Joseph de Maistre. Open also to non-guests

2 Days in Paris, Day 2: Paris Left Bank

The Latin Quarter | Luxembourg Gardens | Saint-Germain-des-Prés | Eiffel Tower

During the second day of this 2 days in Paris itinerary, we are going to explore the Left Bank of Paris. Historically, the Left Bank was the focus of the intellectual and religious life in Paris.

2 Days in Paris Itinerary Map - Day 2
2 Days in Paris Itinerary Day 2 Made with Google My Maps

Click here to view this 2 days in Paris map, day 2 on Google


1. THE LATIN QUARTER

Paris 5 - Place Contrescarpe

Start the last day of your 2 days in Paris with a coffee at the Latin Quarter in Paris, the heart of university life. This is also one of the oldest districts of Paris, where the former Roman city Lutetia (IC AD) developed along its Cardo Maximus, the present Rue Saint Jacques. Like all the Roman cities, Lutetia had a forum (current Rue Soufflot), a couple of Roman baths (Les Thermes de Lutèce), and even an amphitheater known today as Arènes de Lutèce.

2. THE PANTHÉON

This is one of the most famous landmarks in Paris. Originally built as a church, the Panthéon operates today as a mausoleum with tombs of illustrious French citizens.

The building has an impressive facade surmounted by a large dome. In 1851, physicist Léon Foucault demonstrated the rotation of the Earth by constructing a 67-meter Foucault pendulum beneath the central dome. Today, a replica of this famous pendulum is still displayed inside the Panthéon.

MAKE IT SPECIAL: if you are don’t miss the awesome views from the Panthéon’s dome! The dome is often referred to as the “balcony of Paris” because of the amazing views of Paris.

Wander around the Latin Quarter. In this same area, there are several buildings making up the large complex of La Sorbonne University, which are also impressive and always teeming with students. La Sorbonne was founded in 1253 at King Louis IX’s request as a college for 16 poor students who wanted to study theology. After 1885, it became the most important university in France and it is still one of the most important universities in Paris.

Around the Sorbonne, you can find the Collège de France, other prestigious schools, and the beautiful Sainte-Geneviève library. There are also many bookshops, cafes, and independent cinemas.

USEFUL INFO & TIPS:

» You can reach the Panthéon by metro, from Cardinal Lemoine metro station (line 10). If you want to have a quick look at the Arènes de Lutèce first, then take the metro to Jussieu (lines 7 and 10).

» The Panthéon of Paris is open every day from 10 am to 6.30 pm. The entrance ticket costs 9€

» The access to the Panthéon’s dome is open from April to October. Apart from the Panthéon ticket, you need to purchase a second ticket that costs 2€.

3. THE LUXEMBOURG GARDENS

Luxembourg Gardens Paris

This 2 days in Paris itinerary takes you now to one of the most beautiful gardens in Paris. Explore the beautiful Luxembourg Gardens and admire the palace originally built for Queen Marie de Médicis (today the Sénat Palace) and other beautiful sights like the octagonal pond or the romantic Médicis Fountain. If the weather is good, don’t hesitate to blend in with the locals and have a picnic on the grass.

MAKE IT SPECIAL: this cool DIY Treasure Hunt is perfect to explore the Luxembourg Gardens whilst having fun.

4. SAINT-GERMAIN-DES-PRÉS

Les Deux Magots Paris

From Luxembourg Gardens, take the Avenue Bonaparte to the neighborhood of Saint Germain-des-Prés.

Developed around the former Saint-Germain Abbey, the neighborhood of Saint-Germain-des-Prés became after the Second World War a center of intellectual and cultural life in Paris, with the presence of interesting writers and artists like Marguerite Duras, Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, François Truffaut, Picasso, Giacometti and many more. All these cool people liked to wander around Saint-Germain and enjoy its particular atmosphere and a good intellectual discussion at Café Les Deux Magots or Café de Flore.

Today, Saint-Germain is a great place to get lost in its winding streets or to stop at a nice cafe for people watching.

MAKE IT SPECIAL: Saint-Germain is well known for having some of the best chocolate shops and pâtisseries of Paris. We recommend the Saint-Germain Chocolate Walking Tour.

Evening at the Eiffel Tower with Seine River Boat Tour

Eiffel Tower Paris

5. THE EIFFEL TOWER

For the last night of your 2 days in Paris, head to the Eiffel Tower for a “grand finale” in the City of Lights! Climb up to the Eiffel Tower’s summit to watch the sunset over Paris.

Designed by the engineer Gustave Eiffel, the Eiffel Tower is always impressive but it is even more incredible to see at night when the golden floodlights come on. When the Tour Eiffel is lit up it will sparkle for the first five minutes of every hour so check your watch not to miss the next one!

6. SEINE RIVER BOAT TOUR

Seine Cruise in Paris

End your day with a Seine night boat tour – and perhaps a glass of champagne – and admire the historical monuments dotted along the route: The Eiffel Tower, the Musée d’Orsay, the Conciergerie, … and back to Notre Dame, where everything started.

MAKE IT SPECIAL: a gourmet dinner with amazing views of the Eiffel Tower at restaurant Les Ombres can be the perfect start of an unforgettable night!

USEFUL INFO & TIPS:

» Book your Eiffel Tower tickets well in advance! With only two days in Paris, it’s important to secure the date and time slot asap.

» Restaurant Les Ombres is located at 27 Quai Branly (Paris 7). Book your table in advance directly on their website.

» Have a look at the best Seine River boat tours

» During summertime, sunset can be around 22:00. Boat tours usually run until 10.30 pm so we recommend booking the last or pre-last boat tour to see the monuments illuminated.

Other Things to Do in Paris in 2 Days

Of course, there are many other interesting things to do in Paris in two days, it’s just that we cannot include everything in a so short itinerary! Below, find more ideas of places to visit for 2 days in Paris:

» This Paris 2-day itinerary does not include Le Marais. Le Marais is another interesting area to explore and you can find some ideas in our posts on Paris 3 and Paris 4. Both posts cover different parts of Le Marais.

» Spending 2 days in Paris during the winter? Check out our Winter in Paris Bucket List, with some cool proposals when it’s too cold to be outside. If the weather forecast shows rain in Paris, check out this list of things to do in Paris during rainy days.

» If you want to surprise your partner with a romantic weekend getaway, we recommend using this romantic weekend in Paris itinerary instead, also with a program for two days in Paris.

» If you have some more time, you may want to include some of the 50 most iconic things to do in Paris in your itinerary. Check out our Paris Bucket List for other ideas.


How to Get from and to the Airports of Paris

OPTIONTODURATIONPRICEHOURS
Train Paris CDG AirportGare du Nord or Châtelet30-40 min10,3€4.50 am – 11.50 pm
Welcome Pickups CDG Airport (Private transfer)Your hotel30-40 min60€ approx24/7
CDG Airport Shared transferYour hotel60 min18.75€ approx24/7
Taxi CDG AirportYour hotel30-40 min60€ approx24/7
Orly Bus Paris ORY AirportDenfert- Rochereau30-40 min9.5€6 am – 0.30 am
Welcome Pickups ORY Airport (Private transfer)Your hotel30-40 min50€ approx24/7
ORY Airport Shared transferYour hotel60 min18.75€ approx24/7
Taxi ORY AirportYour hotel30-40 min50€ approx24/7

Our personal recommendation is to pre-book a Welcome Taxi, a reliable and top-rated private transfer service. Your driver will wait for you outside of the arrivals hall with a sign bearing your name plus a bottle of water and a map of the city. Welcome Pickups have introduced strict safety protocols to protect drivers and guests.

These are what we consider the best options to go from one of the Paris airports to the city but there are many more, public and private.

Where to Sleep in Paris for 2 Days

Haven’t decided where to stay during your 2 days in Paris yet? Check out our hotel suggestions perfect for exploring Paris in 2 days.

We recommend Booking.com for booking your hotel in Paris. They have a wide variety of accommodation of all kinds and good rates. In addition, they propose the option to cancel for free, most of the time up to 24 hours.


SLEEP WITH EIFFEL TOWER VIEWS

If you have the budget, why not treating yourself with the pleasure of waking up with an amazing Eiffel Tower balcony view?

Some of the best hotels in Paris also come with awesome views of Eiffel Tower, especially beautiful during its night show!

Check out the best hotels with Eiffel Tower Views

The good news is that a cozy room with Eiffel Tower views is not exclusive to the best hotels in Paris. If you are looking for a more local experience, there are also beautiful, fully equipped apartments to rent with amazing Eiffel Tower views

Check out the best apartments with view of Eiffel Tower


HOTELS AT LE MARAIS IN PARIS 3

Le Marais in the Right Bank is a beautiful and central neighborhood perfect to set your base in Paris, especially if you are visiting Paris for the first time. It is picturesque, well connected by the metro, and with many beautiful cafes and restaurant options.

Click here for the best hotels in Le Marais in Paris 3

LE PAVILLON DE LA REINE &  SPA, Paris 3, $$$$

Le Pavillon de la Reine is a luxury hotel & spa located at Place des Vosges in the Marais. The rooms are individually decorated and very spacious. Facilities include a spa, fitness center, and hammam. Its beautiful secluded garden is perfect to end your day with a drink.

Click here for the Latest Prices


HOTEL DU PETIT MOULIN, Paris 3, $$$

Located at the heart of Marais and entirely designed by Christian Lacroix, this hotel offers the best combination history + design. Guests can use complimentary bicycles and enjoy free access to the spa at Hotel Pavillon de la Reine, a 10-min walk away.

Click here for the Latest Prices


HOTELS AT THE LATIN QUARTER

If you prefer to stay in the Left Bank, the Latin Quarter is also a good option, usually with less expensive options. Stay close to the Luxembourg Gardens or the Jardin des Plantes but also to lively areas like rue du Mouffetard or the Sorbonne with many bars and restaurants nearby.

Click here for the best hotels in the Latin Quarter in Paris 5

XHOTEL LA LANTERNE; Paris 5, $$$$

Hotel La Lanterne has an excellent location (between Notre Dame and Luxembourg Gardens), attractive rooms, and some great facilities like a spa, pool, or a private garden. Perfect to finish your exploring days in a more relaxing way.

Click here for the Latest Prices


OBSERVATOIRE LUXEMBOURG: Paris 5, $$$

Located close to Luxembourg Gardens, we find its design pretty cool. But of course, it is not all about decoration: the hotel’s comfortable rooms, French Brasserie, modern facilities, and cool staff are the perfect combination for a great stay in Paris.

Click here for the Latest Prices

Ready to spend 2 days in Paris? Don’t forget to pin this Post for when you start planning your Paris in 2 days trip!

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