If you’re planning a vacation, chances are that France has crossed your mind as a destination. After all, with over 30 million foreign visitors a year, France has retained its place as the most traveled-to country in the world over a record number of years.
Paris, the City of Light, is a hotspot with these visitors. And with good reason- this wonderful city is filled with wonders and attractions that you don’t want to miss. But what if you only have a limited amount of time to take your trip? How many days do you need in Paris to make your trip worthwhile?
That’s where we come in to help with your planning! While more time in Paris is a boon, you can do the majority of the main attractions in a short trip. Read on to learn how to tour Paris in five days and get the most out of your adventure.
On your first day in Paris, you’ll likely be tired from your flight, but that’s no excuse to lay in the hotel doing nothing. On the contrary, it’s a good idea to get up and at ’em so you can combat jetlag fast. Still, you may want to be near your hotel just in case. Since you’ll hopefully be staying in the very safe Zone 1 tourist area, this means you can start your trip off with a bang: the Eiffel Tower.
Head to the Eiffel Tower and take some pictures. Hop into one of the elevators (or, if you like to be active, onto the staircase) and go to the top. Once that happens, you can marvel at the glory that is Paris from above.
Wander the area then and check out the markets that tourists like yourself so love. Buy some of the locally made goods and try a delicious crepe for dinner from one of the many food stands. If you’re up for it, a tour boat on the Seine is 100% in order.
Also, make sure that you get to high ground on the hour at least once during the evening. The Eiffel Tower lights up with shimmering lights and is stunning.
Day 2 is another day of touristy goodness. Head over to the Louvre- about a 15 minute Uber ride from the Eiffel Tower- and marvel at the stunning art. Sure, you’re going to want to hit the Mona Lisa while you’re there, but don’t skip through the room of lesser-known art. The detailed statues and historic French paintings are nothing to sneeze at.
We aren’t going to lie: if you want to do the Louvre correctly, you’re going to need to spend an entire day there. It’s well worth the time and you’re sure to have no regrets. If you get hungry, don’t leave! There’s a restaurant in the lobby that sells delicious authentic escargot, a must-have in Paris.
Day 3 will roll around before you know it, and you’ll still have so much to explore. It’s a good day to head to the Notre Dame Cathedral and see the lovely stained glass ceilings. Make sure that you look in each chamber and check out the historic exhibits and awe-inspiring architecture. It may have burned, but it’s in no way lost and it still a more-than-worthwhile visit.
From the cathedral, you can walk to the Shakespeare and Co. bookstore. It’s got the largest selection of novels in English in the nation. If you love to read, you’ll love this huge bookstore and its wide selection.
After a short rest, Uber over to the Moulin Rouge nightclub in the evening. This famous cabaret has the best shows, drinks, and social nightlife that you’ve ever experienced, so make sure that you don’t skip it!
On day 4, you may want to travel a bit outside the inner city and check out the Palace of Versailles. This historic palace was home to a wide number of French monarchs including Louis XIII and his son. More well-known is that Versailles contained the estate of Marie Antoinette, the queen beheaded during the French revolution. She added a lot of parts onto the palace, too, so you’ll get to see her personal touch!
Monarchs aside, the Palace of Versailles is an impressive structure that was built to be striking. The detailed and symbolic architecture is not to be missed, making it the perfect place to spend a whole day.
Day 5 is the day for some dark history, so you’re in luck if you love that sort of thing.
Head over to the underground Catacombs of Paris. You can reach them on the subway system that runs all throughout the city. Once you’re there, you should take an awesome tour with a knowledgeable expert. This person will explain the history and folklore of the Catacombs- known colloquially as the ‘world’s largest graves.’
Oh, and you can also get catacombs skip the line access! In fact, to save time on your trip, you can get skip-the-line access to most major museums and attractions. That’s definitely something to think about!
Anyway, once you’re in a dark mood, wander around Paris to look at the French revolution locations that have inspired Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities. Check out the remains of the Bastille and the Place de la Concorde, if possible. Basically, just look up places that have a story to tell from this time period.
Get a flight out of France as late as possible to ensure that you have time to see everything and then bid this beautiful nation adieu.
So, How Many Days Do You Need in Paris?
Of course, there are so many more things to do in Paris than you can fit into a five-day trip. Still, you’ll be able to see a lot of amazing things in just this short time period that your trip will be well worth your while.
Now you know the answer to the question, how many days do you need in Paris? That’s why it’s time to start checking out some more travel tips to ensure that you get the most out of your trip. Check out the ‘destinations’ tab on our home page for some more awesome ideas for what you can do during your time abroad.