2 days in Paris

What places to visit in Paris in 2 days? Do you have to buy any tickets in advance? How to plan the perfect vacation for 2 days in Paris? How many days do you need to see the city in fact?

Paris is one of the most romantic cities and it can’t be seen in a few days. My first trip to Paris was for 3 and a half days. I tried to visit as many sites as I could and it was exhausting! Thus if you really want to enjoy the city and not to be in a hurry, spare as many days as you can. Yet, to get an overall idea of the Paris, 2 days are enough. The best way to explore the city is by taking a hop-on-hop-off bus tour.

For a visit to Versailles, you have to add one more day for sure. To see the palace and its gardens, you’ll need a whole day. If you also plan to visit few more museums (other than the Louvre), add another day or two.

Please note that the working hours of the restaurants from the itinerary are different during the week and the weekends. You can check it on their website (links in the map below).


Places to visit in Paris in 2 days itinerary – map


Day 1


Morning

08:00 AM – 09:00 AM
Breakfast
Start the first day of the itinerary 2 days in Paris with a breakfast at Claus or Le Pain Quotidien.

09:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Louvre Museum (Musée du Louvre)
Louvre Museum is the largest museum in the world. It used to be the residence of the French Kings until Louis XIV moved the royal court to the Palace of Versailles.

The museum is huge and you’ll need days to see it. Take a look at all the exhibits and mark which ones are interesting for you before your visit.

It is better to buy a ticket for Louvre Museum in advance, the waiting lines are hours long. Another option is to book a tour of Louvre Museum.

Louvre Museum
Louvre Museum

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Tuileries Garden (Jardin des Tuileries) and Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel
Catherine de’ Medici created the Tuileries Garden in 1564. The garden was a part of the Tuileries Palace, destroyed in 1871 during the Paris Commune. The gardens are free to visit. It is a great place to take a rest after the tour of the Louvre Museum.

Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel served as an entrance to the Tuileries Palace. Emperor Napoleon I built it in 1808 to commemorate his military victories.

Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel
Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel

12:00 PM – 02:00 PM
Lunch
Have a lunch at Lescure or Ellsworth. If you prefer a quick lunch, grab some baguette sandwiches from any bakery and enjoy them at the Tuileries Garden.


Afternoon

02:00 PM – 02:15 PM
Place de la Concorde
Place de la Concorde is the largest square in Paris. Here King Louis XVI of France and Queen Marie Antoinette were executed in 1793. Nowadays two beautiful fountains and a giant Egyptian obelisk decorate the square.

The Obelisk of Luxor (Obélisque de Louxor) is decorated with hieroglyphics picturing the reign of pharaoh Ramses II. It was a gift to France from the Egyptian government in 1829.

Obelisk of Luxor
Obelisk of Luxor

The two fountains are built during the reign of Louis Philippe I. They are designed by Jacques Ignace Hittorff. He was inspired by the fountains on Piazza Navona and Piazza San Pietro in Rome. The north fountain on Place de la Concorde represents the rivers and the south is dedicated to the seas.

Place de la Concorde
Place de la Concorde

02:30 PM – 02:45 PM
Bridge Alexandre III (Pont Alexandre III)
This bridge, built in Art Nouveau style, is the most beautiful bridge in Paris.

Bridge Alexandre III
Bridge Alexandre III

03:30 PM- 04:30 PM
Triumphal Arch (Arc de Triomphe)
Triumphal Arch is a famous arch that commemorates all who fought and died for France during the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier lies beneath the arch. An eternal flame burns in a memory of all unknown soldiers who died during the world wars.

There are about 280 steps to the viewing platform on the top of the arch. It’s totally worth climbing it, the views over Champs-Élysées are fascinating. It is advisable to buy your tickets for the Triumphal Arch in advance.

Triumphal Arch
Triumphal Arch
Champs-Élysées
Champs-Élysées

05:30 PM- 06:30 PM
Sacré-Cœur Basilica (Basilique du Sacré-Coeur)
Sacré-Cœur Basilica is the gem of Montmartre. The basilica is made of travertine stone, which constantly exudes calcite. This contributes to its shining chalky whiteness. The basilica is dedicated to all who lost their lives during the Franco-Prussian War and the rule of the Paris Commune.

Due to its location on a hill, you have to climb a lot of stairs to reach it. If you are tired you can take the funicular, it costs one metro ticket each way.

The views over the city from the hill are beautiful, but for truly breathtaking views climb the dome. There are about 300 steps to the top. The entrance to the dome and the crypt is outside on the left side of the basilica. There is a free audio guide of the basilica but you have to download it in advance.

Sacré-Cœur Basilica
Sacré-Cœur Basilica

Dinner
Try some traditional French cuisine at La Boîte aux Lettres or Chez Toinette.

After dinner
Moulin Rouge
Moulin Rouge is the birthplace of the can-can dance. Don’t miss to see one of the world’s most famous cabaret shows at the Moulin Rouge.

Moulin Rouge
Moulin Rouge

I recommend these shows


Day 2


Morning

08:00 AM – 09:00 AM
Breakfast
Start the second day of the itinerary 2 days in Paris with some delicious croissants or baguette sandwich. Choose between Eric Kayser, Strada Café or Boulangerie La Parisienne.

09:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Notre Dame Cathedral (Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris) and Kilometre Zero (Point Zero des Routes de France)
Located on Île de la Cité, Notre Dame Cathedral is one of the iconic sites of Paris. The construction of the cathedral took almost 200 years. Some of its treasures are the purported Crown of Thorns, a fragment of the True Cross and one of the Holy Nails.

You can climb the South Tower, but keep in mind that there are about 390 steps to the top. The entrance to the tower is located outside of the cathedral on Rue du Cloître Notre-Dame. To avoid queuing in lines use this app or book a tour of Notre-Dame Cathedral Towers.

In front of the Notre Dame Cathedral is the Kilometre Zero. This is the point from which all major road distances in France are calculated.

Notre Dame Cathedral
Notre Dame Cathedral

11:15 AM – 12:00 PM
Holy Chapel (Sainte-Chapelle)
King Louis IX commissioned the building of Sainte-Chapelle to house his collection of relics of Christ. The Lower Chapel is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. It was used by all inhabitants of the palace. The collection of relics were housed in the Upper Chapel. This Chapel was reserved for the king and his family. It is a real masterpiece with its 6,458 square feet of stained glass windows and richly decorated wall surface.

Buy a ticket in advance for Sainte-Chapelle, too. It is one of the sites with huge waiting lines.

Sainte-Chapelle
Sainte-Chapelle

12:00 PM – 02:00 PM
Lunch
Have a lunch at Le Petit Châtelet or Comme chai Toi.


Afternoon

02:00 PM – 03:00 PM
Luxembourg Garden (Jardin du Luxembourg), Luxembourg Palace (Palais du Luxembourg) and Statue of Liberty (Statue de la Liberté)
Luxembourg Palace was the royal residence of the regent Marie de’ Medici in the 17th century. She built the palace for herself after the death of her husband, Henry IV. Unfortunately, the palace is not open to the public.

Don’t miss to see the replica of the statue of Liberty while exploring the beautiful garden.

Luxembourg Palace
Luxembourg Palace

04:00 PM – 07:00 PM
Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel)
Eiffel Tower is the most popular tourist spot in Paris. The tower is made of 12 000 iron pieces. There are three levels. The first two are accessible by stairs and a lift. The third one – only by a lift.

There is a light show every evening. For five minutes every hour on the hour the tower is sparkling. Go to Place du Trocadéro for the best view of the Eiffel Tower.

You need to book a ticket in advance for the Eiffel Tower, the waiting lines are outrageous. If there aren’t any tickets left, you can book a guided tour of the Eiffel Tower or have a dinner at the chic 58 Tour Eiffel.

Eiffel Tower
Eiffel Tower
View from the second floor of Eiffel Tower
View from the second floor of Eiffel Tower

Dinner
Finish the second day of the itinerary 2 days in Paris with a delicious French meal at Les Cocottes or Le Petit Cler. For a fine dining plus an Eiffel Tower view go to Monsieur Bleu or Les Ombres.


How to save money?

Paris Museum Pass the best way to save money. I’ve been two times to Paris and used it both times.

Paris Museum Pass includes:

  • free admission to over 60 museums and monuments in and around Paris
  • skip-the-line access
  • avoid buying separate tickets for the major sites

Using the 2 day pass (48 EUR + 5 EUR booking fee) will save you the need to buy a separate ticket in advance for each of the sites listed below. You’ll pay the same price and by using Paris Museum Pass you’ll save hours of waiting using the skip-the-line access.

  • Louvre Museum – 15 EUR (+2 EUR booking fee)
  • Triumphal Arch – 12 EUR (+2 EUR booking fee)
  • Notre-Dame Cathedral Towers – 10 EUR
  • Sainte-Chapelle – 10 EUR (+2 EUR booking fee)

By visiting any of the must-see museums listed below you’ll save not only time but money as well.

  • Panthéon – 9 EUR
  • Rodin Museum – 10 EUR
  • Orsay Museum – 12 EUR
  • Orangerie Museum – 9 EUR
  • Palaces of Versailles and Trianon – 20 EUR

What else to see

Visit the Montparnasse Tower and get the best views of Paris from the 56th floor.

FInd out why Paris is called City of Lights on a 1-hour illuminations cruise of Paris.

Take a tour of the Paris Catacombs and discover the dark side of Paris.

Find out more ideas in the itinerary Paris in 3 days.


I recommend these tours


Discounted tours

Where to stay in Paris

Shangri-La Hotel – situated across the Seine and facing the Eiffel Tower, this hotel has one of the best locations in Paris.

Ritz Paris – located in the heart of Paris, near the Tuileries Garden, the hotel is the perfect base to explore Paris.

Get 10% discount at Hotel Eugène en Ville by booking with Agoda.




What else is a must see if you have only 2 days in Paris?

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2 days in Paris itinerary - the best of Paris in 2 days

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4 Replies to “2 days in Paris”

  1. Oh, how I do so love walking the streets of Paris. Nice work, Milena.

    1. Milena Yordanova says: Reply

      Thanks.

  2. Ralph Carter says: Reply

    Thank you so much for taking the time to write this itinerary. This is going to be very helpful for us first timers in Paris!

    1. Hi Ralph,

      I am so happy that you like it. 🙂

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