Over the summer Dane and I had the pleasure of seeing Paris for the first time. A 3-day stop on our 10-day European vacation, we decided to arrive with little (legit 1 thing!) on our agenda. Since other parts of our trip were so structured, we just wanted to leave some space for spontaneity.
Despite not having a detailed itinerary, we got to see a TON! So if you’re visiting the City of Love, but don’t want to spend too much time planning your 3 days in Paris, read on. I’ve put together some great tips for you, including where to stay, where to eat, and what to do!
3 Days in Paris
Where to Stay:
My friend, who has visited Paris on a number of occasions, recommended we stay within the 1-8 arrondissements (districts) for the sake of safety and convenience. So that’s what we did, and I would recommend that you do, too! We stayed at a boutique hotel called Hotel le Walt, which is located in the 7th arrondissement. It was walking distance from the Eiffel Tower, and the area was so quaint!
I found Hotel le Walt on Expedia, and I booked it because it offered rooms with an Eiffel Tower view at a fairly reasonable price. Honestly, I was nervous we were going to walk into a dump. The deal seemed too good to be true, and pictures can be deceiving! But it DID NOT disappoint!
Like most hotels in Europe, our room at Hotel le Walt was small. But it was cute, clean, and it worked for 2 people! The staff was SO kind and helpful, and they spoke great English. That was a total bonus for us. We didn’t expect it, but it was nice to be able to communicate clearly.
Where to Eat:
We stayed close to our hotel for every meal but one, mainly out of convenience. My favorite spot was a little bakery down the street from our hotel – Bretteau Sébastien. They had THE BEST homemade quiche. But if you’re looking for sit down, try Les Parisiennes Cafe, La Commanderie, and/or La Terrasse du 7ᵉ. The service at each was great, the food was good, and the people were all so nice.
The only other thing I will say that you HAVE to eat while you’re in Paris (unless you’re allergic) is a chocolate chip baguette. OMG – SO FREAKING GOOD! Easily a highlight of our 3 days in Paris… at least for me. Oh, and a macaron from Laduree is worth the calories, too. 😉
What to See:
Obviously, you have to see the Eiffel Tower during the day AND night. During the day you can get a better view of the architecture. But at night it sparkles for the first 5 minutes of every hour, and boy is it a sight to see!!! People just sit around it on blankets at all hours of the day eating bread and drinking wine. It’s the cutest thing ever!
Other must-see attractions include Musée du Louvre, Jardin des Tuileries, Domaine National du Palais-Royal, Galeries Lafayette, the Champs-Élysées, and the various famous arches. I know it sounds like a lot, but you CAN see all of these things (and more!) with just 3 days in Paris. IF you do a bus tour.
I know a bus tour sounds like the most touristy thing ever, and I used to think that, too. But doing a hop-on, hop-off bus tour actually gives you the best bang for your buck. And it’s the best way to discover areas and excursions that perhaps Google or friends never told you about!
For ~$60 per person Dane and I got to see pretty much everything we wanted to see in Paris within 12 hours (and then some!)! We didn’t have to figure out how to navigate, pay for cabs or communicate with cabbies. Instead, we sat back, looked around, and listened to narration (in English!) as we were chauffeured around the city. We seriously learned so much, and when we stumbled upon a cool area, we got off the bus and explored. It was almost too easy!
Aside from the bus tour, I would also highly recommend booking a river cruise – specifically at sunset! You go up and down the Seine River and get to see the city from a whole different perspective. We booked through this company a month before our trip to secure our tickets. There are other companies that offer a similar experience, but no matter who you book with I would recommend booking in advance. Time slots do sell out!
Paris is truly a dream city, and it’s one I will absolutely go back to. But honestly, I don’t feel like we HAVE to because we did get to accomplish so much, even in a little bit of time.
>> So what do you want to know about Paris? If you’ve been, what was your favorite part? Drop your questions and comments below!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading. Do your best today!
PS: If you’re into travel, here are all of my travel posts to date! I’m working on more, too, so check back soon!