pillars with lanterns on paris for a weekend

Ooh La La! Paris for a Weekend: Your Ultimate 2023 Guide

Are you planning a trip to Paris for a weekend but feeling overwhelmed by all the options? Fear not, I’ve got you covered.

The City of Light, known for its romantic atmosphere and stunning architecture, makes it a perfect choice for a quick Paris weekend trip getaway.

Just imagine, 2 days in Paris strolling along the Seine River, exploring its iconic sites, charming streets and quintessential neighbourhoods. Not to mention indulging in delicious French cuisine!

J’adore Paris. And I would jump at the chance to take a weekend Paris trip! Any time in Paris is a good idea. With 8 trips to Paris under my belt, I feel like it’s my second home. I know my way around the city fairly well from its most iconic landmarks to its hidden gems.

Whether you’re visiting for the first time or the 10th time let’s make this short trip to Paris unforgettable. I’ll share all of my insider tips to help you plan your Paris weekend itinerary. All you need to do is make some choices on what to do in Paris for a weekend, pack and enjoy!

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Is Paris for 2 Days Worth It

trees with buildings on weekend trip paris

Yes, two days in Paris is definitely worth it! There’s so much to do in Paris that it’s just one of those cities that you can revisit over and over again and still be smitten, charmed and surprised to find new secret spots to explore. So if you’re thinking about booking a weekend to Paris trip – do it – you won’t forget it!

The best way to enjoy a weekend in Paris is by managing your expectations. You’ll never be able to squeeze it all into a couple of days, but you still can get a tease of what makes Paris, Paris.

The city offers endless iconic attractions like world-famous landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Louvre Museum, which houses priceless masterpieces like the Mona Lisa.

A weekend in Paris itinerary could also include exploring some of the best arrondissements whether that’s the charming streets of Montmartre in the 18th arr, the chic Saint Germain in the 6th arr, or the historic Le Marais in the 3rd and 4th arr.

That makes choosing where to stay for your weekend away in Paris so important. You will want to maximize your time, and choose an area of Paris that you will be spending most of your time in. Don’t worry, I cover that a little later in this article (refer to Where to Stay for 2 Nights in Paris).

No weekend trip to Paris should be without stealing some quiet moments. Indulge in delicious French cuisine at quaint cafes or visit an off-the-beaten-path secret square or garden. It’s only when you stop to smell the roses that you will fully immerse yourself in the romantic ambiance of the city. While two days will never be enough to fully delve into everything Paris offers, let go of trying to see it all. It’s okay because if you’re like me it will leave you wanting to return.

Your Paris for a Weekend Itinerary

Unlike other articles you might read, I will not have you crisscrossing the city just to try and jam everything into each of your weekend getaway to Paris. To me, that’s no way to experience the city.

I will cluster things to do in Paris for a weekend together to maximize your time. Also included will be options. Not every traveller likes the same things, so watch out for those areas where you can customize this Paris weekend itinerary to suit your interests.

The last tip is an important one, that’s to book everything in advance. The last thing you want to do is to waste time waiting in long lines or not get into that special restaurant for dinner. I will provide you with all that information making it easy for you in one click to book that dinner reservation, entrance tickets or tour.

2 Days Paris Itinerary: Day 1


platform with eiffel tower and pink sky in paris for a weekend

Start your day in Paris with a magical experience by catching the sunrise at Trocadéro Square, where you’ll witness the Eiffel Tower bathed in the warm glow of the morning light (and without the crowds). Grab a coffee and croissant at the nearby Carette, one of the best cafes in Paris.

After taking in the breathtaking view, stroll through the picturesque Trocadéro Gardens (tip: verve to the right, it’s a much better view) and make your way across the elegant Pont d’Iéna bridge, which offers another great vantage point of the iconic landmark.

First time visitors are going to want to take a tour of the Eiffel Tower granting you access to its observation decks for panoramic views of the city. And repeat travellers, this is your chance to marvel at its intricate ironwork and impressive height because can you really tire looking at the Iron Lady? I know I can’t.

Grab your Eiffel Tower entry ticket with summit access

Next, venture towards the nearby Champ de Mars, a vast green space that offers you more views of the Eiffel Tower. From there, make your way to rue Cler, a charming pedestrian street known for its lively foodie markets. This is a great time on the agenda to treat yourself to a delectable French pastry or perhaps grab a quick bite at one of the inviting cafes along this street.


spring flowers with building in gardens in paris for a weekend

Continue your journey by heading to Place de la Concorde and the beautiful Tuileries Garden, located just a short distance from the Louvre Museum. This meticulously manicured garden is incredibly beautiful with its tree-lined pathways, elegant fountains, and perfectly trimmed hedges. Walk through its entirety making your way to the renowned Louvre Museum and enjoy your tour of some of the greatest works of art, like the Mona Lisa (Note: you’re bound to be disappointed by the Mona Lisa. It’s small, behind glass and lines of people wait in line just to see it. I totally understand it’s on your bucket list and just one of those sites you can’t say no to).

Book your timed entrance ticket to the Louvre Museum

After immersing yourself in art and culture, cross over to Ile de la Cite one of the two natural islands in the heart of the city. Wander through its charming streets, lined with historic buildings and quaint shops. One of the prettiest streets is rue Chanoinesse. It’s here you will find a cute cafe called Au Vieux Paris d’Arcole housed in a 16th-century building. This is where you can see the exterior of the Notre Dame Cathedral (note: the interior is not open yet due to the ongoing fire restorations).

Late afternoon

Now it’s free time to explore the neighbourhood of your choice, either the Latin Quarter in the 5th arrondissement or Saint-Germain in the 6th arrondissement.

In the Latin Quarter, you can wander through its narrow, winding streets, lined with charming cafes, bookshops, and historic buildings. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit Shakespeare and Company, a legendary bookstore that has become a literary haven for book lovers from around the world. Stop in Odette, known for its cream puffs. Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of this intellectual and artistic hub, and perhaps stop by the iconic Pantheon or visit the renowned Sorbonne University.

restaurant with table and chairs on in paris in a weekend

Alternatively, if you opt for Saint-Germain, you’ll discover a more upscale and fashionable district. Explore its chic boutiques, art galleries, and indulge in some people-watching at the trendy cafes that line its streets. Take a leisurely stroll through the Luxembourg Gardens, a serene oasis in the heart of the city, or visit the famous Café de Flore or Les Deux Magots, both historic literary cafes frequented by renowned intellectuals. A visit to the 6th arrondissement is not complete without admiring the Saint Germain Des Pres Church. It’s one of the oldest churches in Paris.


To end your day on a magical note, embark on a sunset Seine River cruise. Witness the city’s landmarks illuminated by the golden hues of the setting sun as you leisurely sail along the water. Admire the majestic Notre Dame Cathedral, the romantic bridges, and the captivating architecture lining the riverbanks. The cruise will provide a breathtaking perspective of the city, allowing you to soak in the beauty of Paris as the day comes to a close.

Book the most popular sunset cruise with music ⭐️ RATING: 4/5 Stars

2 Days Paris Itinerary: Day 2


Embark on a delightful journey through Paris by starting your day in the enchanting neighbourhood of Montmartre in the 18th arrondissement. Begin your day with a leisurely stroll along Rue de l’Abreuvoir, a picturesque street lined with ivy-clad buildings and the pretty La Maison Rose cafe.

Make your way to the vibrant Place du Tertre, a lively square filled with artists, street performers, and cozy outdoor terraces. Take a moment to watch the talented painters at work and perhaps even have your portrait sketched as a unique keepsake. It’s a touristy thing to do, but seeing it in the morning without the crowds makes it a bit more charming. Get lost in the nearby streets and soak up the artsy, bohemian vibes of this historic district that’s home to the Moulin Rouge.

Next, head towards the iconic Sacré-Cœur Basilica perched atop Montmartre’s hill. Marvel at the stunning architecture of this white-domed masterpiece and enjoy the panoramic view of the city from its steps. Take your time to explore the interior of the basilica, adorned with intricate mosaics.

carousel with cathedral on a weekend in paris trip

Afterward, make your way to Square Louise Michel, down the steps of the Basilica while admiring the panoramic views of the city’s rooftops. Find a comfortable spot to relax, soak up the sun, and admire the beautiful surroundings.

Don’t forget to make a quick stop at the famous “Wall of Love” nearby, where you’ll discover the words “I love you” written in multiple languages, creating a heartwarming symbol of love and unity.

To continue your Paris adventure, head towards Rue des Martyrs, a lively foodie street known for its vibrant atmosphere and diverse array of shops. I hope you brought your appetite. Explore its enticing boutiques, delightful pastry shops, and trendy cafes, and indulge in some local treats along the way.


pillars with building in paris weekend trip

When you’re ready to move on, take the metro from the Notre-Dame-de-Lorette station to Arts et Métiers, a station known for its unique steampunk-inspired design. From there, you’ll find yourself in the lively neighbourhood of Le Marais that stretches over the 3rd and 4th arrondissements.

This historic district is a treasure trove of narrow medieval streets, elegant mansions, and charming hidden squares that only can be found by the curious traveller. Take your time to explore the area, visit the quaint shops, and savour the local cuisine in the trendy cafes and restaurants that line the streets. For an afternoon pick me up seek out Griffon, a trendy cafe tucked away in a hidden courtyard against the remains of a medieval wall from the 13th century, or a more elegant atmosphere at Fabula sits in the courtyard of the beautiful Carnavalet Museum.

There are several optional activities you can consider to make the most of your time here. Start by exploring the fascinating National Archives Museum in Hôtel de Soubise, which offers free entry. Delve into the archives of French history as you wander through the beautifully preserved rooms and discover the rich cultural heritage housed within its walls.

Another option is to visit the renowned Picasso Museum, which showcases an extensive collection of works by the iconic artist. Marvel at the diverse range of Picasso’s creations, from paintings and sculptures to ceramics and drawings, and gain a deeper understanding of his artistic journey.

For a taste of cultural diversity, venture into the Jewish district of Le Marais. Explore the historic rue des Rosiers, where you’ll find a myriad of kosher bakeries, restaurants, and the famous L’As du Fallafel which yes has the best-tasting falafel wrap in the city!

Make sure to visit the elegant Place des Vosges, one of the oldest squares in Paris. Admire the beautiful architecture of the surrounding buildings, stroll through the manicured gardens, and find a peaceful spot to relax and people-watch.

If you’re a fan of antique shopping, head to Saint-Paul Village, where you’ll find a treasure trove of charming boutiques and antique shops. Explore the cobblestone streets, browse unique vintage items, and perhaps find a special souvenir to take home.


bridge with statue and gold leaf on weekend paris trip

As the day draws to a close, take a leisurely walk along the Seine, passing the iconic bouquinistes (booksellers) and crossing over the bridges. As the sun sets, enjoy the captivating views of the Eiffel Tower from the picturesque Pont Alexandre III bridge, which is adorned with exquisite sculptures and offers a magnificent backdrop for memorable photos. Not ready to say goodbye to Paris yet, walk up the most famous Paris street, Champs-Élysées to the iconic Arc de Triomphe. Climb the tower and you’ll know why it got its nickname of City of Light.

Pre-book your Arc de Triomphe Rooftop access ⭐️ RATING: 4.6/5 Stars

How to Get Around Paris in a Weekend

Your weekend away to Paris is made super easy thanks to its walkability, extensive metro system, and bike rental program. Paris is known for its compact size and pedestrian-friendly streets, making it a great city to explore on foot. Almost all of the attractions included in this Paris 2-day itinerary are within a reasonable walking distance, allowing you to immerse yourself in the charming atmosphere while discovering hidden gems along the way.

If you need to cover longer distances or prefer a faster option, the metro is a fantastic choice. With a single ticket priced at 1.90 euros, you can easily navigate the city using the extensive metro network, which connects all major areas of Paris.

Additionally, Paris offers a bike rental program called Vélib‘, allowing you to pedal your way through the city at your own pace. With numerous bike stations available throughout Paris, you can easily rent a bike and enjoy the picturesque streets and scenic paths alongside the Seine River. Whether you choose to stroll, ride the metro, or hop on a bike, getting around Paris for the weekend is a breeze, ensuring that you make the most of your time exploring this incredible city.

If you want to still see the sights, but give your feet a break use the popular hop-on hop-off bus to help you get around.

Where to Stay for 2 Nights in Paris

building with iron balconies in paris for 2 days

When choosing where to stay for two nights in Paris, the central arrondissements close to the Seine offer a convenient location. Consider accommodations in the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, or 6th arrondissements, each with its own unique charm and proximity to major attractions. Any of these will be most fitting for your Paris weekend getaway.

If you prefer boutique hotels, I highly recommend where I stayed at the luxury Pavillon de la Reine. Located in the picturesque Place des Vosges, this luxurious hotel offers elegant rooms, a serene courtyard, and excellent amenities.

Another option is to rent an apartment as I’ve done in the chic neighbourhood of Saint Germain. The Saint Germain apartment provides an authentic Parisian experience. The other place I’ve rented an apartment is in Le Marais. Make sure to check out these review articles to see if it’s a right fit.

If not, I’ve got more helpful articles about finding the perfect boutique hotel with a curated list of 41 properties.

You’re in luck as many vacation rental properties have a 2-night minimum making it feasible to stay in a very stylish apartment for your weekend in Paris.

Extending Your Weekend in Paris Trip

Have you decided to turn your 2 days into a Paris long weekend? Wise choice! That extra day means you can take a day trip to Versailles!

Start your day early and venture to this opulent royal residence, just a short train ride away from Paris. Marvel at the grandeur of the palace as you explore its lavish halls, stunning gardens, and iconic Hall of Mirrors. Beyond the grandeur of the French monarchy I especially loved the grounds and gardens at Versailles. There’s really nothing quite like it in the world!

Get your skip-the-line day access to Versailles Palace and Gardens ⭐️ RATING: 4.7/5 Stars

stained glass window and ceiling in a weekend in paris

Return to Paris and prepare for an enchanting evening at Sainte-Chapelle. As the sun starts to dip, make your way to this breathtaking Gothic chapel with over 1,000 stained glass windows located on the Île de la Cité. By attending an evening concert you get access to explore the chapel before the performance starts. It’s such an ethereal atmosphere, as the flickering candlelight dances across the exquisite stained glass windows.

The combination of the chapel’s architectural splendour and the enchanting music will create an unforgettable experience, allowing you to end the long weekend in Paris on a truly magical note.

Pre-book Sainte Chapelle Entry ticket ⭐️ RATING: 4.5/5 Stars

Resources to Help You Book Your Weekend Trip in Paris

If visiting Paris and want more resources, you can access my full library list of articles.

Paris city breaks would be top of my list of places in Europe that makes for a short or longer stay. So to help your planning, here are all the resources you might need.

✈️ What’s the best site to buy flights?

For finding the best flights, I recommend Expedia

🏩 What’s the best way to book my Paris accommodations?

My go-to choice for hotels is Booking.com. For holiday rentals, check out VRBO (which is far cheaper than Airbnb), or my go-to choice for exclusive vacation rental properties is Plum Guide.

 🎫What’s the best way to book excursions in Paris?

I always like to use Get Your Guide. They offer the most competitive rates, free cancellation policy and promote top-rated tours travellers like.

 🧳What should I pack for my Paris for a weekend adventure?

Comfortably chic is the look you’re going for. As you’ll likely be exploring the city on foot, comfortable walking shoes are a must. Paris is a fashion-forward destination, so pack some stylish outfits to fit in with the locals. In case of rain, always pack an umbrella, otherwise duck into covered passages to keep dry. Paris makes for countless photo opportunities, so don’t forget to pack your camera!

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FAQ About Paris for the Weekend

How do I get from the airport to the city center?

Paris has two major airports: Charles de Gaulle (CDG) and Orly (ORY). From CDG, you can take the RER train or taxi. From ORY, you have options like Orlybus, Orlyval train, or taxis.

How can I make the most of a weekend in Paris?

Plan your itinerary wisely. Prioritize the attractions you want to visit, use public transportation efficiently, and consider booking skip-the-line tickets to save time. Also, try to explore different neighbourhoods and indulge in the city’s culinary delights.

Should I get a Paris Museum pass for the weekend?

No, it will not be worth getting a Paris Museum Pass for the weekend unless you plan on visiting multiple museums. Over the weekend you’ll likely want to balance your desire to visit museums with other activities.

Should I get a Paris city pass for the weekend?

While city passes can offer convenience and savings, it’s essential to assess your specific needs and itinerary before making a decision to see if it is worth the extra expense.

What are things to do in Paris when it rains?

If it’s raining when you’re in Paris don’t let that stop you from enjoying the city. You can visit the covered passages, hang out in a cafe, visit a museum, or go shopping at Galeries Lafayette.

What is the best time to visit Paris?

Paris is beautiful year-round, but the months of April to June and September to November offer pleasant weather and fewer crowds. Avoid visiting during major holidays or peak tourist seasons to have a more enjoyable experience.

What are some famous Parisian dishes I should try?

Indulge in classic French cuisine while in Paris. Don’t miss out on croissants, baguettes, escargots, macarons, coq au vin, crème brûlée, and French cheeses. Exploring local markets and street food stalls can also lead to delightful culinary experiences.

As a Holidaymaker

A weekend away to Paris is the perfect way to escape the routines of life. Whether you’re looking for romance or simply a chance to explore one of the world’s most beautiful cities, Paris has it all! From its stunning architecture and world-renowned museums to its vibrant nightlife and delicious cuisine.

So why not book your trip today and experience the magic of Paris for yourself? Who knows what adventures await you in this enchanting city!

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