Ooh, La, La! Here’s What to Do in Paris for a Weekend!

Ooh, la, la, la! Paris for a weekend, don’t mind if I do!

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

If you are planning a weekend in Paris France, allow me to help you plan your trip! J’adore Paris. It’s the city I return to most often. With 10 trips to Paris under my belt, I feel like it’s my second home.

Whether you’re visiting for the first time or the 10th time let’s make this short trip to Paris unforgettable.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on an affiliate link, at no additional cost, I will earn a small commission if you decide to book. Please check out my privacy policy and disclosure for more information.

Is Paris for the Weekend Worth It?

pillars with lanterns on paris for a weekend

The first question on a traveller’s mind is, is it even worth visiting Paris for two days? My answer is a big yes, or rather OUI!

There’s so much to do in Paris that it’s just one of those cities that you can revisit again and again and still be smitten, charmed and surprised to find new secret spots to explore.

A capital city that offers it all! With art, culture, and food how can you ever go wrong?

No weekend trip to Paris should be without stealing some quiet moments. Whether that’s sitting in a quaint cafe or a secret garden. Paris is the best city to do as little as possible.

It’s only when you slow down, and as the cliche goes “stop to smell the roses” that you’ll fall in love with the romantic ambiance of the city.

While two days will never be enough to cover everything Paris offers, it’s best to let go of any expectation of trying to see it all. If you’re like me, it just means you will return.

tablet, phone, computer with ebook called experience paris: finding the joy of slow travel

Summary of What to Do on a Weekend in Paris

If you’re in a hurry and want to see the list of things to do on a weekend in Paris, I’ve created this chart to see at a glance all the amazing sites I’ve highlighted for your weekend itinerary.

chart showing all the things to do in paris for a weekend

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

I will cluster what to do on a weekend in Paris together to maximize your time. I’ve also included 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.

Day 1 of Your Weekend Trip to Paris Itinerary

spring budding trees with buildings on weekend trip to paris

Morning

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 that magical 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 this iconic landmark.

First-time visitors will most likely want to take a tour of the Eiffel Tower, granting you access to its observation decks for panoramic city views.

💫Repeat travellers, this is your chance to admire it because who can you ever tire of looking at it? I know I can’t.

Next, venture towards the nearby Champ de Mars, a vast green space offering an even better view of the Eiffel Tower.

From there, walk to the nearby rue Cler, a charming pedestrian street known for its lively foodie markets. This is a great time to treat yourself to a delicious French pastry or grab a quick bite at one of the inviting cafes along this street.

Afternoon

spring flowers with building in gardens on a weekend trip to paris

Continue your journey toward the Place de la Concorde and the beautiful Tuileries Garden, just a short distance from the Louvre Museum. This allows you to walk along the Seine River, one of my favourite things to do in Paris.

This garden is a must to see for both first-time and repeat visitors to Paris.

On every trip I love walking through its tree-lined pathways, admiring the elegant statues and seasonal flowers against the perfectly trimmed hedges.

Walk through its entirety making your way to the famous Louvre Museum and enjoy a tour of some of the greatest works of art, like the Mona Lisa.

A note of caution, I and most are disappointed after you see the Mona Lisa. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a must but it is small, behind glass and a long line of people wait in line just to see it.

💫Repeat travellers, if you’ve been to the Louvre Museum before, I recommend Musee d’Orsay or Rodin Museum near rue Cler. They are two of my favourites.

After you have your fill of 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 as it is still closed until December 2024.

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 the nearby cafe called Odette, known for its cream puffs.

Just soak up the lively atmosphere of this intellectual and artistic hub, and perhaps stop by the iconic Pantheon or check out the famous Sorbonne University.

restaurant with table and chairs on weekend in paris trip

Alternatively, if you opt for Saint-Germain, you’ll discover a more upscale and fashionable district.

Explore its chic boutiques and art galleries. People watch at one of the popular cafes – Café de Flore or Les Deux Magots – famous for its past patrons.

Take a leisurely stroll through the Luxembourg Gardens, my absolute favourite garden in the city. And no visit to the 6th arrondissement is complete without admiring the Saint Germain Des Pres Church. It’s one of the oldest churches in Paris.

Evening

bridge with statue and gold leaf a weekend in paris trip

As the sun sets, enjoy the amazing views of the Eiffel Tower from the picturesque Pont Alexandre III bridge, which is adorned with sculptures and offers a beautiful backdrop for memorable photos.

To end your day on a magical note, take a sunset Seine River cruise. Yes, it’s touristy, but it’s too good to pass up.

Day 2 of Your Paris Weekend Getaway

Morning

Start your second day in the city’s most beloved neighbourhood of Montmartre in the 18th arrondissement.

Walk along Rue de l’Abreuvoir, one of the prettiest streets 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 and busy cafe terraces.

It’s straight out of a movie. 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.

Head towards the iconic Sacré-Cœur Basilica perched atop Montmartre’s hill. Some of the best views can be found by sitting on the steps just below this stone-domed church.

carousel with cathedral on what to do weekend 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.

Afternoon

pillars with building on a paris for the weekend

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 full 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 galleries. Find a seat on the terrace of a trendy cafe and just soak up the atmosphere.

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 which 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.

Explore the interesting National Archives Museum in Hôtel de Soubise, which offers free entry. You’ll find archives of French history from Napolean and Marie Antoinette, not to mention a beautiful former palace.

Another option if you’re into art is to visit the Picasso Museum, which showcases an extensive collection of works by the iconic artist.

For a taste of cultural diversity, venture into the Jewish area 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.

Evening

stained glass window and ceiling in a paris weekend 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.

Not ready to say goodbye to Paris yet?

As the sun starts to dip, take in an evening concert before dinner at the awe-inspiring Sainte Chapelle Cathedral on Île de la Cité.

This Gothic chapel has over 1,000 stained glass windows and by attending an evening concert you get access to explore the chapel before the performance starts.

This is one memorable experience I’ve had that I highly recommend.

Planning Tips for Your Weekend in Paris Trip

Now for some quick planning tips for your Paris trip.

One thing you can’t plan is the weather. If you are wondering what are things to do in Paris when it rains? Bring an umbrella! If it’s raining when you’re in Paris, every trip I have at least one rain day, 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.

I also recommend booking everything in advance. Paris is packed with tourists especially from April to October. 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.

building with iron balconies in paris for 2 days

When choosing where to stay for two nights in Paris, consider the central arrondissements near the Seine for convenience.

Accommodations in the 1st to the 6th arrondissements offer unique charm and proximity to major attractions, making them ideal for your Paris weekend getaway.

For boutique hotel enthusiasts like me, I highly recommend staying at the luxury Pavillon de la Reine in the picturesque Place des Vosges. This hotel offers elegant rooms, a serene courtyard, and excellent amenities.

Another option is renting an apartment in the chic Saint Germain neighbourhood or this Le Marais apartment for an authentic Parisian experience. I also have a curated list of other stylish holiday rental apartments if you need more options.

As a Holidaymaker

There you have it!

Consider taking a weekend away to Paris by adding it to your France itinerary or whether you are living or visiting a neighbouring country. Taking the train to Paris for the weekend is very easy from Brussels or London. See how to do that by checking out these articles next: