Welcome to one of Europcar’s favourite destinations – Paris! The capital of France is a wonderful location for your next city getaway trip, whether you plan a romantic weekend or a cultural trip for the family.
Known as the “City of Lights” because of the numerous buildings lit up after dark, Paris is also one of the most romantic cities in the world. Many a proposal of marriage has taken place at the top of the Eiffel Tower.
There’s so much to do in Paris that you won’t have a moment to spare, so we recommend planning your itinerary to get the most out of your visit. From exploring the quaint streets to sampling the delicious French gastronomy, you’re sure to have an amazing trip.
Paris has excellent access from the UK and is only a short 45-minute flight from London or a 2-hour 16-minute train journey on the Eurostar.
How should you plan what to do on your Paris trip? Of course, there are the popular attractions like the Eiffel tower and the Louvre, but this article aims to give you some alternative ideas for things to do on your trip.
Day 1 – iconic sights
Day one is all about taking in the iconic sights that Paris has to offer – the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Champs-Élysées and the Arc de Triomphe.
We recommend you get up early on day one of your stay to visit the famous monuments and beat the crowds. This day is your chance to enjoy the well-known tourist activities. There’ll be plenty of photo opportunities to record your trip, from the symbolic monuments and buildings to the tree-lined boulevards.
The Eiffel Tower
Start your first day with a visit to the most famous tower in the world. You can’t visit Paris without seeing this iconic landmark that dates back to 1889 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution.
Champ De Mars
Once you’ve taken in the amazing views from the top of the Eiffel Tower you’ll be ready for a spot of lunch. Right next to the Tower you’ll find a lovely park to enjoy a picnic in – the Champ De Mars. You can pick up some tasty snacks from a local boulangerie or patisserie.
Next head to the Louvre – a short walk from the Eiffel Tower. This is the world’s largest art museum and you could spend days admiring the works of art on display. If you’ve always wanted to see the Mona Lisa, the Louvre is where this famous painting is exhibited.
Champs-Elysees and the Arc de Triomphe
You can complete your day visiting monuments with a walk down the bautiful Champs-Élysées, where you can see the imposing Arc de Triomphe. If you stay until early evening, you can witness the lighting of the flame on the tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The Arc de Triomphe is also home to the finish line of the famous Tour de France cycle race.
Dinner near Place Saint-Michel
Finish your day with a delicious sample of French cuisine at Place Saint-Michel. Overlooking the River Seine, this district has plenty of bars and restaurants to choose from.
Day 2 – a day of history
Now you’ve ticked off your bucket list of sights in Paris, spend a day exploring more of the rich history that Paris has to offer.
Start the day with a Parisian breakfast of coffee and freshly warmed croissants before setting out.
Located in the centre of the city just opposite the Tuileries gardens, the Musée d’Orsay contains a vast collection of 19th and 20th century art, including many Impressionist paintings.
Next, you can enjoy an unforgettable dining experience at the Palais Royal. After walking through the beautiful gardens, you will find lots of high-end restaurants ready to serve you a wonderful lunch.
Sainte-Chapelle and Notre Dame Cathedral
The world’s most fascinating display of stained glass is on show at the Sainte-Chapelle. This gothic-style chapel was built in the 13th century and houses the oldest mural in Paris.
Unfortunately, you can only view Notre Dame from the outside due to the devastating fire that took place in 2019. Much of this 850-year-old historic monument was destroyed and is currently being restored, with its planned reopening being in 2024.
Dinner on the Seine
As night-time descends, enjoy a special moment with friends or a loved one and have dinner on the Seine. The perfect end to the day is a cruise alongside this UNESCO-listed riverbank taking in Paris’ iconic skyline while dining on-board.
Day 3 – tailored to you
Having visited many of the must-see buildings in Paris there are plenty of other things to experience in Paris, whether visiting a sports museum, shopping in the designer shops or going clubbing late into the evening.
Here is a list of some of the best experiences to enjoy on your third day:
- Visit the Pompidou Centre which houses some significant modern art
- Have a walk around the medieval-feel narrow streets of Marais
- See the Sacré Coeur Basilica that sits atop the highest hill in Paris
- Visit the royal Palace of Versailles
- Experience the catacombs below the heart of Paris, a labyrinth that holds around 6 million human skeletons
- Go on a stadium tour of the Parc de Princes, home of French footballing giants PSG
- Visit the modern digital art centre at the Atelier des Lumières
- Go shopping for luxury in the capital of fashion and treat yourself to a designer label
- See the Eiffel Tower at night which lights up at the start of every hour
- Enjoy nightlife in The Marais with its many trendy bars
Rent a car and head into the streets of Paris, and if you have a few extra days this is the ideal opportunity to explore the outskirts of the French capital.