The ultimate Paris itinerary in 5 days
If you’re traveling to Paris it’s essential to make the most of your time in this beautiful city. From seeing all the main attractions to visiting charming neighborhoods, indulging in delicious French cuisine, and shopping for luxury brands at Galeries Lafayette , this guide will help you plan the best 5 days in Paris.
The sparkling lights of the Eiffel Tower at night, a Seine River cruise, the story of Notre Dame… Let’s not forget the tree-lined boulevards, the popular “boulangeries” and pavement cafés, and the beautiful Luxembourg Gardens. Plus, a visit to the famous Galeries Lafayette department store to treat yourself to a wellness treatment or lunch in one of the up-market restaurants – where do you start on a 5-day visit to Paris?
Welcome to the perfect Paris itinerary in 5-days, showing you how to maximize every precious moment on a tour of the City of Love. Whether this is your first visit or you’re returning to Paris, this guide will ensure you experience the very best the city has to offer. Follow it exactly or adapt it to suit your preferences and embark on an unforgettable journey through the heart of Paris.
Day 1 – Immerse yourself in the history of Paris
On the first of your 5 days in Paris take a tour of the iconic monuments and learn about the rich history of the capital of France.
The Louvre Museum
First, discover the Louvre, the most famous art museum in Paris spanning centuries. Home to the mysterious Mona Lisa and the majestic Winged Victory of Samothrace, the Louvre takes you on a journey through time, from ancient civilizations to the Renaissance.
The Centre Pompidou
Also known as the Centre National d’Art et de Culture Georges-Pompidou, this piece of avant-garde architecture is dedicated to contemporary and modern art. The exterior features exposed pipes and a vibrant color palette, in stark contrast to the traditional Parisian architecture of the nearby Louvre Museum. Inside, the museum hosts an eclectic array of exhibits, spanning visual arts, design, and cinema.
Good to know 📝
Skip the line and save time and money
Purchase tickets in advance online for the major Paris attractions and you won´t have to wait in long lines. Perfect if you want to make the most of your time in Paris, you have children or you just don´t like waiting in a ticket queue.
Stroll along the River Seine to Notre Dame Cathedral, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture. Its intricate façade, adorned with gargoyles and sculptures, tells stories of religious devotion and medieval craftsmanship. For an alternative view of this amazing monument and a panoramic vista of the city head for the Galeries Lafayette roof terrace.
The fire of 2019 means that visitors are currently unable to visit the inside of Notre Dame until the restoration is complete, which is expected sometime in 2024.
The Latin Quarter
Pause for a couple of hours’ leisurely lunch in the Latin Quarter, known for its bohemian atmosphere and student population. You can explore the Sorbonne University and wander through the narrow, winding streets that have hosted intellectuals like Hemingway and Sartre. Discover bookstores, market stalls, and hidden squares to sit and people-watch.
This enchanting formal park displays exquisite statues and fountains, alongside tree-lined paths. Le Jardin Luxembourg connects the Latin Quarter and the charming St-Germain-des-Prés neighborhood. Every season offers a different ambiance. Hues of red and orange denote the arrival of fall and crisp frosts coat the grass in winter. Colorful flowers bloom in spring while expanses of lawns provide an ideal setting for leisurely summer picnics.
This historic arrondissement exudes an air of sophistication that has captivated artists, intellectuals, and visitors for centuries. Stroll along the cobbled streets lined with charming cafes, boutiques, and centuries-old architecture that tell stories of the city’s evolution. The iconic Église de Saint-Germain-des-Prés, the oldest church in Paris, gives the neighborhood its name and is a fine example of Romanesque style.
Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann
Complete your first day with some ‘me time’ in Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann, close to St-Germain des Prés. Not just a mall, a visit to Galeries Lafayette is an indulgent Parisian shopping experience. From admiring the view from the roof terrace to a pampering session at the Wellness Galerie, you can even learn how to cook like a French pastry chef.
Galeries Lafayette is also the place to find the perfect stylish outfit for a night out in Paris.
Day 2 – See the city’s cultural treasures and relax
The second day of your 5 days in Paris itinerary takes you on a tour of the cultural sights, with the chance to relax and see the city from the Seine.
Begin at the Musée d’Orsay, an amazing architectural sight, housed within a former railway station. Renowned for its extensive collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masterpieces, this museum showcases the evolution of art from the late 19th to early 20th centuries. Van Gogh’s “Starry Night Over the Rhône” and Monet’s “Water Lilies” are among the famous works that grace its galleries, providing an immersive experience into the history of French art.
Good to know 📝
The Paris Museum Pass
Buy the Paris Museum Pass for a one-off price and get free entry to over 50 Paris museums and avoid queuing for tickets. If you don´t like crowds the pass is ideal to use at the smaller museums such as Musée National Rodin and the Petit Palais.
The pass also gives access to many of the Paris monuments such as the Arc de Triomphe, the Centre Pompidou, and the Musée d’Orsay.
As the day unfolds, make your way to the Palais Royal, a regal palace surrounded by unique architecture and gardens. The black-and-white striped columns in the courtyard, known as the Colonnes de Buren, create a striking visual contrast to the original palace.
The Palais Royal gardens are the ideal place to relax and contemplate your time in Paris. Neatly aligned trees and fountains provide a serene escape and a wonderful location for some of your best photographs of Paris.
The Eiffel Tower
The symbol of Paris. Completed in 1889 for the Exposition Universelle, the Eiffel Tower is an example of symbolic architecture and the Belle Époque era. Take the elevator or walk the steps to its summit for panoramic views of the city – a breathtaking introduction to the beauty of Paris. To see the Eiffel Tower from a unique perspective visit the terrace at Galeries Lafayette, where you’ll also get one of the best views of the city.
After a delicious French lunch to revive you, a visit to the Trocadero unveils endless views of the Eiffel Tower from the ground. The Trocadero Gardens, with their perfectly manicured lawns and fountains, provide a picturesque setting for an hour’s relaxation and appreciation of Paris’s architectural brilliance. The Palais de Chaillot, a neoclassical masterpiece, adds a touch of historic grandeur to the stunning landscape.
While you’re in this district a visit to Galeries Lafayette in Beaugrenelle is a chance to look for souvenirs of your Paris visit.
Take a tour of this eerie place, in the 14th arrondissement of Paris, into a world of mystery. This labyrinth of almost 2 km of tunnels stores the bones and skulls of over 6 million Parisians. Created in the 18th century to rehome the remains of the overflowing cemeteries, the ossuary helped prevent the spread of disease. The bones line the walls and empty eye sockets stare at you while you can only imagine the fate of these people.
Cruise the River Seine
After a quick shopping trip to Galeries Lafayette Beaugrenelle, an evening Seine River cruise is the perfect end to your second day in Paris. You can book dinner on board and see the City of Light from the water. This makes the perfect romantic evening or celebration of a special occasion. As the boat slowly meanders along the River Seine you’ll pass all the main sights lit up at night – a truly special experience.
Day 3 – escape the city for a day
Paris is not a large city, and the beauty of this is you can leave your hotel in the morning, catch the train, and be on the outskirts in just over an hour. Tour either Versailles or Giverny – both deserve a full day.
One of the best attractions to visit on the outskirts of Paris is Versailles. The Palace of Versailles, a UNESCO World Heritage site, has been home to several French monarchs, in particular Louis XIV. As you explore the grand Hall of Mirrors, the ornate State Apartments, and the pristine gardens, each step gives you an insight into how the monarchy lived and the opulence they enjoyed.
A tour of the expansive gardens of Versailles invites you to explore. Designed by André Le Nôtre, these landscapes showcase a harmonious blend of symmetry and natural beauty. The Grand Canal, groves, and fountains create a picturesque setting that’s perfect for a relaxing walk, offering tranquillity amidst the regal surroundings.
Giverny is home to the famous gardens painted by Impressionist Claude Monet. The journey from Versailles to Giverny takes around 1 ½ hours by train. If you want to save time it’s a good idea to travel by cab, which takes about 40 minutes, and return to Paris on the train.
Arriving at Giverny, the vibrant colors and beauty of Monet’s garden come to life. The Water Lily Pond, Japanese Bridge, and Flower Garden allow visitors to step into the scenes that inspired some of Monet’s best works.
Amidst these settings is the charming pink house that once belonged to Monet. The interior, adorned with Japanese prints and a vibrant color palette, provides insight into Monet’s creative mind. If you have an artistic side or just want to see where Monet spent much of his time, Giverny is a haven for creative inspiration.
As the train pulls into Paris, memories of your day trip will linger, while you consider which French restaurant to eat at this evening. May we suggest a Galeries Lafayette restaurant with a choice of French, Asian or Mediterranean cuisine to end the day?
Day 4 – history, art, and theatre
The fourth day of your Paris itinerary promises a blend of artistic talent, historical magnificence. In addition to exploring the culture and history of the best districts to visit in Paris you can take a guided Heritage Tour of Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussman and finish the day with the enchantment of a theatrical performance at the iconic Opera Garnier.
Start the morning in Montmartre, a bohemian hilltop neighborhood that has long been a magnet for artists and creatives. The winding cobblestone streets and charming squares evoke the romance of Paris’s artistic past.
Climb the 300 steps to the Basilique du Sacré-Coeur, a white-domed basilica that offers panoramic views of the city and can also be seen from the Galeries Lafayette roof terrace. The Sacré-Coeur is not only a religious monument but a symbol of artistic inspiration. The interior is adorned with the largest mosaic decoration in France, and you can also ascend the dome and visit the crypt.
Place de la Concorde
Descend from Montmartre and head for Place de la Concorde. The ideal way to get a real feel for Paris is to walk, which will take you about half an hour.
Flanked by ornate lampposts and punctuated by the towering Egyptian obelisk, this expansive square represents Paris’s evolution through the ages. As a site for executions during the French Revolution, this landmark holds a somber reminder of France’s history.
Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann
After your visit to Place de la Concorde, Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussman makes the perfect stop for lunch. Whether you’re in the mood for Asian, French, or Mediterranean cuisine, the Galeries Lafayette restaurants offer a section of gourmet cuisine.
While you’re at Galeries Lafayette this is an excellent opportunity to take a guided tour of this splendid Haussmann-style building. Learn more about the imposing steel and glass dome and the story of the most famous shopping mall in Paris. An essential part of your visit is to climb the Stairway to Heavens from the ground to the 5th floor. This stunning piece of artwork was inspired by the famous Led Zeppelin rock song. The climb takes you on a journey from a subterranean world to the pastel colors of a bright sky.
Another unmissable experience is the Glasswalk. This amazing structure allows you to view Galeries Lafayette from all angles. With the magnificent dome above you and the stores beneath your feet you’ll feeling like you’re floating.
Time your visit well and you could see a real Paris fashion show, held every Friday at 3.00 p.m.
Arc de Triomphe
Continuing your journey, make your way along the prestigious Champs-Élysées, heading towards the iconic Arc de Triomphe. This triumphal arch, commissioned by Napoleon after his victory at Austerlitz, is a symbol of French national pride.
A quick stop at Le Food Court at the Champs Elysées Galeries Lafayette is the perfect excuse for a healthy juice or mid-afternoon glass of wine.
You can climb to the terrace on top of the arch for more breathtaking views of the city.
A walk through the exquisite Tuileries Garden, located between the Louvre Museum and Place de la Concorde offers a serene retreat amidst the urban expanse. As you wander through the avenues lined with chestnut trees, you’ll discover a sense of peace that contrasts with the vibrant energy of the city.
The Musée de l’Orangerie is located in the Tuileries Garden. Here you can view some of Impressionist painter Monet’s Water Lilies artwork, which is ideal if you don´t have a chance to visit Giverny.
If you have time you could fit in a quick visit to Sainte-Chapelle on the Île de la Cité, a tiny, inhabited island set in the River Seine. This chapel was commissioned by King Louis IX in the 13th century to house precious Christian relics. Renowned for its stained-glass windows, Sainte-Chapelle presents a range of vibrant colors that depict biblical scenes. The Upper Chapel, with its soaring columns and intricate rose windows, exudes an ethereal beauty that will enthrall you.
As evening approaches, your day culminates at the Opera Garnier, a neoclassical masterpiece that stands as a symbol of elegance and cultural significance against the Paris skyline. The opulence of the interior will fascinate you with its chandeliers, gilded moldings, and grand staircase. You’ll find Opera Garnier near Galeries Lafayette – perhaps you’ll find time for a little more designer shopping!
The finale is to attend a performance at the Opera Garner. Whether you choose to see a ballet, opera, or concert – this will be an evening to remember.
Good to know 📝
Book tickets for performances at Opera Garnier well in advance as they tend to sell out fast. You can either reserve your place directly with Opera Garnier or through a ticket agency. Check the calendar on the website to see all the upcoming productions.
Day 5 – the finale
Your 5 days in Paris are coming to an end and now’s the time to visit anywhere left on your bucket list.
This historic district effortlessly combines medieval architecture with a vibrant contemporary scene.
Weaving through the charming streets of Le Marais you’ll see quaint cafés to sample a pain au chocolat and café au lait, art galleries, and chic boutiques. This is the place to pick up souvenirs from your trip to Paris. Explore artisan shops offering everything from handmade jewelry to stylish fashion, allowing you to take a piece of Parisian flair back home.
The perfect place to stop for lunch in Marais is Eataly. Not only will you find a delicious selection of Italian products, you’ll get to experience the ambiance of a traditional Italian market.
From the bustling atmosphere of Le Marais, move on to the serene grounds of Pere Lachaise Cemetery. This final resting place of figures such as Oscar Wilde, Edith Piaf, and Jim Morrison is an amalgamation of art and history. Wander through tree-lined avenues, discovering ornate tombstones and mausoleums that house the remains. The cemetery’s peaceful atmosphere is a fitting end to a visit to Paris.
On your last night in Paris, why not get tickets for the elaborate world of the Moulin Rouge? While the cabaret show is a unique experience, even a glimpse of the iconic red windmill and the bustling Pigalle district captures the vivacity and spirit of Parisian nightlife.
If time allows, consider catching the evening performance to immerse yourself in the world of extravagant costumes, dazzling choreography, and the historic charm of this legendary venue. You can choose to see the show and have dinner at the Moulin Rouge as the perfect end for your Parisian adventure.
If you’d prefer to enjoy a memorable dinner with a panoramic view of the city make a reservation at a quality restaurant. The Eiffel Tower restaurant promises a fitting finale to your 5-day Paris itinerary. Savor exquisite French cuisine as you overlook the illuminated city below, with landmarks such as the Seine River, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the twinkling lights of Paris beneath you.
Or you can try one of the many international restaurants at Le Gourmet, Galeries Lafayette. From French cuisine to Japanese sushi. –there’s something for every appetite.Discover some of the best restaurants in Paris at Galeries Lafayette.
Other things to do in Paris
The allure of Paris is different for everyone. You may be visiting alone, with your partner or family and friends. Our 5-day Paris itinerary is designed to be adaptable to suit your needs. Here are a few more ideas on how to make the most of your time in Paris.
Eat like a local
Head off the tourist track to the small squares and back streets, and you’ll find plenty of restaurants and cafés frequented by the locals. You’ll recognize these from a lack of menus in English, and the distinct buzz of French conversation.
This is your chance to try traditional French cuisine such as snails (escargots) in garlic sauce, steak tartare, and French onion soup. Washed down with a fruity glass of French white wine or a deep burgundy, and followed by a bowl of delectable profiteroles, this is how to enjoy French food. Of course, don´t forget the selection of cheeses that traditionally follow a French meal.
You’ll also find a selection of typical French menus at the Galeries Lafayette restaurants. From roast chicken French style at Label Broche to perfect French toast at EL&N café, you’re sure to find something to whet your appetite.
Rejuvenate your mind and body
A sight-seeing tour can be tiring so why not visit the Wellness Galerie while you’re at Galeries Lafayette?
Immerse yourself in a world of beauty and well-being, surrounded by an exquisite array of quality French cosmetics. The Wellness Galerie offers a selection of quality beauty brands, embodying the elegance and sophistication synonymous with French skincare and cosmetics. From luxurious skincare products to fragrances that capture the essence of Paris, this is an opportunity to treat yourself.
You can book a personalized beauty consultation, where experts will guide you through the world of French cosmetics, tailoring recommendations to your preferences and skincare needs.
Book a fitness class
If you’re a fitness fanatic you don´t have to miss your workouts when you’re on a trip to Paris. The fitness classes at Galeries Lafayette provide a refreshing break from sightseeing and shopping, allowing you to focus on your health and wellness. Whether it’s a rejuvenating yoga session, an invigorating personal training session, or an endurance session, these classes cater to all fitness levels.
Participating in a fitness class at Galeries Lafayette not only contributes to your physical well-being but also adds a unique and memorable dimension to the travel experience.
The classes offer a chance to connect with like-minded people and perhaps even locals, creating a sense of community in a busy capital city.
Are 5 days enough for Paris?
While Paris is a city steeped in cultural richness and historical grandeur, the question of whether five days are sufficient to enjoy it at a leisurely pace depends on personal choice and how much you want to see. Five days is plenty to see the iconic landmarks, museums and neighborhoods, and do plenty of luxury shopping.
At a leisurely pace, visitors can immerse themselves in the charm of Montmartre, explore the Louvre, wander through the Luxembourg Gardens, and savor culinary delights in quaint cafes. Additionally, 5 days in Paris allows time for an excursion to Versailles or Giverny.
Using our guide and including your own ‘must-see attractions’ gives you a combination of sightseeing and relaxation. You’ll also have the chance to indulge yourself in extras such as a jetlag treatment or a personalized sports session.
Ultimately, the optimal time for a leisurely visit to Paris depends on your preferences. The secret is to plan carefully before you arrive to ensure you don´t waste any time. When you’re in Paris you can then adapt your itinerary to suit you. And of course, you can always return year after year as there’s always something new to see.