While traveling through Europe, I learned two important things. Don’t stress and don’t try to do everything. While 3 days in Paris does not leave time to see and do everything, it is possible to see some key attractions for a well-rounded experience.
Day 1: The Latin Quarter, Notre Dame, Seine River
Located on the Seine River is Notre Dame de Paris, the famous gothic cathedral. It has been a French structure since the 12th century and is a must for any Parisian tourist. Entrance to explore the main cathedral is free where you can view the stunning architectural elements, sculptures, paintings, stained glass windows, and the massive great organ. If you are looking for a spiritual experience, mass is held daily. Be sure to take the tour of the bell tower for 6 euro, where you can climb the top, mingle with gargoyles, and see the beautiful views of Paris. After your exploration of Notre Dame, head over to the Latin Quarter, just down the Seine River. The Latin Quarter is on the left bank of the Seine, and is comprised of tiny, winding streets filled with Parisian bistros and shops. Explore the winding streets and try some pommes frites with mayonnaise from a local eatery. You’re sure to feel like a local in the process.
Day 2: The Louvre
Museums may or may not be at the top of your sightseeing list, but there’s no arguing that the Louvre is one museum you don’t want to miss. Just as you’ve narrowed down your 3-day itinerary in Paris, you’ll want to narrow down what you hope to see at the Louvre since its massive size will make it virtually impossible to see all it has to offer in one day. Two must-sees include the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo. When you arrive, or better yet beforehand, get out your map and plan your route just as you would when traveling the city.
Day 3: Champs Elysees, Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower
The last few stops on your Parisian tour are some of the most famous. The Champs Elysees is perhaps Paris’ most famous street, offering a well-manicured, tree-lined strip of cafes, designer stores, and local shops. Starting at the top, take time to explore all it has to offer. Continue on through the end and make your way over to the Arc de Triomphe, one of the most recognized structures in the world. While you won’t find much here aside from a photo op, if you’re in Paris exploring the Champs Elysees, the Arc de Triomphe is a must. The final stop on your tour is the world famous Eiffel Tower. While lines can be long for the elevator to the very top, tourists can skip the lines and walk up to the first two levels. While a bit of a hike, and maybe not quite the same allure as the top, this could save you a lot of time by eliminating waiting in line. Since Paris is not a city filled with skyscrapers, roaming around the second level should work even better for great sightseeing of the city and Seine River.
Ultimately, travelers can see and experience a lot in three days. Personally decide what is most important to see and make those the top priority. Once you’ve made your list, plan accordingly, but be sure to hit some of the most famous sights mentioned here.