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How many days should a first timer spend in Paris?

Next summer we plan to visit Munich, Rome, Paris and Berlin in one trip. I have already received tips on Rome and have asked a question about Berlin.

Can someone suggest how long do we need in Paris to get a feel of the city?

11 Answers

top answer by

I would say at least a week. Paris is a great walking city.  There are many wonderful gardens, museums and churches. .

You will need one day on the Champs-Élysées, Place de la Concorde with Musee de l'Orangerie with Monet Water Lilly murals in basement, Jardin des Tuileries with lots of fountains and sculpture, and The Louvre (Right Bank, 1st and 8th).  

One day walking the boulevard Le St Germain  (Left Bank., 7th , 6th, 5th) with Luxembourg Garden, Paroisse Saint Sulpice and church).  Stop at Café de Flore for  a glass or a coffee on the terrace (at hang out for Picasso, Sartre and Hemingway)

One day exploring the  banks of the river La Seine (lunch at Cafe Voltaire) and the two islands - Ille de La Citè with  Notre Dame Cathedral and Ile Saint-Louis - great sculpture garden  muse in Plein Air and the Jardin des Plantes (have a mint tea in the Hammam bath house) and the city will have built sand beaches on the river for the summer called Paris plage Bassin de la Villette. Also start the river day and take the boat tour Compagnie des Bateaux Mouches

I recommend buying a Michelin Green guide and looking at their site rankings 3 star are the musts. Etc. the Access Guide is arranged geographically so you can see what is around you (this good for all your cities - probably Smart phone versions now).  A great "secrets guide" with website is My Little Paris.  

There is music and concerts every night.  There are classical concerts in local venues often churches every night. Jazz and rock everywhere. 

A week will just give you a taste. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Champs-Élysées (attraction)
  2. Place de la Concorde (attraction)
  3. The Louvre (attraction)
  4. Le St Germain (attraction)
  5. Paroisse Saint Sulpice (attraction)
  6. Café de Flore (restaurant)
  7. Notre Dame Cathedral (attraction)
  8. Jardin des Plantes (attraction)
  9. Paris plage Bassin de la Villette (attraction)
  10. Compagnie des Bateaux Mouches (attraction)
  11. Jardin des Tuileries (attraction)
  12. Cafe Voltaire (restaurant)
  13. Ille de La Citè (attraction)
  14. Ile Saint-Louis (attraction)
  15. Plein Air (attraction)
  16. La Seine (attraction)
  17. Musee de l'Orangerie (attraction)
  18. Luxembourg Garden (attraction)
9 thankscomments (3)

answered by
Rodger from Beverly Hills

Need at least 4 nights to get a feel but you can spend at least a week or two and not get bored.

5 thankscomments (1)

answered by

By chance I just came across this and thought you might find it useful.

L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon  Gastronomy in Paris can be stuffy, but not at this master chef’s first Paris restaurant, which now has two Michelin stars. You sit on bar-style chairs, facing the bustling open kitchen, and pick from a tapas-style menu. No peak-time reservations, so get there early. 5 rue de Montalembert, 75007 Paris. + 33 (0)1 42 22 56 56.

Chartier Restaurant  A former working-class dining room opened in 1896, this no-frills restaurant has a cheap menu from central casting (escargots, pavé de rumsteack, etc). So wonderfully noisy, even children feel welcome. 7 rue du Faubourg Montmartre, 75009 Paris. +33 (0)1 47 70 86 29.


The centre is so compact that much of it can be explored on foot. But don’t linger on the Champs-Elysées: while the perspective is breath-taking, the tacky gift shops, pricey cafés and big-brand shops are best left to the tourists. Take the metro instead to St-Paul, in  Le Marais, and wander along the narrow back streets off the Rue des Francs-Bourgeois and the exquisite Place des Vosges. Or head for the left bank, starting at Saint Germain-des-Prés metro, with a coffee at the Café de Flore (172 Boulevard Saint-Germain. +33 [0]1 45 48 55 26)—far less touristy than Les Deux Magots next door. Don’t miss the little Place de Fürstenberg, hidden off the rue Jacob—magical when lit up at night.

A good way to sightsee is by the Batobus—a hop-on hop-off water bus— which has eight stops along La Seine; buy tickets on the spot. Or join the craze for Vélib rent-a-bikes. Docking stations are on most side streets: you need a credit card to leave a deposit and buy a day (€1) or weekly (€5) pass. Check the chain and tyres before pedalling away, and simply click the bike into any docking station when you’ve finished. Taxis, however, are maddeningly hard to hail. Find a rank and prepare to wait.


Eiffel Tower Visiting children insist on it. The view is actually as good from the Arc de Triomphe or Notre Dame Cathedral, but the sheer scale of the 325-metre iron structure is well worth seeing up close. Don’t spend hours queuing for the lift, though: if the children are big enough, walk to the first floor, and take the lift from there.

Musée Picasso  Paris is so rich in museums it is hard to make recommendations, but this is one of my favourites: the story of Picasso’s artistic journey is told in the elegant setting of an hôtel particulier. Hôtel Salé, 5 rue de Thorigny, 75003 Paris. +33 (0)1 42 71 25 21.

Musée d'Art Moderne (MAM)
  Housed in the 1930s Palais de Tokyo, this museum has impressive exhibitions such as the recent Dufy retrospective—and far fewer people than the better-known galleries. 11 avenue Président Wilson, 75016 Paris. +33 (0)1 53 67 40 00.

Have a great trip!  Paul

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon (restaurant)
  2. Chartier Restaurant (restaurant)
  3. Le Marais (neighborhood)
  4. Rue des Francs-Bourgeois (attraction)
  5. Place des Vosges (attraction)
  6. Café de Flore (restaurant)
  7. Les Deux Magots (restaurant)
  8. Place de Fürstenberg (attraction)
  9. La Seine (attraction)
  10. Eiffel Tower (attraction)
  11. Arc de Triomphe (attraction)
  12. Notre Dame Cathedral (attraction)
  13. Musée Picasso (attraction)
  14. Musée d'Art Moderne (MAM) (attraction)
4 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Beena from Navi Mumbai

Hello Shrirang - I would go with 7 full days, with a whole day, dedicated to the Louvre. We spent 5 days, yet missed out on Cimetière du Père Lachaise.  Invalides!  We did not even go to Disneyland Paris (history buffs we were!) Weekends were spent in Montmartre (good half day here), a visit to the Palais Garnier (must do - try catching a performance here - amazing experience) ; Sat/Sun out of Paris to nearby Versailles , as the fountain show is displayed only on weekends. A half day trip to Giverny, to watch Monet's lilies , and when back in Paris, check out the paintings inspired by Giverny in Musee de l'Orangerie. Musée d'Orsay has a formidable collection of Impressionist Paintings as well. 

The 4 day Museum Pass should help you comfortably cover most places at a reduced rate, with no lines to buy tickets to the Notre Dame Cathedral or climb up the Arc de Triomphe. Or you could squeeze the visits in 2 days (which we did and we were too tired and fed-up! reco spacing it out! )

And if you wish to do all and more, yet have time to sit and gaze the world go by in a Parisian cafe - yes, 7 days is what you need !

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Palais Garnier (attraction)
  2. Versailles (attraction)
  3. Giverny (attraction)
  4. Musée d'Orsay (attraction)
  5. Notre Dame Cathedral (attraction)
  6. Arc de Triomphe (attraction)
  7. Cimetière du Père Lachaise (attraction)
  8. Montmartre (attraction)
  9. Musee de l'Orangerie (attraction)
  10. Disneyland Paris (attraction)
3 thankscomments (2)

answered by
Victoria from Riga

I highly recommend staying in Paris minimum a week. Giving that you are a history lover. Museums, parks, galleries, and... you must experience food there - there are so many things to see and try. Paris is so incredible - 3 nights are just so not enough for feeling the true Parisian vibe. I'd rather skip it at all.

Give more details on how much time are having for your vacation in total.

3 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Terry from Sarasota

I would suggest that the least amount of time would be 3 days, and 7 days is the preferred duration.   Paris and it's immediate neighborhood, contain a number of outstanding destinations and you are going to need sufficient time to see them.

Get yourself a Paris Metro pass, a multi-day pass is the best, because you can ride the Metro as frequently as necessary each day, for the number of days pass you purchase.

Then plan out your days - and do stay somewhere near the Île de la Cité, because that will position you nearest to Notre Dame Cathedral, The Louvre, Place de la Concorde, the  La Seine and the Eiffel Tower

Your planning must take into consideration that during the summer, the tourist lines are going to be long at all of the places you want to see, however, many of these sites have online passes and/or reserved times, so use Google to search out which sites you can gain passes or reserved entrance times to.

Versailles can be reached via an above ground train, easily accessed from a Metro station, and since parking there is limited, I would suggest that you do not drive there - or for that matter - do not drive anywhere in Paris, as parking & summer traffic is not easy to deal with.  The Metro will go everywhere you want to go, and Paris is a very walk-able city.

So at the very least - see Montmartre, Notre Dame, Eiffel Tower and Versailles.  If you have a full week, then you should plan on seeing the Louvre as well as the Musée d'Orsay and take one of the River Seine short cruises to get a feel for the city.  If you have time, add in Arc de Triomphe, and then continue your Metro ride from there out to La Défense, as it is the more modern area of Paris.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Île de la Cité (attraction)
  2. Notre Dame Cathedral (attraction)
  3. The Louvre (attraction)
  4. Place de la Concorde (attraction)
  5. La Seine (attraction)
  6. Eiffel Tower (attraction)
  7. Versailles (attraction)
  8. Musée d'Orsay (attraction)
  9. Arc de Triomphe (attraction)
  10. La Défense (attraction)
  11. Montmartre (attraction)
3 thankscomments (2)

answered by
Aline from Leiden

For Paris, I think 4 days would be the minimum. A good week would be even better. 

You can spend 3 days at The Louvre, so if I where you I just will choose two areas to see. Because its huge. I really recommend the Italian area with the well known Mona Lisa. 

The Latin Quarter is really nice and Sacre Coeur. The Port des Champs Elysées with at the end Arc de Triomphe. That you can do in one day. Also I really enjoyed the Grande Roue de Paris so you can look from above, you can do that instead of the Eiffel Tower its a choice. Near buy the champs Elysee you have a authentic  Buddha Bar really really nice, you can either drink or eat

(with a reservation for dinner).

Have a nice time!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. The Louvre (attraction)
  2. Latin Quarter (attraction)
  3. Sacre Coeur (attraction)
  4. Port des Champs Elysées (attraction)
  5. Arc de Triomphe (attraction)
  6. Eiffel Tower (attraction)
  7. Grande Roue de Paris (attraction)
  8. Buddha Bar (attraction)
2 thankscomments (1)

answered by
TJ from Marina Del Rey

I stayed 4 nights and was able to see all of the museums and Versailles.  

We spent a full day at Versailles and a second full day at  The Louvre.

We managed to get in and out of the others in record time.  I spent a long time with many of the paintings in the Musee de l'Orangerie.

Have fun!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Versailles (attraction)
  2. The Louvre (attraction)
  3. Musee de l'Orangerie (attraction)
2 thankscomments (1)

answered by

5 to 7 days

4 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Riccardo from Reggio Emilia

At least 5 days, depends in which "arrondissement" you've plan to stay, but I advise you to choose the "Latin Quarter"

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Latin Quarter (attraction)
1 thankscomments (1)

answered first by

Seven days!

5 thanks

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