our 3 days in Paris

On our recent Europe trip, we covered a lot of ground, and went to many cities and towns but for limited time. Overall in a trip of around 20 days, we covered Rome, Florence, Pisa and Venice in Italy. And then spent 4 beautiful days in Switzerland covering Lucerne, Grindelwald, Interlaken, Bern and Engleberg & Mount Titlis. There after, our next halt was at Paris. We had a couple of days to spend in Paris. And just like all other places that we visited in our Europe trip, we were challenged to make the most of our time in Paris. We spent close to 3 days in Paris. And out of that, one day we went to Disneyland Paris. Thereby spending the other two days in the city itself.

Paris night tour
A mesmerizing night view of the city of Paris from Eiffel Tower

Day1 of 3 days in Paris

An evening cruise & bus tour

On the first day of our 3 days in Paris, we arrived by noon. And then went to our hotel. From there, after checking in and getting refreshed, we set out for our tour across Paris. As the first part of this tour, on the banks of river Siene, we had our pre-booked boat waiting to get us on-board. And thereafter started our evening cruise through the river. Along the cruise, we saw some iconic buildings like the Norte Dame, the Louvre,The Conciergerie, Institute-de-France etc. We also crossed several iconic bridges like Pont Neuf during this cruise. By the time the cruise was over, it had started getting dark and a few lights were popping up here and there. We saw people doing their evening jog as well along the bank of the river. And it was really a refreshing tour.

Paris night tour
An evening in Paris on the river Siene

Thereafter, we went on to a short duration bus tour. The bus took us through some iconic streets of Paris, covering the old parts of the city. And the guide on-board introduced us to the important buildings on either side of the streets. We also crossed from near the Eiffel Tower and then entered into the campus of the Louvre Museum. Crossing the campus, we went along the bank of the river Siene. The tour continued for around an hour, after which we got down on the banks of river Siene to proceed to the next stage of our trip.

On to the Eiffel Tower

After the boat tour and the cruise, on the last leg our trip, we went atop the Eiffel tower. It was really a great experience being atop the Eiffel tower and seeing the lights play miracle from there. Thereafter we called it a day, but not without having some really extreme adventure. You can read about the full account of our evening in Paris and our uncalled for adventures here. In short, after all the adventures that we had, we were pretty exhausted by the end of the first day itself out of our 3 days in Paris.

Day2 of 3 days in Paris

Disneyland Paris one day two parks

After reaching hotel, we caught on a few hours of decent sleep. Thereafter, on the second day of our 3 days in Paris, we were to head to the Disneyland. It was a pretty exciting day. We did all our homework beforehand and were fully prepared to go ahead and enjoy Disneyland. To travel to Disneyland, we had to board our bus from a certain point. And to reach there, we decided to take a taxi instead of metro or any other public means of transport that required us to figure out the way. Since, time was short. And we did reach dot on time to catch our bus! It was a one hour journey to Disneyland Paris.

Then the whole day we spent there. Hopping between through both the Disneyland Park and the Disney World Studio. As, we had to make the most of our one day two parks trip to Disneyland. End of the day, we were happy the way our Disneyland trip turned out. Thereafter, we returned back to the hotel. And tonight, we decided to take a good sleep. Our plan was to relax and take the next day of our 3 days in Paris in a slow and steady fashion. And so did we.

Day3 of 3 days in Paris

On the third day of our 3 days in Paris, we woke up after a good amount of sleep. There after, we had our breakfast. Then we discussed how best to make use of this last of our 3 days in Paris. And we decided on two things – (1) Instead of rushing between places, we will pick just a few places to visit and enjoy them thoroughly. (2) We will make use of the Paris metro today. Because it seems to be an economical and speedy way of transportation between the places. With this thought in mind, we decided to head to just 3 places – (1) Notre Dame (2) Luxembourg Garden (3) Louvre Museum.

Notre Dame

3 days in Paris

We took the metro to the Saint Michel Notre Dame station right from the Metro at our hotel. And from there, we walked to Notre Dame. It was a short walk. Like many other iconic places in Paris, the Notre Dame doesn’t need any introduction. It is a medieval cathedral, best known for it’s fine French Gothic architecture. It is also one amongst the largest and the most famous churches in the world. Although the interiors of Notre Dame look stunning any time, from outside, the church appears particularly pretty at night. Once the lightings are all on.

Luxembourg Garden

3 days in Paris

Next, we headed to Luxembourg Garden, again, through the metro The Garden is really beautiful – a vast stretch of green to get some real breathing space in the center of the city. The day was cloudy and quiet cold. And the air felt crisp and fresh. While two of our friends went out to get some lunch packed for us, the rest of us strolled lazily through the garden, pacing slowly. And observing the people go by. Looking at the people I realized, many do use Luxembourg Garden as a short-cut road to walk quickly from the part on one side of the garden to the other. There was constant footfall happening in the garden, even though the weather didn’t look very favorable.

And from not very favorable, the weather slowly started turning towards nasty. The clouds slowly turned darker, as we were strolling around the central fountain, contemplating to sit near it and enjoy the calmness. Soon it started drizzling. And with that, we also experienced a sudden drop in temperature. We thought it better to take shelter. So, we went inside one shade near the farther entrance to the gardens. There, a couple of chairs were placed here and there inside the shade. We occupied some, huddling closer together to protect ourselves from the cold. And we continued waiting for our friends who had gone out for brining lunch.

Soon our friends arrived with some fresh packets of warm burger, packed pasta and noddles. We were delighted to have some warm meal in the middle of the freezing climate. Soon we were done with our lunch. And looking at the weather, we decided it would be better to go to our next destination – none other than the grand Louvre Museum – which was a must visit on our list anyways. And now looked like the perfect time to get ourselves indoors since outdoor the weather didn’t look good and it seemed like it might rain heavily.

Louvre Museum

Louvre Museum Paris in a day

There is a metro station right at the entrance to the Luxembourg Garden. We ducked inside the underground metro station for shelter from the chill and the cold. And from there, we went ahead to the Louvre. We traveled through the metro and got down right inside the campus of the Louvre Museum. This was a strategy that worked really well. This way, we beat both the bad weather as well as the outside traffic. Also, today being a Wednesday, the Louvre was supposed to stay open for longer time – till 9:45 pm in the evening. So, we had enough time to explore the place.

And we did make the most of this time. After getting the tickets, we went to Mona Lisa first, visiting different sections on the way. And thereafter, we covered various other sections of the museum until 8:30 pm at night. It was particularly nice post evening when the crowd had dispersed. And we enjoyed our trip around the Louvre thoroughly. When we peeked from one of the windows, into the courtyard of Louvre, we realized it had rained heavily in the meanwhile. This made us even more proud of our decision to head to the Louvre from the Luxembourg garden. And that also, via the metro. Coming to Louvre itself, we feel we saw all that we were interested in. But definitely using some strategy, some tips and tricks once again, to make the full use of our time there.

Read the full account of our visit to the Louvre and learn our tips to effectively visit Louvre in a day here.

Louvre Museum Paris in a day

Back to our hotel

By the time we were done with our exploration through the museum of Louvre, it was time to return back to our hotel to catchup on some sleep. Since the last night we had got very less sleep and the next day we were supposed to embark on our onwards journey of Amsterdam. So, from Louvre Museum, we caught another metro line and headed straight to our hotel. We got some dinner packed from near the hotel, and then after having our dinner we called it a day.

In Conclusion

Paris is vast. It has so much of history, so much of culture. That actually for 3 days in Paris, all one can do is just scratch the surface of the iceberg. We do intend to return here for a much longer stay the next time so that we can explore much more of Paris as well as around it. I am sure that there is so much more to the city. And there are some hidden gem of places around. Which we do want to explore on our next trip there.  I guess the bus tour and the Siene river cruise were really interesting parts of the journey. They gave us a feeling of having seen a lot and done a lot in a lesser span of time.

General tips on visiting Paris

  1. If you see, we actually didn’t explore Paris much. Our purpose to include Paris in our list was to visit Disneyland mainly. Although we did visit a few of the iconic places like the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Luxembourg Garden and Louvre Museum. But if you really want to explore this city, you should stay here itself for at least a week.  We intend to do the same on our next trip to Europe.
  2. When you visit Paris, we highly recommend take the metro which is an efficient means of public transport in the city with very complex and vast network reaching to all corners. And on this one you can transit like local.
  3. While exploring the city, we recommend you take the three days bus hop-on-hop-off pass. That way, you can explore the different icons and sites in the city at your own place.
  4. As you pass through the streets of Paris, do pay attention to the shops and show rooms. And you will immediately realize why it is counted amongst the fashion capitals of the world.
  5. Do keep aside some time to try the different culinary of the place. There are very attractive cooking classes available in Paris. I personally wanted to give a hands-on to some, but was short on time during our 3 days in Paris. But I will definitely do it the next time I go there.
  6. Further places to visit in Paris include Arc de Triomphe, Sacré-Cœur, Paris, Champs-Élysées, Tuileries Garden, Musée d’Orsay, Place de la Concorde, Montmartre, Champ de Mars, Panthéon, Les Invalides, Musée Rodin, Conciergerie, Bois de Boulogne, Luxembourg Palace, Place Charles de Gaulle to name a few. There are several other museums, parks and interesting places to visit there. So, do plan your time here accordingly.

3 days in Paris | Luxembourg Garden | Notre Dame | Louvre Museum | Eiffel Tower | Siene River Cruise | Eiffel Tower | Paris Metro

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77 Responses

  1. Visiting the Louvre was definitely the highlight of my visit to Paris. It is such a magnificent building, beautiful grounds, and an unsurpassed collection of art.

  2. That one place I’ve been dreaming to visit since I was a kid. I will remember all the things that you’ve written here. Thanks a lot!

    • Paris is a dream destination of all travelers … I hope you will soon be making it here

  3. This blog post really lures me to Paris. Thanks for inspiring my wanderlust 🙂

  4. Being atop Eiffel Tower and watching the twinkling city lights below you must have been an experience of a lifetime! Me and husband wish to retire early and spend a year in a country, till we die. Paris will be the first city we will start with! There is so much to do and see!

    • That’s a perfect plan Tania. Even we intend to retire early and then become nomads for a good part of our life after that 🙂 We may end up meeting somewhere in Europe I guess

  5. Paris is just beyond words! I loved your itinerary and really enjoyed reading the post. I’ll follow your plan when I visit Paris. Thanks for this post.

  6. […] We knew instantly we had to find a solution to this if we were going to make the most of our rest couple of days in the city of Paris. And also to have a good time here. An important factor that would play a role in our experience was […]

  7. Ah where to start! I dream of going to France, one of the reasons I am learning French is because I wanna communicate better with the French people as I heard they are not fond of speaking in English. Of course I wanna go to Paris, I didn’t know there’s a Disneyland there so I think it’d be a good idea to also include it in my itinerary for when I finally go there. My boss told me that France is one of his favorite countries, he’s just not too fond of the people because they are not exactly accommodating. Nevertheless, I still want to go and when I do I want to stay there long!

    • That’s a great plan Marge. France is beautiful. And we found no difficulty communicating in English when in Paris, but I have also heard it can be a challenge in other parts of France. Nevertheless, it’s good that you are already learning French. I am not sure about the not so accommodating nature of people, I have heard a lot of that too about Europe, but then, again our experience was very good all over. Maybe, people become tired of strangers roaming around their home all the time..if you think about it, it is a bit natural. But I also heard a lot many times that if they see you making an effort towards assimilating with them like trying to speak their language even when it’s not your natural language, they highly appreciate it and accept you quickly.

  8. Paris is a dream! 🙂 I have wanted to visit it ever since I read Da Vinchi Code:) Disneyland requires one whole day and I love your itinerary:) I would love to visit coffee shops and all those lovely patisseries:)

  9. Great itinerary and definitely not too packed. I would LOVE to go and squeeze in a trip to Disneyland… your picture makes it look like a fairytale!

  10. Paris is a dream destination for me, I think every year I will go and never end up doing it! This is motivation for me 🙂

    • Wow..I would consider myself really lucky if I had chance to go to Paris every year 🙂

  11. Tracey Best

    Great tips at the end!! You make me want to go back to Paris! The photos are just beautiful!

  12. sabrinatrevis

    Ehi! As a former Parisian resident I can’t recommend enough a longer stay 🙂 there’s so much to see than the touristy sightseing (which I understand that has to be seen nonetheless). Got lost in Montmartre (18th) in Marais (3rd) in Belleville (19th) and around the Canal St Martin (10th) next time you come and visit <3

    • Totally agree…there are countless things to do before you can say you really experienced Paris. And that is why we aspire to return here someday soon

  13. It seems like 3 days really isn’t enough 🙂 What was your favorite thing about Paris?

    • 3 days are definitely not enough because there is so much to experience in Paris. We liked our Disneyland trip the most. Next comes Louvre and Eiffel Tower

  14. I would so love to go to Disneyland in Paris, how magical! Love your photos too

  15. This Epic World

    Paris is so beautiful! Although I’ll admit that Disneyland is the main reason for me too.

  16. One thing that always tickles me is how friendly are the foreigners when Indians go visiting Europe or America. In India, I can vouchsafe that Indians are friendly to the point of being irritating as far as the Whites are concerned. How do Europeans interact with us abroad?

    • Our experience was overall very good. We didn’t face any rude behavior or anything of that sort. Their culture is to stay in their own private space and respect other’s private spaces. So, you will never get friendliness to the extent of irritation – hope you understand what I am pointing to – the way you said one can feel in India. People randomly smiled at us, greeted us while passing on the road, and helped us when we asked for any guidance of any sort – sometimes going out of their way

  17. You are right, 3 days for Paris are not enough but still you covered all important places. I must say the photographs in your post are awesome.

  18. The Luxembourg garden looks stunning, I could spend all day wandering around there. You certainly packed in a lot in three days!

  19. O you have done the cruise too. 🙂 I see it was lovely for you…

    • It was quiet refreshing. Although I wish it was done a little farther into the night so we could see the twinkling lights on either side of the river and their reflection into the river. That would be awesome, isn’t it?

  20. So many iconic buildings and spots in this great city. I hope it is not too expensive staying here for 3 days.

    • It definitely is expensive in Paris. It will be easier on you if you are choosing the most inexpensive ways like roadside food, cheaper cafes, cooking your own meal, sharing rooms or staying in hostels, dorms etc. and using the buses or metros with passes. Indulging in activities that are free or with nominal fee. But yes, overall as a city Paris is expensive.

  21. How fun a trip! I would love to visit EuroDisney/Disneyland Paris. I’m glad you were able to do your homework and have such a great time!

  22. Paris is so gorgeous! Ultimate bucketlist destination 🙂

    • You named it right. The bucket list of things to do and try out in Paris is never ending

  23. Great review for first time travellers to Paris you mention all the tourist hotspots

  24. You truly managed to cover so much ground when you were in Paris for 3 days! I loved Disneyland and totally would have dedicated a day there too. Great that you could see fantastic icons of Paris such as the Notre Dame.

    • Thanks Soraya. Yes, we did see a lot for the amount of time that we spent there.

  25. chikonahoka

    I learned the hard way that the Metro is the way to go to move around Paris. “Why it’s only 2 metro stations away, surely we can walk it”. Some time later… “we should have just taken the metro.” 😀 😀 😀 (This was before the existence of Google Maps which could have told us which was was faster, and by how much).

    • Ha ha.. we also learnt a little hard way. It took us some time to get used to the complex metro network and the ever so complex sign boards (if your platform is down and right you will see two boards one pointing down and the other right and you have to combine the two and read in your mind 🙂 ) but eventually we loved the speedy transport and the hassle – less hopping from place to place

  26. Wow, you covered a lot of ground in your European tour – you must have been exhausted at the end of it! I agree with your Day 3 philosophy – don’t try to see everything, choose a few things and see them properly. Other than Disneyland, I’d choose all your 3 Day options, especially the Luxembourg gardens which look fantastic. And you can’t go to Paris and NOT see the Eiffel Tower, right?!

    • Totally right 🙂 To be honest, we felt more home sick than tired end of our journey. Because it was one of the longest trips we had taken in a long while. But yes, we made just so many wonderful memories for the rest of our lifetime on this trip that it’s going to remain as one of our favorites for a long time to come (until something much better happens!!)

  27. I still sadly look back to our four days in Paris in May 2014, which were (unusually for May) four days of nonstop rain… So, I think i really have to go back and explore the nice Paris. Your articles are very helpful for that. The night cruise sound interesting and the tip to visit Louvre late in the afternoon/ early in the evening seems pretty smart – didn’t know that they were open that long! From what I still remember from our trip is that Montmartre and Sacre Coeur were also pretty much worth visiting and there we had the only short stop of rain at that time 🙂

    • oh…that’s bad. 4 complete days of rain in a destination you badly want to explore does sound disappointing. Nevertheless, you soon plan your next trip and head there, maybe a little further in the summer. I am sure it will be crowded then, but then the weather will be all supportive so you will get to enjoy all the sites that you otherwise missed.

  28. 3 days well spent in Paris, the city of love ! For me it is synonymous with Eiffel tower, the quaint cafes, Notre Dame and of course, fashion. I loved the Luxembourg Garden as well. Thanks for taking me through this pretty city via your blog Neha

    • Thanks Swati. Eiffel tower is of course one iconic place no one can miss when in Paris. And Louvre is my next. We were happy to be able to make the most of our 3 days there and have a visit to some of the most sought after sites in Paris

  29. I imagine Paris as a vast, stunning and romantic city. Disneyland Paris must be super cute with a lot of adorable stuff! Eiffel tower must have a lot of lovers, too! Luxembourg garden looks like a fairytale, perfect for an instagrammable spot!

    • Disneyland is cute. Eiffel tower is stunning with those night lights. Luxembourg garden is a great piece of green in the middle of an otherwise bustling city. And so are the other icons. But Paris is also a metropolitan, one of the largest in the world, with it’s own traffic, faster than fast lifestyle and very busy people. Not an ideal vacation destination I would say (as I am more of a nature lover) but yes, one of the most wonderful cities in the world that must be visited

  30. Wow, that’s an impressive Euro trip. The evening cruise sounds exciting. It’s amazing that you could see iconic sites like Norte Dame, the Louvre,The Conciergerie and Institute-de-France from the cruise. He tips you are shared are very useful for a first timer.

  31. Love reading all your Europe posts, they all bring back memories of our own trips there. Paris is indeed one of our favourite cities. There is so much to see in Paris, we hope to spend at least a week there some time, when we will explore Paris beyond the normal tourist drill that we already have done. But yes I would love to go back to the Louvre again and again and probably a cruise on the river Seine.

    • Thanks Sandy and Vyjay, That is exactly our plan too. We want to go back there for longer time and explore beyond the usual. Maybe take some cooking and baking classes as well 🙂

  32. Aww. This brings back so many memories for me! Hehe. We went for 3 days last year around April, it was raining a lot and it was very cold. But I love Parisssss. Didn’t get to go to Disneyland though 🙁

    • It seems this is the rainy season there. We were lucky. It was cloudy all the time but didn’t rain much 🙂

  33. One of my bucketlist, Paris, France! Made me want to go and explore more! Thanks!

  34. A three days well spent in Paris and making use of the one day two parks trip to Disneyland was the best choice. The Luxembourg garden really looks beautiful, I’ll try and check it out anytime in Paris.

    • Hmm…as our main motive was to go to Disneyland, and we really didn’t intend to spend much time in the city itself, we did like the 3 days we spent there

  35. Love Paris! I spent two weeks there in the past December. It was so incredible. Disneyland is a must do, even if it is to feel like a little child once again. Have you seen the small replica of the Statue of Liberty in the Gardens of Luxemburg?

    • Yes Pia, we did. How is it in December? We do want to plan a trip to Europe in the winters and enjoy some snow. But we heard it is so chilling cold that it’s impossible to stay out till late in night.

  36. Very useful article. Thanks for sharing this. I’ve bookmarked this for future reference.

  37. Wow! Sounds like you had such an eventful 3 days in Paris! I particularly love how you covered a lot of great places on your first day alone, though I know it must have been a bit tiring. Your photo of Disney looks awesome btw! 🙂

  38. Paris is pure love! I know 3 days are quite less for Paris. But whatever you saw in 3 days are quite a lot. Looking forward to your posts. 🙂

  39. Alexander Popkov

    Good instruction. Something you can start with when exploring Paris.

  40. That’s cool. Paris has so much to offer. I’ve been there twice but somehow on both trips I missed Louvre, coz I know if I get into Louvre, I won’t get out for the whole day or I might even need 2. Not a big fan of Disneyland, but with your little one, it would be perfect! Montmatre is in my wishlist. I should try to venture there again…

    • Hmmm…Louvre has such a vast collection of art that you have got not to miss it. Keep that one day aside sometimes Bhushavali, I would strongly suggest 🙂 I know, my kid still has fond memories of disneyland and meeting the mickey mouse in particular.

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