A Weekend in Paris is Always a Good Idea


“Paris is always a good idea” – Audrey Hepburn

The woman was right. Paris takes you by the hand. It romances, educates and embraces you. Its streets ooze a sophistication and class that many other cities struggle to match. It keeps you coming back for more, time and time again – because it always has more to share.

Big city, little time? Don’t you worry for a second. This doesn’t mean you have to miss out. We’ve put together this handy itinerary for your weekend in Paris to help you make the most out of every moment. 

A weekend in Paris

Where to stay

Paris isn’t renowned for it’s affordability. It’s a little bit of struggle on a budget. We’d recommend checking early for an AirBnB place or perhaps give Couchsurfing a go (you’d love it!).

Otherwise there are plenty of hostels and lower priced hotels in and around Paris. As a general rule of thumb, head a little bit out of town for cheaper rates. We stayed near the Moulin Rouge and the hotel was cheap, cheerful and perfect – what more do you need!? (Yes a four poster bed and a view of the Eiffel Tower would be nice, but I’m fairly keen on my kidneys and don’t fancy selling a lung).

TOP TIP: When choosing hotels in Paris, the star system is a little skewed. If you’re booking a 3 star, expect 2 star quality… always knock a star off, then you’ll never be disappointed. 


Getting around

Paris Metro Guide WALK. Definitely walk. Paris is packed to the brim with hidden gems, stunning buildings and quaint little shops. You never know what you may stumble across if you walk from A to B. If you get lost, just look for the Seine. The river cuts through the centre of the City and will never be too far away.

There is A LOT to be seen in Paris though so we’ll forgive you if you want to hop on the Metro every now and again. Warning… it’s a little dirty! It doesn’t quite fit with the romantic, sophisticated Paris we’re so used to envisaging. But it gets you around with little to no hassle – definitely the second best option. The best Metro stations for all of the key sights are listed to the left. Just click to make it bigger! :).


Your Weekend in Paris – Itinerary

Day One


First things first… coffee and croissants. Oh yes, we’re going to do this properly. Head towards Place de Vosges and pull up a chair at one of the stylish cafes. (It’s hard not to feel 100 x more elegant than your usual ‘breakfast bar on the go’ self when breakfasting in Place de Vosges. Feel it. You’re classy).

Places de vosges weekend in paris

Whilst you’re having your morning caffeine and carb fix, take in the atmosphere, enjoy the street performers and before you head off amble around the square, it really is a great spot.

TOP TIP: The home of the incredible Victor Hugo can be found in this square. If you’re a die hard Les Miserables fan like we are – (our love of Jean Valjean rivals our love for each other) or are partial to a bit of Quasimodo and the Hunchback of Notre-Dame then it’s well worth a visit. Open Tuesdays to Sundays between 10am and 6pm and the permanent collections are free for everyone – We love a bargain. 

Pop your map in your bag and get lost now. There are so many fascinating side streets that lead you to intriguing places you’d otherwise miss. Art galleries, cafes and quirky shops galore… Just follow your feet and take in the beauty. If you get really lost ask a friendly looking local for directions to the River Seine. (In broken French of course – let’s not be lazy now!)

River seine weekend in paris

Once you reach the banks of the river, follow it West towards the Notre-Dame de Paris.

Notre Dame weekend in Paris

If you’ve never seen the Notre-Dame before, prepare to waste at least half an hour just marvelling at it. If ever a building was a work of art – this is it. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped into the Disney film and I guarantee you’ll catch yourself staring at the gargoyles waiting for them to move… and maybe even sing. Taxi for one there? Okay.

The cathedral itself is open from 8am – 6.45pm every day of the year so you won’t miss out on exploring no matter when you rock up. And if you’re feeling energetic, you can take on the 387 step climb up the South Tower. The view is worth the sweaty beetroot face! 

From Notre Dame, continue your stroll along the river for about 15 minutes and head for The Louvre. You’ll pass the infamous Pont Des Arts… otherwise known as a bridge with so many clichéd love padlocks attached to it that it’s actually sinking. But I’m as much a fan of romance as the next girl… so if this kind of thing floats your boat… lock away!

lock bridge weekend in Paris

If you’d rather marvel at world renowned works of art than doodle on a chunk of metal though, head towards the iconic glass pyramid of The Louvre. A walk around this art gallery will see you standing mere feet from some of the most famous paintings in the world including Virgin of the Rocks and the Mona Lisa (which is depressingly small compared to what you may have been expecting).

The museum is closed on Tuesdays & public holidays but is open every other day of the week from 9am to 6pm. It’s free to get in if you’re under 18 (you spring chicken you)… but for the rest of us old codgers it costs €15. 

TOP TIP: If you’re on a budget and find yourself in Paris between October and March on a Sunday… your luck is in my friend. You get cultured for free. 


the louvre weekend in paris

louvre weekend in Paris



From the Louvre’s pyramid you’ll be able to see the iconic heart of Paris: the Eiffel Tower, but we’ll get there later. For now, go underground and pick up the Metro to ‘Cardinal Lemoine‘ in the Latin Quarter – one of Paris’ most historic areas – for a bite to eat.

Now I have some VERY important information to share. It’s about crepes and lunch. Does it get more important than that?

Opposite the Pantheon (I’ll get onto the historic landmark once the serious stuff is dealt with) is La Creperie: The perfect spot for a nutritious lunch. Or in our case, one salted caramel and one tarte tatin crepe. These were heaven on a plate and I really can’t recommend the place highly enough.

Once your la crepe craving is cured, head over the road to the Pantheon and its crypt.

Pantheon weekend in paris

Built with a big nod to Roman architecture, this incredible building now serves as a necropolis and is the resting place of an impressive host of greats including Voltaire, Rousseau, Victor Hugo and Marie Curie.

Open 10am – 6pm and costing just €7 – this is the perfect chance to immerse yourself in some serious history. 

Head West now and take an afternoon amble through the beautiful Je Jardin de Luxembourg – a stunning oasis of green in the centre of Paris – towards Les Invalides. 

weekend in paris le jardin de luxembourg(Source)

Les Invalides is about a 30 minute walk from the gardens, so depending on how much energy you’ve got left, you may or may not want to hop on the Metro and give your feet a well earned rest for a mo. If you do, head to Invalides station.

This is a must for any history buff. You’ll find a collection of museums and historical places here… it even houses the intricate tomb of Napoleon. (A bit of a morbid afternoon so far, too many tombs – but bare with us…) It’s a nerds wet dream – very interesting for us not so clever folk also though!

Napoleon's Tomb Invalides Paris



Finish your day by strolling towards the most iconic landmark of them all: The Eiffel Tower. This structure is guaranteed to cast a spell on you. The lattice of iron stretching up towards the Paris skyline really is something special. It embodies everything that is Paris: Class, elegance, sophistication.

Eiffel tower weekend in paris

This may sound extravagant, but it’s more affordable than you might think! If you’re in Paris for a weekend and are willing to treat yourselves to something just a little bit special then this is a definite must. You’ve been walking your feet off all day – you’ve earned this!

eiffel tower weekend in paris

Now for the ultimate bucket list worthy experience. Head up the Eiffel Tower for sunset and dinner at 58 Tour Eiffel. It really doesn’t get much more special than dinner in the clouds above Europe’s most romantic city. (Shockingly James didn’t decide to propose at this point – i’m still a little bitter ;))

Parisian sunset followed by a delicious meal up the the tower with moonlit views of the city… I was in my element. What more could you want?

The nitty gritty: A delicious 3-course meal and glass of champagne at 58 Tour Eiffel will set you back €85 each. This is MUCH higher than our usual budget… But in the spirit of experience, if you can justify it for a one off special occasion, it’s worth it. If you choose to fork out definitely book first and choose from either 6.00pm or 9.30pm dinner sitting. 

We called it a night after dinner and slowly made our way back to the hotel for a well needed shower and to put our rather pungent, well-walked feet up. The romance ends there!

Day Two


Your feet may be crying a little this morning… sorry about that. But now you have your bearings, you can treat yourself to a more chilled second day of exploration.

Start off by drooling your way around the array of chocolate shops at Saint Germain Des Pres in the Montparnasse district. I’m the biggest chocoholic you could ever hope to meet, so I was in my element here!

If you’re lucky enough to be exploring Paris on a market day and stumble across one, definitely go and have a mooch about.  Here’s a handy list of some of Paris’ best street markets. I challenge you not to eat your body weight in food on your way around.

Once you have thrown an adequate amount of food at your face, it’s time for things to get spooky. A 25 minute walk South will lead you to the Catacombs of Paris, an underground maze of bones, offering a whole new dimension to the city standing above you and a glimpse into Paris’ darker past.

The 200 mile network of tunnels were used to store the remains of countless Parisians in the 18th century. The aim was to provide a solution to the overcrowding in the city’s cemeteries. The graveyards were getting so full that remains had started bursting through the cellar walls of people’s homes – gruesome stuff. 

As you walk down the 130 steps into the dark world below, you’ll feel the temperature drop and the atmosphere change. You’re walking into the grave of six million people. Walking past the walls lined with countless bones, it’s not hard to see how the Catacombs of Paris got its nickname: The World’s Largest Grave.  As the website states, this is not for anyone ‘with a nervous disposition’… you have been warned!

catacombs weekend in paris(Source)

The catacombs are open daily (excluding Mondays) from 10am to 8pm. Aim to get there for 10am to avoid the long queues to get in! If you fancy learning a little extra on your way around, rent an audio guide for €5. 


Now time to rest your feet and treat yourself to a lovely little boat cruise along the River Seine. You can do this journey in either direction, but having the Eiffel Tower as a finale just seems right. So we suggest you head West! Just amble towards the Seine and pick up one of the many tours that leave from the banks. You can even grab some lunch on some of the tours – living the dream!

Hop off the boat and onto the Metro now. Head for the stunning Sacré-Coeur overlooking the Montmartre district. It’s a bit of a trek up the hill, but it’s worth it. (You can always hop on the cable car if you need a sit down – I was VERY tempted by this point).

Sacré-Cœur weekend in paris

Even if churches aren’t really your deal, the Sacré-Coeur is worth a visit – if only for the stunning architecture alone. And if that isn’t enough to tempt you, you’ll also be treated to a breathtaking view of the City from the top. (And it’s free!)

If you’re lucky and time your visit right you may catch the amazing Iya Traore’s street performance in front of the basilica. He climbs up lamp posts and does the most incredible, hair raising football tricks. His routine really is something, we were hooked – if you spot him, watch till the end!

weekend in Paris



To end your day and your weekend in Paris, head down to the Champs-Élysées. There are loads of shops to check out (sorry lads) or if you visit in the Winter months, the Christmas Markets are just a short walk away, as is the Arc de Triomphe.

For dinner, we stumbled across a proper little gem. Head down the Rue Pierre Charron (just off the Champs-Élysées) and a short walk down you’ll find the restaurant: Le Victoria. We waited a little while to get a table so book ahead if possible, it can get busy!

food weekend in Paris

Relax with a classic French meal and good bottle of wine…. Try the French Soup. Cheese on toast floating on delicious oniony soup… BLISS. And it’s SO reasonably priced. Sold. 

Once you’re sufficiently fed and watered, you’re in the perfect place to sample a bit of Parisian nightlife (if that’s your cup of tea). If not though, take a leaf out of our book….

TOP TIP: If you have a little energy left before heading for bed, go and check out your favourite sights by night. The lighting in Paris is beautiful and offers you a completely different experience of the place. The Louvre by night knocked our socks off. Trust us – it will pay off! 

Well there you have it. We think this is a pretty perfect way to spend a weekend in Paris. Of course there is always more to see and do (the Palace of Versailles for starters), some of which we haven’t even a clue exists yet, but that’s for another visit. We knew this wasn’t going to be our last trip to the city and I have no doubt that Paris has a lot more hidden gems just tucked away, waiting to be discovered.

Here’s a handy map with all of the landmarks pin pointed so you can follow our trail…


Weekend in Paris ticked off your ‘to do list’? Tell us how you spent your time in one of the worlds most iconic cities. Did we miss anything? Make sure to include names of any free chocolate shops 😉 Thanks!

(Featured image source)

  • Europe Diaries

    Whoa..thanks! I’ll be visiting Paris next month, and this is a great guide:)

    • http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers

      Aw so pleased you think so! Really hope it comes in handy 🙂 You’ll have to let us know how you get on. Enjoy! 🙂 Thanks for the lovely comment.


  • Bethaney

    Great itinerary. We found Paris quite challenging when we visited with children earlier this year. I definitely preferred travelling there when I was young & single. 😉

    • http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers

      Hi Bethaney – thanks for your comment. I can imagine Paris with young children could definitely take it out of you – well done for giving it a go though! Perhaps you can persuade the grandparents to have them and you can escape back for a weekend of frivolous child-free fun ;).


  • http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers

    Absolute pleasure – really pleased you enjoyed it. Will check out your blog shortly :). Thanks for stopping by


  • http://travellousworld.com Maaike – travellousworld.com

    Such a great and complete guide! Well done you guys, you’ve really outdone yourselves on this one! The last time I was in Paris I stayed near Je Jardin du Luxembourg, such a beautiful area! Another favorite of my is a stroll through the Mont Martre neighborhood and a visit to the Galleries Lafayette (if that’s how you would spell it?). Catacombes are still on my list!

    • http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers

      Aw Maaike thank you so much! Such a compliment :). This one did take a LONG time to pull together so I’m really pleased you think it paid off! It’s the first of more to come! Ah staying near Je Jardin du Luxembourg must have been beautiful. We also visited Galleries Lafayette, much to James’ dismay – he wasn’t keen on being dragged around the shops on our romantic city break – not sure what’s wrong with the man! ;). Thanks for your lovely comment – so appreciated.


  • http://www.mummytravels.com Cathy Winston

    Ah this is making me want to go back to Paris again – definitely agree about the walking too, you see so much more.

    • http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers

      It’s an incredible city isn’t it Cathy! How long ago did you go? I reckon it’s definitely time to book another trip :). Walking is the way forward… it doesn’t make for particularly pretty feet at the end of the day though ;). Thanks for the comment!


      • http://www.mummytravels.com Cathy Winston

        The last time was last year with my daughter (then about 18 months). I’ve been half a dozen times but it was like seeing a different city with her – and walking definitely beat going up and down metro stairs. We went from the Jardin d’acclimatation to the Ile de la Cite and Jardin du Luxembourg on day 1 – was so achy on day 2, we had to do a shorter route from the Pompidou to the left bank…!

  • Abbi from Life in a rucksack ✈

    Amazing post guys! I love Paris, but the last time I was there was in 2009. I need to go back!

    • http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers

      Thanks Abbi 🙂 – Ooo you should go. I feel an Autumnal city break coming on! 😉 Thanks so much for reading and leaving a lovely comment.

  • http://luxurycolumnist.com/ LuxuryColumnist

    Audrey Hepburn had it righ! I used to live in Paris and do miss it a bit, so this brought back great memories. I’m totally against adding locks to the bridge, they’re causing so much damage

    Suze | LuxuryColumnist

    • http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers

      Hi Suze, ah living in Paris must have been an incredible experience – how long were you there for? I do agree with you about the bridge, it’s a case of clichėd romanticism going overboard at the expense of the city. Thank you for stopping by, pleased the post bought back some good memories 🙂


      • http://luxurycolumnist.com/ LuxuryColumnist

        I was in Paris for 2 years and France itself for 10, time flew by!

  • http://www.loveandroad.com Love and Road

    Great Guide!!

    You put together the highlight of Paris in a easy and practical guide.

    The city is stunning and you gonna walk a lot for sure, but it is totally worthy. I would add one more parisiense experience to your list. Before heading to Sacre Coeur, or to another park in the city, grab a bottle o wine and a baguette sandwich. There is nothing more “Paris” than a picnic on the gardens… Good french cheese and wine are always welcome!

    All the best,


    • http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers

      Hi Nat, thanks so much for your comment. So pleased you liked the guide. GREAT tip – thank you for that. Next time we’re in Paris, we will make time to sprawl across the grass in one of the stunning parks and feed our face with baguette, cheese and wine. Perfect! Thanks so much for stopping by (and for the Facebook love) – you’re totally awesome :).


  • http://www.tracietravels.com Tracie Howe

    Having spent just about this amount of time in Paris, I would agree that this is a great itinerary. And yes, you gotta walk despite the painful feet! 😉

    • http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers

      Thanks Tracie! Paris has so much to offer that a weekend is never really going to be enough. But hopefully this itinerary captures all the key elements needed for a great first trip. Always plenty more to explore if you ever return though! – That’s if your feet allow you to! 😉 Thanks for the comment!


  • Gemma

    I have never fallen in love with Paris, I’ve been twice – once in Winter and once on a hot hot hot weekend in May. I even had a person tour guide, my friend Mhairi who lived there but it still didn’t give me the jitters like Berlin or Budapest did. Strange! However you guys look like you had a very romantic time. I do like the look of the grave (what is wrong with me?!) Photos are stunning too.

    • http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers

      Hi Gemma, i’ve heard this a lot from different people. You’re definitely not alone!! Some places grab hold of you, others don’t – Paris seems to be an acquired taste :). I loved Budapest when I went, full on jitters. But i’ve only spent a very short amount of time in Berlin (the majority of that was spent on a bar crawl… oops) so I really need to head back to experience it properly. Haha we loved our grave visit, so we’re a little odd too don’t you worry ;). Pleased you liked the photos! Thanks for stopping by.


  • Stephanie Smolders

    Thanks for the share guys! Paris is always a good idea. For me it’s not that far but I’ve only seen it once. So I guess I’m going back around the end of summer. I’m happy I’ve found this handy list of tips! Thanks.



    • http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers

      Hi Stéphanie, thanks so much for stopping by – and for your kind words! So pleased you found the list helpful :). Great to hear that you’re heading back to Paris this Summer – enjoy! Hope our guide helps and do let us know if you uncover any hidden gems :).


  • Kimberly Erin

    Love Paris…who doesnt. Walking from A to B is a great idea as it is truly a place one can get lost in. One of the best places to put your map away and just wander the streets, everything is seemingly a gem. Also Classy Parisian breakfast yes pleas! and all that delicious delicious food! ps, do you ever feel like you just dress better in Paris? I go from backpacker…to backpacker chique!

    • http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers

      Absolutely Kimberly – loosing the map is definitely one of the best ways to ensure you have a proper adventure! And I couldn’t agree more… everyone is so civilised and elegant in Paris, I think your subconscious just realises you have to make more of an effort. Old shorts and 8 year old flip flops just ain’t gonna cut it! Thanks so much for stopping by 🙂


  • Chris Nash

    Great guide, and best of all, people can pick the bits out that appeal to them and fill in the blanks!

    • http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers

      Absolutely Chris! There is SO much to do in Paris, it’s full to the brim with stunning sights and hidden gems… Impossible to catch them all in one weekend. But hopefully this helps with a solid base to use as and when :). Thanks for your comment.


  • http://www.HoneyTrek.com/ Mike Howard – HoneyTrek.com

    Love how you do the map of your trail. That is such helpful tidbit to share! We hope to follow your path someday…our around-the-world honeymoon hasn’t made it to Paris. What a crime!

    • http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers

      Thanks Mike – pleased you like the map! I’ll keep my fingers crossed that your around-the-world-honeymoon (Great idea!!) leads you to Paris before too long :). Thanks for stopping by!


  • Natalie Tanner

    What a marvelous itinerary! It can be overwhelming to plan a short time in such a fantastic and BIG city with so much to see. This one is perfect!
    Natalie, The Educational Tourist

    • http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers

      Aw thanks Natalie – so pleased you like it! Absolutely, Paris is HUGE with so many hidden gems around every corner… it would be impossible to fit them all in one weekend but hopefully this provides a good base :). Thanks for your lovely comment,