Are you planning a trip to Paris? Keep scrolling for my 2 days Paris itinerary that is perfect for couples or a girls getaway!
This 2 day Paris itinerary was written by family travel expert Marcie Cheung and may contain affiliate links, which means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own.
I’ve visited Paris 3 times and usually, we stay spend 4-5 days exploring the city. It’s one of my favorite European cities to visit!
So, when my bestie and I decided to do a tour in England I figured we should pop over to Paris for a few days since she had never been before.
While Paris has a reputation for being a romantic city, it’s also the ultimate girls’ getaway.
We only had 2 days in Paris and I wanted her to get a taste of Parisian art and culture.
Here’s exactly how we spent 2 days in Paris in early September.
Don’t have time to read a bunch of Paris blog posts and reviews? Here are some of our top picks for visiting Paris with kids.
Popular Paris Tours/Activities
- Scavenger Hunt at the Musee d’Orsay (my kids voted this the BEST thing they did in Paris)
- Paris Food Tour (We ate SO many yummy treats on our Food Tour)
- Tootbus (this is a kid-friendly hop-on-hop-off bus)
- Eiffel Tower (skip the line and go straight to the top)
- Day Trip to Giverny and Versailles (it’s a great city break)
- Flytographer photo shoot (they are easy to book and really affordable)
Kid-Friendly Paris Hotels
How to Get to Paris
Getting to the Heart of Paris from Charles de Gaulle Airport
Embarking on a 2-day whirlwind adventure in Paris starts right from the moment you touch down at Charles de Gaulle Airport.
Before you can dive into the city’s captivating history, bustling boulevards, and aromatic patisseries, you first need to navigate your way from this bustling international gateway to the center of romance itself.
Thankfully, Paris boasts a convenient and efficient transportation system that makes this journey relatively stress-free.
Taking the Train
The RER B Train is the most direct and economical way to travel from Charles de Gaulle Airport to central Paris.
Follow the signs for “Paris par train” and you’ll find yourself at the station, located right within the airport complex. The train ride to central Paris takes around 35 minutes.
Be sure to keep an eye on your belongings, as trains can get crowded and, like all major cities, pickpockets can be a concern.
Taking a Taxi
For those who prefer a more private mode of transport, or perhaps have a considerable amount of luggage in tow, a taxi might be a preferable choice.
Taxis have a fixed rate from the airport to Right Bank and Left Bank locations, ensuring you won’t have any unpleasant surprises at the end of your journey.
While it’s pricier than the train, the comfort of a direct route to your accommodation can be a godsend after a long flight.
Taking an Uber
Lastly, for the tech-savvy traveler, rideshare apps like Uber operate in Paris and can be a bridge between the cost of a taxi and the hustle of public transportation.
Once booked, you can conveniently find your driver at the airport’s designated pickup points.
Regardless of how you choose to kick off your 2 days in Paris, the journey from Charles de Gaulle is just the prologue to a story that’s waiting to unfold in the city of lights.
The allure of Paris begins even before you reach its heart, setting the tone for an unforgettable escapade.
Navigating Paris from Gare du Nord Train Station
For many, the beginning of a mesmerizing 2-day Parisian escapade starts not in the air but on the rails, with Gare du Nord serving as the grand entrance to the city.
Stepping out from the station, you’re immediately greeted by the symphony of Paris, from the distant hum of traffic to the nearby chattering of excited travelers.
But what’s the best way to get to the city center?
Gare du Nord seamlessly integrates with the Paris Metro system, making it incredibly convenient to get around.
From this station, you can directly access Line 4 (going south through the center to Notre Dame and beyond) and Line 5 (heading southeast towards Bastille).
The signs within the station make it straightforward to find your way to the metro platforms.
Purchase a ticket or a carnet (a set of 10 tickets) from the automated machines, which are user-friendly and offer multiple language options.
Taxis and Rideshares
Exiting Gare du Nord, you’ll find a taxi rank ready to whisk you away to your accommodation or first destination.
This option offers the comfort and ease of a direct trip, especially if you’re traveling with luggage or feel a tad weary from your journey.
Additionally, rideshare services like Uber or Kapten are operational in Paris. Simply use your preferred app, and your ride will usually meet you in front of the station within minutes.
If you’ve packed light and your accommodation is nearby, consider embracing the spirit of Paris from the get-go with a leisurely walk.
Gare du Nord is reasonably central, and the surrounding 10th arrondissement offers charming streets and a glimpse of local life.
Starting your 2-day adventure from Gare du Nord sets the rhythm for your Parisian adventure.
Whether by rail, road, or foot, Paris unfolds in layers of beauty, history, and culture around every corner, and every journey within it is part of the enchantment.
Where Did We Stay in Paris?
We chose to stay at the West-End Hotel in the 8th arrondissement. It’s a four-star hotel that is within walking distance of the Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, Champs Elysees, world-class museums, and high-end shopping.
Usually, I’m limited to one of the kid-friendly hotels in Paris, so it was fun to get a room with two twin beds where we could get a complimentary breakfast delivered to our room each morning.
The service at the West-End Hotel was phenomenal and I’d definitely recommend it for a Paris getaway! Check the latest rates and availability.
My Perfect Paris Itinerary: 2 Days in Paris
Before I dive into this 2 days in Paris itinerary, I wanted to point out that we arrived in Paris from Seattle in the late afternoon, enjoyed dinner at Chez Andre, and walked around the Champs Elysees before crashing in our hotel room.
This itinerary takes place the very next day.
The weather this day was rainy all morning and then it got up to the mid-seventies by the afternoon.
Vintage 2CV Citroen Tour
We had a 9 a.m. private tour of Paris in a Vintage 2CV Citroen car. This was such a fun way to get an overview of the city while saving some steps.
Our guide Nicholas picked us up from our hotel and did a full city tour including the Arc de Triomphe, Champs Elysees, bridges, famous cafes, and tons of other Paris sights.
We even did a photo stop at the Trocadero for amazing views of the Eiffel Tower.
He was so fun to chat with and we learned a lot about Parisian culture and history. He gave a nice overview of the French Revolution and how that has affected the French capital today.
When the weather is nice, he’s able to put the roof down for a more impressive view of the city. However, we still thought it was fun in the rain!
Our tour guide ended up dropping us off right near Sainte-Chapelle, so we figured we’d head there next. Check the latest rates and availability of the Citroen private tour.
Since this was a bonus item on our Paris itinerary, we didn’t have tickets ahead of time. We ended up waiting about 30 minutes in the standby line before getting to enter the church. I highly recommend booking tickets online.
Sainte Chapelle is one of my favorite Paris attractions so I was really excited to show it to my friend.
It’s pretty small and it’s easy to quickly zip through or spend more time sitting and enjoying the ambiance. Check the latest rates and availability.
Notre Dame Cathedral
Since Notre Dame Cathedral was still under construction, we only had an opportunity to snap some selfies outside.
There are some really informative panels that detail the restoration process which are cool to look at. Plus, there’s a statue of Charlemagne (from whom I am a direct descendant)!
Lunch at La Creperie
I wasn’t sure if any of our food tours were going to include crepes, so I figured we better stop to get one for lunch just in case. I mean, you can’t go to Paris and not have a crepe, right?
As we were walking from Notre Dame Cathedral to the meeting point for our Emily in Paris tour, we came across La Creperie. Perfect!
We found a lunch special that included a ham, egg, and cheese buckwheat crepe as the entree and a sugar crepe for dessert. Plus, cappuccino!
The really cool thing about this place is that we had a great view of the Pantheon.
Emily in Paris Tour
If you’re a fan of the Emily in Paris Netflix show, you’ll definitely want to do this tour!
It started outside Emily’s apartment at Place de l’Estrapade and you basically walk in her footsteps as she goes to work each morning.
Our tour guide Paula was fabulous and you could feel her energy about showing us all the cool filming sites from the show.
We got to see Gabriel’s restaurant, iconic Parisian spots that were in the background of scenes, and it ended at Savoir (where Emily works).
The tour was a lot of fun and we also saw a lot of top Paris sights along the way. Check the latest tour rates and availability.
Paris Food Tour
We were lucky enough to book a private Paris food tour with Alpha. She’s amazing and I highly recommend booking a tour with her!
Not only was she fun to chat with but she’s super knowledgeable about the Parisian food scene.
Some of my favorite things that we tried were Scandanavian fish, sea snails, cheese, baguette traditional, and desserts from Carette.
The food samples on this tour were HUGE. By the end of the tour, we had a full bag of food that we brought back to our hotel. And we were too full to even have dinner afterward.
We ended up walking a total of 8 miles that day.
The weather started out warm and then got HOT by lunchtime.
Musee d’Orsay Semi-Private Tour
There are so many amazing museums in Paris that it’s hard to pick just one to visit. However, when you only have 2 days in Paris, tough decisions need to be made.
I figured that the Musee d’Orsay is small enough to see the highlights in a short amount of time. Plus, it’s a former train station and it’s absolutely gorgeous.
One of my favorite ways to explore museums is with a small group tour. Then, I can get a bit of backstory about what I’m seeing and why it’s important.
Our tour guide Emilie was fantastic and she moved us around the museum for 90 minutes.
We explored the first and fifth floors with her and then she directed us toward where else in the museum we could visit on our own. Check the latest rates and availability.
Lunch at Musee d’Orsay
Since we had another Paris food tour this afternoon, we figured we should probably have an early lunch. Thankfully, the Musee d’Orsay has a restaurant on the second floor that is gorgeous and has decent food.
The Musee d’Orsay used to have a hotel inside and this was the original hotel restaurant. It’s a nice blend of modern and vintage.
My friend and I split the cod fritters and veggies and they were really delicious. They also had a great assortment of beverages.
After lunch, we peeked into the Salon (which was formerly the hotel lobby). It was stunning!
Our food tour started at 4 p.m. in the Montmartre neighborhood. Since it was close to 1 p.m. when we finished lunch, we decided to take the metro over early to explore this area of Paris.
We got off at the Abbesses stop without realizing we had to hike up 144 stairs on a spiral staircase and then climb up a few more flights of stairs just to get out of the metro station. We were exhausted but the trekking wasn’t over!
Sacre Coeur is one of the most popular places to visit in Paris. Tourists think it’s a romantic place because the name implies it’s the heart of Jesus.
However, the history behind it isn’t very romantic. Basically, the government thought the Montmartre neighborhood was full of sin and needed a big church to overlook the area.
Regardless, it’s a popular place to propose (and probably will be even more popular since it was featured in Emily in Paris). And it’s also a place where you can buy love locks to put on the fences around the church.
Le Petit Train de Montmartre
It was really hot outside by this time (like 85 degrees) so we thought it might be cool to take the little white train around Montmartre to see more of the neighborhood.
I did this with my kids when they were babies and toddlers and it’s a fun way to explore the area without having to trek around the hills.
We enjoyed it for the breeze and to get an overview of the area.
Montmartre Cheese, Wine & Pastry Tour
After the train ride, we slowly made our way down to the meeting point for our Montmartre food tour. It started at the Starbucks across from the Moulin Rouge.
This tour was a lot of fun! It was one of the larger tours we did in Paris. There were about 12 people and we did several stops as we hiked all the way back up to Sacre Coeur.
One of my favorite stops included getting macarons from Carette! Check the latest tour rates and availability.
Wall of Love & Shopping
Of course, being true Emily in Paris fans, we were determined to find the Wall of Love. Our GPS took us in a really funky way.
It’s actually located right next to the Abbesses metro station and it’s definitely worth a quick stop.
We also did a little bit of Paris souvenir shopping in this area because there were lots of cute shops.
Quick Rest at the Hotel
At this point, we had walked about 7 miles and had been going for about 12 hours. We were hot and tired. So, we took about a 30-minute rest in our air-conditioned hotel room before deciding to head out to see the Eiffel Tower sparkle.
As we walked from our hotel to a bridge to see the Eiffel Tower lights, we saw how close the Seine River cruise boat launch was.
I wasn’t sure if we’d have time for a Seine River cruise, so it was a total bonus that we were able to get on the 9 p.m. Bateaux Mouches boat ride on the River Seine. It’s one of the best boat tours in Paris for first-timers.
It’s a pretty affordable Seine river cruise (I think it was about 20 Euros each) and it was such a nice way to end our trip! Check the latest rates and availability.
I was a bit hungry after our Seine River cruise, so we hit up Franprix at about 10:30 p.m. to grab sandwiches, chips, and snack foods.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become a HUGE fan on shopping for food to enjoy on my trip as well as bring home.
Spending 3 or 4 Days in Paris?
There are SO many things to do in Paris that it’s impossible to fit everything into 2 days in Paris. So, if you’re able to stay for 3 or 4 days in Paris, I highly recommend it.
Here are the extra things to do in Paris for a longer stay.
Flytographer Photo Shoot
We actually squeezed in a Paris photography session on our departure morning. It was a 7 a.m. photo shoot at the Eiffel Tower and we had enough time to get back to our hotel to check out and head to the train station.
We chose to do a Paris photo shoot at the Trocadero because it’s one of the best views of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
Our photographer Rachael was fabulous and made us feel so gorgeous and confident throughout the entire session.
Plus, we ended our photo shoot in Paris with a few nods to Emily in Paris!
Book a Family Photo Shoot
Whenever we travel, we almost always book a family photo shoot with Flytographer. They are super easy, affordable, AND guarantee that I’ll be in some photos. You can get $25 off if you book through this link or use the code HAWAIITRAVEL.
Louvre Art Museum
Since we were short on time, we had to make the tough decision of visiting the Louvre or Musee d’Orsay.
I ended up picking Musee d’Orsay because I know we both love impressionist paintings and I find this museum less overwhelming than the Louvre.
We did get to see the outside of the Louvre Art Museum and check out the glass pyramids.
However, if we had another day or two, we definitely would have done a skip-the-line tour to hit a few of the highlights.
The Louvre is MASSIVE (it’s the world’s largest art museum) so you really need to just pick a few areas to focus on and tell yourself that you’ll come back someday.
The most popular thing to see at the Louvre is the Mona Lisa, but there are plenty of other cool things to see like Liberty Leading the People (my favorite), Venus de Milo, and Winged Victory.
While we definitely saw the Eiffel Tower multiple times each day, we didn’t have enough time to go up to the top on this trip.
I’ve been up to the top several times and it’s always cool!
Personally, I like to just take the elevators up, but you can also climb up most of the way and just take the elevator at the very end.
If you go at night, try to time it so you’ll be inside when it sparkles! Check the latest rates and availability.
Palace of Versailles
Another popular Paris day trip is Versailles. It’s where Marie Antoinette and King Louis XVI lived and the palace is just dripping in luxury.
Not only is there the beautiful palace, but there are also some amazing gardens that you can explore by foot or by renting a golf cart.
We’ve been a few times before and it’s just one of the places that should be on everyone’s Paris bucket list. Check the latest rates and availability.
We visited Giverny on our last family trip to Paris and I was really bummed we couldn’t squeeze it into our two-day Paris itinerary.
This is where Monet’s house and garden is. It’s an easy half-day trip from Paris and it’s just gorgeous in the spring, summer, or early fall. Check the latest rates and availability.
While this isn’t personally on my Paris bucket list, I know a lot of people really love seeing the Paris Catacombs.
It’s underground and features a ton of skeletons, bones, and skulls. If that sounds cool to you, you can either explore on your own or book a tour.
Notre Dame Cathedral
While I had my fingers crossed that Notre Dame Cathedral would be open in time for our trip, it wasn’t. However, if it is open during your trip, it’s definitely worth going inside.
Tips for Visiting Paris for the First Time
Stay Within Walking Distance of Paris Attractions
If it’s within your budget, try to book accommodation in a central arrondissement. This will reduce travel time and give you a better feel for the city.
We opted to stay near the Champs Elysees so it would be easy to walk to the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower.
Prioritize Key Attractions in Paris
Paris is brimming with landmarks. Prioritize the must-sees like the Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Notre Dame, and Montmartre, but remember that you won’t be able to see everything in one trip.
And don’t just prioritize the famous landmarks. Take some time to do your research and figure out what YOU want to see.
Get the Skip the Line Tickets
Popular attractions can have long lines. Book your tickets online in advance to save time. This is a great way to maximize 2 days in Paris.
Visit Museums on Off-Peak Times
If the Louvre or Musée d’Orsay is on your list, consider visiting early in the morning or on late-opening evenings to avoid large crowds.
Learn Basic French Phrases
While many Parisians speak English, particularly in the tourist industry, it’s appreciated if you know some basic French.
Simple phrases like “Bonjour” (Hello), “Merci” (Thank you), and “Excusez-moi” (Excuse me) can go a long way.
Wear Comfortable Shoes
Paris is a city best explored on foot. Wear comfortable walking shoes, and expect to do a lot of walking!
There are lots of cobblestone streets, so I suggest wearing shoes or sandals with flat soles to help you keep your balance.
If you’re going during warm weather, it can be helpful to bring a pair of flip-flops in your bag to change into when you’re sitting at a restaurant or a park bench to give your feet a break from shoes.
While it’s essential to have a plan, remain flexible. Paris has countless spontaneous moments waiting for you around every corner.
2 Days in Paris FAQs
Is 2 days 1 night enough for Paris?
While two days and one night will allow you to see some of the main attractions in Paris, it’s a very limited time to experience all that the city has to offer.
Given this duration, you’d likely focus on the top landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, and perhaps the Louvre (though exploring it thoroughly takes much longer).
A trip of this duration would only provide a taste of Paris, and you’d miss out on many other experiences, neighborhoods, and lesser-known gems.
Can you do Paris in 2 nights?
With two nights and roughly two full days, you have a bit more flexibility. You can still cover several major attractions and perhaps even enjoy some leisurely moments in a café or along the Seine.
However, while this is more feasible than just one night, it’s still a rushed itinerary for a city as rich in culture, history, and attractions as Paris. Two nights give you a snapshot, but to genuinely appreciate Paris’s depth and charm, a longer stay is ideal.
What are the must-visit attractions?
The Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame Cathedral, Louvre Museum, Champs-Élysées, and Montmartre are among the top must-visit sites.
Can I visit the Louvre Museum in one day?
While the Louvre is massive and you won’t see everything in one day, you can cover the main highlights, including the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, and the Winged Victory of Samothrace, in a few hours.
Is the Paris Metro easy to use?
Yes, the Paris Metro is user-friendly. It’s advisable to get a map and familiarize yourself with the lines. There are also mobile apps available to help you navigate.
Should I pre-book tickets to popular attractions?
Definitely! Pre-booking tickets, especially for the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, can save you hours of waiting in line.
What’s the best way to travel between attractions?
The Paris Metro is efficient and covers most attractions. Walking is also a great way to see the city. For longer distances, consider taking a cab or using rideshare services.
Can I fit a Seine River Cruise into my itinerary?
Absolutely. Evening cruises are popular and offer a unique perspective of the city’s landmarks illuminated at night.
Where should I eat?
Paris is filled with wonderful cafes, bistros, and restaurants. Try local specialties like croissants, escargot, coq au vin, and crepes. Don’t forget to visit a traditional patisserie for pastries!
Do I need to tip in restaurants and cafes?
The service charge is included in your bill in France. However, it’s customary to leave small change for good service.
What’s the best area to stay for a short trip?
The Marais, Saint-Germain-des-Prés, and the Latin Quarter are central locations with good access to attractions and nightlife.
Is it safe to walk around Paris at night?
Generally, Paris is safe, but like any major city, it’s wise to be aware of your surroundings, avoid poorly lit areas, and stay in well-traveled places.
Are there any local customs or etiquette I should be aware of?
When entering shops or restaurants, it’s polite to greet with a “Bonjour” (daytime) or “Bonsoir” (evening). Attempting to speak a bit of French is always appreciated.
Should I get the Paris Pass?
If you’re planning to visit many of the paid attractions and use public transport extensively, the Paris Pass can offer convenience and savings.
2-Day Paris Itinerary Wrap Up
This really was a whirlwind two-day Paris itinerary, but we hit a lot of top Paris sights like Sainte Chapelle, the outside of the Louvre, inside the Musee d’Orsay, the outside of Sacre Coeur, Moulin Rouge, the Arc de Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, and even did a River Seine cruise.
We also did a mix of guided tours and exploring on our own.