Woman at a cafe

How to Spend One Week in Paris

Have a week in Paris? From top attractions and museums to coffee shops and parks, let us show you how to best spend your time in the City of Lights.

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Irma Vuckovic

15. July 2019

Day 1

First things first. Start off your week in Paris by visiting its best-known landmark—the Eiffel Tower. Take the stairs or the elevator to the 300-meter high summit for some stunning views of Paris. If you are feeling brave, step on the glass floor of the first level and take a look below. Do like your fellow visitors and take some cool photos of yourself floating above the city. 

The Eiffel tower on a clear day. The Eiffel tower is a perfect first stop. Travelade/Hlöðver. 

Cross the street to get to the Quai Branly Museum. A couple of hours will fly by as you admire its superb collection of indigenous art from Asia, Africa, the Americas and Oceania. Just remember, book your tickets for both the Eiffel Tower and the Quai Branly Museum in advance to skip the long waiting lines.

Take a break at the très chic bistro Au Bon Accueil (14 rue de Monttessuy). We highly recommend their €36 lunch menu, featuring dishes with a touch of haute-cuisine. They also have vegetarian and gluten-free options.

Crossing the Pont de l’Alma—don’t miss the Zouave statue monitoring the floods of the Seine—take a short walk to the Champs Elysées, the most beautiful avenue in the world. Get some macarons at Ladurée (75 Av. des Champs-Élysées), a luxury bakery that sells a whopping 15,000 macarons a day!

The Zouave statue in the Seine. The Zouave Statue. Canva/Vitaly Edush. 

Two macarons in a paper bag. Ladurée's macarons. 

Head towards the Arc de Triomphe at the end of Champs Elysées and take some time to admire this impressive Napoleonic monument. You might even catch the daily 6 p.m. ceremony of lighting the eternal flame at the tomb of the unknown soldier under the arch. 

See also: Baking Class In A French Bakery

Day 2

Another day in Paris! Le Louvre, the largest museum in the world, is waiting for you. With some 35,000 works of art on display, you will only be able to visit the tiniest fraction, so it is a good idea to plan in advance. Whatever you choose to see, Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, the Venus of Milo, Michelangelo’s Dying Slave and Botticelli’s Venus with Three Graces, are a must. 

The Louvre. The Louvre. Travelade/Hlöðver. 

The neighboring Tuileries Garden is an excellent spot to take a rest after long hours spent at the museum. Soak in the history of one of the most beautiful gardens of the French capital. The famous gardener of King Louis XIV, André Le Nôtre, landscaped the garden you are relaxing in, and decided on the design it has today.  

Cross the Seine at the Pont des Arts and get your camera ready: the bridge offers some amazing views of the city. This is the famous Parisian bridge of romance, but be warned: attaching love locks to it is no longer allowed. 

Breakfast served at a restaurant in Paris. Brunch at Claus. Photo: Claus@Facebook. 

The perfect lunch place is not far. Start looking forward to the delicious poached eggs on crunchy multigrain bread, crisp röstis with smoked salmon and wonderful warm scones with figs chez Claus (2 Rue Clément). Gluten-free options are also available.

As you are in the middle of the coziest Parisian neighborhood Quartier Latin, you should take some time to walk around. Plenty of typical Haussmann buildings, old churches, history-filled cobble streets and great cafés—this is where you can spend the entire afternoon soaking in the true Parisian life. 

Overview of the Latin Quarter, Paris. The charming Latin Quarter. Canva/neirfy. 

The facade of the Shakespeare & co. bookstore in Paris. Shakespeare and Company. Photo: Shakespeare and Company@Facebook. 

Don’t miss the one-of-a-kind Shakespeare and Company, the most famous independent bookstore in the world located in a 17th-century monastery. This welcoming place, which also houses a library and a tea room, has Europe’s largest collection of English language books.  

Day 3

Good morning, Paris! Begin the day by heading to the Cathedrale Notre Dame, a Gothic architectural masterpiece that has adorned the Île de la Cité since 1163. Have a look at the famous gargoyles on the facade: they are not only decorations, but are also used to drain water from the roofs gutters.

In front of the cathedral is the entrance to the crypt, which allows you to explore the historical ruins underneath the church from the earliest settlements in Paris.

Notre Dame. Notre Dame. Canva/Marc Bruxelle. 

Cross the Saint-Louis bridge, bustling with street artists, to the Île Saint-Louis. Right here, you will find the very best ice cream in the City of Lights. The small shop named Berthillon offers a whopping 70 flavors and has become somewhat of an institution among the locals! 

Head to the fashionable and vibrant Marais in the 4th arrondissement. Walk along its cobblestone streets, while admiring the old aristocratic mansions. The wealthiest of Parisians moved right here in the 17th and 18th centuries, desperate to escape from noise and filth of the city. Today, Marais is one of the trendiest Parisian neighborhoods. 

Do like locals and grab a falafel special at the ultra-popular l’As du Fallafel. There are always pretty long queues at lunchtime, but the delicious falafel piled with cabbage, aubergines and tahini sauce is worth the wait. Enjoy your picnic at the Place des Vosges, the oldest square in Paris, while watching the local life passing by. 

Merci store in Paris.
Stylish interior of Merci. Photo: Merci@Facebook. 

On your way visit Merci, a trendy store where you will find everything from fashion and design to eclectic household goods. Continue your walk along the Canal Saint-Martin, full of bakeries, cafés and quirky boutiques.

See also: Vintage Paris & The Flea Market St. Ouen

For dinner, opt for the cozy bistro Les Enfants Perdus (9 Rue des Récollets) for some classic French cuisine. Don’t miss the locals’ favorite—fricassée of tender escargot with mushrooms in an herb sauce. 

Day 4

Bonjour! How about spending the entire day discovering the pretty district of Montmartre? You can either climb the 222 steps to reach the hill or, if you prefer, take the funicular to the top. Make the Sacré-Cœur basilica your first stop. If you don’t mind climbing some more, take the 300 steps to the Dome for some magnificent views of Paris. 

A café at the Montmartre, Paris. A café at Montmartre. Canva/kavalenkavaVolha. 

It is hard to believe that before Montmartre became a part of Paris, it was a village with farms, vineyards and windmills. This area has since become a haven for artists, from Toulouse-Lautrec, Van Gogh and Picasso. Place du Tertre in the heart of the neighborhood is still bursting with artists selling their works of art and offering portrait drawing.

For a true local vibe, have your lunch at the popular Rose Bakery (46 Rue des Martyrs). Choose among many delicious options: homemade soups, tarts, pizzas and salads. If you’ve got a room for a dessert, go for their best-selling Eccles cake or a carrot cake.   

Don’t forget to stop by the highly instagrammable Wall of Love located on the Jehan Rictus square. Take a photo in front of this one-of-a-kind mural where the words “I love you” are written no less than 311 times in 250 different languages.

The love wall in Paris. The Wall of Love. Photo: Wikimedia Commons. 

We recommend ending the evening in style at the Moulin Rouge’s vibrant cabaret house. A word of advice: you do need to book at least a few weeks in advance.

See also: Pastry And Chocolate Biking Tour Of Paris

Dress up and arrive very early as seats are on a first come first serve basis. Get ready for some dazzling costumes, amazing dancers, and jaw-dropping acrobatics. The Moulin Rouge restaurant is as good as its cabaret and you should definitely give it a try. 

Day 5

Begin your last day in Paris with a trip to the past. Arènes de Lutèce is a well-preserved amphitheater from the Roman times. Some 2,000 years ago, this space in the heart of Paris was used for drama performances and even gladiator fights!

Pantheon in ParisThe Pantheon in Paris. Canva/AndreySt. 

Stop at the impressive Panthéon. Modeled after the Pantheon in Rome, this was originally a church dedicated to St. Genevieve, the patron saint of Paris. Many famous French citizens are buried here, including Voltaire, Victor Hugo and Marie Curie. 

Before continuing your tour, stroll through the enchanting Luxembourg Gardens. Look carefully and you will find more than 100 statues and fountains in this park, one of the most beautiful ones in Paris. Parisians love their green spaces, and you will be surrounded by locals having lunch or a picnic, playing chess and children pushing small boats around the pond with wooden sticks just like it was done in the past.

Luxembourg Gardens. The Luxembourg Gardens is perfect for leisurely strolls or picnics. Canva/Pascale Gueret. 

Now, how about discovering the dark side of Paris? Make your way to the nearby Paris Catacombs. The stone that was used in building Notre-Dame Cathedral and the Louvre, among other famous buildings, was extracted from these mines.

The empty spaces where the limestone had been removed became the perfect place to re-bury bones from nearby overflowing cemeteries. The tour of the catacombs takes around 45 minutes. Make sure to bring a sweater, as it can get quite chilly in there. 

Skulls and bones inside the Catacombs of Paris. At the Catacombs. Canva/javarman3. 

End your day and your visit to Paris on the Montparnasse Tower. The tower is open until 11 p.m., allowing for a spectacular view of Paris at night. Hold tight—the fastest elevator in Europe will take you to the 56th floor in a mere 38 seconds.

See also: Skip The Line Paris Catacombs Tour

A very fancy interior of Paris restaurant with views of the Eiffel tower. The fancy interiors of Le Ciel de Paris. Photo: Le Ciel de Paris@Facebook. 

Have your dinner at Le Ciel de Paris (the Paris Sky) in the Montparnasse Tower itself. This is the highest panoramic restaurant in Paris, serving exceptional gourmet French dishes. 

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