Our 3 days in Paris itinerary were a romantic bliss. Not because Paris is actually romantic, as it is portrayed in the movies, but because we made it special for ourselves. We wanted to explore the French capital walking hand in hand, eating fun desserts and hunting for epic photo spots. When visiting Paris you will quickly realise the capital itself can be a bit overwhelming, busy, filled with smoke and quite agitating. But Paris really has a romantic side to it, you just have to know where to look. Here is our romantic 3 days in Paris itinerary which will hopefully revive the spark and lead you on a magical journey of lights, food and colour.
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3 days in Paris Itinerary
Paris is always a treat for us. We know Paris can get really crowded, but there are ways around it. For example, if you wake up really early (like first light, before the sunrise early), you can get many great pictures of Paris without any tourists in them. If you've already spent a romantic weekend in Paris before, then avoid all touristy places and simply walk around the neighbourhoods, in search of secret shops and restaurants. It's no surprise that small hidden restaurants away from any major attraction will offer better food at reasonable prices. Paris really is a beautiful city but it can get really loud, especially in the centre. So we made a joke once, we said that to see Paris for what it is, you must put on noise-cancelling headphones and listen to romantic music. Suddenly, you realise that Paris really becomes the way is depicted in movies: an aesthetical city, with gorgeous boulevards and fashionable locals.
Jokes aside, we do have a tip for you. We believe you should invest in a good hotel in Paris. Location is everything and a great hotel can be the difference between a good holiday or a brilliant holiday in Paris. We created a comprehensive guide on where to stay in Paris to help you find the best accommodation for your needs and budget.
Right, let's start those romantic 3 days in Paris.
Day 1 - Paris Itinerary
Notre-Dame de Paris
We started our 3 days in Paris right in front of the Notre Dame. We woke up super early as we wanted to see this beautiful 13th-century cathedral without the many tourists around. The good news is that if you get there at first light, you will be able to take several pictures with Notre-Dame, but the bad news is that you can't really go inside. We wanted to see those beautiful buttresses and gargoyles as per Hugo's novel. If you visit during normal opening times, we recommend spending around 1 hour to see the Notre-Dame.
Located 21 minutes on foot from Notre Dame, Louvre Museum is a historic palace known for its art collection. It's incredibly popular, named the most visited museum in the world. You will have a chance to Mona Lisa but expect crazy crowds. The good news is that other parts of the museum are a lot airier and more relaxed, as most people go to the Louvre specifically to see Mona Lisa.
We recommend spending around 3,5 hours around the museum.
If you want a Michelin experience in Paris, head to the Restaurant Kei, a fancy French Restaurant which opens at 12:30, just in time for lunch. The menu is a French - Japanese fusion so expect some delicious, magical dishes.
For less sophisticated food yet delightful and colourful, try the Le Bistrot d'Eustache. It does get pretty busy during lunchtime so make sure you don't mind waiting for a few minutes.
Don't fancy French food but want some popular Japanese food? No worries, head to Restaurant Zen, an amazing Japanese restaurant with excellent food and exciting vibes.
Located 10 minutes on foot from the Louvre, is the Musée d'Orsay, a superb museum in a former railway station. If you love art, like we do, you will fall in love with all those 19th and 20th-century European art collections. We recommend spending 2-3 hours there.
Did you know, Musée d'Orsay is housed in the former Gare d'Orsay, a train station built for the 1900 World Fair?
Located just 5 minutes away from Musée d'Orsay, the Tuileries Garden are fantastic for a romantic walk in Paris. There are so many photo spots here too, so make sure to have the camera ready. In recent times, there have been some incidents where tourists were scammed into signing some papers for fake petitions and asked to donate money. Please stay away from anyone suspicious who is asking you to sign a petition. The local police have been working hard on trying to keep scammers away from the streets of Paris, but sadly it's a close to an impossible job.
We are not telling you these to deter you from visiting Paris, as this can happen in any major city full of tourists. We want you to be prepared and use common sense in order to avoid any potential issues. Simply say no to suspicious people approaching you and keep your belongings close to you at all times.
Place de la Concorde
From the Tuileries Garden, walk for about 5 minutes to Place de la Concorde, a major public square in Paris, France. It's a nice spot for pictures and also a great place to photograph the Champs Élysées. It's especially nice for long exposures in the evening.
You can spend around 30-40 minutes wandering around the Place de la Concorde and taking as many pictures as your heart desires. From there, start waking down the Champs Élysées, towards the Arc de Triomphe.
Arc de Triomphe
The walk down the Champs Élysées takes around 30 minutes on foot. You can also take the subway but it's such a pleasant walk, especially in the evening, we think you should really take it easy and indulge. There are several shops and restaurants all around you, so if you need to rest you can do so at any time.
For a fun evening, we recommend Bustronome, a French restaurant which offers several courses with wine and great views of Paris. The fun part? Everything is served on a double-decker bus. It's a quirky way to discover the most beautiful monuments whilst eating delicious food made with love.
An alternative could be Le Chiberta, for those in need of a more traditional dining experience. Mayfair Garden serves fantastic Indian food and Flora Danica serves great Scandinavian dishes.
For a fancy dining experience head to L'Atelier Etoile de Joël Robuchon.
Day 2 - Paris Itinerary
Rested and excited to continue your 3 days in Paris itinerary? Great, because today it's going to a truly colourful day. Start early morning in front of Sacré-Cœur, a Roman Catholic church dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It was opened in 1914 and remains one of the most popular touristic draws in the French capital.
You can spend around one hour here. Don't forget to check the church's beautiful stained-glass windows and interior mosaics.
Saint-Pierre de Montmartre
Just less than five minutes away, you can admire the historic Catholic Church, Saint-Pierre de Montmartre. This is one of the oldest churches in Paris, dating back to the 12th century.
Musée de Montmartre
Walk for another five minutes and visit Musée de Montmartre, a museum founded in 1960. It's a small museum, so you will probably spend around one hour exploring its interior. It details the culture and history of Montmartre.
The Musée de Montmartre has a very nice cafe, where you can sit down and contemplate for a little while. It offers a well-deserved pick me up before heading to lunch.
We recommend La Boîte aux Lettres, a delightful French restaurant located just minutes away from Musée de Montmartre. It opens at 12pm and we recommend making a reservation several days in advance. It is a bit tucked away, but as we told you before, we think that's a great thing. Better prices and better service. The menu is limited but really good.
Place du Tertre
This is a small square located just a few minutes away from Musée de Montmartre and Sacré-Cœur. It's a cafe-lines cobbled square, known to be a place where artists hand around. You can have your portrait done here, which is really, quite a lovely experience.
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You can either take the train for 20 minutes or walk for 30 and make your way to the beautiful Palais Garnier. This is a tricky one and let us tell you why. We love Palais Garnier so much, we believe anyone should book tickets in advance to see a show here. We booked tickets 3 months in advance and saw a fantastic ballet show. Included in the price you get to experience Palais Garnier's interior. People pay for a guided tour inside, but for just very little extra, you can get the full experience if booked well in advance. Just visit the official website, and check the calendar for potential shows during your visit.
Alternatively, you can book online for your tour around the Palais Garnier. Tickets start at 12EUR.
After the opera, enjoy dinner at Pascade, a French Restaurant located in the vicinity. For a fine dining experience, head to Le Céladon, a restaurant with an intimate setting.
If you fancy Italian food, head to Bar Italia Brasserie, which is en route to your next point of interest, Moulin Rouge.
Since it's the evening of spectacles and shows, time to head to Moulin Rouge. Located just 20 minutes away from Palais Garnier, Moulin Rouge is a 19th-century cabaret with Belle Epoque decor. You can have dinner here and enjoy shows with elaborate costumes. Just note that dinner here is quite expensive and whilst this is meant to be an experience, we are foodies, so we prefer going to places which serve larger portions for better prices.
Nevertheless, as a Toulouse-Lautrec fan, I couldn't skip this building, as I really wanted to see it. Don't forget, you can book tickets for the show only. Prices start at 87EUR per adult.
Day 3 - Paris Itinerary
National Museum of Modern Art in Paris
It's all about art when you visit Paris and no better way to start your last of the 3 days in Paris than with a morning visit to the National Museum of Modern Art. We recommend spending around 1,5 hours here, discovering the modern and contemporary art of the 20th and 21st centuries.
Palais de Tokyo
A couple of minutes away from the National Museum of Modern Art is the Palais de Tokyo, a beautiful building dedicated to modern and contemporary art. It features rotating exhibits from great world artists, including visual arts and surreal performances. We recommend spending around one hour here.
For lunch, we recommend Restaurant de Sers, a nice French restaurant located just minutes away from Palais de Tokyo. Don't forget to check the Ladurée Paris, for a quick dessert. Ladurée Paris makes a great place to purchase the best souvenirs from Paris. Everyone loves a beautiful box of macarons.
An alternative lunch is Sushi Okuda, for those interested in Japanese cuisine or Framboise if you fancy delicious crepes.
Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume
Walk along the Seine towards Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume. This will be quite a lengthy walk, but we think it's super romantic, as you will be passing the many Parisian bridges, which make for incredible photo opportunities. Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume focuses on photo and video and features avant-garde exhibits. we recommend spending around one hour here.
Centre Georges Pompidou
Continue your romantic promenade towards Centre Georges Pompidou. Since today is art day, you absolutely cannot skip a visit to the avant-garde building which houses an incredible array of modern art. You can spend around 2 hours here, but if you love modern art, allocate double the time.
Jardin des Plantes
Cross to the other side of Seine and make your way towards the Jardin des Plantes. We love botanic gardens and always visite them when possible. We were surprised to see very little tourists around, which made it perfect for a relaxing and romantic afternoon. Visit the glass houses and sit down on one of the benches outside.
Glance at the 18th-century mausoleum, en route to the Jardin du Luxembourg.
Jardin du Luxembourg
Continue your walk from the botanic garden towards Jardin du Luxembourg. This is such a beautiful place for intimate and candid photos as a couple. The park dates back to the 17th century and it features trees planted in patterns and glorious statues on pedestals. Here you can find the Palais du Luxembourg and Musée du Luxembourg.
Alas, it's time to see the most iconic feature of Paris: the Eiffel Tower. You might wonder why we left it for last evening. We know you can see the Eiffel Tower from so many angles and during your 3 days in Paris, you would have seen it day and night. We left it for last because we knew it will continue to preserve its mystery and make for such dramatic sight once you are finally there. It's something to really look forward to not just before visit Paris, but when you are in Paris too.
For the perfect end to your romantic 3 days in Paris, stop at a local supermarket, buy a blanket, several kinds of cheese, grapes and a bottle of French wine. Walk towards Park Champ de Mars and have a picnic in the evening. This will be your dinner and I promise, it will be the best one yet.
As the night comes, the Eiffel Towel will become wrapped in sparkles. Pack your blanket, and slowly make your way towards the Eiffel Tower. Purchase your tickets to the summit in advance and get yours for the last entry: 22:30. See Paris from above, during the night, in all its splendour. An endless city of lights, colours and sounds, a beautiful dream of endless romantic adventures.
We hope you liked our romantic 3 days in Paris itinerary. We brought to you with love, based on our experiences in the gorgeous French capital. Please let us know what you think in the comments section below.