Destination creator (Voyajo Team)
With some 15 million international tourists planning a trip to Paris every year, the capital city of France is the world’s most popular destination for overseas visitors.
Famed for its magnificent architecture and delicious cuisine, and renowned as the City of Love, Paris is as popular with those looking for a weekend break as it is for those looking for an extended vacation.
The city’s main airport – Charles de Gaulle Airport – is located in the northern suburbs of the city and features a regular, high-speed rail link to the city center. Paris is also readily accessible from many of Europe’s other major cities via road.
The French capital’s most famous landmarks include the Eiffel Tower, originally a temporary structure that has become a permanent Parisian tourist staple; the Scare-Coeur, a basilica that offers stunning views over the city; Notre-Dame cathedral, located on the Ile de la Cite at the very heart of Paris; and the Arc de Triomphe, built to commemorate Napoleon’s victory in the Battle of Austerlitz.
Paris is also home to two of the most popular museums in the world. Firstly, the Musee du Louvre, which exhibits such famous works of art as the Venus de Milo and Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, as well as relics that date back to Ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt. Secondly, the Musee d’Orsay – which has been converted from an old railway station – houses some of the most famous paintings in the world, including works by Monet, Van Gogh, and Renoir, amongst others.
As well as its rich heritage, Paris is also a modern city, featuring everything from huge shopping malls to state-of-the-art performance venues. Of course, any Paris trip plan should incorporate a visit to any of its vast assortments of restaurants, cafés, bistros, or any other eatery serving that famous cuisine.
|Day 1 - Royalty, Mystery and Revolution – The Tuileries Quarter|
Starting point: Place de la Concorde (Metro - Concorde)
Place de la Concorde is a spectacular sight in Paris. From here, you can see the Eiffel Tower in the distance and the Louvre close up. You can gaze along the tree-lined Champs-Élysees that stretches all the way to the Arc de Triomphe.
Another reason to start here is to beat the queues for the Louvre. Walk through the Jardin des Tuileries and enter the Louvre Museum through the glass pyramid. Signs will direct you towards the Mona Lisa, the Louvre’s most celebrated painting, but with everything else that’s on offer inside, plan on spending at least half a day here.If you still have an appetite for art after the Louvre, then try the Musée de l’Orangerie or the Jeu de Paume on either side of the Jardin des Tuileries.
Walk along the banks of the River Seine on the Quai des Tuileries (it turns into the Quai du Louvre) until you reach the oldest bridge in Paris, the Pont Neuf.
Half way across the bridge, turn left onto the landmass of the Ile de la Cité and follow Quai des Orfèvres along the side of the river until you see signs for the Notre Dame Cathedral.
After Notre Dame, retrace your steps until you reach Pont St Michel. Cross the bridge and follow Rue Danton, which curves gently to the right, until you reach Boulevard St Germain, where you should turn right. This is the Latin Quarter, the intellectual heart of Paris.
Turn left on Rue de Tournon, then right on Rue St Sulpice to reach the church of the same name, as featured in Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code.
From St Sulpice, turn right onto Rue Bonaparte until you reach Place St-Germain-des-Prés, a good place to stop for a coffee in the café-restaurant the Deux Magots.
Finishing Point: Place Saint-Germain-des-Prés (Metro - St Germain des Prés)
|Day 2 – Montmartre & Montparnasse|
Starting point: Metro Lamarck Caulaincourt
Turn left out of the Metro and then right up Rue des Saules, looking out for the vineyard Clos Montmartre on the left.
At the top of the hill, the Lapin Agile introduces this quirky, romantic area. Wander left on Rue St Rustique, turn right and continue up to Place du Tertre where portrait artists gather in a leafy square.
From there, follow the signs (and probably the crowds) through the narrow streets and corners to reach the Sacré Coeur and enjoy one of the most atmospheric views of Paris.
Walk down the many stairs to the Place St Pierre, turn right and continue along to the Metro Abbesses.
Take Line 12 south to Montparnasse Bienvenüe. Look for the ugly tower block that is the Tour Montparnasse and travel up to the 56th floor for another spectacular view of Paris, this time with the Eiffel Tower close by.
Walk along Boulevard Edgar Quinet, turn left onto Boulevard Raspail and then right on Rue Vavin to reach the Jardin du Luxembourg. This extensive and civilized park makes a great place to stroll around. Otherwise sit, chat or read a book beside the ornamental pond, the grand basin, like the locals do.
Finishing Point: Jardin du Luxembourg.
|Day 3 – All around the Eiffel Tower|
Starting point: The Arc de Triomphe (Metro - Charles de Gaulle Étoile)
Climb the Arc de Triomphe to appreciate Napoleon’s vision when he redesigned the layout of Paris. Look along the Champs-Élysees to Place de la Concorde in one direction, and the space-age cube of La Défense in the other.
Walk along broad Avenue Kleber to reach the Trocadero. Surrounded by the fountains and gilded statues of the Palais de Chaillot, enjoy a view across the Seine to the Eiffel Tower.
Cross the Pont d’Iéna to reach the grounds of the Eiffel Tower itself. If you’ve enough energy, climb all the way to the top reading about its history as you go. Finally, relax in the gardens of the Champ de Mars at the base of the tower.
Finishing Point: Metro École Militaire.
|Day 4 – Modern Art and the Marais|
Starting point: Metro Rambuteau
In rainbow-colored glory, with its pipework on the outside of the building, the Pompidou Center stands out. Travel inside to discover even more unusual pieces from the world of modern art.Take Rue Ste Croix de la Bretonnerie into the heart of the Marais, only turning left onto the Rue Vieille du Temple before quickly turning right onto the Rue des Rosiers. This is Paris’s Jewish Quarter, an area that suffered heavily during the holocaust but now thrives again.At the end of Rue des Rosiers, turn left onto Rue Payenne and then right onto Rue des Francs Bourgeois to reach the lavish Musée Carnavalet, which details the history of Paris.
Finishing Point: Rue de Payenne (closest Metro - Chemin Vert).
|Day 5 – Sculpture and the Seine|
Starting Point: Metro Varenne
Start with the Rodin Museum, a wonderful collection of world famous sculptures in a stately home with extensive gardens.
After Rodin, turn left onto Boulevard des Invalides, then right onto Avenue de Tourville to reach the grand complex of the Hôtel des Invalides.
Walk leisurely through the grounds to reach Place des Invalides and then on to the banks of the Seine. Take a Bateaux Mouches for a cruise along the river, revisiting many of the landmarks you will have seen over the last few days plus adding a few more to your list for next time.
Finishing Point: Metro Invalides.