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Things to Do in Paris in 2 Days

Do you have two days to visit Paris? With a good itinerary two days will be enough to absorb some of the magic of this city and create beautiful memories: The Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Sacre-Coeur and Notre Dame We'll see it all and more!

Katherine Betances

Katherine Betances

10 min read

Things to Do in Paris in 2 Days

Louvre Museum | ©Gloria Villa

If you have only two days to tour Paris you should choose your route carefully. Considering the City of Light as one of the richest and most diverse tourist destinations on the planet, choosing what to do, what to see or what places to visit in Paris can be extremely complex.

For the purposes of this travel itinerary the day of arrival is not considered as part of the experience. The reason is that it tends to be a tiring day and fluctuates quite a bit from one traveler to another; while some arrive in Paris with the first rays of the sun, others will arrive in the late afternoon. For a shorter itinerary I recommend you check out our guide to Paris in a day, get ideas for a minimum 24 hour stay and plan your itinerary accordingly.

Finally, wear comfortable shoes although public transportation in Paris is excellent, the best way to get around and get to know the city is walking through its streets. Now, let's get started!

DAY 1: Explore the Left Bank of the Seine

View of the Trocadero from the Eiffel Tower| ©Álvaro Bertelsen
View of the Trocadero from the Eiffel Tower| ©Álvaro Bertelsen

The left bank of the Seine is the name by which the entire southeastern part of Paris is known. On our first day of travel, although we will start the tour on the right bank, we will focus especially on the major tourist attractions on the left side of the river.

Watch the sunrise at the Place Trocadero

After a well-deserved night's rest, try to be awake and in time to go to the Trocadero Square to watch the sunrise at the Trocadero fountains.

Why? The Square is a large, open, slightly elevated area located right in front of the Eiffel Tower. The most exquisite photographs of the famous Parisian monument are taken from this spot, so every book or magazine cover you find with the Eiffel Tower was surely taken from here.

If you add to this breathtaking view the sunrise, the result is one of the best places to see the sunrise in the whole city. And if you ask me, the best way to start a tour of the city of light!

The Place Trocadero is usually busy, but during the early morning hours it is very quiet. Watch the sun turn the tower golden as the city slowly wakes up. Take the opportunity to take as many photos and videos as you can.

  • Hours: Open 24 hours
  • Admission fee: Free of charge
  • Duration of visit: as long as you want.

Book a guided tour of Paris

Visit the Trocadero Garden

Trocadero Gardens.| ©MrT HK
Trocadero Gardens.| ©MrT HK

Visit one of the most beautiful gardens in Paris located in the 16th arrondissement; the main attraction of the gardens is the Warsaw Fountain, an elongated mirror of water made up of 24 fountains that shoot jets of water at heights of up to 12 meters.

Tour: From Trocadero Square, you are facing the entrance to the gardens, so don't linger too long! It's time to explore the left bank of the Seine.

  • Opening hours: Open 24 hours
  • Admission fee: Free of charge
  • Duration of the visit: 20 minutes will be enough to walk around the garden and take pictures.

Visit the Eiffel Tower

Start your exploration on the left bank of the Seine by visiting the Parisian monument par excellence: the Eiffel Tower. To save time the best strategy is to buy in advance your tickets for the Eiffel Tower. This way you will be sure to avoid long lines and make the most of your time.

Route: From your location in Jardins du Trocadéro go out to the Avenue de New York on the banks of the Seine, take the Pont de léna to find yourself in front of the esplanade of the tower.

  • Hours: From 9:30 am to 11:45 pm.
  • Ticket price: From 10,7 € the price increases if you want to go up to the top and if you want to use the elevators.
  • Duration of the visit: Set aside approximately 1.5 hours to visit the second floor and 2.5 hours if you want to climb to the top.

Buy tickets for the Eiffel Tower

Tour of the D'Orsay Museum

It's time to experience one of the best museums in Paris and one of the richest and most exciting fine arts museums in the world. Its permanent collection houses hundreds of works by masters of modern and impressionist art. Get ready to admire original paintings by Matisse, Van Gogh, Rodin and Monet.

Tour: You can experience a 30-minute walk along the left boulevard of the Seine to reach the Musée d'Orsay. Other transportation alternatives will take less time, but you will not enjoy the view.

Tip: My recommendation is to hire a guided tour of the Musée d'Orsay. Keep in mind that we are talking about one of the most visited museums in Paris, so the waiting time in lines can be long. A specialized guide will take you on a 2-hour tour through the most important works so you will see everything you want to see and a little more.

  • Hours: From 9:30 am to 6:00 pm
  • Entrance fee: 16€ approximately
  • Duration of the visit: You should book between 2 to 4 hours.

Book a guided tour of the Musée d'Orsay

Lunch in the surroundings of the Musée d'Orsay

Entrance of the Musée d'Orsay.| ©Daniel Vorndran
Entrance of the Musée d'Orsay.| ©Daniel Vorndran

Now it's time to enjoy an authentic Parisian lunch. Here are some interesting alternatives to contemplate.

**Inside Le Musée d'Orsay
**Inside the museum you will find interesting alternatives to enjoy:
Café de L'Ours is a self-service sandwich style café.
Café Campana is a brasserie style café that serves different types of food during the day.

No reservations are required. In the vicinity of the museum you will find many interesting options. Below is a list of those that do not require reservations in advance.

Best to book before you travel: Finally, if on your two-day trip you are interested in having lunch at one of the luxurious options listed below, I recommend booking as soon as possible.

  • Garance A very cozy modern bistro.
  • La Ferme Saint-Simon: one of the most established restaurants near the Musée d'Orsay.
  • Les Climats Worth a visit just for the beautiful terrace where lunch is served.

Tour of the Luxembourg Gardens

How to get there. From the Musée d'Orsay go to the metro station Lille- Université, take line 83 for a 6 minute ride to Fleurus station, from here you are only 2 minutes away from the entrance of the Gardens.

Le Jardin du Luxembourg is one of the most popular destinations for both Parisians and visitors. It stands out for the diversity of spaces or gardens that compose it, combining in one place different styles.

  • Hours: From 10 am to 7 pm.
  • Admission fee: 14€ approximately for the adult rate.
  • Duration of the visit: Touring the gardens and admiring the sculptures will take you 30 to 40 minutes.

Explore the catacombs of Paris

By the end of the afternoon, get ready for one of the most thrilling tours in Paris: The Cacombs of the city of Paris.

Every day thousands of Parisians and tourists are unaware that the city's subway tunnels house an average of 6 million skeletons, along with thousands of anonymous corpses, the remains of King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette. Touring them at the end of the day adds an extra dose of creepiness.

Tour: Leave the Luxembourg Gardens by Boulevard Saint-Michel street to go to the Catacombs. Take line 38 at Porte D'orleans station and get off at Denfert-Rochereau station. The Catacombs are only one minute away.

  • Opening hours: From 10 am to 7 pm.
  • Ticket price: Approximately 14€ for the adult rate.
  • Duration of the visit: Visiting the gardens and admiring the sculptures will take 30 to 40 minutes.

Book your excursion to the Catacombs of Paris

DAY 2: Explore the right bank of the Seine River

Notre Dame| ©Adrienn
Notre Dame| ©Adrienn

Day two is to explore what is known as the right side of the Seine, this is the area of Paris located in the northeast and, as you might suspect, there is so much to see and do!

In the middle of the Seine you will find two islands: l' Île de la Cité and Île Saint-Louis. The former is particularly famous for being the site where Notre-Dame Cathedral was built, so I suggest you start day two at this iconic monument.

Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral

Like the Eiffel Tower, it is considered a symbol of the city of Paris and one of the most impressive Gothic works in all of Europe. Sadly, the fire of 2019 caused the collapse of the wooden roof with its iconic spire and since then, and until further notice, the work will remain closed to the public.
However, for a short time now the Notre-Dame Cathedral square has been accessible which means that, although you won't be able to tour the interior, you will be able to admire the exterior.

Sainte-Chapelle

Just a few minutes away you will find
another magnificent work of French Gothic, famous worldwide for housing the largest collection of stained glass windows of the thirteenth century ever seen. This chapel is open to the public so you can walk around and admire it to the fullest.

  • Hours: From 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
  • Ticket price: The ticket price is from 11,50€.
  • Duration of the visit: The tour inside Sainte-Chapelle to appreciate the interiors will take about 30 minutes.

Enjoy a morning of art and history at the Louvre

Walk: Leave Sainte-Chapelle on foot and take the Pont au Change to the boulevard Georges Pompidou on the right bank of the Seine. Take the boulevard to the left on a walk that will take about 12-15 minutes to the Musée du Louvre.

Tip: Buy your Louvre tickets in advance or consider a guided tour that takes you through the most important landmarks. Keep in mind that the Louvre is one of the largest museums in the world, with thousands of pieces to see and admire. While you might need a day to see the entire museum. A 2 or 3 hour tour can lend itself to seeing the most important pieces of the Louvre.

  • Hours: From 9 am to 6 pm.
  • Entrance fee: The entrance fee is around 15€ for adults.
  • Duration of the visit: To see the main works you must set aside at least two hours of itinerary.

Book tickets for the Louvre Museum

Visit the Opera Garnier

Route: Leaving from the Pompidou Center, take a short walk to the Châtelet-Les Halles station and take the RER A to the Auber train station, from here you will walk 2 or 3 minutes to reach the Garnier Opera House.

You will be not only in front of the building that houses the most important Opera of Paris, but also one of the masterpieces of 19th century architecture. This makes it one of the most important monuments of French culture. Its exterior decoration is, to say the least, surprising; worthy of a castle of kings thanks to elements such as its glass dome and its gilded statues. The interiors of the Opera are no less impressive, and you can tour them in one visit. Take a moment to enjoy the exterior facade and why not? take some pictures.

  • Hours: From 10am to 5pm
  • Admission fee: Adult tickets can be found from 12€ for the regular exhibition, with temporary exhibitions starting at 14€.
  • Duration of visit: 90 minutes is enough for a complete interior tour.

Watch the sunset in Sacre-Coeur

If you can make it to watch the sunset in you won't regret it!

The Sacre Coeur basilica is one of the most recognizable monuments in Paris; located imposingly on the hill of Montmartre. One of the greatest motivations to reach the basilica is the fabulous view that accompanies it; elevated above the city it presents panoramic views of all of Paris, and especially of the surrounding districts.

Route: Leaving from the Opera de Garnier, the fastest way to get there is by cab, making a tour of the streets of Paris in just 15 minutes. It seems to me the most appropriate option since you will be able to admire beautiful Parisian streets of Montmartre such as: Rue Rome, Rue Saint-Pétersbourg, Rue Caulaincourt and Rue Lamarck.

  • Opening hours: the basilica is available for visits from 6 am. Access to the dome is from 9 am to 8.30 pm, with variations in certain months.
  • Admission fee: Free of charge.
  • Duration of the visit: Allow about 45 minutes to visit both the dome and the crypt of Sacré Coeur.

Book a tour of Montmartre

Enjoy a night show at the Moulin Rouge

Moulin Rouge de Dia| ©Dennis Jarvis
Moulin Rouge de Dia| ©Dennis Jarvis

After enjoying a drive through Montmartre and a breathtaking sunset at Sacre-Coeur, get ready for an evening of fun and spectacle at the Moulin Rouge! To this day this space hosts world-class dancers, trained in classical jazz and contemporary dance in the most diverse corners you can imagine.

Tour: Walk back down the hill from Sacre Coeur through the streets to boulevard Marguerite de Rochechouart; turn left and take a leisurely stroll down the boulevard to the iconic Moulin Rouge.

Tip: An evening of dinner and a show at the Moulin Rouge can easily be booked in advance via the web. This is the most recommended option as certain shows are in high demand and tickets sell out quickly.

  • Schedule: If you attend the dinner show, the service is available from 5 pm and you will get privileged seats with great visibility of the stage.
  • Ticket price: It will depend on many criteria, but you can estimate an average cost of 90€ for the show and 185€ for dinner and show.
  • Duration of the visit: A show on average will take 1.5 hours or more.

Book your ticket to the Moulin Rouge