Paris Skyline. Credit Alexander Kagan via Unsplash

Here is an admittedly packed suggested 7-day itinerary for a visitor to Paris, including cultural, shopping, and entertainment suggestions. I attempted this with two fit daughters a few months ago and we were tested and often got diverted as something shinny caught our eye! (editor Kevin Parker).

Day 1:

Morning: Eiffel Tower

  • Start your day early to avoid the crowds at this iconic landmark. You have the option to take the stairs or elevator to the top for stunning views of Paris. Consider buying tickets in advance to skip the lines.

Afternoon: Louvre Museum

  • One of the world’s largest art museums and a historic monument. It’s best to prioritize sections as the museum is vast. Don’t miss the Mona Lisa, Winged Victory of Samothrace, and the Venus de Milo.

Evening: Champs-Élysées

  • This famous avenue is known for its theatres, cafés, and luxury shops. The Arc de Triomphe stands at its western end. Great for a leisurely evening stroll and window shopping.

Day 2:

Morning: Le Marais

  • A historic and trendy neighborhood. Walk through its narrow, winding streets; explore the boutique shops, and visit Place des Vosges, the city’s oldest planned square.

Afternoon: Notre-Dame Cathedral and Île de la Cité

  • Despite the 2019 fire, the exterior of this iconic cathedral is still awe-inspiring. Île de la Cité is one of Paris’s two natural islands, and is a great place to stroll and people-watch.

Evening: Seine River Cruise

  • An enchanting way to see Paris, these cruises often include dinner and commentary on the city’s history and landmarks.

Day 3:

Morning: Montmartre and Sacré-Cœur Basilica

  • This bohemian neighborhood was the haunt of artists like Picasso. The Basilica is situated at its summit and offers another panoramic view of Paris.

Afternoon: Saint-Germain-des-Prés and Café de Flore

  • Known for its lively atmosphere, literary history, and classic Parisian cafés, including Café de Flore, a historic intellectual hub.

Evening: Moulin Rouge

  • Book in advance for this iconic cabaret show. The venue is in the lively Pigalle district, close to Montmartre.

Day 4:

Morning: Day Trip to Palace of Versailles

  • The symbol of the absolute monarchy of the Ancien Régime. Don’t miss the Hall of Mirrors and the extensive Gardens.

Afternoon: Galeries Lafayette or Printemps Department Stores

  • These are iconic Parisian shopping destinations, known for their stunning architecture as much as their luxury goods.

Evening: Latin Quarter Nightlife

  • This student-centric area is vibrant and full of reasonably priced bistros and jazz clubs.

Day 5:

Morning: Musée d’Orsay

  • This museum is housed in a Beaux-Arts railway station and has the largest collection of impressionist and post-impressionist masterpieces globally.

Afternoon and Evening: Same as Day 3 (You may opt to visit other landmarks or neighborhoods instead to maximize your time.)

Day 6:

Morning: Île de la Cité Landmarks

  • Sainte-Chapelle: Known for its stunning stained glass. Conciergerie: A former royal palace and prison.

Afternoon: Stroll Along the Seine and Marais District

  • Considered one of the most beautiful walks in Paris, where you can explore second-hand book stalls, artists, and lovely views of various landmarks.

Evening: Bastille Area

  • Known for its vibrant nightlife and dining. It’s a popular district with locals and offers a variety of trendy bars and restaurants.

Day 7:

Morning: Musée de l’Orangerie

  • Located in the west corner of the Tuileries Gardens. Home to eight large Monet murals of water lilies, among other works.

Afternoon: Montparnasse and Montparnasse Tower

  • An alternative to the Eiffel Tower, this skyscraper offers fantastic panoramic views of the city.

Evening: Canal Saint-Martin Cruise

  • A less touristy alternative to Seine cruises. This canal connects the Canal de l’Ourcq to the river Seine and runs through a trendy neighborhood.

Please remember that this itinerary is quite packed, and you might need to move more leisurely to fully enjoy each location. Adjust based on your pace and interests. Bon voyage