(Last update: 30 November 2018) This article is for those who come to Paris and plan to stay for a week for the first time. If you have visited Paris before, or if you have less time, you can still benefit from this article “One Week in Paris”, to discover what you have not seen before, and to create a shorter tour schedule for yourself.
As my tour suggestion will appeal to the general taste, I will give priority to the necessities, and try to offer you alternative programs for some days to use your time more efficiently.
You also need to remember that your tour program will be shaped according to your hotel’s location and flight hours. For this reason, it would be better to prepare a program considering the first and last day as a half day.
So here we go:
One Week in Paris – Day 1:
On your first day in Paris, your first stop will change depending on the location of your hotel, but if you have come to Paris for the first time, you should start your trip with the Eiffel Tower. My suggestion is that you first come to Trocadéro square by the metro 6 and have the wonderful view of Eiffel from here. When you walk ahead of the square towards Eiffel, you will find stairs on both sides, one of which will lead you towards Eiffel. You must walk untill you reach the foot of the tower ; it is a really fascinating experience to get there.
If you have time, you can also visit the Eiffel Tower, but that means that you will spend at least half a day there. It is up to you, you can decide according the weather conditions. If you buy your ticket online in advance, you won’t have to wait, but then you will be obliged to visit the tower on the day specified on your ticket even if the weather is bad as your date is fixed. So either you get the ticket in advance and take the risk of bad weather or you do not buy your ticket in advance but you take the risk of a long queue when you arrive.
If you walk to the left side of the Eiffel Tower along the river and take the metro line 6 from the station “Pont De Bir-Hakeim Bridge” towards the direction Étoile, next stop will be the “Arc de Triomphe”. Arc de Triomphe is in the beginning of the famous Champs Élysées Avenue. depending on your preference and time you can either visit the Arc first of all or go directly to Champs Élysées . You will, of course, have a walk on this street. Depending on your taste, interest and capacity for walking, you can continue to walk down the right and left sidewalks. If you’re interested, you can take a look at Louis Vuitton’s giant store. It might be nice to take a macaron break in Ladurée, or only take a look inside. It might also be nice to visit Abercrombie & Fitch if there is no queue.
After a while, the shops will end and you will reach the green area. From there on you will see the Grand Palais on your right and Petit Palais across of Grand Palais. If you have time, I suggest you visit to Petit Palais for free, and take a short coffe break in its nice cafeteria. After a short walk towards The Seine River you can also see the Pont Alexandre III, which is a very nice bridge worth-seeing. Invalides, where Napoleon’s tomb is located, is also located in front of it,.
If we turn back to our journey on the Champs-Élysées in the wooded area on the left side of the Grand Palais, you can see the Élysée Palace, the residence of French President. If you continue to walk you will soon reach Concorde square. If you cross the square you will reach the entrance of the Tuileries Garden. Taking a walk in this park, sitting in the green chairs around the pool is a great pleasure to relax. You can eat and drink in cafes if you like.
After a little rest, you will get to the Louvre Museum if you continue to walk forward in the park without turning left or right. When you arrive at the the famous Pyramide of Louvre, I think you won’t have enough energy and time to visit the museum, so you can finish your tour today and leave the Louvre for tomorrow. If you wish, you can spend your first night in Paris watching a cabaret at Lido or Crazy Horse. Since you have already had a big time then I suggest you to have the first dinner at Relais de l’Entrecôte. If you need to make savings, then you can think about having a diner at Restaurant Monté-Carlo.
One Week in Paris – Day 2:
Visiting the Louvre Museum early in the morning will be the smartest thing to do. You have to take at least half a day here while you have still energy. Of course, you can’t end the museum for days and it is logical to give priority to the art works of your interest. If you purchase your ticket online in advance, you will not lose time in the ticket queue, and you will be able to access the museum quickly thanks to your privileged access in security control.
Your next stop after Louvre Museum can be the Pont des Arts by the The Seine River,, the famous bridge where the locks used to be hanged. From here on, you’ll get to Pont Neuf if you walk towards east .I suggest you to cross this bridge and have a walk around Cité Island. You will reach Sainte Chapelle, Conciergerie, where Marie-Antoinette spent her last days before being executed, and, most importantly, Notre Dame Cathedral..
If you cross the river once more taking Notre Dame on your left it’s St Michel.. This area is a very attractive place to eat and drink, but perhaps you can try Au Vieux Paris, one of the most beautiful options before you leave Notre Dame area, what do you think? You should also see the famous bookshop Shakespeare and Company while you’re here. St Germain Boulevard is on the right cross. I don’t know if you have time, but Les Deux Magots and Café de Flore are also on that direction, and you can have a coffee and get some rest in one of these famous historical cafes.
If you succeed not to be lost in the streets of Paris and if you can come back to Notre Dame once more I advise you to take the route on left hand side of the cathedral which goes behind the cathedral as it will lead you to a small and very nice island called St. Louis. There are so many beautiful places to see there. You can walk to the other end of that Island and make a tour around it.
One Week in Paris – Day 3:
By taking one of the metro lines 8, 12 or 14, you can stop at Madeleine and reach Madeleine Church. After visiting the church, you can walk towards the Opéra area via Boulevard des Capucines on your right cross. Olympia Music Hall and Place Edouard VII are among the must-see places on your way. Then, when you reach Opéra Square, you will see with the magnificent Opéra Garnier. If you have a chance, I suggest you to spare at least one hour to visit the opera.
Behind the Opera there are two shopping malls, Lafayette and Printemps. It’s up to you to spend time here. You can then see the Place Vendôme on the lefthand side and then come back to the Boulevard des Capucines to continue walking. Don’t forget to stop by the Starbucks on the right at the entrance of the Boulevard, you’ll know what I mean when you get in.
This road will lead you to the Grands Boulevards. Don’t skip the Passage Des Princes on your right. You may want to see the Hard Rock Cafe, which will be on the left a bit ahead. Do you want to eat there at noon but I am not so sure. The mummy museum Musée Grevin is also an interesting and enjoyable place for those who want to spend a week in Paris. Jouffroy, Verdeau and Panoramas are the three beautiful passages of the Grands Boulevards that are among must-see places. If you go ahead, you’ll arrive to Grand Rex. It may be nice to visit here to have an interesting experience behind the scenes of cinema. Victoria station or Chartier can be two nice choices for dinner.
One Week in Paris – Day 4:
You can spare almost all your day to Montmartre Hill. First a walk through Pigalle, then a walk up to the hill, then Halle St Pierre and Marché St Pierre, going up with funicular, visiting Sacre Coeur Basilica and Place du Tertre, the vineyards at the back of the hill, the traces of Dalida and finally the Montmartre cemetery, they will make you feel that Paris is really a festival, and you will spend almost all your day in a magnificent way. I would definitely recommend Le Basilic for lunch..
This day may seem to be short, but when you click in Montmartre Hill post and disappear in that vast area, you will realize that this is not like that all. There’s a lot to do.
If you still have time and willingness, I suggest you go to Père Lachaise Cemetery after the tour of Montmartre Hill. It is highly impressive and so fascinating as well. Even if your time is limited, you can go directly to Père Lachaise skipping the Montmartre cemetery.
For the night, a great cabaret show in Moulin Rouge can help you experience an unforgettable Paris experience.
One Week in Paris – Day 5:
One day is not enough for the area between Châtelet and Bastille , but since your time is limited, I suggest you spare this day for this area. Châtelet and Bastille are two different districts and both of them are dynamic and lively. Between these two, Marais is a wealth by itself. Every corner in Marais is interesting. Forum des Halles, Centre Pompidou, Musée Carnival, Place des Vosges, Maison de Victor Hugo, Musée Picasso, Village St. Paul, Museum of Arts et Métiers, Port de l’Arsenal and many other attractions are also nearby. You can also walk along the St Martin Canal. You will never understand how it came the evening. How about having dinner at Robert et Louise in Marais?
I tbelieve that you can spend all day in this area, but if you have more time by chance, then you can go down to the River Seine and take a walk along the riverbank. I strongly recommend Parc Rives de Seine.
One Week in Paris – Day 6:
Actually, there’s lot more to do, but if you’ve come to Paris for a week, it’s a good idea to spend a day at the Versailles Palace. Even if you do not visit the palace, you should go and see, at least walk in its garden, paddle in the giant pond, or ride a bicycle around.
While coming back to Paris with RER-C, you can get off at Musée d’Orsay, visit the museum if you still have some energy, and take a walk along the Seine. As a matter of fact, if you are interested in chateaus, if you can afford to go out of Paris, there are lots of other beautiful castles that you can visit. In fact, I don’t know whether I should tell you these , but it’s my duty to tell you all the possibilities, to let you make a choice among them: the Fontainebleau Chateau, the Vaux le Vicente Chateau, the Chantilly Chateau, the Pierrefonds Chateau, the Compiègne Chateau, and so on. I’m sorry but one week in Paris is really not enough to do all these, you have to take at least two weeks. If you mean to do so you can find out all the details in my post “15 Alternative Days in Paris”.
Maybe Disneyland is another option to spend a day outside Paris. Disneyland is a mandatory destination for families with children. In fact, when the issue is about Disneyland, it might be necessary to spare at least two days there. Moreover, the famous Outlet Center La Vallée village in the surrounding area would be a place where you can choose to go. Of course, Parc Astérix and five hectares park France Miniature where the models of France’s major historic monuments and structures are located, are among the other destinations that I would like to recommend to you . It’s up to you.
One Week in Paris – Day 7:
You see, the days are over in a flash, whereas there are many other places to see. It is a good idea to see the Panthéon on the last day depending on your flight time, and then taking a walk in Luxembourg Garden would be a good idea.
I don’t think that ou’ll have much time after this walk. You can now go to the hotel, pick up your stuff and go to one of the Orly ORY or CDG airports.
I tried to give you a very brief program but still some of you may not be able to complete this program due to lacking time or energy, bad weather conditions or other various priorities. But some of you, as discovery monsters, may complete all the trails and ask what else. We have of course other things to do.
For example, La Défense, Quai Branly Museum, Canal Saint Martin, Grande Mosquée De Paris, Rodin Museum, Tour Montparnasse, Bois de Boulogne, Bois de Vincennes, Flea Market, Catacombs, Ballon De Paris, Grand Lac des Ibis, Le Vésinet – Le Pecq, Île de La Jatte and many more are waiting for you. You can add a few of them to your list of places to visit when you think your program will end early. You can look at my post “Things To Do On Sunday in Paris” and revise it accordingly.
If you’ve been to Paris before, then you can go out of town a little bit more, and you can spare your day to see beautiful villages such as Giverny, Barbizon, and towns such as Provins. There are many beautiful places to be seen around Paris, such as Rouen historical medieval town, Deauville & Trouville the magnificent coast towns, Honfleur more than a fishing village, Etretat famous for its cliffs, Le St Michel France’s most visited place after Eiffel, St Malo a great sailor city. When you look at those things I listed, you want to come to Paris for many more times. While some of you are happy, some of you can’t decide which one you should see and you will be very angry with me, especially when you read my post “15 Alternatives in Paris”, so I’m sure that you’ll chase me with a stick 🙂
If you are really tired, and want to rest a little bit in one of these days, there is a nice option. You can take the municipality bus number 42 and have agreat Paris tour paying only for one single ticket price!