Having just visited Paris for the first time, I think spending 4 days in Paris is the ideal amount of time for a great visit!
Whether it’s your first visit to Paris or your 21st, seeing Paris in 4 days can be the ideal amount of time to get an heady first taste or a renewal of all the reasons to love the City of Light.
Paris is a city so easy to visit again and again, so a 4 day Paris itinerary can be super-useful!
You can follow this Paris in 4 days itinerary straight through or mix up the days – sort it out the way it works best for you!
This Paris 4 day itinerary won’t having you running through the city to get to your next attraction. It’s designed so that you can savour each attraction to its fullest. That’s what Paris is all about, after all!
During our 4 days in Paris we didn’t worry about seeing everything – we knew we would be back. That is my recommendation for you too. Don’t be that frenzied tourist panicking that you won’t see it all. Even if you had 6 weeks in Paris you wouldn’t see it all. So relax. Take it all in and enjoy Paris in 4 days!
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Paris in 4 Days – Day 1
It’s your first day in Paris!
My top recommendation for a first day in almost any new city is to acquire a good overall knowledge of and appreciation for the city. Before you begin to do any serious sight-seeing, you’ll want to know what Paris has to offer and what appeals to you most.
The absolute best way to get an overall feel for Paris is to take a tour on a Hop on Hop Off Bus!
I loved the Hop On Hop Off bus in Paris because it enabled us to get a first look at all of the iconic highlights of Paris that we really wanted to see, including the Eiffel Tower, the Ecole Militaire, the Champs-Elysees, the Grand Palais and so much more. It’s the perfect thing to do on day 1 of four days in Paris.
We got lucky and our Hop On Hop Off bus day was absolutely beautiful and warm, and were able to sit on the top level of the bus and really enjoy all of the stunning sights. We hopped off the bus whenever we wanted to and walked around to explore and then hopped back on the next bus and continued on.
The best part about taking the Hop On Hop Off bus on day 1 of our four days in Paris was that we could begin the tour from any of the stops and get back on whenever we were ready. It’s super convenient.
Our bus had an English-speaking guide who was very knowledgeable about Paris and had many great stories to pass along.
Pro Tip: Get the Classic Ticket for access to the Montmartre Route too!
We presented our mobile voucher to gain entry to the bus and it couldn’t have been easier.
Day 2 of a Paris 4 days Itinerary
The Louvre and the 1e Arr.
It’s your second day of your 4 days in Paris!
You definitely must see one of the most iconic Paris attractions – the Louvre Museum. It’s a must-do when considering what to do in Paris for 4 days.
The Louvre contains more than 35,000 individual works of art, including two of the most recognized pieces on the planet – the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo. There are 8 major thematic departments with works of art from Antiquity to the early modern period.
Where is the Louvre?
The Louvre is in the 1e Arr., next to the Tuileries Gardens.
Look for the iconic glass pyramid for the main entrance to the Louvre.
The Louvre is easily accessible via Metro on Line 1 (look for Palais Royal-Musee du Louvre) and on many bus routes.
Top Tips for Visiting the Louvre
- Don’t plan to go on Tuesdays (it’s closed!) or January 1, May 1 or December 25 (also closed)
- If you’re under 26, admission is free on Friday from 6pm to 9:45pm
- Admission is free for all on the first Saturday of every month from 6pm to 9:45pm and on July 14 (Bastille Day). I don’t recommend going on free days unless you really love enormous crowds!
- Non-peak hours for visiting the Louvre are immediately on opening and after 3pm on Wednesdays and Fridays when the Louvre is open until 9:45pm.
- Choose what you want to focus on during your visit by reading up on the Louvre’s collections before you go. You can browse the collections online. You may want to do this before your 4 days in Paris.
- Photographs can be taken in the Louvre, but only without flash
- If you want to see the Mona Lisa, be prepared for a wait to enter that section of the museum. The wait was up to 2 hours on our visit for non-guided tour visitors!
Buy Louvre Tickets Ahead of Time (and get a Guided Tour!)
Don’t wait to buy your Louvre entrance ticket when you arrive – always get your tickets in advance! There will be very long lines for non-ticket holders and much shorter lines for ticket holders. Waiting in line was not how I wanted to spend some of my precious Paris 4 day itinerary.
One of the best decisions we made on our 4 nights in Paris was to get a Skip-the-Line Guided tour of the Louvre. Not only did we get to skip the enormous line of ticket buyers outside but we also went straight past the inside line to see the Mona Lisa! We felt like such rock stars ;-).
During our 2-hour guided tour we learned from an art expert all about the vast collection in the Louvre. Our guide knew SO MUCH about what we were seeing that his knowledge really added to our experience and made it so much more enjoyable. I didn’t even get my usual museum fatigue during our tour!
I highly recommend this tour – it’s worth every penny. Cancellation is free and there’s a 100% money back guarantee! You can also stay in the Louvre after the tour for as long as you want.
If you’d prefer to be your own guide, you can still have the definite advantage of skipping the line and purchasing your ticket ahead of time.
Make sure to download the ticket to your phone before you leave your hotel’s Wifi. The cellular signal at the Louvre can be weak and it may delay your entry if you can’t download your ticket!
Dining at the Louvre
There are such great places to eat at the Louvre that I recommend having a meal while you’re there!
We had lunch at the Louvre after our guided tour, at Cafe Richelieu. Cafe Richelieu is located between the Napoleon III apartments and the Decorative Arts galleries and is open from 10am to 4:45pm. Despite the so-called “casual” menu, we found it quite lovely! There was some typical French breakfast options like cafe ou chocolat and mini viennoiseries, pain chocolat, and other sweets as well as sandwiches and salads. There was also a rather lovely wine and champagne selection.
There are other eateries inside the Louvre as well including Goguette, a Starbucks (!), The Cafe Collien, The Comptoir du Louvre (quite casual) and some outdoor options like ice cream and crepes.
Ready for your next stop on your 4 days in Paris?
This is the perfect antidote for the hustle and bustle of the Louvre. It’s just a short walk from the Louvre, within eye sight really.
The Tuileries take their name from the tile factories that formerly stood on the site, before Queen Catherine de Medici built the Palais des Tuileries in 1664. It became a public park after the French Revolution. This formal style French garden, which separates the Louvre from the Place de la Concorde, is perfect for walking, people watching and relaxing.
Visiting The Tuileries is a great choice for what to see in Paris in 4 days.
The Tuileries are home to many public entertainments for Parisians. It was Paris Fashion Week during our visit and the Tuileries hosted some fashion week events.
The Tuileries would be a great spot for seeing the fireworks at the Arc de Triomphe on New Years Eve in Paris!
The Gardens are filled with many beautiful sculptures. There are two cafes in the Gardens: the cafe Very and the cafe Renard.
Another beautiful Parisian museum, Musee de l’Orangerie – the Orangerie, is at the west end of the Garden, on the Seine. Many of Monet’s Water Lilies series can be found there.
We spent hours in the Tuileries. It was right next to our hotel and very convenient for walking and that ultimate Parisian activity of people-watching :-). In the summer months you’ll find many comfortable metal chairs in quiet corners, perfect for relaxing in. Visiting the Tuileries is a very relaxing part of a 4 day Paris itinerary.
Do you know that iconic photograph you’ve seen a thousand times of the beautiful tall pink-hued stained glass windows? It was likely Sainte-Chapelle!
Situated on the Palais de la Cite (a small island in the middle of the Seine), just a short walk from the Tuileries, is this jewel of church. Built in the high gothic style, construction started in 1238 and it was consecrated in 1248. It was the original home of Christ’s Crown of Thorns (now held in Notre Dame – having survived the tragic 2019 fire).
Sainte-Chapelle is open to visitors daily from 9am to at least 5pm (later in high season). Expect a security check before you go in.
The stained glass in Sainte-Chapelle is a visual feast. There are 15 stained glass windows that depict 1,113 scenes from the Bible. It’s simply amazing to see in person. When thinking about what to do in Paris for 4 days, you must include seeing the stained glass in Sainte-Chapelle.
Make sure to visit both the lower and upper chapel. The first part you see is the lower chapel. Take the spiral staircase to the main chapel, where you’ll see the incredible stained glass. Don’t miss the amazing gold gilding everywhere in the chapel and the beautiful Rose window in the upper chapel.
Sadly, there are no regular masses held at Sainte Chapelle.
Sainte-Chapelle is a popular visitor destination in Paris. The queue to get in can be terribly long, so make sure to get your entry tickets in advance! We felt bad for the visitors who didn’t know to buy in advance. Don’t make their mistake and ensure you get your tickets in advance!
Paris Itinerary 4 days – Day 3
It’s your third day in Paris!
One of the top tips I got from friends who had been to Paris many times was not to miss Napoleon’s Tomb and the accompanying Military Museum – known as Les Invalides.
I was skeptical – how interesting could a tomb and a military museum be?
Well…..Les Invalides is absolutely brilliant! It’s on my list of top 3 places to visit in Paris and is a must see in Paris in 4 days!
Les Invalides dates back to the 17th century – it was originally built as a hospital and retirement home for military veterans – what a place to retire to! The building includes the Army Museum (Musee de l’Armee) and the tomb of Napoleon I.
As always, it’s best to get your entry ticket to Les Invalides in advance. You sure don’t want to waste a single minute of your 4 days in France.
Les Invalides – How to Get There
Les Invalides is in the chic 7e Arr. in Paris, near the left bank of the Seine. Its shimmering golden dome is unmistakable.
Take the Metro to La Tour Maubourg on the B line. Depending on where you’re staying in Paris, it may be lovely to walk or ride a micro-mobility scooter.
Les Invalides – What to See
There are 15 courtyards in the complex, the largest among which is the Cour d’Honneur where military parades were held.
The Dome is the home of Napoleon’s tomb. Don’t miss the ceiling – look up! There are 12 very impressive Greek Goddesses guarding the tomb. The sarcophagus itself sits on a green granite pedestal. It contains 6 (!) coffins. You can also see Napoleons wool coat and hat in the same area.
The military museum is a must-see and is one of top 5 most visited museums in France. There are weapons and armour dating from the early middle ages. Don’t miss the Japanese Samurai armour. There’s also exhibits showing the incredible garments worn by the Kings of France. I was fascinated by the exhibits detailing France’s military victory in WW2.
Don’t miss Les Invalides when planning the places to see in Paris in 4 days!
Les Invalides – Tips for Visiting
- There is limited access on the 1st Monday of every month – it’s best to choose another day to visit
- We found the cafe at Les Invalides very expensive. Bring your own water and snacks or plan to eat elsewhere
- The majority of the signage is in French. The audio guide in English was extremely helpful.
- Open from 10am to 6pm – closes at 5pm in the off-season
- Plan to spend at least half a day – there’s a lot to see
- Get your entry ticket in advance to skip the line.
Afternoon Day 3 – Eiffel Tower
It’s the most iconic sight in Paris. It’s seen on every book, movie poster and advertisement for Paris that you’ve ever seen – the Eiffel Tower! The Eiffel Tower is a must-see attraction during your 4 days in Paris!
My recommendation is to pack or buy a lunch to eat, picnic-style, at the Champs de Mars. It’s one of the most popular gardens in Paris, especially among the locals. It’s also an excellent spot to get great photos of the Eiffel Tower before you arrive.
Having a picnic, French-Style, is an iconic activity for your 4 days in Paris itinerary.
Top Tips for Visiting the Eiffel Tower
- Book Your Ticket in Advance! I must sound like a broken record, but unless you enjoy standing in long lines, you must book your ticket in advance! You will see very long lines of people waiting to see the tower who have not booked their tickets already. Don’t be one of them!
- Hours are 9:30am to 11:45pm, later in the summer.
- Tickets can sell out in advance, particularly during busy seasons. Book at least a day or two ahead of time.
- Be wary of pickpockets. Paris is a haven for thieves preying on unsuspecting visitors. Carefully guard your belongings and choose an anti-theft purse.
- When you reach the summit of the Eiffel Tower, really take it in and enjoy the tremendous view. It’s one of the top places to visit in Paris in 4 days.
- Plan to arrive as close as you can to sunset. You’ll be able to see the broad expanse of Paris as well as the beautiful lights as it darkens.
- Enjoy each level of the tower. The views are different from each level. Savour the views to recall during your 4 days in Paris France.
- Don’t miss the secret apartment that Gustave Eiffel built for himself, located at the top. Some say he built it and stayed there for months, just to prove to doubters that the tower was safe.
- Public toilets are located on the second and third floors, as well as at ground level at the east and west pillars.
Eiffel Tower Ticket Options
There are a couple of options when visiting the Eiffel Tower. Depending on how much energy you have, how fit you are or how much time you have dictates which is the right option for you! If you only have 4 days in Paris, perhaps consider the elevator 🙂
Climb the Eiffel Tower
This is definitely the classic choice! If you’re up to the task of climbing the 704 steps to the 2nd floor of the tower, you’ll be 57 metres above the ground and able to the Paris skyline in all directions. You can step onto the glass floor too! With this ticket you’ll also have the option to go to the very top – the third floor. Claim your bragging rights!
Priority Access Elevator to the 2nd Floor of the Eiffel Tower
We took the elevator option to get to the top of the Eiffel Tower. As middle-aged travelers this was definitely our preference! We didn’t want to climb 700+ stairs during our four days in Paris France!
This ticket will get you Priority Access ticket to the 2nd floor and allow you to avoid the legendary lines. You’ll get an English-speaking presentation on the history of the Tower and will be guided through security to the elevator. As a bonus, you’ll also have unlimited time inside the Tower!
For a little bit more, you can also get access to the Summit by elevator where you can sip Champagne on the top floor!
Visiting the Eiffel Tower is a must-do activity on a 4 day trip to Paris. Don’t miss it!
4 Day Itinerary Paris – Day 4
Day 4 – Visit Montmartre
Don’t leave Paris without visiting this beautiful gem of a neighbourhood! When thinking about what to see in Paris in 4 days, you must include Montmartre!
Located in the 18e Arr., Montmartre is in the northern section of Paris. Montmartre is known for its artistic history particularly during what was known as the Belle Epoque – 1872-1914. During this time many artists lived and worked in Montmartre. You might have heard of Renoir, Utrillo, Picasso, Mondigliani, Van Gogh, Matisse and Degas – these artists and so many more made Montmartre famous as a congenial haven for artists.
Getting to Montmartre
Getting to Montmartre is easy from almost anywhere in Paris. We used rental electric scooters, but you can also take the Metro on line 2 to Anvers, Pigalle or Blanche. Or, take line 12 to Pigalle, Abbesses, Lamarck-Caulaincourt or Jules Joffrin.
Top Tips for Visiting Montmartre
- Be prepared for hills! Montmartre is built on a hill (it’s the highest point in Paris) and the streets go up up up! Wear comfortable walking shoes and clothing. I was justifiably proud of both my steps and stair numbers at the end of our day in Montmartre!
- Go early. I mean it. Start with breakfast so you can enjoy Montmartre without the crowds. We ate at Cafe des Deux Moulins (as seen in the movie Amelie) while sitting at a sidewalk table. It felt so French! It’s the perfect start to a 4 night stay in Paris.
- Don’t miss Place due Tertre, where you’ll see artists at work and selling their wares
- Beware of pickpockets, especially in crowds and around Sacre-Coeur.
- Be sure to see the Wall of Love, in the Jehan Rictus garden. You’ll get your best Insta-worthy photo 🙂
Best Tip for Visiting Montmartre
My absolute best tip for visiting Montmartre is to go on a guided tour. When considering what to do in Paris France in 4 days, a guided tour is absolutely the top.
We got SO MUCH out of our guided tour that we would have missed had we tried to do it on our own. Our guide was a Montmartre resident and was able to tell us so much about Montmartre – what its like to live there today, the rich history, the famous spots and especially, the spots only the locals know about. Montmartre is a must see in Paris in 4 days.
There are many specialized tours of Montmartre, depending on your interests and likes. We really loved our tour – as foodies it was perfect for us. We got to see and taste some of the best foods available in Montmartre including pastry, chocolate, charcuterie and wine. My favourite part was visiting one of the best boulangerie in Paris – Au Levain d’Antan on Rue des Abbesses. This boulangerie has twice won the 1st prize for the best baguette in Paris!
A guided tour in Paris would make a great gift for the traveler in your life!
There’s also a great Hidden Gems of Montmartre tour with a local guide. You’ll get to preview Moulin Rouge and see many places in Montmartre that only the locals know.
4 Days Itinerary in Paris – Evening of Day 4
A visit to Moulin Rouge was the perfect way to end our four day trip to Paris.
Whether you’ve seen the movie, seen the classic French can-can dancers or just heard of it before, seeing a cabaret show at the Moulin Rouge is an experience like no other. We really wanted to see a show at the Moulin Rouge and made sure we did our research before we bought our tickets.
There are a few important things to know before you go to the Moulin Rouge during your four day trip to Paris:
Top Tips for the Moulin Rouge during Your 4 Days in Paris:
- There are two shows nightly, at 9pm and 11pm. Each show is approximately 2 hours long
- Shows are often sold out weeks in advance. It pays to book early.
- Unless you get VIP tickets, arrive early – at least 45 minutes before your show time.
- If you want to have dinner at Moulin Rouge as well, you must attend the 9pm show.
- Dress code for the Moulin Rouge is “smart dress”, which means no shorts, flipflops, sportswear, or sports shoes. We wore what we normally wear out for a nice dinner during our 4 night in Paris itinerary.
- Although the show is billed as risque, it really isn’t that bad. Definitely expect some nudity! The show isn’t suitable for kids though.
- There is very limited parking at the Moulin Rouge. I recommend taking the Metro, an Uber or a taxi.
- No photography is permitted. We actually saw people being removed who were trying to take photos. Don’t be one of those people!
The Moulin Rouge Show – Feerie
We really weren’t sure what to expect at the Moulin Rouge show. I had read mixed reviews with most mentioning a lot of sequins, feathers and boobs!
We were very pleasantly surprised, however! We both found the show vastly entertaining in many ways. The talent of the performers was obvious; the show reminded us of a Cirque du Soleil show. There was an underlying story but I found I didn’t really follow it. I was more riveted by the costumes and drama of the performances. The Moulin Rouge show really stayed with me after our 4 days in Paris.
The costumes were really amazing! Many of the women wore enormous feather headdresses that I was amazed they were able to keep up. The sheer volume of sequins was stunning.
There were 4 sections to the show, with a variety of performances in between that were often as good as or better than the show itself. I expect these performers change regularly so you may not see the nearly-nude woman swimming with snakes – but perhaps you will!
I can heartily recommend a show at the Moulin Rouge. If you like and appreciate live theatrical performances, you’ll love Moulin Rouge. it’s a great addition to things to see in Paris in 4 days.
Moulin Rouge Ticket Options
We chose to see Moulin Rouge without dinner. We arrived for the 9pm performance as all the tables had been cleared from those who chose the dinner option. Our tickets came with a half-bottle of champagne each (we didn’t finish it). We got our tickets about 4 weeks in advance of our 4 nights in Paris itinerary – good thing too, as the show was sold out.
You can also get dinner before the performance for the 9pm shows only. I’ve read mixed reviews of the dinner, with some positive and some a bit negative. There are a variety of options available including vegan and 3 different menus to choose from.
If you want to avoid waiting in line and sit in a special seat in the reserved balcony area of Moulin Rouge, this is the ticket for you. You can sip Champagne during the performance and savor macarons or chocolates from the famous French patisserie, Dalloyau. These seats are completely unobstructed as well.
If you’d like to add 4-course dinner to your VIP Moulin Rouge experience, that is available too. What a night that would be!
4 Day Paris Itinerary – Last Thoughts
Getting a Paris Pass might be a good choice for you when considering what to do in 4 days in Paris.
The Paris Pass lets you enjoy free entry to more than 60 sights and attractions in Paris as well as full use of public transportation. There are also special offers and benefits at selected restaurants and shops.
Paris Pass is available for 2, 3, 4, or 6 days. It includes a Hop-On Hop-Off bus tour ticket and some of the attractions that I have detailed in this 4 day Paris itinerary.
Whether a 4 day Paris Pass makes sense to you depends on how many of the listed attractions you’re interested in seeing and whether you feel it is a good value for you.
Visiting Paris was a dream come true for us. It had been on our travel bucket list for years and I’m so pleased that our expectations were far exceeded by reality.
If you only have a weekend to spend in Paris, check out Dorota’s great itinerary for a weekend in Paris! If beautiful castles and chateaus are on your bucket list, check out Brianna’s great article full of details about the best castles and chateaus to visit.
Feel free to mix up the itinerary for 4 days in Paris to whatever works best for you. This structure worked really well for us, so I urge you to give it a try! We certainly didn’t see everything – after all, we had to leave something for our next visit and a new Paris 4 day itinerary!
What’s your favourite thing to do in Paris?
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