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 soak up 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

9 min read

Things to Do in Paris in 2 Days

Louvre Museum | ©Gloria Villa

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

But here I come to your rescue with an itinerary for two days in Paris. We won't take into account the day of arrival, as it's usually a tiring day when some arrive in Paris with the first rays of the sun, while others will arrive in the late afternoon. Now let's get started!

Day 1: Explore the Left Bank of the Seine

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

The Left Bank of the Seine is the name given to the entire south-eastern part of Paris. On our first day, although we will start our tour on the right bank, we will focus especially on the major sights on the left side of the river.

Watch the sunrise over the Place Trocadero

After a well-deserved night's rest, try to be awake and in time to make your way to Trocadero Square to watch the sunrise over the Trocadero fountains without the crowds.

The Square is a large, open, slightly elevated area located directly in front of the Eiffel Tower. The most exquisite photographs of the famous Parisian landmark are taken from this spot, so every book or magazine cover you come across featuring the Eiffel Tower was surely taken from here.

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

  • Opening hours: open 24 hours.
  • Admission fee: free.
  • Duration of visit: as long as you like.

Book a 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 metres.

It is located in front of the entrance to the gardens - don't dawdle too long! It's time to explore the left bank of the Seine in depth.

  • Opening hours: open 24 hours.
  • Admission fee: free of charge.
  • Duration of the visit: 20 minutes will be enough time to walk around the garden and take photos.

Get to the Eiffel Tower

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

From your location in Jardins du Trocadéro, walk out to 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.

  • Opening hours: from 9.30am to 11.45pm.
  • Entry fee: from €10.7 the price increases if you want to go up to the top and use the lifts.
  • Duration of the visit: approximately 1.5 hours to visit the first floor and 2.5 hours if you want to go up to the top.

Buy tickets for the Eiffel Tower

D'Orsay Museum tour

It's time to experience one of the best museums in Paris and one of the richest and most exciting fine art museums in the world. Its permanent collection houses hundreds of works by masters of modern and impressionist art such as Matisse, Van Gogh, Rodin and Monet, among others.

You can experience a 30-minute walk along the left boulevard of the Seine to the Musée d'Orsay. Other transport alternatives will take less time, but you won't enjoy the view.

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 line can be long. A specialised guide will take you through the most important works so you will see everything you want to see and a bit more.

  • Opening hours: from 9.30 am to 6 pm
  • Entrance fee: approximately 16€.
  • Duration of the visit: you should book between 2 to 4 hours.

Book a guided tour of the Musée d'Orsay

Lunch around the Musée d'Orsay

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

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

Inside Le Musée d'OrsayYou will find interesting alternatives to enjoy such as:

  • Self-service sandwich-style Café de L'Ours.
  • Café Campana brasserie-style café serving different types of food throughout the day.

In the vicinity of the museumyou will find many interesting options. Below is a list of those that do not require advance booking.

Some luxurious options. I recommend you book as soon as possible.

  • Garance a very cosy 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 they serve lunch.

Tour of the Luxembourg Gardens

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

Le Jardin du Luxembourg is one of the most popular destinations for Parisians and visitors alike. It is notable for the diversity of spaces and gardens that make it up, combining different styles in the same place.

  • Opening hours: from 10am to 7pm.
  • Admission fee: approximately €14 for the adult rate.
  • Duration of the visit: 30 to 40 minutes.

Explore the catacombs of Paris

At the end of the afternoon, get ready for one of the most thrilling tours in Paris: visit the catacombs of Paris.

Every day thousands of Parisians and tourists are unaware that the city's underground 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.

To get there, leave the Luxembourg Gardens along Boulevard Saint-Michel to go to the Catacombs. Take line 38 from Porte D'orleans station and get off at Denfert-Rochereau station. The Catacombs are only one minute away.

  • Opening hours: from 9.45am to 8.30pm.
  • Admission fee: approximately €35 for the adult rate (including audio guide).
  • Duration of the visit: 45 minutes on average.

Day 2: Explore the Right Bank of the Seine

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 north-east and, as you might suspect, there is plenty 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 on this iconic monument.

Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris

Like the Eiffel Tower, visiting Notre Dame is considered a must-see in the city of Paris and one of the most impressive works of Gothic architecture in all of Europe.

Sadly, a fire in 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 some 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.

Book a tour of Notre Dame


Just a few minutes away you can visit Sainte-Chapelle, another magnificent work of French Gothic architecture, famous the world over for housing the most extensive collection of 13th century stained glass windows ever seen. This chapel is open to the public so you can walk around and admire it to the full.

  • Opening hours: from 9 am to 5 pm
  • Entrance fee: from 15€.
  • Duration of the visit: the tour inside Sainte-Chapelle will take about 30 minutes.

Book tickets for Sainte Chapelle de Paris

Enjoy a morning of art and history at the Louvre

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 for a 12-15 minute walk to the Musée du Louvre.

Buy your Louvre tickets in advance or consider a guided tour so you don't miss out. Keep in mind that the Louvre is one of the largest museums in the world, with thousands of pieces to see and admire.

  • Opening hours: from 9am to 6pm.
  • Ticket price: around €22 for adults.
  • Length of visit: you might need a day to see the whole museum, but at least two hours of itinerary to see the most important pieces of the Louvre.

Book tickets for the Louvre Museum

Visit the Opéra Garnier

From the Pompidou Centre, take a short walk to Châtelet-Les Halles station and take the RER A to Auber train station. From here you will walk 2 or 3 minutes to get to the Palais de l'Opéra de Garnier.

You will not only be 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 king's castle thanks to elements such as its glass dome and 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 façade and, why not, take some photographs.

  • Opening hours: from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
  • Entry fee: from 12€ for the regular exhibition, with temporary exhibitions from 14€.
  • Duration of visit: 90 minutes is enough for a complete tour of the interior.

Watch the sunset at Sacre-Coeur

To visit the Sacre-Coeur basilica is to experience one of Paris' most recognisable monuments; located imposingly on the hill of Montmartre. One of the biggest motivations to get to the basilica is the fabulous view that accompanies it, which, elevated above the city, offers panoramic views of the whole of Paris.

Starting from the Opéra de Garnier, the quickest way to get there is by taxi, which takes just 15 minutes to get around the streets of Paris. I think this is the best option as you will be able to admire the beautiful Parisian streets of Montmartre.

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

Book a tour of the Sacre Coeur

Enjoy a night show in the Moulin Rouge

Moulin Rouge by day| ©Dennis Jarvis
Moulin Rouge by day| ©Dennis Jarvis

After enjoying a driving tour of Montmartre and a breathtaking sunset at the Sacre-Coeur, get ready for an evening of fun watching a show at the Moulin Rouge with dinner and transport! Booking your ticket is the most recommended option as certain shows are in high demand and tickets sell out quickly.

Today this venue hosts world-class dancers, trained in classical jazz and contemporary dance in the most diverse corners you can imagine.

To get there, head back down the hill from Sacre Coeur and walk down the streets to boulevard Marguerite de Rochechouart; turn left and take a leisurely stroll along the boulevard until you come to the iconic Red Mill.

  • Opening times: if you attend the dinner show, service is available from 5pm and you'll get prime seats with a great view of the stage.
  • Ticket price: it depends, but you can estimate an average cost of €90 for the show and €185 for dinner and show.
  • Duration of the visit: on average it will take 1.5 hours or more.

Book tickets for the Moulin Rouge with dinner and transportation