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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 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

10 min read

Things to Do in Paris in 2 Days

Louvre Museum | ©Gloria Villa

If you only have 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 do, what to see or where to go 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 for this is that it tends to be a tiring day and fluctuates quite a bit from one traveller to the next; while some will arrive in Paris with the first rays of the sun, others will arrive late in the evening. 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 transport in Paris is excellent, the best way to get around and get to know the city is to walk the 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 given to the entire south-eastern part of Paris. On our first day of our trip, although we will start our tour on the right bank, we will focus especially on the major tourist attractions 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 the Place Trocadéro to watch the sunrise over the Trocadéro fountains.

Why? 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 lights!

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.

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

Book a guided tour of Paris

Visit the Trocadero Gardens

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.

The route: From the Place Trocadero you are facing 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
  • Duration of the visit: 20 minutes will be enough time to explore 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.

Route: From your location at 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.
  • Ticket price: From 10,7 € the price increases if you want to go up to the top and if you want to use the lifts.
  • Duration of visit: Allow approximately 1.5 hours to visit the first floor and 2.5 hours if you want to climb to the top.

Buy tickets for the Eiffel Tower

Tour 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 art 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 until you reach the Musée d'Orsay. Other transport alternatives will take less time, but you won't 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 line can be long. A specialised guide will take you on a 2-hour tour through the most important works, so you'll see everything you want to see and a bit more.

  • Opening hours: From 9.30am to 6pm
  • Ticket price: approximately €16
  • Duration of the visit: You should book between 2 and 4 hours.

Book a guided tour of the D'Orsay Museum

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'OrsayInside the museum you will find some interesting alternatives to enjoy: Café de L'Ours is a self-service snack-style café. Café Campana is a brasserie-style café serving different types of food throughout the day

No need to book. In the immediate vicinity of the museum you will find many interesting options. Here are the ones that do not require reservations.

Best to book before you travel: Finally, if you're interested in lunch at one of the luxurious options listed below on your two-day trip, you'll want to book as soon as possible.

  • Garance A cosy modern bistro.
  • La Ferme Saint-Simon: one of the longest-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

Route. 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 from the entrance to the Gardens.

Le Jardin du Luxembourg is one of the most popular destinations for Parisians and visitors alike. It stands out for the diversity of spaces or gardens that compose it, 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: Touring the gardens and admiring the sculptures will take between 30 and 40 minutes.

Explore the catacombs of Paris

At 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 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.

Route: Leave the Luxembourg Gardens along Boulevard Saint-Michel to head for the Catacombs. Take line 38 from Porte D'orleans station and get off at Denfert-Rochereau station. The Catacombs are just one minute away.

  • Opening hours: From 10am to 7pm.
  • Admission fee: Approximately €14 for the adult rate.
  • Duration of the visit: It will take you 30 to 40 minutes to walk around the gardens and admire the sculptures.

DAY 2: Explore the Right Bank of the Seine

Notre Dame| ©Adrienn
Notre Dame| ©Adrienn

Day two is for exploring what is known as the right side of the Seine, this is the north-eastern part of Paris 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 of Notre-Dame Cathedral, so I suggest you start day two on 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 works of Gothic architecture in Europe. Sadly, a fire in 2019 caused the collapse of the wooden roof with its iconic spire and since then, until further notice, the work will remain closed to the public. However, for a short while 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.


Just a few minutes away you will find
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 visit and admire it to the full.

  • Opening hours: From 9am to 5pm
  • Ticket price: Tickets start at €11.50
  • Duration of visit: The tour inside Sainte-Chapelle to see the interiors will take about 30 minutes.

Book tickets for Sainte Chapelle in Paris

Enjoy a morning of art and history at the Louvre

Route: 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.

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. You may need a day to see the whole museum. A 2 or 3 hour tour can be enough to see the most important pieces of the Louvre.

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

Book tickets for the Louvre Museum

Visit the Opéra Garnier

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

You are not only in front of the building that houses the most important Opera House in 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 10am to 5pm
  • Admission price: Adult tickets can be found from 12€ for the regular exhibition, with temporary exhibitions starting from 14€
  • Duration of visit: 90 minutes is enough for a full interior tour.

Watch the sunset at Sacre-Coeur

If you can make it to see the sunset at you won't regret it!

The Sacre Coeur basilica is one of the most recognisable monuments in Paris; located imposingly on the hill of Montmartre. One of the biggest motivations to get to the basilica is the fabulous view that accompanies it; elevated above the city it offers panoramic views of the whole of Paris, and especially of the surrounding districts.

How to get there: Starting from the Opéra de Garnier, the quickest way to get there is by taxi; a 15-minute ride through the streets of Paris. I think this is the best option as you will be able to admire the 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 6am. Access to the dome is from 9am until 8.30pm, with variations in certain months.
  • Entry fee: Free admission.
  • Duration of the visit: Allow 45 minutes to visit both the dome and the crypt of Sacré Coeur.

Book a tour of Montmartre

Enjoy a nighttime show at the Moulin Rouge

Moulin Rouge by day| ©Dennis Jarvis
Moulin Rouge by day| ©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! Today this space hosts world-class dancers, trained in classical jazz and contemporary dance in the most diverse corners you can imagine.

Walk: 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 online. This is the most recommended option as certain shows are in high demand and tickets sell out quickly.

  • Opening times: If you attend the dinner and show, the service is available from 5pm and you will get prime 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