A Paris Itinerary: 5 Days in the French Capital
Enjoy the very best that Paris has to offer, from landmarks to lavish dinners
Bienvenue to beautiful Paris. If it’s your first time here, then we’ve got you covered with all the basic must-sees. If you’ve been before, worry not, we’ve picked out a few gems and tips for you too. This is a city with something for everyone, but if it’s a culture hit that you’re after in particular, you’ve come to the right place. From noteworthy museums and galleries to more secluded, niche pop-ups in arty neighbourhoods, you'll find it all. We’ve already done the hard work for you regarding the best places to stay, so you can choose one of our very own homes and get started with your Paris itinerary of 5 days. And trust us, here at Plum Guide we love doing the hard work, so this guide will not let you down.
Day 1: Take a day trip outside of Paris
Morning/Afternoon: Visit the Palace of Versailles
Call us rogue, but we’re going to take you outside Paris for your first full day. (Naturally, this excludes the obligatory coffee et croissant at wherever your inevitably delicious local happens to be). After that morning fix, we suggest you get ready for a day trip from Paris to the exquisite Palace of Versailles. It’s only 30 minutes away, but prepare to be transported back in time to the elaborate epicentre of political power for the former Kingdom of France. We’d recommend a guided tour (the gardens are a highlight) and make sure you don’t head back to Paris without visiting the famous Hall of Mirrors. (They must be an absolute nightmare to polish...)
Evening: Enjoy a Michelin-star meal
Go on darling, treat yourself. After a day at the palace, it’s only fitting that you have dinner at one of the best restaurants in Paris - the Michelin-starred Pur' - Jean-François Rouquette. It’s at the pricier end of the spectrum, but worth it. There are also vegan and gluten-free options available. Oh, and be sure to stop by the hotel bar for an aperitif beforehand.
Day 2: Discover some of France's greatest artists
Morning/Afternoon: Explore the Musée d’Orsay
Time for some full-fat culture. Now that you’ve settled in, we think you’re about ready to handle one of the city’s famous galleries. First up, Musée d’Orsay. Located in an old train station and devoted to Impressionist art, we’d recommend around three hours - including a coffee break- or more if art is your thing, to fully take it all in. This gallery is much less overwhelming than the Louvre, so it’s possible to see much more of its collection in just one visit. Spot the Rodin sculptures, and paintings by the great French masters: Van Gogh, Degas, Renoir and Cézanne.
Evening: Get lost in the city
Tonight, this one is on you. Part of Paris' charm is getting lost and seeing just what kind of adventures you can land for yourself. You’ll know what we mean after you’ve spent your 5 days in Paris. Bon voyage.
Day 3: Visit Montmartre
Morning/Afternoon: Take a walking tour of the streets
Ah, Montmartre. Quite possibly the most famous historic art district in the world. We’d recommend a walking tour to bring La Vie Bohème to life. Explore winding cobbled streets and steep twisting staircases in this unique district and learn about the great artists who walked these streets before you. In the early 1900s, rents surged in central Paris, forcing artists, writers and musicians to this then sleepy quarter. No surprise then that it became one of the most important centers for radical and artistic thought in the world.
Evening: Enjoy a charming evening meal
No visit to Montmartre would be complete without seeing the famous arrondissement by night. Browse the gift shops, buy a few postcards of famous paintings (if you must) and find somewhere charming with live music to have dinner and a digestif. Eat anywhere as long as it’s not on the main square - or has pictures of the food on the menu. We actually think these are quite good rules for general life, not just throughout your Paris itinerary of 5 days.
Day 4: Marvel at the work of Pablo Picasso
Morning/Afternoon: Discover the Musée National Picasso-Paris
You simply must pay homage to one of the greatest artists of all time while in Paris. Head over to the Musée National Picasso-Paris and see for yourself more than 400 of Pablo’s best works. The museum is located in what was better known in the 17th Century as Hôtel Salé in the Marais and it is an utter delight. Expect grandeur, decadence and bliss.
Evening: Cruise the river Seine
If you fancy something a little more fancy than strolling along the Seine (although it can be wonderful - weather permitting), what better way to do it than via a river cruise? Hop on Bateaux Parisiens Seine River for exquisite fine dining, beautiful vistas and the company of a live band to entertain you during your dinner cruise three-course à la carte menu.
Day 5: Tick things off the bucket list
Morning/Afternoon: Head to the Eiffel Tower
Go on, treat yourself on the last morning of your Paris itinerary. 5 days of coffee and croissants in bed, so why not one more with an added lie in? When you’re ready to venture out, have a day to yourself. Amble along the River Seine, or through the cobbled alleyways of the city’s historic streets. You could pretend to be a local and head to one of the city's best food markets. When it’s twilight however, it's time to make your way towards the Eiffel Tower. Yes, finally, we’re ticking that one off the list. (Although no, we don’t condone selfie sticks). The Tower is particularly beautiful at golden hour so we suggest you buy a bottle of vino, some snacks and have a picnic in the grounds underneath. If heights are your thing though, feel free to head on up for a beautiful vista just as the city begins to twinkle. From here on, you’re perfectly located for what we have in store for you for this evening.
Evening: Experience a Parisian cabaret
Le Crazy Horse. It’s your last night so we say it’s only fitting to go out with a bang. Le Crazy Horse Saloon or Le Crazy Horse de Paris is a modern Parisian cabaret. Founded in 1951, the iconic venue was originally a wine cellar before it was transformed into a specialist club famed for its burlesque dancers and magic, which is now one of the city’s top cabarets along with the more famous Moulin Rouge. Ooh la la indeed.