The Perfect Paris Itinerary: 4 Days of Fun
Looking for a guide to the very best things to do in Paris during your quick trip to the city? You've come to the right place.
One of the only downsides to a brief city break is that there isn't always enough time to see all the sites. There are whistle-stop tours you can do if you feel up to it but these can feel rushed and stressful (which is the last thing you need on holiday). So, if you want to feel at home in a city like Paris and spend your time doing only the very best there is to do, look no further than this Plum-approved Paris itinerary of 4 days. Expect plenty of great food, wine, culture, shopping…ok, we'll stop there before we ruin the surprise too much.
Day 1: Morning
Today, you're starting in the République/Oberkampf area, which stretches from the Marais to Père-Lachaise. These streets are filled with some of the best restaurants and bars in the city so note down your favourites for later. Enjoy breakfast at Le Génie Sous Les Etoiles, where you can choose from delicious crepes, an incredible ambience and an all-you-can-eat Sunday brunch buffet. Once you're fuelled, head towards Père-Lachaise cemetry, which has become one of the city's must-see destinations over the years. It's where you'll find the final resting place of some of history's most memorable names. Edith Piaf, Chopin, Jim Morrison, and Oscar Wilde are all there, and it's easy to get lost in its 44.5 hectares.
Day 1: Afternoon
Canal Saint-Martin is a magical spot less than 20 minutes walk from the Oberkampf/République area. Famed for the river lock where, in the movie Amélie, the titular character skims her stones, Canal Saint-Martin is a beautiful place. Sit here for a while and explore the back streets where you'll find record shops and hidden gem cafés. During the late spring through to late autumn, you'll find groups of friends playing Pétanque by the canal-side until the sun goes down. For lunch, get yourself a table at La Mère Poule.
Day 1: Evening
Grab a coffee and head south to pass through Square Jules-Ferry and on into the Marais. The Marais is a great area to spend at any time of day, but it comes to life during the hours from dusk until dawn. Find your way around the winding, hidden pathways, head to the top level of the Centre Pompidou, or make your way to the river before taking in dinner and then drinks. Dinner tonight is at Pierre Sang. Its menu, which changes every two weeks, is based on French cuisine with Korean influences and it's great value for money. For post-dinner drinks before returning to your wonderful Plum home, Little Red Door is the place to go for unique cocktails in a trendy and relaxed atmosphere.
Day 2: Morning
For breakfast, make your way to Le Petit Lux, a charming and authentic Parisian bakery popular with the locals, and load up on delicious, buttery pastries. Today you'll be exploring Saint-Germain-des-Prés, an area with a reputation that precedes it. Like most spots in Paris, its reality lives up to the expectation. The streets here are lined with boutiques and couturiers, and its walled-off apartments are where the bourgeois live. The Jardin du Luxembourg and their Palace are beautiful at all times of the day and the year. Small tables are splayed across the recreational area, inviting native Parisians to play cards or chess with anyone who'd like to. Head on East to the Palace's gardens. It's here you can sit for hours, surrounded by flowers. Because you're on holiday in Paris, nobody said you have to move. Get a coffee (and lollipop) at the pavilion while you're there and see the beautiful 17th Century Medici Fountain.
Day 2: Afternoon
The Musée d'Orsay is the home of the impressionists. The Van Gogh room attracts thousands of people a year (and with good reason). Inside these walls you can find artwork from Degas, Manet, and Cezanne as well as sculptures by Rodin and a window through the clock face from which you can see Sacre-Coeur. For lunch, make your way over to Crêperie Little Breizh. A sibling-run café that does superb buckwheat galettes with specially-milled flour.
Day 2: Evening
Ask any Parisian what to do during the late afternoon and early evening and they'll tell you what we're about to. See the Seine. No matter if you only have 24 hours in Paris, or a full week's itinerary for the City of Light, this is an essential stop. Paris at night has a unique sort of magic, and this is never purer than it is around the river. Continue along the right bank and you'll see Notre Dame. The infamous Shakespeare & Co. bookshop is also close by and open until 10. Dinner tonight is at Le Petit Châtelet, which serves delectable food in a stunning location. If you fancy a tipple or two afterwards, make your way to The Castor Club for innovative cocktails mixed by experts.
Day 3: Morning
Set yourself up for the day with some coffee and a pain au raisin at Baguett's Café, because you've got a busy schedule ahead. We'll warn you, the Louvre is impossible to see properly in just one day, so plan your visit wisely and map out which rooms or pieces of art you'd like to visit. Or, if you don't fancy a museum today, having a simple wander around the first arrondissement can be just as inspiring. With Rue Saint-Honore, Avenue Montaigne, Palais Royal and Place Vendôme so close, you'd be foolish to let the opportunity slip by. Get your shopping out of the way before the last day of your Paris itinerary of 4 days and you won't feel as though you're rushing yourself to do it all. Even if, technically, you are.
Day 3: Afternoon
If you're (somehow) tired of sitting around soaking up the Paris atmosphere, the Musée de l'Orangerie is inside the grounds of the Tuileries. The Orangerie is where Monet's Water Lilies are found, an installation that André Masson once professed to be the 'Sixtine of Impressionism'. If you aren't tired of the atmosphere, pull up a chair by one of the big fountains in the Tuileries to take it all in. Lunch is at the oh-so-chic LouLou restaurant just a minute away from the Louvre.
Day 3: Evening
Use this evening to embrace more of Paris at nighttime. The quai walk to Pont Neuf is rather beautiful and if you do a detour down into the Latin Quarter, the Pantheon after nightfall is a sight for sore eyes. Across the road, the charming church of Saint-Etienne-du-Mont leads to the back streets you may recognise from 'Midnight in Paris'. After all that walking, you've probably built up an appetite for some traditional cuisine at Absinthe, a wonderful French brasserie in an equally wonderful location. After dinner, head over to trendy Experimental Cocktail Club, or instead try Le Garde Robe - arguably one of Paris' best wine bars before heading back to your gorgeous Parisian abode.
Day 4: Morning
It's the last morning of your Paris itinerary of 4 days, so head out from your luxury Parisian apartment make it iconic. Being the definitive sight to see in Paris, the Eiffel Tower seems fitting. If you feel like going up the tower, the queues aren't so bad if you go first thing on a morning (or during lunch). Alternatively, make an advanced booking through the official website to jump the queue completely.
Day 4: Afternoon
Since it's your last day in Paris, sit yourself down with a wonderful French wine on the Champs de Mars before heading to lunch at Au Bon Accueil. This wonderful restaurant serves seasonal market-fresh cuisine in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower. Could it get any better?
Day 4: Evening
Bid farewell to the City of Light in style with a dinner cruise along the Seine. Le Calife provides an all-round service, views to die for and special menus prepared onboard.