20 of the Best Things to Do and Add to your Paris Itinerary 2 Days Plan
The city of love couldn’t be more true for my personal life. I met my husband there. Serendipitous to the core, France’s capital of Paris truly does have a stamp on my heart thanks to meeting my soulmate. Yet, even though it has this stronghold and personal connection, it also continuously surprises me when I visit with a new beautiful cafe, the preservation of its culture and history, and its resilience after moments of catastrophe. It is definitely a place I could see myself exploring even further in future travels. But there are many of you out there who are planning your first trip to Paris and need some help on what to include in your Paris Itinerary 2 days plan! So here are 20 of our favourite things – some touristy staples and some others that will give you that well-rounded Paris itinerary 2 days experience just like the seasoned Parisian.
20 Favourite Things for any Paris Itinerary 2 Days Plan
1 – The Iconic Eiffel Tower
No trip to Paris, nor any Paris itinerary would be complete without a visit to the Eiffel Tower. Now, if you travel to Paris frequently, climbing it or visiting may not be on the top of your list, but we had to include it as it is one of our favourite things about Paris and for first-timers especially, they couldn’t possibly miss out on this iconic structure.
Choose from a variety of experiences at the Tower! You can climb it on foot (a fraction of the price of other options!), take the elevator, or simply view it from its feet. Or perhaps visit by night and get incredible city views with the beautiful lights. Being atop the Eiffel Tower when it is all lit up is an experience in itself!
Want to learn more about the Eiffel tower? Check out our fun facts about this historic monument here.
2 – Dinner at Jules Verne Restaurant
Now admit it. Have you opened up the book Moby Dick? Well, maybe not, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t indulge in a YOLO meal at this incredible restaurant named after the tale’s author right in the centre of the iconic Eiffel Tower. Dine in style at what is considered one of the most elegant and sought culinary experiences by visitors and locals in the city – the Jules Verne Restaurant. Ensure you make reservations in the Michelin star ultra gourmet hot spot as tables fill up super quick and you don’t want to be disappointed. Plus you get to ride up in their own private elevator!
Book a Tour: Paris: Full-Day Cooking Class with 4-Course Lunch
3 – The Arc De Triomphe
A landmark you simply cannot miss while navigating the city, the Arc de Triomphe is actually climbable! Now you have a way to work off all the French pastries you had for breakfast! Climb the 200+ steps and check out the incredible panoramic views of the city. How to get there? Well, don’t play a tacky game of Frogger! Use the underground tunnel to the Arc and go from there. The experience truly is a favourite and is less exerting than climbing the Eiffel Tower to the top.
4 – The Louvre
A treasure trove for art and history enthusiasts, the Louvre is the home of one of the largest collections ever curated. There are approx. 400,000 pieces of art of various media and origins housed in this architecturally spotless building, complete with famous pieces that draw thousands of travellers to its doors yearly. Spend the day or two marvelling at the works within these walls and then depart Paris knowing you educated yourself in a world gallery of talent and incredible influence. If you’re not the biggest art connoisseur, I’m still willing to believe that the Louvre is on your bucket list and part of your preliminary Paris Itinerary 2 days plan thanks to two (maybe 3) most famous pieces that call this museum home – the Mona Lisa, Madonna in Black (thanks to its cameo in the Da Vinci Code film), and the Venus de Milo. No fear if these are the only pieces you wish to see in person. You won’t get lost navigating your way through the galleries and will not require your phone’s GPS. The Louvre knows of this niche-interest group of visitors and created marked paths for easy access to nab the necessary photographs.
Book a Tour: Skip-the-Line Guided Louvre Museum Tour
5 – Disneyland Paris
Disney always will find a way into my posts as the love for the company and the characters truly flows through my veins. Even if Mickey speaks French and it sounds strange, you cannot miss paying him and all the princesses a visit while here.
Book a Tour: Disneyland Paris 1-Day Ticket
6 – Montmartre Sacre Coeur Basilica
I am very fond of churches and cathedrals. Perhaps a cornerstone to the European tourism magnet, holy buildings truly do extend history and architectural beauty to cities and towns. You cannot travel from one European city to another without passing a true structural masterpiece – and for the most part, it is a sacred building of faith. Other than the famous Notre Dame cathedral, Paris is home to several iconic churches that fit the bill for that traveller’s must-see list, especially on Paris Itinerary 2 days plans. And in particular, the gorgeous Sacre Coeur.
This delightful catholic church earned its namesake the “sacred heart” of Jesus, as the lord and saviour is the centre of Christianity. Located upon the highest point of the city, butte Montmartre, the Sacre Coeur is definitely worth a visit simply to capture the intricate details within its carefully designed walls, and for Catholics to seeking pilgrimage and worship while in the heart of the French capital. The church is a centerpiece for many a photograph and can easily be spotted atop the Eiffel Tower at night as its 360-degree illumination can be spotted miles away.
7 – Montmartre
This hilly and historical area of the capital is a must-see on any Paris itinerary 2 days plan. Centralized within the district is the Sacre Coeur basilica, but beyond the sacred walls of this gorgeous landmark is a collection of boutique shops, independent artisans, and of course, gourmet French cuisine. It is a very popular spot for tourists so when you visit, make sure you are prepared for the steep overpricing of food, drink along the expected European-style cobblestone streets. It is very much worth the time to explore and to locals, compares greatly to an intimate village as the Cotswolds in England.
8 – Notre Dame
This cathedral has become an overnight name thanks to Hollywood and of course the Parisian history it holds. The Hunchback of Notre Dame films over the decades have brought much awareness of the cathedral to the world attracting thousands to its pews to genuflect to Mary with rosaries in hand. I personally loved seeing this cathedral as it houses some of the most beautiful stained glass windows and architecture within the city. It does get very crowded and can be quite daunting if visited during peak season. Just remember that it is a house of worship and modest clothing is required to enter. Pictures are allowed, but do remember that there may be those in the building seeking refuge and a spot for prayer.
Want to learn more about the Notre Dame cathedral? Check out our guide here.
Book a Tour: Notre-Dame de Paris Tour and Traditional Breakfast
9 – The Conciergerie
As an avid fan of Marie Antoinette and the French Royal family of the past, I cannot recommend the Conciergerie enough. A dark element of the late queen’s life, the Conciergerie was the holding place for Antoinette before she was executed. Check out the exact jail cell where she was held captive and learn more about why she ended up there in the first place.
10 – Champs Elysees
Ready for some high-end shopping? Champs Elysees has your back. With all the big names in fashion, trends, and luxury, this area of the capital is the ultimate spot for the shopoholic in all of us. Grab a pink beret like me, a piece of jewellery, or indulge in a Luis Vuitton. You’re on holiday, so why not!?
11 – Moulin Rouge
This production is a staple in the heart of Paris. A theatrical spectacle of song, dance, tricks, capped off with a touch of burlesque with a risque twist. A definite culture tick, the Moulin Rouge experience truly gives visitors a taste of the French culture, a delicious meal, and a truly entertaining evening. You cannot take photographs while inside the theatre, but honestly who cares? You will be truly captivated by the show and continue talking about it later. Book your experience in advance to ensure preferred seating and the ultimate VIP treatment.
12 – Pere Lachaise Cemetery
I love the Doors. Their greatest hits are some of my favourite tunes on my ipod. Whether you are fan or not, the band definitely made an impact on the music industry back in the last 60’s and 70’s with its eclectic and influential tunes, controversial lyrics, and theatrical lead singer who sadly left the world prematurely through self inflicted addiction. Jim Morrison joined the ill-fated 27 club – a morbid membership that includes the likes of such notables as Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, James Dean, Kurt Cobain, and Amy Winehouse to name a few. To this day, thousands still revere him as a true musical legend and visit his grave located right in Paris at the Pere Lachaise Cemetery.
The final resting place for hundreds, the Pere Lachaise Cemetery receives thousands of visitors, mainly devoted Doors groupies wanting to leave fan mail and messages to the beloved lead singer. Over the years Jim’s grave has taken quite a bit of tourist abuse from vandalism, defacement, and even orgies. The family was forced to fence in his tombstone in hopes his final resting place will be respected and left alone. If you really want to find his grave quickly through the maze of gravestones, you can purchase a map from the vendor just outside that offers a marked path.
13 – Versailles
A small drive just outside the Paris city centre, the Versailles palace is a true haven for any French royal historian. The home of Marie Antoinette and Louis, the palace grounds feature a ton of incredible artifacts, the hall of mirrors, gorgeous gardens, and even a lake. Devote at least half a day to get a true experience as the grounds are so vast. Go early as the admission lines get quite lengthy resulting in wait times that could exceed 30-45 mins.
14 – La Seine
The river running through the city centre, La Seine, is one of the most beautiful of all the European waterways. Grab a sunset cruise or just along the banks of the river. Stop at the large global map and get a photo standing on your country of nationality.
15 – Musee D’Orsay
Another museum to get your inner artist excited, the Musee D’Orsay brings pieces from the 1800’s to visitors. A converted railway station, the Musee D’Orsay is perfectly situated on the left side of La Seine and is an ideal spot to enjoy after a cruise on the river. Enjoy intricate architecture, photography genius, and the largest collection of impressionist and post-impressionist works in the entire world.
16 – Eating French Pastry
Okay foodies, your time has come! France is well known for cutting edge pastries, cheesy mains, and some of the most incredible sauces I have ever experienced. And are you seriously all that surprised when one of the most prestigious cooking schools is located right in the city? Our inner Julia Child has spoken. Sample croissants macarons, crepes, and eclairs. You’re going to work them all off with all the climbing of monuments you’ll be doing so why not indulge your inner culinary palate and try one of everything?
17 – Escargots
Now on to the savoury after indulging in the sweets! One of the delicacies in France are the escargots…snails. Don’t sneer! They are delicious. If you didn’t know what they were, you would try them i’m sure without hesitation. So tick this cultural tick off your foodie bucket list. Just keep in mind that they tend to be heavy on the garlic…so if you are in mixed company, ensure you have breath mints on hand!
18 – French Opera House
Since 1859 the French Opera House has been entertaining guests with its seamless productions. An architectural centrepiece in Paris, it is the subject of many a photograph on city tours and sightseeing trips. Enjoy an iconic opera performance, attend a celebratory ball, or simply marvel at its exterior while in the capital.
19 – Fragonard Perfumery
There’s nothing quite like French perfume. Calvin Klein and Marc Jacobs try to emulate the scents and aromas, but in the end, they are not nearly as fragrant or spectacular as the original thing. The seduction and magic of perfume brought Fragonard Perfumery to the world in 1926. And since then, it has been producing some of the most incredible quality perfumes in the world. French Perfume just has that reputation and prestige that North American variations cannot compare. See it first hand while in Paris and grab your favourite in the gift shop. The perfumery is still run by the original family who founded the company and continues to bring original products to the French and International markets. Tours can be arranged daily and should be booked in advance.
20 – Lock Bridge
A controversial addition to this list, but the lock bridge definitely belongs on your Paris itinerary 2 days plan. Thousands and thousands of locks are added to the lock bridge yearly by lovebirds wishing to profess their commitment and adoration to the world. The weight over the years has caused severe damage to the bridge, warranting serious and vital repairs for public safety. The locks are getting removed frequently by French authorities, but travellers continue to replace them once removed. Take a picture, walk across the bridge, but don’t leave a lock unless absolutely necessary. When I was there, it wasn’t a taboo action, but nowadays, it is not recommended due to the damage that has unfolded. It is still worth seeing though!
So there you have a great starting point for your ultimate Paris itinerary 2 days plan! Incorporate some or all of these incredible experiences and you are sure to have an incredible Paris holiday.
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