Post overview: 4 day Paris itinerary
Visiting Paris (especially for the first time) and don’t know where to start? I’m your gal! I’ve had an unabashed fascination with Paris since I was a kid, and as an adult I visit the city at every opportunity I get.
Since I’m the chatterbox who never stops talking about how great the city is, more than one friend has asked me for help planning their own trip. And you know what Uncle Ben says, with great power comes great responsibility.
So fueled by a constant supply of drip coffee and a hard-drive full of inspiring pictures, I wrote this article to help. This 4 day Paris itinerary will guide you to the top landmarks and a few worthy destinations off the beaten-path.
But hey, enough of the small talk. Let’s get started planning your 4 days in Paris!
Visiting Paris? If you haven’t decided where to stay (yet) check out our helpful guide on Where to Stay in Paris (The best neighborhoods for first timers + two to avoid). Don’t have time? Here’s my favorite hotel in Paris, hands down.
Who is this 4 days in Paris itinerary for?
I’ve geared this 4 day Paris itinerary specifically towards first time visitors who don’t even know where to begin planning. If you don’t know anything about Paris besides what you’ve seen in the movies, consider this is your launching pad into the French capital.
I’ll help narrow down where to stay, offer helpful tips, give recommendations on dining and (of course) help you see all the can’t-miss landmarks you’ve likely been dreaming of visiting.
If you’ve been to Paris odds are you’ve likely done some of the things I recommend in this article. But feel free to read anyways because I might surprise you with something new. The classics are classics for a reason, right? 😉
Is 4 days in Paris enough time?
When asked if 4 days in Paris is enough my time, my answer is always a resounding yes! In fact – 4 days in Paris is the sweet spot for a first time visitor.
It’s enough time to peruse the famous landmarks without running out of things to do. It’s easy to want to spend as much time as possible in a new city but contrary to popular belief, it’s easier to plan a shorter trip than a long one.
More time means more options, and more options can be paralyzing.
With 4 days in Paris you’ll easily fill an itinerary, sprinkle in some personal points of interest and leave knowing what to expect on a second visit.
Tips for visiting Paris for the first time
Decide what type of experience you’re after. When deciding where to stay in Paris you’ll first have to determine why you’re actually visiting. A history buff will plan a different 4 days in Paris than someone visiting for nightlife. Once you iron out the purpose behind your visit you’ll have a better lens to build your 4 day Paris itinerary.
Download an offline Google Map. Unless you’re willing to pay steep cell phone service premiums, odds are your internet access in Europe will be limited to places that offer WiFi. This can leave you in a pickle while spending 4 days in Paris. Luckily you can download a map on Google for offline use. While you can’t have it route you places, it’s still an invaluable tool while navigating a new city.
Determine your budget & book in advance. I’m not too proud to beg, I implore you! Please book your stay well in advance! Hotel prices go up the closer you get to your trip and you don’t want to be left scrambling. Not to mention popular attractions sell out and restaurants grow to capacity, so when applicable, book in advance!
Paris businesses close for a midday break: Americans can learn a thing or two from Europeans when it comes to resting. In fact the work/life balance is one of the biggest pros of living in Paris. With that said you should remember that a lot of businesses in Paris close for a prolonged lunch break around midday. Check schedules and make accommodations to eat/visit stores before noon or after 2PM during your 4 days in Paris.
wee oui bit of French: Let’s address the elephant in the room, we’ve all heard stories of locals being snobby to tourists because they don’t speak French. I can honestly say that Parisians are kind folks, but I won’t lie and say you might not catch some ‘tude. Practice basic French words to (at least) be able to greet people in French.
Why is Paris divided into arrondissements?
So you’ve likely heard the word “arrondissement” and are wondering what the hell is that and why should I care if I’m only spending 4 days in Paris? I’m glad you asked! Let’s start with the basics — arrondissements is the French word for districts.
Let’s break it down some more. In 1860 Baron Haussmann was instructed by Emperor Napoleon III to renovate the city. He was told to make it more beautiful, clean, efficient and safe (by removing creepy alleys and the sort).
One of the steps Haussman took was creating the arrondissement system. He numbered districts in Paris, starting at the Île de la Cité (the island where the Notre Dame is in the Seine River) and working in a spiral, like a snail’s shell.
The arrondissements help break the city up into bite-size pieces. Now instead of organizing things like garbage-pickup, schools, police precincts etc. for an entire city, Paris was able to make city planning more digestable.
It also makes planning a 4 day Paris itinerary a little easier since you might realize two landmarks are in the same arrondissement and visit them both while in the area. Do you have to memorize the arrondissements? Not unless you’re applying for a job in city planning, but it’s always nice to be an informed visitor.
4 Day Paris Itinerary
4 Day Paris Itinerary: Day 1
Jet-lag is no match for the rush of adrenaline you get after landing in France. Let’s get started; our four day Paris itinerary begins with one of the world’s most visited landmarks and continues with one home run after another.
Top sights for day one:
- Notre Dame
- Catacombs + Montparnasse Cemetery (Optional)
- Luxembourg Gardens
- Hôtel des Invalides or Musée Rodin
- The Eiffel Tower
Paris Itinerary, Day 1 Morning: Île de la Cité + Latin Quarter
Unbeknownst to most first time visitors, Paris is home to an island. No need to bring your swimsuits though, the Île de la Cité is where the first rulers of the city (and later the country) built their homes.
We’ll start this 4 day Paris itinerary at the door of the Notre Dame de Paris, a cathedral that calls the island home. Built with striking Gothic architecture, even non-Catholics can’t help but appreciate the history and beauty.
The church was made even more world-famous after being the site of the Coronation of Napoleon and Victor Hugo’s novel (later a Disney Movie), The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Unfortunately, the church is closed to the public until late 2024 due to a tragic fire in 2019. Restoration efforts are in full swing but that hasn’t stopped folks from visiting.
The city has built bleachers in front of the church to allow folks to admire it from afar. Plus, the rest of the Île de la Cité is worth perusing during your 4 days in Paris. It’s chock full of gift shops, street performers and cafes!
From the Notre Dame cross the Seine River into the Latin Quarter, a neighborhood that’s home to a dozen universities. It got its name because during the Middle Ages the universities predominantly taught in Latin.
Head towards the Pantheon, which should be relatively easy to spot from the skyline. Its cupola looks like it belongs on a government building, standing tall like a North Star that inspires curiosity.
The building was commissioned by King Louis XV to be a church, but the French Revolution had other plans. After the revolution it was converted into a mausoleum for notable French citizens.
Voltaire, Victor Hugo and Alexandre Dumas all call the Pantheon are all laid to rest in the Pantheon.
The interior is just as striking as the exterior, and luckily you can tour it. Just remember you’ll have to book tickets ahead of time, the Pantheon is a popular landmark that you’ll need to plan ahead for during your 4 days in Paris.
And while you’re on the website consider booking tickets to climb the dome too. From the 270 foot dome you’ll get stunning, panoramic views of the city that will surely be a highlight of your 4 days in the Paris.
Catacombs + Montparnasse Cemetery (Optional)
One of the biggest attractions in Paris are its catacombs, which house the remains of more than 6 million people. I understand not everyone will have an interest, so feel free to skip this and continue with the 4 day Paris itinerary.
If you do choose to make the stop I don’t think you’ll regret it. It’s a 30 minute walk from the Pantheon or you can hail a cab and cut the trip in half.
The catacombs are managed by the Musée de Paris, so this isn’t some sneaky or clandestine suggestion. Instead it’s a well organized excursion that helps tell the story of the French capital and its people.
Just remember, you need to purchase tickets before heading down into the catacombs. Don’t waste one of your 4 days in Paris heading to the catacombs only to be turned away because they’re sold out!
The tour of the catacombs takes about an hour. When you’re done you can consider making the pit-stop at the Montparnasse Cemetery. Opened 200 years ago, it’s the second largest cemetery in Paris and has 35,000+ graves.
Strolling through the cemetery isn’t meant to be morbid, it’s a genuine attraction you should consider during your 4 days in Paris. You’ll stumble across ornate and beautiful grave sites and more than one famous name.
Among the notable people buried at the cemetery are former President of France Jacques Chirac, former dictator of Mexico Porfirio Diaz and architect of the Palais Garnier Opera Charles Garnier.
Paris Itinerary, Day 1 Afternoon: Luxembourg Gardens
Next on our 4 day Paris itinerary is the Luxembourg Garden, backyard of the Luxembourg Palace, which is home to the French Senate. But no need to freshen up on your French legislature, visiting the garden is free to the public.
It was commissioned by Marie de’ Medici, the widow of King Henry IV who decided the Louvre was no longer a desirable place to live (I wonder if they hung up a for rent sign on it when she moved out). She built the Luxembourg Palace in imitation of the place she was born — Pitti Palace in Florence.
Visiting is a must during your 4 days in Paris, it’s ornate and beautiful. As you meander through its gravel paths and greenery you’ll stumble upon statues, fountains and colorful blooms.
You especially need to include the Luxembourg Gardens on your 4 day Paris itinerary if you’re visiting the city with kids. There’s ample space to run around, but plot twist! Unlike most parks in the U.S. there isn’t a playground.
Instead it’s home to one of the best things to do in Paris with kids, sailing miniature sailboats in the Grand Bassin (an artificial pond at the center of the garden). You can bring your own boat (but good luck fitting it into your carry on) or rent one from a stall that’s parked in front of the pond during the spring and summer.
Saint Germain des Pres
After perusing the Luxembourg Gardens make your way towards Saint Germain des Pres, a neighborhood famous for offering a little bit of everything. This 4 day Paris itinerary gives you some time to leisurely explore the neighborhood, chasing down cute alleys or slowing down enough to enjoy a glass of wine.
The area was a hotbed for writers and artists in the early 1900’s, and you can join their ranks by visiting their old stomping grounds. Cafe Flor and Les Deux Magots still offer unrivaled charm that keep nonstop lines out their door.
Or if you’re spending 4 days in Paris with the intention of shopping, this is your first real opportunity to do so. The Boulevard Saint Germain has multiple luxury designer shops including Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Dior.
But the real gem is a pharmacy selling (massively) discounted skincare. They offer such great prices it’s the highlight for countless tourists, and I’m guilty of filling up half my suitcase with their goodies (I wish I was joking).
Saint Germain is also home to a museum, dessert shops, a National Theater of France and the oldest church in Paris. For more help planning this part of your 4 day Paris itinerary read my best things to do in St. Germain guide.
Paris Itinerary, Day 1 Afternoon: Your First Museum
From Saint Germain this 4 day Paris itinerary brings you to two of the most famous museums in Paris, the Musée de l’Armée and the Musée Rodin. They’re a stone’s throw from each other, so the choice of which to visit is up to you!
Option A: Hôtel des Invalides and the Musée de l’Armée
Your first option is the Musée de l’Armée, which is housed inside the Hôtel des Invalides. The Hôtel des Invalides was commissioned in 1670 to house France’s wounded war veterans.
It’s a stunning display of grandeur, and it’s still used for that purpose to it’s day. It’s also home to the Army Museum, which tells the stories of the French military and weapons of warfare (like cannons, armor etc.)
But the Musée de l’Armée is perhaps most famous for being the site of Napoleon’s Tomb. It’s housed in an opulent chapel with a golden dome, and the tomb itself is elegant and massive.
History buffs will be wise not to leave this off their 4 day Paris itinerary, and if you have the time (and energy) perusing the rest of the Army Museum is worthwhile too.
Option B: Musée Rodin
Neighboring the Hotel des Invalides, Musée Rodin is your another option for this part of the 4 day Paris itinerary. The museum opened its doors in 1919, completing a wish of its namesake artist: Auguste Rodin.
To keep a long story short, Auguse Rodin was a renowned French sculptor who was friends with a number of the world’s brightest artists. He used the Hôtel Biron as an art studio for years, and agreed to leave his entire collection to the French state if they agreed to turn the estate into a museum dedicated to his art.
The French government agreed. The more than 6,000 sculptures alone would make Musée Rodin a worthy stop, but wait, there’s more. When Rodin passed in 1917 he left the museum his entire private collection of paintings.
They include work by some of the day’s brightest minds including Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Pablo Picasso. The Musée Rodin is a great place to visit during your 4 days in Paris, especially if you love art.
Paris Itinerary, Day 1 Night: The Eiffel Tower, Baby
Did you really believe I’d let you spend your first day visiting Paris without bringing you to the Eiffel Tower? Come on, cruelty goes against my morals!
I merely saved the best for last, that this 4 day Paris itinerary needed a little wow-factor.
A lot of folks think the Iron Lady is over-romanticized, but I disagree. There’s something about the 1,000 foot tower that evokes a deep-rooted sense of inspiration, especially at night.
Regardless of the time you visit, you have to stick around and watch it sparkle. I’m not a pushy person, but this is a non-negotiable. The Eiffel Tower sparkles for the first five minutes of every hour, after sundown.
There are two main sites to watch the show.
The first of which is the Champs de Mars. It’s a long, green field where cheery folks on picnic blankets drink wine and gawk at the tower. Arriving early in the afternoon allows you the freedom to roam the green space.
The other is spot is the Trocadero, a square across the Seine River that has a direct view of the tower. There’s a fountain and street musicians giving the whole evening a surreal feeling.
A crowd will often grow in anticipation and when the tower dances in the darkness folks erupt in giddy cheer. People will clap and sometimes even share a kiss like it’s new years eve. There isn’t a better way to end the first of your 4 days in Paris.
But I’ll leave you with a word of caution. After the first Eiffel Tower sparkle-sesh the nearby metro station floods with crowds. I’m not claustrophobic but I was sympathizing with sardines the entire time.
Give it at least 20 minutes before even attempting to head down to the metro station. Hopefully by then the crowds have dissipated.
Paris Itinerary for 4 Days: Day 2
Yes, this 4 day Paris itinerary had a lot of walking on day one and day two will continue the hot-streak. Today you’ll explore the center of Paris and see some of the city’s most palatial attractions.
Top sights for day two:
- Palais Royale
- Palais Garnier
- Galeries Lafayette
- Parc Monceau
- Champs-Elysées + Arc de Triomphe
Paris Itinerary, Day 2 Morning: The Louvre
The Louvre is magnificent in every sense of the word. A lot of folks think it can be glossed over during your first trip to Paris but I strongly (strongly!) disagree.
How do you justify spending 4 days in Paris and not make the stop? Home to some of the world’s most famous and valuable art pieces, even the building itself is a work of art.
Initially built as a fortress before being repurposed as a royal palace, the building officially became a museum in 1793. It’s since spent the last 230 years foraging the globe for the most riveting art.
Architecture aside, you can’t sleep on the opportunity to see the Mona Lisa with your own eyes! More impressive than the honorable Mona (in my opinion), is the Coronation of Napoleon.
But with more than 350,000 pieces of art in its collection you don’t want to get lost in the maze of a museum. My suggestion is spending no more than four hours in the Louvre to keep on schedule with this 4 day Paris itinerary.
I have a full article written about the best things to see at the Louvre which will prove helpful in planning. It’s said if you spent 30 seconds admiring every piece of art at the Louvre it would take you 200 days to see it all, so don’t lost track of time!
Paris Itinerary, Day 2 Afternoon: A Few Palaces 😉
From the Louvre (hopefully your feet are doing okay) you’ll be doing some more walking. There’s a few palaces on this 4 day Paris itinerary up next, along with some shopping opportunities.
Palais Royale Garden
Constructed during the 1600’s, the Palais Royale is now a government building but its garden is open to the public.
The well maintained garden is a part of the stunning palace and builds upon its elegant presentation. It’s home to a fountain, tree-lined pathways and beds of flowers that simply can’t be resisted.
This is a great spot to pick up an afternoon caffeine-boost, because the inside of the garden is home to some of the best cafes in Paris. You can also just rest your legs for a minute after all that walking at the Louvre.
Otherwise I suggest a quick pop-in just to see what a palace’s courtyard looks like. It’s on the way to the next stop on this 4 day Paris itinerary, so you lose no time in dropping by.
Commissioned by Napoleon III in 1861, the 1,900+ seat Palais Garnier took 14 years to complete. It would be the only official Paris Opera for over 100 years, until the Opera Bastille opened in 1989.
Seeing a show is electric and (if time allows) one of the best things to do during your 4 days in Paris. There are concerts, operas and ballets all performed at Palais Garnier.
But even if you don’t see a show, you can take a self-guided tour of the interior for less than €20. The tour is worth adding to your 4 day Paris itinerary, the intricate architecture extends to the inside of this fanciful building.
Paris Itinerary, Day 2 Afternoon: Galeries Lafayette + Parc Monceau
After stopping by the two palaces you’ll enjoy a little taste of what daily life in Paris is like. We’ll stop by a fancy department store and then to a neighborhood park that’s so picturesque it doesn’t seem real.
A luxury department store catered to those with no self-control (aka, me), Galeries Lafayette is as beautiful as it is full of merchandise. Every major designer you can think of can be found under the one, majestic roof.
The store looks like an eight-story palace and it’s well-worth visiting, even if you don’t plan on doing any retail-therapy. The store also has a free, rooftop terrace offering one of the best views of the Eiffel Tower.
Galeries Lafayette has more than one location. When you’re following this 4 day Paris itinerary (and want to head to their best branch) be sure to GPS Galeries Lafayette Haussmann
Parc Monceau (Optional)
Parc Monceau is a public park opened in 1779 whose charm has only grown with the years. The park provides a place to catch your breath and visiting is one of the best free things to do in Paris.
In the park you’ll find a miniature Egyptian pyramid, a Roman colonnade, a Dutch windmill, a Chinese fort and more. It’s remarkable how they’ve been able to squeeze bits of the world into a small urban park. It feels much larger than its true 20 acre size.
At any given time you’ll find locals going for a jog or walking their dogs in the park. It’s a worthy addition to your 4 day Paris itinerary if you want to play local for a little while, tasting what daily life in Paris is like.
Day 2 in Paris itinerary, evening: Champs-Elysées + Arc de Triomphe
Let’s spend a little time on the most famous street in Paris, shall we?
The Champs-Elysées is an avenue that begins at Place de la Concorde runs about a mile and a half before coming to and end at the Arc de Triomphe. The entire walk takes about a half hour if you don’t stop to peruse.
And the Champs-Élysees is one of the city’s major tourist attractions. The eight-lane avenue is used by 3,000 cars per hour. That number pales in comparison to the 300,000 visitors the Champs-Élysées gets, daily.
The stores found on the Champs-Elysees are the kind rich socialites shop at in the movies (you know, where the chauffeur carries a load of designer bags to a fancy SUV). I only say that half jokingly!
The reality is shopping in Paris is a lot less intimidating than it sounds (even for those of us with modest bank accounts). You can also pop into stores like Louis Vuitton or Christian Dior just to window shop, too.
If your 4 days in Paris coincides with the first Sunday of the month, you’re in luck! The City of Paris makes the Champs-Élysées a car free environment for the day to reduce pollution.
Arc de Triomphe
If seeing the City of Light from a viewpoint isn’t on your bucketlist I’ll give you time to write it down now.
All jokes aside, seeing the city unfurl at your feet like a map will be one of the highlights of your 4 days in Paris. There’s no better place to do that than from the Arc de Triomphe.
Commissioned by Napoleon in 1806, the monumental arch is a striking display of expertly carved limestone meant to commemorate the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars. It’s also the home to France’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
And unbeknownst to many first time visitors, you can climb to the top (book tickets ASAP!). In order to get to the top of Arc de Triomphe, you’ll need to climb a steep set of stairs (284 steps… I know, I’m sorry).
The stairs will eventually lead to the rooftop terrace, where you get some of the most breathtaking views of the city. I guarantee this will be a core memory of your 4 days in Paris!
To me the Arc de Triomphe provides an even better view of Paris than if you were to climb the Eiffel Tower. The reason? From the Arc de Triomphe you can actually see the Eiffel Tower.
I had this 4 day Paris itinerary end day two here because the views are best during sunset or at night. Fingers crossed you get to see the Eiffel Tower sparkle!
4 Days in Paris Itinerary: Day 3
Day three of this four day Paris itinerary will bring a change of pace. Instead of running and gunning through the city having drive-by photo shoots, you’ll instead be exploring one of the city’s most captivating neighborhoods.
Top sights for day 3 in Paris:
- Best Croissant in Paris
- Exploring Montmartre
- Moulin Rouge
Day 3 in Paris Itinerary, Morning: Carton
The winner of 2022’s Best Croissant in Paris, Carton is a gem on this 4 day Paris itinerary. Although all of the city’s bakeries have some merit (a bad bakery doesn’t survive in France) Carton stands head and shoulders above the rest.
After taste testing the croissant myself, and coming back to confirm my findings 😉 I can attest this treat is delightful. Not only is it expertly buttered and flaky, it’s also the prettiest croissant I’ve ever laid my eyes on.
Carton also has a great deal where for roughly €5 you can have a petite dejeuner (breakfast) consisting of a croissant or pain au chocolat, an espresso and a cup of orange juice.
If you want the croissant all by itself it’ll only set you back €1.20, and at that price you might as well get one for the road too. Safe to say this is one of the best cheap eats you’ll enjoy during your 4 days in Paris.
Day 3 in Paris Itinerary, (Mid) Morning: Explore Montmartre
Few neighborhoods encapuslate Paris’ charm to the extent of Montmartre. You can film an entire romantic film in the nieghborhood, floating between its cafes, viewpoints, gift shops and the world famous Basilica de Sacre-Coeur.
Take your time leisurely strolling through the neighborhood, it warrants all your attention. There’s a reason this 4 day Paris itinerary gives you a full day here! Here are a few fun things to do while exploring Montmartre.
Place du Tertre
In the very heart of Montmartre is an artist hot pocket you cannot afford to miss during your 4 days in Paris. In the Place du Tertre (a public square), there is a congregation of talented artists selling original artwork al fresco.
The most common art being made are portraits, often for tourists. Folks sit down in front of an artist and have themselves painted or drawn. If interested, peruse the artists and find one whose style you like.
Having said that, if you want to leave with a reminder of your 4 days in Paris, one of these paintings is hard to beat.
I’ll admit I have yet to get one myself, but having visited multiple times I have no reservations saying these artists are incredibly talented.
Visit the charming La Maison Rose
It’s easy to assume La Maison Rose has social media wrapped around its finger because of a famous Emily in Paris scene. In reality visiting the pink restaurant has been famous long before the Netflix show was created.
The restaurant was originally a house used as a painting studio by Ramon Pinchot, a Spanish artist. He was friends with Pablo Picasso and a mentor to a young Salvador Dali. The best artists of the time would gather at the house.
Over the next century La Maison Rose has changed hands more than once, but always remained a fixture in the neighborhood. In the present its iconic pink facade helps make it a popular attraction you can visit during your 4 days in Paris.
I’ll be transparent and say that you’ll probably want to keep your visit solely on the outside. The food isn’t nearly as memorable as the building itself.
Celebrate any occasion at Terrass’ Hotel rooftop bar
Celebrating something during your 4 days in Paris? If so, I have the perfect place for you to clink glasses.
One of my favorite rooftop bars is situated on the seventh floor of the Terrass Hotel. It offers breathtaking views of the city and amazing drinks follow in tow.
The menu is small, consisting of cocktails and small bites but the quality is exceptional. Cocktails will run you anywhere from 10 to 17€, which is on par with the rest of Paris.
Terrass’ rooftop bar doesn’t take reservations so it’s first come, first served. It’s for the best since I fear reservations would book them out months in advance! This way you’re able to squeeze a drink in during your 4 days in Paris.
Day 3 in Paris Itinerary, Afternoon: Sacre Couer
Still within Montmartre is the Basilica de Sacre Couer, a church so grand it deserves it’s own section on your 4 day Paris itinerary. The magnificent church was built in the Romano-Byzantine style at the end of the 19th century.
Incredibly it is still used to this day as an important house of worship. Standing atop a butte, it overlooks Montmartre and offers sweeping views of Paris.
Even non-religious guests can appreciate its splendor. The church has beautiful domes that refuse to be ignored. As you walk closer you’ll notice smaller, more mind-blowing details, like intricate carvings in the limestone facade.
The skilled laborers that built the basilica could work with stone better than I can Play-Doh.
You can tour the inside for free, but there is usually a line. Fret not, it moves quickly and once inside you’ll be even more impressed. There are chapels with beautiful artwork and pews for those who would like to sit for a moment, finding reprieve during your 4 days in Paris.
And the views from the basilica’s front steps are some of the best. On any given day you’ll see swarms of tourists and locals alike, laid out on the lawn enjoying the panorama. End your days by joining them, watching the sunset.
Day 3 in Paris Itinerary, Evening: Moulin Rouge
I had heard the name “Moulin Rouge” for years before actually learning what it is. For those in a similar boat, Le Moulin Rouge translates to “The Red Mill” and it’s the home of the most famous cabarets in the world!
Just because the sun goes down doesn’t mean the night has to end, and this 4 day Paris itinerary has a show for you tonight. Catching a cabaret at Moulin Rouge is a must thanks to both the entertainment and the venue’s history.
Cabarets are best described as halfway between a concert and a musical. Dancers take the stage and perform (historically women, in flashy garb) while guests eat and drink at their tables.
The cabaret opened in 1889, the same year that Paris hosted the World’s Fair (and built another iconic landmark). Tourists from around the world flocked to the French capital and many stopped by Moulin Rouge, growing its fame and in a lot of ways, its notoriety (because the dancing was of a provocative nature).
As time would tell Moulin Rouge became a bona fide homerun. More than 130 years later it’s still one of Paris’ most recognizable landmarks which is how it ended up on your 4 day itinerary. You’ll find its facade decorating postcards, totes and even T-shirts.
You can book tickets for dinner and a show online, and they’re also one of the best ways to spend a night in Paris. Each person will receive half a bottle of champagne (hello!) and be starstruck by the world-class dancing on stage.
4 Days in Paris Itinerary: Day 4
The long dreaded day is here, the last of your 4 days in Paris. You’ll spend the first half taking a day trip to Versailles and
Top sights for day 4 in Paris:
- Palace of Versailles
- Le Marais
- Place de la Bastille
Day 4 in Paris, Morning: Palace of Versailles
More than one friend has asked me whether taking a day trip from Paris to Versailles is worth it. My answer is always a resounding yes! With only 4 days in Paris leaving the city might seem like a waste of precious time, but hear me out.
This might be the most popular/famous day trip from Paris because of its easy accessibility. It’s a mere 30 minute train ride from downtown and it feels like you’re in a whole new city.
The Palace of Versailles is the main attraction, it used to be the official royal residence of the top dogs until the French Revolution in 1789. Today the palace is open to the public a worthy attraction to include on your 4 day Paris itinerary.
The Hall of Mirrors (unreal) is an eye-popping display of opulence and grandeur, it’s hard not to feel small in it. And Marie Antoinette’s gardens are a must-visit, you’ll get to relax like royalty – literally.
Squeezing in the trip to Versailles during your 4 days in Paris is not only possible, it’s worth it. You can dedicate a half-day to it so it doesn’t take up too much of your precious time in the City of Light.
Helpful Note: If you’re going to add the Palace of Versailles to your Paris itinerary (as you should!), make sure to book tickets well in advance. This is especially true if you plan on Visiting Paris in the summer. Otherwise you’ll be stuck in the infamous long lines. Here’s the official website to book your tickets.
Day 3 in Paris Itinerary, Afternoon: Le Marais
It’s quite ironic that an area that was once a swamp is now one of the most charming neighborhoods in Paris. Shrek would be so proud. But don’t worry, we won’t be hunting any gators during your 4 days in Paris.
Le Marais is the quintessential Parisian neighborhood. The streets are lined with trendy boutiques and blissful cafes that capture folks’ amazement like a squirrel in a garden does to a dog.
And it’s also home to a few attractions including a slew of museums and green-spaces. Let’s go over what you can’t afford to miss in Le Marais on the last of your 4 days in Paris.
Hôtel de Ville
The Hôtel de Ville is not an actual hotel, it’s actually Paris City Hall. Rigorous city planning happens daily within its walls, so to get inside you’ll first need to befriend the mayor.
If that doesn’t seem like a feasible plan, stopping by to gander at the monolithic structure from the outside is your next best option. The front courtyard is a city square you can easily add to your 4 day Paris itinerary.
Construction began in 1535 under the supervision of King Francis I. The building would continue to be extended and renovated by French monarchs for 100 more years.
In 1871 it was burned and destroyed, but the Hôtel de Ville was rebuilt with the same design. Only difference is it was made even bigger. All this to say calling it a “palatial estate” would be an understatement.
The Pompidou Center is one of the most popular museums in Paris, as well as being one of its most unique. It resembles a colorful factory, like what you’d see in a children’s movie.
It’s home to the National Museum of Modern Art, one of the top-10 most visited museums in the world. But the museum doesn’t take up all of the Centre Pompidou’s 8-million square feet.
There’s also a performing-arts theater, two screening rooms, and a library.The full run-down of what you can expect and tickets to each distinct event are listed on the Centre Pompidou’s official website.
With this being the last of your 4 days in Paris getting tickets to the museum and seeing the inside probably won’t work with the itinerary. I suggest swinging by the public square and seeing the facade with your own eyes before moving on with the last of your 4 day Paris itinerary.
Place des Vosges + Maison de Victor Hugo
Dating back to 1605, the Place des Vosges is the former stomping grounds of French royals and nobility. Today it’s one of the prettiest parks in the city, surrounded on all sides by beautiful buildings and irresistible cafes.
On any given day you’ll find the park littered with locals, sprawled out on picnic blankets. Since this 4 day Paris itinerary has you swinging by in the afternoon you’ll see the park in full swing, and you might be tempted to join.
The surrounding cafes will be open and ready to host, so if you need a quick bite this is a great place to stop. Either grab a pastry to go and eat it in the park or find a sit-down place for a formal meal.
From the Place des Vosges you can visit the Maison de Victor Hugo.
Victor Hugo was a French writer that has inspired millions of people all around the globe. His most famous works (Les Miserables, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Ruy Blas) have been damn-near immortal since they were written.
So one of the things to do during your 4 days in Paris is pay his former apartment a visit. It has been converted into a museum! He lived in the apartment from 1832 to 1848 and it’s been recreated to look exactly as it would have in those times.
The home is conveniently located in the Place des Vosges so you can kill two birds with one stone. Plus the museum is operated by the City of Paris which means its permanent collection won’t cost you a euro to tour.
Day 3 in Paris Itinerary, Evening: Bastille
This 4 day Paris itinerary ends in a neighborhood known for its nightlife, Bastille. Start at the Place de la Bastille, the main square before moving onto celebratory drinks.
Place de la Bastille
History buffs will love adding the Place de la Bastille to their 4 day Paris itinerary. It’s the site of the former prison that helped spark the French Revolution.
On July 14th, 1789 French Revolutionaries stormed the Bastille, a political prison which was seen as a symbol of the abusive monarchy. July 14th is now known as Bastille Day and is France’s national holiday, celebrated with the same fervor as the 4th of July is in America.
And although the prison is now gone a major city square takes its place. At its center is a monumental column that looms over the streets below. Contrary to popular belief it doesn’t commemorate the Storming of the Bastille, rather the Revolution of 1830.
But I won’t go down the French Revolutions rabbit hole, that’s a story for another day.
Rue de Lappe
I’m confident that on a warm Friday night the Rue de Lapp is the happiest street on earth. The narrow cobble-stone street swells with tourists and locals attracted by the liveliness and drinks.
If you’re looking to clink glasses and cheer to a fun-filled 4 days in Paris, there is no better place.
The street is lined with cafes, bars and restaurants on both sides. Loud music is to be expected and drinks flow easily, you have to make an conscious effort not to get carried away.
If you wanted a fun night out during your 4 days in Paris this is your last opportunity. Otherwise stop by for a crispy brew and then head out and take a stroll, soaking in the last little bit of Parisian magic.
Here’s my tip: from the Rue de Lappe head south until you hit the Seine River. Spend your last night in Paris walking along the river and taking in the City of Light for all its glory.
More helpful Paris Guides:
I’ve written about my experiences exploring the French capital in multiple helpful guides. While planning your 4 day Paris itinerary some might prove to be helpful, I’ll list a few of them here:
- Shopping in Paris: A Shopaholic’s Guide to The Fashion Capital of The World
- 25 Exciting Things to Do in Paris With Kids (For All Budgets)
- 15+ Delightful Day Trips From Paris (Exploring the City’s Surrounding Gems)
- 20 Honest Pros & Cons of Living in Paris (To Help You Decide Whether to Pack Your Bags)
- 15 Satisfying Cheap Eats in Paris (That Will Save You a Buck)
- 30 Epic Things to Do in Paris at Night (The City of Lights After Dark)
- 15 Special Things to Do in Paris in The Spring (+ What to Pack!)
- 15 Exciting Facts About The Eiffel Tower (You May Not Know!)
- 20 Epic Views of The Eiffel Tower (Including Restaurants + Hotels)
- 25 Exciting Museums in Paris (To Lose Track of Time in)
Will I be disappointed while visiting Paris?
Listen, you know I’m all about honesty, and I never want to mislead you. So let’s chat about this.
Paris is able to captivate a special place in a person’s heart long before they board the plane for their first visit to Paris. Why is that? I’m guessing it has to do with the glorification of the City of Light in the movies and shows we watch growing up.
There’s no denying that Paris is a romanticized city. As such, it’s inevitable that folks may find themselves almost let down, so much so that there’s an actual term for this: Paris Syndrome.
To set yourself up for success, remember this: Paris is a real city. I know this sounds like an odd thing to say, almost like an understatement, but it warrants saying.
Everyday people live and work in Paris and it’s not all glory and Gucci every Tuesday morning. This is a real place where people are rushing to work, garbage bags are tossed on the street and the occasional waiter wishes you would greet them with “bonjour” over “hello.”
It’s a beautiful city, too. There’s so much to enjoy and so many great things to do in Paris. Keep an open mind as you experience everything the City of Light has to offer. I’m sure you’ll have a great time. And this 4 day Paris itinerary will help guide you in the right direction.
4 days in Paris (Post Summary)
For a quick and easy wrap-up, here’s the 4 day Paris itinerary summarized.
- Notre Dame
- Catacombs + Montparnasse Cemetery (Optional)
- Luxembourg Gardens
- Hôtel des Invalides or Musée Rodin
- The Eiffel Tower
- Palais Royale
- Palais Garnier
- Galeries Lafayette
- Parc Monceau
- Champs-Elysées + Arc de Triomphe
- Best Croissant in Paris
- Exploring Montmartre
- Moulin Rouge
- Palace of Versailles
- Hôtel de Ville
- Centre Pompidou
- Place des Vosges
- Place de la Bastille
Map of this 4 day Paris itinerary
Well, that my friends is how to spend 4 days in Paris and then some. I hope you enjoyed this comprehensive 4 days in Paris guide. Let me know if you have any questions or comments below.
Enjoy the City of Light.