One of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, Paris has millions of travelers discovering its beauty and heritage each year. While there are countless things to see and do while visiting Paris, a four nights trip will offer anyone the opportunity to discover the most interesting sights and experiences in the capital of France. From the famous Eiffel Tower or Louvre Museum to the Champs Elysees and the Notre Dame Cathedral, there are many places to explore. Nevertheless, there are also a lot of amazing things that few travelers know about, little secrets that make Paris a truly fascinating destination. The true atmosphere of Paris might not even be encountered close to those hugely popular sights, yet it can be found through the streets of Montmartre or on the small island of St. Louis. With world class museums, majestic monuments, beautiful churches, lovely parks, great food, and shopping opportunities, that are few things that someone cannot find in Paris. For travelers looking to make the most out of a 4-night trip to Paris, here are the best things to do and see:
Climbing the Eiffel Tower
One of the symbols of Paris and among the best-known landmarks in the world, this steel tower in the center of Paris was not always so loved by Parisians. It is the highest structure in the city and one of the most visited monuments in the world. There is a lift taking visitors to the upper levels of the tower, granting an astonishing birds-eye view of the city.
Exploring the Louvre Museum
The most visited and one of the largest museums in the world, it is more of an inspiring experience than a tourist attraction. Countless magnificent works of art from around the world are displayed inside the Louvre and visitors can explore the halls for hours or days without seeing everything. Among the most popular collections, the Louvre Museum includes priceless paintings and sculptures, Egyptian, Greek, Etruscan, Roman, and Near Eastern collection, as well as other temporary displays.
Walking the Champs Elysees
The most exclusivist boulevard in the world, it offers an unforgettable chance for a pleasant morning walk. Flanked by high-end fashion stores, elegant coffee shops, and lavish palaces, the Champs Elysees stretched from the Place de la Concorde in front of the Tuileries Gardens to the beautiful Arc de Triomphe. For those looking for the most exquisite shopping opportunities, there are plenty along the boulevard, although walking along is free.
Notre Dame and Ile de la Cite
The heart of Paris beats on the bigger of the two islands along the Seine River. Ile de la Cite has been the core of medieval Paris and the majestic Notre Dame Cathedral is considered the o km of France. The cathedral is also one of the symbols of Paris and was built over 800 years ago, being one of the largest and most beautiful Gothic structures in France and the world. Following the great fire of 2019, renovation works are still underway to return this priceless monument to its former glory. Around the island, there are a few other sights to admire, including the Saint Chapelle Church and the former Conciergerie prison.
Visiting the Orsay Museum
Housed inside the splendid former railway of Orsay, this inspiring museum mostly contains French art dating from the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century, including masterpieces by great impressionist and post-impressionist painters like Monet, Degas, Renoir, Cezanne, Gauguin or van Gogh.
Relaxing in the Botanical Gardens
The enchanting Botanical Garden of Paris might be overlooked by many visitors, yet it is one of the most magical places in the city. With endless alleys shaded by blooming trees, incredibly colorful flowers, and lovely ponds. The green spaces offer the opportunity to relax and take a break from exploring the streets. The Menagerie or Paris Zoo is located inside the garden and houses about 2000 animals. Still, inside the garden, travelers can visit the Museum of Natural History with its insightful collections and exhibits.
Taking a cruise on the Seine
One of the best ways to spend an evening in Paris is to take a romantic cruise on the Seine River, sailing along the river and admiring the sunset, while the lights will give the city another charm. Along the banks, travelers can see some of the most interesting monuments of the capital, including the Louvre, the Notre Dame, the Town Hall, Hotel des Invalides, and the Orsay Museum. There are plenty of cruises to choose from, some of them including exquisite French dining and live music for the ultimate experience.
Montmartre and Sacre Coeur Basilica
A much more atmospheric and romantic part of Paris can be discovered in the artsy quarter of Montmartre, where travelers can encounter small museums, charming art galleries, lovely coffee shops, and plenty of street art. The area has retained much of its character and village-like charm. The most important monument in Montmartre is the majestic basilica of Sacre-Coeur. This splendid church was built starting in 1875 and serves both a religious and historical meaning. It is also one of the most visited and beloved monuments of Paris, with its immaculate white silhouette and gorgeous interior.
Visiting La Defense Quarter
The futuristic business quarter of La Defense is located a few kilometers from the center and is a stark contrast to the historical and artistic vibe of Paris. With its skyscrapers and impressive structures, La Defense offers a different experience to those that discover it. Apart from the splendid Grand Arche and many open-air works of art, the quarter is also known for its large malls and shopping areas.
Day trip to Versailles
No trip to Paris would be complete without a visit to the magnificent palace of Versailles, the playground of the French monarchy for several centuries. With its breathtaking treasures and amazing architecture, enchanting gardens, and rich history, the Versailles Palace is among the great wonders of the world. Among the most interesting attractions of the palace, the State Apartments, the Private Apartments, the Hall of Mirrors, the Royal Stables, the Royal Chapel and Opera, and the lavish gardens are certainly worth exploring.