So…. You’ve decided to break away and finally visit the amazing “City of Lights, Love, Beauty, Great Food, Wine, Architecture…” but you aren’t one the “Rich Kids of Beverly Hills” or a “Shah of Sunset”. Unlike like these wealthy rich kids, you have had to actually work and save up the loot to take the trip across the pond. I must say that 3 Days in Paris, is like spending 30 minutes exploring New York City (maybe that’s exaggerating) if you have never been. This guide is to here to help you maximize very minute even if all you can spare is 72 hours to travel abroad…
Private Paris Airport Transfer provided by VIATOR
Step (1) ~ Best Flight to Book for a Short Paris Trip?
Look at some point in your life, you have to just put your feet to the fire and just do it… Until you have committed to a date, and booked your “Non-Refundable” flight sorry to say but you my Friend are just a #WannaBeFauxTraveler… Give yourself time to plan, tell your boss, coordinate daycare for your kids, dogs and make all proper arrangements.
With a limited amount of time in Paris, your itinerary must coincide with meticulous planning even before you take your 1st step in “Pear-Ri” (that’s an amazingly smart sounding sentence…). So this starts with making sure you pick the best flight to help Maximize your time in PARIS. So below is exactly what you need to do, in order to make sure you make the most of your 3 days in Paris.
- Search one of the Many Flight Comparison Sites ie: Expedia, Kayak, Priceline…
- Select your dates and search
- Sort By:
- Non-Stop + 1- Stop (I highly recommend not making 2 stops)
- Now sort that list by “Arrival” time as seen below
- Now search for a flight that gets you into Paris before 7am… (reasoning below)
So out of the 3 flights (below) that arrive before 7am in Paris, there is an obvious winner “United Airlines” is $300 cheaper…
Why Arrive before 7am in Paris?
- Its a 9 to 15 hour total travel time depending on where your coming from… This makes it easy to stay up like a fat kid the night before a pie eating contest on his 1st trip to Disney World. My advice, don’t sleep the night before… So you can pass out on the plane on the way to Paris and wake up refreshed when you land…
- You get to spend an entire day in Paris and didn’t have to waste money on a hotel or AirBnB the night before… Remember you just used the Airplane as your hotel for the 1st night of the trip.
- After getting your luggage (unless your a road warrior, with only a carry on), you can get a taxi to your hotel/room and be ready to hit the streets by 9:30am or 10am at the latest
Good Job, Your Flights Booked & Now Your Committed… That’s Step #1
Step (2) ~ Where is the Best Place to Stay in Paris?
Just Like NYC is broken up into 5 Boroughs, Paris also has very distinct districts with vastly different vibes & feels. The Big difference between “The Big Apple” and the “City of Love” is that Paris has 20 Districts or “pardon my french” Arrondissements. Yes Twenty (20) of them, the best visual map I was able to find, is from our Friends over at http://www.eguideparis.com/maps-arrondissements.html see below for the photo from their page…
So with 20 different districts, how in the world do you pick where to say??? View Overview of All 20 Paris Districts
IT’S SIMPLE… just put your finger right dab in the Middle of the Map! With a limited amount of time, it makes sense to stay Centrally Located so you can walk or Taxi around easily. IMO, i wouldn’t take the train with only 3 days to spend in Paris. Your better off just coughing up the extra dough in hopping in a taxi to get around. if you had 5-7 days then I would say save your time and save some dough.
So Where did WE Stay?
We stayed at the “Hotel Opera Diamond” which is in right above the 1st arrondissement, in the Opera District. This location was prime, there is literally a Starbucks next door, and dozens of restaurants steps from the hotel.
Step (3) ~ What to Do in Paris for 3 Days (Our Actual Itinerary)
Below is the Actual Itinerary, with Link’s that my wife and I did in April 2013: Please note, these links go to an affiliate account of a website that I actually used and trust to purchase all of my tours. I left 5 star feedback on each and every tour, their service and reliability is top notch.
Paris Day 1:
- Arrive in Paris by 7am
- Paris Airport Pick-Up Private Transfer
- Get to Hotel by 10am
- Best Western Opera Diamond 4 Rue de la Pepiniere Paris 75008
- +33 144700200
- Walk to and lunch at Printemps & Galeries Lafayette
More Paris Sightseeing..
- Back to hotel and ready to go by 1:30pm
- ½ Day Trip to Palace of Versailles “Must See in your life”
- Dinner – 7:30 at Alcazar Winner of Top Chef France @ 62, rue Mazarine 75006
- Day 1 Complete
Paris Day 2:
- Up & Ready to go at 7:30am for the Champagne Tour
First Stop: THE Moet & Chandon
2nd Stop: A quaint family owned winery, Penet Chardonett. The family has lived there for generations, and we had lunch prepared by the owner’s wife. Amazing!
Third Stop: Monmarthe; Another beautiful family owned vineyard.
- Dinner at 7:30pm – We asked the concierge for the best restaurant in walking distance and settled on a quaint little spot on our block called Bistro Romain.
Paris Day 3:
- Anniversary Photoshoot with L’amour de Paris at Eiffer Tower (Priceless!)
- Skip the Line Eiffel Tower Ticket (you’re already there and the line is ridiculous)
We made the last photo into a 24×36 canvas gallery wrap, and no one believes us when we tell them it’s us (not a stock photo).
- Lunch @ Week End Café, 65 rue de Sevres (Amazing Local Spot)
- Take a Guided Tour Around Paris to The Louvre, Eiffel Tower & Notre Dame
- Dinner 7PM @ L’ Opera Restaurant Palais Garnier Place Jacques Rouche, 75009
- Back at Hotel ready to go at 9pm for Moulin Rouge (can’t show pics from inside for obvious reasons, but definitely also a must see!) Be sure to get there early though because the line will wrap around the building.
This itinerary is pretty fast and furious and may not be the best fit for some. I can say that my wife, who had never been to Paris thought this made for a life changing experience in just 3 days. You get to see Paris, Champagne & Versailles and a bad ass photoshoot in only 72 hours on the ground…
Paris is one of the city’s that I feel that everyone should visit at least one time in your life. It’s like taking NYC Style, Chicago Flare and combining it with the beauty of San Francisco and the history of London all into one city. On a scale of 1-10, Paris is a 10…
If you don’t take my advice, I cant be held responsible for your miserable experience in Paris. If you do take my advice and have a bad time, well then you just suck, LOL, lighten up and stop acting like a stuck up American…
For the Definitive List of The Top 10 Things, Not to To Do in Paris Check Out this Conde Naste Post
Follow us to our next stop… Barcelona!