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I plan a lot of amazing, custom Europe trips for lucky clients, but I was finally able to plan a long weekend in Paris for me and baby girl. This trip was incredible, we saw and did so much, and it also taught me a lot more about planning a Paris trip. I am so excited to share my three day, long weekend in Paris itinerary and some great tips for planning your next Paris trip.
Long Weekend in Paris Itinerary and Tips for Booking Your Paris Vacation
Baby girl had been asking for about two years to go to Paris. Not sure where she gets these ideas, but since becoming a full-service travel advisor back in 2018, and planning lots of Paris trips for clients, I had been wanting to get back to Paris myself.
Of course 2020 and 2021 weren’t the best years to travel to France, but travel to Europe is back, and since baby girl had a long weekend off of school, it seemed like a great opportunity to hop over to Paris!
Tips for Booking Your Paris Vacation
Of course my number one tip is to book your trip with a travel professional like myself. Currently I don’t charge fees to plan trips like this and I help with every aspect of your trip. Plus I have access to bulk airfare (aka discounted rate airfare) as well as contracted hotel rates, and can put together amazing packages to Europe!
LOOKING TO PLAN A EUROPE TRIP? CLICK THE BANNER BELOW TO GET STARTED! NO FEES, AND INCREDIBLE SERVICE:
In fact for my own trip, I booked an air/hotel package with one of my trusted vendors, and with a promo code I have, got such a deal verse booking air and hotel separate.
I also cover every aspect of your trip – from airfare, to hotel, transportation, excursions and I send you dining recommendations, and a sightseeing guide. I also confirm everything with the vendors in Europe and make sure everything runs smoothly your entire trip.
However, if you are self-booking a trip to France, or just getting ideas, here are some tips for booking your Paris Vacation:
- Flying into Paris you will land at Charles de Gaulle airport which is about an hour ride to the city itself. You will most likely land early in the morning after an overnight flight, so be sure to pre-arrange your transportation to your hotel.
- The first day in Europe is always hard. You are tired. The jetlag is real. Don’t schedule any excursions for that first morning. You will want to shower, nap and freshen up.
- Choosing a hotel location in Paris is tough – Paris is really spread out, so be sure to look at a map to consider where you want to stay. Make sure you are near the Metro for easy travel around the city.
- Pre-book excursions so you don’t get shut out or end up waiting in line too long.
- Do leave free time to just explore the city – that’s the best thing to do in Paris!
Can you Do a Long Weekend in Paris?
Honestly, if you can swing a longer trip, that would be ideal. But if you are flying from the east coast, it is possible to do a long weekend in Paris.
Since you depart late in the evening (after work or school so that day doesn’t really count) and gain so much time flying back home it is possible to do a long weekend (three nights) in Paris. Here is how we did it –
Our Long Weekend in Paris Itinerary
There are so many great things to do and see in Paris, and with only three days, we had to maximize our time. Here is how our trip went, day by day:
Long Weekend in Paris Day 1: Depart JFK in the Evening
We departed on a Thursday evening. Our flight took off at 6:30PM from New York’s JFK airport. We tried our best to sleep on the flight, but between excitement, and a crying baby on the flight, we didn’t get too much rest, maybe 3 hours of sleep?
Long Weekend in Paris Day 2: Land in France, Hit the Ground Running
We arrived in Paris at 7:30AM. It took quite a while to exit the plane, clear customs and get our bag. I had pre-booked a private airport transfer, so it was a relief to walk out of baggage claim and see a driver holding a sign with our name on it.
With rush hour traffic, it took over an hour to get to our hotel, the Pullman Tour Eiffel, but it was a smooth ride, and baby girl slept the whole way.
When we arrived at our hotel, I pretty much begged the gentleman at the reception to give us a room. We were SPENT! Luckily our room was available and we headed up for a two hour nap and shower.
PARIS PRO-TIP: Nap to take the edge off, but don’t sleep too long. You do want to be tired when bedtime rolls around. SET AN ALARM.
After freshening up, our first stop was to a pharmacy to get a vaxinepass. As of March 14, 2022, this is no longer required to visit indoor restaurants or monuments in Paris, I won’t go into much detail, but we got it done and then found a lovely cafe to have lunch!
Our first real stop of the day was the Eiffel Tower. I had pre-booked a timed ticket for 4:00PM. We did arrive early, and worth noting they are firm with your times. We had to wait until a few minutes before 4 to be let up.
I booked a ticket to the summit, which is the third floor. You can book just up to floor 2, and if you are nervous in rickety elevators that’s the best option. The elevator to the 2nd floor is like a funicular. The elevator from floor 2 to 3 is a bit scary!
We spent about an hour going all the way to the top, looking around, and enjoying some macarons on the second floor (there is also a concession stand up there as well).
After visiting the Tower, we headed across the street to catch a one-hour Siene cruise! I had originally pre-booked an evening dinner cruise, but sadly it was cancelled for our dates. So instead, we did the day time one-hour tour.
This was a great first day activity, because we got to see a ton from the boat and a good overview of the city and sites. These boats (we did Bateaux Parisienne) all depart from right near the Tower. Highly recommend!
Since I had anticipated us staying up late, I wanted to maximize our evening. After the cruise, we grabbed an Uber to the Champs Elysses, specifically to shop at the Galeries Lafayette, a four floor designer department store. It was almost 8PM, so not all shops were open, but we shopped for a while before heading to dinner
We were able to crash around midnight, which was successful in helping us get used to the time change.
LONG WEEKEND IN PARIS DAY 3: FIRST FULL DAY IN PARIS
Saturday morning I set our alarm for 8am, although we did snooze for a while. Getting up that first morning was hard! Again, don’t sleep too late. And with only three days in Paris, we had to get moving.
Our first morning in Paris was pretty unscheduled. I had booked a three hour Louvre tour at 2:30pm, so we had the morning to explore on our own.
We took an Uber over to the Notre Dame, which is sadly still closed. I had thought the Church was open, but it sounds like it won’t be ready for tourists until 2024 when Paris hosts the summer Olympics.
We did get to see Notre Dame from the outside, and then headed over to the Sainte-Chapelle, which was just a short walk away.
I was excited to see this chapel, but realized I should have pre-booked my ticket! We had to wait about a half an hour in the standby line, but we did get in around noon, and it was so worth the wait.
Sainte-Chapelle is a must see on your long weekend to Paris – I don’t want to give too much away, and the pictures don’t do it justice! I wish we could have done a guide – like this private tour.
About now, it was time for lunch, so we wandered around just east of the Louvre to find a café for lunch. I love how Parisians eat outside no matter the weather, and we enjoyed a lovely lunch al fresco!
Our long weekend in Paris was cold and rainy, but it was finally time for an indoor activity – a three hour guided tour of the Louvre!
This was an awesome tour and I highly recommend. Our guide was so knowledgeable I felt like we saw and learned so much. We also were able to check our coats and use the bathroom at the Group Reception area which was a nice extra.
Of course we saw the Mona Lisa, but we also saw so much art AND the Napoleon apartments, which were way on the other side of the museum. The Louvre is huge, I think it would be very hard to see it all, but the guide was a great way to navigate the important pieces and three hours was the perfect amount of time.
That evening, we did a have a little bit of a “travel with kids” fail, but that is honestly to be expect when taking young ones to Europe -especially on a short trip.
My daughter asked to visit a “cat café” and after researching a few options, we found one in the Bastille area. We arrived in an Uber, and there was a huge line to get in. We waited, but soon realized the cats were all sleeping and not really interacting as much as my daughter had hoped. Also the menu was more café then dinner time (coffees, teas, deserts) and baby girl didn’t like any of the food options.
Since it was after 7, we wanted to eat a proper meal, so we left soon after having been sat. But it worked out because we found a fun French pub that had amazing veggie burgers, wine and kid friendly food. It was packed with French people, and had a fun vibe.
PARIS LONG WEEKEND DAY 4: LAST FULL DAY IN PARIS
Sunday was sadly our second, and last full day in Paris. But we were able to get up a little earlier and get started with our day (FULL DISCLOSURE: I did set an alarm!)
This day we had nothing planned, just wanted to leave the day open to see what we had not seen!
This Church sits on top of the highest point in Paris, so in addition to being a beautiful Cathedral, you get amazing views of the city.
The Church is free to visit, and when we arrived, mass was about halfway finished. We sat down and got to participate in the remainder of the ceremony which was an incredible experience. I highly recommend taking in a mass if you are Catholic and visiting on a Sunday!
After mass, we did pay to go to the top of the Dome. There is no elevator, so we had to climb all 300 steps to the top! But the 360-degree views of the city was so worth it.
For a little while, we walked around the Montmartre area and did some souvenir shopping. Then hopped another Uber down to the Marais – it was FINALLY time for FALAFEL!
You can dine in, or take out and eat on the street like a real Parisian. I did wait about a half an hour in line, but the end result was worth it. And if you don’t love falafel, they also have shawarma!
Once I scarfed down that delicious falafel, we had to get down to business – it was time to find an open pharmacy to take test to go home to the US the next day.
This was much easier than I expected – even on a Sunday when many pharmacies are closed. I checked googlemaps for nearby pharmacies and looked at the google reviews to see which ones had tests. This was a super easy process, only took a few minutes and only cost 20 EURO per person. I had my results about 15 minutes later in my email.
Once we got the tests done, I could relax a little (it was hanging over my head all day) and now it was time to do some shopping in the Marais!
We shopped for a while and then it was time to check off one last thing on my Paris to do list – Berthillon for ice cream! This is located on the ile-Saint-Louis which is a charming island in the middle of the Seine to walk around and have a cup of ice cream!
Since it was our last night, it was time to go back to the hotel, pack up, check in for our flight and enjoy one last dinner near our hotel.
LONG WEEKEND IN PARIS DAY 5: TIME TO HEAD HOME
An habitual early riser, I actually woke up on Monday at 6:15AM, 45 minutes before my alarm! I had officially adjusted to Paris time, right when it was time to go home.
We had breakfast at our hotel (one last croissant) and our driver picked us up at 9:30am. We were well rested and prepared for a long day of travel. Our flight was delayed, and left Paris at 230PM. An 8+ hour flight
All in all, our long weekend in Paris trip was awesome and I’m so glad we went! We did agree if we had ONE MORE DAY we would have liked to have gone to Disneyland Paris. Or, maybe a half day at Versailles and the Museum d’Orsay!
Maybe next time!
But if you only have a short time to travel, a long weekend in Paris can be done! Of course if you can stay longer, that’s even better!
Have you been to Paris? Have you done a short trip, or a long weekend in Paris? What are you favorite things to do in Paris?