30 Hours in Paris: Suggested Itinerary

30 hours in Paris itinerary

For many living in London and the South East, Paris is so easily accessible via the Eurostar and the fast train time (2hrs20mins) means that even a day trip is possible. I visited recently and managed to squeeze lots into just 30hour. So, if you are in Paris and short on time, read on for my 30 hours in Paris itinerary ideas.

Day One

If you get one of the earliest Eurostar trains out of London you will arrive at Paris Gare du Nord before 10.30am, local time.

Drop your bags off

If you are staying at a hotel it is worth heading straight there to drop off your bags – you don’t want to be carrying them around all day! If you are staying somewhere you know you won’t be able to leave your bags, then head downstairs at Gare du Nord and pop your bags in a locker at the SNCF Left Luggage, which was €7.50 for a smaller locker (which had room for our two rucksacks and plenty of space left over!) or €9.50 for a larger one when we visited in early 2019.

We stayed at Hotel du Midi Paris in the Denfert Rochereau area of Paris, which is a nice easy journey on the RER B line directly from Gare du Nord. Our room was actually already ready when we arrived to drop our bags and they kindly let us check in early.

See the Eiffel Tower

What’s the one thing that everyone wants to see in Paris?! The Eiffel Tower of course! Tick it off your sightseeing list early and head there straight away.

30 hours in Paris itinerary

We took a long walk there, through the Jardin Luxembourg and passed the beautiful golden Dôme des Invalides, and taking in all the beautiful architecture along the way. But you can obviously just take the metro if you prefer!

30 hours in Paris itinerary

During our visit the only the 2nd level was open, and it was a cloudy day, so we decided to observe from ground level, rather than head up. This was also probably the best idea considering our limited time.

We took a long walk there, through the Jardin Luxembourg and passed the beautiful golden Dôme des Invalides, and taking in all the beautiful architecture along the way. But you can obviously just take the metro if you prefer! During our visit the only the 2nd level was open, and it was a cloudy day, so we decided to observe from ground level, rather than head up. This was also probably the best idea considering our limited time.

Head to Notre Dame for Lunch

Next jump on the RER from Champ de Mars Tour Eiffel to St-Michel Notre Dame. Here you will not only be able to see the famous cathedral itself, but you can also head into the side streets on the Left Bank to grab some lunch. 

I wouldn’t say you will find gormet restaurants down these side streets, but you will find a cheap lunch deal! There are waiters on the streets, trying  to charm you into taking a table at their restaurant , but don’t feel you need to oblige.

We stopped at a tiny little French place and had a simple but perfectly lovely €10 set menu.

Take a boat trip on the Seine

The Seine is the heart of Paris and as my mum is boat mad, taking a boat trip on the Seine was her only formal request for our trip. And who can blame her! With 37 bridges, some beautifully ornate, and many of Paris’ landmarks visible from the water, it is the perfect way to sight see when you have time constraints.

Not far from Notre Dame, you will find the Vedettes du Pont Nuef who offer one hour round trips, up to the Eiffel Tower passing under many gorgeous bridges as well as many landmarks such as the Louvre, the Muse D’Orsy, the Grand Palais, the American Church in Paris, and of course the star of the show; the Tour Eiffel!

30 hours in Paris itinerary

We did a day time trip but if you go after dark, the trip is timed so that you can be at the Eiffel Tower for the magnificent light show on the hour.

30 hours in Paris itinerary

Walk around the grounds of the Louvre

If we had longer in Paris, then visiting inside the Louvre would be high up there on our list of things to do. But on such a short visit, we knew that it was unrealistic to try to fit a visit in. We were made to feel better when the tour guide on our boat trip told us that if we wanted to see every piece of art in the Louvre it would take us three months!

Grab a drink

Having been to Paris a few times before, I can’t visit without stopping at my favourite bar/restaurant; Le Fumoir. And handily, it is right across the street from the Louvre.

But its close proximity to the major tourist site does not make it an over-priced tourist trap. Well, it is on the pricy side but you are paying for great service and great quality in a luxurious Parisian setting.

30 hours in Paris itinerary

With drinks you will always be served free snacks such as olives and spiced nuts. We chose to sit outside, where there are heaters and blankets to keep you toasty.

30 hours in Paris itinerary

Pop back to your hotel to freshen up and then head for dinner

After a long and busy day sightseeing, a nice dinner is the perfect reward. So head back to your hotel, give your feet a break for half an hour and get freshened up for dinner.

There are obviously an abundance of places to eat in Paris, and I couldn’t even begin to recommend somewhere that would suit everyone.

We decided to stay in the area of our hotel, Denfert Rochereau, which is a lovely area in the 14th Arrondissement. It’s close enough to the centre of the city for the sight-seeing but has a real local feel to it. We’ve stayed here on our last three visits and love it!

A short stroll down the partly pedestrianised Rue Daguerre brings you a whole host of restaurants as well as loads of fresh food shop like fish mongers, fruit stalls, bakeries and much more.

As my mum is a beer drinker, she spotted someone drinking a pint outside a restaurant called La Chope Daguerre. Considering it was a Tuesday night in January, it was packed inside and we managed to get the last table. It was full of chatting locals and had a fully French menu, so it felt super authentic for us!

We enjoyed an absolutely massive burger with sides, washed down with a brown ale for mum and a large red for me. Not a very Parisian meal admittedly but we felt so surrounded by locals who were all loving their meals too that it made up for it!

Day Two

Our train was at 3.15pm so we had the morning and lunchtime to enjoy.

Grab some breakfast

When in France, you have to have a coffee and croissant breakfast at least once! Most cafes and restaurants offer a breakfast menu, with the basic being a hot drink, a pastry and an orange juice. This is the perfect way to start the day!

30 hours in Paris itinerary

Drop your bags back at Gard du Nord

If you don’t fancy lugging a bag around all day then head back to the SNCF left luggage and leave your bags there.

Walk up to the Sacre Coeur

If you are making your way to Sacre Coeur from Gard du Nord then it is only about a 20minute walk, with the last part being up some hard but picturesque stairs.

30 hours in Paris itinerary

The views when you arrive are totally worth the walk up though, be prepared to be dazzled not only by the Sacre Coeur itself, but by the views down over Paris.

30 hours in Paris itinerary

It’s definitely worth taking a look inside this impressive church, and it is free to do so. You will need to pass through a baggage check, which may have a queue at peak times.

Wander around Montmartre

You can’t visit the Sacre Coeur without wandering the streets of Montmartre too. Home to, and inspiration for, many well known artists over the years, from Picasso to Van Gogh to Mattise, they all lived and frequented the bars here.

30 hours in Paris itinerary

The streets transport you to a scene more reminiscent of a French village rather than a city centre; pastel painted buildings, cobbled streets and pretty trees.

30 hours in Paris itinerary

Normally this area can get packed with tourists coming to catch a glimpse of the haunts of the famous artists. But when we visited, on a cold January weekday morning, we almost had the place to ourselves – it was such a treat!


Grab some lunch

Because we were pushed for time, we stayed up in Montmartre for lunch, where there are many restaurants all with set lunch menus alongside their A la carte. Place du Tertre is a particularly popular restaurant spot.

Obviously being a heavily touristy area, the prices are higher and maybe the quality is a bit lower than elsewhere in Paris.

We opted for the reasonably priced set lunch menu at Le Crémaillère 1900 on the famous Place du Tertre. The food was nice and the decor inside was super pretty, very Art Deco which I love!

30 hours in Paris itinerary

Head back to Gard du Nord for one last drink

Wether it is inside the Eurostar terminal, or in one of the many bars outside the station, reward yourself with one last drink and reminisce about your whirlwind trip to this beautiful city!

If you’re looking for inspiration for other easy getaways from the UK, then be sure to check out this post: https://daislikethese.com/2018/03/12/easy-weekend-getaways-from-the-uk/


  1. February 11, 2019 / 12:41 pm

    This has reminded me how easy a weekend trip to Paris can be, I really fancy making a little family get a way after reading this! #Mondayescapes

  2. February 11, 2019 / 5:48 pm

    Many people don’t manage what you crammed into 30 hours in many more days. You are getting the highlights of this amazing city right there. If fact you have whet my appetite for a whistle stop tour and my hubby has never done the Eurostar so might be a trip for later in the year.

    Great post #MondayEscapes

    • daislikethese
      March 24, 2019 / 3:22 pm

      It’s such an easy trip if you can get to the Eurostar easily. And If you book at the right time they do some fantastic deals on ticket prices. Thanks for reading 😊

  3. February 11, 2019 / 6:51 pm

    I love that you have a favourite bar in Paris! I’ve been a fair few times, but we’re taking the kids for the first time this summer. A boat trip will be high on the agenda for them. My favourite spot is probably the Musee d’Orsay – I’ll probably prioritise a visit there over the Louvre. #mondayescapes

    • daislikethese
      March 24, 2019 / 3:17 pm

      It is a great bar though 😂 Have an amazing trip! Thanks for reading 😊

  4. February 11, 2019 / 9:16 pm

    It’s been so long since I went to Paris – it all looks rather yummy though. Is it wrong to just go for the food?! #mondayescapes

    • daislikethese
      March 24, 2019 / 3:16 pm

      Absolutely not – it is the ideal city for a foodie break! Thanks for reading 😊

  5. February 11, 2019 / 10:57 pm

    I love Paris and this is the perfect itinerary. That cocktails looks pretty yum too! Jemma x #MondayEscapes

    • daislikethese
      March 24, 2019 / 3:15 pm

      It was definitely yummy! My favourite bar in Paris too. Thanks for reading 😊

  6. February 12, 2019 / 12:00 pm

    I’ve been to Paris twice before – once with my parents when I was 16 and once with my best friend in my early 20’s. I’d love to go back now with my husband and daughters who have never been. Monmartre and Sacre Coeur are my favourite parts of Paris for sure – it’s such a beautiful part of the city. Glad that you had such a lovely little break with your Mum (and that she got both her boat trip and her beer!)

    • daislikethese
      March 24, 2019 / 3:15 pm

      She definitely loved her boat trip and beer!! Thanks for reading 😊

  7. February 14, 2019 / 9:46 am

    I’ve actually never been to Paris, but when I do eventually make it there I’m sure these tips will come in handy! #MondayEscapes

    • daislikethese
      March 24, 2019 / 3:14 pm

      My mum got to the age of 60 without having ever been, which is what this trip was in aid of! It’s an amazing city, and your first visit there is always so special – spotting all the iconic sights. Thanks for reading 😊

  8. February 16, 2019 / 8:47 pm

    This is a wonderful Paris guide, Daisy! I agree that the Eiffel tower is the first thing to see and that you can’t leave the city without having croissants! Last time I was there I missed the pink house, next time I’ll make sure I find it

    • daislikethese
      March 24, 2019 / 3:13 pm

      Ah, we stumbled upon it quite by accident! Thanks for reading 😊

  9. February 17, 2019 / 10:59 pm

    I’m impressed that you walked up to Sacre Coeur we went up the hill gently and saved the steep stairs for descent! #MondayEscapes

    • daislikethese
      March 24, 2019 / 3:12 pm

      It was hard work but definitely worth it! Thanks for reading 😊

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