So you’ve been to Paris before and have visited the attractions we listed in our itinerary 7 Days in Paris. This itinerary goes a step further for another 5 days in Paris.
Tip: Save time and money with the Paris Museum Pass. Many of the museums and attractions in this itinerary are included in the Museum Pass, so you’ll save a fair amount of money, but more importantly, save time not waiting in ticketing lines. We recommend getting your pass at the central Paris Tourist Office when you arrive; alternatively they can be purchased at the participating museums. If you’re doing this full itinerary, get the 4-day pass (2-day and 6-day passes are also available).
Day 1 – Sewers Museum, Musée d’Orsay and Palais Garnier
Paris Sewers Museum
The Paris Sewers Museum (Musée des égouts de Paris) is a unique “museum” that shows you a part of Paris that usually goes unseen. Whether you’re an engineering nerd or a musical theatre lover (Les Misérables), you’ll find this particularly fascinating. It’s a relatively quick visit, and part of the Paris Museum Pass.
While not as large as the Louvre, the Musée d’Orsay is still quite sizeable and equally impressive. It occupies the former Gare d’Orsay, a Beaux-Arts train station built in 1900. The building and the station clock are pieces of art in themselves.
It houses the largest collection of impressionist and post-impressionist art in the world, including works by Monet, Degas, Renoir, Cézanne and Van Gogh. The Musée d’Orsay also has a collection of architecture and decorative arts.
Access is included as part of the Paris Museum Pass.
The Palais Garnier opera house is another symbol of Paris, and is the setting for the Phantom of the Opera. It was inaugurated in 1875. If you like opera, then seeing an opera is a must-do event (and you can get relatively inexpensive tickets!).
Photography tip: You need to step far far back to get the proper perspective with the domed roof and Apollo statue. If you’re too close, this disappears entirely.
Day 2 – Centre Pompidou and Arènes de Lutèce
The Pompidou Centre is an interesting example of high-tech architecture with the functional elements of the building (plumbing, air ducts, electrical conduits, etc.) colour-coded and visible on the outside of the building. It houses the (among other things) the French National Museum of Modern Art (included in the Paris Museum Pass). If modern art isn’t your thing, it still worthwhile to visit the building and stop for lunch at the restaurant.
Afterwards, venture south passing by Notre-Dame and the Panthéon, on your way to the Arènes de Lutèce. These are the remains of an ancient Roman amphitheatre (back in the day, Paris was known as Lutèce), built in the first century to seat 15,000 for gladiator combats.
Day 3 – The Louvre
The Louvre is so massive and memorable that it’s always worth visiting a second time. It’s part of the Paris Museum Pass.
Day 4 – Montmartre and Sacré-Coeur
Sacré-Coeur Basilica is located on the summit of Montmartre, the highest point in Paris. The dome is accessible and provides excellent views (especially since you’re on a hill), but you’re far from the city core.
As a bonus, the closest subway station, Abbesses, has one of the 2 remaining Art Nouveau glass-covered entrances designed by Hector Guimard.
Day 5 – Saint-Denis and Grande Arche de la Défense
The Saint-Denis Basilica isn’t technically in Paris, but in a suburb north of the City. But it’s worth a trek out.
It’s a medieval abbey church completed in 1144, architecturally significant as the first major structure with a substantial amount of Gothic elements.
Saint-Denis is also the burial site for the Kings of France. It is the final resting place for all but 3 monarchs from the 10th century through the Revolution.
Grande Arche de la Défense
The Grande Arche de la Défense is a modern arch monument and building in a direct line with the Arc de Triomphe (although rotated 6° due to technical constraints around its foundation). It was inaugurated in 1989, marking the bicentennial of the French Revolution.
Have you visited these attractions or tried this itinerary for your 5 days in Paris? Let us know what you thought in the comments!