What should I do while in Paris?

I get this question often. And there's a great reason for it: there is simply too much to do during any one trip to Paris!

While I plan my upcoming Paris trip, even with over 10 trips under my belt, I still take months to decide what I will do while I'm there. And most importantly, I decide what I won't do!

The biggest problem with a city like Paris is that if you love it (and of course you will,) your bucket list NEVER gets smaller, only bigger. Since it's a living, breathing, ever-changing city, Paris is simply NOT the same twice.

Only a Few Days in Paris and Love Art?

Day 1:
1. Arrive the first day, relax and orient yourself to the neighborhood, metro lines near you, and adjust to the time change - if any.

2. If you arrive early and are raring to go, take a look at your guide book for museums in your own neighborhood. Pay attention to the days of the week that the museums are closed - Monday and Tuesday being the most common.

3. Small museums I recommend:
  • Musée de l'Orangerie - located in the Jardins de Tuilleries in front of the Louvre, it's small and full of impressionists. I've used this as a shorter alternative to the Musee d'Orsay.
  • Galerie Nationale de Jeu de Paume - Located opposite the museum above, it is a more modern look at art including photography and video. Unfortunately, their website is not in English. Look for Infos Pratiques for hours, cost, and location.
    These are wonderful museums as they are in central Paris, have the wonderful view of the gardens, Place de Concord, the Eiffel Tower, and all the way up the Champs Elysee to the Arc de Triomphe or back to the Pyramid outside the massive Louvre, and across the river to the beautiful Musee d'Orsay.

    Who knows where a stroll will take you! Be warned though, it's an expensive place to eat or buy water. I usually pack food and water bottles in my backpack.,
  • Musee Rodin - This little museum is fantastic - both inside and out. If you don't want to pay for the inside, bring a pick-nick and eat it in the garden surrounded by Rodin sculptures. I love that it's short and sweet and a quick walk afterwards to rue Cler for food or the Eiffel Tower!
  • Musee National Picasso-Paris - While I've not visited this museum, lots of people I know love it and would not miss it! Located in the lively Marais part of Paris is a huge plus. Tasty food and great shopping abound in this historical district.
While there are literally 100s of other small museums in Paris, these are convenient, central and offer excellent site-seeing afterwards.

If you do one small museum like one of these and wander afterwards, that makes for a great first day. Eat, drink, and relax!
Day 2: