When you only have 48 hours in Paris follow this plan to see the sights of the City of Lights. Be sure to have the Paris Museum Pass to bypass queues and avoid ticket lines.
Start your day early at the Notre Dame Cathedral. The Cathedral doors open at 7am (7:30 depending on the season) and should be line free until about 9am. If you want to go up the bell tower of the Notre Dame, you’ll need to start queuing early.
Continue your morning by walking along the long side of the Cathedral (towards the back) and cross the Pont Saint-Louis. This small island is mostly residential, but has some small restaurants, shops and and cafés. At the end of the island is a small, secluded area perfect for picnics or taking a break.
Cross the Pont Marie and walk west along the Right bank of the Seine. Browse the bouquinistes sellings old books, souvenirs, and other small objects.
The Jardins des Tuileries is a great spot for a picnic lunch. Sitting on the grass is prohibited, but the Louvre garden has plenty of chairs and benches. Enjoy the landscape and the statues in the garden as you eat your baguette and cheese lunch.
Cross the Jardin des Tuileries towards to obelisk to reach Place de la Concorde – a historically significant location in Paris where the execution of many French royals and aristocrats took place during the French Revolution.
Continue walking on Champs Elysées towards the Arc de Triomphe. The Champs Elysées is one of the most expensive boulevards in the world where you can find Gucci, Dior, Louis Vuitton and many more designer labels.
Don’t attempt to cross the busy Champs Elysées roundabout. Instead, there is a handy underground passage that leads straight under the Arc de Triomphe. If you want to go to the top, and have a Paris Museum Pass, you can cut the queue. Don’t forget to show your pass to the security guards.
See the Eiffel Tower at sunset and light up at night. The quickest way from the Arc de Triomphe to the Eiffel Tower is to take Metro line 6 in the direction towards Nation and get off at Bir Hakeim.
Find an outdoor café to people watch while enjoying an aperitif and a light supper.
Start your day early at the Louvre before the crowd (alternatively, you can end your day at the Louvre if visiting on a Wednesday or Friday for extended hours).
Cross the Pont des Arts and walk east on Quai de Conti to the St. Michel neighbourhood to find a huge assortment of inexpensive cafés, restaurants and little shops.
Walk south to spend an hour or so relaxing in the Jardin de Luxembourg. Once rested, set your sights on the Tour de Montparnasse (included in the Paris Museum Pass), for the best views of the city.
Jump on the Hop On/Hop Off bus (included in the Paris Museum Pass) to see any sights or parts of the city you may have missed. Get off at the Louvre (see the Pyramid at night), walk a few short block east on Rue de Rivoli for dinner in the Marais district.