Paris Mini Travel Guide: How To Spend Three Days in Paris
Paris is a must-see for most travelers so this mini guide will show solo female travelers how to spend three days in Paris. The food, cathedrals, bridges, towers, and art draw people in worldwide and even the most cynical leave with a smile and fond memories. If you are lucky enough to have three days in this amazing city then use this guide to help you make the most of your trip. Enjoy!
When To Go
Summer: June – August
Daytime Temps: 72F – 76F (22C-25C)
Nighttime Temps: 56F– 60F (13C-15C)
Fall: September – October
Daytime Temps: 60F – 70F (16C-21C)
Nighttime Temps: 49F – 55F (6C-13C)
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What To Wear
You all can point and laugh at the poor Florida girl but 72F is sweater weather for me. I suggest pants, long-sleeve cotton tops, and a light jacket or sweater. You’ll be glad you had them because it’s pretty windy at the top of the Eiffel Tower. I definitely appreciated the extra layers.
For more info on what to wear, check out the Europe Solo Female Travel Packing List next.
Hostels: Prices range from 20€ to 35€ a night.
**Note: These are the prices for hostels with a rating of 8.0 or higher on Hostelworld.com**
Hotels: Budget hotels in and near the city center will run you about 40€ to 80€ a night.
What To Spend
70 USD/ 90 AUD/ 90 CAD/ 60 EUR/ 50 GBP
*Assuming you’re on a backpacker’s budget. Making use of public transportation, staying in hostels or other budget accommodations and eating out about once a day. For the daily budgets of other destinations check out Round The World Trip Budget next.*
How To Get Around
A single metro t+ ticket costs 1.90€. This can be used for one journey, including its connections. You can purchase single tickets or a book of ten tickets for 14.90€. You can buy at the ticket offices or out of a ticket machine. After your t+ ticket has been validated you can make as many transfers as you want on the metro and RER networks for 2 hours. On the tram and bus networks, you have 90 minutes to transfer.
A weekly or monthly Navigo pass allows you to take advantage of unlimited travel in Paris and the Île-de-France region. You can either buy passes for all zones or two zones. The All Zones pass will give you unlimited travel in all zones for the duration of your pass. The Two Zones will give you unlimited travel within the two zones you select and if you travel outside of those zones you will only have to pay for that “extra” ticket.
|Zones||Weekly Navigo Pass||Monthly Navigo Pass|
The RER are the train lines that connect the city center to the surrounding suburbs. If the Palace of Versailles will be one of your stops then it’s the RER that will take you there. If you travel within the city center then the tickets and the prices are the same as the metro but if you travel to the outer suburbs you will need an RER ticket. Prices range from 1.90€ to 12.05€.
The buses use the same t+ tickets as the Paris Metro so that makes things a little easier. Even so, it is better to buy tickets beforehand if riding the bus because normally a single ticket costs 1.90€ but if you buy your ticket from the bus driver, it will be 2€.
Noctilien Night Bus
The metro will stop running at about 1:15 am but what if you’re still out hitting the streets and partying till the wee hours. If you’re traveling solo you’ll want a safe way to get back to your hostel. Well, never fear! The Noctilien night bus is just what us solo female travelers need.
The night bus lines run from 12:30 am to 5:30 am. You can ride on the Noctilien night bus with t+ tickets, Navigo passes, Mobilis passes and Paris Visite passes. If you don’t have any of these on you then you can buy a t+ ticket from the driver when you board.
Balabus is a bus for those that want to go straight to the hot tourist spots with no stops in between. This bus stops at major tourist sites like the Louvre, Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame, etc. The cost to ride the Balabus is only 1.70€!
**Note: The Balabus only operates in April and September and only on certain days and times. You can catch the Balabus on Sunday afternoons and on public holidays but also only in the afternoon.**
By Paris Visite Pass
This pass is perfect for travelers that want to take the headache out of buying individual tickets. With the Paris Visitor Pass, you can just whip out your pass and go. The Paris Visite Pass gives you unlimited travel on the metro, buses, trams and the RER lines in Paris and in Paris’s outer suburbs.
You can buy one of these passes for 1, 2, 3 or 5 consecutive days in Zones 1 to 3 or in Zones 1 to 5. See the chart for details and prices:
|1-Day Adult||2-Day Adult||3-Day Adult||5-Day Adult|
The biggest threat to your fun times in Paris is pickpockets. While I was backpacking Europe I ran into a poor soul that had his wallet stolen while he was visiting the Eiffel Tower. You don’t want this to be your story so make sure you know where your things are at all times and if possible buy an anti-theft bag. I carry one on every trip I go one and at the very least it will give you peace of mind.
If you are out past the time the Metro is running then take a taxi or the Noctilien night bus to get around the city. A much safer option to walking around an unfamiliar city at night.
Top Things to Do in Paris
Walk the Champs-Elysees
The shops that take up this beautiful tree-lined street may not be within the average backpacker’s budget but that doesn’t mean they should take the Champs-Elysees off their list. The street is so lovely and mesmerizing that when I strolled down it for the first time I ended up so transfixed I forgot to take pictures. Seriously, NOT A ONE, and I’m still kicking myself for it. The Champs-Elysees is so alive with color and glamour, decadence and life, that it just sucks you in. Wander in and out of the high-end shops. Stop to dine at one of the many cafés and restaurants and watch people go by. Any time of day is the best time to visit.
Climb The Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower needs no explanation. The tower is iconic. A national symbol. And it is probably already on your must-see list for your trip to Paris so here are a few things you should know before you go.
To climb to the top of the Tower you have a couple options. You can take the elevator to the first or second floor. Once you get to the second floor you have to switch elevators and hop on the one that lifts you up to the summit. If you decide you don’t want to wait in the ridiculously long lines for the elevator you can take the stairs. We are talking 704 steps designed to kill you before you get there, but it does cost less to take the stairs and the line for them isn’t as long, but remember…death.
When you do reach the very top you will be greeted with the most amazing 360° views of Paris. The sights up there are incredible and it made the death march up all those stairs worth it. So bring a camera, a sweater for the wind and a bottle of water for the climb.
Believe it or not, I didn’t have the Louvre on my must-see list for Paris. I’ve never been much into art so I thought, why bother? Thankfully, sense returned and I realized how crazy it was to come all the way to Paris and not see one of the museums they are famous for all around the world. So off to the Louvre I went.
(Tip: Enter through the Metro entrance. The line is much shorter!)
And it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The Louvre and its vast collection of artwork are breathtaking and I say this as someone who doesn’t know a thing about art and never gives it much thought. If I was impressed then you know that place has got something special. The museum is filled with the beauty and culture that those before us left behind. Greek, Roman, and Egyptian antiquities. Religious artwork. Renaissance paintings and medieval sculptures. This museum lives up to the hype in every way and it should definitely be on your must-see list.
Explore the Catacombs
If you’re looking to have a unique Parisian experience then I recommend the Catacombs. It’s a cool, eerie place that lays sixty-five feet, or twenty meters, below Paris and is home to the skeletal remains of about six million people. By the 17th century, Paris was running out of the space for the dead. Cemeteries were prime real estate and graves were packed to bursting. Seriously, corpses were coming out of their graves and the smell was sending the faint of heart screaming in the other direction.
As the threat to public health got more serious it was decided that the dead would have to be moved to the collection of tunnels that had existed beneath the city for centuries. This city of the dead is everything you would expect it to be. Cold, quiet, spooky and just a bit sad, but it’s a chance to learn more about Parisian history and experience the city in a completely different, albeit creepy, way.
The Catacombs are chilly at 57F (14C) so you want to dress warmly. The line to enter is loooooooooooong, like 2-hour wait long. Save yourself, buy your tickets online and smugly walk to the front of the line amid all those jealous stares. Bring your camera, a good pair of walking shoes and enjoy your time in Paris!
So there you have it!
My guide on how to spend three days in Paris. I hope you love it there as much as I did and good luck.