Paris in Under a Week

Paris in under a week? Impossible?

Updated March 2024

So you are thinking of a trip to Paris but don’t have that much time or don’t really want to spend that much time in a big city? Well don’t despair, you can still enjoy a trip to Paris even if you just get a small taste of all that the city has to offer – besides you’ll just have to come back.

Paris is broken up into 20 districts (Arrondissements), and while most tourists who may or may not know the city well, will tell you that you need to be in the lower numbers to have a good time or to really BE in Paris, we do not agree.

Every neighborhood has its charm and something worth visiting but the average tourist will not see it all – not even the average Parisian.


So what do you have to do to say you have been to Paris?

It’s just not worth it to try to do everything – it’s just impossible. You’ll be tired, stressed and the only thing that will remind you that you were in such a beautiful city are the 100s of semi-identical photos you took and blisters to boot.

1- Visit the Eiffel Tower

Well this is always number one in the tourist guides, and anyone who is coming to Paris to visit, always wants to go and see the Eiffel Tower. Well worth the trip if not to go up at least take a couple of snap shots of you (the dot), in front of the tower.

2- Luxembourg Gardens

 Great place to just sunbathe and people watch. These manicured gardens are a beautiful place to spend a leisurely afternoon and if you can’t make it out to Versailles, it’s (in my opinion), a good compromise.

3- Take an Express Cooking Class

If you’re zipping through Paris but still want to dip your toes into some authentic French baking, you should join Cook’n With Class’ Express Macaron Class in Montmartre where, in just a couple of hours, you can learn to whip up those iconic, colorful treats taught by a chef in English. Or, if croissants and pain au chocolat are more your vibe, there’s also a class for those flaky delights. Perfect for squeezing into a jam-packed Paris adventure without missing a beat. Check out the Express Macaron Class and Express Croissant Baking Class for a real taste of French baking magic. There’s also a 2 hour kids’ chocolate class that runs at the same time as the express croissant class, for those of you with little bakers in Paris! 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦

P1002721-HD express classes paris under a week

4- Cafes

No visit to Paris is worth mentioning without a few hours (or however long you like), spent in a cafe over a cup of coffee. Again another great time to people watch and just take a breathe. In the evening you can also enjoy a nice glass of wine (or beer if you prefer), and order a plate of charcuterie (cold cuts), and cheese. I can remember times when I’ve been out with my friends for coffee (though I don’t drink coffee), at about 3 PM and have continued into the evening over rosé or a glass of champagne.


5- Visit a market 

Nothing tells you more about a people than their food. You may be slightly overwhelmed by the options but most markets are self-served so you don’t have to feel as if you don’t have enough French to make your way through and you may be surprised that the vendor speaks a little English (or Spanish or German). If you have made an effort to learn a little French (or a lot of French!) and are lacking in confidence to use your new vocabulary, know that there are ways of bridging the language divide!

If you want to prepare for the specificities of the French food market you can get a guide on understanding the French Food Market from Cook’n with Class or even take a French Market Class to have a Chef explain the seasonal produce and show you how to cook with it!

Cook’n with Class Market Visit

6 – Take a guided tour (on foot, on bike etc).

The hop on hop off bus is great and I have done them in several cities but nothing beats a tour given to you by a local (who knows their stuff of course). You can ask questions and you will return home with amusing little anecdotes to retell to your friends. And guess what not all tours are paying (though a tip is appreciated at the end).

If you’re looking for a great walking tour Sight Seeker’s Paris will show you Paris history with plenty of entertainment along the way! For a comprehensive guide of Paris in under a week (5.5 days) Let’s Eat the World has a French Food tour in Paris to take you through French cooking, tasting and lesser known addresses for a unique Parisian experience! You’ll have French pastry and cooking lessons as well as an excursion to Reims to explore two champagne houses, and you’ll have your evenings free to explore Parisian nightlife.

7 – Plan at least one really good meal.

You don’t have to spend a fortune to eat that well but it pays to ask locals for suggestions so you know that your money is well spent. Here are a few suggestions of our own:

Sacre Fleur – Very well rated restaurant in Montmartre
50 rue Clignancourt 75018 Paris

Cave A Jojo – Chef Patrick’s recommendation. A bistrot à vin as they say so somewhere between a bar and a restaurant.
25 ru des Trois Frères 75018 Paris Tel

Tomy & Co – a 1-Michelin-starred restaurant that is sure to delight. Chef Tomy Gousset opens his very own restaurant in Paris’s 7th arrondissement. Great food, great setting with none of the pretension.
22 rue Surcouf, 75007 Paris.

 Une Glace a Paris – Our chefs have many favorites for ice cream in Paris and this gem is one of them. Brought to you by an MOF (meilleur ouvrier de France) in ice-cream, Emmanuel Ryon. Try their delicious flavors and let us know what you think. For more ice-cream addresses, read 10 ice-cream shops in Paris you just have to try.

What not to do:

Don’t try to go to Versailles and plan on seeing the Chateau, the gardens and the Trianon. You can do it, but you’ll miss something and you will be daunted by the size of the place. You can always pick one of the three to visit or save this one for a longer stay in Paris. Versailles is really more of a day trip and there are quite a few Paris region day trips to pick from! If you do have more time and want to explore more than the capital city, this blog will give you 6 day trip ideas to take you beyond Paris.

Don’t go to a restaurant just because you hear a bunch of people speaking in English – go where the locals go. You’ll probably have a better meal and a more interesting experience. Rule of thumb (doesn’t always apply) – if you see tourists there, walk away.

This has been just a taste of more to come. I will come back to you with more suggestions, cafe names and restaurants in some future posts throughout the Fall. These are of course my opinions and may not count for much to all, but I hope you will take a peak from time to time to see what itineraries we put forth.

You may also like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Cook'n With Class Experiences © Copyright 2021. All rights reserved.