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4 day Paris itinerary - is this walkable?

First time in Paris with 10 year old daughter and husband and realize it's impossible to see it all; we'll get the 2 day Paris Museum Pass and staying around the Latin Quarter. We are prepared to walk (a lot) and I've tried to group the days accordingly. Is this walkable?

Day 1: arrive - Ile St. louis, Marais, (possibly Sacre Coeur) and river cruise
Day 2: (PMP day 1) - Notre-Dame, Ile de la cite, Sainte Chapelle, Orsay, Rodin
Day 3: (PMP day 2) - Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Elysee, Orangerie, Louvre (open late), (possibly Galaries Lafayette)
Day 4: Eiffel tower, Latin Quarter
Any not to be missed sites/places to eat? Thank you.

Posted by
2492 posts

It's all certainly walkable - for me - but I plan on about 15 miles per day when I'm traveling. For you, it would depend on your energy level and your daughter's energy level/coping skills. I think that's a lot of sites for days 2 and 3, especially with a child with you. Even if you could walk between all those places, you probably wouldn't want to "tour" them all in one day.

Posted by
255 posts

We (fit couple in our 50's) made the mistake of too much walking on our first visit to Paris. Who wants to be in the subway when you can walk through all these lovely arondissements? We bought a 10 ticket carnet of subway rides and didn't even use them all. But looking back, this was a bit of a mistake. Our conversation went like this: honey, it's only a few blocks past the Louvre, and the Louvre is only two blocks away....well, just walking past the Louvre takes 20 minutes! Part of the issue was that we had a fifth floor apartment, so when we finally stumbled into "our" apartment, we didn't feel like walking anymore!

We stayed near Notre Dame, and every time we walked by there was an hour long line. We finally got up one day and arrived at opening time, and it was wonderful - not crowded and only a ten minute wait. So build wait times/best times into your itinerary.

I agree with the above poster: too unrealistic, especially with a child. That said, don't miss the Rodin gardens - a refreshing outdoor stop that will renew you :) Also, try to have a picnic on one of the bridges or on the banks of the Seine. A perfect Paris experience.

Posted by
2393 posts

I would say a combination - walk Ile St Loius & Marais - bus/metro to Monmartre/Sacre Coeur - bus/metro to river cruise dock

You can plan multi stop routes in google maps - that will give you an idea of the distances

Posted by
6095 posts

Sacre Coeur is well out of your way on that first day, and certainly not a walking destination that day. I suggest that you focus that arrival day on Ile St-Louis, Ile de la Cite (including Notre Dame), and whatever parts of the Marais you can comfortably see on foot (try not to miss the Place des Vosges). The Ste-Chappelle is on the Ile de la Cite but may take longer to visit because of the unavoidable security line, and you may want to save it for a day your Museum Pass works. Also from Ile de la Cite you can take a boat cruise on the Vedettes du Pont Neuf.

If you visit the Ste-Chappelle on your second day, you'll want to Metro or bus to the Orsay and/or Rodin, save your feet for inside the museum. I agree that the best part of the Rodin is the garden, although the house has recently been renovated and I haven't seen it. If you did your Notre Dame and Ile de la Cite visiting yesterday, you'll have plenty of time on the second day for Sacre Coeur and Montmartre.

The third day involves a lot of walking, so take some rest breaks. The Louvre of course is vast, but has a good café to break up your visit.

On the fourth day, I'd suggest Metro or bus between the Eiffel Tower and the Latin Quarter. Don't miss the Luxembourg Gardens.

If you're willing to use some transit, which is easy and quick, this seems like a good realistic itinerary for four days. Congratulations on not trying to add Versailles or some other day trip out of the city, you have more than enough to keep you busy right in Paris.

Posted by
3476 posts

I agree with Christi that you need to map out the trips using Google. It is about a 30 minute walk from Sainte Chappelle to the Musee d’Orsay as is the walk from the Musée d’Orsay to Musée Rodin. The walk from Republique (probably the closest spot in Le Marais to Sacre Couer) is about 45 minutes, going the fast most direct and IMO not very charming route. From the Eiffel Tower to the Latin Quarter is about an hour. Are you and your 10 year old going to be able to do walks like that and then tour the destination? I have a 10 year old who is super active and he would hate it and we would have a major problem beginning on day one as we walked to Sacre Couer, but all children are different. Also, is your 10 year old interested in any of these sights – that has an impact, or at least it does with mine, on the willingness to walk 30 minutes to see something. That being said, over the years, I have taken three children to the Musée Rodin and all have loved it. I think it is because all have seen Night at the Museum and loved seeing the Thinker and all loved the grounds.

Posted by
443 posts

As others have suggested, map your walking routes with Google maps, but for the bus and metro use the RATP website for planning. I was made aware of that by folks on this forum. We're going to be in Paris soon for 4 days (2 adults) and plan to use the metro a lot, saving the feet for climbing towers, strolling parks and museum tours, as well as maximizing time.

Posted by
5828 posts

Depends on weather. We visited during pleasant mid-September weather - dry but not hot.

Our longest walking day was bus to Eiffel Tower, walked to Arc de Triomphe via d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, then a stroll to the Louvre via via Av. des Champs-Élysées with an early dinner at an outdoor cafe in the Orangerie. We did the Louvre during the evening discount hours then bus back to hotel. It was a long day but a pleasant sight seeing stroll. Checking distances with Google Maps:
Eiffel Tower to Arc de Triomphe = about 4 km
Arc de Triomphe to Louvre = 2 plus km
Time on feet was probably the greater stress than distance walked.

After our longest day, we did an easy museums day ending with a river boat evening cruise involving a lot of sitting.

Posted by
5142 posts

Great advise here!

Your post reminds me of our recent Paris visit a couple of months ago... When my daughter said; "let's walk there!"

Upon arrival to Paris (not jet-lagged since Paris was our final destination), we walked from our hotel (Latin quarter) to Notre Dame.
After touring this magnificent cathedral, we walked to the Louvre, just to see the exterior (my daughter was very interested in the glass pyramid-- we toured the museum on a different day).
Since this was my daughter's first time in Paris, she wanted to see the Eiffel Tower, up close.
After checking our city map, she says, "let's just walk there!" I warned her that it was a long way to reach the ET, but I agreed to walk.
It was a hot day, so after walking a couple of blocks, we saw a bicycle taxi & asked how much it would cost.

The nice young man replied; "where would you like to go?", we said; the Eiffel Tower, "15 Euro to the Eiffel Tower". Okay let's go, I said!
This was such a fun experience! We even got a narrated tour as he pedaled along past the various monuments!
As we were approaching the ET, I asked if he could take us to the Statue of Liberty, & he took us as far as Pont de Bir-Hakeim, (the beautiful bridge filmed in the movie 'Inception').

We then walked along the beautiful tree lined promenade (Allee de Cygnes--Isle of the Swans ) in the middle of the Seine, to reach the replica of the Statue of Liberty.

Anyway, we ended up taking more buses around Paris as this is a great way to see the sights.
Make sure to download the RATP app (uses data) so you can plan your route.
I also liked the 'Next Stop in Paris' app ( to figure out route via Metro -- does not require data)

Make sure you try the delicious Berthillon ice cream when walking around Ile Saint Louis!

My favorite was 'Peche de vigne' (vine peach), a delicious red peach found in the South of France.

Don't miss the Luxembourg Gardens!

Have a wonderful trip! ;-)

Posted by
3476 posts

Yes, weather is a key thing for this. In August, it easily could be too hot muggy and I am a person who loves hot weather.

Posted by
120 posts

We just returned from 2 weeks in Paris with our 7.5 year old. I think this will be too much walking for your daughter (and you!) if your family is not used to walking as transportation at home.