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2 Days in Paris: The Perfect Paris Itinerary

Spending 2 days in Paris? Look no further! We’re sure this Paris itinerary will help you plan the perfect trip to the City of Love.

Planning a trip to Paris is exciting and overwhelming at the same time, especially for someone who will spend 48 hours in Paris while there is so much to choose from.

We mean, the city is massive, and it’s clearly challenging to decide what to do in Paris in two days when there’s so much to see.

This beautiful city has excellent museums, beautiful architecture, delicious wine, and excellent food. What’s not to love?

Well, if you’re going to spend 2 nights in Paris, this guide is everything you need to have an excellent time in Paris, the French capital. 

Eiffel Tower across the Seine River

How We Structured This 2 Days in Paris Itinerary

Before we get to the 2-day Paris itinerary, we’ll talk about our favorite hotels (with the best locations!), our take on the Paris Pass, and how to get around the city, just so you can plan your trip better.

But later in the article, we also talk about things you can do on a rainy day, things you should watch out for, the best tours in the city, a map (with all the locations we mention), and lots of tips to visit Paris in 2 days.

In other words, literally, everything you need to get the most out of your trip to Paris is in this article.

When to Visit Paris

Oh, Paris. This city is always a good idea, no doubt about it. The town turns gray with the weather in the winter, but thankfully, the Christmas lights cheer it all up. 

In the spring, flowers start blooming and coloring the streets with pink shades. The summer comes with tourists from all over the world, filling all corners of the city.

And the fall, the fall brings the colder, rainier weather colored with orange shades so the cycle can start over.

Where to Stay in Paris

While considering what arrondissement to stay, choose the one with the easiest access to most attractions in Paris that you plan to visit.

Well, we’d say from the 3rd/4th arrondissements (Le Marais) to the 7th arrondissement is where you can find the hotels with the best locations, but Montmartre is also a delightful area.

Balcony view of the Eiffel Tower

We will briefly talk about our favorite hotels in Paris below, but you might want to read our detailed guide to the best places to stay in Paris.

  • Regyn’s Montmartre – It’s not a secret that accommodation in Paris can be costly. Still, the Regyn’s Montmartre is a decent and affordable option in the 18th arrondissement. The area couldn’t be better at their price, within walking distance to the Sacre-Coeur, a supermarket, ATM, and the metro station. Not only that, but some rooms offer a unique view of Paris and the Eiffel Tower.  Click here to check availability.
  • Hotel Le Compostelle – If you want a hotel closer to the city center and with a little more comfort than the latter, check out the Hotel Le Compostelle in the 4th arrondissement. The location is also perfect: near the Hotel de Ville and within walking distance of the Notre Dame Cathedral. This art nouveau hotel is surrounded by restaurants (and some good bookstores). All rooms include a TV, hairdryer, free WiFi, and wardrobe. Beyond that, this area is safe for female travelers. Click here to check availability.
  • Grand Hotel des Balcons – If you want a little more comfort than the latter, check out the Grand Hotel des Balcons in the 6th arrondissement. The location of this hotel is also ideal: it’s very close to the Luxembourg Gardens and within walking distance of the metro. More importantly, this hotel is surrounded by restaurants and some good bookstores. All rooms include basic amenities, such as a hairdryer, TV, and wardrobe. Free WiFi included. Moreover, this area is very safe for female travelers. See it on Booking.com

Should You Buy the Paris Pass?

If you’re staying 2 days in Paris, we hardly believe it will be worth it. Why? 

Because you have such a short time in the city and even though the Museum Pass is great for first-timers because it covers the entrance to major attractions, you won’t spend two whole days inside museums. You also want to wander through Paris and see people, drink coffee, etc. 

The skip-the-ticket-line feature and the hop-on-hop-off bus are handy for sure. Still, you can also buy separate tickets for the attractions, as we mentioned above (also skip the line).

The takeaway: The Paris Passes (attraction pass + museum passParis Pass) are worth it if this is your first time in the city and you want to visit lots of places but don’t want to wait in line. We wrote a full Paris Pass review if you’d like to read more about it.

(The skip-the-line feature is a life-saver, especially if you’re during the weekend in Paris or high season.)

Read more reviews about the Paris Pass.

How to Get Around Paris

Metro Sign in Paris with the Eiffel Tower in the background

Metro is hands down the best way to get around Paris. 

Don’t underestimate the size of this massive city, especially if you’re spending 2 days in Paris. You’ll walk a lot, even taking the metro. Trust us on this.

After the first use of your metro ticket, this one will be valid for 1:30 hours, which means you can transfer from one metro line to another for free in that period. (Without exiting the station.) The Paris Travel ticket costs about €5.80 a day, and you can buy it at any station.

Some Paris Tours Worth Seeing

What to Do in 2 Days in Paris

This itinerary considers that you have two days in Paris to visit the main attractions and get a feeling of the place. 

But, if you have more days by any chance, you could consider going on a day trip or only spending more days in the city. For that, take a look at our 3 days in Paris, 4 days in Paris, and 5 days in Paris. (On the other hand, if for any reason you’re short on time, check out our guide for one day in Paris.)

Wanna know what places to visit in Paris in 2 days? Read on!

2 Days in Paris Itinerary – Day 1

As we said, this 2-day Paris itinerary is only for reference. Feel free to change the activities as it suits you.

Climb Up the Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower in front of flowers during spring in Paris

Well, first things first. You only have 2 days in Paris, so it would be a shame if you didn’t visit the world’s most famous tower.

The Eiffel Tower is, without a doubt, a must-see in Paris. Not only because this Parisian landmark is famous but because it’s magical. Climbing the Eiffel Tower is priceless. 

This major Paris tourist attraction receives nothing less than 6 MILLION visitors a year. Not bad, huh?

That’s why you will want to start your Paris itinerary here, preferably in the morning, to avoid (even more) crowds.

The 1063-ft tall tower has three floors that you can reach by stairs and elevator, except for the last one you must take the elevator to achieve. 

  • The first floor has a glass floor, and you can reach it by stairs or elevator. 
  • The second floor has a pricey 5-star Michelin restaurant. 
  • The observation deck offers one of the most incredible views of the city. (Try to spot some other tourist attractions in Paris.)

Fun fact: Did you know the Eiffel Tower is by far the world’s most-visited paid monument?

  • Admission: The ticket price to ascend this iconic attraction varies on how you go up in the tower: 
    • Staircase to the 2nd floor plus the elevator to reach the third-floor costs around €20
    • Lift to the summit costs €27 

Don’t miss out! Book your skip-the-line tickets plus a guided tour.

It’s important to note that you can stop at intermediate floors, regardless of the ticket you buy.

  • Opening hours: 
    • Lift: 9.30 am-10.45 pm | Stairs: 9.30 am-10.45 pm.

Pro tip: After you have ascended the Eiffel Tower, stroll around the Trocadero Gardens and Champ de Mars to take some good shots of the tower. The view of it from across the river is astonishing.

Follow the Da Vinci’s Code Steps at the Church of Saint-Sulpice

Church of Saint Sulpice in Paris

We like Dan Brown books, so visiting this church was a no-brainer.

If you have watched or read the novel The Da Vinci Code, you have learned about this place.

This story shows the Eglise St-Sulpice, or in English, Church of Saint-Sulpice, among other sites and art pieces in Paris. 

While this church plays a significant role in the novel, it’s also important to note that the author changed the meaning of many elements in the church to adapt them to the story.

The Church of Saint-Sulpice has nothing to do with paganism or the Priory of Sion. Still, it is a beautiful place to visit in Paris. The interior is gorgeous, and it has a somber atmosphere. We liked it.

  • Admission: Free entrance.
  • Opening hours: Every day 8 am-8 pm 

Pssst: Looking for godsend macarons? The Pierre Hermes store has these delicious French treats, and it is near the Church of Saint-Sulpice.

Wander Through the Luxembourg Gardens

Luxembourg Gardens in Paris

Not far from Eglise St-Sulpice, you’ll find Paris’ most visited park, the 17th-century Luxembourg Gardens.

These beautiful gardens are divided by a pond, and on each side of the park, you’ll find French gardens and English gardens.

Weather-permitting, wander through the park, sit on the grass, and do some people watching.

Maybe you could even have your lunch here in the park. The atmosphere is delightful.

Oh, and while wandering through the Luxembourg Gardens, you’ll probably come across greenhouses with lots of stunning orchids and a rose garden, a farm with an array of rare apple and pear trees, and the pretty Medici Fountain.

There’s a lot to see here. The garden is well taken care of, and this is a pleasant place to relax a bit. 

  • Admission: Free entrance.
  • Opening hours: 7.30 am-9.30 pm every day in the summer, and 8.15 am-4.30 pm in the winter.

Get Spooked at the Catacombs of Paris

Catacombs of Paris

Paris’ most massive ossuary has the bones of over 6 million people.

Due to severe sanitary risks, authorities moved the bones of millions of people in the 18th century from cemeteries throughout the city to the Catacombs.

While this attraction in Paris sounds pretty creepy, to say the least, it’s interesting to learn about its story because it’s an essential part of the city’s history. 

The tour takes approximately 45 minutes, and only 200 people can visit it simultaneously. So plan ahead and book your ticket in advance to avoid waiting time at the entrance.

You’ll want to bring a vest even if you’re traveling to Paris during the summer as the temperature drops to 57°F in the catacombs.

Take In the Architecture at the Pantheon of Paris

Pantheon in Paris during winter
Jerome LABOUYRIE / Shutterstock.com

The Pantheon of Paris is an impressive and beautiful building that got us jaw-dropped once we got in.

The imposing columns inside make you feel as if you were a tiny ant. Seriously.

Besides having beautiful architecture, the Pantheon is also the burial place of renowned French nationals, such as Voltaire, Alexandre Dumas, and Victor Hugo.

You can find an exhibition about their lives and work in the crypt.

Be in Awe of the Notre-Dame Cathedral

Boat cruising the Seine River in Paris and Notre Dame Cathedral in the background

Note: Following the fire of April 15, 2019, the Notre Dame Cathedral is closed for visitation. Although, you can still photograph the outside of the church.

After La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, the Notre-Dame Cathedral is the most beautiful religious site we have visited so far. 

We both watched the Hunchback of Notre Dame when we were kids, and we have to say that we had goosebumps once we walked in. 

The mysterious atmosphere inside, the chandeliers barely shining any light on the halls, and the stained glass windows make Notre Dame a unique experience.

Don’t forget to get your leaflet at the entrance to learn more about the architecture of this gorgeous building, including the gargoyles, statues, and facade’s meanings.

Pro tip: Climb the bell tower to have a perfect view over Paris. The entrance to the tower is outside the cathedral on the left side when you face the building.

  • Admission: Free entrance to the church.
  • Opening hours: Currently closed.

Photograph the Sainte-Chapelle

Interior of Sainte Chapelle with purple stained glass windows

Unfortunately, you’ll have to skip a lot of attractions since you’re spending only 2 days in Paris. But the Sainte-Chapelle isn’t one of them.

This royal chapel has the world’s most extensive (and remarkable) stained glass window collection.

Well, these windows are not just impressive. They’re actually telling a story. And you can learn about that story by scanning them with your phone’s camera. 

For that, download the free app Sainte-Chapelle stained glass (available for Android and iPhone).

You’ll want to have a good camera with you because the windows are really worth your time. It doesn’t matter if you have 2 days in Paris, or 4, or 10. The Sainte-Chapelle is a must-visit in Paris.

  • Admission: €11.50 for a ticket. If you buy the tickets to the Sainte-Chapelle and Conciergerie together, you pay €18.50 for both (instead of €23). Free entrance with Paris Pass.
  • Opening hours: 
    • Oct-Mar: Every day 9 am-5 pm
    • Apr-Sep: Every day 9 am-7 pm

Watch a Cabaret Show

Moulin Rouge in Paris

Finish the first day of your Paris itinerary with a cabaret show. These performances are an intrinsic part of Parisian history and culture.

And for years, cabaret was forbidden in several countries around the world, except in France, which was pretty chilled out about it. 

Just so you can understand it better: cabaret has nothing to do with striptease or obscene performances. Some cabarets do have nudity, but they are very professional, though. 

Cabaret is a classy and artistry act, which is connected to literature, music, and the empowering of women. 

And the best places to watch a real French cabaret show are at Le Lido and Moulin Rouge.

Usually, Le Lido is a tad more affordable than Moulin Rouge, primarily because of the latter’s popularity.

Either way, it’s a fantastic experience that you won’t forget. It’s a unique thing to do in Paris in 2 days.

Don’t miss out! Book tickets for Le Lido or book tickets for Moulin Rouge.

2 Days in Paris Itinerary – Day 2

Today you’ll learn about incredible places to visit in Paris in 2 days. Most of the places we’ll mention are museums that tell the city’s or country’s history.

Visit the Largest Art Museum in the World, the Louvre Art Museum

Louvre Art Museum facade

The Louvre is not only one of our favorite museums but also one of the prettiest museums in the whole world.

But we’re not the only ones who think that. In fact, the Louvre is the most visited museum in Paris!

For that reason, you’ll want to get there as soon as it opens to avoid (even more) crowds.

The Louvre has Western World exhibitions, the Islamic and Ancient World collections, and artworks from the medieval period to the 19th-century.

Moreover, some of the museum’s highlights are Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, Caravaggio’s Death of the Virgin, Antioch’s Venus de Milo, Pythokritos’ Winged Victory, and the Law Code of Hammurabi.

And while visiting Monalisa, be prepared to see a small painting surrounded by many tourists and lots of security.

Also, consider buying skip-the-line tickets. Usually, there are two main entry lines outside the glass pyramid, one fast-track security line for those with advance tickets and one slower line for people without an advance ticket. 

  • Admission: €17 for tickets. Don’t miss out! Buy skip-the-line tickets. Free entrance with Paris Pass.
  • Opening hours: Monday-Sunday, except Tuesday when it’s closed 9 am-6 pm.

Have Your Breath Taken Away at Musee d’Orsay

Musee D'Orsay clock in Paris

The Musee d’Orsay reminds us of a fancy train station with impressive decoration based in a former railway station.

But an impressive decoration does not live up to the museum’s restaurant, which is almost an art piece by itself.

Well, the Musee d’Orsay has the world’s most extensive exhibition of impressionist and post-impressionist art. Also, most of its collection are French pieces from the second half of the 19th-century to the beginning of WWI. 

It should be on your itinerary while visiting Paris in two days.

  • Admission: €16 for the ticket. If you buy the tickets to the Musee lÓrangerie and Musee d’Orsay together, you pay €22 for both (instead of €29). Don’t miss out! Book the skip-the-lines tickets. Free entrance on the first Sunday of the month. Free admission with Paris Pass.
  • Opening hours: Closed on Mondays. Tuesday-Sunday 9.30 am-6 pm.

Stroll Around Orangerie Museum

Musee de l'Orangerie in Paris
Musee de l’Orangerie in Paris – Takashi Images / Shutterstock.com

Musee De l’Orangerie has impressive artworks of the impressionism and post-impressionism movement.

The biggest highlight of the permanent collection is Monet’s “Water Lilies.” This artwork is a collection of eight panels spread across 299 ft and divided into two rooms. 

Musee l’Orangerie has stunning paintings, and it’s worth the visit for sure. 

If you’re wondering what to do in Paris in 2 days, know that you’ll want to see some prominent painters’ work firsthand, such as Renoir, Rousseau, and Modigliani. Paris is filled with them.

Fun fact: The first building on this site was designed as a winter shelter for the orange trees of the Tuileries Palace. 

  • Admission: €13 for the ticket. If you buy the tickets to the Musee lÓrangerie and Musee d’Orsay together, you pay €22 for both (instead of €29). Book your skip-the-line tickets. Free entrance on the first Sunday of the month. Free admission with Paris Pass.
  • Opening hours: Closed on Tuesdays. Wednesday-Monday 9 am-6 pm.

See the Chaotic Traffic at Place de la Concorde

Obelisk and statue at Place de la Concorde

Place de la Concorde is a square with a lot of history. Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were beheaded in a public execution at this square right before the end of the French Revolution. 

Despite this tragic moment in France’s history, Place de la Concorde is quite beautiful. 

Take a few photographs of the square with its two fountains and an Egyptian obelisk before heading to the Champs-Élysées while you listen to the chaotic traffic of cars driving around the square. It’s a busy place!

Munch on French Crepes

French crepe with strawberry

Champs-Élysées begins at Place de la Concorde and ends at the Arc de Triomphe.

So wander through this worldwide famous avenue while spotting high-end and popular brands–it is a 1.2-mile walk. 

But before you reach Arc de Triomphe, turn right nearly halfway and walk a few blocks to find L’Atelier Artisan Crêpier. This venue is popular and serves mouthwatering French crepes that will keep you coming back for me. 

Despite the location, they serve sweet and savory crepes at reasonable prices.

  • Opening hours: 
    • Monday-Friday 12 pm-2.30 pm and 7 pm-10 pm 
    • Saturday 7 am-10.30 am

Back to the Champs-Élysées, this avenue is a place worth seeing during your first time in Paris because the shining lights are inspiring. After all, Paris is the City of Love and the City of Light.

That is so true that Champs-Élysées inspired the Elisabeta Boulevard in Bucharest.

In fact, plenty of buildings in the Romanian capital was designed in French architecture. Did you know Bucharest has a triumphal arch similar to the French one?

Fun fact: Champs-Élysées means Elysian Fields in French, and the Elysian Fields were the paradise for dead heroes in Greek mythology.

Visit the Arc de Triomphe

View from Arc de Triomphe in the autumn, fall
View from the Arc de Triomphe

After indulging in some French crepes, head over to the Arc de Triomphe for amazing views of Paris.

This 164ft tall monument honors the fighters of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars.

Inscribed on the walls, you’ll see the name of the battles they won and the general’s names too.

Underneath the arch, you’ll see the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers of WWI, which has an eternal flame on it.

To reach the attic of the arch, take the elevator. There you’ll find a small exposition. When you’re ready to move on, take the stairs to have amazing views of Paris.

From here, you can spot many tourist attractions spread throughout the city, such as the Louvre Art Museum, Sacré-Cœur, and the Eiffel Tower, of course. 

You’ll want to bring your camera with you because it’s definitely worth the shots, mainly because the Arc de Triomphe is located on a roundabout that connects twelve avenues. And because of that, you can take interesting photos of the roads below.

Fun fact: After seeing the eternal flame underneath the arch, Jacqueline Kennedy requested an eternal flame for John F. Kennedy’s grave.

Explore Montmartre, the 18th arrondissement

Romantic street in Montmartre Paris

If you’re traveling for 2 days in Paris, you must spend some time wandering through the neighborhood’s cobblestone streets. 

The area has excellent and cozy cafes where you will want to have some coffee and do some people-watching. 

With a few windmills here and there, an artistic atmosphere, and even a vineyard, Montmartre is a lively neighborhood you won’t want to miss. If Paris had a romantic heart, it would be Montmartre.

Have Awesome Views from the Basilica of Sacré-Cœur

View of Eiffel Towe and Paris skyline from Sacre Coeur

The imposing white basilica watches over the city from the summit of Montmartre. (This is a must-see in Paris in 2 days!)

Its Romano-Byzantine style contrasts with this European city’s other religious buildings and churches.

One of the most interesting things about the Sacré-Cœur is that the stone used on the exterior exudes calcite on contact with rain, making it white. 

That’s actually good because many churches around Europe are turning black due to pollution. Still, this pretty white church remains neat and clean.

Anyway, a visit to the Sacré-Cœur is a must, and maybe you’re lucky enough to witness the choir of nuns. It’s beautiful! 

But keep in mind that it is not allowed to take photos or videos inside the church.

Oh, and the belltower isn’t open to visitors. However, you can climb the 300 steps to the dome for a small fee. 

  • Admission: Free of charge
  • Opening hours: Every day 6 am-10.30 pm

Pssst: You can picnic on the grassy hill in front of the Sacré-Cœur. But before that, be sure to stop by Boulangerie Raphaëlle to grab some delicious croissants or sandwiches.

Cruise the Seine River

Cruise on Seine River in front of Notre Dame

Let your Paris itinerary come to an end with a pleasant cruise on the Seine River.

If you think Paris is exceptionally charming during the day, imagine it when it’s dark and the lights shine a magical charm over the city.

In fact, the city’s beauty is one of the main reasons to visit Paris.

Anyway, you can either take a 1-hour cruise on the Seine River or a cruise plus dinner. At Bateaux Parisiens, they serve a decent 3-course meal during your River Seine cruise.

If you choose the 8 pm dinner, which lasts longer, there will be live music.

*A River Cruise is included in the Paris Pass.

Two Days in Paris Summary

Bookmark this blog post so you can easily find it later!

Day 1: 

Day 2: 

Things to Do in Paris on a Rainy Day

Eiffel Tower seen through glass on a rainy day

Oh, rainy days. They’re terrible when we are on vacation, but there is still a way to enjoy them if that’s the case for you.

FWIW – Paris usually has more rainy days in November, December, January, February, and March.

  • Become a history buffer, if you’re not already one, and spend your day in the city’s museums.
  • Enjoy a good cup of coffee (or tea, or hot chocolate) in the bohemian cafes throughout the city and watch the rainfall outside.
  • Explore the secret covered passages of Paris.
  • Tasting at Les Caves du Louvre and sipping a French glass of wine in a historical cellar (included in the Paris Pass).

WiFi for Your Paris Itinerary

In the internet era, no one wants to spend a day without WiFi. Even worse if that means spending four days without it. 

But luckily, Paris has a good network of public WiFi (and cafes, restaurants, bars also have WiFi), so you will have plenty of connection spots there.

Travel Tips for Visiting Paris

  • Wrap up if you’re going on the top floor of the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, or any high building as it is windy and cold.
  • Be sure to wear comfortable shoes as you will walk a lot.
  • Remember to have snacks and water in your purse.
  • Order preferably the menu of the day in restaurants as it *usually* is cheaper.
  • Bring your student ID to get a discount on some attractions.
  • Beware of your surroundings as Paris is jam-packed not only with tourists but also with pickpockets. For instance, you could wear a travel bra or an anti-theft purse.
  • Consider purchasing a Paris Pass to have free access to 60 museums and galleries and some other discounts/ tours. We’ll explain more about it below.
  • If you don’t need the Paris Museum Pass, be sure to buy your digital skip-the-line- ticket. We’ve indicated those tickets above.
  • Some museums have discounts for those between 18-26 years old, independent of their country of residence or nationality. Always check that. 
Champs Elysees and Arc de Triomphe in Paris

Things to Watch Out in Paris

Such a jam-packed city, Paris is also jam-packed with pickpockets. No reason to fear, though. Just be careful in the streets as you would typically be in any town, and you should be fine.

Remember to keep your belongings in sight at all times and close to your body. For instance (if you’re a woman), you could wear a travel bra or an anti-theft purse.

Other scams that are also common in Paris are the petition scam, the bracelet or golden ring scam, etc. Read up on it. Google is your friend.

Paris Itinerary Map

Click here to find the interactive map of Paris with all locations we mentioned in the itinerary above.

Day Trips From Paris

There are many places around the city to go on a day trip or even some locations in nearby countries that you can quickly get by train. And in this post, we talk about only the best day trips from Paris.

But we’ll talk about the most popular one near the city.

Versailles

Golden gate at Versailles Palace

After 2 days in Paris, you could go to the Palace of Versailles, where the French royalty lived.

Some people spend 2 days in Paris and the 3th in Versailles, which is also a good option if you aren’t staying for 4 days in the region.

To get to Versailles, buy a return ticket for the train. It costs around €7.

Don’t miss out! Book the skip-the-line ticket to Versailles.

Paris Travel Resources

Paris is a romantic city filled with incredible tourist attractions. Still, if you know what to see, those 2 days in Paris will be very well used.

If you’re traveling to Paris during winter, be sure to copy this packing list for the season.

For some inspiration (and Instagram captions), take a look at the best Paris quotes here.

Well, we hope this complete article will help you plan the perfect 2 days in Paris itinerary.

But if you have any questions regarding this Paris itinerary, feel free to drop your questions in the comments below. We’ll do our best to answer you!

Did you like this 2 days in Paris itinerary? Then share it with a friend who might like it too.

Don’t Forget About Travel Insurance!

Before you leave for France, make sure you have a valid travel insurance policy because accidents happen on the road. We have been paying for Safety Wing travel insurance for a little over a year now, and we happily recommend them to our family and friends.

If you get sick, injured, or have your stuff stolen, you'll be happy to have the ability to pay for your medical bills or replace what was stolen.

Because, for just a couple of dollars a day (depending on how long your policy is for), you're going to get lots of things covered. Be smart and get travel insurance.