Paris Geek to the rescue! Da da da daaaaa (I need a theme song)
Ok,so here's the basic four-or-five-day plan so you can see the basic tourist locations, take a day trip (or two, depending on your sched) and maybe even walk around the city to find some unknown treasures.
Before I begin, I would suggest that you get a metro pass (it’s good on the metro, bus and RER commuter trains). They have a daily one (5 euros) which is well worth it. Also, get a good map of the city. I had the Let’s Go Western Europe book (just because I was backpacking all over), but I found the map left something to be desired, so I also got the “Inside Out” Paris Pop-out map. It was so easy to read, and had all of the sights clearly marked, so it was hard to get lost. It cost about $14 CDN, but it was worth every penny. Good if you're alone while sightseeing...but if your friend offers to be your own personal tour guide...how much better can you get!
If you're going for four or five complete days, I’d probably suggest for you to spilt the city into sections so you can explore it separately (the city is sectioned off into 20 arrondissments, which is how I made the plan).
Day 1: (6, 7, 8, 15, 14 arrondissments) The areas surrounding the Eiffel Tower and les Invalides, Trocadaro, Arc de Triomphe, Jardin du Luxembourg, Montparnesse, the Sorbonne.
Day 2: (1 (only part of) 2,3,9,10,18 arrondissements) The areas surrounding Scare Coeur (Montmatre),Moulin Rouge, Forum des Halles, Centre George Pompidou, the Opera, St Eustache.
Day 3: (1, 4, 5 arrondissments) The Louvre (takes a day and a half to see, but we spent half a day there. Go early to avoid line-ups), Palais Royal, Latin Quarter and St. Germain, Notre-Dame and Ile de la Cite, Jardin de Tuileries (it has a amusment park, tee hee), St. Germain, the beautiful bridges on the Seine, Musee d’Orsay, and the Fine Arts Academy.
If you decide to spend an extra day or two, you can check out the cemitaire Pere Lachaise, located in the 20th. Jim Morrison is buried there, along with very famous literary figures The bibliotechque national is very modern, but slightly out of the way (Just past Gare Austerlitz in the 13th), and le Defense (the modern, financial district) with La Grande Arc, which is to the North-West of the city. Also, as a day trip there's Versailles. It’s a beautiful castle from the 1600s. It’s absolutely breathtaking. The castle is about 12 km from the centre of the city, but is well worth the trip.
Sigh....I'm all geeked out for today!
Hope that helps!