59 days in France Itinerary

59 days in France Itinerary

Created using Inspirock France route builder

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Paris
— 3 nights
Drive
2
Versailles
— 3 nights
Train
3
Lille
— 3 nights
Train to Paris Nord, Train to Metz
4
Metz
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Strasbourg
— 3 nights
Drive
6
Besancon
— 2 nights
Train
7
Lyon
— 4 nights
Train
8
Marseille
— 4 nights
Train
9
Aix-en-Provence
— 4 nights
Train
10
Montpellier
— 4 nights
Drive
11
Carcassonne
— 4 nights
Drive
12
Toulouse
— 4 nights
Drive
13
Bordeaux
— 4 nights
Train
14
La Rochelle
— 4 nights
Train
15
Nantes
— 4 nights
Train
16
Bayeux
— 5 nights
Train to Paris St Lazare, Fly to Chicago O'Hare

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Paris

— 3 nights

City of Light

A beautiful and romantic city fit for any itinerary, Paris brims with historic associations and remains vastly influential in the realms of culture, art, fashion, food and design.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Parc Monceau and Memorial De La Shoah. Step out of Paris with an excursion to Fontainebleau Forest (Foret de Fontainebleau) in Fontainebleau--about 1h 5 min away. Next up on the itinerary: visit 1st Arrondissement, make a trip to Place Vendome, admire the natural beauty at Coulee Verte Rene-Dumont, and examine the collection at Musee du Parfum - Fragonard.

To see photos, where to stay, reviews, and more tourist information, go to the Paris day trip planning app.

Chicago, USA to Paris is an approximately 12-hour flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 7 hours traveling from Chicago to Paris. Traveling from Chicago in March, things will get a bit warmer in Paris: highs are around 53°F and lows about 38°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Versailles.

Things to do in Paris

Parks · Museums · Nature · Neighborhoods

Side Trip

Versailles

— 3 nights

Royal Paradise

Renowned for its vast royal palace and gardens built by King Louis XIV, Versailles is also one of the wealthiest suburbs of Paris and home to a new cultural notability, such as a thriving artistic and musical scene.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Temple de l'Amour and Le Grand Trianon. The adventure continues: get engrossed in the history at Galerie des Carrosses, take in the spiritual surroundings of Eglise Notre-Dame de Versailles, explore the wealth of natural beauty at L'Orangerie, and don't miss a visit to Académie Équestre de Versailles.

Quickly create a custom-made itinerary for Versailles using our trip planner.

Traveling by car from Paris to Versailles takes an hour. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. In March, daytime highs in Versailles are 53°F, while nighttime lows are 37°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 8th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Lille.

Things to do in Versailles

Historic Sites · Parks · Museums · Shopping

Lille

— 3 nights

Cultural Heart of Northern France

On the Deûle River near the Belgium border, Lille has a very active cultural life as France's fifth-largest metropolitan area and the fourth-largest urban area with a large college student population.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like VirtualRoom and Jardin des Geants. There's still lots to do: make a trip to Place aux Oignons, witness the site of a historic battle at Fromelles and Flanders Battlefield Tours, have some family-friendly fun at Weembi Simulateur de Chute Libre, and see the interesting displays at Forum departemental des Sciences.

To see maps, other places to visit, photos, and other tourist information, use the Lille online trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by train from Versailles to Lille takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train; or take a bus. In March, daytime highs in Lille are 52°F, while nighttime lows are 37°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 11th (Wed) early enough to go by car to Metz.

Things to do in Lille

Fun & Games · Historic Sites · Museums · Parks

Metz

— 2 nights

City of Light

Located at the confluence of the Moselle and the Seille rivers bordering Luxembourg and Germany, Metz has a cultural confluence as well with a merging of its French and German heritage and military traditions.
Kick off your visit on the 12th (Thu): pause for some serene contemplation at Le Temple Neuf, soak in style at Turkish baths, contemplate the long history of Templar's Chapel, then get outside with Plan d'Eau de Metz, and finally take a stroll through Place Saint Jacques. On the 13th (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: examine the collection at La Cour d'Or, admire the natural beauty at Jardin des Traces, and then take in the history at Group Fortifications of Aisne.

To see where to stay, maps, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the Metz online day trip planner.

Take a train from Lille to Metz in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train; or fly. In March, daytime highs in Metz are 50°F, while nighttime lows are 34°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 13th (Fri) so you can go by car to Strasbourg.

Things to do in Metz

Historic Sites · Outdoors · Museums · Parks

Side Trips

Strasbourg

— 3 nights

Crossroads of Europe

Strasbourg is famous for its beautiful historical center, the Grande Île, which was the first city center classified entirely as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Le Jardin des Deux Rives and Hueco. The adventure continues: examine the collection at Pixel Museum, have some family-friendly fun at Les Cognees, make a trip to The Europe Bridge, and steep yourself in history at La Neustadt.

To see where to stay, traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, read our Strasbourg online vacation planner.

You can drive from Metz to Strasbourg in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. In March, plan for daily highs up to 54°F, and evening lows to 35°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Besancon.

Things to do in Strasbourg

Fun & Games · Historic Sites · Museums · Parks

Besancon

— 2 nights
Proclaimed the first "green city" of France and labeled a "Town of Art and History," Besancon has plentiful mountain and river activities for you to enjoy.
On the 17th (Tue), make a trip to Basilique Saint-Ferjeux, take in panoramic vistas at Fort de Chaudanne, stop by Doubs Direct, browse the fresh offerings at Marche couvert Beaux-Arts, then admire the landmark architecture of Hotel de Champagney, and finally shop like a local with Ateliers Zone Art. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 18th (Wed): take in nature's colorful creations at Promenade Granvelle, appreciate the extensive heritage of Square Castan, admire the landmark architecture of Fort de Bregille, then make a trip to Synagogue de Besancon, then contemplate the long history of Place du Huit-Septembre, and finally take in the architecture and atmosphere at Eglise Saint-Pierre.

For traveler tips, ratings, photos, and other tourist information, go to the Besancon trip planner.

Drive from Strasbourg to Besancon in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. In March, daytime highs in Besancon are 52°F, while nighttime lows are 37°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 18th (Wed) early enough to go by car to Lyon.

Things to do in Besancon

Historic Sites · Shopping · Museums · Parks

Lyon

— 4 nights

Culinary Capital of France

Lyon is a historical city with a vibrant cultural scene as the birthplace of cinema, the silk capital of the globe, and the second biggest Renaissance city following Venice.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Cour des Voraces and Musee de l'Imprimerie de Lyon. There's lots more to do: test your team's savvy at DreamAway Lyon, don't miss a visit to Montee De La Grande Cote, admire the landmark architecture of Palais de la Bourse de Lyon, and get engrossed in the history at Memorial National de la Prison de Montluc.

To see more things to do, photos, and other tourist information, go to the Lyon trip itinerary site.

Take a train from Besancon to Lyon in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train; or take a bus. In March in Lyon, expect temperatures between 56°F during the day and 39°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sun) so you can take a train to Marseille.

Things to do in Lyon

Fun & Games · Museums · Historic Sites

Marseille

— 4 nights

Gateway to Provence

The 2013 European "Capital of Culture," Marseille is the largest port city on the breezy Mediterranean coast and the second largest city in France.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Musee Regards de Provence and Chateau d'Hyeres. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Marseille: Randonnee Bormes-les-Mimosas (in Bormes-Les-Mimosas), Eglise Saint Nazaire de Sanary-sur-Mer (in Sanary-sur-Mer) and Sentier du Littoral de la Presqu'ile de Giens (in Hyeres). And it doesn't end there: take in the architecture and atmosphere at St. Vincent de Paul Church, see the interesting displays at Pavillon M, have some family-friendly fun at Le Farfadet Joyeux, and make a trip to Basilique du Sacre-Ceour.

For reviews, traveler tips, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the Marseille day trip website.

Traveling by train from Lyon to Marseille takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or fly. March in Marseille sees daily highs of 61°F and lows of 43°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Thu) to allow time to drive to Aix-en-Provence.

Things to do in Marseille

Fun & Games · Outdoors · Trails · Parks

Side Trips

Aix-en-Provence

— 4 nights

City of a Thousand Fountains

Aix-en-Provence is a small, classically Provençal town, famous for being home to Cézanne.
Explore hidden gems such as Promenade de la Torse and Halle aux Grains. There's still lots to do: pause for some serene contemplation at Eglise du Saint-Esprit, get outside with Lac du Bimont, make a trip to Place d'Albertas, and contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Chapelle des Bourras ou Penitents Gris.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Aix-en-Provence trip tool.

You can take a train from Marseille to Aix-en-Provence in an hour. Other options are to drive; or take a bus; or take a train. In March, daily temperatures in Aix-en-Provence can reach 60°F, while at night they dip to 43°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 30th (Mon) early enough to go by car to Montpellier.

Things to do in Aix-en-Provence

Historic Sites · Shopping · Wildlife · Parks

Montpellier

— 4 nights
"Montpellier is a modern, compact, and fast-growing city about 10 km (6 mi) inland from the Mediterranean coast with an active, youthful vibe.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Bertrand Bosc and Le Pavillon Populaire. The adventure continues: get your game on at Mad Monkey, don't miss a visit to Place Jean Jaures, explore the world behind art at l'Atelier musee Fernand MICHEL Arts brut et singulier, and examine the collection at Site archeologique Lattara - Musee Henri Prades.

To see maps, more things to do, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the Montpellier route builder site.

You can take a train from Aix-en-Provence to Montpellier in 2 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of bus and train; or take a train. In March, daily temperatures in Montpellier can reach 61°F, while at night they dip to 43°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Fri) so you can go by car to Carcassonne.

Things to do in Montpellier

Museums · Wineries · Historic Sites · Nightlife

Carcassonne

— 4 nights

Medieval Heart of France

Best known as a fortified town, Carcassonne is a walled city that provided the inspiration for the castle in Disney's "Sleeping Beauty" and the location for many scenes in Kevin Costner's movie "Robin Hood." For a daily dose of excitement, medieval jousting tournaments are held twice per day between the two walls--while this may sound like a typical touristy show, it's actually an entertaining display of combative competition and horsemanship.
Discover out-of-the-way places like La Porte D'aude and Moulin Benazeth. There's much more to do: pause for some serene contemplation at Eglise St. Vincent, examine the collection at Maison de la Truffe d'Occitanie, look for gifts at Philippe Boccardi, Artisan Chocolatier, and trek along Mayronnes Sculpture Trail.

To see ratings, where to stay, other places to visit, and tourist information, refer to the Carcassonne road trip planner.

You can drive from Montpellier to Carcassonne in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. In April, plan for daily highs up to 65°F, and evening lows to 46°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Tue) so you can drive to Toulouse.

Things to do in Carcassonne

Outdoors · Museums · Wineries · Historic Sites

Toulouse

— 4 nights

La Ville Rose (Pink City)

On the Garonne River, Toulouse is on the site of an ancient Roman settlement, and even today, many of the smaller streets follow their Roman counterparts, while many of the red brick buildings are built in a pseudo-Roman style.
Explore hidden gems such as Chapelle des Carmelites and Saint Nicolas Church. There's still lots to do: see the interesting displays at Musee d'Histoire de la Medecine, let your taste buds guide you at a local gastronomic tour, pause for some serene contemplation at Eglise Saint Jerome, and admire the natural beauty at Jardin Raymond VI.

To see photos, maps, reviews, and other tourist information, read Toulouse online journey planner.

Traveling by car from Carcassonne to Toulouse takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. In April, plan for daily highs up to 65°F, and evening lows to 46°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 11th (Sat) so you can go by car to Bordeaux.

Things to do in Toulouse

Wineries · Theme Parks · Tours · Historic Sites

Bordeaux

— 4 nights

The Port of the Moon

With a long history of producing regional wines since the Romans brought grapevines here during the first century, so many people consider Bordeaux to be the wine capital of the world.
Explore hidden gems such as Parc animalier Rene CANIVENC (Le Moulineau) and Cite Fruges-Le Corbusier. The adventure continues: take in the architecture and atmosphere at Eglise Sainte-Croix, ponder the design of Fountain of Three Graces, step into the grandiose world of Chateau du Taillan, and admire the striking features of Eglise Saint-Eloi.

For other places to visit, reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the Bordeaux day trip planning tool.

Drive from Toulouse to Bordeaux in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. April in Bordeaux sees daily highs of 64°F and lows of 46°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 15th (Wed) early enough to go by car to La Rochelle.

Things to do in Bordeaux

Historic Sites · Parks · Spas · Neighborhoods

La Rochelle

— 4 nights

White City

Driving on the narrow streets can be difficult in La Rochelle so walking or biking will give you the best view of the pale stone buildings that give the Vieux Port, or old port, a distinctly Mediterranean quality.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Spas and Rue Sur-les-Murs. There's still lots to do: make a trip to Porte de la Grosse-Horloge, pick up some local products at Marche du Centre Ville, try your luck at Casino Barriere La Rochelle, and take in the waterfront activity at Port de Plaisance des Minimes.

To see where to stay, traveler tips, more things to do, and tourist information, read La Rochelle trip planner.

You can take a train from Bordeaux to La Rochelle in 2.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus; or take a train. In April, daily temperatures in La Rochelle can reach 61°F, while at night they dip to 47°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 19th (Sun) so you can go by car to Nantes.

Things to do in La Rochelle

Historic Sites · Nightlife · Spas · Museums

Nantes

— 4 nights

Venice of the West

Regarded as an art and history city, Nantes is called the Venice of the West.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Belem and Basilique Saint Nicolas. And it doesn't end there: examine the collection at Musee d'histoire naturelle de Nantes, explore the world behind art at Musee d'Arts de Nantes, relax in the rural setting at Ferme de la Chasseloire, and admire the local landmark of Le Miroir d'Eau.

To see photos, ratings, more things to do, and other tourist information, read Nantes trip planner.

Traveling by train from La Rochelle to Nantes takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus; or take a train. Traveling from La Rochelle in April, Nantes is a bit cooler at night with lows of 42°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Bayeux.

Things to do in Nantes

Museums · Fun & Games · Parks · Historic Sites

Bayeux

— 5 nights
Most travelers take a trip to Bayeux to see the famed tapestry depicting the legendary Norman Conquest from the 11th century.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Eglise Saint-Patrice de Bayeux and Cave a Vin - Le Volet qui penche. Change things up with these side-trips from Bayeux: Les Roches de Ham (Point de Vue) (in Brectouville), Eglise Saint-Jean (in Caen) and Eglise Saint-Come-et-Saint-Damien d'Angoville-au-Plain (in Angoville-Au-Plain). There's lots more to do: enjoy some friendly competition at Bowling 868 Bayeux, don't miss a visit to Atelier Galerie Ludovic Grand-Guillot, tour the pleasant surroundings at Plage de Barneville., and pause for some photo ops at Monument des Deportes.

To see other places to visit, ratings, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read Bayeux trip planning app.

Take a train from Nantes to Bayeux in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train; or do a combination of flight and train. In April in Bayeux, expect temperatures between 58°F during the day and 40°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 28th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Bayeux

Historic Sites · Outdoors · Beaches · Museums

Side Trips

France travel guide

4.3
Architectural Buildings · Art Museums · Landmarks
France has been the world's most popular tourist destination for decades, and geographically, it is one of the most diverse countries in Europe. Its cities are holiday hot spots and contain some of the greatest treasures in Europe, its countryside is prosperous and well tended, and it boasts dozens of major tourist attractions, like Paris, the French Riviera, the Atlantic beaches, the winter sport resorts of the French Alps, as well as the castles of the Loire Valley, Brittany, and Normandy. The country is renowned for its gastronomy, particularly wines and cheeses, as well as its history, culture, and fashion industry.

You'll find that the French people are very polite and may react coldly to you if you forget this. You might be surprised as you're greeted by other customers and the proprieter when you walk into a restaurant or a shop. Be sure to take your sightseeing off the beaten path in France. Besides the famous Eiffel Tower and the chic resorts of the Côte d'Azur (French Riviera) you'll find many places to visit in the form of museums filled with fine art, crafts, and archaeological relics, wonderful medieval villages and castles, diverse national parks, and local shopping direct from artisans themselves.

Whether you're touring the Christmas Markets or going skiing during winter, viewing the springtime influx of color in Provence, sunbathing on the Mediterranean coast in the summer, or watching the fall foliage against the backdrop of the châteaux in the Loire Valley, you're sure to find just the right place to be. Spring is a time when the tourist attractions are just starting to expand their hours, but it may still be cold in the mountainous regions and the north. Summer is the busiest time in France with the longest hours for many museums and attractions, but it's often when you will experience the most crowds. Winter in France is filled with winter carnivals, Christmas Markets, and of course, skiing. Fall is a time to celebrate the release of Beaujolais nouveau wine in November, as well as experience Nuit Blanche, a day in October when major attractions, museums, galleries, parks, and swimming pools remain open all night.