16 days in Switzerland & France Itinerary

16 days in Switzerland & France Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Europe trip builder

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Zurich, Switzerland
— 3 nights
Zermatt, Switzerland
— 1 night
Strasbourg, France
— 1 night
Paris, France
— 4 nights
Marseille, France
— 2 nights
Nice, France
— 4 nights


Zurich, Switzerland

— 3 nights

Big Small Town

The financial hub of Switzerland, Zurich is most often associated with money and banks.
Zurich is known for nature, historic sites, and museums. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: get to know the fascinating history of Old Town, explore the world behind art at Museum Rietberg, wander the streets of Bahnhofstrasse, and explore the activities along Lake Zurich.

To see photos, maps, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our Zurich online attractions planner.

Doha, Qatar to Zurich is an approximately 10-hour flight. The time zone difference moving from Arabian Standard Time (AST) to Central European Standard Time (CET) is minus 2 hours. Traveling from Doha in December, expect Zurich to be colder, temps between 5°C and -1°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Zermatt.

Things to do in Zurich

Museums · Neighborhoods · Parks · Historic Sites
Find places to stay Dec 16 — 19:

Zermatt, Switzerland

— 1 night
Best known as home the Matterhorn mountain, Zermatt serves as a chic ski resort town of the Swiss Alps.
Kick off your visit on the 20th (Mon): stop by Laderach, then get great views at Gornergrat, and then tour along fresh powder with Matterhorn Diamonds Ski School.

For other places to visit, maps, more things to do, and other tourist information, use the Zermatt trip itinerary maker website.

Getting from Zurich to Zermatt by car takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: take a train; or do a combination of bus and train. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Mon) so you can drive to Strasbourg.

Things to do in Zermatt

Outdoors · Tours · Winter Sports · Classes
Find places to stay Dec 19 — 20:

Strasbourg, France

— 1 night

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. Strasbourg is one of the nine largest cities in France with nearly half a million inhabitants in the metropolitan area crossing the river to the German city of Kehl, on the eastern bank of the Rhine River.
Start off your visit on the 21st (Tue): stop by La Petite Manufacture des Reves, get to know the fascinating history of Centre-ville de Strasbourg, then take a stroll through La Petite France, and finally take in the architecture and atmosphere at Cathedrale Notre Dame de Strasbourg.

For other places to visit, traveler tips, where to stay, and tourist information, read our Strasbourg tour itinerary planner.

You can drive from Zermatt to Strasbourg in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of train, bus, and tram. In December, daily temperatures in Strasbourg can reach 7°C, while at night they dip to 0°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Tue) early enough to take a train to Paris.

Things to do in Strasbourg

Historic Sites · Neighborhoods · Shopping

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 20 — 21:

Paris, France

— 4 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.
Paris is known for historic sites, museums, and nightlife. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: admire the striking features of Louvre Museum, appreciate the extensive heritage of Montmartre, get a taste of the local shopping with Champs-Elysees, and admire the masterpieces at Musee d'Orsay.

To see photos, reviews, where to stay, and tourist information, refer to the Paris trip builder website.

Getting from Strasbourg to Paris by train takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of train, shuttle, and flight; or drive. In December, daytime highs in Paris are 9°C, while nighttime lows are 3°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Sat) so you can fly to Marseille.

Things to do in Paris

Historic Sites · Museums · Neighborhoods · Shopping
Find places to stay Dec 21 — 25:

Marseille, France

— 2 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.
On the 26th (Sun), contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Cathédrale La Major, wander the streets of Cours Mirabeau, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Paroisse Cathédrale Saint Sauveur Aix-en-Provence, and finally see the interesting displays at Musee Granet. Keep things going the next day: take a stroll through The Panier, take a leisurely stroll along Le Vieux Port, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Abbaye Saint Victor.

For photos and other tourist information, use the Marseille travel route planner.

Traveling by flight from Paris to Marseille takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. When traveling from Paris in December, plan for somewhat warmer days and about the same nights in Marseille: temperatures range from 15°C by day to 5°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Nice.

Things to do in Marseille

Neighborhoods · Historic Sites · Museums

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 25 — 27:

Nice, France

— 4 nights

Nissa la Bella (Nice the Beautiful)

Well-known for the beautiful views of its famous Promenade des Anglais waterfront, Nice is an ethnically-diverse coastal port city on the French Riviera and the fifth most populated city in France.
Take a break from Nice with a short trip to Lérins Islands in Cannes, about 52 minutes away. Next up on the itinerary: visit Vieille Ville, take some stellar pictures from Colline du Chateau overlook, contemplate the long history of Palais Lascaris, and make a trip to Place Massena.

For traveler tips, other places to visit, more things to do, and other tourist information, use the Nice trip planner.

Traveling by car from Marseille to Nice takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. Expect a daytime high around 17°C in December, and nighttime lows around 8°C. On the 31st (Fri), you'll have the morning to explore before heading back home.

Things to do in Nice

Historic Sites · Parks · Nature · Museums

Side Trips

Find places to stay Dec 27 — 31:

Switzerland travel guide

Bodies of Water · Mountains · Specialty Museums
Immerse yourself in a snow-capped mountain wonderland in Switzerland's serene Alpine setting. See the world-renowned Matterhorn, Switzerland's second-highest mountain at 4,478 m (14,962 ft) tall, or zoom down the mountains on toboggan, ski, or snowboard. In the warmer seasons hike around the rolling green hillsides covered with pine trees and picturesque aqua blue lakes. Luxurious cities dotted with cozy wooden chalets and colorful flowerbeds balance quaintness with first-class cultural offerings. Indulge in the country's opulence of milk chocolate, cheese fondue, and keg-carrying St. Bernard dogs.

France travel guide

Architectural Buildings · Landmarks · Historic Sites
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.