18 days in France Itinerary

18 days in France Itinerary

Created using Inspirock France holiday maker
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Paris — 5 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 museums, sightseeing, and historic sites. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: admire the masterpieces at Louvre Museum, explore and take pictures at Eiffel Tower, appreciate the extensive heritage of Montmartre, and take in the architecture and atmosphere at Basilique du Sacre-Coeur de Montmartre.

To see where to stay, reviews, maps, and tourist information, go to the Paris planner.

San Francisco, USA to Paris is an approximately 14.5-hour flight. The time zone changes from Pacific Standard Time (PST) to Central European Standard Time (CET), which is usually a 9 hour difference. Prepare for a bit cooler weather when traveling from San Francisco in December: high temperatures in Paris hover around 47°F and lows are around 37°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 7th (Wed) early enough to catch the train to Strasbourg.
Historic Sites · Museums · Neighborhoods · Shopping
Find places to stay Dec 2 — 7:

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. 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.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Strasbourg: Vieille ville d'Eguisheim (in Eguisheim), Colmar (Old Town & Little Venice) and Chapelle Sainte-Marguerite (in Epfig). There's still lots to do: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Cathedrale Notre Dame de Strasbourg, do a tasting at Vin d'Alsace HORCHER, test your problem-solving skills at popular escape rooms, and examine the collection at Palais de Rohan.

To see ratings, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our Strasbourg online trip itinerary builder.

You can take a train from Paris to Strasbourg in 2.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of flight, shuttle, and train; or drive. In December, plan for daily highs up to 44°F, and evening lows to 33°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Sat) to allow time to fly to Lyon.
Historic Sites · Neighborhoods · Wineries · Fun & Games
Side Trips
Find places to stay Dec 7 — 10:

Lyon — 2 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.
Start off your visit on the 11th (Sun): appreciate the extensive heritage of Vieux Lyon, don't miss a visit to Traboules du Vieux Lyon, and then pause for some serene contemplation at Basilique Notre Dame de Fourviere. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: walk around Parc de la Tete d'Or, then find something for the whole family at KOEZIO Lyon, then appreciate the extensive heritage of Colline de Fourviere, and finally look for gifts at Ilet Gourmand.

For maps, more things to do, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read Lyon trip planner.

Getting from Strasbourg to Lyon by flight takes about 3 hours. Other options: take a train; or drive. In December, daytime highs in Lyon are 47°F, while nighttime lows are 34°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Mon) early enough to fly to Marseille.
Historic Sites · Parks · Theme Parks · Fun & Games
Side Trip
Find places to stay Dec 10 — 12:

Marseille — 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 13th (Tue), browse the exhibits of Paul Cezanne’s Studio, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Paroisse Cathédrale Saint Sauveur Aix-en-Provence, then take a stroll through Cours Mirabeau, and finally see the interesting displays at Musee Granet. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: wander the streets of The Panier, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde, then take a leisurely stroll along Le Vieux Port, and finally test your problem-solving skills at popular escape rooms.

To see maps, ratings, photos, and more tourist information, read Marseille route planner.

You can fly from Lyon to Marseille in 2.5 hours. Other options are to take a train; or drive. Prepare for somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Lyon in December: high temperatures in Marseille hover around 56°F and lows are around 40°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Wed) so you can drive to Nice.
Neighborhoods · Historic Sites · Museums · Fun & Games
Side Trip
Find places to stay Dec 12 — 14:

Nice — 5 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.
Explore Nice's surroundings by going to Cannes (Lérins Islands, Vieux Port, &more) and Antibes (Marché provençal, Musee Picasso, &more). There's still lots to do: take a stroll through Old Town, pause for some serene contemplation at Cathedrale Saint-Nicolas a Nice, see the interesting displays at Palais Lascaris, and test your team's savvy at popular escape rooms.

To see maps and other tourist information, refer to the Nice road trip planning website.

You can drive from Marseille to Nice in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. In December, daily temperatures in Nice can reach 58°F, while at night they dip to 45°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Mon) early enough to fly back home.
Historic Sites · Museums · Nature · Parks
Side Trips
Find places to stay Dec 14 — 19:

France travel guide

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.