19 days in France, Italy & Zurich Itinerary

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Paris, France
— 4 nights
Strasbourg, France
— 3 nights
Zurich, Switzerland
— 3 nights
Venice, Italy
— 3 nights
Rome, Italy
— 3 nights


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.
Explore hidden gems such as Seine River and Pont Alexandre III. There's still lots to do: explore and take pictures at Eiffel Tower, wander the streets of Île de la Cité, explore the world behind art at Musee d'Orsay, and don't miss a visit to Le Trocadero et son esplanade.

For ratings, where to stay, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Paris travel itinerary planner.

Atlanta, USA to Paris is an approximately 13-hour flight. The time zone changes from Eastern Standard Time (EST) to Central European Standard Time (CET), which is usually a 6 hour difference. Traveling from Atlanta in December, things will get slightly colder in Paris: highs are around 47°F and lows about 37°F. You'll have a few hours on the 9th (Fri) to wrap things up before traveling to Strasbourg.
Museums · Historic Sites · Parks · Nature
Find places to stay Dec 5 — 9:

Strasbourg, France — 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.
Step off the beaten path and head to Cathedrale Notre Dame de Strasbourg and La Grand-Rue. Explore Strasbourg's surroundings by going to Eglise Sainte-Foy (in Selestat), Vin d'Alsace HORCHER (in Mittelwihr) and Tour des Bouchers (in Ribeauville). Next up on the itinerary: visit La Petite France, don't miss a visit to Dolder Tower, admire the landmark architecture of Gare de Strasbourg, and stop by Feerie de Noel.

To see reviews, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the Strasbourg trip planner.

Traveling by train from Paris to Strasbourg takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight, shuttle, and train; or drive. In December, daytime highs in Strasbourg are 44°F, while nighttime lows are 33°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Mon) so you can drive to Zurich.
Historic Sites · Baths · Fun & Games · Wineries
Side Trips
Find places to stay Dec 9 — 12:

Zurich, Switzerland — 3 nights

Big Small Town

The financial hub of Switzerland, Zurich is most often associated with money and banks.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Old Town and Muensterplatz. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Zurich: Basel (Offene Kirche Elisabethen, Basel's Old Town, &more). And it doesn't end there: contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Zurich, look for gifts at Maurice de Mauriac, wander the streets of Niederdorf, and examine the collection at Zoological Museum.

Take the guesswork out of planning a Zurich vacation by using our trip itinerary maker.

Traveling by car from Strasbourg to Zurich takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. In December in Zurich, expect temperatures between 41°F during the day and 30°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Thu) so you can fly to Venice.
Neighborhoods · Historic Sites · Nature · Museums
Side Trip
Find places to stay Dec 12 — 15:

Venice, Italy — 3 nights

City of Romance

Virtually unchanged for the last six centuries, Venice is actually a group of islands made famous by a series of canals, bridges, monuments, piazzas, and narrow pedestrian lanes.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Prato della Valle and Cannaregio. Change things up with a short trip to Piazza dei Signori in Padua (about 50 minutes away). There's much more to do: contemplate the long history of Scuola Grande di San Rocco, see the interesting displays at Doge's Palace, contemplate the waterfront views at Canal Grande, and contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari.

To find traveler tips, more things to do, reviews, and other tourist information, read Venice vacation planner.

Getting from Zurich to Venice by flight takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a train. When traveling from Zurich in December, plan for a bit warmer days and about the same nights in Venice: temperatures range from 49°F by day to 34°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Sun) early enough to fly to Rome.
Historic Sites · Neighborhoods · Museums · Nature
Side Trip
Find places to stay Dec 15 — 18:

Rome, Italy — 3 nights

Eternal City

Aptly nicknamed the Eternal City, Rome is the birthplace of the Roman Empire, one of the world's greatest civilizations ever.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Basilica Papale San Paolo fuori le Mura and Centro Storico Associazione Centro Storico. Go for a jaunt from Rome to Ostia Antica to see Parco Archeologico di Ostia Antica about 42 minutes away. There's lots more to do: delve into the distant past at Colosseum, contemplate the long history of St. Peter's Basilica, admire the local landmark of Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi, and take an in-depth tour of Le Domus Romane di Palazzo Valentini.

To find photos, reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Rome trip builder tool.

You can fly from Venice to Rome in 3 hours. Other options are to take a train; or drive. Expect a bit warmer weather when traveling from Venice in December: highs in Rome hover around 57°F, while lows dip to 39°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 21st (Wed) early enough to catch the flight back home.
Historic Sites · Museums · Childrens Museums
Side Trips
Find places to stay Dec 18 — 21:

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.

Italy travel guide

Landmarks · Ruins · Beaches
Italy is a land of high fashion, fine art, exquisite architecture, luxury sports cars, outstanding cuisine--and an insatiable taste for "la dolce vita." It's also home to the greatest number of World Heritage Sites in the world, making it an ideal place for your next holiday. The country boasts a varied landscape of mountain ranges, alpine lakes, and coastal towns, so it's no wonder travelers often refer to it as the bel paese (beautiful country). With so many places to visit, visitors often have a difficult time planning their itinerary. The smaller villages each feature a distinct character and a blend of architecture, art, and cuisine. In the country, you'll find countless archeological sites dating back to Roman times and beyond. The country's cities and seaside resorts are cosmopolitan powerhouses with museums, galleries, restaurants, shops, open-air markets, and pedestrian-friendly historic areas.