As you explore these regions, you’ll be immersed in a rich tapestry of cultures, languages, and landscapes that have inspired countless artists, writers, and thinkers throughout history.
Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, a nature lover, or an adventurer, this itinerary has something for everyone. From medieval castles to modern museums, from scenic hikes to cozy wine bars, you’ll discover a wealth of experiences that will stay with you long after your journey has ended.
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FAQ: FRANCE AND GERMANY ITINERARY
First things first, here are some quick tips to make your Germany and France itinerary easier.
HOW MANY DAYS FOR A FRANCE AND GERMANY ITINERARY?
Based on this itinerary, I would recommend planning to spend at least 7-10 days in France and Germany. This will give you enough time to visit the cities and attractions mentioned, as well as allow for some time to relax and explore at your own pace.
In this timeframe, you could spend around 2-3 days in each city – Strasbourg, Freiburg, and Heidelberg – and also have some time to explore the surrounding areas, such as the Alsace region.
If you have more time, you could consider extending your trip to explore other destinations in France and Germany – e.g. to gorgeous Paris if you have not been there prior. However, 7-10 days should give you a good amount of time to see the highlights of this itinerary and have a memorable trip.
HOW TO GET AROUND FRANCE & GERMANY
There are several ways to get around for this itinerary – depending on your budget and preferences. Here are some options to consider:
RENT A CAR: Renting a car can be a great option if you want to have more freedom and flexibility during your trip. You can easily rent a car at the airport or in the city and drive around at your own pace. However, keep in mind that parking in some cities can be expensive and traffic can be congested during peak hours.
RENT A CAR FOR THIS ITINERARY HERE
PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION: Both Germany and France have well-developed public transportation systems that make it easy to get around. You can use buses, trains, and trams to travel between cities and within cities. It’s often more affordable than renting a car, and you can sit back and relax while enjoying the scenic views.
GUIDED TOURS: If you prefer not to worry about transportation logistics, joining a guided tour can be a great option. You can find tours that include transportation between cities and attractions, as well as a guide to provide information and insights about the destinations you’re visiting.
CYCLING: Both Germany and France are known for their cycling routes, and cycling can be a great way to explore the region while getting some exercise. You can rent a bike in many cities, and there are plenty of cycling routes that take you through the beautiful countryside and charming villages. However, though I personally thing this mode of transport is appealing, you would need much more time than just 7-10 days.
Ultimately, the choice of transportation will depend on your budget, travel style, and preferences, but I suggest either deciding on public transport or a car.
Whatever method you choose, make sure to plan ahead and book in advance to save time and money.
BEST TIME TO VISIT FRANCE AND GERMANY
The best time to visit the places on the above-mentioned itinerary depends on what you’re looking for in terms of weather, crowds, and events. Here are some general guidelines to consider:
The best time to visit above mentioned places is during the shoulder seasons of spring (April to June) and autumn (September to October). During these months, you’ll enjoy mild temperatures, fewer crowds, and the beautiful colors of the changing seasons.
During the summer months (late June to August), you’ll enjoy warm temperatures, long daylight hours, and plenty of outdoor activities like hiking and cycling. However, keep in mind that this is peak tourist season, so you can expect larger crowds and higher prices.
However, if you’re interested in experiencing the region’s famous Christmas markets, plan to visit from late November to December.
Overall, the best time to visit these places is during the shoulder seasons, when you can avoid crowds and enjoy pleasant weather. However, if you have a specific interest, such as Christmas markets or winter sports, plan your visit accordingly.
ALSCAE WINE ROUTE
This itinerary means, you start in Germany, visit France for 3-4 days, and then end your trip i Germany. Of course, there are ways to make some amendments that also do make sense.
There are several airports, in case you fly.
Frankfurt (FRA) – one of the biggest airports in Europe – is about 90 km (55 miles) from Heidelberg.
EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg (BSL, EAP, MLH) is an international airport that is also a great option to fly into or out.
PLACES TO VISIT – FRANCE & GERMANY TRIP
So, let´s start.
🇩🇪 1 -2 DAYS – HEIDELBERG
Heidelberg is a beautiful city that boasts a rich history, stunning architecture, and breathtaking natural scenery. From the iconic Heidelberg Castle to the charming Old Town, there’s no shortage of things to see and do in this picturesque destination.
It’s also home to one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in Europe, giving it a lively and dynamic atmosphere!
If you only have one day to spend in Heidelberg, here are some must-see attractions and activities:
Visit Heidelberg Castle: Perched on a hill overlooking the city, Heidelberg Castle is a stunning example of Renaissance architecture. Take a guided tour to learn about the castle’s history and explore its beautiful gardens.
Stroll through the Old Town: Heidelberg’s Old Town is full of charming cobblestone streets, historic buildings, and quaint shops and cafes. Take a leisurely stroll and soak up the atmosphere. Check out walking tours in Heidelberg here.
Check out the Philosopher’s Walk: This scenic walking path offers breathtaking views of the city and the Neckar River. It’s a great spot for a peaceful stroll or a picnic.
Visit Heidelberg University: One of Germany’s oldest and most prestigious universities, Heidelberg University is home to a number of impressive buildings and beautiful courtyards. Don’t miss the Student Jail, where unruly students were once locked up!
Explore the Kurpfälzisches Museum: This museum is home to an impressive collection of art and artifacts from the region’s history, including paintings, sculptures, and archaeological finds.
Sightseeing Cruise: Hop on a boat and enjoy a relaxing sightseeing cruise on the Neckar River.
With just one day in Heidelberg, you can easily see the city’s highlights and get a taste of its rich history and culture.
WHERE TO STAY IN HEIDELBERG
LUXURY: Hotel Europäischer Hof Heidelberg: This five-star hotel is located in a historic building in the heart of Heidelberg’s old town. The rooms are spacious and luxurious, with elegant decor and modern amenities. The hotel also has a spa, a Michelin-starred restaurant, and a rooftop terrace with stunning views of the city. Prices start at around 300 euros per night.
MID-RANGE: Hotel Holländer Hof: This four-star hotel is located in a charming 18th-century building in the heart of Heidelberg’s old town. The rooms are cozy and comfortable, with a mix of modern and traditional decor. The hotel also has a lovely courtyard and a restaurant serving regional cuisine. Prices start at around 120 euros per night.
BUDGET: Hotel Zum Ritter St. Georg: This three-star hotel is located in a historic building in the heart of Heidelberg’s old town. The rooms are simple but clean and comfortable, with all the basic amenities. The hotel also has a charming courtyard and a restaurant serving traditional German cuisine. Prices start at around 80 euros per night.
Overall, Heidelberg’s old town offers a variety of options for every budget and taste. Whether you’re looking for luxury, mid-range, or budget accommodations, you’ll be able to find something that suits your needs and preferences.
FROM HEIDELBERG TO STRASBOURG
From Heidelberg in Germany, you will get to France – to Strasbourg to be precise. It takes about 90 minutes by car or about 2-2,5 hours by train (130 km, 80 miles).
🇫🇷 1-2 DAYS STRASBOURG
Strasbourg is a beautiful city with a unique blend of French and German cultures. Its stunning architecture, charming canals, and beautiful parks make it a picturesque destination. Really, Strasbourg is such a pretty city!
It’s also home to some of the most important European institutions, including the European Parliament, making it an important political hub in addition to its cultural attractions.
If you have one day to spend in Strasbourg, here are some things to see and do:
Visit the Strasbourg Cathedral: This stunning Gothic cathedral is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Strasbourg. Take a tour to learn about its history and architecture.
Explore Petite France: This charming district is known for its half-timbered houses, winding canals, and picturesque bridges. Take a stroll and enjoy the scenery.
Take a boat tour: See the city from a different perspective with a boat tour along the Ill River. You’ll get a unique view of the city’s landmarks and scenery.
Visit the European Parliament: If you’re interested in politics and history, take a tour of the European Parliament. You’ll learn about the history of the European Union and how it operates.
With just one day in Strasbourg, you can see some of the city’s top attractions and get a taste of its culture, history, and cuisine.
WHERE TO STAY IN STRASBOURG
LUXURY: Regent Petite France & Spa: This five-star hotel overlooks the picturesque Petite France district and offers luxurious accommodations and spa services. The rooms are elegant and sophisticated, with a blend of classic and modern styles. Prices start at around 300 euros per night. CHECK OUT RATES HERE.
MID-RANGE: Hotel Beaucour: Located in a quiet street in the heart of Strasbourg, this four-star hotel features stylish and comfortable rooms with a modern twist. The hotel also has a lovely courtyard and garden. Prices start at around 120 euros per night.
BUDGET: Hotel Suisse: Located in the heart of the city, this two-star hotel offers budget-friendly accommodations with simple but clean and comfortable rooms. The hotel also has a breakfast room and a bar. Prices start at around 80 euros per night.
Overall, Strasbourg’s old town offers a variety of options for every budget and taste. Whether you’re looking for luxury, mid-range, or budget accommodations, you’ll be able to find something that suits your needs and preferences.
FROM STRASBOURG TO OBERNAI
The next stop is not far from Strasbourg. You are experiencing the beautiful Alsace countryside with many towns and villages along the way. So, within 30 minutes you are in Obernai.
TIP: While public transportation in France/Germany is overall good, it is less great in the Alsace region. Road tripping Alsace might actually make sense, but it is not impossible to get around by bus. Just make sure you to check the timetables in advance and plan accordingly.
🇫🇷 1-2 DAYS ALSACE WINE ROUTE
If you’re planning a trip to France and Germany, you absolutely cannot miss the Alsace Wine Route. This stunning 170km route winds its way through picturesque vineyards and charming villages, offering some of the most breathtaking views in the region.
Along the way, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to stop and taste some of the best wines in the world. The Alsace region is famous for its Rieslings, Gewürztraminers, and Pinot Gris, but there are plenty of other varietals to discover as well.
Here are a few places you could stop along the way – I suggest spending 1-2 days in these places.
Obernai is a picturesque town located in the Alsace region of France. Its charming streets are lined with colorful half-timbered houses and traditional shops, and its impressive Sainte-Odile church and historic town center are well worth a visit.
Ribeauvillé is a charming town located along the Alsace Wine Route, in the heart of the Alsatian vineyards. Its half-timbered houses and cobblestone streets create a picturesque atmosphere that is perfect for leisurely strolls.
Explore the castle ruins overlooking the town, which offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Ribeauvillé is also known for its excellent wineries, where visitors can taste some of the region’s most famous wines.
Riquewihr is a small, but incredibly charming village located along the Alsace Wine Route. Personally, I would say it is the best little village/town to visit along this wine route.
Known for its beautifully preserved medieval architecture, wander the town’s narrow streets and admire the colorful half-timbered houses, many of which date back to the 16th century. Riquewihr is also home to several excellent wineries, where you can taste some of the region’s famous wines.
Additionally, the village boasts several interesting museums and historic monuments, including the Dolder Tower and the Thieves’ Tower.
Kaysersberg´s charming half-timbered houses and cobblestone streets create a postcard-perfect atmosphere that is ideal for leisurely walks.
Explore the town’s historic center, which is home to several interesting monuments and museums, including the imposing Kaysersberg Castle. Kaysersberg is also renowned for its excellent wineries, where visitors can taste some of the region’s most famous wines.
The village also offers breathtaking views of the surrounding hills and forests, making it a must-visit destination in Alsace.
Eguisheim’s circular layout and colorful half-timbered houses make it one of the most charming and distinctive villages in the region. Wander the town’s narrow streets, stopping to admire the historic fountains and monuments along the way.
Eguisheim is also home to several excellent wineries, where visitors can taste some of the region’s famous wines. Additionally, the village is surrounded by rolling vineyards and scenic countryside, making it an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts.
🇫🇷 1 DAY – COLMAR
Colmar is one of the most popular ads best-known towns in Alsace and it is absolutely beautiful.
This charming town is located in the heart of the Alsace region and is known for its well-preserved medieval architecture and stunning historic buildings. With its winding canals, colorful half-timbered houses, and bustling town squares, it’s a town that is full of character and charm.
Whether you’re interested in history, culture, or simply strolling around, Colmar is a destination that is well worth a visit.
Here are some things you can do in Colmar in 1 day:
Visit the Old Town: Wander around the historic center of Colmar and marvel at the well-preserved medieval architecture, including the stunning Maison des Têtes and the Pfister House.
Take a canal boat tour: Board a small boat and cruise down the scenic canals of Colmar, taking in the beautiful views and learning about the town’s history and culture.
Visit the Unterlinden Museum: Explore this excellent museum, which is home to an impressive collection of art and artifacts from the region, including works by famous artists such as Grünewald and Picasso.
Taste local wines: Colmar is located in the heart of the Alsace wine region, so be sure to visit a local winery or wine bar to sample some of the delicious local wines.
Explore the Covered Market: Head to the central market hall to browse local produce, cheeses, and other delicious treats.
One day in Colmar is not a lot but you can see the main sights and even get to taste some local wines.
WHERE TO STAY IN COLMAR
LUXURY – Hotel Le Maréchal: This five-star hotel is located in a 16th-century building in the heart of Colmar’s old town. The rooms are spacious and elegant, with antique furnishings and modern amenities. The hotel also has a lovely garden and a Michelin-starred restaurant. Prices start at around 250 euros per night.
MID-RANGE – Colmar Hotel: This three-star hotel is located just outside the old town and 1 km from House of the Heads. Colmar Christmas Market – Place des Dominicains is 1.2 km away. It features free WiFi, a 24-hour reception, a bar and a free private parking in front of the hotel. I stayed here during my Colmar visit and loved it!
BUDGET – Hotel Turenne: This two-star hotel is located in a quiet street in the heart of Colmar’s old town. The rooms are simple but clean and comfortable, with all the basic amenities. The hotel also has a lovely breakfast room. Prices start at around 60 euros per night.
Overall, Colmar’s old town offers a variety of options for every budget and taste. Whether you’re looking for luxury, mid-range, or budget accommodations, you’ll be able to find something that suits your needs and preference
FROM COLMAR TO FREIBURG
From Colmar in France, you will now head back to Germany. After just 60 minutes of driving (50 km/30 miles), you will arrive in beautiful Freiburg in Germany.
🇩🇪 1 DAY – FREIBURG
Freiburg is a beautiful city that is renowned for its charming Old Town, stunning architecture, and vibrant cultural scene. With its colorful houses, bustling markets, and historic buildings, it’s a picturesque destination that is well worth a visit.
It’s also located in the heart of the Black Forest, making it an ideal base for exploring the natural beauty of the region.
If you only have one day to spend in Freiburg, here are some things to see and do:
Visit Freiburg Minster: This beautiful Gothic cathedral is the centerpiece of Freiburg’s Old Town. Climb to the top of the tower for panoramic views of the city.
Wander around the Old Town: Freiburg’s Old Town is full of charming cobblestone streets, historic buildings, and colorful houses. Take a stroll and explore the markets, cafes, and shops.
Visit the Augustiner Museum: This art museum has a diverse collection of paintings, sculptures, and artifacts from medieval to modern times.
Take a cable car to Schlossberg: Take a ride on the Schlossbergbahn, a funicular railway that takes you to the top of Schlossberg Hill. From there, you can enjoy views of the city and the surrounding Black Forest.
Relax in a beer garden: Freiburg has several traditional beer gardens where you can relax with a cold beer and some local cuisine. Try the traditional dish of Schäufele, a pork shoulder roast.
With just one day in Freiburg, you can easily see the city’s highlights and get a taste of its culture, history, and natural beauty.
WHERE TO STAY IN FREIBURG
LUXURY: Colombi Hotel: This five-star hotel is located in a beautifully restored 19th-century building in the heart of Freiburg’s old town. The rooms are spacious and elegantly decorated, with all the modern amenities you could wish for. The hotel also has a Michelin-starred restaurant, a spa, and a rooftop terrace with stunning views of the city. Prices start at around 200 euros per night.
MID-RANGE: Hotel Oberkirch: This four-star hotel is located in a charming half-timbered building in the heart of Freiburg’s old town. The rooms are cozy and comfortable, with a mix of modern and traditional decor. The hotel also has a lovely courtyard and a restaurant serving regional cuisine. Prices start at around 100 euros per night.
BUDGET: Hotel am Rathaus: This two-star hotel is located in a historic building in the heart of Freiburg’s old town. The rooms are simple but clean and comfortable, with all the basic amenities. The hotel also has a breakfast room and a lovely rooftop terrace with panoramic views of the city. Prices start at around 50 euros per night.
Overall, Freiburg’s old town offers a variety of options for every budget and taste. Whether you’re looking for luxury, mid-range, or budget accommodations, you’ll be able to find something that suits your needs and preferences.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON FRANCE AND GERMANY ITINERARY
Well, it’s time to wrap up our whirlwind tour of France and Germany in 7-10 days! You’ve explored some stunning destinations, including the charming villages along the Alsace Wine Route like Riquewihr, Ribeauvillé, and Eguisheim. You also visited some of the most beautiful and historic cities in the region, including Heidelberg, Freiburg, and Strasbourg.
You’ve tasted some delicious local wines and soaked up plenty of culture and history along the way. And let’s not forget all the breathtaking scenery you’ve encountered, from the rolling vineyards of Alsace to the dense forests of Schwarzwald.
So, whether you’re a history buff or just someone who loves a good trip, this itinerary has something for everyone.
I hope you had a blast exploring France and Germany with us, and we can’t wait to see you on your next adventure!