How to Have an Epic One Week in France Itinerary

PLAN A PERFECT FRANCE ITINERARY FOR 7 DAYS

Headed to France and wondering about the best one-week in France itinerary? Then read on, as here are my personal recommendations for a fun and easy trip to France.

France is one of the top travel destinations in Europe. Known for its beautiful cities, like Paris and Lyon, and the lush lavender fields of Provence and many beautiful villages and towns, you cannot say that France is not diverse. 

However, given the country’s size, you will not be able to cover all of the top places in France in one week – let alone all of the beautiful places.

But at least you always have a reason to come back and revisit France. For this 7-day France itinerary, I have picked Paris (how could it be any different) and the Alsace region.

Within this time, you will get a good glimpse of France – from the country‘s capital to the cute region of Alsace, with the pretty towns of Colmar and Strasbourg and other charming towns and villages along the way.

Before talking about the best places to visit, here are some travel tips for your trip.

Paris itinerary
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TRAVEL TIPS FOR ONE WEEK IN FRANCE

Okay, before we get started, here are a few basic travel tips for your trip.

How to Get to France

I suggest starting (or ending) your trip to Paris. You can fly into Charles de Gaulle Airport.

Or get to Paris by train from many stations in Europe (if you are from Central Europe, I recommend getting to Paris by train but of course, this is a personal preference). Especially if coming from London or places like Zurich or countries like Belgium, Netherland, or even Germany, arriving by train is probably the best way.

Transportation to and from the airport into the city center is easy and costs about 10€ from Charles de Gaulle Airport.

Strasbourg also has an airport, and if you want to fly out of Colmar, you can either head back to Strasbourg or use the airport. 

How to Get Around France

Personally, I did not like road tripping France. Driving in Alsace is fine, but my tip is to use public transportation in Paris (looking at the streets in Paris is enough to keep me from driving there). 

Plus, the cost of tolls and petrol are high. 

From Paris to Strasbourg (or Colmar), you can then use the train. The slower trains are cheaper – the fast TGV line can be expensive, but you will not need it often. 

Buy train tickets in advance: A train trip from Paris to Strasbourg costs about 75-85€, but you can get much better deals if you buy in advance.

For the days in Alsace, you can rent a car for three days. Driving in Alsace is easy and fun (and you will stay away from motorways that have tolls). 

If you only have 5 days in France and want to (have to) skip the cute little towns in Alsace and still see Paris, Strasbourg, and Colmar, you can use the train to get around the cities have train stations and are well connected.

Where to Stay France

For the first three nights, I suggest staying in Paris. Then, two nights in Strasbourg and one night in Colmar (I have added tips for each place below), you do not stay at one place for the 7 days in France.

Best Time to Visit France

France is good to visit at almost any time of the year. However, keep in mind that it can get really hot and crowded in the summer months. 

So, personally, I suggest doing this trip in April or May (with the vineyards in Alsace) or in September. 

If you are into Christmas markets, you will also love visiting in the first few weeks of December, as Strasbourg and Colmar are well-known for their Christmas markets – and Paris in December is also worth a trip!

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7 day itinerary for France, the best things to do and see in one week
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PLACES TO VISIT IN 7 DAYS IN FRANCE

So, let’s get started.

Days 1 – 3,5 in France: Paris

So, for the first few days, I recommend exploring the beautiful city of Paris. Of course, you could do Paris in a nutshell and do Paris in 2 days, but I recommend staying at least 3 days. For this itinerary, I planned for about 3 or 3,5 days in Paris.

PARIS

Without question, Paris is one of the most interesting cities in the world! No place is like Paris.

Montmartre and Sacre Couer - where to visit in Paris, Frane
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View from Pantheon in Paris
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It does not always make a good first impression, but if you ask me, Paris is one of the best places to visit – and that is at any time of the year.

Paris is quite small and very compact – often you can walk from one main attraction to the other.

But metro tickets are also cheap, and you can easily get from one district (arrondissement) to the other. Buses are easy to use, too.

So, my tip is not to rent a car but to get around on foot and use public transportation.

Paris can also be “done“ in two days. However, with one week in France, I suggest staying three days. And maybe even 3.5 days, so you can then use the rest of the day to get to beautiful Strasbourg.

Things to do and see in Paris

  • Visit the Eiffel Tower
  • Stroll the Seine
  • Rest at Jardin des Tuileries
  • Explore Montmartre and Sacré-Cœur
  • Rest at Jardin du Luxembourg
  • Admire the Bridges
  • Picnic by the Seine
  • See Notre Dame
  • Explore the Louvre
  • Visit Versailles (half a day/full day trip)

Check out my detailed 4-day Paris itinerary for more information on each activity.

Where to Stay in Paris

To check out accommodation rates for different hotels, click on each link.

The luxurious hotels in Paris come with a big price tag but are probably worth the money – Four Seasons Hotel George V is one of the most iconic hotels in Paris – find out more about the hotel.

Hotel Wo: This 3-star hotel has great reviews and is centrally located. Click here to find the best rates for this hotel.

I sometimes book budget hotels – but actually, I cannot recommend budget hotels in Paris (if you know a great budget hotel let me know, though).

If you enjoy an Airbnb accommodation, just click here (first-time users can save $$$ by using my link)

Days 3,5 – 7 in France: Alsace

From Paris to Strasbourg

Strasbourg, Obernai, Ribeauville, Riquewihr, Kaysersberg, Eguisheim, Colmar

For the second part of your France itinerary, I suggest spending time in Alsace.

As mentioned above, the fastest way to get to Strasbourg is via the fast TVG train. The train station in Strasbourg is central, and you can just drop off your luggage at your hotel and use the rest of the day to explore this pretty city.

You could also rent a car from Paris and do the rest of the itinerary by car, but I suggest using the train, as in Strasbourg you will not need a car either.

STRASBOURG 

1-1.5 days should be good for this pretty city, which is also the capital of Alsace: Strasbourg. Strasbourg´s main attractions are close to each other, and you will not need a car to get around – on foot or with public transportation will be perfect for seeing the best places in Strasbourg.

Strasbourg Petite France
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Strasbourg Cathedral in one day
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You will experience a completely different side of France – Strasbourg could not be more different from Paris. With its colorful, half-timbered houses and the city’s medieval feel, Strasbourg is a perfect mix of France and Germany.

Things to do and see in Strasburg

  • Getting lost in La Petite France
  • Walk Along the River III
  • Cathedral Square – Strasbourg Cathedral
  • Boat Tour – Batorama
  • Place Gutenberg
  • Place Kleber
  • Place Broglie
  • Place de la Republique

Find more travel tips for Strasbourg in my more detailed Strasbourg guide.

Where to Stay in Strasbourg

I did not enjoy my stay at my hotel, and I think the standard in Strasbourg is not high, so I recommend staying in a better to avoid disappointment. Click here to find out rates and prices.

OBERNAI, RIBEAUVILLE, RIQUEWIHR, KAYSERSBERG, EGUISHEIM

The last few days of your one week in France trip will be spent in the southern part of Alsace. The 170-kilometer-long Alsatian Wine Route weaves its way through Alsace’s thousand-year-old wine country.

With only 3-4 days in Alsace, it will be difficult to cover all the places on the Wine Route, but you will see some of Alsace’s prettiest areas.

Alsace, France best places to see and go
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Alsace, France best places to visit Eguisheim
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Alsace, France best things to do in 3-5 days, Kaysersberg
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Things to do in Obernai, Ribeauville, Riquewihr, Kaysersberg, Eguisheim

This day will be busy – maybe one of the busiest days of the week. However, you can feel free to skip any town or village and instead do one or two wine tastings to make it less stressful.

You can book tours from Strasbourg or Colmar or rent a car and drive the route from Strasbourg to Colmar (adding these villages to your itinerary).

Each village is tiny, and if you don’t do a wine tasting or any hikes, you can see all of them in one day.

Just try to start the trip at 9 am at the latest and rent the car in advance so that you can fit them all – or at least 3 villages – into your France itinerary.

Here is more information on my Alsace road trip.

COLMAR

For the last day of your “France in 7 days” I suggest visiting Colmar!

Pretty Colmar, which lies south of Strasbourg and is kind of the unofficial end of the wine tour road trip, is extremely picturesque and fun and a great end for one week in France.

Colmar, Little Venice is the most beautiful place to visit in Colmar, France
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Colmar best places to see and what to see
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As the town is small, one day in Colmar is enough to cover the main attractions. 

Like Strasbourg, Colmar is very walkable, and while you could hop on a mini sightseeing bus, you can also wonderfully explore the town on foot.

With the cobblestone streets, it is important to wear comfortable shoes. Make sure you also recharge your camera so that you can take billions of pictures from one of the prettiest towns in the country.

Things to do and see in Colmar, France

  • Little Venice
  • Saint-Martin Collegiate Church
  • Pfister House
  • House of Heads
  • Koifhus / Customs House
  • Covered Market Hall
  • Tanner’s District
  • Fishmonger’s District

For more information on Colmar, click on my guide.

Where to Stay in Colmar

I stayed at the 3-star Colmar Hotel, and I loved it. It is just next to the train station, so whether you get here in your own car or by train, the hotel is perfect. Also, the breakfast was great (including muffins, crepes, pancakes, and much more) and the rooms were clean, bright, and modern. It is for sure my first pick for Colmar.

To find out more about the hotel and check out rates, click here.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON SPENDING ONE WEEK IN FRANCE ITINERARY

While France has much more to see – like Provence and the French Riveria with Nice (and not to forget the prettiest town of all, Annecy) – this itinerary is a realistic one.

It is busy at times, but after all, you should not feel stressed about changing hotels each night, spending too much time on trains, or dealing with trains that run late.

And as mentioned, as France has many more great places to visit, you will have to come back to see more of the country because 7 days in France is surely not enough.

Safe Travels, Arzo
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