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France in a Week – 5 Ways to Spend 7 Days in France02/08/2021
5 French Itineraries for a Week in France
Trying to decide how to visit France in a week isn’t an easy task. After all, there are so many different ways to spend a week in France that you will need to leave some of your France bucket list items for another time.
That being said, you can have an amazing trip to France in 7 days and travel back home with the feeling you had a fantastic taste of France.
We’ve broken down 5 ways to spend 7 days in France so that you can choose the best France 7 day itinerary for you. From classic French itineraries to lesser-known areas, here are 5 incredible ways to spend one week in France!
France by Train
All these French itineraries start from Paris, and they are straightforward to organize by train, with direct train connections most of the time. France by train is a fun and easy way to visit the country that we recommend for one week in France.
If you visit France in a week, make sure to book the train tickets between the main stops online, well in advance: TGV train connections between the main cities sold out very fast!
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Option 1: Paris – Marseille – Nice
Stop 1 | Paris (2 days)
In Paris, you will want to visit some of the city’s main sights, perhaps with a couple of leisure strolls around the most picturesque areas.
For your stay in Paris, book at the Handsome Hotel by Elegancia. Located just 800 meters from the Louvre, this hotel offers its guests great facilities and always gets the best reviews.
Stop 2 | Marseille (2 days)
Marseille’s main station is Marseille St Charles, and it is well connected to Paris by TGV trains. Count on it taking 3 hrs 30 min from Paris Gare de Lyon train station.
Marseille is the capital of the region Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, a vibrant port city with a strong character and some interesting sights. For your visit to Marseille, follow this Marseille 2-day itinerary or choose what to see from the list below.
- Stroll around the Old Port and the fish market
- The MuCEM, the Museum of the Mediterranean Cultures
- Basilica Notre Dame de la Garde
- Fort Saint-Jean
- Cathédrale La Major
- Stroll around the picturesque Le Panier neighborhood
For your second day in the city, there are many beautiful Marseille day trips to choose from. We recommend exploring the amazing Calanques de Marseille Cassis on a day hike or from the sea, with a catamaran cruise with lunch.
For your stay in Marseille, Hotel la Résidence du Vieux Port is a good option, with the perfect location – on the banks of the Old Port – and the best view of Marseille.
Stop 3 | Nice (3 days)
Nice’s main station is Nice Ville, and it is well connected to Marseille by TGV trains. Count on it taking 2 hrs 45 min from Marseille St Charles train station.
Nice in the French Riviera is a glitzy and glamourous city perfect for the last days of your 1 week in France. Take the time to explore Nice’s Old Town with its colorful buildings and baroque churches, and of course, have a stroll on the famous Promenade des Anglais!
- La Colline du Château
- The Old Port
- Promenade des Anglais
- Cimiez Monastery
- Matisse Museum
- Chagall Museum
Spend two days in Nice and use the third day to see something else. The list of beautiful day trips from Nice is long; you will be spoilt for choice! If you spend a week in France between mid-June and mid-July, you can even consider a day trip to see the lavender fields in Provence.
For your stay in Nice book at the Hotel La Pérouse Nice Baie des Anges. This 4-star hotel is nestled into the Colline du Château, and it comes with a great view over the Baie des Anges.
Option 2: Paris – Lyon – Annecy
This beautiful France itinerary 7 days visits three of the most beautiful cities in France. This is a cultural – sightseeing itinerary, with a couple of more relaxing days in the French Alps at the end of the trip.
Stop 1 | Paris (3 days)
Stop 2 | Lyon (2 days)
Lyon’s main station is Lyon Pard Dieu, and it is connected to Paris by TGV trains. Count on it taking 2 hrs from Paris Gare de Lyon train station.
Lyon is a beautiful and cultural city, bisected by the river Rhône from north to south. The city has an interesting Roman heritage, fantastic museums, and it is also an excellent place for enjoying good food and wine.
- Saint-Jean Cathedral
- Lugdunum – Musée et Théâtres Romains
- Fourvière Hill and Basilica
- Old Lyon and the Saône River Banks
- Parc de la Tête d’Or
- Musée des Confluences
For your stay in Lyon, book at Villa Florentine. This former convent, located in the heart of Old Lyon, offers elegant guest rooms and fabulous panoramic views of the city.
Stop 3 | Annecy (2 days)
Annecy is connected to Lyon by regional trains. Count on it taking 2 hrs 22 min, (with a transfer in Aix Les Bains) from Lyon Part Dieu train station.
We cannot imagine a better place to finish Located by the lake of the same name and surrounded by snow-capped peaks, Annecy will likely steal your heart. For your visit to Annecy, we recommend this Annecy itinerary that explores the Old Town and the lake’s surroundings.
- Lake Annecy
- The Old Town
- Musée-Château d’Annecy
- Le Pâquier
For your stay in Annecy, book a room at the beautiful Black Bass Hotel, located by the lake just out of Annecy. The hotel has comfortable and stylish rooms and beautiful grounds.
Option 3: Paris – Colmar – Strasbourg
One of the best French itineraries for one week, option 3 explores Paris and the region of Alsace in Eastern France. Alsace is well known for its picturesque villages, Christmas markets, and good wines.
Stop 1 | Paris (3 days)
If this is your first time in Paris, you will find this itinerary for 3 days in Paris useful. You can also use the 2-day itinerary proposed in Option 2 and chose one of these day trips from Paris for the third day.
Stop 2 | Colmar (2 days)
Colmar is connected to Paris by TGV trains or German ICE trains. There are 2-3 daily direct connections while the rest of the connections imply a change of trains in Strasbourg. Count on it taking 2 hrs 50 min from Paris Gare de l’Est train station.
Colmar is one of the prettiest cities in the Grand Est region and all of France. It has a beautiful architecture of half-timbered houses, quaint canals, and many interesting sites.
- The Unterlinden Museum
- The Bartholdi Museum
- Little Venice
- The Food Market (consider having lunch inside for a super local experience)
- The Toy Museum
- The Choco Story Colmar
Use the first day in Colmar for exploring the city and take a day tour on day 2. This Alsace Villages Tour and Wine Tasting visits pretty villages, the medieval Château du Haut-Koenigsbourg, and it comes with some wine tastings at a typical wine bar.
For your stay in Colmar, book at the Hotel Le Colombier, a charming property located in the district of Little Venice, with spacious and stylish rooms, a bar, and a garden.
Stop 3 | Strasbourg (2 days)
Strasbourg is connected to Colmar by regional trains (TER) and TGV trains. The Swiss Railways also cover this connection. Count on it taking 33 min from Colmar to Strasbourg.
Strasbourg is the capital of the Grand Est region, a beautiful and dynamic city well worth visiting during your one week in France. Strasbourg’s Old Town is listed as UNESCO World Heritage, and Notre Dame Cathedral is one of the best Gothic cathedrals in France.
- Notre Dame Cathedral
- The Petite-France, a picturesque district
- The covered bridges and the barrage Vauban
- Strasbourg river cruise
- History Museum
- The European neighborhood
Check out this Strasbourg in 2 days itinerary for your stay in the city. In Strasbourg, book two nights at the Hotel Cathédrale, located just opposite Notre Dame de Strasbourg, and with incredible and spectacular views over the cathedral.
Option 4: Paris – Blois – Tours
Stop 1 | Paris (3 days)
Start your one week in France in the City of Lights. For your stay in Paris, use the 3-day itinerary proposed in Option 3 or the 2-day itinerary proposed in Option 2 plus a day trip from Paris. We recommend a day trip to Versailles.
Stop 2 | Blois (2 days)
Blois is connected to Paris by regional trains (TER). Count on it taking 1 hr 24 min from Paris Austerlitz train station. Some of the trains Paris – Blois imply a change of trains in Orléans. In this case, count on it taking 2 hours from Paris to Blois.
- Old Town
- Château de Blois
- Fondation du Doute
- Maison de la Magie
For your second day in Blois, take a day trip to Château de Chambord. Bus #2 leaves from Blois Sanitas bus station to Chambord Route de Thoury. From there, it’s a 9 min walk to the château.
For your night in Blois, the Hotel Louise de Savoie is a good option with a central location and comfortable rooms furnished with traditional furniture.
Stop 3 | Tours (2 days)
Tours’s main station is St Pierre des Corps, and it is well connected to Blois by regional trains (TER). Count on it taking 35 min from Blois train station.
Tours is the largest city in the Centre-Val-de-Loire region. Tours has a rich historic past (it was the capital of the kingdom of France for a short time). It is also a lively city, with many restaurants, bars, and busy terraces outside as soon as the beautiful days arrive.
- Old Town
- Saint-Gatien Cathedral
- Olivier Debré Contemporary Art Center
- Place Plumereau
- Musée du Compagnonnage
Use the first day in Tours to explore the city. For the second day, take a Loire Valley Wine Tour or a Loire Valley castle tour. This top-rated guided tour with transportation explores Château de Chenonceau, the Royal Castle of Amboise, and Château of Close de Lucé, where Da Vinci spent his final days.
For your stay in Tours, Best Western Central Hotel is a good option, located close to the main sights, and it offers comfortable rooms and a pretty garden with a terrace.
Option 5: Paris – Bordeaux – Toulouse
This France itinerary 1 week explores Paris and two of the most beautiful places in Western France, with the possibility of many interesting day trips.
Stop 1 | Paris (2 days)
Stop 2 | Bordeaux (3 days)
Bordeaux’s main station is Bordeaux St-Jean, and it is well connected to Paris by TGV trains. Count on it taking 2 hrs 11 min from Paris Montparnasse train station.
Bordeaux is the capital of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, world-famous for its red wines. Bordeaux is home to the Cité du Vin and a beautiful collection of 17th-century private mansions.
- The Port of the Moon (UNESCO perimeter)
- Place de la Bourse
- The water mirror
- The Cité du Vin
Bordeaux is also a great base to explore the wine country or the Atlantic Ocean on day trips. We recommend visiting Saint Émilion, world-known for its wines, and the Bay of Arcachon, with Dune du Pilat.
For your stay in Bordeaux, we recommend the Yndo Hotel, set in a 19th-century private mansion in the heart of Bordeaux.
Stop 3 | Toulouse (2 days)
Toulouse’s main station is Toulouse Matabiau, and it is well connected to Bordeaux by TGV trains. Count on it taking 2 hrs 10 min from Bordeaux St-Jean train station.
Toulouse is one of our favorite cities in Southern France. Set on the Garonne River banks, the Occitanie region’s capital is a lively city with pretty little squares, elegant private mansions, interesting museums, and beautiful parks.
- Place du Capitole
- The private mansions
- Saint-Sernin Basilica
- The Cité de l’Espace
You can visit Toulouse in one day and use the second day for visiting medieval Carcassonne. The train journey to Carcassonne takes only 1 hour, and you will love the citadel and the history of Cathars and crusaders behind it.
For your stay in Toulouse, the Ibis Styles Toulouse Capitole has an unbeatable location on the city’s main square, and it offers an excellent breakfast in a pleasant open space.
So there you have it, our selection of best French itineraries for a week in France by train. Which itinerary do you like most for your 7 days in France?