20 days in France Itinerary

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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.
Get a sense of the local culture at Old Town and La Croisette. Museum-lovers will get to explore Villa & Jardins Ephrussi de Rothschild and Palais Lascaris. Explore Nice's surroundings by going to Musee Picasso (in Antibes), Easy Dive (in Juan-les-Pins) and Cannes (Marche Forville & Le Suquet). Next up on the itinerary: admire the masterpieces at Musee d'Art Moderne Et d'Art Contemporain, hunt for treasures at Marche aux Fleurs Cours Saleya, see the interesting displays at Musee Matisse, and take in the architecture and atmosphere at Cathedrale Saint-Nicolas a Nice.

To see ratings, where to stay, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the Nice trip builder app.

Washington, USA to Nice is an approximately 15-hour flight. The time zone difference when traveling from Washington to Nice is 6 hours. Plan for a bit warmer nights when traveling from Washington in April since evenings lows in Nice dip to 52°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 4th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Marseille.
Museums · Historic Sites · Neighborhoods · Shopping
Side Trips
Find places to stay Apr 29 — May 4:

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.
Kick off your visit on the 5th (Wed): wander the streets of The Panier, take in the spiritual surroundings of Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde, and then get a taste of the local shopping with Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations. Here are some ideas for day two: take in the dramatic natural features at Parc national des Calanques and then look for all kinds of wild species at Trolib.

To find where to stay, maps, reviews, and more tourist information, refer to the Marseille trip itinerary maker site.

Traveling by car from Nice to Marseille takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a train. In May, plan for daily highs up to 73°F, and evening lows to 54°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Thu) to allow time to drive to Avignon.
Nature · Parks · Shopping · Wildlife
Side Trip
Find places to stay May 4 — 6:

Avignon — 2 nights

City of Popes

An ancient town center surrounded by medieval ramparts, Avignon is a major city of Provence and a Mediterranean city in the Vaucluse department on the left bank of the Rhône River.
Start off your visit on the 7th (Fri): take in the views from Pont d'Avignon, explore the historical opulence of Palais des Papes, then see exotic creatures in open habitats at Wine Safari, and finally see the interesting displays at Musee Angladon. Here are some ideas for day two: indulge your senses at some of the top wineries in the area.

To find traveler tips, maps, reviews, and tourist information, read our Avignon trip itinerary site.

Getting from Marseille to Avignon by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a train; or take a bus. In May in Avignon, expect temperatures between 74°F during the day and 53°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Sat) early enough to drive to Carcassonne.
Wineries · Tours · Historic Sites · Wildlife
Find places to stay May 6 — 8:

Carcassonne — 1 night

Medieval Heart of France

Best known as a fortified town, Carcassonne is a walled city that provided the inspiration for the castle in Disney's "Sleeping Beauty" and the location for many scenes in Kevin Costner's movie "Robin Hood." For a daily dose of excitement, medieval jousting tournaments are held twice per day between the two walls--while this may sound like a typical touristy show, it's actually an entertaining display of combative competition and horsemanship.
Kick off your visit on the 9th (Sun): explore the historical opulence of Chateau Comtal, then pause for some serene contemplation at Eglise Saint-Nazaire, then take an in-depth tour of Musee De L'ecole, and finally wander the streets of Cité de Carcassonne.

For ratings, more things to do, other places to visit, and other tourist information, refer to the Carcassonne trip planner.

Drive from Avignon to Carcassonne in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train; or take a bus. While traveling from Avignon, expect a bit cooler days and about the same nights in Carcassonne, ranging from highs of 69°F to lows of 51°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Sun) so you can fly to Bayeux.
Historic Sites · Neighborhoods · Museums
Find places to stay May 8 — 9:

Bayeux — 3 nights

Most travelers take a trip to Bayeux to see the famed tapestry depicting the legendary Norman Conquest from the 11th century.
Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Normandy American Cemetery and Pointe du Hoc. Do some cultural sightseeing at Musee de la Tapisserie de Bayeux and Bayeux War Cemetery. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Bayeux: Plage de Benerville sur Mer (in Benerville-sur-Mer), Deauville Beach (in Deauville City) and Navigation Normande - Le Havre (in Le Havre). Next up on the itinerary: witness the site of a historic battle at Omaha Beach, admire the landmark architecture of Cathedrale Notre-Dame, take in the pleasant sights at Memorial 1st US Infantry Division Omaha Beach, and examine the collection at Arromanches 360 Circular Cinema.

To find photos, maps, more things to do, and more tourist information, refer to the Bayeux trip itinerary planning site.

Fly from Carcassonne to Bayeux in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive; or take a train. Traveling from Carcassonne in May, things will get little chillier in Bayeux: highs are around 62°F and lows about 46°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Wed) so you can drive to Paris.
Historic Sites · Outdoors · Parks · Beaches
Side Trips
Find places to stay May 9 — 12:

Paris — 6 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.
Popular historic sites such as Eiffel Tower and Champs-Elysees are in your itinerary. Do your shopping at Le Marais and Saint Germain des Pres Quarter. Step out of Paris with an excursion to Arboretum de la Vallee-aux-Loups in Chatenay-Malabry--about 32 minutes away. Next up on the itinerary: take in the architecture and atmosphere at Basilique du Sacre-Coeur de Montmartre, explore the world behind art at Louvre Museum, take a stroll through Montmartre, and pause for some photo ops at Arc de Triomphe.

To find other places to visit, reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, refer to the Paris road trip tool.

Drive from Bayeux to Paris in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or do a combination of train and bus. In May, plan for daily highs up to 64°F, and evening lows to 49°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 18th (Tue) to allow time for travel back home.
Museums · Historic Sites · Neighborhoods · Shopping
Side Trip
Find places to stay May 12 — 18:

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.