9 days in France Itinerary

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Paris — 2 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.
Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe are good opportunities to explore the local culture. For shopping fun, head to Champs-Elysees or Le Marais. Next up on the itinerary: visit Montmartre, admire the landmark architecture of Sainte-Chapelle, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Basilique du Sacre-Coeur de Montmartre, and admire the masterpieces at Louvre Museum.

To see photos, other places to visit, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the Paris trip planning site.

Washington DC, USA to Paris is an approximately 11.5-hour flight. Traveling from Washington DC to Paris, you'll lose 6 hours due to the time zone difference. Prepare for slightly colder weather when traveling from Washington DC in May: high temperatures in Paris hover around 64°F and lows are around 49°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 4th (Mon) so you can go by car to Caen.
Historic Sites · Museums · Neighborhoods · Shopping
Find places to stay May 1 — 4:

Caen — 2 nights

City of a Hundred Steeples

Caen is known for its historical buildings built during the reign of William the Conqueror, who was buried there, and for the Battle for Caen--heavy fighting that took place in and around Caen during the Battle of Normandy in 1944, destroying much of the city.
On the 5th (Tue), admire the masterpieces at Musee de la Tapisserie de Bayeux, then take in the history at Omaha Beach, then stroll the grounds of Normandy American Cemetery, and finally steep yourself in history at Memorial 1st US Infantry Division Omaha Beach. On the 6th (Wed), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: kick back and relax at Promenade Marcel Proust, then enjoy the sand and surf at Plage de Benerville sur Mer, then stroll through Deauville Beach, and finally stroll the grounds of Cimetières Militaires.

For where to stay, photos, and tourist information, go to the Caen vacation tool.

Getting from Paris to Caen by car takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: take a train; or take a bus. In May, daytime highs in Caen are 62°F, while nighttime lows are 47°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 6th (Wed) so you can go by car to Etretat.
Outdoors · Beaches · Parks · Historic Sites
Side Trips
Find places to stay May 4 — 6:

Etretat — 1 night

Etretat is a small coastal village on the Alabaster Coast in Normandy.
Kick off your visit on the 7th (Thu): take in the dramatic natural features at Porte d’Aval, then take in the dramatic natural features at Falaises d'Etretat, then stroll through Plage Du Tilleul, and finally enjoy the sand and surf at Plage-Baignade Yport.

For ratings, other places to visit, photos, and more tourist information, refer to the Etretat itinerary maker app.

You can drive from Caen to Etretat in 2 hours. Another option is to take a bus. In May, plan for daily highs up to 60°F, and evening lows to 49°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Thu) early enough to drive to Rouen.
Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Beaches
Side Trips
Find places to stay May 6 — 7:

Rouen — 2 nights

City of a Hundred Spires

Rouen is situated on the River Seine, about 90 minutes from Paris.
Start off your visit on the 8th (Fri): identify plant and animal life at Caresse de Tigre, explore the ancient world of Abbaye de Jumieges, and then admire the natural beauty at Fondation Claude Monet. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 9th (Sat): admire the masterpieces at Musee des Beaux-Arts de Rouen, then admire the landmark architecture of Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Rouen, and then stroll the grounds of Cimetiere Saint-Sever.

To find maps, more things to do, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our Rouen online trip itinerary maker.

You can drive from Etretat to Rouen in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. In May in Rouen, expect temperatures between 63°F during the day and 45°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Sat) to allow enough time to fly back home.
Museums · Parks · Historic Sites · Wildlife
Side Trips
Find places to stay May 7 — 9:

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.