France Travel Planner by Tom Brosnahan & Jane Fisher   Best France Itineraries
To have the best trip to Paris and France, you must plan your itinerary carefully.

Tower of bottles in Champagne, France
Champagne—the good stuff!


Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial, Chateau-Thierry, France
Aisne-Marne American
Cemetery & Memorial
Chateau-Thierry, France.

Istanbul Love Bus, the new novel by Tom Brosnahan


Paris+ Itineraries

Most visitors to France spend at least a few days in Paris. Here are itineraries for 1 day, 2 days, 3 days, 4 or 5 days, and one week. More...

Here's information on which days of the week are best for doing certain things in Paris. More...

Because of France's excellent nationwide system of fast trains, you can use your Paris hotel as your base for day-trip excursions from Paris to Saint-Denis, Versailles, Chartres, Giverny, the Loire Valley and its châteaux, Normandy and the D-Day beaches, Mont St-Michel, Strasbourg, and even Bordeaux. More...

France Itineraries

If you have more time to spend in France outside of Paris, here are suggestions for some good self-guided tours by rental/hire car and public transportation:

Normandy, D-Day & Mont St-Michel

It's possible to make a quick day-excursion visit from Paris to the Normandy D-Day beaches or Mont St-Michel, but to do justice to both you need to stay overnight, and preferably two nights (or even more). This trip is best done by train and rental car, or guided tour, but can be done by local public transportation if you plan carefully and allow enough time. More...


Although it's possible to take a fast train from Paris to Beaune or Dijon and walk these pretty wine towns, to really experience Burgundy you need to stay at least a night or two. Tour the wine country on foot, or by bike or car, visit some wineries, enjoy the excellent cuisine—this is what Burgundy is all about, and the Good Life can't be rushed. More...


Champagne is close enough to Paris that you can visit Reims for a day, tour a Champagne winery, walk through the town, and return to Paris in the evening. But this beautiful region has much more. The sobering but astonishing history of World War I is all around. To have the true Champagne experience, you need to combine your winery tours and tastings with visits to the battlefields and monuments of the Great War, something you can do easily in Château-Thierry. More...

Périgord & Dordogne

History, natural beauty and fine cuisine are the hallmarks of Périgord, which includes the Dordogne River valley. A one-day visit here makes no sense. Come for a leisurely tour of at least a few days, by bike or car, with visits to the Pre-historic caves at Lascaux and Les Eyzies, visits to the châteaux at Beynac, Domme, Rocamadour and more, and fine dining in Bergerac, Sarlat and other towns. More...

Domme Panorama
Panorama from Domme in the Dordogne...

The Loire Valley

The eastern Loire Valley is a must-see getaway from Paris. You can easily go for a day and tour one of the finest of French châteaux—or even two—and return to Paris in the evening. You can take a train to one of its château towns and use it as a base for visits to many more châteaux by train, bus, bike or car. You will dine and drink well, and find it difficult to depart. More...

Strasbourg & Alsace

You can walk from Strasbourg into Germany in a few minutes, but even if you don't, a visit to this city and nearby villages shows you a unique blend of French and German cultures, architectures and cuisines. Fast TGV trains travel from Paris to Strasbourg in less than two hours, making a day-trip possible, but it's far better to spend one or two nights and to take the time to tour some of the picture-perfect wine villages and/or pretty Colmar. More...

Wine village in Alsace, France
Wine village in Alsace, France.


Being so far from Paris, it looks as though Provence is too far away for a day trip, but France's marvelous high-speed TGV train system makes it possible: a day in Avignon, or Marseille, or Orange is easily possible, but why would you want to? Provence, and southern France in general, has so much to offer that it demands plenty of time. If your time is short, save Provence for your next visit, and spend at least four or five days touring then. More...

Côte d'Azur (French Riviera)

The romance of the Riviera: the rich and famous in Nice, movie stars in Cannes, billionaires and royalty in Monaco. It's alluring, but good to avoid in August, when French and other European vacationers stuff its streets, hotels and restaurants. The Riviera in winter? Delightful, actually. You probably won't want to swim, but a walk on the beach in the sun is great, and the crowds are comfortably small. More...

World War I Sites-North

It's been over a century since Europe descended into the murderous, suicidal insanity of World War I, but interest in the cataclysm survives. Descendants of those who fought and died here come to revisit family history, and even those who have no connection come to ponder the insanity, bravery, and luck (good and bad) of those who struggled here. Amiens, Château-Thierry, Reims and Verdun are good bases for visits to battlegrounds and monuments. More...

Savoy, Chamonix & French Alps

Everyone knows of the hundreds of ski slopes in Chamonix, Megève and Val d'Isère, but the French Alps towns near the borders with Germany and Italy offer the best hiking and climbing opportunities in summer as well. Even in the warm months you can take a cable car up Mont Blanc and experience snowfields and ice flows. As for Savoy, the rich land south of Lake Geneva (Lac Léman), its beautiful old towns such as Annecy, its unique cuisine, and several mineral-water spas (Évian, Thonon) draw discriminating visitors year-round. More...

Where to Stay in France

Best France Tours

Best Paris Tours

When to Go to France

Transport in France

Where to Stay in France

What It Costs in France


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Les Baux de Provence, France

Les Baux de Provence, France.

Mont St-Michel in early morning, Normandy, France.
Mont St-Michel in early morning, Normandy.

Paris Girls Secret Society, the new novel by Tom Brosnahan

Opera in Monte Carlo, Monaco
The Opera House in Monte Carlo, Monaco.

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