France Travel Itinerary Planner
Planning a trip to France? Go no further
Flying to France
France is the most visited city in the world with over 40 million people crossing its borders every year, so getting there is extremely easy with a number of airlines offering direct flights to Paris and other major cities. The international airport in paris, Charles de Gaulle is the primary entry point to the country for those flying from outside Europe.
There are three terminals, terminal one for intercontinental flights, mainly serviced by Air France and other SkyTeam Alliance partners, terminal 2 is used for most international flights and terminal 3 is used for charter flights. An important note to remember is that those passengers transfering at the airport will need at least an hour to connect, and those transfering between terminals will need more, perhaps two.
Orly, the second major Paris airport, is used for most domestic flights within France and a free shuttle bus is provided from CDG to Orly.
Tourist cities and places to go in France
The country is diversified, and offers vacationers adventure, spas, beaches, castles, shopping and an extraordinary range of restaurants and cafes.
Each of the twenty two regions of France has its own charm, culture, peculiarites, gastronomy, wines, attractions, history and people.
The most sought after destinations are listed here together with a snapshot of what they are about:
Often decsribed as the City of Lights, this world famous city is home to the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Sacre-Coeur, Montmartre, Saint-Germain, and the Opera. A visit to Paris should include a day-trip to Versailles where French royalty brought the classical French style to its apex.
Pays de la Loire
Water is everywhere here between the sea and the Loire itself. Unjustly ignored by tourists from abroad, the region is getting
Located in the European region. Strong French and German influences. Lovely wine routes and oh so charming villages. Strasbourg (see photo above right), Colmar, Mulhouse is what you want to see.
Bordeaux vineyards and the beaches of the Atlantic. The Basque Country. Castles and Medieval villages in Perigord. Biarritz, Pau and Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port are here. Big with wine lovers history buffs, river vacationeers and surfer dudes.
A sparsely populated land of volcanic plateaus and large valleys with an impeccable standard for environment. Clermont-Ferrand. Aurillac. Preferred by active vacationeers who crave the open-air and its majestic environment.
The land of fine wines. Dijon and the Cote d'Or. Beaune, Chablis, Auxerre and Macon are here. Knowledge of good wine is a not requirement to enjoy this region fully.
Where the land meets the sea. Bretagne is a wonderfully unique land that has entranced man since the beginning of time. The rugged coast has some of the finest beaches in Europe.
The Mediterranean jewel. Ajaccio, Bastia, Bonifaccio and Porto Vecchio are lined up with a stunning coastline and sun-seekers from around the world.
Rolling 2 hours south of Paris, the 'Valley of Kings' is the king of Valleys. Royal chateaus abound between Tours and Blois. A visit to Chambord, Blois, Amboise, Chenonceau is a must.
Beautiful but rugged, this region has seldom appeared on the radar of travelers to France. It's a fantastic homebase for a laid-back vacation of enjoying France's rural culture.
Be tempted by the varied sites of this land of contrasts. Camargue extends to the sunny shores of the Mediterranean. Cathar castles stand proudly at the foot of the Pyrénées mountains, and the fortified city of Carcassonne and the 49-metre high Pont du Gard will instantly hold you spellbound.
From the sea to the mountains the region is full of beautiful cities and villages, rich with history. Toulouse, the pink city, is a must see. Barges float quietly along the banks of the Canal du Midi.
Heir to an industrial past, the region has turned towards tourism. It's the entry place for British tourists coming on the chunnel or on hovercrafts from Dover. Don't miss Lille, one of France's most fun big cities.
Green pastures, fishermans villages famous cheese. D-day beaches and WWII tours mix with medieval art. Caen, Rouen, Bayeux, Honfleur, Deauville and Monet's Giverny are where the tourists go.
Lovers of history will find many places to visit in this flat land: Amiens boasts one of the most beautiful French cathedrals, while the cities of Chantilly, Compiègne still evoke the royal atmosphere of their past. Senlis and Gerberoy take us back all the way to the Middle Ages.
The sunny charm of France joie de vivre sparkles in Provence. The Riviera has been home to the rich and famous since fame was inventend. Nice, Marseille, Cannes and St-Tropez are among the most visited spots.
Outdoor enthusiasts will love the mountains and world-class ski resorts (Chamonix amongst them) as well as the many water sports in the Gorges de l'Ardèche. Lyon is known throughout the country as the place for fine gastronomic delights.
Disneyland Resort Paris (formerly Euro Disneyland)
The theme park is located in the Paris suburb of Marne-la-Vallée, and is the Disney Empire's European variant of their archetypal "Magic Kingdom" theme park. It was the second Disney theme park resort to open outside the United States, after the Tokyo Disney Resort.
"Once upon a time, a master storyteller, Walt Disney, inspired by Europe's best loved tales, used his own special gifts to share them with the world. He envisioned a Magic Kingdom where these stories would come to life, and called it Disneyland.
Now his dream returns to the land that inspired it. Euro Disneyland is dedicated to the young and the young at heart, with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration for all the world."
Michael Eisner at the opening on 1st. April 1992
Disneyland Resort Paris consists of two parks, Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney Studios Paris, and a shopping district, Disney Village. Disneyland Paris is the park everybody has heard of, while Walt Disney Studios Paris has a more general movie-making theme, but it's still very Disney. The Village is comprised of stores and restaurants.
Disney's theme parks are famous for their "Audio-Animatronics," attention to detail, service mentality, crowds,and high prices. The intention is to completely recreate the "magic" of the Disney franchise; employees are not "staff" but "cast members"; the park is kept insanely clean; and everywhere you will find a perfectly running machine. For example, you won't find the same Disney character twice within sight - there are no duplicates. Children are clearly the focus of Disneyland, but older visitors are not neglected either.
All the theme parks follow basically the same setup, but of course there are many regional differences.
The total commercialism is something you have to either accept, ignore or enjoy. Besides the merchandise stores at every corner, many rides are "sponsored" by various large corporations.
To make the experience even more magical and enjoyable, Paris is just a half-hour train ride away.
When to visit Disneyland Resort Paris
With 12 million visitors, Disneyland Paris has overtaken the Eiffel Tower as Paris' most popular tourist destination, and is the fifth most visited theme park in the world, behind Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom, Disneyland, Tokyo Disneyland, and Tokyo DisneySea. Likewise, it is infamous for its crowds. At all attractions all over the park you will see "barricades" and signs along the lines of "Waiting time at this point - 45 minutes".
It is essential for an enjoyable visit to Disneyland to plan for a good time. Ideally, you want good weather and as few people as possible.
The best times to visit Disneyland Paris is on weekdays outside public holidays and school vacations. The least-visited times seem to be September-October and May-June. Considering the French weather, June is likely the safest bet. You'll probably be able to get some very good deals during these times. If you're lucky, you won't have to wait at all except at very popular rides, and even then the waiting time can be as low as a few minutes.
Note that even when the park is not very crowded you will have trouble to "see it all". For a more or less complete tour, you will need at least two days.
It should be said quite clearly that Disneyland Paris is a lot of fun when you don't have to wait a lot - but waiting for a ride for 45 minutes or more can be stressing. However, see below for "FastPass" tickets.
Museums in France
La Cite des Sciences et de l'Industrie
30, avenue Corentin Cariou - 75019 Paris
Metro: Porte de la Villette -Tel.: 08.36.68.29.30 www.cite-sciences.fr
See also the "Cité des Enfants" (Children's City) for kids from 3 to 12 years; science, technology and submarine "l"Argonaute"
Palais de la Decouverte
Avenue Franklin D. Roosevelt - 75008 Paris-Metro: Franklin D. Roosevelt Tel.: 01.40.74.80.00 - Fax: 01.40.74.81.81
Musee National des Techniques
(et des Arts et Métiers) www.cnam.fr
292, rue Saint-Martin - 75003 Paris - Metro: Réaumur-Sébastopol, Arts et Métiers Tel.: 01.40.27.23.31 ou 01.40.27.23.71 - Fax: 01.40.27.26.62 - Open every day from 10:am to 7.30:pm -Closed Mondays and Holidays - Free admission
Centre de la Mer et des Eaux. Study the sea world - Films from J.-J. Cousteau and seven aquariums - 195, rue Saint-Jacques - 75005 Paris
Metro: Luxembourg - Tel.: 01.46 33 08 61 - Fax: 01.40 51 73 16
Open every day: Tuesday to Friday: 10am to 12.15pm and 1.15pm to 5.30 pm, Saturday and Sunday: 10am to 5.30pm.
Closed : Mondays
Musee de la Curiosite et de la Magie
Everything about magic.11, rue Saint-Paul - 75004 Paris
Metro : Saint-Paul - Tel. : 01.42.72.13.26
Open: Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from 2pm to 7pm
Musee de la poupee / Dolls Museum
Collection of 300 dolls with porcelain heads, made in France from 1860 until 1960. Impasse Berthaud - 75003 Paris -
Metro: Rambuteau - Tel. : 01.42.72.73.11
Open: Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 6pm - Closed on Monday
Musee National d'Histoire Naturelle Jardin des Plantes / Botanic Gardens
Musée National des Thermes et de l'Hôtel de Cluny.
6, place Paul Painlevé, 75005 Paris. Tel: 01 43 25 62 00.
RER: lines B-C Saint-Michel, Notre-Dame. Metro: Cluny, Saint-Michel.
Winter: 9:30am-12:30pm--2pm-5:15pm. Closed on Tuesdays.
Medieval collections. A tapestry masterpiece: the Lady of the Unicorn, in a flamboyant style town house. Thermal bath of Lutèce.
Musee de l'Homme
Anthropololy, Ethnology and Prehistory. Palais de Chaillot
17, place du Trocadéro - 75016 Paris - Metro: Trocadéro Tel. : 01.44.05.72.72
Open every day: from 9.45am to 5.15pm - Closed: Tuesday and Holiday
Musee de la Marine
Palais de Chaillot - Place du Trocadéro - 75116 Paris
Metro: Trocadéro Tel.: 01.45.65.69 69 - Fax: 01.47.27.49.67
Open every day from 10am to 6pm and on holiday except on May 1st - Closed: Tuesdays
Musee National du Moyen-Age / Middle-Ages Museum
All about the Middleage time in a beautiful house from the 15th century. (Information: 01.46.34.51.17). Thermes de Cluny 6, place Paul Painlevé - 75005 Paris
Metro: Cluny, Saint-Michel, Maubert-Mutualité - RER B-C : Saint-Michel, Notre-Dame
Tel.: 01.453.73.78.00 - Fax: 01.43.25.85.27
Open every day from 9.15am to 5.45pm. - Closed on Tuesdays
Musee de la Musique
www.cite-musique.fr Collection of 4,500 music instruments from the 16th century to now. Cité de la Musique
221, avenue Jean Jaurès - 75019 Paris - Metro: Porte de Pantin Tel. : 01.44.84.44.84
Monuments in France
"Monuments d'Exception" Culture Espaces (a collection of six historic monuments and museums), 153 bd Haussmann 75008 Paris
Tel. +33 1 53 77 66 00 Fax +33 1 42 56 04 09.
The Musee Jacquemart-André in Paris, a splendid mansion which was the abode of great collectors at the end of the 19th century, includes exceptional works of the Italian Renaissance, Flemish painting and the French school.
The Chateau Royal de Blois, a prestigious testimony to the Renaissance, ad a must-see for those wishing to complete their understanding of the Val-de-Loire.
The Château de Valencay, in the Indre, a magnificent Renaissance and 17th century building, has retained all the original furnishings of its illustrious host, Talleyrand.
The Popes' Palace in Avignon, the greatest Gothic palace in Europe and a symbol of the influence that the Church brought to bear on the western world in the 14th century, is today the most visited monument in the South of France.
The Chateau des Baux dominates the celebrated village of Les Baux-de-Provence, offering many centres of interest: dungeon, museum, war machines, audio-visual display, and exhibits.
The Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, offering all the splendour of the Riviera during the "Belle Epoque", with its art collections and gardens overlooking the sea: truly one of the jewels of the Cote d'Azur.
Arc de Triomphe
Place Charles de Gaulle/Toile, 75008 Paris. Tel: 01 43 80 31 31.
RER: line A Charles-de-Gaulle/Etoile-Metro: Charles-de-Gaulle/Etoile.
Summer: 10am-5:30pm. Winter: 10am-5pm. Closed on public holidays.
Chalgrin's work (1806-1836). Situated on one of the most beautiful views in the world, half-way between the Tuileries Gardens and the Arche de la Défense, the Arc de Triomphe is the highest point of the Triumphal Route.
Centre National D'Art et de Culture Georges Pompidou
75191 PARIS CEDEX 04. Tel: 01 44 78 12 33.
RER: lines A-B-D Châtelet-Les-Halles. Metro: Hôtel de Ville, Rambuteau.
Open 12 noon-10pm. Saturdays, Sundays, and Public-Holidays: 10am-10pm. Closed on Tuesdays. The Georges Pompidou Center houses: The Musée National d'Art Moderne, the Bibliothèque Publique d'Information, the IRCAM - the Institut de Recherche et de Coordination Acoustique-Musique, the Centre de Création Industrielle (architecture, design, visual communication), the Salle Garance and Studio 5. Contemporary architecture (1977) with metallic structures and glass tubes. (Architects: R. Piano-Rogers).
1, quai de l'Horloge, 75001 Paris. RER: lines B-C Saint-Michel, Notre Dame Metro: Cité, Saint-Michel, Châtelet Summer: 9:30am-6:30pm. Winter: 10am-4pm. Closed on Public Holidays. First prison in Paris and remains of the Palais des Capétiens, the Conciergerie is linked to memories of the Revolution.
Included in Paris Museum & Monument Pass; click for more info
Avenue de la Motte-Picquet, 75007 Paris. Metro: Ecole Militaire.
The facade of the Military College is one of the most beautiful architectural works of the 18th century. (Architect: J.A. Gabriel) No visits allowed.
Avenue de Tourville, 75007 Paris. RER: Line C Invalides-Metro: Latour-Maubourg, Invalides. The Invalides is one of the most prestigious historic complexes in Paris: Hôtel des Invalides: Musée de l'Armée and Musée des Plans et Reliefs. Eglise du Dôme des Invalides: a masterpiece of French religious architecture, Houses the ashes of the Emperor Napoléon I. Eglise Saint-Louis des Invalides: "The Soldiers' Church".
Eglise de la Madeleine
Place de la Madeleine, 75008 Tel: 01 42 65 52 17. Metro: Madeleine
The church of the Madeleine is the focal point of the magnificent perspective Madeleine-Concorde-Palais Bourbon. A Greek temple from the 18th to the 19th centuries.
Place de la Concorde 75008 Paris. Metro: Concorde. Covered with hieroglyphics, it is the oldest monument in Paris (33 centuries).
Hôtel d'Albret 31, rue des Francs-Bourgeois, 75003 Paris.Metro:Saint-Paul
Hôtel Amelot de Bisseuil 47, rue Vieille du Temple, 75003 Paris. Metro: Rambuteau
Hôtel d'Aumont 7, rue de Jouy, 75004 Paris. Metro:Saint-Paul
Hôtel de Beauvais 68, rue François Miron, 75004 Paris. Metro:Saint-Paul
Hôtel Donon Musée Cognacq-Jay Tel: 01 40 27 07 21. 8, rue Elzévir, 75003 Paris. Metro: Saint-Paul, Rambuteau. 10am-5:40pm. Closed on Mondays and public holidays.
Grand Carnavalet Musée Historique de la Ville de Paris 23, rue de Sévigné, 75003 Paris. Metro: Chemin Vert, Saint-Paul. Combination of the Hôtel Carnavalet and the Hôtel Le Peletier-Saint-Fargeau.
Hôtel de Guénégaud des Brosses Musée de la chasse et Nature.
Tel: 01 42 72 86 43. 60, rue des Archives, 75003 Paris. Metro: Rambuteau.
Hôtel de Juigné-Salé Musée Picasso 5, rue de Thorigny, 75003 Paris. Metro: Saint Paul, Chemin Vert.
Hôtel de Lamoignon, Bibliothèque Historique de la Ville de Paris.
Tel: 01 44 59 29 40 - 24, rue Pavée, 75004 Paris. Metro: Saint-Paul.
9:30am-6pm from Monday to Saturday.
Hôtel de Soubise Archives de France. Tel: 01 40 27 60 00.
60, rue des Francs-Bourgeois, 75003 Paris. Metro: Rambuteau.
Hôtel de Sens Bibliothèque Forney. Tel: 01 42 78 14 60. 1, rue Figuier, 75004 Paris. Metro: Pont Marie, Saint-Paul 1:30pm-8:30pm from Tuesday to Friday. 10am-8:30pm on Saturdays.
Hôtel de Sully Caisse Nationale des Monuments Historiques et des Sites.
Tel: 01 44 61 21 50 - 62, rue Saint-Antoine, 75004 Paris. Metro: Saint-Paul. 9am-7pm.
Place des Vosges
The oldest royal square in Paris. In the 17th century it was the meeting place of the elegant people and the Middle Classes.
Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral
Parvis de Notre Dame, 75004 Paris. Tel: 01 43 26 07 39.
RER: lines B-C Saint-Michel, Notre-Dame. Metro:Cité. Am-7pm. A Gothic masterpiece, Notre Dame was designed by Maurice de Sully and was built between the 12th and 14th centuries (1163-1345). Road distances in France
are calculated from the "0 km" point on the square.
*Towers Notre-Dame de Paris. Tel: 01 43 29 50 40.
Summer: 9:30am-6:30pm. Winter: 9:30am-5:30pm. Closed on Public Holidays.
*Crypte archéologique-Notre Dame de Paris. Tel: 01 43 29 83 51.
Summer: 10am-5:30pm. Winter: 10am-4:30pm.
Closed on Public Holidays. Interesting archeological discoveries are to be seen in the crypt (Gallo-Roman period to the 19th century).
Opera de Paris - Garnier
Place de l'Opéra, 75009 Paris. Tel: 01 40 01 17 89.
RER: line A Auber. Metro: Opéra. 10am-5pm. Designed by Charles Garnier, the Opéra de Paris is the most beautiful monument of the Second Empire.
Opera National de Paris-Bastille
Place de la Bastille, 75004 Paris. Tel: 01 40 01 17 89.
Metro: Bastille. Designed by Carlos Ott (1989).
Palais de Chaillot
Place du Trocadéro, 75016 Paris. Metro: Trocadéro. The Palais de Chaillot was built in 1937 for the Universal Exhibition. Perspective of the garden and fountains of the Trocadéro, the Seine and the Eiffel Tower. It combines: Musée du Cinéma, Théâtre National de Chaillot, Musée National des Monuments Français, Musée de la Marine, Musée de l'Homme.
Place du Panthéon, 75005 Paris. Tel: 01 43 54 34 51.
RER: line B Luxembourg. Metro: Cardinal Lemoine, Jussieu.
Summer: 10am-6pm. Winter: 10am-5:30pm. Closed on public holidays.
Previously a church, the Panthéon has become the "great men's necropolis": the tombs of Mirabeau, Voltaire, Rousseau, Hugo, Zola are there. Visit possible
only to the upper parts and the crypt.
Included in Paris Museum & Monument Pass; click for more info
Sacre Coeur Basilica
Parvis du Sacré Coeur, 75018 Paris.
Tel: 01 42 51 17 02. Metro: Anver, Abbesses. Basilica: 6:45am-11pm. Crypt and Dome: Summer: 9am-7pm. Winter: 9am-6pm.
The Basilica was built following a national vow after France's defeat in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870. An exceptional view over Paris. One can get to the Basilica by using the Funiculaire (funicular railway) leaving from
the Marché Saint-Pierre (Metro: Anvers).
4, boulevard du Palais, 75001 Paris. Tel: 01 43 54 30 09.
RER: lines B-C Saint-Michel, Notre Dame. Metro: Cité. Summer: 9:30am-6:pm. Winter: 10am-4:30pm. Closed on public holidays. Built in 33 months (1246-1248), apparently designed by Pierre de Montreuil, the Sainte-Chapelle is a masterpiece of Gothic art.
Included in Paris Museum & Monument Pass; click for more info
Champ de Mars, 75007, Paris. Tel: 01 44 11 23 45.
RER: line C Champ-de-Mars-Tour Eiffel.
Metro: Bir Hakeim, Trocadéro.
9:30am-11:30am. July/August: 9am-midnight.
The Eiffel Tower (307meters) which symbolizes Paris for the whole world, was built for the Universal Exhibition in 1889 and is considered a masterpiece of its kind. From the third floor there is panoramic view of Paris and Ile de France to a radius of 70 km.
33, avenue du Maine, 75015 Paris. Tel: 01 45 38 52 56
Summer: 9am-11:30pm. Winter: 10am-10pm.
Panoramic view from the 56th and 59th stories - 209 meters.
La Grande Arche - Paris La Defense
1, parvis de la Défense, 92040 Paris-Défense. Tel: 01 49 07 27 57.
RER line A La Défense exit "La Grande Arche".
Metro: Grande Arche de la Défense. Summer: 9am-7pm. Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays: 9am-8pm. Winter: 9am -6pm.
Panorama with a view of the historic route: Arc de Triomphe- Cour Carrée du Louvre. (Architect: Otto von Spreckelsen)
Poissy - Tel. +33 (0) 1 39 65 01 06.
Aquitaine - Bordeaux Area, Southwestern France
The Pey-Berland Tower in Bordeaux - Tel. +33 (0) 5 56 81 26 25
Brittany/Bretagne - Western France, By the Atlantic Ocean (on the other side)
The House of Ernest Renan in Tréguier - Tel. +33 (0) 2 96 92 45 63
Loire Valley - Southwest of Paris
The House of George Sand in Nohant - Tel. +33 (0) 2 54 31 06 04
Franche-Comte - South of Alsace, North of Lyon, by the Swiss Border, Eastern France
Horloge astronomique de Besançon - Tel. +33 (0) 3 81 81 12 76
Languedoc-Roussillon - Straight Southern France, by the Mediterranean Sea
The City of Carcassonne - Tel. +33 (0) 4 68 25 01 66 - has been listed as a "world heritage" in 1997 Fort de Salses - Tel. +33 (0) 4 68 38 60 13 - Fort Saint-André in Villeneuve-lès-Avignon - Tel. +33 (0) 4 90 25 45 35
Ruines d'Oradour-sur-Glane - Tel. +33 (0) 5 55 03 12 41
Nord-Pas-de-Calais - Northern France, by the Border of Belgium
Colonne de la Grande-Armée in Wimille - Tel. +33 (0) 3 21 80 43 69
Poitou-Charentes - Western France
Tower of La Lanterne in La Rochelle - Tel. +33 (0) 5 46 41 56 04
Provence - Marseilles and Aix-en-Provence Areas, Southeastern France
Chateau d'If - Tel. +33 (0) 4 91 59 02 30
The Arsenal of Montdauphin - Tel. +33 (0) 4 92 45 26 06
Hôtel de Sade in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence - Tel. +33 (0) 4 90 92 13 07
Riviera - Nice - Cannes - Monaco Areas, Southwestern France, on the Mediterranean Sea, by the Border of Italy
Trophée d'Auguste at La Turbie (Nice) - Tel. +33 (0) 4 93 41 10 11
Where to stay
France has a wide range of accommodation options from 5 star hotels through to midrange hotel properties, hostels, bed & breakfasts, and backpackers complexes. These can be tracked down by browsing the Internet. Click here for Hotel Club's selection of hotels each major city of France.