One fact that surprises a lot of people is that as of my third trip to France, I had never traveled outside of Paris. If you’ve ever been to Paris of course, this won’t surprise you—you could spend a whole lifetime and still miss out on something! Nonetheless, after spending about a week perfecting myParis itineraryduring my fourth visit to France last summer, I finally set out to explore some of the rest of the country.
2 weeks in France isn’t enough to see everything there is or really even to get a good overview of the France’s culture, scenery, history and architecture. With this being said, two weeks in France isa great amount of time to get a delicious taste of French flavor, whetting your appetite enough for several trips in the future.
NOTE: By the end of 2023, a new online visa waiver program calledETIAS will be obligatory for all travelers, including US citizens.
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1.1When to Visit France
1.2Where to Stay in France
1.3How to Get Around France
1.4Money, Costs and Communication
2Where to Go With 2 Weeks in France
3Other Destinations in France
4Is 2 Weeks in France Enough?
5Other FAQ About Travel to France
5.1How much does a trip to France cost?
5.2What is the best time of year to travel to France?
5.3How much would a trip to Paris cost for a week?
6The Bottom Line
When to Visit France
France, perhaps more than any other country in Europe, shines in all four seasons, whether you ski the Alps in winter, sun yourself on the Côte d’Azur in summer, enjoy the flowers in the Fenouillèdes or the fall colors in Paris; this doesn’t speak to the incredible skiing on offer in French Alps, which some travelers use as the entire basis of a 2 weeks in France itinerary. There’s literally not a bad day of the year to visit France!.
Where to Stay in France
Like much of the rest of Europe, France’s accommodation runs the whole spectrum. But while big cities offer just as many hostels as luxury hotels, they’re not always cheap (I remember paying 70eurosfor a dorm bed atVilla St. Exuperyin Nice one time) or good. France (and, specifically, Paris), perhaps more than anywhere else in the world, is the place to enjoy luxury like Paris’The Peninsula, if you can afford it.
How to Get Around France
France is home to the TGV, one of the world’s first high-speed trains, which is both the fastest and most enjoyable way to travel within the country as you attempt to see France in 2 weeks. It’s also the most expensive, however, being relatively on-par with renting your own car on a per-mile basis. For cheaper transport, buy a Eurail pass or take local trains or buses if you plan to buy tickets à la carte during your France two week itinerary
Money, Costs and Communication
That’s a big “if”: France is uniformly expensive, even for budget travelers, who can expect to spend no less than 50-75eurosper day, between accommodation, food and transport.The good news is that fast WiFi is plentiful, and France SIM cards are relatively cheap to buy and refill, which means that you can always use your phone or computer to find fun, free things to do online (both here and elsewhere). It’s also possible tobuy an eSIM through a company like Orange, which allows you to get connected in a matter of seconds.
Literally, communication in France depends heavily on your ability tospeak French, though people are generally more relaxed about this the farther south you go, even if they’re less capable as well.
Where to Go With 2 Weeks in France
What can I say aboutParisthat hasn’t already been said? One thing I’ll express is that no matter how many times I visit the City of Lights, I always crave the opportunity to see tourist attractions like theEiffel Tower,Notre Dame Cathedral,Basilica of Sacred Heart,Pont des Artsbridge,River Seineand well, you get the idea —first time, third time or fifth time, nothing about ever gets old to me, not even typical tourist attractions.
Of course, there plenty of non-touristy things to do in Paris, whether you fall in love with a Frenchman and stay in his home for a while, watch an eccentric friend of yours dance through the sketchyBois de Boulognepark in a flamboyant costume or exploreDefense, France’s answer to Manhattan. Regardless of how many times you’ve been to Paris or what you plan to do there,spend between 3-7 days of your 2 weeks in France in Paris(although I’m not sure I would recommend spending all two weeks in Paris).
I’m not embarrassed to admit that the number one reason I wanted to visitProvencewas ads by cosmetics companyL'Occitane in Provence, which depicted rolling fields of lavender and sunflowers covering the French countryside. I am ashamed (or, at least, disappointed) to admit that I wasn’t able to see the lavender—rural Provence is the one place France’s usually amazing public transitfails, where I crashed themotorcycle I rented to circumvent this transport deficiency almost immediately upon renting it. Whoops!
With this being said, there are plenty of other things to see and do in Provence, whether you explore the large city ofAix en Provence, pray at the former seat of the Papacy inAvignonor bask in the famous sunlight ofArles, which inspired Vincent Van Goghduring his career. Even if you are more successful than me in seeing lavender (I’m happy to announce that I did end up seeing some sunflowers),spend between 3-5 days of your two weeks in France in Provence.
Officially, theFrench Rivierais part of the same French region as Provence – Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, which was the subject of a post I did onbackpacking in bougey southern Francein 2013. In spite of this, Côte d’Azur couldn’t be further from bucolic Provence in its ambiance, scenery or price point, to say nothing of how different the Alps region is from both. Several amazing cities lie along the Côte d’Azur, fromNice, toSt. Tropez, toCannes, home to the world’s most ubiquitous film festival.
Of these three, I prefer Nice, which perfectly blends charming-cum-snobby Frenchness with Italian architecture and cuisine, and whose rock-lined beaches are some of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. Nice is also great in that its location makes day trips, whether to the medieval city ofÈzeorthe tiny principality of Monaco, a breeze. Even if you spend your entire time here cozied up on the coast with a bottle of bubbly,spend no less than 3-5 days of your two weeks in France along the Côte d’Azur.
Other Destinations in France
As I mentioned above, 2 weeks in France (by train or otherwise) is barely enough to get you started—two months, two years or two centuries is a better amount of time to allocate! No matter where in this range of durations your trip to France falls, there are hundreds of places other than those I’ve mentioned to see.
From Paris, you could heard north to the coastNormandyandMont Saint Michel, or west to theBay of Biscay, where you’ll find cities likeNantesandLa Rochelle. The southwest of France is home to theBordeauxwine country and the southeast home to theFrench Alpsand some Europe’s tallest mountains,while cosmopolitan cities likeMarseilleandMontpelliercap off its Mediterranean coast.
Is 2 Weeks in France Enough?
Assuming you only visit Paris and the parts of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region I’ve mentioned in this post, my 2 week France itinerary should suit you. Two weeks in France is also a generally sensible amount of time to spend in the country since (A) it usually slots into a largerEurope itineraryand (B) France is expensive!
However, if you plan to undertake a more extensive France itinerary, 2 weeks might be a minimum amount of time rather than a maximum or even a target. If you head both north and south (or, god forbid, to tertiary destinations like the French Basque country and the island of Corsica), then 3 weeks in France or even an entire month might be a more appropriate length for your trip.
Other FAQ About Travel to France
How much does a trip to France cost?
As a general rule, you can expect to pay no less than 100 USD per person, per day to travel in France; most travelers will spend around double this. Using this math, the cost of a two-week trip to France will be around $2,800 (or, potentially, as low as $1,400), not including the cost of flights.
What is the best time of year to travel to France?
France is a fantastic destination 365 days per year. You can visit Paris as the spring flowers bloom, Provence as lavender carpets its hillsides in summer, the forests of the Pyrenees during colorful autumn and alpine ski slopes in the winter. For most travelers, however, late spring or early summer (May, June and July) maximizes travel opportunity.
How much would a trip to Paris cost for a week?
Given that the average traveler can expect to spend at least 200 USD per day in Paris, a week in Paris will cost no less than around $1,400, not including the cost of flights.
The Bottom Line
Whether you spend 2 weeks in France or decide to stay here for your whole lifetime, and even if you spend 2 weeks in Paris and choose not to explore the rest of the country, I hope I’ve provided you with the information—and inspiration—you were seeking. Personally, it took me several trips to get out of Paris, but once I did I was just as smitten with regions like Provence and the Côte d’Azur as I was with the Île de France. Still feeling stressed, either about France or Europe writ large?Hire me as your Travel Coach!
You can cover some serious ground with two weeks in France, spending multiple days in up to three different regions (plus time in Paris). For example, pair the South of France and the Provençal countryside with a few days of hiking in the French Alps.What is the best way to travel France? ›
Although nine out ten times, the best way to travel around France is by train, there are a few occasions when a flight is your best bet. Take Nice for example. The fastest flight time from CDG or Orly is 1:20. Figure in transport to the airport, check in, security, etc.How long should you spend in France? ›
Planning Your Trip to France
For a holiday in France that covers multiple areas and highlights, most travelers should plan on spending around 10 days. This gives you enough time to explore a few different regions by train, plane, or road trip at a relaxed pace.
As a general rule, you can expect to pay no less than 100 USD per person, per day to travel in France; most travelers will spend around double this. Using this math, the cost of a two-week trip to France will be around $2,800 (or, potentially, as low as $1,400), not including the cost of flights.Is 2 weeks in Paris too long? ›
If Paris is part of a French trip, plan on spending 4+ days in Paris if your total time in France is two weeks or more. The long answer is that there's no right or wrong answer and it all depends on what kind of traveler you are and the things you like to do when visiting a new city.Is it worth going to Europe for 2 weeks? ›
2 weeks in Europe is not enough to experience this vast continent. There's so much happening in each town, experiences that need to spend more than a day sometimes and travel does take up quite a chunk of the itinerary too! There are 44 countries in Europe, full of fascinating cultures and experiences.How much do I need for 2 weeks Europe trip? ›
So for 2 weeks in Europe, a budget traveler may spend around 1,120 Euros. This could be lower if you budget to the extreme. Keep in mind, a work exchange cuts your accommodation costs down to 0, and your food, transport, and activity costs may be lower as well depending on what your host offers.Is it better to fly or take train from Nice to Paris? ›
Taking a train in combination with a flight is a quicker and cheaper way to get between Paris and Nice. This journey (from $65) takes three hours, 30 minutes, including a transfer of one hour, 12 minutes. The Paris RER train leaves every 10 minutes from Saint-Michel-Notre Dame station to Antony.What is the number one tourist destination in France? ›
In 2022, the famous amusement park welcomed more than 15 million visitors, making it the most visited attraction in France. According to the Atout France report, Disneyland Paris attracts as many French tourists as foreigners each year.
- Beware of pickpockets. ...
- Make payments by banker's card. ...
- Remain vigilant. ...
- Keep your baggage close to you. ...
- Keep a copy of your ID papers. ...
- Contact the relevant authorities after the loss or theft of your ID papers. ...
- If you are assaulted, call an emergency number.
When is the best time to visit France? The best time to visit France is in spring (April-May), summer (June-August), or autumn (September-October). Spring is pleasant across the country, with fewer crowds and temperatures ranging from 55°F to 68°F.What are the best times of year to visit France? ›
Late spring and fall are best, with generally good weather and lighter crowds, though summer brings festivals, animated villages, reliable weather, and long opening hours at sights.Is it best to take cash to France? ›
It's always advisable to bring money in a variety of forms on a vacation: a mix of cash, credit cards, and traveler's checks. You should also exchange enough petty cash to cover airport incidentals, tipping, and transportation to your hotel before you leave home, or withdraw money upon arrival at an airport ATM.How much cash should I bring to France? ›
A good rule of thumb is to carry $50-$100 a day in the local currency while travelling. Remember, though, that cash may not be the best option to pay for travel expenses. Credit cards offer great rewards, lower transaction fees, and can help you get a better exchange rate.What time of year is cheapest to fly to France? ›
The best time to book flights to France is typically in the off-season months of January, February, November, and December. Flight prices are typically cheaper during these months due to lower demand for travel. It is recommended that you book your flight at least 3 weeks in advance for the best price.How much euros should I bring to France? ›
If you are carrying a sum of money that is equal to or greater than €10,000 (or its equivalent value in other currencies), you must declare this to customs upon arrival in or departure from France. Using Dalia, you can make your declaration online up to two days before your departure date, completely free of charge.Do I need a visa to go to France? ›
You may enter the Schengen area, including France, for up to 90 days for tourist and business purposes without a visa. Immigration officers may also request you show sufficient funds for your intended stay and a return airline ticket.How much are meals in France? ›
The Cost of Food in France
In France, you can expect to spend around €25-40 per day on meals. However, this amount will vary based on a number of factors, including which city you visit and where you choose to eat.
Nice is a wonderful place to visit in the French Riviera. Spending 3 days in Nice is the perfect amount of time to see the highlights of Nice as well as its surrounding areas.How many days do you need to see Nice France? ›
You will need to spend a minimum of 2 days in Nice which will allow plenty of time to visit the city's main attractions as well as discovering some hidden gems along the way.
If Paris is part of a French trip, plan on spending 4+ days in Paris if your total time in France is two weeks or more. The long answer is that there's no right or wrong answer and it all depends on what kind of traveler you are and the things you like to do when visiting a new city.How long is the train ride between Paris and Nice? ›
Travelling from Paris to Nice by train
Generally, the average journey time by train from Paris to Nice is 5h 58m, with around 10 trains running on this popular route each day provided by SNCF and OUIGO. SNCF's high-speed TGV service can take you from Paris to Nice by train in just 5h 41m.
Long promenade, walkable city streets, and scenic hills to hike. Since Nice is very walkable and quite casual, it can be a mistake not to pack a pair of walking shoes. For one, the seaside city's major highlight, Promenade des Anglais, has plenty of sights along its 7-km length that are best explored on foot.What is the best month to visit Nice France? ›
The best time to visit Nice is in the shoulder season of September to October, or from mid-March to April when you can capitalize on the low room rates.How far apart are Nice and Paris? ›
How Long Does It Take to Drive? The distance from Paris to Nice is around 578 miles (931 kilometers). If making the trip by car, it takes around nine hours, 30 minutes via autoroutes A6 and A7, depending on how many stops you make and what the traffic is like.Do you need a car in Nice France? ›
The most reliable and cost-efficient manner of getting around in Nice is to use the public transport means. However, getting around by car, by taxi or by bike is also possible, not to mention the fact the tourist areas of Nice are worth searching out on foot.How many days in Paris is ideal? ›
A trip to the French capital is likely to be a magical experience. First-time travelers should try and plan around 4-5 days—ample time to enjoy some classic Parisian highlights and visit a few of the 20 arrondissements (neighborhoods).What months are less crowded in Paris? ›
Best Time to Visit Paris to Avoid Crowds
Hotel prices, too, will inevitably climb in the summer months. We recommend visiting between October and April, making sure to avoid the jam-packed holiday season in December, if your main objective is to avoid crowds.
Budget-Friendly Travel Planning. How much money will you need for your trip to Paris? You should plan to spend around €233 ($257) per day on your vacation in Paris, which is the average daily price based on the expenses of other visitors.Is 3 weeks in France too much? ›
Three weeks in France gives you enough time to cover multiple regions and see the main highlights—Paris, Lyon, Marseille, and Nice—and experience the lesser-known towns of Honfleur and Tours.
The best way to explore the region is over a week or two, allowing you to soak up the scenery at your own pace. Starting at the port of Marseille and working up to the sunny shores of Nice, our South of France 10-day itinerary covers all the essentials.How long does it take to go around France on a road trip? ›
How many days in France is enough? You can never have too many days in France. This road trip in France is designed to be undertaken over the course of two weeks but depending on how much you like to explore and take stops along the route you can easily spend a few more days here and there.