36 days in France, Italy & Zurich Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Europe trip itinerary planner
Make it your trip
Fly
1
Paris, France
— 5 nights
Train
2
Strasbourg, France
— 7 nights
+2
Train to Saint-Louis, Shuttle to Basel, Fly to Venice
3
Venice, Italy
— 7 nights
Fly
4
Rome, Italy
— 8 nights
Fly
5
Zurich, Switzerland
— 8 nights
Fly

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Paris, France — 5 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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte and Chateau de Fontainebleau. Escape the urban bustle at Seine River and Île de la Cité. There's much more to do: contemplate the long history of Eiffel Tower, explore the world behind art at Musee d'Orsay, pause for some serene contemplation at Sainte-Chapelle, and pause for some photo ops at Arc de Triomphe.

To find photos, ratings, other places to visit, and other tourist information, use the Paris visit planning site.

Atlanta, USA to Paris is an approximately 13-hour flight. You'll lose 6 hours traveling from Atlanta to Paris due to the time zone difference. Prepare for slightly colder weather when traveling from Atlanta in December: high temperatures in Paris hover around 47°F and lows are around 37°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 9th (Fri) so you can catch the train to Strasbourg.
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Historic Sites · Museums · Neighborhoods · Parks
Side Trips
Find places to stay Dec 4 — 9:

Strasbourg, France — 7 nights

Crossroads of Europe

Strasbourg is famous for its beautiful historical center, the Grande Île, which was the first city center classified entirely as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Strasbourg is one of the nine largest cities in France with nearly half a million inhabitants in the metropolitan area crossing the river to the German city of Kehl, on the eastern bank of the Rhine River.
Cathedrale Notre Dame de Strasbourg and La Petite France are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Visit Vieille ville d'Eguisheim and Œuvre de la cathédrale for their historical value. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Strasbourg: Tour des Bouchers (in Ribeauville), Colmar (Little Venice, Musée d'Unterlinden, &more) and Eglise Saints-Pierre-et-Paul (in Eguisheim). Next up on the itinerary: explore the historical opulence of Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg, take in the spiritual surroundings of Klosterkirche Marmoutier, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Notre-Dame de Neubois, and explore the ancient world of Chateau du Hagelschloss.

To find reviews, ratings, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Strasbourg trip planner.

Getting from Paris to Strasbourg by train takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of flight, shuttle, and train; or drive. In December in Strasbourg, expect temperatures between 44°F during the day and 33°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 16th (Fri) early enough to travel to Venice.
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Historic Sites · Neighborhoods · Museums
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Find places to stay Dec 9 — 16:

Venice, Italy — 7 nights

City of Romance

Virtually unchanged for the last six centuries, Venice is actually a group of islands made famous by a series of canals, bridges, monuments, piazzas, and narrow pedestrian lanes.
Step off the beaten path and head to Piazza Maggiore and Centro Storico Ferrara. Your inner history buff will appreciate Scuola Grande di San Rocco and Basilica di Santa Anastasia. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Venice: Bologna (Oratorio dei Battuti & Basilica - Santuario di Santo Stefano), Verona (Chiesa di San Giovanni Battista in Tomba Extra, Basilica di San Zeno Maggiore, &more) and Padua (Ragione Palace, Padua Botanical Garden - World Heritage Site, &more). And it doesn't end there: take in the architecture and atmosphere at Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, appreciate the extensive heritage of Centro Storico di Venezia, admire the landmark architecture of Basilica Palladiana, and explore the activities along Canal Grande.

For traveler tips, where to stay, maps, and more tourist information, read Venice online travel route planner.

You can do a combination of train, shuttle, and flight from Strasbourg to Venice in 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. Expect a daytime high around 49°F in December, and nighttime lows around 34°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 23rd (Fri) early enough to catch the flight to Rome.
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Historic Sites · Parks · Neighborhoods · Museums
Side Trips
Find places to stay Dec 16 — 23:

Rome, Italy — 8 nights

Eternal City

Aptly nicknamed the Eternal City, Rome is the birthplace of the Roman Empire, one of the world's greatest civilizations ever.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore and Basilica Papale San Paolo fuori le Mura. Visit Colosseum and Centro Storico Associazione Centro Storico for their historical value. There's much more to do: make a trip to St. Peter's Square, stroll the grounds of Catacombs of Saint Callixtus, contemplate the long history of St. Peter's Basilica, and contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Cupola di San Pietro.

To find reviews, photos, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Rome day trip planning site.

Getting from Venice to Rome by flight takes about 3 hours. Other options: take a train; or drive. When traveling from Venice in December, plan for somewhat warmer days in Rome, with highs around 57°F, while nights are about the same with lows around 39°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Sat) to allow enough time to fly to Zurich.
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Historic Sites · Museums · Neighborhoods · Fun & Games
Side Trip
Find places to stay Dec 23 — 31:

Zurich, Switzerland — 8 nights

Big Small Town

The financial hub of Switzerland, Zurich is most often associated with money and banks.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Mt Pilatus and Basel Minster. Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Old Town and Forum of Swiss History Schwyz. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Zurich: Turm in Regensberg (in Regensberg), Lucerne (Altstadt Luzern, Chapel Bridge, &more) and Kuessnacht am Rigi (Zipline & Astrid-Kapelle). There's still lots to do: hit the slopes at Titlis, take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Uetliberg Mountain, fly like a bird with a parasailing or paragliding tour, and take in the dramatic scenery at Rhine Falls.

To find other places to visit, more things to do, reviews, and other tourist information, read Zurich journey planner.

Fly from Rome to Zurich in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. Plan for a bit cooler temperatures traveling from Rome in December, with highs in Zurich at 41°F and lows at 30°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Sun) so you can fly back home.
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Parks · Outdoors · Historic Sites · Winter Sports
Side Trips
Find places to stay Dec 31 — Jan 8:

France travel guide

4.3
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.
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Italy travel guide

4.6
Landmarks · Ruins · Beaches
Italy is a land of high fashion, fine art, exquisite architecture, luxury sports cars, outstanding cuisine--and an insatiable taste for "la dolce vita." It's also home to the greatest number of World Heritage Sites in the world, making it an ideal place for your next holiday. The country boasts a varied landscape of mountain ranges, alpine lakes, and coastal towns, so it's no wonder travelers often refer to it as the bel paese (beautiful country). With so many places to visit, visitors often have a difficult time planning their itinerary. The smaller villages each feature a distinct character and a blend of architecture, art, and cuisine. In the country, you'll find countless archeological sites dating back to Roman times and beyond. The country's cities and seaside resorts are cosmopolitan powerhouses with museums, galleries, restaurants, shops, open-air markets, and pedestrian-friendly historic areas.
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