1 week in Northern France
France’s dense rail network makes it an amazing country to explore by rail. If you only have 1 week in France you can still pack in several incredible highlights by train. There’s a lifetime of things to see and do in France, but first time visitors should keep their journey focused around the capital and the North.
The streets, sights and museums of Paris; the Palace of Versailles; the history of Normandy; the home of Claude Monet; the beaches of D-Day; and the monastery at Mont Saint Michel.
Days 1 - 2: Paris
Venture to the top of the Eiffel Tower or Arc de Triomphe for panoramic views over Paris.
Walk the Champs-Élysées to do some serious shopping.
Take an open-top boat cruise on the Seine.
Visit the Mona Lisa in the Louvre museum.
Walk the cobbled streets of Montmarte and take in the views from the Sacré-Coeur Basilica.
Day 3: Versailles
Savor Parisian pastries from a neighborhood bakery and stock up on picnic snacks before boarding the train.
Spend the day exploring the magnificent Palace of Versailles.
Enjoy a lovely picnic in the Louis XIV's pristine gardens.
Day 4: Rouen
Explore the ancient centre of Rouen, the capital of Normandy.
Visit the impressive Cathédrale Notre-Dame.
See Joan of Arc’s place of execution, the Place du Vieux-Marché.
Visit the house and gardens of Claude Monet in nearby Giverny.
Day 5: Bayeux
Take an early train to Bayeux, with a stop in Caen for lunch and to see Abbaye aux Hommes.
Check out the famous Bayeux Tapestry, a 70-metres long cloth depicting historic events from the 11th century.
Day 5: D-Day Beaches
Spend the day reliving the invasion of Normandy in 1944.
Take a short bus ride to Arromanches-les-Bains where you can visit the D-Day museum.
Visit Omaha Beach and the D-Day memorial.
Day 7: Mont Saint-Michel
Explore the island of Mont Saint-Michel, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most popular destinations in France.
Take your time visiting the ancient Mont Saint-Michel Abbey.
Consider a guided tour of the island to learn about its history.
Return to Paris by train in less than 4 hours (via Rennes).
IS 1 WEEK IN NORTHERN FRANCE ENOUGH FOR ME?
If you only have 1 week to spend in France, then it pays to narrow down your trip according to your interests. This itinerary offers enough diversity to give you a taste of the country, with art, history and architecture that will have you planning a return journey.
With fast TGV and regional train connections, a Eurail Pass will help you make the most of your 1 week in France.