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where to go for a short 3 days trip to get the taste of France?

Sorry to ask in such a rush but I was planning to visit Paris for a few days from Stuttgart, Germany. But after doing some research I see that 3 days won't be enough for Paris. During 2 months in Europe, I've visited a few countries with bigger cities and smaller cities in it and I always fall in love with the charm of smaller cities more. For example, I enjoyed Sevilla more than Barcelona or Madrid, Florence and especially Cinque Terre more than Roma. Where do you suggest I should see for 3 days in France?
I'm planning to leave on the evening of Oct 27th and come back on the evening of Oct 30th. I don't want to spend too much time on traveling so somewhere that doesn't take more than 6hrs to travel by car/bus from Stuttgart would be great.

Thank you :)

Posted by
27236 posts

Alsace is within range. Strasbourg might be a bit too large for you, but Colmar is nice (though touristy), and there are many attractive smaller towns in the area. Colmar has a very good art museum, in addition to being very picturesque, with canals and beautiful half-timbered buildings. This area is heavily German-influenced.

Assuming you mean 6 hours one way:

If art nouveau architecture is appealing, consider Nancy. Since you've been in Germany, you might prefer Nancy, just for the sake of variety. But this means a considerably longer train ride.

You could also reach Dijon, another very nice city. Again, more time on the train.

Unfortunately, last-minute rail tickets may be costly.

Posted by
3122 posts

If you want a real flavor of France, as opposed to Alsace which has a sort of French/German cultural mix, try for one of the towns west of Basel & Bern. Besancon might be a good choice.

Posted by
7485 posts

I love Lyon!!!!! Lyon is a big city with a small town feel in the neighborhoods. Very French. I think of it as a mini-Paris. If you want details, I have spent about 6 weeks in Lyon in the last 2 summers. Wonderful!!! Great transportation connections, too.

Posted by
15607 posts

My first thought was also Alsace. You could stay in either Strasbourg or Colmar. I think Strasbourg/Paris is comparable to Sevilla/Madrid. It has lots of sights and quaint canals and it's somewhat more convenient to stay there.

Posted by
27236 posts

Lyon would be a good choice, but the fastest train routing seems to take 5 hr. 45 min., which is near the outer limit specified by the OP. And that's for a 7:11 AM departure, so it could take longer.

Posted by
120 posts

Thanks Richard and Acraven! Another vote for Dijon which is under 5 hours driving (no train for the OP it seems).

Too bad you're not coming after the 1st November as the 87th International Gastronomic Fair will take place for 12 days. The best way to taste hundreds of France specialties.

Here are a few ideas of what to see in Dijon .

Bon voyage!

Posted by
4 posts

thanks everyone for the advice! I've done some more research and see that it would be convenient for me to go to Lyon for the weekend with blablacar since that's the only cheap option I have right now. I have been to Colmar on a day trip before and probably will go to Strasbourg on a day trip some time soon too. I'll take a late night bus back so that I can arrive here early in the morning and it seems to work out for me so that's what I'm going it with.

Thank you!!