16 days in France, Hamburg & Bruges Itinerary

16 days in France, Hamburg & Bruges Itinerary

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Hamburg, Germany
— 4 nights
Bruges, Belgium
— 2 nights
Colmar, France
— 3 nights
Paris, France
— 3 nights


Hamburg, Germany

— 4 nights

Gateway to the World

As the country's biggest port and one of the busiest in all of Europe, Hamburg has a well-deserved reputation as Germany's Gateway to the World.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Kunsthalle Hamburg and St Nikolai Memorial. Your inner history buff will appreciate Ohlsdorf Cemetery and Marktkirche. There's still lots to do: get engrossed in the history at Museum of Hamburg History, don't miss a visit to St. Petri und Pauli, take in the architecture and atmosphere at St. Petri Kirche, and examine the collection at Dialog in the Dark.

For reviews, other places to visit, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Hamburg trip builder site.

San Francisco, USA to Hamburg is an approximately 16.5-hour flight. The time zone difference when traveling from San Francisco to Hamburg is 9 hours. Plan for slightly colder temperatures traveling from San Francisco in May, with highs in Hamburg at 63°F and lows at 46°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Wed) to allow time to travel to Bruges.

Things to do in Hamburg

Museums · Parks · Wildlife · Historic Sites
Find places to stay May 16 — 20:

Bruges, Belgium

— 2 nights

Venice of the North

The medieval town of Bruges centers around a canal, and the architecture of its historical district has made it a World Heritage Site.
Start off your visit on the 21st (Thu): take in the spiritual surroundings of Brugge Sint Jacobskerk, then hike along Bruges Art Route, then get engrossed in the history at Folklore Museum, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Sint-Walburgakerk. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: pause for some serene contemplation at St. Annakerk (St Anne's Church), take in the architecture and atmosphere at Adornesdomein & Jeruzalemkerk, then take a stroll through Huidenvettersplein, then take in the spiritual surroundings of De Vos Almshouse (Godshuis de Vos), and finally identify plant and animal life at De Fonteintjes.

To find traveler tips, other places to visit, photos, and other tourist information, use the Bruges trip maker.

Getting from Hamburg to Bruges by flight takes about 5.5 hours. Other options: drive; or do a combination of train and car. In May, daily temperatures in Bruges can reach 62°F, while at night they dip to 47°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Fri) so you can drive to Colmar.

Things to do in Bruges

Historic Sites · Parks · Trails · Outdoors
Find places to stay May 20 — 22:

Colmar, France

— 3 nights

Little Venice

Situated along the Alsatian Wine Route, Colmar is renowned for its German and French culture, well-preserved old town, numerous architectural landmarks, and its museums.
Parc Attractions Haut Rhin and Eglise Protestante Saint-Matthieu are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Get outdoors at Route des Vins d'Alsace and Gazon du Faing. The adventure continues: take in the pleasant sights at Grand Rue De Colmar, don't miss a visit to Fontaine Schwendi, do a tasting at Domaine Karcher et Fils, and pause for some photo ops at Synagogue of Colmar.

To see reviews, maps, where to stay, and other tourist information, go to the Colmar online trip itinerary maker.

Traveling by car from Bruges to Colmar takes 6 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight, shuttle, and train; or take a train. When traveling from Bruges in May, plan for a bit warmer days and about the same nights in Colmar: temperatures range from 68°F by day to 48°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Tue) to allow time to take a train to Paris.

Things to do in Colmar

Parks · Trails · Tours · Transportation

Side Trip

Find places to stay May 22 — 26:

Paris, France

— 3 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.
Get a sense of the local culture at Hotel de Ville and Musee National des Arts Asiatiques - Guimet. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to 1st Arrondissement and Memorial De La Shoah. The adventure continues: take a stroll through Quartier Montparnasse, examine the collection at Musee des Arts Forains, pause for some photo ops at Le Groupe Sculpte La Poesie, and explore the ancient world of Archeological Crypt of the Parvis of Notre-Dame.

For reviews, where to stay, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read Paris trip maker.

Take a train from Colmar to Paris in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. In May, daytime highs in Paris are 64°F, while nighttime lows are 49°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 29th (Fri) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Paris

Museums · Parks · Outdoors · Neighborhoods
Find places to stay May 26 — 29:

France travel guide

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.