Backpacking France

The land of love, the land of fashion, the land of a thousand lakes – France can be described with many words and yet, none of them do it justice. Besides stunning nature, the country is full of cultural treasures. We hope you’ll have fun exploring our ideal backpacking route of France!


Important Basics

Official Language ( French )
EnglishFrench
HelloBonjour
GoodbyeAu revoir
Thank youMerci
YesOui
NoNon
Capital City

Paris

Form of Government

Semi-presidential system

Best Time to Visit

June to August

Fun Facts
  • Andorra and Monaco are independent from France, although they are within the national borders.
  • It’s illegal to name cows and pigs after Napoleon.
  • France has a city with a very short name – “Y”. The municipality has less than 100 residents.

Cities

Strasbourg

Your trip through the land of love and fashion takes you first to Strasbourg. Strasbourg is particularly known for its mixture of German and French culture. This is noticeable in the architecture, the food, and the mentality of the locals. While strolling through the old town, you will immediately notice the typical half-timbered houses.

A special highlight of the city is of course the Cathedral of Our Lady of Strasbourg, the Gothic church in the middle of the city center. Here, the presentation of the astronomical clock takes place daily and you should not miss this.

You can stay the night at one of the local hostels. A bed in a dorm costs €26 a night.

Lyon

The tour continues into the alpine region and the city of Lyon. Depending on whether you are traveling by bus or train, you may have to change trains. Nevertheless, the journey by public transport is very easy.

The city dates back to around 40 BC. Because of its strategic location at the confluence of the Rhine and Saône rivers, it was already of great importance during Roman times.

Here you can really immerse yourself in the French lifestyle and walk from one cafe to the next or to nearby brasserie. If your budget is a little tight, watch out, because food is not necessarily cheap but is so delicious!

You will get a comfortable place to sleep at one of the local hostels. A bed in a dorm costs €26 a night.

Nice

Now it's getting chic, because you’re going to the Côte d'Azur. At least that's what everyone thinks of the French Riviera. In fact, this beautiful coastal stretch is also suitable for backpackers. Nice is about 5 hours from Lyon by public transportation. You’ll need about €35.

On the coast, the weather is quite mild throughout the year. Spring and autumn are therefore the best times for your trip to escape the crowds of summer. Upon arrival, you will of course put your feet in the water and walk along the Promenade des Anglais. The promenade extends over 4 kilometers. There it makes sense to rent a bike or skates.

At the Cours Saleya market, you can shop for handmade souvenirs or chic second-hand clothes and then enjoy the sunset in one of the hip restaurants with a view of the sea.

You don’t have to spend a lot to stay in Nice overnight. You can get a bed in one of the local hostels’ dorms for €28 a night.

Marseille

Since it's so beautiful by the water, you might as well stay on the Riviera for a while. You continue along the coast to Marseille. You’ll pay €15 for the 2-hour drive.

The port city in the south of France has been an important commercial center for over 2,500 years. You should definitely treat yourself to a freshly caught fish at the old harbor. With a glass of wine, of course – perfect to start your trip in Marseille.

To see the city in its full splendor, climb the Notre Dame de la Garde. The church is the city's landmark and watches over the locals on a 160-meter-high hill. If you feel like enjoying a different kind of attraction, take the ferry to the Île d'If, a small island outside the city. The building that stands on the island used to be a prison and is now open for visits.

You can spend the night in one of Marseille’s hostels. A bed in a dorm costs €31 a night.

Bordeaux

Head north from the coast, and you will end up in what is probably the most famous wine region in the world.

So, it's only natural that you will set out to explore the vineyards and wineries. Even if you don't like to drink wine yourself, you will be amazed by the hilly vineyards, the endless rows of vines and the grand manor houses.

Like all the cities you have visited during your backpacking trip, Bordeaux is a port city. It’s located on the Garonne river. Along the riverbank there are many public gardens that lead to imposing buildings such as the Place de la Bourse and the Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux.

Spend the night at one of the local hostels to meet more backpackers. A bed in a dorm costs €36 a night.

Paris

What would a trip through France be without a stop in Paris? That's exactly why we're going to the capital as a Grand Finale. With the bus and one change of bus you will arrive after a journey of about 3 hours. You’ll get there in a 3-hour bus ride.

A lifetime isn’t enough to see everything in Paris. If you don't have that much time, you can try to find a good mix between tourist must-sees and a touch of French spontaneity. Of course, you should stroll past the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and the Arc de Triomphe. Preferably with a croissant from the small café around the corner in your hand – you definitely have to taste what France has to offer.

Accommodations in Paris are rather expensive. It’s better to stay at one of the local hostels. You can get a bed in a dorm for €41 a night.


Strasbourg

Strasbourg

Your trip through the land of love and fashion takes you first to Strasbourg. Strasbourg is particularly known for its mixture of German and French culture. This is noticeable in the architecture, the food, and the mentality of the locals. While strolling through the old town, you will immediately notice the typical half-timbered houses.

A special highlight of the city is of course the Cathedral of Our Lady of Strasbourg, the Gothic church in the middle of the city center. Here, the presentation of the astronomical clock takes place daily and you should not miss this.

You can stay the night at one of the local hostels. A bed in a dorm costs €26 a night.

Lyon

Lyon

The tour continues into the alpine region and the city of Lyon. Depending on whether you are traveling by bus or train, you may have to change trains. Nevertheless, the journey by public transport is very easy.

The city dates back to around 40 BC. Because of its strategic location at the confluence of the Rhine and Saône rivers, it was already of great importance during Roman times.

Here you can really immerse yourself in the French lifestyle and walk from one cafe to the next or to nearby brasserie. If your budget is a little tight, watch out, because food is not necessarily cheap but is so delicious!

You will get a comfortable place to sleep at one of the local hostels. A bed in a dorm costs €26 a night.

Nice

Nice

Now it's getting chic, because you’re going to the Côte d'Azur. At least that's what everyone thinks of the French Riviera. In fact, this beautiful coastal stretch is also suitable for backpackers. Nice is about 5 hours from Lyon by public transportation. You’ll need about €35.

On the coast, the weather is quite mild throughout the year. Spring and autumn are therefore the best times for your trip to escape the crowds of summer. Upon arrival, you will of course put your feet in the water and walk along the Promenade des Anglais. The promenade extends over 4 kilometers. There it makes sense to rent a bike or skates.

At the Cours Saleya market, you can shop for handmade souvenirs or chic second-hand clothes and then enjoy the sunset in one of the hip restaurants with a view of the sea.

You don’t have to spend a lot to stay in Nice overnight. You can get a bed in one of the local hostels’ dorms for €28 a night.

Marseille

Marseille

Since it's so beautiful by the water, you might as well stay on the Riviera for a while. You continue along the coast to Marseille. You’ll pay €15 for the 2-hour drive.

The port city in the south of France has been an important commercial center for over 2,500 years. You should definitely treat yourself to a freshly caught fish at the old harbor. With a glass of wine, of course – perfect to start your trip in Marseille.

To see the city in its full splendor, climb the Notre Dame de la Garde. The church is the city's landmark and watches over the locals on a 160-meter-high hill. If you feel like enjoying a different kind of attraction, take the ferry to the Île d'If, a small island outside the city. The building that stands on the island used to be a prison and is now open for visits.

You can spend the night in one of Marseille’s hostels. A bed in a dorm costs €31 a night.

Bordeaux

Bordeaux

Head north from the coast, and you will end up in what is probably the most famous wine region in the world.

So, it's only natural that you will set out to explore the vineyards and wineries. Even if you don't like to drink wine yourself, you will be amazed by the hilly vineyards, the endless rows of vines and the grand manor houses.

Like all the cities you have visited during your backpacking trip, Bordeaux is a port city. It’s located on the Garonne river. Along the riverbank there are many public gardens that lead to imposing buildings such as the Place de la Bourse and the Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux.

Spend the night at one of the local hostels to meet more backpackers. A bed in a dorm costs €36 a night.

Paris

Paris

What would a trip through France be without a stop in Paris? That's exactly why we're going to the capital as a Grand Finale. With the bus and one change of bus you will arrive after a journey of about 3 hours. You’ll get there in a 3-hour bus ride.

A lifetime isn’t enough to see everything in Paris. If you don't have that much time, you can try to find a good mix between tourist must-sees and a touch of French spontaneity. Of course, you should stroll past the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and the Arc de Triomphe. Preferably with a croissant from the small café around the corner in your hand – you definitely have to taste what France has to offer.

Accommodations in Paris are rather expensive. It’s better to stay at one of the local hostels. You can get a bed in a dorm for €41 a night.

France Route Map

Itinerary and Stops.

Tag
Route/Station
Transport
Unterkunft
1. Home-Strasbourg
Home-Strasbourg
Bus
20
6-person dorm
26
2. Strasbourg
Strasbourg
-
6-person dorm
26
3. Strasbourg- Lyon
Strasbourg- Lyon
Bus
25
10-person dorm
22
4. Lyon
Lyon
-
10-person dorm
22
5. Lyon
Lyon
-
10-person dorm
22
6. Lyon- Nice
Lyon- Nice
Bus
35
10-person dorm
28
7. ​Nice
​Nice
-
10-person dorm
28
8. ​Nice
​Nice
-
10-person dorm
28
9. Nice- Marseille
Nice- Marseille
Bus
15
4-person dorm
31
10. Marseille
Marseille
-
4-person dorm
31
11. Marseille
Marseille
-
4-person dorm
31
12. Marseille- ​Bordeaux
Marseille- ​Bordeaux
Bus
40
8-person dorm
36
13. Bordeaux
Bordeaux
-
8-person dorm
36
14. Bordeaux
Bordeaux
-
8-person dorm
36
15. Bordeaux- Paris
Bordeaux- Paris
Bus
35
10-person dorm
41
16. Paris
Paris
-
10-person dorm
41
17. Paris
Paris
-
10-person dorm
41
18. Paris
Paris
-
10-person dorm
41
19. ​Paris-Home
​Paris-Home
Bus
30

Total price.

Flights 0,00
Transportation 200,00
Tours 0,00
Accommodation 477,00
Total677,00

Du möchtest 

deine eigene

Reise erstellen?

Du möchtest deine

eigene Reise erstellen?

Dos and Donts, Food & Drinks, Costs.

Breakfast

Baguette: the classic is a delicious fresh baguette with camembert cheese for breakfast.

Soups

Onion soup:  this creamy and spicy soup is a favorite of the French. It originally comes from Paris.

Main courses

Flammekueche: particularly popular, the Flammekueche comes from Alsace and convinces both locals and backpackers.

Pot-au-feu: this stew made from meat and potatoes with beans is traditionally boiled over the fire.

Coq au vin: this well-known dish consists of a roasted rooster marinated in a white wine sauce. A real feast in France!

Bouillabaisse:  this stew is a specialty on the south coast. It’s made from fresh fish and served with various side dishes.

Galettes: this is the hearty version of crêpes. Galettes taste simply delicious and is often served with bacon.

Belon oysters: these oysters are a specialty of the country and are often served in Brittany.

Drinks & Snacks

Macarons: everyone knows these little sweet snacks. Unfortunately, they’re pretty pricey, but still worth the money.

Crême Brûlée: a dessert that you just can’t miss.

Wine:  the French wine has a good reputation. You can try great tastings in the south of France.

France

In France, payment is made in Euros. You can see the prices for certain products as well as the cost of living below.

Cost of living

Food

Free time

Personal hygiene

Dos

French: the French are very proud of their language and often don't know English too well, so having basic French vocabulary will help you a lot.

Kiss on the cheek: in France, people greet each other exclusively with a kiss on the cheek. It's preferred to shaking hands here.

Fashion: the French pay a lot of attention to their appearance and, especially in the cities, a good outfit is appreciated.

Don'ts

Only Paris: France isn’t just Paris. Sure, you shouldn't skip the city, but the country has much more to offer.

Punctuality: the French don't take punctuality too seriously, so you better get used to that relatively quickly.

Mealtimes: Don’t be in a rush when eating at a restaurant. French people like to relax over a meal and drinks, so service can take a while.

Visa, Visa, Passport & Vaccinations

Passport

Yes

Temporary passport

Yes

National ID

Yes

Temporary national ID

Yes

Child’s pass

Yes

Visa

(Not necessary)

Vaccine

Robert Koch Instituts

Additional Remarks.

For European Visitors: France is a party to the European Convention on the Regulation of the Movement of Persons between the Member States of the Council of Europe of 13.12.1957. Travel documents other than the temporary identity card may not have expired for more than one year. For Non-European Visitors: Check visa and passport requirements for your country.

The team at Backpacker Trail wishes you lots of fun and an unforgettable trip!

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