France is one of the most visited countries in the world, with over 89 million people visiting each year to experience its most famous monuments and structures, gourmet food and dining, sun-drenched beaches, typical villages, and fantastic artwork and architecture. Now you are trying to go there, you will find this article informative, because we will provide you with a selection of the best places to visit in France.
When planning a trip to France, you should not miss visiting its glittering capital Paris. This beautiful city of light is infused with a dazzling array of famous tourist sites and attractions that you can easily run out of time to see everything!
Walk along the Champs-Elysées, a tree-lined boulevard that leads to the Arc de Triomphe; gaze at masterpieces in the Louvre, including the Mona Lisa; admire the stained-glass windows of the cathedral of Notre-Dame; cruise along the River Seine past ornate bridges; wander the narrow cobbled streets of Montmartre; and much more.
Climb the Eiffel Tower to see an open view and eat French pastries (all of them seem to be the most delicious in the world!) from the city’s patisseries.
Provence in southeastern France sums up the French countryside in neat packages of rolling lavender fields, vineyards, side-street villages, and incredible food. Try to stay in the town of Avignon, to amble around the grand Palace of the Popes and its iconic bridge.
Take a day trip to Pont du Gard, the rescued bits of an ancient Roman aqueduct that’s a Unesco site; savor the colored surfaces of the weekly outdoor market in Aix-en-Provence; drive the Lavender Route or the Trail of the Knights, a circular route through the purple valleys; head for the glitz on the French Riviera, at Cannes and St Tropez on the coast. It is one of the Best Places to Visit in France.
3. French Riviera
The south of France, the Riviera, is a region that runs along the Mediterranean coast in the southeast of France. It is known to have beautiful beaches, high-end hotels, scenic viewpoints, and sparkling seaside resorts.
St Tropez attracts the money and the famous with its private beaches and yacht-lined harbor. The Cannes film festival – and the designer hotels that surround it – bring glitz.
It has a well-manicured walkway on its seafront, a quaint Old Town, and great restaurants. There are scores of picturesque villages to be visited, including Saint-Paul-de-Vence. Do go to Monaco – at the very least to see how the 1% live and, perhaps, get lucky at the fabled casino at Monte Carlo.
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4. Loire Valley
The fertile Loire Valley landscape with its many vineyards, fruit orchards, and artichoke fields that line the Loire River helped it to be named the ‘Garden of France’.
Here are hundreds of magnificent fairy tale castles and chateaux. The Château de Chambord, recipient of a towering gold statuette for ‘most outlandish architecture’.
The castles of Amboise and Chinon are fantastic medieval sites to visit, as are the views down onto the river, while the Loire’s food and drink are no less noteworthy.
5. French Alps
Looking for the best places to visit in France with incredible mountain scenery, charming Alpine villages, and outdoor adventures? Then head to the French Alps!
During winter, popular ski resorts like Chamonix offer world-class skiing and snowboarding with the majestic Mont Blanc as a backdrop. The quaint town of Annecy has Venetian-like canals running through its pedestrianized Old Town, along with lake cruises and mountain hiking.
For a taste of traditional Savoyard culture, spend some time in towns like Albertville, Megève, and Chambéry, with their Alpine chalets, raclette cheese, and hearty cuisine.
6. Mont Saint-Michel
Rising dramatically from the sea is Mont Saint-Michel, a fortified medieval monastery on an island just off France’s northwestern coast. This UNESCO World Heritage Site looks like something straight out of a fairy tale, with its striking Gothic-style abbey surrounded by winding streets and fortifications. It is one of Best Places to Visit in France.
When the tide comes in, Mont Saint-Michel appears to magically turn into an island. Spend a day exploring its vaulted cloisters, and admired stained glass windows and get lost wandering its narrow cobblestone alleyways, then enjoy a traditional crepe from one of its restaurants.
Bordeaux, located in southwestern France along the Garonne River, is revered for its world-class wines and charming 18th-century architecture. Stroll through the newly renovated La Cité du Vin museum to learn about the city’s wine culture spanning over 2,000 years.
Afterward, head to the Saint-Pierre district to sample red wines in a cellar or try delicacies like lamprey pie. Marvel at the gilded detail and ornate facades of the buildings along the Golden Triangle.
And be sure to take a day trip to the surrounding wine country in Médoc to tour prestigious vineyards producing some of the finest vintages.
As France’s culinary capital, Lyon is a must-visit for food lovers! Indulge in local specialties at the city’s many Bouchons (small bistros), like sausage studded quenelle, silk weaver’s chicken, and praline tart.
The atmospheric Traboules – Renaissance passageways between buildings – are also fun to explore. And Lyon’s old town along the Saône River is full of medieval and Renaissance architecture.
Don’t miss highlights like the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière, which has sweeping city views, and the unique Musée des Confluences modern art gallery. It is one of the Best Places to Visit in France.
As France’s oldest city founded around 600 BC, Marseille has a rich history spanning over 2,500 years. Its bustling Vieux Port (Old Port) lined with boats, restaurants, and cafes is great for strolling.
The Panier district is Marseille’s atmospheric old quarter with steep winding streets. Admire ornate Byzantine architecture at the Cathédrale Sainte-Marie-Majeure. It is one of Best Places to Visit in France.
Sample fresh bouillabaisse seafood stew and take a day trip to the stunning Calanques cliffs rising from the sea. With great museums, diverse neighborhoods, Mediterranean beaches, and 300 days of sunshine per year, Marseille has something for everyone.