10 Best Places to Visit in France

France has held the title of most popular tourist destination for more than 20 years, with 82 million foreign tourists each year. Visitors from all over the world are drawn to France by its sophisticated culture, delicious food, excellent wines, charming chateaux, and breathtaking scenery.

Paris is typically the first place that comes to mind when people think of France. Even though the country’s capital is a beautiful city with neoclassical structures and some of its most recognizable landmarks (such as the Eiffel Tower), there is still a lot more to see across the entire country.

Visit the D-Day landing beaches in Normandy or the Alsace region to experience the Germanic culture. Visit the Loire Valley for its wine and castles or Brittany for its earthy Celtic culture. You might find more wine in the renowned Bordeaux region, which is famous for what. The highest peak in all of Europe, Mont Blanc, is located in the French Alps. In the south, the French Riviera—which includes Saint-Tropez—offers endless charm. These are the best places to visit in France, though there are many others.

10. Marseille

A prominent Mediterranean seaport is located off the southeast coast of France in Marseille, the second-largest city in France and one of the oldest towns in Europe. With a wide range of organizations and institutions, Marseille is a thriving city. In addition, it has a lovely climate, historic buildings from the Middle Ages, and Roman ruins.

The Vieux Harbor, or old port, of Marseille, is the hub of activity. Two historic forts stand guard over this bustling harbor, which is also lined with restaurants, bars, and retail establishments. The daily fish market is held at the Quai des Belges, which is situated at the end of the harbor, and visitors can observe luxury yachts, ferry boats, and fishermen auctioning off their catch.

One of Marseille’s top natural attractions is the Calanques, a group of tiny inlets with breathtakingly blue water and stunning limestone cliffs. Marseille is a thriving regional center of arts and culture, home to numerous museums, art galleries, and iconic buildings like La Vielle Charite and the Basilique Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde. The city is also home to a sizable number of opera houses and theaters, including Theatre Toursky.

9. Lyon

Lyon is a city in east-central France and the administrative center of the Rhone department in the Rhone-Alpes region. The third-largest city in France, Lyon, has a long history and is well known for its historic buildings, delectable cuisine, and vibrant cultural scene.

Lyon is divided into a number of neighborhoods and nine arrondissements. Every neighborhood has interesting finds to be had. For instance, Presqu’île is well known for its restaurants, bars, and clubs, while Croix-Rousse is well known for its tens of thousands of undiscovered labyrinths known as traboules. Fourvière is home to Gothic churches and Roman ruins, while the opulent Tete d’Or park is located in Brotteaux, a wealthy neighborhood.

The St. Jean Cathedral and other well-known locations can be found in Lyon’s historic district, which is distinguished by its winding cobblestone streets, Renaissance-style structures, and historic buildings. There are a lot of restaurants and gift shops in this area.

While Lyon regularly illuminates its most iconic buildings all year long, the Festival of Lights is a significant annual event that attracts over 4 million visitors to the various candle lighting ceremonies and professional sound-and-light productions.

8. Strasbourg

In Strasbourg, Germany and France coexist in perfect harmony. The regional capital of Alsace, Strasbourg, is situated just near the international boundary. Strasbourg is home to the European Parliament as well as several other important European institutions, including the Council of Europe and the European Court of Human Rights.

The city’s historic district, Grande Ile, must be visited. Here, among a mixture of French and German architecture with signs in both languages, are the center’s numerous museums and eye-catching attractions, such as the stunning Gothic cathedral, which features pink sandstone, intricate carvings, and a 300-year-old working astrological clock.

Another well-liked tourist spot in Strasbourg is La Petite France, one of the city’s cutest neighborhoods. This riverbank neighborhood is distinguished by its cobblestone pathways, charming cafes, and half-timbered town homes with window boxes filled with colorful flowers.

The thriving arts and culture scene of Strasbourg includes well-known theaters like L’Opera National du Rhin and the Théâtre national de Strasbourg, as well as renowned art galleries and museums like the Musee des Beaux-Arts and Musee Alsacien.

The region’s great beer, wine, and delectable cuisine reflect both German and French tastes. In this region, there are many breweries and winstubs that offer tours and complimentary drinks. Sauerkraut and sausage, the German noodle spaetzle, and the beef stew baeckeoffe are all highlights

7. Loire Valley

A region in the center of France called the Loire Valley is well-known for its breathtaking scenery, magnificent chateaux, charming vineyards, and old villages.

The Loire Valley, which is 175 miles long, passes through some of France’s most picturesque towns, including Amboise, where Leonardo da Vinci spent his final years. In the vicinity are also the ancient towns of Tours, Chinon, Anglers, Saumur, and Orleans. The chateau in Blois is noteworthy because it was a popular gathering place for French kings and nobility.

The valley’s greatest attraction is its large number of chateaux, which are scattered among the gently sloping green hills. The French nobility built these chateaux, which range from stately country manors to powerful fortresses and luxurious residences. Amboise, Chenonceau, Rivau, Chinon, and Chambord are some of the most well-known chateaux.

The Loire Valley is referred to as the “Garden of France” because of its abundance of flower gardens, fruit orchards, and vineyards that are all kept lush and rich by the nourishment of the Cher, Loiret, Eure, and Loire rivers. In the valley, many wineries offer tours and wine tastings.

6. Bordeaux

Bordeaux, the Gironde department’s administrative center in the Aquitaine region of southwest France, is considered as one of the world’s major wine-growing regions, producing more than 800 million bottles of premium wine annually.

About 30 minutes inland from the Atlantic Ocean, Bordeaux is a sizable port city with stunning architecture, important historical buildings, and an outstanding arts and cultural scene. Bordeaux was constructed on top of the River Garonne. It also has a relaxed atmosphere.

The pedestrian zone of Bordeaux is home to more than 350 historic structures and sites, including medieval churches, a Roman amphitheater, and quaint old bridges like the Ponte de Pierre. There are also many beautiful plazas in the city.

The attractive quays along Bordeaux’s waterfront offer visitors a variety of options for relaxing and taking in the breathtaking river views, as well as shopping at bustling markets and designer outlet stores.

A trip to Bordeaux wouldn’t be complete without taking a drive through the nearby wine region, where tourists can marvel at breathtaking landscapes, quaint villages, vineyards, and chateaux. The city hosts its magnificent Festival of Wine in June in conjunction with the Festival of the River. There are bars and nightclubs along the city’s waterfront quays.

5. Luberon

If you want to interact with members of southern French society who are more like you, head to the Luberon. In addition to summer visitors from the United States and the United Kingdom who wish to see picturesque towns, it acts as a getaway for French society. This central region of Provence has gained popularity as a travel destination with the release of Peter Mayle’s books about life there. With its verdant woodlands, lavender fields, farmers markets, and vibrantly painted homes, you’ll quickly see why the Luberon is such a well-liked tourist attraction. A wonderful keepsake is pottery from Oppede le Vieux, which still has a feeling of the Middle Ages.

4. Mont Saint-Michel

Off the coast of Normandy in northwest France, the rocky island of Mont Saint-Michel emerges from a vast area of mud flats and some of the fiercest tides in all of Europe.

Due to its collection of medieval structures that seem to be stacked on top of one another and are crowned with the Abbey of Mont Saint-Michel, the destination’s major feature, the tidal island is one of the most popular tourist destinations in France. Devoted monks started building the magnificent abbey after the Bishop of Avranches allegedly received a visit from the Archangel Michael in 708 AD.

3. Dordogne

Unless you have weeks or months to spare, you won’t be able to see everything you want to see in the scenic Dordogne region of southern France. There is simply so much to see and do here, starting with picture-postcard villages and chateaus like the magnificently restored Chateau de Baynac.

The Dordogne River winds its way through the breathtaking scenery. The Dordogne is home to some of France’s finest prehistoric cave art. The murals at Lascaux are dominated by animals. Unfortunately, they are no longer accessible to the public, but a replica is interesting to see.

2. French Riviera

Celebrities, the affluent, and a lot of visitors enjoy traveling to the French Riviera (Cote d’ Azur), which is located on the French side of the Mediterranean Sea. Although there isn’t a clearly defined border, it is frequently perceived to extend from Saint-Tropez, Hyères, Toulon, or Cassis in the west to the French border with Italy in the east.

There are many lesser-known places to visit on the Riviera, such as the perfumeries of Grasse, the perched villages of Eze, and Saint-Paul de Vence. The Riviera is famous for the glamour of St. Tropez, Monaco, and the Cannes Film Festival. The Riviera served as a source of creativity for Picasso and other well-known artists, and many of their works are on display in nearby museums.

1. Paris

With more than 45 million visitors a year, Paris is the most well-liked travel destination worldwide. The names “City of Lights,” “City of Love,” and “Capital of Fashion” all refer to Paris, the nation’s capital. It is well known for its enchanting atmosphere, cuisine, fashion, and art.

The Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Versailles Palace, Sacre-Coeur, and Notre Dame Cathedral are some of the most recognizable buildings in Paris, which is divided into 20 distinct neighborhoods, or arrondissements, each with their own distinctive personality and attractions. Paris is home to some of the world’s top museums, including the Louvre and the Musee d’Orsay. Paris also has beautiful gardens, such as the Luxembourg Gardens.

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