France is undoubtedly one of the most popular travel destinations in the world. Between the bustling cities and the striking landscapes, you will find joy wherever you travel.
15 of the Best Places to Visit in France
When planning your trip to France, it is easy to focus your priorities on the city of Paris. While the city of lights is an engaging place to visit, there is a lot more to the country than you may think.
Even if you make Paris part of your trip, consider exploring the French countryside. The country contains many beautiful regions that each have their character.
Besides the bright lights of Paris, France contains fields of lavender, seaside escapes, and historic castles. France is known for its robust culture, beautiful art and architecture, and astounding landscapes.
Read on to learn about our top picks for the best places to visit in France. Let us be your guide!
When you hear someone is visiting France, you may often assume they are going to Paris. There is a reason that Paris is known as one of the best travel destinations in the world.
Besides well-known attractions, such as the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, the country’s capital has plenty of other things to do.
You’ll find a wide choice of cafes, bistros, and other culinary experiences that are sure to make you and your stomach happy. Paris is a walkable city and you can also travel around the city and surrounding areas via the metro, bus, and taxis.
The historic city of Marseille is becoming increasingly popular among visitors to France. The culture and cuisine of the city are unique. There is some Greek cultural influence and a lot of seafood available.
It is known for its beaches, ports, watersports, and football matches. There is a bus and metro that services Marseille. However, navigating this city is easy on foot.
The region of Nice is part of the French Riviera along the Mediterranean coast. It has Greek and Italian influences since the city was founded around 350 BCE by the Greeks.
Attractions include Vieille Ville, Parc de la Colline du Chateau, Musee Marc Chagall, Nice Cathedral, and Cours Saleya Market. There are many ways to get around Nice and its surrounding areas, including a rail, tram, and bus system.
4. Loire Valley
The Loire Valley is a valley located along the Loire River. Thanks to its fertile land, the valley is known for its ability to grow to produce, such as wine grapes, other fruit, and asparagus.
This location is partially a UNESCO heritage site thanks to its long history. The valley is quite large, containing towns, such as Orleans, Tours, Chinon, Amboise, and Blois.
5. St. Tropez
Near Marseille and Nice on the French Riviera, you have St. Tropez. This town has been a seaside resort town since the mid-20th century. It offers beaches, beautiful beach clubs, and water sports.
It has a few annual events, including a regatta. While there is no rail station in St. Tropez, there is one nearby and a bus station.
Known for its beautiful lavender fields, Provence is a Southeast region of France. The previously discussed Marseille is the capital of Provence. This region is known for its unique language and culture.
That culture is reflected in the area’s cuisine, architecture, gardens, wines, and sports. A car is often the best way to get around Provence, though the train will do if you only want to go from city to city.
Cannes is a city along the French Riviera, primarily known for its annual film festival in May and other creativity-centric attractions. Whether or not you go to Cannes for a festival, there are plenty of other activities to do here.
There are several small islands you can visit in Cannes, including Ile Saint-Honorat and Ile Sainte-Maguerite. The city also boasts plenty of fascinating museums, theaters, and sports. Transportation in Cannes includes the bus, rail, and ferry.
8. French Alps
The French Alps are part of the Alps mountain range. Other mountains of the range are located in Italy and Switzerland. This area has several towns that are fun to visit. Check out Annecy, Chamonix, Chambery, Albertville, and Grenoble.
The Alps are a popular place for skiing, snowboarding, and other snow-based sports. If you visit in the summer, you may enjoy hiking, biking, and mountaineering. You can get from town to town in the Alps using trains. However, getting a car can make things easier.
Lyon is a large metropolitan area in France near the rivers Rhone and Saone. With origins in the Roman Empire, this area gained more prominence during the renaissance. Attractions in Lyon include the culinary scene, Old Lyon, Croix-Rousse, and its light festival.
The museum that delves into Lyon’s Roman history is especially worth visiting if you want more context for the city overall. As a big metropolis, Lyon has an airport, a metro, a tramway, and a bus system. It is also quite walkable.
Known for its wine, Burgundy is a region of France. It is made up of several small cities and towns, including Dijon, Autun, Avallon, Le Creusot, Macon, Sens, and Beaune. As you navigate the region, you will find it also consists of sub-regions that grow grapes for different types of wine.
Besides exploring the many vineyards in this region, you may also enjoy visiting the palace in Dijon, the Rock of Solutre, and the Hospices de Beaune. It is easy to travel through Burgundy via car, bus, train, and tram.
Normandy is a Northern region of France near Paris. The proximity makes this area a great day trip from Paris. It is known as a seaside area with industries, including seafood, apple cider, and cheeses.
The white chalk cliffs and historically relevant beaches are worth looking at.
Visitors also enjoy the Mont Saint-Michel, which will be discussed later. The coastline is beautiful and offers ways to enjoy it at seaside resorts and harbors. You can use Normandy’s public transit network or a car to get around.
Near the river Garonne, Bordeaux is another city known for its wine. That affinity for wine is evidenced by putting on Vinexpo. Besides wine, this area is also known for its culinary landscape and its contributions to different sectors, including aeronautics, space exploration, and physics.
The city has plenty of monuments and attractions, including Port of the Moon, Saint-Michael Basilica, Saint-Andre Cathedral, the organ at Saint Louis des Chartrons, Grand Theatre, Pont de Pierre, Palais Gallien, and Rue Sainte-Catherine.
13. Mont Saint-Michel
Mont Saint-Michel is an island within Normandy. While visitors had to previously access it by waiting to walk across to low tide now there is a bridge.
While most of the island consists of the abbey, there are also restaurants and shops available. The whole area is walkable, and you can access the island via a shuttle.
Corsica is the fourth largest island in the Mediterranean sea. While it is a region of France, it is fairly autonomous with a truly unique culture. It has many French and Italian cultural elements. The Corsican language is also unique to this island.
The island is known for its beaches, mountains, food, and outdoor activities. This area has several airports, a railway, and ferries.
Visit Brittany if you want to witness some of the oldest architecture in the world. It has many connections to nearby Great Britain, and you can tell by looking at its architecture and culture.
This area has plenty to keep you busy, including bustling city areas, a coastline, beach resorts, and historic sites. Parts of Brittany are walkable. You can also get around via bus, train, car, or bike.
Things to Consider
Planning is a great way to get the most out of your trip. Here are some things to consider when planning your visit:
The right clothing will vary based on the season and your activities. In general, stick to simple, seasonally appropriate layers. If you want to avoid looking too touristy in France, skip bombastic clothing and opt for simple and elegant pieces. Both style and comfort are worth considering in France.
France has many options when it comes to transportation. So, you often will not need to rent a car. Instead, you can take advantage of France’s robust railway and tram system. There are also plenty of maritime options. Most cities within France are quite walkable.
There are many attractions in France, both within Paris and throughout the rest of the country. In Paris, there is of course the Eiffel Tower, Musee du Louvre, Arc de Triomphe, Le Centre Pompidou, Musee d’Orsay, and Tuileries Garden.
Outside of Paris, you may enjoy Versailles, Loire Valley Chateaux, the Chartres Cathedral, the Lascaux cave paintings, and Carcassonne.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you want to be well prepared for your trip to France, check out the answers to some common questions:
How long do I need to visit France?
The length of time you need to visit France will vary somewhat based on how much you want to see. A week in Paris is ideal, but you can see the highlights in three days if need be. If you want to see multiple parts of France, it is a good idea to allow 10 to 14 days.
What is the most popular tourist attraction in France?
The most popular tourist attraction in France is the Eiffel Tower in Paris. It receives around seven million visitors each year, making it the most popular paid attraction in the world. It costs 10 euros at the most to visit.
When is the best time to visit France?
France is beautiful for much of the year. As a result, you can enjoy a pleasant visit anytime between April and October. The country varies from region to region in terms of temperature.
However, the temperatures throughout the whole country do not usually exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celcius) or dip below 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4.5 degrees Celcius).
What is some France travel faux pas?
The French are not nearly as fussy about everything as their reputation would suggest. However, it is still a good idea to have some knowledge of local etiquette, as you would when traveling to any country.
When visiting this country, always try to clean your plate, exhibit patience, be thorough when engaging in cheers, greet with kisses or handshakes, and always say bonjour, au revoir, and merci when relevant.
Is it expensive to travel through France?
France can be somewhat expensive for tourists. However, there are a few ways to reduce the cost of travel. If you want to save money by traveling cheaply, try visiting France in the winter. Typically, traveling in France for a week will cost between 750 and 2000 euros.
So, What Are the Best Places to Visit in France?
Here you have a list of the best places to visit in France. From the well-known capital, Paris, to the elegant French Riviera or the adventurous French Alpes, surely you’ll find something that suits your taste. So what are you waiting for — book your trip today!