France is also designated as the city of love and is also designated as the most popular tourist destination for above more than two decades. It receives approximately 82 million foreign tourists yearly. The main tourist attraction of France is its sophisticated culture, fine wines, romantic chateaux, exquisite cuisine, and picturesque countryside. France is also known as l’Hexagone” by the locals because of its distinct six-sided shape. France has great diversity that is it has cultured cities as well as quaint countryside you can also explore this diverse country with our list of the best places to visit in France.
As we think about France the first thing in our mind pops is Paris. The city of love, the city of Eiffel tower it is designated with many names but the thing is that France has many cities more than Paris to visit. Also, there are the French Alps and Mont Blanc Europe’s highest peak to visit. Places to visit in south France includes the French Riviera and Saint-Tropez. There are numerous places you can visit here but here are the best places to visit in France.
If you are planning a trip to France then make your backpacking Europe packing list for a comfortable journey.
Top 10 places to visit in France
In the following information, you will read about the places to visit in Paris France. As we think of Paris the first image we built in our mind is The Eiffel Tower but Paris is much more than the Eiffel tower. Paris, the city of love is also a significant hub of art, culture, architecture, food, and fashion. As one of the most beautiful European cities, Paris swanks of its splendid cityscape reflecting the old world charm which is intersected by expansive boulevards flowing by the side of River Seine. Spending New year’s in Paris is the best idea if you are planning to visit France in December.
Paris has lots of beautiful places to stay and you may confuse while choosing a perfect place to stay. Check this best places to stay in Paris guide that will help you to select the best accommodation in Paris.
The UNESCO-listed Palace of Versailles is among the best day trips from Paris which was built for Louis XIV (the “Sun King”) this opulent 17th-century palace is a testament to the glory and absolute power that was once the realm of France’s kings. The Palace of Versailles has a splendid architecture to look after. The Baroque facade, Hall of Mirrors, and fountains furnished with formal gardens are all included in the splendid architecture of the palace. This makes the tourists imagine the scenery of France’s former or past royal court. Spending 4 days in Paris is perfect to see all these beautiful places.
Some more places to visit in Paris France are Arc de Triomphe and Notre Dame Cathedral. Louvre Museum and Musee d’Orsay are some of the world’s best museums in Paris you can visit.
2. Bordeaux- Places to visit in France
Bordeaux is a place in France that is known for many things, it is just 5 ½ hour drive away from Paris. This city is very popular for its quality of wine production. Bordeaux is a city built on the River Garonne which is just half an hour inland of the Atlantic Ocean, it is referred to as one of the major port cities with fine architecture, historic sites, exceptional shopping, and a world-class arts and culture scene. The city has more than 350 historic structures and landmarks.
The city of the port includes also medieval churches and charming old bridges such as the Ponte de Pierre. Also, the port city Bordeaux is declared as one of the largest World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. This is one of the reasons it attracts. The places you can visit here are The Abbey, Tidal Island, Eglise Saint Pierre, The Parish Church and Museums of History, and Maritime and Ecology.3.
3. French Riviera- Places to visit in France
If you are on vacation in France then you cannot miss this place, as it is known for charming scenic beauty, mesmerizing shoreline, vacation retreats, and health resorts. Situated at the Mediterranean Coast of France is a glamorous French destination which is a popular name in the world tourism map and is best known for Cannes Film Festival, quaint perched villages, amazing perfumeries, glass blowers, and potters. All this makes it one of the best places in France to visit. Nice which is located in the French Riviera is very popular among tourists. Don’t forget to check the top 9 things to do in Nice if you are going to visit it. Also, some other places which you can visit our Eze, Grasse, Monaco, Menton, and La Colline du Chateau.
4. Arles – Places to visit in France
The vintage city of France Arles has just been recently counted as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Arles is a city located on a hillock where River Rhône bifurcates and meets the sea. Also, this ancient city is very much famous for its vibrant sun-baked houses, lanes, and roads which are considered to be its center of attraction for the thousands of tourists that visit the place. It is said that Arles had been an inspiration for painter Vincent van Gogh and many of his famous works are about the town. The places you can visit here include Arles Amphitheatre, Alyscamps, Montmajour Abbey, Church of St. Trophime, Cloître Saint-Trophime, Musée Départemental de l’Arles Antique, and Fondation Vincent van Gogh. Including all the above places, it makes it one of the top places to visit in France.
5. Lyon- Places to visit in France
Located in east-central France where the confluence of Rhone and Saone Rivers occurs. It is the third-largest city of France comprised of various districts, each offering their own share of interesting treasures. For example, the district Presqu’île is the heart of the city with its restaurants and bars, while district Croix-Rousse is known for its hundreds of hidden passageways. The city is famous for astonishing museums and palaces and has some happening pubs and clubs too.
The places to visit in Lyons France are Museum of Fine Arts, Vieux, Lyon Cathedral, Parc de la Tete d’Or, Palace Bellecour, Fourviere, and Basilica of Notre Dame de Fourviere. This destination adds to the most beautiful places to visit in France.
The Rocamadour is a Christian pilgrimage which is located on a sheer cliff in the Dordogne region. A site that looks like it is trying to ascend to heaven. It is considered to be an important Christian pilgrimage site in the 11th century, only third to Jerusalem and Rome. It was an important stop on the way of Saint James route to Santiago de la Compostela, which is situated in Spain. The village has seven sanctuaries which date back to the medieval era.
7. Lascaux Cave Painting
If you are interested in visiting prehistoric sites then the Dordogne region of France would be just perfect attractions for history buffs and historians to explore the pages of their history textbooks in person. A part of the UNESCO world heritage site, this place contains beautiful prehistoric paintings. Also, you will see some of the greatest examples of Paleolithic art in the world. Although the cave has been closed to visitors to prevent damage, there is an exact replica of the cave which can be viewed at the near Lascaux II site.
Apart from this, you can also visit the Grotte de Rouffignac. This place is situated in the Vézère Valley. Valley is full of paintings of cows, deer, bison, goats and the most noteworthy of all- Mammoths. This destination adds to one of the famous places to visit in France.
8. Palais Garnier Opera House
If you are interested in Opera then this is a must-visit place for you. As it is said Music breathes in France and the biggest proponent of it is this venue. The Palais Garnier Opera house is a Neo-Baroque theatre that is notable for its architecture. It was constructed by Charles Garnier.
The Opera house features sculptures of the muses- Poetry, Idyll, Music, Song, Recitation, Drama and Dance. The loggia here depicts busts of renowned composers like Meyerbeer, Halévy, Beethoven, Spontini, Mozart and more. The floor plan of Garnier is 11,000 square meters and the seating holds 2,200 people.
When you visit the Palais Garnier Opera see that at the top of the building are four gilded groups that glorify fame and poetry. See the grand foyer, marble staircases, and the lavishly gilded lamps. Also, the opulent gold and red auditorium have a painting on its ceiling by Chagall.
9. Loire Valley
If you are looking for spectacular scenery, splendid chateaux, picturesque vineyards, and historic villages then visiting Loire Valley would help you see all this in one place. The Loire Valley stretches along the Loire River that is around 280 km, twisting and turning through some of France’s most beautiful villages and charming chateaux. Also, Valley includes some famous chateaux like Chambord, Amboise, Rivau, Chinon, and Chenonceau.
If you are looking forward to visiting this place then you will need at least one week or a month to complete the sites here to visit. Beginning with picture-postcard villages and chateaus, including the well-preserved Chateau de Beynac, a hilltop castle there is just so much to see and do here. The scenery is pretty awesome where the Dordogne river is flowing. Also, the Dordogne has some of the best prehistoric cave art in France. The walls of Lascaux feature mainly animals. But unfortunately, the replica is a must-see. Places to visit in France outside of Paris include this place.
So after reading the list of top 10 places to visit in France, you will be ready to plan your trip to France. And most importantly after reading this, you will get to know that not only Paris but there are plenty of places in France to visit.