France is truly a dream destination for every traveler. Famed for its sophisticated culture and scrumptious, world-class cuisine, France offers a world of experiences to keep the restless traveler entertained for months. With its bucket-list worthy landmarks, photogenic medieval towns and sunny Mediterranean coastline, the options for places to visit in France are simply endless. Blending magnificent palaces, spectacular cathedrals and ancient castles with natural beauty, France will take your breath away in so many ways.
Got no clue on where to go in France besides Paris? Need a little help for your France travel itinerary? Luckily for you, we’ve highlighted some of the best and most beautiful places to visit in France.
Grandeur and grit seamlessly coexist in Marseille, a vibrant Mediterranean seaport with a pedigree that stretches back to classical Greece. Moreover, it has a fair claim to the title of the second city of France. Once viewed as a bit dangerous and dirty, and lacking of Cannes’s glamour, the Provencal coastline’s black sheep has flourished in cultural confidence since its stint as the European Capital Culture in 2013. The addition of new attractions is a clear sign of self-belief and optimism, making it as appealing as some of the best places to visit in France.
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2. Loire Valley
Longing for a romantic escape to the most beautiful places to visit in France? You’ll surely love to include Loire Valley to your bucket list of places to visit in France! Set right at the heart of France, Loire Valley is peppered with lovely wineries, farms, quaint bed-and-breakfasts and chateaux. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site, the area wows visitors with its historic villages and unique beauty. Plan to spend some time visiting the valley’s easygoing cities, like Saumur, Tours and Orleans.
Riquewihr is one of the places to visit in France that seems to come out from a magical fairytale. As a matter of fact, some say that it’s the place that literally inspired the setting for the 1991 animated Disney film, Beauty and the Beast. As with an animated Disney flick, the village will enthrall you with its colorful 15 and 18th century half-timbered houses and Instagram-worthy alleys.
Culture vultures and beach bums will get their fix in Nice. Occupying a scenic spot on the French Riviera, Nice wows visitors with its Baroque palaces, boutique sops, engaging museums and pebbly shores. Beloved for its cultural charms, the city also boasts a vibrant nightlife scene, Roman ruins, pastel-colored buildings, modern sculptures and an Old Town with a maze of twister streets.
Are you a bona fide wine connoisseur? Why not include Bordeaux to your personal list of places in France? Nestled in the Aquitaine region, Bordeaux is, after all, the wine capital of France, producing more than 800 million bottles per year. Even better, the world’s second largest wine-growing region produces a variety of prestigious wines, such as Chateau Haut Brion, Chateau Ausone and Chateau Petrus.
Not fond of wines? Trust me, you still want to put it on your list of places to visit in France. With tons of historic monuments, gardens and museum, there’s something special for everyone in this French city. And, since it’s a young city, expect plenty of vibrant bars and pulsating pubs in Bordeaux.
Speaking of irresistible places to visit in France for wine lovers, you might want also to check out Burgundy. Home to a superior cuisine and rolling hills, Burgundy offers an impressive mishmash of vineyards. Wine enthusiasts will totally go nuts over the region’s beloved vino, which uses mainly the chardonnay and pinot noir grapes. As an added bonus, you can fill your vacation days here exploring museums, historic abbeys and medieval villages.
Rocamadour is, no doubt, one of the gorgeous places to visit in France that should be in every traveler’s bucket list. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage, it’s a charming clifftop village located in Southwest France that will sweep you away into bliss. And, like most of the top places to visit in France, there’s no shortage of awesome things to do in Rocamadour. Here, you can indulge on creamy goat’s cheese, explore historic religious buildings and stroll through the narrow cobblestone streets. What’s more, you can enjoy breathtaking views at the wondrous Castle of Rocamadour.
Beautiful and laid-back, Aix-en-Provence is a hip university town well-known for its lively markets, cute cafes and wide boulevards. Compared to the other cities and places to visit in France, life moves at a more relaxing and leisurely pace here, meaning it’s the best place to get lost in the photogenic streets and know the locals. For a memorable visit in Aix-en-Provence, make sure to add Le Grand Marche and Cathedrale Saint Sauveur to your France travel itinerary.
No list of the best places to visit in France is complete without its sophisticated and fashionable capital. For years, the city has been luring travelers worldwide with its iconic year-round attractions, such as the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre. Plus, the city brims with impressive architecture, shopping centers and unparalleled restaurants. Just remember, though, the city is usually flooded with visitors, meaning hotel room rates tend to skyrocket. If you’re looking for a bargain, visit it during early spring or winter. In addition, book your hotels in Paris with Trekeffect.
With its sandy beaches, turquoise waters and dramatic rock formations, Etretat is easily one of the prettiest towns and places to visit in France. To make things a whole lot more interesting, it is home to an extraordinary sculpture park – the Jardins D’Etretat. Perched perfectly on a cliff that overlooks the bay, the garden teems with wonderfully eerie straw figures and gigantic head sculptures.
Annecy may not be the first city that jumps into mind when you think of places to visit in France. But, make no mistake about it – this city will surprise you in a variety of amazing ways. Nicknamed as the “Venice of the Alps”, the town offers a myriad of astounding sights, including its lake and canals that criss-cross the whole town. Not to mention, it has dozens of unique attractions that you fill your France vacation days. And, did we mention that it makes a terrific base for exploring the great French Alps?
12. Mont Saint Michel
One of the most iconic sights in France! At first glance, the place may look like something that’s Photoshopped. But, the place is a hundred percent legit and even more eye-catching in real life. The stout ramparts, the slender spires and rocky outcrops dramatically rising from the sea make it an irresistible image and a sight not be missed when in France. And, even with the sea of tourists, this UNESCO World Heritage site still manages to transport every visitor back to the Middle Ages.
An enticing haven for bona fide foodies, Lyon is arguably the heart of the delicious French gastronomy. The cuisine in Lyon is beloved for its scrumptious regional specialties, salads, sausages and hearty meat dishes. To savor Lyon’s local cooking, you may choose from an incredible array of gourmet food shops and top-notch restaurants. For gourmands, the Auberge de Pont de Collonges, the 3-star Michelin restaurant of Paul Bocuse, is the ultimate place to go.
For daily dining, the traditional little brasseries, Bouchons Lyonnais, let visitors enjoy an inviting cushy ambiance and indulge on authentic local cuisine.
But, here’s the thing. There’s more to Lyon than its epicurean delights and fine dining.
Drenched in culture and history, this UNESCO-listed city flaunts elegant Renaissance houses, atmospheric medieval quarters and ancient ruins. Plus, it is home to the Musee des Beaux-Arts – a famous museum with a wealth of mesmerizing artistic gems.
Strasbourg is pretty close to the German border, which is why people have a ton of praises for its authentic Christmas market. But, you don’t have to wait for December to enjoy this city. Deemed as one of the top places to visit in France, the city is well-known for hosting numerous important European institutions. In addition, it has a gorgeous historical center, the Grand Ile – the first city entirely classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
They don’t call Nimes as one of the best places to visit in France for nothing. A fascinating ancient Roman city, Nimes houses heaps of beguiling and striking Roman historic sites. When visiting Nimes, spend a day or two exploring the legendary Arenes de Nimes, Pont du Gard and Jardins de la Fontaine.
There are tons of places visit in France that seemed to be plucked from pages of a folk tale from the medieval ages. And, sometimes, in the alley-woven center of Colmar’s old town, you’ll like you’ve been transported to a village in 1454. Half-timbered chalk-box colored houses crowd bridge-laced canals and dark cobblestone lanes, which have most visitors wandering around in a daze of gasp-eliciting, photo-snapping and neck-craning wonder.
Lying in the foothills of the Pyrenees Mountains, this small market town is the biggest and most important Catholic Pilgrimage site in France. Every year, millions of pilgrims come to Lourdes for spiritual inspiration and healing. Some bathe in its waters, hoping for miraculous cures, making it one of the can’t-miss places to visit in France.
For the faithful, the town is beloved for the 67 authenticated and validated miracles that have happened in Lourdes. The town’s main pilgrimage sites are surrounded wonderfully by tranquil woodland along pristine babbling brook.
The must-visit sacred sites are the Basilique du Rosaire and Grotto – the place wherein Saint Bernadette attained her divine visions. In summer, a Torchlight Marian Procession occurs every 9 o’clock in the evening, concluding at the Grotto at 11 PM with a solemn mass.
Cannes, famed for its yearly film fiesta in May, is just as remarkable, and much less crowded, at other months. One of the most picturesque places to visit in France, Cannes is a French Riviera destination that welcomes vacation goers who are longing to unwind. Travelers can do some sightseeing in France, strolling along the city’s mile-long promenade – La Croisette. Alternatively, you can take a seat at a Michelin-starred restaurant to enjoy an exquisite and filling meal. And, if you’re feeling lucky, you can drop by one of the city’s glitzy casinos. With loads of diversions to offer, it’s easy to see why it’s labeled as one of the best places to visit in France.
Issigeac is a small medieval village, drenched in history, making it one the must-see places to visit in France for historians. And, with a population of less than a thousand residents, expect an authentic, chilled-out off-the-beaten-track experience. Enjoy a delightful beer on a watering hole’s terrace, see the interior of Saint-Felicien d’Issigeac and wander the town’s cobbled streets. If you visit the village on a Sunday, a pit-stop to the Farmers Market is an absolute must, with delicious and cheap local produce as well as handmade crafts.
Looking for outdoorsy places to visit in France? Then, make sure to include Montgenevre to your bucket list of places to visit in France! In summer, hit the numerous flower-filled parks and trails that fill the area. Afterward, you can cool off at the huge communal pool at the village. For those who visit it in winter, consider splurging on an exciting lift pass for a day up the picture-perfect slopes in the Alps. And, when you feel the urge to refuel, make your way to Le Petit Creux and sample the town’s cheapest and juiciest burgers.
Nestled about 50 kilometers from Paris, the splendid town of Fontainebleau is a local’s favorite and a popular retreat. Surrounded by plush green forests, the town offers loads of opportunities for outdoor adventures, such as rock climbing and trekking. Even better, it’s home to the world renowned Chateau – the town’s prized attraction.
22. Verdon Gorge
Dreaming of visiting a national or regional park in France? You might want to check out the scenic and tranquil Verdon Gorge. Located within the Verdon Natural Regional, this place will sweep you away with its unbelievably majestic scenery. Additionally, Verdon Gorge is a great spot for a little kayaking and hiking.
You don’t have to spend loads of money to see and experience these places to visit in France. With Trekeffect, you’ll get to score bargained deals for your accommodations in France. Even better, we donate 10 percent of our profits to UNICEF! So, you’re basically helping hundreds of children across the world by booking your hotels in France with Trekeffect!
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