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26 Best Places to Visit in France & Things to Do

There’s a good reason why France is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. The country is home to stunning architecture, beautiful countryside, and delicious food. While Paris may be the country’s most famous city, there are many other places to visit in France.

After traveling all over France, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite places to visit. We cover the beautiful medieval villages, the charm of Northern France, the laid-back vibes of Southern France, the rolling vineyards throughout the country, the food, fashion, culture, and of course, that iconic capital city of Paris.


Most famous landmark Eiffel Tower
Best park Luxembourg Gardens
Best free activity Walking the Promenade des Anglais in Nice
Best activity for kids Disneyland Paris
Best activity for adults Wine tasting in Bordeaux
Best food Croissants and pastries in Paris
Best nightlife Moulin Rouge in Paris

Best Places to Visit in France & Top Things to Do

1. Explore Paris

 Eiffel Tower and Cityscape

Paris is a city that needs no introduction. In many people’s opinion, Paris is one of the best places to visit in France and the world. The landmarks in Paris are virtually endless; whether it’s the Eiffel Tower or Arc de Triomphe, Disneyland Paris, Notre Dame Cathedral, or Sacré-Cœur Basilica, you’re sure to find something that catches your eye. There are also plenty of things to do in Paris with kids, so bring the whole family!

But Paris is more than just its landmarks. The city is alive with culture, art, and fashion. Among the best things you can do in Paris is join a bus tour or an evening cruise on the River Seine.

You could browse the city’s famous art galleries and museums or shop on the chic Champs-Élysées. And, of course, no trip to Paris would be complete without trying some of the city’s renowned cuisine.

And we’ve already put together articles to help you choose what neighborhood in Paris to stay in and the most famous hotels in Paris.

See Related: How Much Is A Trip to Paris?

2. The Louvre Museum in Paris

Glass Monument

The Louvre Museum is the world’s largest and arguably most famous museum, making it one of France’s best places to visit. It is located in the capital city of Paris and is home to some of the most famous artworks in the world, including the Mona Lisa.

The site of the Louvre Museum was originally a palace built in the late 12th century by King Philip II. This palace was added to over the centuries, and in 1793, the Louvre was turned into a public museum. The museum houses more than 380,000 artworks, including the aforementioned Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo, and the Winged Victory of Samothrace.

The museum is open from 9 am to 6 pm on weekdays and from 9 am to 9 pm on weekends. Louvre Museum ticket admission is free for anyone under the age of 18. Buying tickets in advance for the Louvre is essential, as the museum can be very crowded, and you’ll want to skip the line.

See Related: 36 Hours in Paris itinerary

3. Mont Saint Michel

Island Town and Skyline

Mont Saint Michel is a rocky island in Normandy, France. It is France’s most visited tourist attraction outside Paris.

The island of Mont Saint Michel has been a strategic stronghold since the 8th century and a Benedictine monastery since the 11th century. The island has been connected to the mainland since 1879 by a bridge. The walk to Mont Saint Michel from the mainland takes about an hour and a half, but there are plenty of guided tours that will bring you straight there.

Mont Saint Michel is best known for its Abbey of St Michel. The abbey is an important pilgrimage site and a popular tourist destination in Mont Saint Michel.

The monastery is perched atop a rocky outcrop and can only be reached at low tide. It was built in the Romanesque style in the 11th century and is a fine example of Norman architecture.

See Related: London vs Paris: What’s the Difference? [City Comparison]

4. Wander the Beautiful Chantilly Palace

Castle by a River

Chantilly is a commune in the Oise department in the Hauts-de-France region of Northern France. It is located 25 miles (40 kilometers) north of Paris, making it easily accessible for even a day trip. Chantilly is best known as the site of the Château de Chantilly, a palace and estate now open to the public and a great addition to your list of places to visit in France.

Want to explore the palace with ease? Get a Chantilly skip-the-line ticket and enjoy discovering the palace without waiting in lines. Note that the Château is closed on Tuesdays, so plan accordingly.

The Château has an interesting history. It was built in 1528 by Pierre Bontemps, a secretary to François I. It became the property of Louis II de Bourbon, Prince de Condé, in 1602. It changed hands several times and was occupied by German troops during World War II, and was severely damaged. It has since been restored and is now open to the public.

The Château de Chantilly is surrounded by a large park with a racecourse, a golf course, and a deer park. There are also several small villages near Chantilly, including Gouvieux, Senlis, and Lassy. These villages are all worth exploring if you have the time.

See Related: Best Affordable Castle Hotels in Europe

5. Château de Versailles

Pond in front of the Royal residence at Versailles
BRIAN_KINNEY / Adobe Stock

The Palace of Versailles is another top place to visit in France. This former royal palace was the residence of French kings and queens for over a hundred years.

The Palace of Versailles is open to the public, where you can explore the lavish interiors, vast gardens, and stunning architecture. There is also a museum on-site that showcases artifacts from the palace’s history.

The Palace of Versailles is located just outside of Paris. You can take the RER C train from the Paris city center to get there. The train ride takes about half an hour and drops passengers off at the palace gates. Or you can book a tour that includes transportation.

It is highly recommended to purchase tickets in advance for the Palace of Versailles. This way, you can skip the long line and enter the palace immediately – it is also likely to sell out.

See Related: Best European Palaces to Visit

6. Learn About D-Day on the Normandy Coastline

Beaches of Normandy, France

Normandy’s stunning coastline is a must-see for any traveler looking for places to visit in France and a must for history buffs. The dramatic cliffs and lovely beaches make for perfect scenery, and there are plenty of things to do. You can explore the WWII battlefields and old German fortifications, go hiking or biking through the beautiful countryside, or relax on the beach.

Many cities, towns, and villages are located near the Normandy beaches, such as Caen, Carentan, Bénouville, and Sainte-Mère-Église, which are havens for people interested in Operation Overlord, commonly known as D-Day.

Normandy is also home to some of France’s best seafood, so make sure to try the local cuisine during your visit. To get to Normandy from Paris, take the TGV train from the Gare du Nord station in Paris. The train will take you directly to the Normandy coast, and it’s a scenic ride worth taking. You can also book a tour that will handle transportation to and from Paris.

See Related: Best Things to Do in Normandy

7. Pont du Gard Roman Aqueduct and Garden of the Three Graces (Aigues-Mortes)

Aqueduct Bridge

Pont du Gard is an ancient Roman aqueduct in Nîmes in the South of France. It is one of the best-preserved Roman monuments in the world and is a must-see on your visit to France.

Pont du Gard is a massive structure spanning almost 50 meters and is made entirely of limestone. The aqueduct supplied water to the city of Nîmes and is an impressive sight to see. You can purchase skip-the-line tickets in advance to maximize your time at the aqueduct.

A few other places in the city of Nîmes are worth visiting. Just a short walk from the Pont du Gard is the Garden of the Three Graces, a beautiful park with lovely gardens and fountains. Within the city center, you can also tour the amphitheater and other ruins from Roman times. Book a private walking tour to see all the surrounding sights!

There is also an archaeological museum on-site, which is worth a visit if you’re interested in learning more about the history of the area.

See Related: South of France Itinerary

8. Revel in Nature at Cirque de Gavarnie in Pyrenees Mountains

River and Mountain Range in Cirque de Gavarnie

The Cirque de Gavarnie is a magnificent sight located in the Pyrenees Mountains and one of the best places to visit in France. The area is known as the “Colosseum of Nature” since its shape looks like an amphitheater and is surrounded by mountain peaks. The area contains numerous waterfalls and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The park is a beautiful area spanning Spain and France, filled with lush forests and valleys. There are many walking paths to enjoy in the area, and it is a popular destination for pilgrims and nature lovers alike. Stay at the wonderful Hotel du Cirque for the best views from your hotel room.

There are many wonderful things to do near the Cirque de Gavarnie. One of the most popular activities is hiking, where you may join a hiking tour. There are many beautiful trails that wind through the forest and up into the mountains.

There are also several villages located in the area, which offer a chance to explore traditional French culture. And, of course, the nearby spa towns offer a chance to relax and rejuvenate.

9. Walk Through a Fairytale in Colmar

Canal and Houses in Colmar

If you are looking for a charming place to visit in France, you’ve found it. Colmar is a quaint town in the Alsace region of France that is straight out of a fairy tale. It is one of our highly recommended best places to visit in France.

Colmar is like a blend of Paris, Venice, and Amsterdam, with a unique flair and remarkable historical preservation. And if you love wine, Colmar is the perfect place to be. It’s in the Alsace region, well-known for its white wine production. There are several vineyards in and around the city that offer tours and tastings for wine lovers.

The historic district in Colmar is lined with beautiful half-timbered homes that are neatly situated along its extensive canal system. Every structure in the town offers a “waterfront” view, and there are architectural landmarks everywhere, including St Martin’s Church and the Musée Bartholdi. See everything by booking a private walking tour of the city.

Everything is a little scaled-down (and prettier) in Colmar. The old town’s La Petite Venise (or Little Venice) section has several adorable little eateries, cafés, hotels, and bars where you may lose yourself for the afternoon.

Fortunately, Colmar avoided the devastation caused by previous wars and revolutions on French soil, so it is home to some of the nation’s oldest buildings and streets, which are still in their original condition.

We think this is a great place to visit for several days, but it also makes for an easy day trip from Paris or even a day trip from Strasbourg.

See Related: Things to Do in Colmar

10. Visit “Little France” in Strasbourg

View of Strasbourg Cathedral at Sunset
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Just 20 minutes from Colmar is our personal favorite, Strasbourg. Strasbourg is a historic city with a rich culture and heritage located in the heart of the Alsace region. It is located on the border of France and Germany, making it a “best of both worlds” sort of city. It is also home to the European Parliament.

There are many things to do in Strasbourg, such as visiting the historic center, exploring the museums, or taking a boat ride on the river. Travelers should visit this city because it is a unique destination that offers a glimpse into the culture and history of both France and Germany.

The city’s major attractions are the “Petit France” neighborhood which looks like a scene from Beauty and the Beast, with narrow cobblestone streets and canals. Then in the city center, you will find the Strasbourg Cathedral. It is internationally recognized as one of the world’s finest examples of Gothic architecture, and you can’t miss it when you visit the city.

Strasbourg’s cuisine is highly distinctive. The city’s blend of German and French cultures influences the food, making for a great variety of dishes. Hybrid sausages, bretzel bread, kugelhopf cake, choucroute, and most importantly, some of France’s finest beer are available here. You can even join a gourmet walking tour to taste the local cuisine.

The city has a beautiful riverfront and is the perfect place to stroll. You can also take a boat tour of the city or explore Strasbourg’s many parks and gardens.

See Related: Best Day Trips From Strasbourg

11. Wander the Palace of Fontainebleau

Empty Grounds of Palace of Fontainebleau

The Palace of Fontainebleau, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a magnificent palace built by Francis I of France in the 16th century. The palace is in the commune of Fontainebleau, located in the Île-de-France region in France. Many French monarchs have used the palace as a royal residence.

The Palace of Fontainebleau is one of France’s largest palaces and covers an area of about 630 hectares. The palace has over 1,500 rooms, and the gardens, forests, and parks are extensive. The Palace is a popular tourist destination with more than 700,000 visitors annually. It is about 55 kilometers from Paris and can be reached by train, car, or guided day trip.

See Related: Best Day Trips from Paris

12. See the Joan of Arc Monuments in Chinon, Rouen & Orléans

Joan of Arc Golden Monument
Dennis Jarvis from Halifax, Canada / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 2.0

Did you know that there are more statues of Joan of Arc worldwide than any other historical figure? There are a few places to visit in France with her statue provided that Joan of Arc, a 17-year-old girl from France, is the country’s national heroine.

Her followers continue to be inspired by her incredible story. Joan of Arc played a significant role in the Hundred Years’ War between England and France. By 1453, the war had ended, but not before Joan of Arc met her untimely death over 20 years earlier, as she was tried for heresy and burned at the stake in Rouen.

There are three Joan of Arc monuments in France. The first is in Chinon, where Joan was born and first had her vision. The second is in Rouen, where she was executed. You can also learn more about her at the local Joan of Arc museum.

The third is in Orléans, where she liberated the city from the English at the Battle of Orléans. All three monuments are awe-inspiring and worth a visit if you’re interested in French history.

13. Step Back to Medieval Times in Avignon

Avignon Fort

Avignon is another city to visit in France, a prior papal residence turned into a quaint, walkable city. Avignon is located in the south of France and close to Marseille and Arles. It is one of the few French cities to have kept its medieval city walls.

When we went to Avignon, we were in awe of its beauty. The stone buildings and romantic restaurants made this city one of our favorites. The old town of Avignon is surrounded by incredible structures that you won’t find anywhere else in France, thanks to its city walls being saved. There are 44 towers, 3 kilometers (1.9 miles) of ramparts, and seven gates preserved from Avignon’s medieval past.

Avignon walking tours and wine tastings are great ways to experience the city. The Palais des Papes, the largest Gothic palace in all of Europe, is one of the most famous buildings in Avignon. The castle was built in the 14th century and was the home of nine popes.

The Pont d’Avignon, or the Avignon Bridge, is another famous landmark. Built in the 12th century, the bridge once spanned the Rhone River, but only half remains today.

Despite its small size, Avignon is a city with a ton of culture and history. It is easily accessible by high-speed train from Paris. The weather is also ideal, with long warm summers and a short, mild winter. If you’re looking for something unique to do in France, then be sure to add Avignon to your list of places to visit in France.

See Related: Most Beautiful Villages in France

14. Admire the Sea From Cannes

the Ocean and Sky in Cannes

Cannes is best recognized for its annual Cannes Film Festival, which has gained a reputation as one of the most famous luxury getaways on the planet. You may see celebrities, billionaires, and other well-known personalities throughout the year in Cannes due to its location on the French Riviera.

Cannes is a beautiful city with plenty to see and do. The Promenade de la Croisette is a gorgeous walkway along the shoreline. This is where you’ll find many high-end hotels, restaurants, and shops the city is known for.

Among the best things to do in the city is to join a wine tour or a Cannes sightseeing tour. And make sure to head to one of the city’s beaches. La Croisette Beach and Carlton Beach are both great options. For a more secluded spot, check out Plage du Midi or one of the other small beaches along Cannes’ coast. If you’re looking for a more casual experience, simply spending a few days on the La Croisette beachfront overlooking the sea is enough to have a fantastic time and enjoy lots of seaside beauty.

The cuisine of Cannes is also well-known. Once a sleepy fishing village, today it offers some of the most delicious fresh fish. Most fish you’ll find in Cannes restaurants are caught on the same day they’re served to you.

Whether you’re in town for the film festival or just looking to enjoy a luxury vacation, Cannes is a great place to visit in Southern France.

See Related: How to Book Cheap One-Way International Flights

15. Visit the French Riviera in Nice

Scenic Street in Nice, France

Nice is a city in southeastern France on the French Riviera, with a beachfront along the Mediterranean Sea. It’s a popular tourist destination known for its beaches, obviously, but nightlife and historical architecture are also big draws.

Some top places to visit in Nice include the Promenade des Anglais, Old Town, Place Masséna, and Castle Hill. There are also many things to do in Nice, like sunbathing, swimming, shopping and eating out.

Nice has a rich history that dates back to the Roman era. The city was initially known as Nikaia and was founded by Emperor Augustus in 15 BC. Nice proliferated and became an important port and trading center.

It was also a famous resort town and attracted many visitors, including Napoleon Bonaparte and Queen Victoria. The city was severely damaged in World War II but has since been rebuilt and is now a popular destination for tourists.

  • The Promenade des Anglais is a famous boulevard in Nice that stretches 7 kilometers along the coastline. It is a popular spot for walking, cycling, and skating.
  • The Old Town of Nice is a beautiful area with narrow streets and colorful buildings. It is also home to many shops, restaurants, and cafes.
  • The Place Masséna is the main square in Nice and is a popular gathering place for locals and visitors. Castle Hill is a park that offers panoramic views of the city and the Mediterranean.

Nice is a great city to visit in France, and there are plenty of things to do and see. If you’re looking for a relaxing beach vacation or a fun-filled city break, Nice is worth considering.

See Related: Things to Do in Nice

16. Visit the 11th-Century Saint Paul de Vence Village

Street in Saint Paul de Vence, France

Saint Paul de Vence is a charming medieval village located in the south of France, near the city of Nice. It is a popular tourist destination and is often regarded as one of the best places to visit in France. Its narrow streets, ancient architecture, and stunning views make it an unforgettable experience.

One of the main reasons why Saint Paul de Vence is so popular is its rich history. The village has a long and fascinating past, dating back to the 11th century. Over the years, it has been home to artists, writers, and other famous figures, and its heritage has been preserved to this day. You can explore the village’s medieval walls, narrow streets, and ancient architecture to glimpse what life was like in the past.

The city is also known for its lively arts scene. You can explore the galleries and studios, meet local artists, and see their work firsthand. There are also many festivals and events throughout the year, including the Saint-Paul de Vence art festival, which attracts people from all over the world.

Saint Paul de Vence is known for its stunning views. Due to its hilltop location, the village offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside, including the Mediterranean Sea. There are several vantage points, including the famous Saint-Paul de Vence cemetery, where visitors can enjoy stunning views while paying their respects to famous figures buried there, such as Marc Chagall.

17. Go to a Beach Club in Saint Tropez

Saint Tropez Coastline

Saint-Tropez is another top French Riviera destination. This chic town has been a playground for the rich and famous since the 1950s and remains one of the most exclusive vacation destinations in the world.

If you’re looking to relax alongside the rich and famous, head to one of Saint-Tropez’s many upscale beach clubs. Club 55, Nikki Beach, and Plage de Pampelonne are all popular options. Or, if you prefer, you can kayak to the Ramatuelle Reserve.

You can also find plenty of high-end shops and restaurants in Saint-Tropez’s town center. When it comes to beaches, Saint-Tropez has no shortage of options.

Plage de la Bouillabaisse and Plage des Graniers are both great choices if you’re looking for a secluded spot to relax. For a more lively beach scene, check out Plage de Pampelonne. This world-famous beach is home to a number of beach clubs, including the aforementioned Club 55. If you’re looking for a luxurious vacation spot with plenty of celebrity sightings, Saint-Tropez is a great choice.

See Related: French Riviera Itinerary

18. Gaze at Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris

View of the Notre Dame de Paris Across the RiverView of the Notre Dame de Paris Across the River
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Notre Dame Cathedral is a must-see destination when visiting France and one of our favorite places to visit in the world. The Notre Dame Cathedral is located in the heart of Paris, on the Île de la Cité. This island in the River Seine is one of the oldest parts of Paris, and the cathedral has been standing there since the 12th century.

Notre Dame de Paris is one of the most famous landmarks in the French capital. The cathedral is famous for its stunning architecture and stained glass windows. It took over two hundred years to build and was finally completed in the 13th Century.

Normally, Notre Dame Cathedral is the most popular sight in France (it is free to visit) and attracts millions of visitors every year.

However, in April 2019, a devastating fire broke out, and the cathedral was severely damaged. Luckily, most priceless, unique works of art within were saved. The French government invested a vast sum of money in the restoration of Notre Dame, with repairs slated to be completed in 2024, just in time for the Paris Olympics.

See related: Most Famous Historical Landmarks in France

19. Explore the Loire Valley

White Building Exterior of  Loire Valley

The Loire Valley is one of the most beautiful places in France and is a popular place to visit. The region is home to rolling vineyards, wineries, and picturesque villages.

The Loire Valley is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Some of the best things to do in the Loire Valley include visiting the wineries, exploring the villages, and touring the castles. The most famous castles in the region are the Chateau de Chambord and the Chateau de Chenonceau. Book a guided castle tour to learn more about the valley and its castles on your visit.

If you’re looking for a romantic getaway, the Loire River Valley is the perfect place to visit in France. As a couple, there are plenty of activities to enjoy, including wine tasting, picnicking in the vineyards, and touring the castles. You can also find some great accommodation options in the area, such as bed and breakfasts and boutique hotels. We recommend the Auberge du Bon Laboureur or Le Clos d’Amboise.

See related: Best Paris Wine Tasting Options

20. Wind Through the Streets of Marseille

Marseille Cityscape

Marseille is a city in Southern France, on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The city has a unique North African and French cultural blend, as well as an ambiance that sets it apart from other cities in France.

Marseilles is the ideal city to wander around and take in the scenery. The city is known for its ancient streets (dating back to 600 B.C.) and some of France’s most distinctive historical architecture. Book a private tour to see all the main sights.

The city of Marseille offers tiny cafés with fantastic views and Instragrammable photo opportunities around every corner. The most popular reason to visit Marseilles is to enjoy the beautiful white beaches, among the finest in Europe. Marseille has a wide range of beaches, including family-friendly ones, adult “party” beaches, and luxury areas complete with yachts in the harbor.

Marseille is a must-see for travelers from all over Europe during the summer months. If you are looking for a budget trip, head to Marseille in the spring or autumn rather than summer for fewer people and lower prices.

The city also has wonderful cuisine, with everything from luxury Michelin-star restaurants to inexpensive local meals and street food. Overall, a trip to Marseille is essential for almost everyone who visits France.

21. Ski at Chamonix and Mont Blanc

Mountains in Chamonix

Chamonix is a picturesque town situated at the foot of Mont Blanc in the French Alps and is one of the most famous ski resorts in the world. The city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its natural features and history.

Mont Blanc is the highest mountain in the Alps and Western Europe, standing at a height of 4,810 meters. Mont Blanc towers over Chamonix, which makes it a popular destination for those who want to surround themselves by the French Alps and mountain peaks. Paragliding in Chamonix is an incredible thing to do on your visit to France.

Chamonix is an excellent base for exploring the French Alps region. You can take cable cars and gondolas up the mountain to look at Mont Blanc or go hiking in the surrounding trails. It is also easy to try other outdoor activities, such as skiing, snowboarding, paragliding, and mountain biking. It is often considered one of the best winter sports regions in the entire world. There are countless ski resorts located all around the city.

When you’re not skiing or enjoying the other winter sports in Chamonix, there’s plenty to do in the city. You can walk in the beautiful scenery, visit a museum, or enjoy a meal in one of the many restaurants.

In the summer, Chamonix is a sight to see the green forests, large meadows, snow-capped peaks, and everything coming together in an amazing way. Everyone should put this on their bucket list.

22. Visit the Dining Capital of France, Lyon

Scenic River in Lyon, France

Lyon in central France is often referred to as the gastronomic capital of France. This amazing city is home to several Michelin-starred restaurants and a huge range of traditional bistros.

Lyon is called the “original Hollywood” because it also houses the world’s oldest film studios, dating back to 1896. There are a few movie museums in Lyon and the annual Lyon film festival.

There are several other great festivals throughout the year, including Fête des Lumières (Festival of Lights), which takes place at the end of each year and celebrates the arrival of spring. The entire city is illuminated in sparkling lights during the festival, which is wonderful to see from a tall building or hill. Getting your own Lyon City Pass makes your tour easier.

Lyon is also a great city for history buffs. The city’s Old Town (Vieux Lyon) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site full of Renaissance architecture and is home to several historical buildings and landmarks, such as the Basilique Notre Dame de Fourvière, a beautiful Gothic church on a hill overlooking the city.

The Roman ruins in Lyon are some of the best-preserved in Europe and are worth visiting. Lyon, like other French cities, is also a beautiful city. The Lyon region contains over one-fifth of all of France’s national parks. These national parks are stunning, allowing you to hike, boat, climb, raft, ski, and so much more.

See Related: Things to Do in Lyon

23. Taste Champagne in Reims

Empty Street in Reims, France

Reims is a historically significant city in France, recognized as the site of most of France’s coronations. Because of this, Reims is sometimes known as “The City of Kings.” It contains some of the country’s most magnificent royal French architecture and, yes, champagne.

Reims is in the Champagne region of France and home to incredible champagne houses. Here you can tour iconic houses such as Ruinart, Veuve Cliquot, Dom Perignon, Perrier Joliet, Moët & Chandon, and Tattinger, among others. Our personal favorite is a smaller producer, Michel Gonet.

Aside from champagne, Reims is a superb place to visit in France. The restaurants are incredible, and the Reims Cathedral is one of the most visited religious buildings in the area. The historic city has been preserved to look similar to how it did hundreds of years ago as a tiny village.

There are also parks and outdoor activities in Reims, the most well-known of which is the abandoned Reims-Gueux Formula 1 circuit, which formerly hosted the French Grand Prix.

See Related: Things to Do in Reims

24. Drink Wine in Bordeaux

Illuminated Monument and Building in Bordeaux, France

Bordeaux is located on France’s western coast, near its border with Spain. The city is often called the “Paris of the West” owing to its magnificent architecture and historic structures. It is also the world’s most famous wine region.

Numerous castles, forts, and other historical monuments spread throughout the region, including 350 national heritage sites within or nearby the city.

When you explore the city’s “old” sections, you’ll feel as if you’ve been transported to another period or a vast open-air museum. The Grand Theatre de Bordeaux, Place de la Bourse, and Les Allees de Touny are some of the city’s finest historical monuments.

A visit to Bordeaux must include a sampling of the famous wines. Nearby the city center is Saint-Emilion and Medoc, which are known for incredible wines. This small-group wine tour is an excellent option to tour some beautiful vineyards.

There are many cafes, bars, and restaurants throughout the city that offer magnificent local wines that you’ve probably never heard of before. Many of these wines are not available in any other city than Bordeaux. So take a wine tour and bring some wine home for later!

See Related: Best Wine Regions in France

25. Climb the Arc de Triomphe

Arc de Triomphe
image by Brittney Liu / ViaTravelers

The Arc de Triomphe is an iconic monument located in the heart of Paris. Built between 1806 and 1836, it stands at the western end of the famous Champs-Élysées Avenue, and it is one of the most popular landmarks in the city. It was built to honor those who fought and died for France during the Napoleonic Wars and the French Revolution.

The Arc de Triomphe is an impressive monument adorned with intricate sculptures and engravings that depict various scenes from French history. You can climb to the top to enjoy breathtaking views of the city, including the Eiffel Tower, the Seine River, and Sacré-Cœur.

26. See the Eiffel Tower

Tourist Looking at the Eiffel Tower

Last but not least, the Eiffel Tower is an iconic landmark in Paris and is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the world. It was designed by Gustave Eiffel, a French engineer.

The Eiffel Tower was originally a temporary structure for the 1889 World’s Fair, but it was so popular that it was kept and is now a beloved Parisian landmark. You can take an elevator to the top of the tower for stunning views of the city.

Our favorite view of the Eiffel Tower is from the Pont Alexandre. We highly recommend coming here to watch the tower light up and sparkle at night! It is a great spot to watch as there are fewer tourists, and you can actually see the entire tower.

See Related: Best Hotels in Paris With a View of the Eiffel Tower

France is renowned for its charming villages, awe-inspiring cathedrals, and endlessly gorgeous countryside. It’s no wonder it’s one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.

If you want to explore everything France offers, sign up for our free travel newsletter now. You’ll get the latest information on the best places to visit in France and other incredible destinations worldwide.


Which part of France should I visit?

Northern France is the easiest part of France to visit from Paris and includes cities like Normandy, Reims, and Versailles. The South of France is better for beach vacations.

How do I travel around France?

The Thalys and TGV trains are high-speed and connect major cities throughout France. You can access every place on this list by train.

When is the best time to visit France?

The best time to visit is in the fall or spring. There are fewer tourists, and the weather is pleasant. The summer is overcrowded and hot. Winter has fewer tourists, but it will rain frequently.

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