France is that dreamland that most dreamt of visiting while growing up. Watching it in some of the best movies of all time, like Amour and Up for Love, did romanticise the whole idea of the country for us. And it’s not your fault that you want to visit the famous places in France and tick the country off your checklist.
But here’s the thing, It is a beautiful and enormous country. With so many attractions and must-see places in France, How do you make the most of your trip without feeling that you might have missed out on something important?
That is precisely where we come into the picture. We have today decided to enlighten you on the country.
Everything from the country’s history to what it’s best known for and the places you need to visit on your trip there- we will cover everything, so there are no surprises left for you when you finally decide to take off.
On That Note, Let’s Go Ahead and Explore Some Random Facts About the Country First
- It is the largest country in the entire EU, spread across 551,695 square kilometres.
- This might not shock you, but France is the most loved tourist destination as per recent stats.
- Same-sex marriage is legalised in the country; thus, it is quite a liberal state to travel to.
- It would help if you refrained from kissing your partners on train platforms as the country’s law forbids it. Hence, no “French Kisses” allowed.
- Throwing away a surplus of food in supermarkets and restaurants is illegal in the state.
- Paris Gare du Nord is Europe’s busiest railway station, with millions of passengers commuting through it each year which is understandable given there are so many must-see places in France.
- Paris is known as the “City of Lights”.
- French manufactured perfumes are envied worldwide- making them a perfect souvenir.
15 Famous Places to Visit on Your Trip to France
We thought of addressing the elephant in the room. If you’re visiting France, we’re sure Paris is on your list, even without saying. Who wouldn’t like to trip to the most romantic land on earth? And when it’s about embracing the view of the much-loved Eiffel Tower, we’re sure no one can resist themselves. Apart from the Eiffel Tower, there are many more important places to visit in France like historic monuments & museums and river banks. To name a few, you will love to visit the Palace of Versailles, The Louvre, Notre Dame Cathedral and Montmartre.
Note that if you visit anywhere near mid-November to early May, you can get to take a bird’s view of the entire city through the giant Ferris Wheel.
Situated in Normandy, Mont Saint-Michel is one of the significant French tourist attractions, it is an exorbitant island that attracts many tourists yearly. The place has many critical attractions like Eglise Saint Pierre, The Parish Church and Museums of History, and Maritime and Ecology. We vouch for the place because we know how much you’ll love the scenic view and serene ambience of the place.
However, we advise you to plan an overnight stay there considering it’s a long journey and enjoying the visit can leave you exhausted by night. Another thing worth noting is that you must wear comfortable footwear and carry minimal luggage since you’ll walk a lot.
Situated near the coast of southwestern France Basque, Biarritz is a seaside town and one of the must-see places in France. While it is majorly famous for its surfing schools, there is a lot more than you can explore being there. First off, there are plenty of food options available for you to explore; we recommend La Goulue for traditional French cuisines. Being in the town, you would also like to explore Lac Mouriscot and Lac Marison; these are two lakes just outside the town loved by the natives.
All that aside, what you don’t want to miss is the nightlife of Biarritz. Many bars like the Le Bar Jean remain open until midnight for people who like to wander at night. You can have a few drinks and maybe hop a few bars if you’re more of a spontaneous personality.
If you like to trek a lot, you must visit Fontainebleau- one of the most famous places in France. It is an elegant town located some 55 Km away from Paris. The great thing about this place is it’s isolated from the chaos of the city, and you will find ample greenery around- which again makes it a perfect place for trekking and spending some time alone or with friends in the woods.
The major attraction of this town is the Chateau- spread across 1300 acres of land; this royal palace has more than 1500 rooms to entertain guests. Staying there will bring you closer to the history of France.
A visit to Fontainebleau will surely give you the much-needed vacation feels and help you restore your true self.
Lyon is France’s third-largest populated city, and the best time you can visit there is mid-spring to fall or early December. Both times the city will leave you awestruck with what it has to offer, as the vibe is entirely different during the holiday season especially.
If you choose to visit the city anywhere near the spring season, you will enjoy activities like wine tasting, day trips and cycling. On the contrary, if you make it there during the holiday season, everything will be under the influence of festivities – glimmery and welcoming!
You can choose to travel through public transport or pre-book a stay anywhere near the major tourist attractions and choose to cover it on foot. Whichever way you choose, make sure you don’t miss out on the Museum of Fine Arts, Basilica of Notre Dame de Fourviere and Fourviere.
You will surely enjoy your time there as it is another one on the list of important places to visit in France
This place is a must for anyone who wants to experience the best of France’s attractions. Nice is another seaside town famous for its scenic views, sunny weather and delicious food. The only place we think you should visit for at least two days as there are many things to explore and you can just as easily spend an entire day drenching in the sun on the beach and savouring food from the shacks.
Some of the major attractions of this city are Russian Orthodox Cathedral, Promenade des Anglais, Musée Matisse, and Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain. We can assure you that you will fall in love with the beauty of this place. Moreover, if you like to shop, don’t forget to visit Old Nice – there you can find many natives of the place selling unique items that you can take back home as souvenirs for friends and family.
Loire Valley Châteaux
If you like dreamy places, you would love to explore the Loire Valley. Straight out of the fairytale castles make this place so exorbitant and worthy of a trip. The beauty of this place is amplified as it is located near a boscage and in the middle of the Loire River. Also known as the Garden of France, this place is recognised as one of France’s Heritage Sites and one of France’s attractions.
Also, if you are a wine lover, you would love to visit Sancerre. It is a hilltop village known as the home of Sauvignon Blanc Wines, recognised by wine experts. You can tour the town and make a stop at Maison des Sancerre. They run fun programmes to educate people about the winery and what makes it so delectable.
Talking about dreamy places in France, it’s almost impossible to forget about the Lavender Field in Provence. It is a countryside landscape of lavender farms on rolling hills that looks quite scenic and heavenly. Although there are many other lavender farms across the globe, the one in Provence, France, is one of the most exquisite ones on the earth and as usual, it also makes the list of famous France attractions. The view is drop-dead-gorgeous, and the weather on top of that helps people to absorb the beauty of the place comfortably.
The best time to visit the field would be between June and mid-July, considering you want to see the lavenders in full bloom. You can also plan to visit the fields during your stay in Nice since it’s hardly 2 hours away from the place.
Another seaside French tourist attraction, Brittany extends up to 1700 miles of coastline. It is one of the regions in France where everything is extremely rooted in culture and history. The best thing is you can take a train straight from Paris and cut the hassle. On top of that, there are many attractions like beaches, seaside resorts and pretty villages that you can explore.
Being there you should also take a trip to Dinan. It’s less than 35 Km from Saint-Malo and looks like an enchanted town inspired by kids’ storybooks. You can stroll on the streets or explore the cafes there. Also, many people come there on the boat, which you can try if you like.
If you are a seafood lover, add Brittany to your checklist now because you’ll love the flavours of the village.
Situated at the junction of France, Switzerland, and Italy is Chamonix, the base of Mont Blanc – the highest peak in Europe. The peak is also known as the “white mountain” since the elevation height is mainly covered with snow.
On the other hand, Chamonix is a small town/ resort rooted deep in culture and history. The place features some of the most historic churches and restaurants. It is an excellent place for outdoor adventure sports like skiing and hiking. Although, if you’d rather like a calm stay, mountain lodges offer some remarkable services and rooms with scenic views.
The good thing is that being there, you won’t have to compromise on meals as plenty of worth-savouring options are available, and you can just as quickly find restaurants serving international cuisines.
It’s a hardly 5-hour ride from Paris to this charming city known as the wine-growing region. It is a picturesque city in France, also known as one of the most lively cities in the entire state. What’s impressive about this place is that half of Bordeaux is listed as the world’s most important heritage site by UNESCO. Which makes it one of the must–see places in France.
Being lively means this place is the right blend of unique museums, praise-worthy architecture and divine cuisines for travellers. Although most people come here for the wine, these are some key attractions of the city you shouldn’t miss: Cathédrale Saint-André, Basilique Saint-Seurin, and Place de la Bourse.
If you are one of the few people left in the world who admire vintage, then Arles is one of the must-see places in France for you. Now listed as a heritage site, Arles is a vintage city settled on a hillock. Disclaimer, you won’t find anything “Glamorous” here as loved by the younger generations today. But if you have an eye for antiques, you would love to embrace the sun-baked houses, roads and other architectural elements.
You’ll be intrigued that Arles is also the international capital of photography, as it is where the oldest photography festival is held in Europe. Some of the best attractions of the city are Cloître Saint-Trophime, Musée Départemental de l’Arles Antique, and Fondation Vincent van Gogh.
Since it’s situated near the border of Germany, it reflects the spirits of French and German cultures and styles regarding architecture. One of the attractions of the place is the Gothic Cathedral which is almost a century old and is one of the places visitors prefer to visit. Another great experience you can have is catching a show at the Cathedral, and you will surely enjoy watching the Rhine River views there.
Many people aren’t aware of the fact that it used to be the former seat of the European Parliament.
Situated in southwestern France at the base of the Pyrenees mountains, it is one of the important places to visit in France. Lourdes is an important pilgrimage site famous for the shrine of the Lady of Lourdes. Some of the major attractions of this place are Chateau fort de Lourde, Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes, and Ossau Valley.
Compared to Paris, this place is very settling and mild; moreover, it is a 9-hour ride from Paris to Lourdes via Toulouse and the A64.
Note that the weather there could be rainy, so you better pack accordingly.
Built around the famous Chateau, the city of Chambord is one of the must-see places in France. This destination is famous for its spectacular architecture, structural design, and art. What you’ll do there most is take a view of the surroundings from the rooftop of the Chateau. Apart from that, you’ll also love visiting some key attractions like Avallon and Cluny, Nevers, Macon, and Auxerre.
That’s about it. With this, we conclude our list of famous places in France. We found it quite interesting how the country has so much to offer to the people and how it’s rooted in its culture and history. We hope that your to-do list in France is ready for you now. The only thing left now to do is you boarding that flight and take off to live the best of France. The good thing is you can take our help in that too!