There is no doubt that France is one of the most attractive destinations in the world. There are hundreds of things to do in this charming country for travelers to do. This is an expert guide into the Top places, cities and what to do in France. I hope the information helps you as much as possible to plan your trip to beautiful France.
The diverse and colorful Provence region of southeastern France is overflowed with beautiful nature including fields of purple lavender, olive groves, vineyards, poppies, have inspired impressionist painters for years. The region is not lack of stunning mountains, great beaches, the deepest canyon, thermal pools where tourists do climbing, hiking, sunbathing, soaking in thermal pools, covering themselves in mud or lavender water. Flea markets full of local produce and unique culture, sites of the Roman city, charming old village, ports, harbors are reasons why you should not miss Provence on your trip to France. It is not easy to list top things to see and do in the spectacular Provence
What we can tell about Marseille – France’s second-largest city is gritty, rough and tumble. Vieux Port area of the city is one of the top tourist attractions in Marseille thanks to its market stalls selling Provençal products, a centuries-old fish market with its wares coming straight off the boats, Moroccan-like souks. Do not miss tasting a bowl of traditional Bouilabaisse made from various fishes, shellfish, vegetables, and a variety of herbs.
The picturesque and oozes history Avignon city of Provence, described as the “most foul and stinking city on the Earth”, is famous for impressive and amazingly well-preserved art and architecture. The Papal Palace – the world’s largest Gothic palace, boasting cavernous halls, lovely grounds was home to many popes during the 14th century. Visitors can also admire the beauty of Pont Saint. Benezet – the famous bridge listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Located 20 km south of Avignon, Saint-Remy-de-Provence – a small, sleepy, and historical town in the Bouches-du-Rhône department in Southern France is well-known for the site of Roman city and the place where Van Gogh stayed to treat for his many psychiatric problems. The town is also home to the bustling Wednesday morning market – a classic Provençal farmers market with several stalls full of a variety of local produce including fruits, cheese, charcuterie, etc.
In contrast to the brightly colorful scenery of Provence, Camargue Wetlands area is bleached and desolate. However, the protected region attracts lots of visitors thanks to marshes, salt plains and rice fields roamed by black bulls, white horses, and pink flamingoes. It is also home to more than 500 species of migratory birds.
Located about 25 km south of Avignon, Les Baux commune is renowned for the unique, spectacular village which was home to the most powerful feudal lords in southern France during the Middle Ages and has been home to humans since 6,000 BCE. The dramatic rocks and cliffs overlooking a valley full of olive groves and vineyards have won the heart of most of the visitors and inspired several artists.
Gorges du Verdon
The 250m-750m deep and 8m-90m wide Gorges du Verdon is the deepest canyon in Europe and attractive with oddly bright green waters flowing through the bottom. There is a great hike up this canyon for whom like something adventurous. It also hosts an amazing wine festival at the beginning of August and an almond festival in Spring.
Isle sur la Sorgue
Sitting on a winding set of canals, Isle sur la Sorgue town is considered as “antique capital of France” and is home to the largest flea market in France outside of Paris and a great Provençal market every Sunday and Thursday. The markets have numerous stalls selling fresh olives, walnuts, cheese, baguettes, etc.
The beach in Cassis commune is defined by white limestone cliffs, sheltered inlets, and wide sand. Visitors also have a chance to see the ancient fishing port with well preserved old buildings, some dating back to the 16th century, and some restored with the colorful pastels. There is also a harbor, dotted with masts and fishing boats.
Digne les Bains
Digne les Bains commune is a great place to immerse yourself into the natural beauty of Provence. Wild and cultivated fields of lavenders carpet majestic mountains and plains. Covering yourself in mud and seaweed or take a lavender bath thermal pools, located about 2 km from the center of Digne les Bains is a great choice for relaxing. On every Wednesday and Saturday, there is also an interesting Provençal market. One of the most interesting things to do is the famous Train des Pignes from Nice to Dignes crossing through fantastic mountain scenery.
Luberon region has attracted tourists after Peter Mayle published his books about life in Provence, is a haven for French society. There you can see lush forests, fields of lavender, farmers markets and colorfully painted houses.
Arles city boasts a Celtic settlement, a Greek colony, a Roman city, especially a 20,000-seat Roman amphitheater, which hosted gruesome gladiator battles in the past and today stages bullfighting in the spring.
Paris that gets many nicknames including “the city of love”, “the city of romance”, ” the city of lights”, “the capital of fashion” is a must-see place in the world. The only minus of Paris is that travelers do not know how to choose which from the best from hundreds of things to there. Paris has everything from spectacular old and modern architecture, world-class museums, lovely gardens, famous rivers to the best places for shopping, top restaurants, cafes, and bars. The followings are the top tourist attractions and the best things to do in this amazing city:
Designed by the famous French engineer Gustave Eiffel, constructed from 1887-1889, Eiffel Tower is the ultimate civic icon of Paris as well as Franceand – one of the most visited monuments in the world. This wrought iron lattice tower is 324 meters tall, covers a square area of about 100 meters on a side. Visitors can buy tickets to go up to the first flour, second flour, and the top of the tower and see the city from Paris’s tallest structure. Wandering Gustave Eiffel’s office, using the panoramic maps, enjoying an unforgettable flute of champagne or fruit drink are popular things to do at the top of the tower. Do not forget to adore the Eiffel Tower from esplanade and gardens. The tower is breathtaking at night when 20,000 lights installed on it were lighted up. The tower does its electric dance for five minutes every hour until 1 AM.
Visiting Luxembourg Garden – one of the most beloved gardens in Paris could not be missed when you are in the city. Simply watching people basking on lawn chairs in the sunshine, enjoying picnics, children romping, riding the city’s oldest merry-go-round, taking in a puppet show make you immerse yourself into the local life. Taking a show at the circuit for joggers and amblers, strolling through beautiful paths and orchards, see how bees are kept at the old apiary, stopping at the renowned Musée de Luxembourg are popular things to do in Luxembourg Garden.
Jardin des Plantes
Jardin des Plantes is Paris’s first botanic garden with shaded paths, arbors, and flower beds, Ménagerie du Jardin des Plantes – Paris’s oldest zoo, three soaring Belle Époque greenhouses, the excellent Muséum Nationale d’Histoire Naturelle, extraordinary Gallery of Evolution.
Once a royal residence where Louis XIV spent part of his childhood, the tranquil 17th-century Palais-Royal with hushed arcades, manicured gardens, fountains is home to elegant boutiques, world-class perfumers, antiquaries including Rick Owens, Stella McCartney, and Pierre Hardy, Maison Fabre, and Lavabre Cadet. Trying great foods at the exquisite Grand Véfour restaurant or one-Michelin-star Restaurant du Palais Royal is a good thing to do there.
Crossing Pont Saint-Louis pedestrian bridge and stepping in Ile Saint-Louis – one of two natural islands in the Seine river, you can have a chance to see beautiful 17th-century mansions, nice courtyard and sample one of amazing 90 flavors of Paris’s most famous ice cream, which is handmade and all-natural.
Louvre – the world’s greatest and largest art museum, with 675,000 square feet of works from almost every civilization on earth. The 3 must-see works include the Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo, and Winged Victory.
Gothic Notre Dame de Paris
Begun in 1163, completed in 1345, restored in the 19th century, Gothic Notre Dame de Paris is one of the greatest examples of French architecture and the symbol of Paris as well as entire France. The cathedral has an intricate gothic-style design, aesthetic grandeur, and harmony. Highlights include its three spectacular rose windows, treasury and bell towers, 400-odd steps spiral to the top of the western façade from the North Tower.
Basilique du Sacré-Coeur
Located on the top of the large hill Montmartre, Basilique du Sacré-Coeur, also called the white castle in the sky is a popular landmark and the second most visited monument in Paris. The structure was commissioned in 1873 to symbolize the return of self-confidence after the devastating years of the Commune and Franco-Prussian War, finally consecrated in 1919.
Avenue des Champs-Élysées
The two-kilometer Avenue des Champs-Élysées remains the most famous avenue in Paris, France, perhaps the world and a Paris must-see. Lined with famous restaurants (l’Atelier Renault, Ledoyen), luxury boutiques (Mont-Blanc, Guerlain, Louis Vuitton, Ferrari), and night clubs, top museums (the Grand Palais, the Petit Palais, the Palais de la Découverte, and the Espace Culturel Louis Vuitton), Arc de Triomphe – one of Paris’s most famous monuments and one of top spots to view the city, Avenue des Champs-Élysées is a mecca for not only locals but also travelers at any time of day or night.
The 777-km-long Seine River, flowing through Paris, having 37 graceful bridges within Paris crossing it is a unique viewpoint of beautiful city’s landmarks and the most iconic Paris’s monuments including Notre-Dame, the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum and Musée d’Orsay. Walking among ancient trees, wild greenery, bridges, street art, neighborhood gardens, stopping for tourist attractions on the bank is one of the best things to do in Paris. Taking a boat ride on the Seine River through the bridges to see the city is also a great choice.
Père Lachaise Cemetery
The 110-acres Père Lachaise Cemetery is the largest cemetery in Paris and the most visited cemetery in the world. Come and pay your respects at Père Lachaise Cemetery where cultural, political, and social history is written in stone with tombs of everyone including Molière, Jim Morrison, scar Wilde, Gertrude Stein, Proust, Balzac, Chopin, Edith Piaf, Colette, Héloïse, Abelard. Strolling through winding cobbled avenues lined with ancient chestnut trees make you calm and forget any troubles in the life.
Housed in a grand old Beaux-Arts railway station in Paris, Musée d’Orsay museum is worth a visit for the galleries containing the world’s largest collection of Impressionist masterpieces by the likes of Manet, Van Gogh, Degas, Cézanne, Monet, Gaugin, and many others.
Housed in a stately 18th-century mansion and once the great sculptor’s studio, Musée Rodin is one of France’s most beautiful museums with magnificent architecture and lovely grounds completing with rose gardens, fountain, and an excellent outdoor cafe. The museum contains more than 6,000 Rodin’s sculptures, 8,000 drawings, and gouaches, special exhibits on contemporary works.
Housed in almost 54,000 square feet in two buildings including the regal 17th-century Hôtel Salé and a sprawling new structure, Musée Picasso contains the world’s largest public collection of Picasso’s inimitable oeuvre.
Fondation Louis Vuitton
Looking like an imperious ocean liner with billowing glass sails, Fondation Louis Vuitton is Frank Gehry’s contemporary art museum and cultural center. Highlights include Arnault’s substantial private collection, including pieces by Pierre Huyghe, Gerhard Richter, Thomas Schütte, Ellsworth Kelly, fabulous installations by the likes of Daniel Buren and Olafur Eliasson, recent surveys of contemporary Chinese and African art.
Other of Paris’s remarkable museums
Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature, a quirky, clever and irreverent mix of period weapons, paintings, and contemporary art;
Musée Nissim de Camondo – an elegant house museum of French decorative arts;
Musée de la Vie Romantique, located at the foot of Montmartre hill in an 1830 hôtel particular facing two twin-studios, a greenhouse, a small garden, and a paved courtyard;
Musée d’Ennery, containing contains objects collected at the height of Belle Époque Paris’s Japonisme craze and an extraordinary collection of Chinese and Japanese art;
Musée National Gustave Moreau – the symbolist artist’s home and studio;
Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen
Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen is 150 years old and also the largest and most famous flea market in the world. Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen is overflowed with imaginable curiosity and treasure including antique luggage, gilded mirrors, mid-century modern fashions and furnishings at different prices.
There are a wide range of things to do in the historic and designer district Marais which is a mix of architecture and culture:: 17th-century private mansions, Place des Vosges – Paris’s oldest quarter, excellent museum including Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature, Musée Cognacq-Jay, Musée Carnavalet, Musée Picasso, great cafes, restaurants, hippest bars, luxury fashion stores. Wander Vieille du Temple and Franc Bourgeois and explore gems along the streets. Do not miss Haut Marais – the coolest spot for high-end fashion favorites and top concept stores including Merci, Broken Arm, Tom Greyhound, Empreintes.
Galerie Vivienne and Passage du Grand Cerf
Covered Passages of Galerie Vivienne and Passage du Grand Cerf with glass ceilings, marble details, and mosaic floors were home to luxurious shops, restaurants, and cafés for well-heeled Parisians in the early 19th century and today are preserved galleries housing alluring boutiques, bookshops, antiquaries, art galleries, candy shops, etc.
St. Germain des Pres
St. Germain des Pres is home to more than 20 world-class chocolatiers and a good place for you to sample creamiest ganaches, liqueur-filled bonbons, pralines, caramels, scented truffles, covered wafers, and many other chocolaty confections.
3. French Riviera
Located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, French Riviera or Cote d’Azur is considered as “the playground for the famous and the rich” although it is for everyone including international tourists. Fantastically warm to mild climate all year round and beautiful beaches are the highlights of the Riviera coastline. Best known for famous events such a the Cannes Film Festival, the Monaco Grand Prix, and the glamor of Saint Tropez town, Monaco city, French Riviera has many hidden gems including the perched villages of Eze and Saint-Paul de Vence, and the perfumeries of Grasse. Below is a list of destinations and things to do in Cote d’Azur:
Monaco is a sovereign city-state, country, and microstate on the French Riviera. It features money-draining casinos including the casino Monte Carlo – Monaco’s biggest casino, expensive hotels, multi-million yachts. Other highlights include a palace that was originally a medieval fortress, Oceanographic Museum, Aquarium, and changing of the guard at Monaco-Ville.
Nice is a major port for France, the country’s 6h largest city, and the largest resort in Cote d’Azur. The city is one of the best places in France for dining and shopping, joining parties at bars and nightclubs, walking or biking along 4-km Promenade des Anglais – Nice’s most emblematic street to enjoy the shade of palm trees, elegant gardens, enjoy nice beaches. Do not miss the picturesque Old Town of Nice with narrow alleyways and cobblestone streets, Castle Hill Park, Monastère Notre-Dame-de-Cimiez, Musée Matisse with the collection of Matisse’s works, surrounded by splendid Italianate gardens.
You can be overwhelmed by the glamor of Saint Tropez. Once an old Mediterranean seaport, Saint Tropez charms visitors with a historic center, cobblestone lanes, expensive yachts, hippest clubs, stunning beaches, and top resorts which have attracted the wealthy and celebrities from around the world since the 1950s. The town is the most lively at night, it also offers lots of delicious foods and things to go shopping.
Antibes was an old Greek trading port and today boasts one of the Mediterranean’s finest harbors. You can see narrow cobbled streets and ramparts which are evidence of the old pork. Hence do not miss visiting the Musee Picasso, dedicated to the famous artist who lived in the city in 1946.
Saint-Paul de Vence
Located atop a hill, Saint-Paul de Vence commune is one of the oldest medieval towns on the French Riviera. Saint-Paul de Vence attracts tourist with many art galleries, artist workshops, and museums. It also offers a great view of the Alps, the sea, the city, and picturesque countryside.
Cannes was a quiet fishing village and today is one of the most famous and glamorous cities in the worlds thanks to the Cannes Film Festival, which is organized every May and attracts hundreds of famous artists and their fans from all around the world. A trip to Cannes cannot be complete without Palais des Festivals is La Croisette – the waterfront promenade, lined with palm trees, luxury hotels, restaurants, and designer shops.
Corniche d’Or or Golden Coast is an approximately 20-mile-long section of N98 that stretches from Frejus to La Napoule through the French Riviera. It is one of the top driving roads in Europe thanks to the spectacular views of the rocky coastline and brick red Esterel Mountains.
Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild
Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild is a seaside mansion that is in rose color, surrounded by a romantic garden. The villa and many of its furnishings are priceless or rare. It is also a great place to view the Bay of Villefranche and the Bay of Beaulieu.
Sitting 430 meters above the sea level and overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, Eze is a fortified medieval village is bewitched and photogenic enough to attract a large number of tourists. Eze is home to villas covered in bougainvillea and cobblestone streets, two famous perfumeries, the Galimard and Fragonard, the lovely Le Jardin Exotique d’Eze garden, and a 12th-century fortified castle.
Iles d’Or or the Golden Isles consists of 3 islands: Porquerolles, Port-Cros – a national park, and Levant that is home to a military base and a nudist colony. Travelers to Golden Isles love to go birding, biking, hiking, scuba diving, and visiting ancient forts.
Dordogne is one of the largest, most picturesque departments and one of the most popular tourist destinations in France. There are dozens of things to see and do in Dordogne so that some tourists find it difficult to choose what to do in order. Admiring the prehistoric treasures of the Dordogne including cave paintings and troglodyte dwellings, visiting gorgeous chateaux, gardens, and villages, towns retaining old architecture, trolling morning flea market, trying local wines and black truffles are must things to do in Dordogne. Here are the top attractions in this amazing department and I hope the information will help you as much as possible.
The old Roman town of Périgueux is famous for Wednesday and Saturday morning market which is full of fresh local fruits and veggies and the November-to-March duck market where goose hearts, duck livers, every imaginable part of the duck – dried-blood pancakes are sold. In December when the season of black truffles come, travelers have a chance to enjoy the attractive aroma and great truffle dishes.
Ecomusée de la Truffe
Ecomusée de la Truffe or Truffle Ecomuseum is considered as Dordogne truffle capital where the mysteries behind the black Périgord truffle, sold fresh for €900 per kg are revealed. There is a boutique selling truffle jam, green tomato and truffle chutney, truffle mustard, honey. Walk the Sentier des Truffières is a 1.8-mile truffle-rich trail to see truffles, walnuts, meadows, and vineyards.
Located 30 minutes west of Sorges, the romantic and picturesque Brantôme village is considered as the “Venice of Périgord” thanks to meandering cobblestones polished smooth by centuries of pilgrims, the beauty of boating beneath the impressive stone arches of angled bridge traversing river, and a vast abbey sheltering shelters eighth-century cave dwellings.
Grotte de Lascaux
Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Grotte de Lascaux is the setting of a complex of caves which walls and ceilings are covered with 600 parietal wall paintings, representing primarily large animals. The drawings are the works of many generations and estimated at 17,000 years.
Vintage gas lamps are lightened up after dark and Sarlat-la-Canéda has covered a twinkle coat which is different from itself by day. Other highlights include the morning food market in the Gothic church of Sainte Marie and Place de la Liberté – a gracious central square, framed with elegant mansions, cafe terraces, and the town hall.
La Roque-Gageac features sheer golden cliffs sheltering a 12th-century troglodyte fort, waterfront huddle of medieval stone on the Dordogne River testifies, traditional barges that were used to transport barrels of wine and salt downstream in the 19th century. Tourists can view the entire village, especially grey, lauze-tiled rooftops from a hot-air balloon, arranged by Montgolfière du Périgord
Jardins de Marqueyssac
Jardins de Marqueyssac is a 17th-century château and gardens where 150,000 vintage boxwoods have been planted, carved in fantastic shapes including symmetrical riot of swirls, whirls and curvaceous patterns. Thousands of candles are lit at night on footpaths through the green maze to belvedere which offers a great view of the spectacular Dordogne Valley.
Domme, retaining original ramparts and half-timbered architecture, is a great example of the fortified towns built on hilltops during the 13th century. The town also attracts tourists with Grotte de Domme containing Stalactites and stalagmites glistening 450 meters of subterranean galleries and ancient cave art beneath the central square, and 17th-century market hall with an exit via a lift to a perfect valley view.
Lazing between chestnut forests and sun-baked clearings, Monpazier town features the central place des Cornières, its surrounding grid of streets, the bastide built in a quadrilateral, 500 yards long and 250 yards wide.
Bergerac is home to Rosette and Monbazillac vineyards and Pécharmant reds age in oak barrels. Visiting Bergerac and sampling 13 different appellations and meet local producers at the House of Wines 1 rue des Récollets are popular things to do in Dordogne.
The tiny village of Castelnaud-la-Chapelle is home to cobblestone streets, the old buildings, and the wooden shutters and stunning views from the Chateau de Castelnaud.
Built upon the River Garonne, Bordeaux is a major port city featuring everything from fine architecture, historic and cultural sites, decent galleries and museums to shopping areas, restaurants and cafes. Half the entire city – all the center is a Unesco World Heritage site. In the city center, there are more than 350 structures and landmarks including medieval churches, charming old bridges of which the famous Ponte de Pierre. Bordeaux houses numerous beautiful plazas including the stunning Place de la Bourse with its mirror-like effect. Wine is the most impressive things of the city, visiting La Cité du Vin wine museum – a unique cultural center, dedicated to wine and admiring picturesque villages, vineyards, and chateaux in wine country are must-do in Bordeaux. Lastly, do not miss eating and drinking like locals when you are in the city.
Place de la Bourse
Place de la Bourse is one of the most splendid and glorious squares in Bordeaux and France. Highlights include Palatial classical buildings, epitomizing the elegance of 18th-century design and the Fountain of the Three Graces. Walk along the banks of the Garonne River to admire the magnificent architecture as well as its amazing reflections in the river.
Created in 2006 by fountain maker Jean-Max Llorca and landscape architect Michel Corajoud, the 2-cm and 3,450-square-meter Miroir d’Eau is the world’s largest and elegant reflecting pool. Its fountain system alternates between mirror and mist effects. The pool beautifully reflects the surrounding 18th-century building facades in the Place de la Bourse square.
Places des Quinconces
Flanked by the Quai Louis XVIII alongside the river and covering 126.000 m², Places des Quinconces is one of Europe’s largest squares and one of the most-photographed sites in Bordeaux. The centerpiece of the square is its mighty pillar -the Girondist Column, which top is crowned by a large bronze statue of a winged lady with a broken chain in one of her hands. Fountains, based around massive bronze sculptures are also very impressive.
Grosse Cloche de Bordeaux
Erected in 1775, the Grosse Cloche gatehouse, also known as Big Clock, replaced a previous building that was damaged by fire in the 18th-century. Grosse Cloche is possibly one of the very oldest belfries and one of the remnants of medieval Bordeaux in the region. It was crafted with two clocks and a bell tower.
Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the 12th century Cathedrale Saint-Andre is an architectural treasure with sculptures of the Last Supper, the Ascension, and Christ in Majesty. The western front side of the cathedral is completely unadorned because the side was too close to the old town walls in the past. Bordeaux International Organ Festival is held at the cathedral in the summer.
Completed in the 15th century, the 66-m Pey-Berland is the freestanding belfry for the Cathedrale Saint-Andre. The tower exemplifies flamboyant Gothic architecture with its ornate details, soaring spires, angled corner buttresses, and a statue of Notre Dame d’Aquitaine adorned the top of the tower.
Saint Pierre square, considered as the birthplace of Bordeaux or the heart of the city, is a must-see attraction. 15th-16th century Pierre church, built on the old Gallo-roman port, medieval walls separating the Saint Pierre district from the river, buildings of warm yellow stone and many more things are worth seeing in the old Saint Pierre.
Le Grand Théatre
Inaugurated in 1780, designed by the architect Victor Louis, Le Grand Théatre of Bordeaux is a historical masterpiece which is a beautiful example of the neo-classical style in the city. The theatre looks like an acred temple with its facade formed from 12 Corinthian columns, each is topped by a stone statue representing 3 goddesses and 9 muses of Greek antiquity.
Basilique Saint Seurin
Historic Monument and World Heritage Site by UNESCO, Basilique Saint Seurin is a vast 11th-century Romanesque building, still existing porch, bedside, the crypt and the base of the tower.
Basilique Saint Michel
Took over 200 years to construct from the 14th to the 16th century, Basilique Saint-Michel is a UNESCO World Heritage since 1998 and a Gothic church with the second largest tower in France. Its base retains a crypt that was formally an ossuary and then used as an exhibition for “mummies” unearthed in the nineteenth century during the development of the Place Meynard.
Parc Bordelaise Park
Designed as a public green space in the 19th-century, this 28-hectare historical park is home to around 3000 trees, 1000 of which are more than a century old.
Jardin Public Garden
Created in the 18th century and designed by Jacques Ange Gabriel and covering 14 hectares, Jardin Public Garden houses an arboretum, a library and a museum of natural history, and a central pond.
Listed as a Historical Monument, Palais Gallien is the only visible remains of the Roman city of Burdigala, built in the early 2nd century AD. The 130-meter-long and 114-meter-wide amphitheater could house some 20,000 spectators watched the games on wooden benches.
Pont de Pierre
Constructed from 1819 to 1822, Pont de Pierre bridge which connects the left bank of the Garonne River to the right bank was the first stone bridge ever built in Bordeaux. The bridge has 17 spans… which is also the number of letters in the name Napoleon Bonaparte. The bridge has a special place in the hearts of the Bordelais, who admire its elegance.
Musee des Arts Decoratifs
Constructed in 1779 by the Bordelais architect Etienne Laclotte, Musee des Arts Decoratifs or The Museum of Decorative Arts and Design features the permanent collection of furnishings, port goods, glassware, jewelry, instruments of music and measurement and tableware, especially a wide range of 19th century Bordelais pottery and porcelain.
La Cité du Vin
Completed in 2016, La Cité du Vin is a new generation museum that gives a different view of wine, across the world, across the ages, across all cultures and civilizations. It comprises more than 13,350m2 spread over ten levels and reaching a height of 55 meters. The museum houses exhibitions, shows, movie projections and academic seminars on the theme of wine. Coming to Bordeaux which wines are famous around the world, visiting the spectacular La Cité du Vin is a must. Le 7 Restaurant Panoramique the 7th floor offers stunning views of Bordeaux and the Port of the Moon as well as unquestionably delicious dishes.
Musee des Beaux Arts
Established in 1801 by the painter Pierre Lacour, Musee des Beaux Arts is one of the largest art galleries of France outside Paris. The museum holds collections of paintings, sculptures, and drawings including works by French and Dutch painters and many paintings, looted by the French during the French revolution.
Musee de Vin et Negoce
First opened on June 26, 2008, the wine merchants’ museum offers a visit to its cellars, which contain historical objects mixed with modern scenography to give a better understanding of Bordeaux wines.
The Musée d’Aquitaine houses different collections include more than 70,000 pieces from the history of Bordeaux and Aquitaine from Prehistory to today.
The Médoc is arguably the most famous red wine district in the world, home to many of the greatest and most renowned names of Bordeaux. The vineyards extend up to eight miles from the river and run for about 50 miles northwards. It is a very big miss if anyone does not come to this beautiful district just to be lost in vineyards, enjoy the French countryside, and certainly taste great wine of Bordeaux.
Located in the heart of the famous Bordeaux wine area, the medieval Saint-Emilion small town offers visitors the ideal mix of history and excellent food and drink. It features world-famous wineries, fine wine, beautiful architecture, and great monuments. The vineyard and the 8 villages of the Jurisdiction of Saint-Emilion were listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its Cultural Landscape in 1999.
Chartrons district was the center of the wine trade with rich wine merchants from England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, and Scandinavia. Its attractions include new funky neighborhood, its narrow streets flanked by 19th-century grand and not-so-grand workers homes, Rue Notre Dame – the quarter’s main street with a mix of one-off fashion boutiques, interior design and vintage stores, foodie shops and excellent cafes and restaurants. Others include 1869 market hall has been restored in glass, iron and stone and Cours Xavier Arnozan that is home to aristocratic streets and beautiful architecture of 18th-century mansions with their balconies and elaborate wrought-iron balconies.
Quai des Marques
Everything here is open on the weekend: 33 boutiques, 13 restaurants, cafés with outdoor tables and deck chairs, a merry-go-round, ice cream parlor, etc. One of the highlights is all brands are sold at unbeatable prices.
Marche des Quais
Marche des Quais is the flea market every Sunday on the left bank of the Garonne River. Around 60 stalls sell seasonal fruit and vegetables, exquisite foods from artisan producers, and numerous treats that can be consumed on the spot.
The Arcachon Bay is a fascinating world with numerous landscapes including oyster ports, sandy beaches, pine forests, a famous peninsula and the highest dune in Europe. Its ten towns and villages offer visitors many things to discover and multiple activities including bird watching, 220 km of cycling, sports and oyster tasting, Bay trips on traditional boats.
6. Mont Saint-Michel
Located about one kilometer off the country’s northwestern coast, the 7-hectare Mont Saint-Michel is an island and mainland commune in Normandy, France. This rocky island is impressive with its construction of medieval structures built as if stacked upon one another and the Benedictine Abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel, built by devoted monks in 708 AD. The abbey is one of the most remarkable examples of medieval religious and military architecture and was one of Christianity’s most important pilgrimage sites from the 8th to the 18th century.
7. Loire Valley
Stretching 280 km along the Loire River, the Loire Valley is one of the most popular destinations in France for its spectacular scenery, splendid chateaux, picturesque vineyards, and historic villages. The valley is home to many wineries that offer tours and wine tastings.
Situated right on the border of France and Germany, Strasbourg – the capital city of the Alsace region features a blend of both French and German architecture, museums, shops, cafes the stunning Gothic cathedral, which features intricate carvings and a 300-year old working, astrological clock. Strasbourg is also famous for the city’s historic center, Grande Île. The city serves as many important European institutions such as the seat of the European Parliament, the European Court of Human Rights and the Council of Europe.
Colmar is the third-largest commune of the Alsace region in north-eastern France
Located in east-central France, Lyon is the capital of the Rhone department in the Rhone-Alpes region. Lyon is the third largest city in France and is well-known for its historic architecture, stunning cultural scene, and rich gastronomy. Highlights include hundreds of hidden passageways in Croix-Rousse district, best restaurants, and bars in Presquile district, Roman ruins and Gothic churches in Fourviere district, beautiful Tete d’Or park Brotteaux.
11. French Alps
Located in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur regions, the French Alps are the portions of the Alps mountain range that stand within France. The Mont Blanc massif is the highest peak in all of Europe. Lakes, valleys, dramatic waterfalls, and forests make the French Alps one of the best places to visit in France. Mountain climbing, cycling, and hiking are popular in the summer while it is the perfect place for snowboarding, alpine skiing, and cross-country skiing in the summer.
Located in the south of France, Nimes is an ancient Roman city offering some of France’s the best Roman historical sites including Jardins de la Fontaine, the iconic Arenes de Nimes, and Pont du Gard.
Situated close to the border with Belgium, Lille is a perfect historic city with a wide range of things to do: strolling along the streets of old Lille, admiring the 17th-century Citadel, visiting the Natural History Museum, the Palais des Beaux-Arts Museum, and shopping at Wazemmes market.
14. Dune of Pilat
Just an hour away from Bordeaux, the Dune of Pilat is a unique spot with a massive sandy dune -the tallest sand dune in all of Europe and the sea on one side, and a forest on the other.
Perched right near the border of Italy, Montgenevre has hundreds of beautiful hiking trails in the summer, slopes for a skiing in the winter, Briancon town – the highest in all of France.
Perched in the north-west of France, Brittany has a very distinct identity and a long history that make it worth exploring. Highlights include Lannion – a charming little town on the banks of the River Léguer, the tiny village of Perros-Guirec, and Plage de Trestraou to go “sea walking”.
Lying to the east of the Paris region, Champagne is one of the great historic provinces of the country. In the ninth century, Champagne was one of the great regions of Europe, a rich agricultural area that was famous for its fairs. UNESCO World Heritage Committee decided in 2015 that parts of France’s Champagne region, along with its champagne houses and cellars, should be on its World Heritage list.
Located in the interior of the Labourd province, Espelette is a quaint village and is best known for its dried red peppers known as Piment d’Espelette. Stroll down the streets and enjoy the unique scenery of the lovely houses with drying peppers hanging from the facades and balconies, many stores and boutiques selling not only the famous peppers, chocolate, cheese, and many other local products.
Ranked as one of the International Laureates of Floral Decorations, the around 700-year-old Yvoire is a small medieval town in the department of Haute-Savoie, in the southeastern French region of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes.
Bayeux houses a fabulous historic and Bayeux Notre Dame Cathedral – a gem of Norman architecture, remarkably well preserved. Dedicated in the presence of William the Conqueror in 1077, 70 metres long Bayeux Tapestry – UNESCO-listed tapestry depicting the Norman conquest of England in 1066, the botanical garden of Bayeux, listed Historical Monument – one of the most remarkable 19th century landscaped parks in Normandy, the largest British military cemetery in France, the trail along the Aure River.
Other worth-visiting places in France include:
- Bergerac & Duras
- Aiguille du Dru
- Étretat Cliffs
- Scandola Nature Reserve
- Pic du Midi d’Ossau
- The Camargue Salt Flats
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