No French holiday can be complete without checking out country’s incredibly charming tourist attractions. These beautiful places to visit in France have been the muse to many poets and artists, and continue to be awe-inspiring cities and hubs from tourists from all over the world.
France is a beautiful country that boasts of spectacular cities with picturesque topography, colourful culture, free-spirited people and delectable cuisine. To experience them, it’s important to visit these cities and spend some time there. Tick off some of the most popular European attractions first and then stay to explore the true vibe of the local towns and villages.
1. Paris – The fashion capital
Paris is a significant hub of art, culture, architecture, food, and fashion. It is also the capital city and one of the most charming tourist places in France. As one of the most beautiful European cities, Paris boasts of its splendid cityscape reflecting old world charm, intersected by expansive boulevards with River Seine flowing by its side. The amazing historic monuments, museums, bustling river bank and vibrant people pull tourists from all over the world and have made Paris one of the immensely famous places in France.
Key attractions: Eiffel Tower, The Louvre, Notre Dam Cathedral, Palace of Versailles, Arc de Triomphe, and Montmartre
Suggested Read: 15 Picture-Perfect Places To Visit In Paris
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2. Bordeaux – A picturesque port city
A 5 and half hours drive from Paris, this picturesque city of Bordeaux is a perfect to unwind and rejuvenate. Famed as a wine growing region, Bordeaux is one of the lively cities and among the important places to visit in France. Half of this port city is declared as one of the largest World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.
Known for its amazing museums, churches, cathedrals, and vintage mansions, Bordeaux attracts numerous tourists and students every year. Its amazing dining scene, spectacular coffee shops, enthralling food trucks, and incredibly good wine make Bordeaux one of the top tourist attractions in France.
Key attractions: Cathédrale Saint-André, Le Grand Théâtre, Place de la Bourse, Basilique Saint-Michel, and Basilique Saint-Seurin
3. Mont Saint-Michel – An ancient wonder
Located in Normandy France, Mont Saint-Michel is a beautiful island commune and one of the most popular tourist places in France. Snuggled at the mouth of Couesnon River, it offers breath-taking scenic views to tourists and travelers. Enclosed by natural fortification, this island houses an age-old monastery, from where its name has been derived.
Key attractions: The Abbey, Tidal Island, Eglise Saint Pierre, The Parish Church and Museums of History, and Maritime and Ecology
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4. French Riviera – An awesome retreat destination
Situated on the Mediterranean Coast of France, French Riviera is one of the famous tourist places in France. It is known for charming scenic beauty, mesmerising shoreline, vacation retreats and health resorts.
This glamorous French destination is a popular name in the world tourism map and is best known for Cannes Film Festival, quaint perched villages, amazing perfumeries, glass blowers, and potters.
Key attractions: Eze, Grasse, Monaco, Menton, and La Colline du Chateau
5. Arles – The city known for being Vincent van Gogh’s inspiration
One of the must see places to visit in France, Arles is now counted as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It is a vintage city perched on a hillock where River Rhône bifurcates to meet the sea. This ancient city has an awesome cityscape that comprises vibrant sun baked houses, lanes, and roads.
Dotted with shops and restaurants, the city reflects old world charm in every sense. Also, the ancient city of Arles had been an inspiration for eminent painter Vincent van Gogh and many of his famous works are about the town.
Key attractions: Arles Amphitheatre, Alyscamps, Montmajour Abbey, Church of St. Trophime, Cloître Saint-Trophime, Musée Départemental de l’Arles Antique, and Fondation Vincent van Gogh
6. Biarritz – The play and party city of France
Biarritz is a perfect seaside city and an idyllic summer resort in the Basque coast of France. This crowded and popular destination is one of the top tourist attractions in France. Key attractions here are surfing activities and sizzling nightlife with happening pubs, clubs and Barrière – the marvellous beachfront Casino. The city also houses many surfing training schools and is the venue for annual surfing competition.
Key attractions: Musee Bonnat, Herri Urrats, Uhabia, Grande Plage, Musée de la Mer, Phare de Biarritz, and Rocher de la Vierge.
7. Strasbourg – A colorful city in north eastern France
Strasbourg, located near the border of Germany, houses the European parliament and is the capital city of Alsace region in north eastern France. The cityscape reflects both French and German style in architecture and structures. The famous and century old Gothic cathedral has made it one of the not-to-miss places to visit in France.
Key attractions: Strasbourg cathedral, Strasbourg Museum of Modern Art, Palais Rohan Strasbourg, Quartier des Tanneurs, Maison Kammerzell, and Eglise de Saint-Thomas. Also, do not miss the daily shows at Cathedral about astronomical clock and sweeping views of the Rhine River from part way up to its 142 m spire.
8. Fontainebleau – Perfect for a holiday
Located at 55.5 km from Paris, this marvellous town of Fontainebleau is a popular holiday retreat and one of the famous places in France. The city is surrounded by plush green forests and offers ample opportunities for trekking and rock climbing. The world famous Chateau is the most fascinating attraction of this place.
Key attractions: Chateau de Fontainebleau, Foret de Fontainebleau and Entrance to Chateau de Fontainebleau Grounds
9. Lourdes – A lovely market town in the foothills
Lourdes is very significant and awe inspiring pilgrimage site, known for Our Lady shrine. Located at the foothills of Pyrenees, this market town is a must see among all the places to visit in France.
Key attractions: Rosary Basilica, Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes, Ossau Valley, Jardin Massey, and Chateau fort de Lourdes
10. Lyon – The city of museums and palaces
Located at the confluence of Rhone and Saone Rivers, Lyon is the third largest city and one of the popular tourist places in France. The city houses astonishing museums and palaces and has some happening pubs and clubs too. Fantastic shopping experiences and delectable cuisine are a delight for travelers.
Key attractions: Museum of Fine Arts, Vieux, Lyon Cathedral, Parc de la Tete d’Or, Palace Bellecour, Fourviere, and Basilica of Notre Dame de Fourviere
11. Chambord – Spectacular architecture and design
The city of Chambord has grown around the world famous Chateau, a spectacular construction of the Renaissance era. As one of the highly famous places in France, Chambord is reputed for marvellous architecture, vintage structural design, artwork, vibrant style, and interior décor of the chateau. The first floor has the main chambers of the King and his Queen. The double-helix staircase in the centre takes to the rooftop, where you can enjoy a breath-taking view of the surroundings.
Key attractions: Château de Chambord, Eglise Saint Louis de Chambord, Domaine national de Chambord, and Maison des Vinas a Chambord
12. Burgundy – Town of stunning lush pastures
Erstwhile territory of east central France, Burgundy is one of the most picturesque and famous tourist places in France. Burgundy is characterised by plenty of crisscrossing winding canals, wine, palaces, museums, lush pastures, medieval villages and rolling green hill slopes. This stunning French countryside offering amazing and mesmerising view is one of the popular choices for complete serenity and relaxation.
Key attractions: Dijon, Nevers, Beaune, Macon, Autun, Auxerre, Vezelay, Avallon and Cluny
13. Nice – For a sunny beach vacation
Nice is a famous mesmerising city tops the list of must see tourist places in France. This awesome seaside retreat is popular for its superb sunny climate, breathtaking scenery, and perfect blend of contemporary and medieval styling in the city’s profile. The beach dotted with superb eating joints and shacks, bustling market, and marvellous architecture has made it one of the famous tourist places in France. It is the reason people flock here in large numbers, all round the year.
Key attractions: Promenade des Anglais, Vieille Ville, Russian Orthodox Cathedral, Opera de Nice, Colline du Château, Musée Matisse, Monastère Notre-Dame-de-Cimiez, Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain, and Jardin Albert I
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14. Annecy – Snuggled between two rivers
Annecy is a river town snuggled at the confluence of River Thiou and Lac d’Annecy. As one of the most famous places in France, this alpine city reflects heritage and glories of ancient days, especially in its buildings, streets, meandering canals, and vibrant houses of the old town. The city museum displays alpine furniture, various art, and sculptures of the medieval period.
Key attractions: Palais de L’isle, Chateau d’Annecy, Semnoz, Basilique de la Visitation, Thiou, La Tournette and Pont des Amours
15. Noumea – Complete beach bum’s delight
Noumea is the capital of French territory of New Caledonia, located on the mainland of Grande Terre. This is sunny and stunning beach destination that showcases perfect blend of French and Kanak style in its architecture. The coastal destination is famous for a bustling square called Place des Cocotiers, landscaped gardens, vibrant bustling shoreline, and cheerful local people.
Key attractions: Noumea Cathedral, Aquarium de Lagons Nouvelle Caledonie, Amedee Lighthouse Island, Tjibaou Cultural Centre and beaches like Anse Vata, and Plage de la Baie des Citrons
The list of beautiful tourist places in France is ready with you. Let us know when you are visiting them.
Further Read: Most Popular Euro Trips To Plan 2016’s Ultimate Escape
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