By Briana Seftel
The most visited country in the world has many iconic destinations, from the golden Haussmann architecture of Paris to the lavender fields of Provence. Thinking of going on a vacation in France? Here are our picks for the must-see destinations so you can start planning!
The City of Light consistently ranks as one of the top cities in the world for travelers of all ages, interests, and backgrounds. The Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Sacre Coeur, Louvre Museum…the list of Paris' must-see sights goes on. In addition to its many landmarks, the food, art, and culture of Paris make it an absolute must on your trip to France.
Fields of lavender, vine-covered villas in the hills, chilled rose in an outdoor café...Provence lures travelers in with its relaxed lifestyle and beautiful surroundings. The wide boulevards of Aix-en-Provence and religious importance of Avignon are some of the most popular destinations in this region where a car is advised.
Famous for its luxurious lifestyle and sun-soaked mild climate, the Cote d'Azur (also known as the French Riviera) is France’s Mediterranean playground. Winding through old towns such as Menton and Villefranche sur Mer and cosmopolitan cities like Nice, Cannes, and Marseilles are all iconic stops along the Riviera.
The Loire Valley is iconic castles, storybook villages, and fine wine. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Loire Valley is noteworthy for the quality of its architectural heritage, in its historic towns such as Blois, Chinon, Orléans, Saumur, and Tours, but in particular in its world-famous castles like the Château de Chambord.
Mont St Michel
Straddling Normandy and Brittany, Mont St Michel is a magical island surrounded by vast sandbanks and topped by a gravity-defying Gothic abbey. For more than a thousand years, its mirage-like silhouette has drawn Christian pilgrims as well as tourists wanting to see one of the most incredible places in the world.
Lyon is France’s gastronomic capital and one of the best cities for food in the world. Plump andouillette sausages, light-as-air-quenelles, and rich coq au vin are all staples of lyonnaise cuisine. Aside from culinary delicacies, Lyon’s historic center is one of France’s prettiest, while the city’s cultural offerings throughout the year like Festival of Lights rank among the best in Europe.
Located along the majestic Rhine River, Strasbourg is the Alsatian capital in northeastern France known for its German-influenced architecture and food. Explore the Petite France District and impressive European Union institutions and don't miss the fairy tale town of Colmar, where you can enjoy the splendors of Little Venice.
History buffs should make a beeline for Normandy. A region in northern France, Normandy is most famous as being a battleground during World War II. Head for sites like Omaha Beach, site of the D-Day landing, the massive American Cemetery and Memorial, and the Caen Memorial.
A port city in southwestern France, Bordeaux is synonymous with wine. As the world's major wine industry capital, the region is home to 287,000 acres of vineyards producing an astonishing 960 million bottles a year. In addition to wine, the city also has a number of spectacular historical sites, museums and restaurants.