Offering some of the best scenery in the world, France has the heart of many. From the beautiful seaside resorts of Côte d’Azur to Eiffel Tower, the modern emblem of the country, France has it all. An absolute delight for romantics, the country has several majestic cathedrals, fairy-tale castles, and picturesque villages.
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France also does not fail to impress the realists with its contemporary, progressive style. With many things to do, from exploring famous art masterpieces at the Louvre Museum to experiencing royalty at the beautiful Palace of Versailles, you can never get bored with the wonder that France is. It is also no surprise that the traditional French gastronomy has been on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list. If you wish to savour the charm of this marvellous land, France tourist places can never disappoint you.
Did you know?
France has more than half of the world’s roundabouts!
France Tourist Places
- Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris
- Eiffle Tower
- Louvre Museum
- Palace of Versailles
- Côte d’Azur
- Loire Valley
- Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres
- Mont Saint-Michel
- Alsace Villages
Here is a list of the best France tourist places –
1. Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris
A marvellous sight and one of the best France tourist places is the Notre-Dame Cathedral of Paris. Dating back to the 12th century, this cathedral is a fabulous portrayal of Gothic architecture situated in the heart of medieval Paris. You are sure to be left in awe of the façade of the cathedral with its gargoyles and flying buttresses.
Indeed a perfect example of an Early Gothic vaulted nave, the Notre-Dame Cathedral is a very welcoming place for tourists from all around the world. Masses and vespers are held every day here. You can also attend the organ concerts that happen every month along with the Catholic holiday celebrations.
Did you know?
The rooftop of the Notre-Dame Cathedral of Paris has been made into a home for honey bee hives to express support for environmental conservation and biodiversity.
2. Eiffel Tower
One of the most famous landmarks of the world, the Eiffel Tower, is the symbol of Paris. Construction of 8,000 metallic parts, the Tower was designed by Gustave Eiffel. Made to be a temporary exhibit of the World Fair of 1889, critics initially loathed it. Standing tall at 320 metres, the Eiffel Tower is a very beloved and irreplaceable structure of the skyline of Paris. With the nickname “Iron Lady”, the Tower has a grace of its own. The splendid views at each of the three levels of the Tower are sure to leave you mesmerized.
One among the most fantastic places to visit in France, the Eiffel Tower also has a provision of dining with a view at the first level. You can also explore the cuisine at the Michelin-starred restaurant, Jules Vernes, on the second level. At the height of about 276 metres, the top level of the Eiffel Tower provides a breathtaking view of the panorama of the city of Paris and even beyond – sometimes extending up to 70 kilometres during bright days.
Did you know?
About three steelworkers worked between 1887 and 1889 to construct the Eiffel Tower.
3. Louvre Museum
A museum that cannot be compared to any other, the Louvre Museum is situated in the former royal palace of French Kings. With a high rank among the famous European collections of fine arts, this museum is one of the best places to visit in France. You will find here several outstanding works of Western civilization including the Mona Lisa by Leonardo DaVinci, the 1st-century-BC Venus de Milo sculpture, and even the wedding Feast at Cana by Veronese.
The collection of wealth in the Louvre Museum can be attributed to the contributions of several kings who lived in the Louvre. Some other works were added due to the treaties of France with the Vatican and the Republic of Venice. The spoils of Napoleon I also contribute to the fabulous collection at the Louvre Museum. Home to an impeccable collection of 30,000 artworks, the Louvre Museum is one of the most beautiful France tourist places.
It is almost impossible to witness all the artworks and masterpieces in a day or even a full week. Take a tour of the museum focusing on the key artworks that interest you, and you will find yourself coming out with a much rewarding experience.
Did you know?
Over 15,000 visitors flock the Louvre Museum every day!
4. Palace of Versailles
A showcase of the glory of the French monarchy, the Palace of Versailles is much more than only a residence of royalty. The “Sun King” Louis XIV turned the small hunting lodge that belonged to his father into a magnificent palace with luxurious Baroque interiors. Eventually, the palace became symbolic of the absolute power of Louis XIV and became the set standard of Europe’s princely courts. The architect, Jules Hardouin-Mansart, created the elegant Baroque façade and the intricate interiors. The famous Hall of Mirrors is the place where the courtiers used to wait with the king for an audience.
The Hall sparkles with sunlight that makes its way through the windows and gets reflected off expansive ornamental mirrors. The Palace of Versailles, as one of the most famous places in France, has been popular even for its formal French gardens that feature decorative pools, neatly trimmed shrubs, and beautiful fountains. Extending beyond the formal gardens, you will find Marie-Antoinette’s hamlet, which is a make-believe pastoral village where the queen would come to dress up like a peasant to escape court life. One of the most beautiful places to see in France, the Palace of Versailles deserves a visit.
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Did you know?
The Palace of Versailles has 700 rooms and can hold up to 20,000 people at once!
5. Côte d’Azur
One of the fascinating places to see in France, Côte d’Azur is a very fashionable stretch of coastline in the country. Translating to “Coast of blue”, Côte d’Azur derives its name from the breathtaking deep blue colour of the Mediterranean Sea. Also called the French Riviera, this coastline extends from Saint-Tropez to Menton located near the border with Italy. During summer, the resorts on the seaside become packed with beach lovers and worshippers of the sun.
You will also find here the rich and famous people of France in their luxury villas and lavish yachts. Offering splendid panoramic views of the town of Nice, Côte d’Azur also has fantastic art museums. Famed for its celebrity film festival and legendary hotels, Cannes, situated along the coastline must be visited. Ranked high among the list of famous places in France, Côte d’Azur also gives you some of the best sandy beaches in Antibes. Saint-Tropez also has some great beaches that have the charm of a Provençal fishing village. Monaco, on the other hand, is almost seductive with its astonishing scenery and exclusive ambience.
Did you know?
Côte d’Azur attracted as many as 89 million visitors in 2017.
6. Loire Valley
A magical countryside of woodlands and river valleys, the Loire Valley is one of the most beautiful places to see in France. You will also find fairy-tale castles decked with moats and turreted towers. The area of Loire Valley is lush and abundant. Known as the “Garden of France”, it is even on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. A few of the Loire castles are fortresses that belonged to medieval times and are surrounded by ramparts.
Being one of the top-rated France tourist places, the Loire châteaux comprises of elegant Renaissance castles that were designed for entertainment and enjoyment, mostly as an extension of court life outside Paris. Made for King Francis I, the Château de Chambord is a stunning château. Another attraction is the Château de Chenonceau which has a uniquely feminine style of construction. Cheverny, a charming manor house situated in an idyllic environment, is among the top incredible, attractive France tourist places.
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Did you know?
After Champagne, the Loire Valley is the biggest producer of sparkling wine.
7. Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres
The marvel of the Chartres Cathedral is one among the many beautiful France tourist places. Many people say that the beauty of this cathedral has given faith to those who are doubtful. The UNESCO-listed cathedral is a fantastic display of medieval Gothic architecture. Spanning an area of 2,500 square metres, the magnificent stained-glass windows allow colourful light to filter in and enter the expansive nave while creating a mesmerizing effect.
Several windows date to the 13th century, each of them a revealing work of remarkable craftsmanship in the portrayal of biblical stories. The rose windows are a sight that cannot be missed for their incredible size and intricate details. Other famous sights are the Passion window which is an original piece of its style and expression, and the Blue Virgin window that dates back to the 12th century. Do not miss the spectacle of the light show put up by the Chartres Cathedral between April and October during the nights.
Did you know?
The Chartres Cathedral is built of limestone.
A splendid landscape of olive groves, rolling hills adorned with sunlight, dark purple lavender fields, and tiny villages situated in the valleys, Provence is among the most famous France tourist places. The vibrant landscape of Provence has drawn several artists including Matisse, Chagall, Picasso, and Cézanne. A curious blend of country charm and rustic natural beauty, Provence is a place where art de Vivre is indeed a way of life.
You can enjoy strolls along cobblestone streets and relax on sunlit terraces of the many outdoor cafes. The colourful open-air markets are indeed a sight to see. You can even indulge in the deliciousness of the cuisine based on vegetables, olive oil, and aromatic herbs. Arles in Provence has the most impressive ancient ruins and is a host of many traditional festivals. Avignon was known to be the medieval city of popes. Do not miss out on visiting the most important market town of Provence, Aix-en-Provence. Provence is sure to linger in your memories for a very long time. Make sure not to miss witnessing this spectacle!
Did you know?
Fish forms an integral part of the Provencal cuisine.
9. Mont Saint-Michel
One of the most beautiful places in France, Mont Saint-Michel is among the top-rated tourist attractions in the country. Known as the “Pyramid of the Seas”, this striking landmark is indeed a mystical sight. Surrounded by walls and bastions, Mont Saint-Michel is perched on a rocky islet. During high tides, you will notice that Mont Saint-Michel is an island. However, during low tides, you can walk across the sand and reach Mont. Abbaye de Saint-Michel, the main tourist attraction, was founded by the Archbishop Aubert of Avranches in 708 after the Archangel Michael came to him in a vision.
A marvel of medieval architecture, the Abbey has Gothic spires that reach heights of about 155 metres above the sea. It also houses a tranquil sanctuary and fantastic views. Built-in the 11th century, the Abbey Church is one of the most incredible, charming places in France. Famed as “The Heavenly Jerusalem”, Mont Saint-Michel is abundant with soul-soothing serenity.
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Did you know?
Mont Saint-Michel served as an inspiration to the victory of Joan of Arc.
A truly memorable sight, Mont Blanc in the French Alps is one of the top France tourist places. As the highest mountain peak in Europe, it forms a part of the French border with Italy. Known as the “White Mountain”, Mont Blanc reaches the height of a soaring 4810 metres and is always covered with snow. Nestled in a high mountain valley, Chamonix, a traditional alpine village is situated beneath the peak.
The town is abundant in historic churches, welcoming chalet restaurants, and enchanting auberges. An excellent spot for skiing, hiking, rock climbing, and many more outdoor activities, Chamonix is ideal for adventure lovers. Also, the right place for those who wish to relax, the sight of calming scenery and the sound of flowing streams makes Chamonix an excellent picnic spot. Do not forget to savour famous delicacies such as raclette and fondue.
Fun fact: Over 20,000 climbers conquer the summit of Mont Blanc each year.
11. Alsace Villages
Nestled amidst the lush, rolling hills of Alsace are some of the prettiest villages of France. At Alsace, the Vosges mountains can be seen to border the Rhine River of Germany. The Alsatian villages make for some of the best France tourist places with their small parish churches and half-timbered houses painted in pastel shades. The exuberant flowering balconies and cobblestone streets add to the appeal of these villages. Several Alsatian villages have even won France’s Villages Fleuris award for their beautiful flower decorations.
These include Obernai with its distinct burgher’s houses, Ribeauvillé with its charm, Guebwiller which is a town of art and history, and Bergheim, a pretty medieval village. A few of the other Alsatian villages have also been given the designation of “Plus Beaux Villages de France” which means the Most Beautiful Villages of France. These include Riquewihr, a storybook hamlet with its historic houses and Eguisheim, a wondrous village cradled in a valley. Mittelbergheim is another one of these villages located at the foot of Mont Saint-Odile which is famed for its gastronomy and tranquil scenery. It is one of the best France tourist places.
Tip: Do not miss out on attending the Colmar Wine Fair.
One of the France tourist places that seem to have to come out of a fairy tale setting is Carcassonne. The turreted towers and crenellated ramparts are sure to transport you to the world of the Middle Ages. The walled town known as the Cité encloses quaint looking houses and narrow cobblestone streets. It is exciting to note that every street and every building and square has retained its medieval essence.
Some of the most famous tourist attractions here include the double circuited ramparts with 54 towers and the Cathedral of Saint Nazaire that dates back to the 13th-14th century. One of the most important things to do here is to witness the Bastille Day fireworks on July 14th. The well-preserved and well-fortified city of Carcassonne is sure to leave you fascinated.
Did you know?
Carcassonne was made famous by the French poet, Gustave Nadaud.
You can now explore the charm of the many France tourist places that are sure to make you fall in love!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What is the most visited place in France?
A: Notre Dame in Paris is the most visited place in France.
2. What are the tourist places in France?
A: Some of the tourist places in France include the Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, Palace of Versailles and Notre-Dame de Paris.
3. Why is France a tourist attraction?
A: France is a tourist attraction because it is one of the most beautiful places in the world with several cultural points of interest.
4. What things is France famous for?
A: France is famous for its art, history, culture, wine, and cuisine.
5. Which country visits France the most?
A: Citizens of the European Union visit France the most.
6. How long can I stay in France without becoming a resident?
A: You can stay in France for less than six months without becoming a resident.