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Whether you prefer to stroll the iconic streets of Paris, soak up the relaxed atmosphere of the coastal cities of Côte d'Azur, embark on a thrilling hike in the snow-capped French Alps, or travel back in history in the green hills of Normandy, France truly has it all! Not surprisingly, the country is the world's first most-visited destination.

Are you already dreaming of your next France tour? Here are the 10 best places to visit in France you cannot miss!

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Coffee Restaurant, Paris, best place to visit in France.
Explore explosive culinary delights and unique Parisian cuisine on your trip to Paris, France.

The “city of love” and a global center for art, fashion, gastronomy, and culture, Paris should not be missed on a trip to France. World-class museums such as the Louvre and the Pompidou meet the timeless allure of the Luxembourg Gardens​ and the picturesque Montmartre area, also known as the "painters' quarter". Among the things to do in Paris, is a stroll along the elegant Champs-Élysées, tour the Eiffel Tower, and dine in an outdoor café.

Highlights:

  • Marvel at the iconic Eiffel Tower as it sparkles against the night sky.
  • Delight in a croissant at a sidewalk café for the quintessential Parisian experience.
  • Cruise the placid waters of the Seine to witness Paris' landmarks from an unprecedented perspective.

Good to know: To avoid crowds, plan your visit in the shoulder seasons of spring or autumn. Also, note that many attractions close on Mondays.

View of Bordeaux City Center one of the best places to visit in France.
Dive into Bordeaux's city center one of the best places to visit in France where every street tells a unique tale.

Nestled between the Garonne and Dordogne rivers, Bordeaux exudes an air of sophistication and timeless grandeur, embodied by places like the majestic Place de la Bourse and the Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux. However, what makes Bordeaux one of the top places to visit in France is its wine culture, so visit the local vineyards for your France wine tour.

Highlights:

  • Experience the magic of the Miroir d'Eau, the world's largest reflecting pool.
  • Visit the Cité du Vin wine museum and savor some of the finest vintage wines.
  • Cross the stunning Pont de Pierre to visit La Bastide, a neighborhood offering a different perspective of Bordeaux with its vibrant markets and charming streets.

Good to know: Bordeaux is a paradise for food lovers: don’t miss the opportunity to try regional specialties such as duck confit, Aquitaine caviar, and canelé pastries.

Beautiful Lighthouse of L'Ile Louet, Brittany as seen on a France trip.
Embrace the charm of Brittany with it's rugged coastline, medieval towns, and Celtic spirit.

The northwest of France is a land of rugged coastlines, fishing villages, and medieval towns. Among the must-see attractions of this fascinating region are the picturesque fortified corsair citadel of Saint-Malo, the fairy-tale forest Paimpont, with a legendary aura rooted in the myths of King Arthur, Merlin and the Knights of the Round Table, the mystical alignments of Carnac, the largest megalithic site in the world, and the romantic Cote d'Armor, also known as the Pink Granite Coast because of the unique color of the granite blocks that surround it. 

Highlights:

  • Travel back in time to Dinan, Brittany's best-preserved medieval jewel, with its half-timbered houses and Jacobins Theater, one of the oldest theaters in France.
  • Indulge in delicious crêpes and galettes, and savor fresh seafood by the picturesque Breton ports.

Good to know: Renting a car is the most convenient way to explore Brittany, especially if you plan to visit the more remote areas.

The cliffs of Etretat, Normandy, best place to visit in France
Explore history, nature, and cuisine in Normandy—an essential destination in France.

With its captivating blend of history, natural beauty, and culinary delights, Normandy is not to be missed from the list of the top 10 places to visit in France outside of Paris. History lovers can explore the historic D-Day landing beaches where Allied forces made their mark during World War II, or visit the awe-inspiring Mont Saint-Michel, a medieval abbey rising from the sea like a fairy-tale castle. If you are more of an adventure-seeker, Normandy offers several outdoor activities such as hiking, horseback riding, and sailing.

Highlights:

  • Meander through the charming streets of the picturesque port town of Honfleur.
  • Embark on a scenic coastal hike to the Cliffs of Étretat.

Good to know: The easiest and cheapest way to get from Paris to Normandy is by train, which takes about three hours.

Ponts Couverts Bridges and historic quarter Petite France in Strasbourg
Explore the historic quarter Petite France in Strasbourg on your tour of France this year.

Vibrant, dynamic, and eclectic, yet deeply rooted in its rich historical heritage of Franco and Germanic origins, the capital of Alsace attracts billions of travelers from around the world every year. Among the most popular attractions in the city are the mesmerizing medieval Old Town with its timber-framed houses, the enchanting Quartier des Tanneurs, and the lavish Strasbourg Cathedral, which, with its long Gothic spires, has long been one of the tallest buildings in the world.

Highlights:

  • Learn more about the functioning and role of the European institutions in Strasbourg, including the European Parliament and the Council of Europe.
  • Discover the medieval castle of Haut-Kœnigsbourg, perched on a hill with breathtaking views of the plains of Alsace and Lorraine.

Good to know: Strasbourg is particularly enchanting during the festive season when it transforms into a winter wonderland with its renowned Christmas markets.

Townscape of Dijon city, France
Dijon's charm unfolds in its townscape: a picturesque blend of medieval allure, vibrant markets, and a tapestry of history.

In the heart of Burgundy is the lively city of Dijon. With its opulent architectural heritage comprising majestic gothic churches embellished with gargoyles and sumptuous palaces like the Palais des ducs et des États de Bourgogne, the city has earned its reputation as a city of art and history. But that’s not all: Dijon is perhaps best known for its rich culinary offering—after all, the city boasts one of the world's most popular mustards—the moutarde de Dijon!

Highlights:

  • Wander the enchanting streets of Dijon following the Owl's Trail and discover landmarks and hidden gems marked by owl-shaped plaques.
  • Visit nearby vineyards to sample the region's world-class wines, including pinot noir and chardonnay.

Good to know: With its compact and well-preserved city center, the best way to explore Dijon is definitely on foot.

Turquoise Mediterranean sea and perfect blue sky in the French Riviera.
The French Riviera is known for its amazing climate which makes it one of the best destinations in France. 

Synonymous with luxury, glamour, good food, and spectacular natural landscapes, the French Riviera, or Côte d'Azur, is a sun-kissed stretch of coastline in the southern part of the Provence region. From the vibrant colors of Menton's gardens to the chic boutiques of Saint-Tropez and Monaco, and the artistic allure of the medieval hilltop town of Saint-Paul-de-Vence, the French Riviera is truly among the best places to visit in the South of France.

Highlights:

  • Begin your exploration of the South of France in Nice by strolling along the Promenade des Anglais.
  • Hike to the medieval Eze Village, and admire the breathtaking beauty of the coastline from above.
  • Experience the glamour of Cannes and attend the renowned film festival.

Good to know: Venture off the beaten path to discover secluded coastal treasures, like the Plage de la Mala near Monaco, and the Plage d’Argent between Marseille and St. Tropez.

Rising above 4,808 m, Mont Blanc is the tallest mountain in the Alps.
On a Mont Blanc trek, you will greeted with a dynamic mix of landscapes from alpine fields to snowy peaks.

From the iconic Mont Blanc, the highest peak in Western Europe, to the serene valleys and alpine meadows of Chamonix, the French Alpine region offers a tranquil escape away from the hustle and bustle of the city. During the colder months, the region becomes a mecca for winter sports enthusiasts, with numerous ski resorts providing world-class slopes and facilities, while in spring and summer, it quickly transforms into a paradise for trekkers.

Highlights:

  • Discover charming alpine villages like Megève and Annecy.
  • Marvel at the Mer de Glace, one of the largest glaciers in Europe, accessible by the historic Montenvers Railway.

Good to know: If engaging in winter sports or mountaineering, be aware of avalanche risks. Check local advisories and consider hiring a guide for unfamiliar terrains.

Architecture in Lyon.
Explore Lyon where historic charm meets modern elegance, through France's captivating cultural capital.

Located along the banks of the Rhône and Saône rivers, France's third-largest city features an enchanting mix of medieval and Renaissance architecture, making it a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Lyon is also celebrated as the gastronomic capital of France: here, traditional bouchons (taverns) coexist with Michelin-starred restaurants, offering you an unprecedented culinary journey. Choose our Lyon Tours to uncover the city’s best-kept secrets and explore the surrounding areas.

Highlights:

  •  Ascend the Fourvière Hill to the Basilica offering panoramic views of the city and the surrounding Alps.
  • Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of Lyon's Presqu'île, the peninsula that stretches between the city's two rivers.

Good to know: Lyon has an efficient public transportation system, including buses, trams, and a metro, making it easy to navigate the city and its surrounding areas.

Hiking in Corsica in France
Sandwiched between rolling mountains featuring creeks and forests, and 1000km of coastlines, Corsica is beautiful beyond words.

Crystal-clear beaches, rugged coastlines, lush forests, quaint fishing villages, and more than 1,700 peaks of varying altitudes (the highest being Monte Cintum at nearly 3,000 meters above sea level): Corsica does have it all! Also not to be missed is a tour of the island's six towns (Bastia, Ajaccio, Bonifacio, Calvi, Corte, and Porto Vecchio), each with a unique cultural and architectural heritage.

Highlights:

  • Hike through the Gorges de la Restonica, a stunning unspoiled valley with turquoise natural pools and cascading waterfalls.
  • Explore the historic Bonifacio Citadel, perched on towering limestone cliffs and offering captivating views of the neighboring island of Sardinia, Italy.
  • Unwind on the pristine beaches of the Lavezzi Islands, a natural paradise known for its crystal-clear waters, granite rocks, and diverse marine life.

Good to know: Consider that a complete tour of the island might take 2 to 3 weeks, so having a rough itinerary before departure is a good idea.

An unparalleled mix of art, history, culture, gastronomy, and breathtaking natural scenery, France is the perfect year-round destination for all kinds of travelers, from adventure-seekers to beach-goers and city lovers.

To plan an unforgettable French getaway, be sure to delve into our travel guides where you will find insights on the best time to visit France, the best places to visit in each region, and the most popular activities to do in France.

Contact our local travel experts to create a customized trip to France and discover the best places in France. 

Published by Emily Brown, updated on November 30, 2023
Plan a trip to FranceWe offer different tour types. You can also chat with a local travel specialist if you want a customized tour to France.
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