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Most Popular Places to Visit in France 2023
Affectionately called as “I’Hexagone” by its natives, France is a famous tourist delight in the Europe. Starting from the seaside resorts to beautiful boulevards, France has many beautiful sites to visit and witness at least once in a lifetime. Each place you will travel in France, you will get a distinct culture, cuisine, and history. To name one, in the UNESCO’s list of intangible cultural heritage, the name of traditional French Gastronomy is inscribed.
Besides, there are many beautiful destinations in France where you can make beautiful and memorable moments with your loved ones. One of the most famous lovers' destinations in France is the Eiffel tower and every year many new proposals are witnessed on its land. Also, there are various historic monuments present in France which will fill your vacation days with lots of history, knowledge, and interest. So, let us look at some of such top rated tourist spots in France, where you can spend a worthy vacation with your friends, family, and partner.
There’s a good reason why France is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. With its stunning architecture, beautiful countryside, and delicious food, it has something for everyone. While Paris may be the most famous city in France, there are many other unique places to visit. There are many places to visit in France. The food is delicious, and there are many different buildings. It can be hard to pick which one you want to visit first, but visiting France is essential at least once in your life because of the vast history. There are also many things to do, like eating a croissant at a timeless Parisian café or visiting the Louvre museum, which has a TON of famous paintings. Let’s get into visiting France as we cover the beautiful villages, the charm of Northern France, the laid-back vibes of Southern France, the rolling vineyards throughout the country, the food, fashion, and culture, and of course, that iconic capital city of Paris. 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. 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- Place Vendome
Originally called the Place Louis le Grand, the facades of the residences here were built between 1686 and 1701. Its original purpose was to house the Royal academics, the Royal library, the mint as well as a hotel for the foreign envoys. But financial issues made that certainty a dream and it was sold to new wealthy owners who built beautiful mansions complete with gardens and courtyards. It was in the Ritz Hotel itself where Ernest Hemingway resided once.
#2- Place de Vosges
In the beautiful Marais district, lies the Place de Vosges. It is Paris’s oldest public square and is laid out in a very uniform style. This square was the original model for other squares like Place de la Concorde and Place Vendôme. In days of old, it was the site for weddings, festive occasions and even for duels. Built between 1605 and 1612, the Place des Vosges was actually called Place Royale because it was filled up with aristocratic residences. The square has a harmonical symmetrical form and is lined with red houses full of beautiful stone detailing and pitched slate roofs.
#3- Quartier Montmartre
What was once a quaint medieval village, is now a modern avant-garde venue which retains its old charm. The Bohemian spirit of the Montmartre can still be seen in its cobblestone streets and the charming squares, especially around the Carré Roland Dorgelès and Place du Tertre. Once the home of artists like Edgar Degas and Toulouse Lautrec during the Belle Epoque it now represents the spirit of a new age France.
Looking like a sensational ornamental decoration and sitting right at the highest mark in Paris; the Basilique Sacré-Coeur has an alabaster facade which is a blend of Byzantine and Romanesque styles. Inside is a mosaic of Christ with a flaming heart which gives this venue its emotional purity. The Place is a vision to behold when it is illuminated with candles as then it acts as a contrast to the somber and dark ambiance. Visitors here can spend their time on the terrace to see some splendid views of Paris. There’s even a tower for getting some higher perspectives.
#5- Place de la Concorde
Constructed between 1755 and 1775, this octagonal square was once the throbbing heart of Paris in the 18th century. It also witnessed too many key historical moments which includes the execution of King Louis XVI. From here, visitors can see scenic views of the route going towards the Arc de Triomphe and the Défense; they can also see the sensational path which heads to the Louvre along with the Madeleine and Palais Bourbon. At the very center of it all is a curious Egyptian Obelisk which was a gift from the Viceroy of Egypt to Charles X.
#6- The Bibliotèchque-Musée de l’Opera
No talks about opera can be complete without visiting the Bibliotèchque-Musée de l’Opera, whose name means the Library- Museum of the Opera House. The said library and museum carry three centuries of carefully documented archives which pertain to the art of the opera. The venue hosts thematic exhibits like a presentation of Ballets Suédois which is an avant-garde dance.
#7- Palais Garnier Opera House
Music breathes in France and the biggest proponent of it is this venue. The Palais Garnier Opera is a notable Neo-Baroque theatre and was constructed by Charles Garnier. The venue features sculptures of the muses- Poetry, Idyll, Music, Song, Recitation, Drama and Dance. The loggia here depicts busts of renowned composers like Meyerbeer, Halévy, Beethoven, Spontini, Mozart and more. The floor plan of Garnier is a whopping 11,000 square meters and the seating holds 2,200 people.
#8- Avenue des Champs-Élysées
What is now a monumental Boulevard, was a desolate marshland till the 16th century. The Champs-Élysée is divided into two sections and there is the Rond-Point des Champs-Elysées at its intersection. The lower part of this venue borders the Place du Concorde, Petit Palais fine arts museum and the Jardin des Champs-Élysées. The upper part which extends out to the Arc de Triomphe is filled with restaurants, cafes, hotels shops, theatres, and cinemas. Check out the designer boutiques like Tiffany and Co, Louis-Vuitton and Cartier. There are also top restaurants here like the brasserie du luxe restaurant.
#9- Jardin des Tuileries
Located just beside the Louvre, is one of the loveliest and beautiful parks in Paris. It was designed by French architect André Le Nôtre who also designed the park over at Versailles. He constructed the Tuileries Gardens in a very formal and classic French style. There’s also a quaint cafe restaurant there with outdoor seating.
#10- Louvre Museum
Once a residence of France’s Kings, Lourve currently is a beautiful museum dedicated to the fine arts. You will enter the venue through the courtyard of the former palace. The glass pyramid there was designed in 1917 by Ieoh Ming Pei. Visitors can feast their eyes on more than 30,000 works of fine arts which range from the antiquities to the medieval one along with European paintings dating from the 15th to the 19th centuries. It is honestly, impossible to see it all in just one visit. So it is advisable to just focus on one of the galleries like Italian Renaissance, classical sculpture, French paintings of the 17th century and more. Sign up for a three-hour walking tour to skip the lines and gain easy access to the arts.
#11- Rocamadour: A Medieval Pilgrimage Destination
Situated on a sheer cliff in the Dordogne region, Rocamadour is a site which looks like it is trying to ascend to heaven. An important Christian pilgrimage site in the 11th century, only third to Jerusalem and Rome. It was an important stop on the way of Saint James route to Santiago de la Compostela, which is situated in Spain. The village has seven sanctuaries which dare back to the medieval era. The most famous of them all is the Chapelle Notre-Dame that has the figure of the ‘Black Virgin’, carved out of walnut wood, and is said to make miracles.
#12- Lascaux Cave Paintings
The Dordogne region of France has incredible prehistoric sites which are just perfect attractions for history buffs and historians to explore the pages of their history textbooks in person. A part of the UNESCO world heritage site, this place contains beautiful prehistoric paintings which are some of the greatest examples of Paleolithic art in the world. Although the cave has been closed to visitors to prevent damage, there is an exact replica of the cave which can be viewed at the near Lascaux II site. Apart from this, you can also visit the Grotte de Rouffignac, which is situated in the Vézère Valley and is full of paintings of cows, horses, deer, bison, goats and the most noteworthy of all- Mammoths. There’s also the Grotte du Mas d’Azil and Grotte De Niaux which has rock paintings that date from 14,000 to 10,000 BC.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
What makes Strasbourg a must-visit place in France for visitors is its century old history and its mention in the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. It consists of a historic center which showcases the monuments, sculptures, living standards, cultures, etc from the historic times. To name some of its key attractions that will take you back to old times are its ancient churches, medieval cobblestone lanes, pastel-painted half-timbered houses, and many more.
Besides, in Strasbourg the Gothic Cathedral is considered as a center of attraction in the city. When in Strasbourg, it is a must-go place for any visiter. Other attractions here include Maison Kammerzell, Eglise de Saint-Thomas, Palais Rohan Strasbourg, and many more. So, with its rich historic presence and beautiful historic center, Strasbourg promises to make your vacation an interesting and memorable one. 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.
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.
Arles is an ancient city, engraved in the list of World Heritage Sites of UNESCO. The city consists of beautiful landscape, city buildings, and rich and historically developed lifestyle. Alongwith beautiful cityscapes, you can also find amazing restaurants, shopping areas, and visiting spots. Some of the key attractions to visit in Arles are Arles Amphitheatre, Alyscamps Church of St. Trophime, and Fondation Vincent van Gogh. Vincent van Gogh was an eminent painter from old times, whose paintings are a must-see delight in Arles. These paintings are even considered as an inspiration for new budding painters from the present and also, coming from times after Gogh. 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.
#24- French Riviera
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.
#25- Mont Saint-Michel
The beautiful island commune of Mont Saint-Michel is one of the most popular tourist places in France. 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.
Bordeaux in France at its charming best during a stunning sunset. 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.
The first destination to visit in France is no-doubtedly Paris. It is among the most visited tourist destinations in the world. What makes Paris so popular with visitors from around the world are its beautiful tourist attractions like the famous Eiffel Tower, Disneyland Paris, Notre Dame Cathedral, and many more. But this is not all, Paris is not a famous tourist spot just because of its landmarks, but also because of its always alive nature. The culture, the art galleries, the fashion, the museums, and the cuisine, all these together makes this place a must visit location in France. Even people from around the world come to the Eiffel tower to engrave their love there. So, there are so many things that you can enjoy and experience here in Paris.
Eiffel Tower in Paris is the most famous tourist place in France. 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.
Camargue is a protected landscape situated beneath the city of Arles. It is listed under UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve, which is home to wild horse and golden sands. Also, in Camargue, you can find a rich reserve of bird species, over 300 bird species find their home here. Due to its fauna rich character, people from around the world come here to witness this natural beauty. Besides, this land also sets itself apart from the other parts of France by its famous pink flamingos, old townships, coastal enclaves, and its popularity in bird watching. People also engage themselves with riverboating, kayaks, horse riding, and hiking when they visit this part of the beautiful France.
France is a land full of history and historic beauty. Most of the famous places present in France are inscribed in the list of World Heritage Sites of UNESCO. There are many places that attract tourists from different corners of the world to France. Some of the famous destinations are described above. But that are not all, there are various other locations in France that make it a beautiful tourist attraction. All these make France a must-visit tourist destination in the world. And everyone should visit the land, at least once in a lifetime. So, what are you waiting for? Plan your next trip to France and witness the belongings from the rich world history. For assistance you can contact Nitsa Holidays, they will beautifully plan your trip and make your vacations enjoyable.
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