8 Best places to Visit in France
Planning a Europe Tour and France is on your list ?
It seems like a small country but there is an abundance of extraordinary places to go. As a French person, I have been almost everywhere and I can tell you exactly what you must visit. Whether you prefer fun, great food, calm, or adventure, France is so diverse that it can give you whatever you want encompassing medieval cities, alpine villages and Mediterranean beaches.
Here are, from my point of view, the best places to visit.
Of course you have to go to Paris. I know it's a bit overrated because it is quite far from the romantic picture we had in our mind but why wouldn't you go ?
The capital is a place of history with incredible monuments to visit such as the Cathedral Notre-Dame, the Basilica of Sacred-Heart, Versailles Castle and the obvious Eiffel Tower. The city is filled with an unique archithectural beauty that'll leave you speechless. Don't focus too much on how expensive you coffee is or how arrogant parisians can be, you're in Paris ! You don't need to spend a week there but a few days are enough.
Also, Paris is so Insta-worthy ! For me, the best view you can have of the city is on the top of the Montparnasse Tower. You are garanteed to love it !
2. Disneyland Paris
I mean it's up to you but I would never go for a Europe tour without going to Disneyland. It is the best place to escape the modern world and be a child again without looking weird. Everyone needs a bit of magic in their life !
I've been to Disneyland a few times when I was young and always loved it and I honestly miss it, it's so beautiful !
And not only it is an amazing place to go as a family, group of friends, or a couple, it's also easy to access. From the CDG airport, you can take the bullet train to Marne-la-Valley which is only 10 minutes away, and from the station it is only a 2 minutes walk from the Disneyland entrance. You got this !
You can find all the transfer options from Paris to Disneyland here.
It's probably where I spent most of my summers when I was a child. This part of France is so very unique, and appreciated for its countless charming villages and lavender fields as far as they eye can see. The peacefulness of the area is perfect for your holidays, no matter the season. Winters are cool and dry while summers are nice and hot, guided by the song of the cicadas.
The landscapes are also fabulous. With acres of forests, wild valleys and untamed creeks, outdoor activities are the best way to have a great time there.
Marseille is a must-visit too if you want a city vibe. It hosts stunning monuments such as Notre-Dame de la Garde, a beautiful marina and very nice restaurants.
See a bit more of Marseille in this video !
This little hidden gem is my favourite French village ! Located in the Alsace Region at 70km from Strasbourg and just near the border with Germany, Colmar is a super-cute-Disney looking town on the Alsace Route which local vineyards are specialized in Riesling and Gewürztraminer wines.
This is the place where I fell in love with wine. That's one of the big reasons why Colmar is my beloved city.
Colmar is also magical during Christmas, there is a warm and joyful atmosphere in the streets and people are walking around drinking hot wine and enjoying the christmas markets.
The whole year, the city is living in a peaceful and romantic ambience, especially in the most charming district called the Little Venice (see the photo) where you can enjoy a nice dinner by the water watching the gondolas floating on the river.
Gosh, I miss this place so much !!
If you're not from France you're probably like "Erm. What the hell is that ?"
It is actually one of the best theme parks I've been to.
Located just right next to Poitiers in South-West of France, the Futuroscope is a unique leisure park experience, based upon multimedia and audio-visual techniques, with 3D and 4D cinemas, along with attractions and shows such as The Time Machine, The Extraordinary Journey, Dance with Robots, and iMagic.
It is probably the most underrated place of this list and definitely a must-go if you visit France as a family, only because this park is entertaining for everyone, but also cultural and educative.
Find more infos about the Futuroscope park here.
6. The French Riviera
Mostly known as Côte d'Azur, the French Riviera is the beautiful Mediterranean coastline of the South of France and the favourite vacation spot of the majority of tourists. The atmosphere is chilled, festive and the scenery is simply captivating.
Nice, Monaco, Menton and Antibes, are the top cities to visit in the area. Each of them is a delightful maze of narrow streets, colorful and picturesque where it's okay to get lost.
In addition, you must visit the several medieval villages nestled in craggy cliffs high above the sea for the incredible view. Bring your camera and good walking shoes !
Due to its position on the Franco-Italian border, you will experience tasty Italian cuisine (pizzas are cheap and massive in Menton !), and the beaches are more enjoyable off-season when you can avoid the crowd.
There's no such thing as the French Riviera.
7. The Serre-Ponçon Lake
Another hidden gem ! I spent fours summers in a row there. The Serre-Ponçon Lake is the largest artificial lake in Europe. This beautiful blue jewel of water sits beneath the mountains of the Hautes Alpes and the northern edge of the Alpes de Haute Provence.
The waters are blocked by the huge Barrage of Serre-Ponçon, a 123-metre high earth core dam and the lake provides irrigation to 1,500 square kilometres of land.
The northern branch of the lake is about 18 km long while the southern branch is about 8 km long, which is massive !
The best place to view the grandeur of Serre-Ponçon Lake is from the lookout point at the village of Le Sauze-du-Lac, and the area is just magnificient. There are plenty of places around where you can hike for hours and appreciate the beauty of the nature.
8. French Alps
This is the largest mountain chain in Europe and a renowned winter sports destination, but the French Alps are also a great place to visit in summer, offering opportunities for hiking through its natural parks, and around its lakes.
For my experience, it is a great way to be disconnected, a place of escape and relaxation where you can literally breathe an amazing fresh air, and continuously look at the stunning landcapes. During my trip in France, waking up on the morning and seeing the mountains was an endless delight. This kind of view builds you memories forever.
If you want to see more of the French Alps, watch this video !
Excited to prepare your trip now ?
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Have fun !
Eileen - Pretty Little Mantras