When it comes to romantic appeal and rich culture with a flavored personality, France may very well occupy the top spot. The French has established themselves as a quality global brand with huge impacts in fashion, food, arts, culture and architecture. Among all countries, France is the top destination for tourists receiving about 200 million visitors annually.
Known as the city of love, the French Capital is the number one tourist destination of the world. This beautiful city boasts of highly rated restaurants with local cuisine and global leading industries in fashion, entertainment, business, art and culture. Visit some on the world’s most renowned landmarks; the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe and Notre Dame Cathedral along with the Louvre Museum and Musee d’Orsay. Take the time to enjoy the art galleries, clothing stores, souvenirs shops and all that Paris has to offer.
Top spots: Disneyland Paris, Tuileres Garden, Jardin du Luxembourg, Le Marias, Champ de Mars
As the playground for the rich and famous, the French Riviera (Cote d’ Azur) equally attracts a large number of tourists as other top French destinations. Laying on the southern-eastern coast of France, bordered by the Mediterranean Sea, the Riviera enjoys a warm to mild climate, perfect for all year round vacations. Also known for the popular beach resorts like the Cannes and Saint-Tropez, the Riviera is also home to the world renowned Cannes Film Festival. Remember to enjoy the beautiful white sand beaches, luxurious hotels, fantastic restaurants, bars and rich culture the French Riviera has to offer.
Top Spots: Porquerolles, Calnaques National Park, Lerins Islands, Pampelonne, Monte Carlo
photo by: hansiline
Bordering Spain in southern France, Languedoc-Roussillon boasts of beautiful beaches touched by the Mediterranean Sea, followed by lush green vineyards and rich architecture. This far region in France produces almost one third of all French wine and provides tourists the opportunity to witness the birth process of such delicate blends of wine. Once a strategic border during the Roman Era, many statues and Roman architecture still dominate Languedoc-Roussillon from the hilltop Cathar castles to Roman aqueducts. With so much to offer, Languedoc-Roussillon can be considered its own country, you will definitely want to spend a great deal of time here.
Top Spots: Camargue, Montpellier, Nimes, Carcassonne
photo by: cuong dv
On the border of France and Germany rests the capital city of the Alsace region, Strasbourg. Unlike other hot spots that appeal to beauty and wonder, Strasbourg seats the European Parliament as well as the European Court of Human Rights, the Council of Europe and many other major European institutions. However, the city is not all politics, with a 1500 year old history and gorgeous waterways dancing between houses and streets, it has a refined beauty of its own. As the largest city in the Grand Est region of France, Strasbourg offers many similar distractions like shopping, fine restaurants and a wide variety of bars and clubs. Definitely take time to explore the art and culture housed in museums and galleries and enjoy the architecture and designs that reflects European ingenuity.
Top spots: Strasbourg Cathedral, Strasbourg Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Notre-Dame Museum, Palace of Europe, Saint-Pierre-le-Jeune Protestant Church
photo by: tastar
Known as the Cradle of the French and the Garden of France, Loire valley is a Unesco World Heritage Site which spans over 300 miles along the Loire River in central France. Symbolic for beauty, the Garden of France is known for its breath taking scenery, lush vineyards, intricate chateaux, and historic villages. The well known wineries situated here generously offer tours and wine tastings to tourists and visitors from all around the globe. Loire Valley represents a thousand years of brilliant architectural design in both Renaissance and pre-Contemporary, artistic and agrarian creativity which is reflected by the numerous castles and fortresses dispersed along the river. With a rich history of kings, queens, dukes and noblemen to vast acres of vineyards, Loire Valley should be a top priority on your ‘to-do’ list while in France.
Top spots: Château de Chambord, Château de Chenonceau, Bourges, Azay-le-Rideau, Orléans
photo by: PhildeMarseille
The second largest city in France, Marseille, has a history dating back to 600BC when it was founded as a greek colony by Phocaea settlers. Marseille is the largest city on the beautiful French, Mediterranean coastline with large ports holding ships, sailboats, yachts and a spectacular oceanic view. Similar to Strasbourg, this city is a fully developed metro pole with thriving industries and high class universities. Marseille has fully utilized the availability of the Mediterranean Sea by providing waterfront cafes, shopping centers, clubs and bars. The restaurants are famous for a splendid array of sea food and French cuisine which exceeds the expectations of tourists and visitors. You definitely want to spend a couple days travelling along the coastline shopping and enjoying fine French culture at its best.
Top spots: Ratonneau, Palais Longchamp, Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations, Old Port of Marseille
photo by: gayulo
In southern France, in the middle of Provence, hides a number of towns and valleys within three mountain ranges, Lesser Luberon, the Greater Luberon, Eastern Luberon. Provence is usually a hot spot for English and American visitors. With beautiful rock formations to lush plains of agriculture and bontanics, Luberon can feel like a hidden sanctuary, away from the modern world. A major attraction is the village of Oppede le Vieux; one that keeps its Middle Ages ambiance and provides great souvenirs in the form of pottery for tourists. The rich colors of southern France shines in the form of rich lavendar fields, evergreen forests and brightly coloured houses. You will definitely want to spend some time in Luberon, resting, relaxing and exploring historic art and culture.
Top spots: Aix-en-Provence, Ancient Ruins and Provençal Traditions in Arles, Avignon, Les Baux-de-Provence
photo by: lecreusois
Located at the foot of the Alps, on the French Riviera, lies the second-largest French city on the Mediterranean coast after Marseille. As mentioned before, the French Riviera embodies rich french culture, provides a dynamic nightlife and supports a wide variety of distractions for tourists all around the world. Like many French cities and towns resting on the coastline of the Mediterranean, a beautiful panoramic view of the blue sea transcends to cloudless skies, hence, visitors are provided the opportunity to sail and engage in all ocean activities available. While in France, definitely make time to visit Nice and enjoy all the city has to offer.
Top Spots: Old Town, Castle Hill, Musee National Marc Chagall, Promenade des Anglais