France is one of the richest European countries in landscapes and panoramas . From north to south it is possible to discover a series of regions, each with great charm and unique characteristics. Historical monuments and imposing churches meet the beauty of unspoiled nature, and it is easy to feel like climbing a mountain, reaching the Alps, or taking a dip in the splendid waters of the Mediterranean Sea.
France is not just Paris, with its indisputable eternal beauties, and much more: it is culture, history, gastronomy, art and nature, all together in a single territory that deserves to be explored in every hidden corner. Here is a small guide on what to see in France: cities, regions, attractions and recommended itineraries.

The main cities of France

  1. Paris : unmissable capital, where museums and eternal monuments are located, from the Notre-Dame cathedral to the Louvre, passing from the Champs-Elysees to the splendid Montmartre district – more info
  2. Lyon : about 2h by train from Paris, this is the city where the Old Town is located, the oldest Renaissance district in Europe – more info
  3. Nice : here is the third most important French airport after those of the capital. Located on the French Riviera, the city is the perfect destination for relaxing on the beach – more info
  4. Bordeaux : known for its winemaking tradition, the city is embellished with splendid buildings in Gothic and Baroque style – more info
  5. Strasbourg : on the border with Germany, and the city seat of important buildings of the European Union, as well as known for its many canals – more info
  6. Avignon : elegant medieval village that was the papal seat in 1300. The city bridge has been included among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites –
  7. Marseille : France’s most eccentric city, home to the nation’s most important port – more info
  8. Arles : a small city rich in history and culture, as well as landscapes that inspired the masterpieces of the painter Van Gogh
  9. Biarritz : overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and the capital of surfing and cliffs smoothed by the natural action of the sea and wind
  10. La Havre : the center of the city has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of the few Europeans built in the post-war period, extending over 133 hectares

10 things to see: the most important places of interest in France
Paris, the Eiffel Tower and its Museums

Cathedral of Our Lady of Strasbourg

Etrat cliffs in Normandy

Gorges du Verdon, the canyon of Provence

The Gulf of Marseille and the Château d’If

Uss Castle and Loire Castles


  1. Paris, the Eiffel Tower and its Museums : a trip to the capital must necessarily include a photograph from the top of the Eiffel Tower and at least a visit to the Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay
  2. Disneyland Paris : 32 km from Paris, this is the most famous amusement park complex in the world
  3. Palace of Versailles : not far from Paris, it is the nation’s most majestic 17th century royal complex, commissioned by the Sun King, Louis XIV – more info
  4. Nice and the Côte d’Azur : beaches where you can find the sun almost all year round, with fine sand and crystal clear sea, and charming villages and towns such as Eze, Menton, Antibes, Cannes and Saint Tropez.
  5. Cathedral of Our Lady of Strasbourg : one of the most important and impressive churches in France, 142 meters high and built in Romanesque and Gothic styles
  6. Turckheim village : one of the most characteristic places in Alsace, with half-timbered houses and colored in pastel shades, a fairytale and almost surreal place
  7. Cliffs of Etrat in Normandy : blue roofs that sprout on the white chalk cliffs, in Etrat the spectacle can be enjoyed along the paths overlooking the sea
  8. Gorges du Verdon, the canyon of Provence : spectacular gorges created naturally by the Verdon river, surrounded by lush vegetation
  9. The Gulf of Marseille and the Castle of If : the Castle made famous by Dumas’ novel, The Count of Monte Cristo
  10. Usse Castle and Loire Castles : Renaissance and Gothic style castle located on the banks of the Ildre River, in the Loire region. This is the place where the tale of Sleeping Beauty was written and set. In the same region you can admire many other ancient and suggestive castles.

The main itineraries in France
Art, culture, nature, gastronomy, excursions: in France you can really do and see everything, you just need to arm yourself with lots of curiosity and desire for small and big adventures. No matter how you travel, whether alone, as a couple, as a family or in a group, you can create the perfect itinerary for you !
Here are the main itineraries in France:

  1. A weekend in Paris : for a weekend in France, the perfect destination is Paris, the capital of art. From the Lovure museum to the Orsay museum, from the Grand Palais to the Orangerie museum, maybe one day you can also spend it at Disneyland Paris – more info
  2. Journey into the gastronomy and winemaking tradition of Aquitaine : after eating and drinking in the best restaurants in Bordeaux, it becomes impossible to resist an exploration of the medieval villages that cover the region, such as La Rochelle, La Ile de Re and Saint-Emilion. For a trip of this type, you must dedicate at least 5 days to it
  3. Lavender route : a week to spend between late May and July in the landscapes of the lavender fields in Provence, visiting Aix en Provence, Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, Gordes the village of Roussillon and Valensole.
  4. The wine route of Alsace : during the Route des Vins you stop in 6 days in small villages with half-timbered houses and a thousand colors, tasting the fine local wines. It starts from Strasbourg, proceeds to Molsheim, Rosheim, Ribeauville, Riquewihr and ends in Colmar
  5. Brittany and Normandy : a journey of at least 10 days to discover the coastal landscapes of these two regions, between beaches and large cliffs, by car. Stop in Giverny, Rouen, the Alabaster Coast, the port of Treville, Caen, the D-Day landing beach, Mont Saint Michael

The main tourist
regions There are 13 regions of metropolitan France, each of which is divided into districts. Each region has some morphological and cultural characteristics. The most touristic and visited regions are certainly Ile-de-France, Normandy, Alsace, Burgundy, Brittany, New Aquitaine and the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region.
Let’s find out together in detail:

1 – Ile-de-France
This is the northern regionwhich includes the French capital, Paris, and other places of interest such as Boulogne-Billancourt, Saint-Denis, Argenteuil and Versailles. Obviously in Paris there are the most famous monuments and buildings, such as the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre museum, the Notre Dame cathedral, the Arc de Triomphe, but in the rest of the region there are small and large jewels to discover.
One of them is the Palace of Versailles, located on the outskirts of Paris, the sumptuous royal residence dating back to the reign of Louis XIV, the Sun King.
Other less known but equally fascinating castles are the castle of Vincennes, one of the highest fortresses. of Europe(up to 50 m), built in 1377, the castle of Fontainebleu, 60 km south-east of the capital, in Renaissance and classical style, also used as a royal residence.
For those who want to travel in time, they can dedicate themselves to visiting the splendid medieval village of Provins, located in the department of Seine-et-Marne. Finally, in the city of Meaux there are very interesting buildings, such as the museum dedicated to the Great War and the great cathedral of Sainte-Etienne, in Gothic style.

  • Citta principali : Parigi (capital), Boulogne-Billancourt, Jouy-en-Josas, Meaux
  • Top Attractions : Eiffel Tower in Paris, Louvre Museum in Paris, Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, Orsay Museum in Paris, Versailles Palace, Vincennes Castle, Fontainebleu Castle, Provins Walls, Sainte-Etienne Cathedral Meaux
  • Best time : between late spring and summer, then from May to September

2 – Normandy
Normandy is the French region located to the north-west and overlooking the English Channel.
From a tourist point of view, the region is divided into Upper and Lower Normandy . In the first there are the cities of Rouen and Le Havre crossed by the Seine and with a medieval Gothic aspect, in Lower Normandy, however, we find the cities of Bayeux and Honfleur, and represents the area known for the Allied landings in 1944.
Rouen, from 2002, has the mark of “city of art and history”, and can boast a large number of houses and churches in the Gothic style, such as the Cathedral of Notre-Dame and the Gros-Horloge, the building that houses one of the clocks oldest astronomical in Europe.
A suggestive panorama awaits you on the cliffs of Etrat, the town of 1500 inhabitants located in the Seine-Maritime district, overlooking the English Channel and which has become a very popular seaside resort. Equally pretty are the cities of Honfleur, with its wonderful harbor, and Giverny, where you can visit Monet’s house, as well as get lost in the symbolic places of French impressionism. Finally, very touching is the visit to the places marked by the landing in ’44, and the case of Arromanches beach.

  • Main cities: Roune (capital), Le Havre, Bayeux, Honfleur, Caen
  • Highlights : Rouen Cathedral of Notre-Dame, Rouen Church of Saint Quen, Rouen Gros-Horloge, Cliffs of Etrat, Port of Honfleur, Monet’s House and Gardens in Giverny, D-Day Landing Sites, Islet of Mont Saint-Michel
  • Best time: during the summer, because it is the period when there are many sunny days

3 – Pays de la Loire
The Pays de la Loire Region is located in the northern part of France and borders Brittany to the north west, Normandy to the north and the western coasts are bordered by the Atlantic Ocean. Furthermore, it develops in the Loria Valley, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site .
Its capital is the city of Nantes, located right on the banks of the river. Once a primarily industrial city, today it has transformed factories and warehouses into cultural centers that host exhibitions and events. Absolutely to see the beautiful Cathedral, the Chateau des Duc de Bretagne and Les Machines de l’Ile de Nantes. In addition, there are many art museums, each one more beautiful than the other!
But this region is not just Nantes. We advise you to rent a car and discover the Loria Valley and its wonderful castles ! There are so many, among the most beautiful we can mention the Amboise Castle, the Chenonceau Castle, the Chambord Castle and the Blois Castle.

  • Main city : Nantes (capoluogo), Angers, Laval, Le Mans, La Roche-sur-Yon
  • Top Attractions : Loire Valley, Chateau des Duc de Bretagne in Nantes, Les Machines de l’Ile de Nantes in Nantes, Amboise Castle, Chenonceau Castle, Chambord Castle, Blois Castle, Le Mans, Fortified City of Guerande, Fontevraud Abbey
  • Best time: late spring, when the gardens of the castles bloom and give their best; generally, the whole period from May to October

4 – Alsace
One of the smallest and most disputed regions, Alsace officially became part of France only in 1919, at the end of the First World War. Its position, in fact, makes it a border region , attached to Switzerland and Germany, from which it has been strongly influenced, culturally and beyond.
The capital Strasbourg is geographically the heart of Europe , it is no coincidence that the European Parliament is located here. The city is full of ancient charm and modern innovation, one of the most important buildings is the Cathedral, with its 142 meter high spire and built in the Gothic style.
Colmar, the city crossed by the canals on the Lauch river, which reflects the beautiful colored houses with sloping roofs and the gothic churches, must be visited. Its appearance is fabulous and almost surreal. An atmosphere, however, influenced by the German style, is breathed in Mulhouse, the second most important city in the region where, among the various places of interest, there is also the Automobile Museum, with hundreds of models of cars from era.

  • Main cities : Strasbourg (capital), Colmar, Mulhouse, Eguisheim
  • Highlights : Cathedral of Our Lady of Strasbourg, The Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Strasbourg, Colmar, the village of Riquewihr, La Maison des Tetes and the Maison Pfister in Colmar, the village of Turckheim
  • Best period : between May and September

5 – Burgundy
The Burgundy region is located in the center of France and is known throughout the world for its gastronomic specialties and its winemaking tradition.
Not only that, in this region there are places steeped in history and art, just think of Dijon, the capital, where in the Place de la Liberation stands the Castle of the city, which was once the ducal residence, while today it houses the Museum of Fine Arts. .
But the Dukes of Burgundy also committed to leave a symbol of their greatness: the Philippe-le-Bon Tower is 46 meters high, and the top can be reached by climbing 360 steps, from where you can admire the panorama overlooking the elegant Dijon.
Instead, to immerse yourself in the wine culture of the area, you can dedicate yourself to one of the itineraries of the wine routes, the Route de Vins, a trip through the vineyards and the French countryside.
An excursion to get to know the uncontaminated and luxuriant nature of the Borgona and a visit to the Morvan Regional Natural Park, an area that covers 281,400 hectares. Lakes, streams, paths and forests: here tourists can rediscover an exclusive relationship with the environment, also visiting cities and castles surrounded by greenery.

  • Main cities : Dijon (capital), Autun, Auxerre, Macon
  • Highlights : Dijon Castle and Museum of Fine Arts, Dijon Philippe-le-Bon Tower, Route de Vins, Morvan Natural Park, Hotel-Dieu, Fontenay Abbey, Guedelon Castle
  • Best time : the climate is continental, so winters are harsh. Spring and summer are the best seasons

6 – Brittany
Located in the westernmost part of France , Brittany is the region famous for its rugged coastline close to the Atlantic Ocean.
The name is due to the Breton population, who settled in these areas by moving from Great Britain. The capital, Rennes, is an ancient city with a Celtic charm , as well as very active and lively given the high number of university students.
In the city there are numerous interesting buildings, such as the Town Hall, built in the 16th century, the Opera, the elegant and majestic Cathedrale Saint-Pierre, Champs Libres, the huge building that houses the Museum of Brittany and the Library, from which at the top it is possible to have a magnificent view of the entire city.
On the Breton coast there are truly fascinating places , where the natural movement of the sea and the activity of the winds have harmoniously shaped rocks and rocks. This is the case of the Pink Granite Coast, which is filled with tourists in the summer, or Cote des Ajoncs, the Quiberon peninsula. And for lovers of greenery there is also the Broceliande forest, the one from which the story of King Arthur and the Knights of the round table was born.

  • Main cities : Rennes (capital), Brest, Quimper, Saint-Malo.
  • Main attractions : Rennes Town Hall, Rennes Opera House, Rennes Saint-Pierre Cathedral, Rennes Champs Libres, Tregor Pink Granite Coast, Cote des Ajoncs, Broceliande Forest, Douarnenez Harbor.
  • Best time : summer, therefore, from June to August, as during the year the influence of the Atlantic Ocean causes numerous precipitations.

7 – New Aquitaine
The extensive region of New Aquitaine is located in the south-western part of France .
Its origin is very ancient, in fact the name suggests that it was founded by the Romans, and its capital is Bordeaux, which rises on the Goronna river and is known throughout the world for its winemaking tradition.
In Bordeaux there are buildings of remarkable beauty, such as the Cathedral of Saint Andrew and the church of Saint Michel, 114 meters high and where the chapel of Saint James is located, the destination of the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. In the city there is also the Museum of Fine Arts, one of the most important in France.
Very popular with tourists from all over the world are the coasts of Aquitaine, which extend for 250 km, consisting of fine sand and numerous charming looking ports. For surf lovers there are the resorts of Biarritz and Biscarrosse. Other places of interest can be found in Saint-Emilion, where there are a monolithic and a Romanesque church, and in Montignac, where it is possible to visit a reproduction of the Lascaux cave, closed to the public for restoration work, and containing important cave paintings.

  • Main cities : Bordeaux (capital), Agen, Bayonne, Biarritz
  • Top Attractions : Cathedral of Saint Andrew of Bordeaux, Church of Saint Michel of Bordeaux, Museum of Fine Arts of Bordeaux, Cave of Lascaux, Pilate’s Dune, Palace of Gallienus, Saint-Emilion
  • Best period : from May to October

8 – Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur
The Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region is located in the southern part of France . In the mountainous area, given the altitude, the climate is decidedly cold, while along the coast bathed by the Mediterranean Sea the climate is temperate. Considering the natural variety of the territory, in this region it is possible to choose from a wide range of activities : winter spots in the mountains, walks and excursions along the Calanques of Cassis or on La Meije, bathing and diving on the beach on the French Riviera, a beautiful picnic near Lake Oronaye.
Sport and relaxation, therefore, but not only. Provence offers beautiful natural landscapes, with infinite fields of lavender and flowery meadows, it is no coincidence that it is the most artistic place in France: in Arles Van Gogh stayed for more than a year, during which he painted his most famous works. And then there is to discover Marseille, the very lively capital of the region, with its always chaotic Old Port and the nerve center of the city.
In Avignon, moreover, it is possible to visit a building that has marked the history: the Palace of the Popes, the majestic papal residence that has forged all the aesthetics of the city.

  • Main cities : Marseille (capital), Arles, Avignon, Cannes, Nice
  • Highlights : Old Port of Marseille, Cote d’Azur, Avignon’s Palace of the Popes, Luberon National Natural Park, Calanques de Cassis, Ancient Theater of Orange, Lavender Fields in Sainte-Croix and Manosque, Gorges du Verdon
  • Best period : from May to October, between June and July it is possible to admire the lavender fields in the Valensole area

What to do in France: activities, excursions and tours

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