France is a country that has long been regarded as one of the most beautiful, diverse and romantic destinations in the world. From stunning landscapes, charming cities, historical sites, fine wines and foods, to world-class museums and art galleries, France has it all. Here are the top 10 must-see attractions in France you shouldn’t miss.
1. Eiffel Tower
If you’re a first-time visitor to Paris, the Eiffel Tower is a must-visit monument. Towering 324 meters tall, the tower offers breathtaking views of the city from different heights. It’s a symbol of Paris and France, and over six million people visit it each year. The Eiffel Tower was built by Gustave Eiffel in 1889 for the World Expo and was initially meant to be a temporary structure.
Today, it’s a permanent fixture and it’s illuminated with thousands of lights at night, making it even more magical. You can take an elevator or climb the stairs to the top. The view from the top is truly awe-inspiring and memorable.
2. Louvre Museum
The Louvre Museum is the world’s most visited museum and one of the most famous landmarks in Paris. The museum is home to over 38,000 works of art, including the iconic Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci, the Winged Victory of Samothrace, and the Venus de Milo.
It’s impossible to see everything in one visit, so pick your favorites and make sure you allow plenty of time to explore. The Louvre is so large that it can be overwhelming, but it’s worth it to see some of the world’s most famous works of art.
3. Palace of Versailles
The Palace of Versailles, known as the Château de Versailles in France, is a former royal palace located about 20 km southwest of Paris in the town of Versailles. The palace was the residence of the kings of France from Louis XIV until the French Revolution.
The palace is one of the most visited attractions in France due to its historical significance and stunning architecture. The palace has over 2,300 rooms, including the famous Hall of Mirrors, which is one of the most magnificent hallways in the world.
4. Mont Saint-Michel
Mont Saint-Michel is a small island located off the coast of Normandy in northwest France. It is one of the most iconic and unique landmarks in France. The island is dominated by the Abbey of Mont Saint-Michel, a Gothic-style church that was built between the 11th and 16th centuries.
The island is accessible by foot or bus, and visitors can explore the narrow streets within the fortified walls. The view from the top of the abbey is breathtaking and includes views of the sea and the surrounding countryside.
5. Notre-Dame Cathedral
Notre-Dame Cathedral is a famous landmark in Paris and has been a symbol of the city for over 850 years. The cathedral is located on the Île de la Cité in the heart of Paris and is a fine example of French Gothic architecture.
The cathedral suffered a devastating fire in April 2019, but restoration work is ongoing, and visitors can still admire its beauty from outside.
6. Wine Regions
France is a wine-lover’s paradise with some of the world’s best vineyards, which produce exceptional wines that are sold throughout the world. The popular wine regions in France include Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, and the Rhône Valley.
Wine tours are a must-do activity for visitors to France. Tasting sessions, vineyard visits, and scenic drives through the countryside are all great ways to experience the wine regions.
7. Dune du Pilat
The Dune du Pilat is one of the most unusual and impressive natural sites in France. It’s the tallest sand dune in Europe and is located in Arcachon Bay, south of Bordeaux.
Visitors can climb to the top of the dune and enjoy stunning views of the surrounding landscape, including the Atlantic Ocean, pine forests, and oyster farms. The sunset view from the top of the dune is a spectacular sight.
8. Alsace Villages
Alsace is a region in eastern France with charming, small villages that are worth a visit. The region was heavily influenced by German culture due to its location, and its traditional residences are half-timbered, colorful, and beautifully decorated.
The most famous villages in the region include Colmar, Riquewihr, and Eguisheim. The villages have narrow streets, medieval architecture, and vibrant flower-filled balconies that are picture-perfect.
9. Provence Lavender Fields
Provence in the south of France is famous for its lavender fields, which bloom between June and August each year. The lavender is used to produce perfumes, soaps, and essential oils.
The lavender fields are an excellent place to take a relaxing stroll and admire the beautiful scenery. Some of the best places to visit in Provence include the Abbey of Senanque, Valensole Plateau, and the village of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence.
10. French Riviera
The French Riviera, also known as the Côte d’Azur, is located on the Mediterranean coast of France. It’s a glamorous and popular destination with beautiful beaches, luxury resorts, yachts, and shops.
Visitors can explore the charming towns of Nice, Cannes, and St. Tropez, or take a leisurely walk along the Promenade des Anglais in Nice. A drive along the coast is a perfect way to take in the beautiful scenery of the French Riviera.
In conclusion, France is a country with so much to offer. Whether you’re interested in historical sites, beautiful landscapes, world-class museums, or just indulging in the French way of life, these top 10 must-see attractions in France have something for everyone. Plan your visit carefully, and you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience.