France is home to not just a large number of bustling cities and quaint villages, but also to some of the most well-known wine areas in the whole globe. The best locations to visit in France were evaluated by U.S. News based on a range of factors, such as the attractions there, the cost of living, the climate, and the cuisine.
It is quite feasible to have an amazing time on vacation in France, regardless of whether you want a tranquil wine retreat or an action-packed excursion. The following top travel cities of France were determined by reader votes and are presented in order of preference.
Naturally, we prioritize a visit to the electrifying City of Light, widely considered to be among the world's greatest tourist spots. The city of Paris, France, is a popular tourist destination due to its abundance of world-famous attractions, such as the Louvre, and the Eiffel Tower, and gorgeous architecture (such as the glittering Basilica du Sacré-Coeur). The cuisine and shopping in Paris are unparalleled, and there are more museums than anybody could ever see in a single vacation. Keep in mind that the French capital is often flooded with tourists, which might drive up hotel prices. If you're looking to save money on your trip, the winter or early spring are the best times to go.
The Lush, Green, and Delightful Valley of Château
In the middle of France, in the Loire Valley, you'll find the perfect setting for a romantic holiday. Châteaux, B&Bs, farms, and vineyards producing world-renowned sauvignon blanc dot the landscape along the Loire River. The region has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its natural beauty and historic settlements. You shouldn't miss the world-famous Château de Chambord, as well as a few of the valley's more laid-back towns and cities including Orléans, Tours, and Saumur.
Popular tourist destinations include France's second-largest and oldest city. Among the various sights of Marseille are the Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde and the Château d'If, the foreboding prison made famous in Alexandre Dumas' "The Count of Monte Cristo." When the weather is nice, the Calanques is an excellent place to go swimming, boating, and hiking due to their secluded beaches and rocky cliffs. Those in Marseille should definitely check out the Mucem, a museum dedicated to the cultures of the Mediterranean. Its rooftop terrace offers spectacular views of the city.
The French Riviera, where glitzy Nice may be found, is a stunning place. The city's rocky shores, excellent museums, charming shops, and Baroque-style palaces are all attractions for tourists seeking either relaxation or culture. Take a stroll down the Promenade des Anglais, a coastal boulevard, then stop at the Cours Saleya market in the old town for some fresh flowers and local food. Hotel and beach fees may be costly, but a trip to Nice is well worth it. To get the most out of your money, plan a trip during the region's shoulder seasons (middle of March to mid of April or September and October).
Despite its violent past, the northern region of France is attractive and culturally rich. Take in the stunning scenery at the white cliffs of Étretat. The capital of Normandy, Rouen is well worth a trip if only to view the works of art at the Musée des Beaux-Arts and to stroll around the city's quaint half-timbered residences. If you want to know why this city has been named a UNESCO City of Gastronomy, you should eat some of the local food. Alternately, you may view some of the remnants of Normandy's troubled history by visiting the Bayeux Tapestry and the D-Day Landing Beaches.
The rolling hills, great cuisine, and plenty of vineyards have made Burgundy a world-famous wine region. Travelers visiting Burgundy should make time to see the region's many museums, abbeys, and medieval villages. Dijon, the provincial capital and a city steeped in history, is a great home base for trips around the area. You should also try the local cuisine and wine, which is mostly produced from pinot noir and chardonnay grapes and is delicious.
Visitors are drawn to this wine-making hub by the river's allure and the beauty of the area. Bordeaux's over 300,000 acres of vineyards mean that tourists may choose from a broad variety of alternatives if they want to try some of the world's best (typically strong red) wines. Walk over the beautiful stone Pont de Pierre bridge, snap a photo of the instantly recognizable Place de la Bourse, and enjoy the walkways and flora of the Jardin Public in the heart of the city.
Adorable and endearing The charming streets of Aix-en-Provence, a university town in Provence, are known for their tree canopies, quaint cafés, and lively markets. Visitors may enjoy the relaxed pace of life in these picturesque streets to the fullest extent, unlike in many other French cities. Include visits to Cathédrale Saint-Sauveur and Le Grand Marché, two of the city's must-see landmarks. Artist Paul Cézanne was born and raised in Aix-en-Provence, and you can see the place where he made some of his masterpieces by visiting the Atelier de Cezanne, or you may go outside of the city to see the Provencal landscapes that inspired him.
French: St. Germain
Once a quiet fishing village, St. Tropez was transformed into a glamorous party destination when Brigitte Bardot shot the 1956 film "And God Created Woman" there. Although boat hopping and nightlife are certainly highlights, visitors will find that this French Riviera hotspot has much more to offer. After a day at one of the area's famous beaches, tourists may take in the sights of the Vieux Port, see the museums, and finish the day with a slice of the eponymous tart at La Tarte Tropézienne. St. Tropez's many boutiques also make it easy to keep up with the town's fashionable, and sometimes famous, guests.
Antibes, located on the Côte d'Azur, is teeming with life and is renowned for its beautiful beaches, world-class art, and gigantic yachts. Picasso's former studio, an ancient Greek palace, is now the Musée Picasso and has hosted many notable artists throughout the years. The museum sits in the historic district of Antibes, which is also home to some of the city's best restaurants, shops, and markets. Walking the beautiful 3 miles Le Sentier du Littoral from Old Town to the posh Cap d'Antibes district is a must for every visitor.
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