There are so many famous places in France, that it would be impossible to see them all in one trip. If this is your first visit to France, the options can seem overwhelming…where do you go? Which are the best places to see?
Here is a snapshot of some of the most famous places in France that you, or your family and friends might like to visit – depending on your interests, whether this is historical sites, museums, areas of natural beauty or food and wine. We have many more France Vacation Information, Travel Review and Tourist Attractions Articles Now Available.
If you are spending a couple of weeks here you could easily visit most of the places listed below. It will be a whirlwind trip, but is certainly doable and you will have many wonderful memories.
Some of the most famous places in France are in Paris!
1. La Tour Eiffel
The Eiffel Tower, built in 1889 by Gustave Eiffel for the Universal Exposition, is without a doubt one of the most popular tourist attractions in France.
It’s amazing to think that the Eiffel Tower was, for a time, seen as an eyesore and even ugly; it was almost knocked down in 1909.
2. Musée du Louvre
The Louvre museum, once a royal palace, is now one of the most well known art museums in the world, featuring paintings such as the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci, as well as spectacular artworks by Michelangelo, Raphael and, Botticelli.
3. Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris
Next in line is the beautiful Gothic cathedral, Notre Dame, built from the around 1163 to 1345, visited by more than 12 million people a year, and one of the most famous french monuments.
4. Arc du Triomphe
The Arc de Triomphe and magnificent Ave des Champs-Elysées, are spectacular to see. The Arc was commissioned by Napoloeon to commemorate the victories of his armies; the tomb of France’s Unknown Soldier lies here, and every evening a memorial flame is lit.
If you can, try and visit the Palace of Versailles, built during the reign of Louis XIV – known as the Sun King (Roi Soleil) to display his wealth and power of the monarchy at that time. Versailles can be easily reached as a day trip from Paris. It is without question, absolutely spectacular, and one of the most dazzling things you will probably every see.
6. Mont St Michel
Mont St Michel is one of the most recognisable landmarks in France, located just off the coast of Normandy. In fact, it is the next most visited site after Paris!
Its hard not to be awed by the sight of Mont St Michel, with its Gothic-style Benedictine Abbey perched high above a rocky outcrop.
7. Mont Blanc
Mont Blanc (meaning white mountain in French) is the highest mountain in the Alps, lying between Italy and France. Chamonix is here, the site of the first Winter Olympics, and one of the most popular places to visit in France for skiing.
Even if you’re not planning to ski, it’s well worth a visit.
You can take the Aiguille de Midi cable car for spectacular views of the mountains. Definitely one of the highest (and probably one of the most exhilarating – or scary, depending on which way you look at it) – cablecar rides you’ll take!
8. Chateaux de la Loire
The Loire Valley, playground to royalty from the 15th through to the 18th centuries, boasts many beautiful renaissance chateaux.
There are several hundred castles in the Loire; some of the most popular are Château d´Amboise, Chambord, Chenonceau, Blois and Cheverny.
The Loire is also known for its fine wines too, and you can sample Muscadet, Sauvignon and many more.
Heading south, there are even more famous places in France.
Carcassonne, in the Languedoc region, is Europe’s largest walled city and one of the finest examples of medieval architecture.
Carcassonne’s towers and pointed turrets look like they have come straight out of a fairy tale or Walt Disney movie. But there is no make believe here – it’s all for real. Carcassonne is also one of the most most popular french monuments.
Some of the finest prehistoric art collections can be found in southwest france.
The ancient cave paintings, drawings and carvings that you can see here are truly awe inspiring, some dating as far back as 35,000 years.
The Lascaux sites (now a replica) are very popular tourist attractions in france, and there are many others too that are worth visiting.
And last but not least: french food and wine. Wherever you go, you will be able to try local specialties, whether this is bouillabaisse in Marseille, camembert in Normandy, or foie gras in the Perigord. We have many more France Vacation Information, Travel Review and Tourist Attractions Articles Now Available.