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Bucket List Worthy: These Are The Best Places To See and Go in France

Have you been dreaming of a French adventure? Ever wonder why so many people include it in their bucket lists? If you watch movies or read travel guides, you’ve likely come across the idea that visiting France is a must-do in your life. But, hold on for a moment! Before you jump right in, it’s wise to have a clear plan in mind not to miss out on the best places to go and the must-see attractions in France.

Don’t just simply take our word for it, we offer our expertly chosen on-the-go guide on the best places to see and go in France.

We offer our expertly chosen on-the-go guide on the best places to see in France. 

What Is France Best Known For?

 

1. Eiffel Tower

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At the top of our list should be what has been Paris’s beacon since its unveiling at the 1889 World’s Fair. Its bold design captured the world’s attention from 330 meters up high, and showcased French innovation and ingenuity.

 

2. The Louvre Museum

Next is one of the largest and most visited art museums.

Next is one of the largest and most visited art museums. It is no surprise as it houses a huge art collection from ancient art from places like Egypt, Greece, and Rome to modern-day art, with some famous pieces like the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, and the Winged Victory taking center stage.

 

3. Notre-Dame

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A medieval Catholic cathedral home to precious relics like the Crown of Thorns, the one that is thought to have worn Jesus. Often revered a masterpiece of French Gothic architecture, its majestic facade, and impressive stained glass windows make your trip to France worth it.

 

4. Palace of Versailles

The Palace, a grand royal residence built in the 17th century, continues to be a symbol of power today.

The Palace, a grand royal residence built in the 17th century, continues to be a symbol of power today. Once the seat of political power and a cultural hub under the reign of Lois XIV, it saw France’s historic highs and lows. However, it’s most recognized for its opulent design, lavish gardens, and historical importance.

 

5. Mont Saint Michel

This is a fantastical medieval abbey perched on a rocky island off the coast of Normandy in France.

Is this a dreamy castle from a fairy tale or reality? This is a fantastical medieval abbey perched on a rocky island off the coast of Normandy in France. For centuries, it was like a shining beacon where talented figures gathered from all corners of Europe. Such a historical background and dream-like setting keep attracting millions of visitors every year.

 

6. Château de Chambord

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Yet another masterpiece of a castle from 1519 that was crafted for François I, an art enthusiast and avid hunter, in the Loire Valley. It stands as a testament to the exuberance of the French Renaissance but also blends traditional medieval forms with classical Italian structures. Here’s a quick hint: its iconic double helix staircase is attributed to da Vinci!

Why are there so many castles in France?

France has a rich history from several centuries back, and at those times castles had a strategic significance, many were royal residences, defensive structures, or simply symbols of power. Castles were strategically built along borders, rivers, and trade routes to defend against invaders. Monarchs had them built as their residences. Today, such an abundance of castles is a key role to its cultural heritage and adds to its tourist allure.

 

7. French Riviera

Along the sunny Mediterranean shores, lies probably one of the best places to see and go in France.

Along the sunny Mediterranean shores, lies probably one of the best places to see and go in France. From Monaco, Nice, Cannes, and Saint Tropez, visitors come from all parts of the world. It’s a celebrity hotspot for its stunning beaches, luxurious resorts, vibrant nightlife, and picturesque villages. Not only do the rich and famous choose it, but it attracts visitors seeking sun, glamour, and new cultural inputs.

 

8. Musée d’Orsay

Not only a famous Parisian art museum but a pioneer in French photography

Not only a famous Parisian art museum but a pioneer in French photography. Visitors can find a vast collection of over 45k images and masterpieces by renowned artists like Pierre Bonnard, Henri le Secq, and Edgar Degas, who explored the world of photography. Likewise, it houses notable works by Manet, Van Gogh, and Rodin, to name just a few.

 

9. Sainte-Chapelle

This Gothic chapel is one of the best places to see and go in France.

A 13th-century Gothic chapel created by Lois IX to protect precious Christian relics like the Crown of Thorns and a fragment of the True Cross, along with other items linked to Jesus’ death on the cross. But what strikes visitors the most is its breathtaking stained glass windows that represent biblical scenes and make it a key religious and architectural landmark.

 

10. Arc de Triomphe

Arc de Triomphe is one of the best places to see and go in France.

If you visit France, make sure to visit the world-renowned monument of French patriotism and military glory at the western end of the Champs-Élysées. Its walls bear the names of triumphs and heroes of old, and underneath lies the resting place of an unknown soldier from the Great War.

 

11. The Popes’ Palace

The Western Christian faith's power was embodied in this massive medieval fortress and grand palace.

In the 14th century, the Western Christian faith’s power was embodied in this massive medieval fortress and grand palace which stretches over 15 thousand square meters. The secrets of seven successive popes were entrusted there at a time when it was the seat of the papacy. Today, we can look at it and see the grandeur of the medieval era.

 

The Best eSIM for Your Trip to France

The Best eSIM for Your Trip to France

 

12. Pont du Gard

This well-preserved masterpiece is one of the best places to see and go in France.

Not just a bridge, it’s a well-preserved masterpiece! This Roman marvel is the tallest aqueduct bridge and was used to transport water to the city of Nîmes. Its remarkable preservation state, historical impact, and ingenious design earned it a spot on the prestigious World Heritage list in 1985.

 

13. Bordeaux Wine Region

The finest wines are born there, thanks to its nature-blessed terroir.

We’ve come to a place that shapes the global wine scene. Picturesque chateaux and the esteemed 1855 Classification make it a paradise for wine aficionados. The finest wines are born there, thanks to its nature-blessed terroir that encompasses a variety of soils and microclimate, nurtures the growth of grape varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, and defines the region’s rich winemaking heritage.

 

14. Carcassonne

Once a Roman town along trade routes, its walls were built by various rulers in the course of time.

Once a Roman town along trade routes, its walls were built by various rulers in the course of time. Many old castles decayed, but that was not its case. Its UNESCO World Heritage status, 52 towers, castle walls, and a Gothic cathedral, it’s a fascinating destination to explore.

 

15. Saint-Paul-de-Vence

Saint-Paul-de-Vence is one of the best places to see and go in France.

This medieval village in the hills surrounding the countryside and the Mediterranean Sea has been a haven for art and culture lovers for many decades. Renowned for its art galleries, cobblestone streets, and eye-catching views, a top pick for tourists.

 

16. Normandy Beaches

The beaches of Normandy are some of the best places to see and go in France

From the beaches of Normandy, a mighty struggle under the Allied forces, mainly American, British, and Canadian, unfolded to liberate northwest Europe from Nazi control. Since then, this coastline gained historic significance as the site of the greatest sea and land invasion ever recorded.

 

17. Lyon Old Town

Vieux Lyon is one of the best places to see and go in France

Since 1964, Vieux Lyon has been France’s very first conservation area and one of Europe’s largest Renaissance groups. Amidst the serene Fourvière hill and the River Saône, visitors can wander through its cobbled streets, and traboules (hidden passageways), along with landmarks like the Catedral of Saint-Jean.

 

18. Monet’s Garden

Claude Monet's garden and water lily pond is one of the best places to see in France

Claude Monet found his greatest inspiration for his iconic impressionist paintings in this magical garden and enchanting water lily pond he crafted at his home in Giverny, near Paris and Rouen. It’s no wonder this idyllic riverside, with a variety of flowers, plants, and water lilies, has turned the small village along the Seine into a global sensation.

 

19. Provence Lavender Fields

The beauty of Provence is beyond words, it's one of the best places to see in France

Many do not know that Provence was already cultivating lavender by the 1700s. But it wasn’t until two centuries ago that lavender truly blossomed as a favorite scent in perfumes. The beauty of Provence is beyond words. Rustic villages and vast lavender fields create a film-like scene, and the subtle and aromatic essence of lavender makes this region a true paradise.

20. Ile de Ré

This tiny island isn't just about beaches and sunny weather, it's one of the best places to see in France

Many say it’s France’s version of the Hamptons, with golden beaches, vineyards, salt marshes, and genuine French villages. This tiny island isn’t just about beaches and sunny weather, is ideal for bike and horseback rides, music festivals, and art exhibitions. By the way, its name means “Fern Island.”

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