France is a country of celebrity beaches, mighty peaks, fashion and festivals, the Eifel Tower, French wine, and plenty of historic and cultural landmarks. Here is your must-see list while enjoying gourmet dishes, truffles, croissants, and superb chocolate.
The French capital, Paris, is situated on the Seine River in the Northwestern part of the country. It is considered one of the most romantic places for couples and new weds. The capital city features the famous Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum, the Notre Dame Cathedral with its spectacular rose windows, the Gothic monuments St-Chapelle, the Rodin Museum, full of bronze and marble sculptures and shady trees, and Montmartre, with its 19th and 20th century bohemian lifestyle.
The city of Versailles is famous for the Palace of Versailles, the de facto capital of France until 1789. The Palace of Versailles is also called the Chateau de Versailles and is comprised of four buildings: 580-m long palace building with sumptuous bedchambers, grand halls, and multiple wings; the vast gardens, pools, and channels to the west; and two small palaces. The area is now a wealthy suburb of Paris, visited by about 3 million visitors a year.
Nice is the largest city at the French Riviera, considered one of the oldest human settlements on the planet, with archeological sites in the Terra Amata showing evidence of ancient life. Among its tourist attractions are beautiful beaches and seaside promenade. The sea front is lined with in-line skaters, strollers, beach-goers, and even businesspeople working on their laptops.
Cannes is a city in the French Riviera, famous for the Cannes Film Festival. Therefore, it is one of the busiest tourist destinations in the country, boasting top notch restaurants, luxury shops, and hotels.
5. Chateau of Chambord
The Chateau de Chambord, situated in Chambord, France is a recognizable French chateaux, famous for French Renaissance architecture and medieval forms or Italian architecture. It is also known as the largest castle in the Loire Valley.
6. Normandy, Mont St. Michel
The Mont St. Michel or Saint Michael’s Mount in Normandy is a tidal island located just at the mouth of the Couesnon River. The mount is famous for its medieval Benedictine Abbey and the church that is nestled in the 1 kilometer diameter of rocks jutting out of the English Channel waters.
7. Bourges (Loire Valley)
The Bourges is a beaten trail in the Loire Valley in France and a historical site featuring a Gothic cathedral and a medieval quarter. Visitors marvel at its bourgeois buildings with rich stained glasses. Bourges is also famous for the marshes of the Voiselle and Yevre Rivers, the Maurice Esteve Museum, and the ruins of Gallo-Roman walls.
Strasbourg is the capital of the Alsace Region, located close to the border that separates France from Germany. The city is well-known for the Grande Ile or Grand Island, a World Heritage site, listed by UNESCO in 1988.
This city is the oldest in France and while not as lovely as Paris, Marseille is a good destination for visitors who look for a different atmosphere. The area is filled with colorful markets and natural big cliffs that fall into the sea. It also houses old architectural structures that will satisfy the eyes of the traveler: the Old Port, Palais de la Bourse, the Abbey of Saint-Victor, with catacombs and 5th century crypt, and the parish church of Saint-Laurent.
Provence is a region in the south-east France, featuring old architecture. Although it is not as urban as Paris, Provence has been inhabited since prehistoric times and offers a rich historical experience.
Image of Marseille courtesy of Jddmano.