France is a country that is blessed with natural beauty, rich history, and a legendary culture. Hidden behind the picturesque landscapes and historical architecture are charming French cities that beckon travelers to come and discover their unique beauty. Whether you are a solo traveler or on a family vacation, these cities are sure to enchant you with their romantic scenery, entertainment, and gastronomy.
In this article, we take you on a journey through our top picks of French cities that you definitely don’t want to miss on your next trip to France.
The City of Light, Paris, is a cosmopolitan paradise with a rich cultural heritage, fashion-forward boutiques, and awe-inspiring architecture. Perhaps the most famous attraction in Paris is the Eiffel Tower. Standing at 324 meters tall, it is an iconic landmark that has become emblematic of the city.
Other notable attractions include the Louvre Museum, the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Palace of Versailles, the Arc de Triomphe, and the Champs-Elysées. Moreover, Paris is world-renowned for its haute cuisine, from the heavenly pastries of Ladurée to the Michelin-starred restaurants that offer culinary experiences beyond measure.
Known worldwide for its wine, Bordeaux brings together the relaxing atmosphere of a provincial town and a dynamic urban center. The city is nestled in the heart of the Gironde estuary and has an average of 2,000 hours of sunshine per year. You will be enchanted by the charm of historical buildings such as the Tour Pey-Berland and the Saint-André Cathedral.
One of the most remarkable sites in Bordeaux is Place de la Bourse, which boasts a stunning water mirror that reflects the magnificent architectural structure. Other unmissable attractions include Place des Quinconces, the Grand Theatre, and the Cité du Vin, where you can learn about the wines of the area and sample them in tastings.
Lyon’s diverse neighborhoods, idyllic riverbanks, and rich culinary history make it a dream destination for travelers. The city has more than 2000 years of history and is home to some of the most iconic moments of modern times, such as the invention of the cinema and silk weaving. One must-see attraction is the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière, perched on top of the Fourvière hill overlooking the city.
Foodies will be delighted with the wealth of local gastronomy, from haute cuisine such as Paul Bocuse’s restaurant to Cervelle de Canuts, a cheese dish that is a local specialty. However, the Lyonnaise cuisine is not limited to meat and cheese dishes, but also consists of a vast range of pastries and baked goods, such as the famous Praline Brioche.
Nice is an exhilarating, colorful city that boasts a natural, breezy ambiance. The city brings together its fantastic location on the Bay of Angels and a plethora of art galleries, museums, and authentic Italian cuisine. The French Riviera city is home to some of France’s most beautiful beaches and vibrant nightlife.
The Promenade des Anglais is a stunning waterfront promenade running the length of the bay and is perfect for strolling or cycling. For history buffs, there are many museums worth exploring, such as the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art or the Matisse Museum. In addition to the cultural attractions, Nice has an abundance of classic bistros that serve some of France’s tastiest food.
Toulouse, also known as the Pink City, has a unique blend of heritage, culture, and natural scenery. The city’s distinct rose-colored buildings, combined with the winding streets of the historic center, create a picturesque ambiance.
Toulouse is famous for aerospace and is home to the Airbus headquarters. As such, the city is the ideal place to learn about aeronautics and space travel, with the City of Space being one of the most popular attractions. Other notable attractions include the Capitolium, the Saint-Sernin Basilica, and the Cité de l’Espace.
Strasbourg is a stunning Alsatian city that straddles the border of France and Germany. The city is a symbol of European peace and unity and is the seat of the European Parliament. One of the most visited attractions is the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Strasbourg, a Gothic masterpiece whose intricate façade is a window into the soul of the city.
In the winter, the city hosts one of the most captivating seasonal markets in France, with magical decorations and a wide range of traditional products. Outside of the Christmas season, Strasbourg is home to an extensive selection of restaurants, boutiques, and museums.
Marseille is a bustling port city with a unique melting pot of cultures and a rich maritime heritage. The Old Port of Marseille is the heart of the city and bursts with charming markets, street performers, and local restaurants.
The city has many fascinating landmarks, such as the Basilique Notre- Dame de la Garde, built on top of a hill overlooking the sea. Marseille is also the perfect place to experience the best of Provençal cuisine, such as Bouillabaisse, a classic fish stew, and Pan Bagnat, a regional sandwich.
1. What is the best time to visit France?
Late Spring, from April to May, and early fall, from September to November, are the best times to visit France. The weather is pleasant, and the crowds are smaller than in the peak summer months.
2. What should I pack for my trip to France?
It is advisable to pack comfortable walking shoes, clothing suitable for the season, and a small bag to carry essentials while sightseeing.
3. Which languages are spoken in France?
French is the official language of France, but English is widely spoken in major cities and tourist destinations.
4. What is the currency used in France?
The Euro is the currency used in France.
Top 10 Tourist Attractions Located in Discovering the Charm of French Cities: Our Top Picks
1. Eiffel Tower, Paris
2. Palace of Versailles, Paris
3. Cité du Vin, Bordeaux
4. Basilique of Notre-Dame de Fourvière, Lyon
5. Promenade des Anglais, Nice
6. City of Space, Toulouse
7. Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Strasbourg, Strasbourg
8. Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde, Marseille
9. The Old Port of Marseille, Marseille
10. The Louvre Museum, Paris.