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22 Amazing Places to Visit in France

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France is one of the most beautiful places in the world (take that statement with a grain of salt, I am a Francophile.) Here are just 22 amazing places to visit in this gorgeous country. To see 22 MORE amazing places, check out 22 Amazing Places to Visit in France (Part 2)!

1. Paris. Duh.
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2. Giverny, Eure. Monet chose to live here for a reason.

3. Versailles, Île-de-France. The excess that brought down the French monarchy can now be enjoyed by everyone.

4. Chartres Cathedral, Eure-et-Loir. Chartres blue is a color unlike any other in the world and the mismatched spires are pretty cool too.

5. Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, France. Renoir chose to paint in the French Riviera for the last twenty years of his life because it is warm and gorgeous.

Moustiers faience pottery is also gorgeous


The nearby Verdon Gorge has a beautiful turquoise color

6. Abbey de Sénanque, Provence. Cistercian Monks grow lavender here.
Lavender fields cover the high plateaux in the Sault area, at the base of Mont Ventoux. It also grows in the Apt area, in the Luberon and in the Valréas Enclave. Nobody does lavender quite like France!4107-68542

7. Livarot, Normandy. For the CHEESE, if not the beautiful scenery. The pungent Livarot is considered one of the great cheeses of Normandy; it is nicknamed “colonel” as the bands of raffia evoke a colonel’s uniform.

You must say thank you to the cows for the cheese

8. Bayeux, Normandy. Because the Bayeux tapestry is probably the most important pictorial image of the 11th century, since it’s the essentially the only record of the events leading up to the Norman conquest of England. You can see the tapestry at the Musée de la Tapisserie de Bayeux.

The town is pretty, too.

9. Vaux-le-Vicomte Gardens, Maincy, Île de France. It’s incredibly gorgeous (the same architects who designed the Chateaux designed Versailles) and regularly open to the public.

10. Mont Saint Michel, Normandy. Just look at that skyline. Incredible.
Mont-Saint-Michel

11. Millau Viaduct Bridge, Millau. The tallest bridge in the world, a feat of engineering. See more pictures of it here.

12. Chamarande, Essone. Lush grounds and yeah, there’s a castle here, too.

13. Saint Cecil Cathedral, Albi. The most important religious building in Albi and is claimed to be the largest brick building in the world.

14. Nice, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur. Matisse chose to paint here for the reasons shown below.
My Room at the Beau Rivage by Matisse
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15. Pontrieux, Brittany. Quaint old-world charm perfection. And a flower boat.

16. Honfleur Normany. Beautiful seaside and seafood.

17. Rennes, Brittany. Rennes is the capital of Brittany and has awesome 3D art like this.

18. Marseilles, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur. It’s the second largest city in France after Paris and has one thing Paris does not: beaches. The sand they put on the Seine to make a “beach” does NOT count.

19. Lyon, Rhône-Alpes. Probably the coolest city in France after Paris.
Lyon, France
The Basilique de Fourvière from Saone

Fontaine des Terreaux by Bartholdi

Roman-era amphitheater


20. Kayersberg and Colmar, Alsace. Charming, well-preserved old towns don’t get much better than these. The first photo is of Kaysersberg, which is on the Route Du Vin, and the second is of Colmar.

21. Notre Dame de Reims Cathedral, Reims. The Kings of France were once crowned here. The structure is fittingly majestic. 

22. Mont Aiguille, Isère. The mountain is one of the Seven Wonders of Dauphiné.

If you enjoyed all these amazing places in France, check out 22 Amazing Places to Visit in France (Part 2) to see even more!

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Most images are sourced from general-interest Facebook pages such as It’s a Wonderful Life and Amazing Things in the World, so I don’t know who the photographer is. If your work is featured here and you would like to be credited or the photo removed, please message me.



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45 Comments Post a comment
  1. Wow… just got back from a visit to Paris and I’m already thinking about an extended stay in France. I think you just set the stage!

    May 22, 2013
    • Merry #

      Wow back at you! I highly recommend doing an extended stay in France. I lived in Paris for two years and it was absolutely the time of my life (or at least one of them). Such a wonderful, gorgeous country. But then, I’ve been a Francophile all my life, so I am very biased in all of this:) If you do decide to do an extended stay in France, would love to hear about it!:)

      May 27, 2013
      • sakshi watarkar #

        sure i would like to know more …..please let me know !

        June 21, 2013
  2. There are a few on your list that I haven’t been too YET! Such great places to visit, among many others here in France.

    May 23, 2013
    • Merry #

      Which ones haven’t you been to yet? Which are your favorites that you have been to! And yes, there are SO MANY others!! I plan to do at least one more of these lists:) #Francophile

      May 27, 2013
  3. Such an incredible blog post! I love to travel and have been to France with my fiancé. Neither of us enjoyed the experience because mostly everyone we encountered was really rude. But your blog has inspired me to give it another chance and visit different areas. So cool! Will visit again :)

    May 24, 2013
    • Merry #

      Thank you! I’m so sorry to hear the people you encountered were rude. The French can be difficult sometimes, but I learned to love that, too–I think it’s sort of part of their culture. People outside of Paris tend to be nicer, in my experience.

      May 27, 2013
    • I’ve spent quite a bit of time in France, including Paris, a little of Normandy, a lot of the Perigord, and Provence. I’ve found that outside of Paris, particularly in Dordogne Valley, that the people are warm and friendly, and often eager to talk to an American.

      I met a very nice lady in Cenac that had spent a year as an exchange student in Pennsylvania in the 80s, she became lifelong friends with her host family, and tries to go back every year or two. She takes her daughter, who is fast friends with a daughter (or granddaughter, I can’t remember) of her host family.

      Speaking at least a little French helps immensely. The French are understandably proud of their language and heritage. I usually find that they do their best to accommodate my bad French.

      It’s an amazingly lovely country, with more to see and experience than any one of us could hope to in a normal lifetime. You should definitely go back.

      August 4, 2014
  4. Colleen #

    You might want to replace the picture of Mont Saint Michel. The one you have is photoshopped to include mountains. The actual location is surrounded by mudflats, and becomes an island at high tide – which is cooler than mountains, I think. :)

    May 25, 2013
    • Merry #

      Thank you for the heads-up!! You’re totally right! Picture is replaced:)

      May 27, 2013
  5. Helena #

    La Normandie est belle , nous avons visité Reims , Paris, Rouen, Le Hawre , Yvettot , Versailles ….. very nice!

    May 29, 2013
    • Merry #

      Merci beaucoup! Tous Reimsn, Paris, Rouen, Le Havre, Yvettot, La Normandie, et Versailles sont belles!

      July 22, 2013
  6. Z #

    AMAZING pictures! You should make a coffee table book just like this, lots of beautiful pictures of places to visit in France with short blurbs, I would buy it!

    May 31, 2013
    • Merry #

      I totally would if I could get the permissions. Sigh, it is not so easy. But I would definitely buy that book too!

      July 22, 2013
  7. I really enjoyed this piece. I haven’t been to most of the places but one that intrigued me was Albi. I tried to get there last summer but was short of time. The small cathedral looks beautiful.

    June 4, 2013
  8. Hi Merry,

    What a wonderful treat! Your photos are gorgeous, marvelous, and beaufitul.
    Thank you for inviting me to see them.

    Blessings to you,
    Jeanette Cooper

    June 6, 2013
  9. @Jipsee on Twitter #

    Hi Merry! I would love to reblog this on my wordpress site but don’t see a link for that. Is there a work around for that? I just love this post. Thx again!

    Jipsee :)

    June 7, 2013
  10. Fantastique! :)
    I really love this post! The first picture (the one you have on the homepage) reminds me of this little town that I stopped in when I did the drive from Paris to the Loire Valley (and made a stop in Reims!). I LOVED every minute of it!!! It really brought back memories…but your photography is just amazing! Did you take these wonderful photos?!?

    Bisous, Jill from Road Warrior :)

    June 14, 2013
  11. Amazing Place to travel … we love France .. thank you

    July 29, 2013
  12. Jolie #

    Hi everyone,

    Hope to get advices from you guys!

    I’m planning to visit France-Germany-Holland-Belgum on Christmas-New Year to explore the wonderful time in the year in 10 days by tour because this is my first time in Europe. Then I will extent 4 days to explore France. Can I get some advices where to go nearby Paris from 28th Dec 2013 – 01st Jan 2014 or should I just stay in Paris to enjoy. I wanna to go to Bordeaux but it seems quite far from Paris, so not sure is it take a long way to go there?

    Thank you for your advices!

    November 8, 2013
    • Merry #

      Hi Jolie! So wonderful to hear you will be taking such a lovely trip through Europe! I would highly recommend staying most of the days in Paris (there is so much to enjoy)! If you want to take some time outside of Paris, Chartres Cathedral and Versailles are AMAZING. Bordeaux is a bit too far for a day trip, so unless you intend to stay use up at least 2 days to visit the region, I would recommend staying in Paris and visiting any surrounding areas you might like. Hope this is helpful!

      November 11, 2013
  13. Maple #

    Great post! I really enjoyed reading it. I just moved to Alsace and I’m trying to figure out the best places to visit in France. Just an FYI, the first picture you have posted for #20 (Colmar) is actually a picture of Kaysersberg, France. It’s a small village in Alsace, close to Colmar, and on the Route du Vin. Definitely a place to visit if you’re in the area!

    November 10, 2013
    • Merry #

      Thank you so much, Maple! I’ve just updated the post :) Your insight is much appreciated. Hope this list helps you find some great places to visit :D

      November 12, 2013
  14. i will like to visit with my brother this new year to tour and feel nature of France and to have fun. can you please send us itenary to know the dates?. we will like a five days tour starting from 10 january to 15 january 2014

    December 6, 2013
    • Merry #

      Hi Joyce and Sabi,

      Your trip to France sounds wonderful! I just sent you an email to ask a couple questions about what kind of trip you are imagining and what places you would like to see. So exciting ^.^

      -Merry

      December 9, 2013
  15. Hello,
    I’m curious as to how you travelled to all of these locations? I’ve added a bunch of these places to my itinerary, during the summer, but I haven’t figured out how to get from place to place. It seems that a lot of the locations aren’t easy to get to by train. If you could let me know how you travelled to all of those places, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    January 2, 2014
    • Merry #

      Hi Taryn,

      Wonderful to hear you’re planning a trip around France! Trains don’t go to every place directly but there’s almost always a way there. For Giverny, take the train to Vernon and rent a bike (there are several bike rental places just by the train station) and bike there. The bike ride is a very beautiful twenty minutes, mostly passing beautiful French-country homes, and the bike place gives you an easy-to-follow map. Are there any other places you’re having trouble getting to? I”m happy to help however I can! I’m so excited for you for your trip!

      -Merry

      January 3, 2014
  16. GIBOUIN Arnaud #

    Hello,

    I love this post. If you love nature, you can try to visit Auvergne. It ‘s a region in central part of France not very known by foreigner tourist (except dutch, german, english and belgium). But It’s worth to visit this place specially if you are intersted in nature, hiking. Indeed, in this region you have some volcanoes and moutains. It’s not an overpopulated region. The best place to visit in this region according to me are : the puy de Sancy, puy de Dôme, Salers, the Cantal region (my favourite : very very rural area, beautiful landscape, ancient volcanoe, traditional village), Aubrac. If you want to go to this placeyou have to take the train from Paris to Clermont-Ferrand (4 – 5 hours by train) and rent a car at Clermont-Ferrand to travel around this place.

    Thanks

    January 3, 2014
    • Merry #

      Hi Arnaud,

      Thank you so much! Auvergne sounds gorgeous. I’m planning a “22 Amazing Places to Visit in France (Part 2)” post so I’ll have to add a few of those places to the post :) Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge of this beautiful region of France!

      Merci,
      Merry

      January 3, 2014
  17. Helen Edmond #

    Hi Merry,
    I would love some hints and tips if possible after seeing your site.
    Me , my husband (a photographer) and our welsh springer are planning to travel for 12 months in France, Spain, Italy and Prague.
    I would appreciate it if you could send me a private message so we can discuss further.
    Many thanks
    Helen Edmond

    January 21, 2014
  18. wow that’s all are nice places you can find such information about all country on visiting my blog also. have a look informationdose.blogspot.com

    February 27, 2014
  19. Anonymous #

    Planning on going to France for a few years really excited, I was wondering if anyone could help me out on where I can stay and how much it will cost thanks Brooklyn :)

    March 10, 2014
  20. Anonymous #

    These pictures are soo mesmerizingg !!

    March 14, 2014
  21. Anonymous #

    not that good!!!!!!1

    March 25, 2014
  22. I have been obsessed with France since taking French language classes in high school. I have longed to visit for the last ten years, but l just have been unable to do so. I began to wonder if I was simply romanticizing the idea of a France and creating an unrealistic utopia in my mind.

    This blog reassures me that there is more captivating beauty and art than I ever imagined! My desire to see France for myself has been rejuvenated. Best of all, I am now dating someone who loves to travel, so my dream will likely come true soon!!! Thank you for a great post!

    March 26, 2014
  23. Gghbbbbbh #

    Love your website

    May 8, 2014
  24. Nicole #

    Hi,

    This post kept me coming back again and again. :)
    I am planning a trip to France in August – Paris and Lourdes with my family but want to extend and visit another city for a couple of days on my own. What do you recommend?

    June 2, 2014
    • Merry #

      Lyons is supposed to be great (from an article): Lyon, you’re beautiful, dynamic and oh-so-sophisticated. Lyon boasts museums, restaurants, nightlife and shopping. Lyon’s stunning Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourviere is a must-see and the Parc de la Tete d’Or will make Lyon your new favorite city in France.

      I also looooove Giverny (Monet’s gorgeous garden) and Chartres Cathedral (Chartres blue is a famous color) as day-trips from Paris. Versailles too, of course.
      So glad you enjoy this page 

      June 12, 2014
  25. Jane #

    I’m surprised you didn’t put Annecy in your list. I’ve been reading about it and thinking it would be a definite place to visit.

    July 2, 2014
    • Merry #

      Hi Jane! There are so many beautiful places in France it was hard to narrow it down. I had to create a second list (22 Amazing Places to Visit in France (Part 2)! Annecy is on the second list. I have to say it stood out to me while I was making the list. It looks and sounds like a mind-blowingly beautiful place.

      Merry

      July 7, 2014
  26. I’ve read several just right stuff here. Definitely worth bookmarking for
    revisiting. I wonder how a lot attempt you put to create one of these great informative web site.

    July 11, 2014
  27. mohammad jvad #

    I Like it .Thank you

    August 21, 2014

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