Vive la France

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Advisor - Anne Bisgaard
Curated By

Anne Bisgaard

  • France

  • Couples Travel

  • Food & Wine

  • Arts & Culture

  • Outdoors

  • Romantic

  • Sightseeing

quaint village on a canal with pink flowers
Curator’s statement

Visiting France offers a rich and diverse experience that combines history, culture, art, culinary delights, and stunning landscapes. Here are compelling reasons why you should consider traveling to France: Rich Cultural Heritage: France is renowned for its cultural contributions to the world. From art and literature to music and fashion, the country has been a cultural epicenter for centuries. Historic Landmarks: Explore iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, Notre-Dame Cathedral, Palace of Versailles, and Mont Saint-Michel, which offer insights into France's historical significance. Artistic Legacy: Immerse yourself in the world of art by visiting museums like the Louvre, Musée d'Orsay, and Centre Pompidou, which house masterpieces by renowned artists. Culinary Excellence: Experience the gastronomic pleasures of French cuisine, from gourmet restaurants to local bistros. Try dishes like croissants, escargot, coq au vin, and crème brûlée. Wine and Vineyards: Explore the country's famed wine regions like Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, and the Loire Valley, and indulge in wine tastings and vineyard tours. Charming Villages: Discover picturesque villages like Gordes in Provence, Colmar in Alsace, and Saint-Paul-de-Vence in the French Riviera, each with its own unique charm. Riviera Glamour: Enjoy the glamour of the French Riviera (Côte d'Azur), with its stunning Mediterranean coastline, luxurious resorts, and vibrant nightlife. Châteaux and Castles: Explore magnificent châteaux like Château de Chambord and Château de Chenonceau, which offer a glimpse into France's royal history. Scenic Countryside: Take leisurely drives through the scenic French countryside, featuring rolling hills, vineyards, lavender fields, and charming villages. Outdoor Adventures: Engage in outdoor activities like hiking, skiing, and cycling in regions like the French Alps, Pyrenees, and Massif Central. Local Markets: Experience the local way of life by visiting vibrant markets like Marché aux Fleurs in Nice and Marché des Enfants Rouges in Paris. Cultural Festivals: Participate in cultural festivals like the Cannes Film Festival, the Avignon Theatre Festival, and Bastille Day celebrations. Romantic Atmosphere: Paris, often called the "City of Love," is a romantic destination with its charming streets, iconic landmarks, and the Seine River. Literary Connections: Discover the inspiration behind famous literary works by authors like Victor Hugo, Marcel Proust, and Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Efficient Transportation: France offers an extensive and efficient public transportation network, making it easy to explore cities and regions by train, metro, and bus. Chic Fashion and Shopping: Enjoy shopping in world-renowned fashion districts like Champs-Élysées in Paris and exploring boutique shops for high-quality French products. Diverse Landscapes: Experience diverse landscapes, from the lavender fields of Provence to the rugged cliffs of Normandy's coastline. Warm Hospitality: Encounter the warmth and friendliness of the French people, who take pride in sharing their culture and traditions with visitors. Whether you're interested in history, art, food, outdoor adventures, or simply soaking up the unique atmosphere, France offers a myriad of experiences that cater to a wide range of interests and preferences.

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Where to stay in France

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Things to do in France

white horses behind a white fence

France offers a plethora of activities and experiences that cater to various interests and preferences. Here are some top things to do in France:

  • Explore Paris: Visit iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, Notre-Dame Cathedral, and Montmartre. Enjoy walks along the Seine River and through charming neighborhoods.

  • Tour Châteaux and Palaces: Explore magnificent châteaux like Château de Versailles, Château de Chambord, and Château de Chenonceau, each with its own history and architectural splendor.

  • Indulge in French Cuisine: Savor French culinary delights in local bistros and gourmet restaurants. Try croissants, escargot, coq au vin, ratatouille, and macarons.

  • Discover Wine Regions: Explore renowned wine regions like Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, and Provence. Enjoy wine tastings, vineyard tours, and scenic landscapes.

  • Relax in the French Riviera: Enjoy the glamour of the French Riviera's Mediterranean coast. Visit cities like Nice, Cannes, and Saint-Tropez for beaches, luxury resorts, and vibrant nightlife.

  • Experience Festivals: Attend cultural festivals such as the Cannes Film Festival, the Avignon Theatre Festival, and Bastille Day celebrations.

  • Explore Loire Valley: Discover the picturesque Loire Valley, known for its charming villages, lush landscapes, and numerous historic châteaux.

  • Visit Provence and Lavender Fields: Immerse yourself in the beauty of Provence, known for its lavender fields, sunflowers, and medieval villages like Gordes and Roussillon.

  • Ski in the French Alps: Enjoy skiing and snowboarding in the French Alps during the winter months. Explore ski resorts like Chamonix and Courchevel.

  • Explore Normandy: Visit the historic region of Normandy, known for its D-Day landing beaches, Mont Saint-Michel, and picturesque coastal towns.

  • Admire Art and Museums: Explore world-class art museums like the Louvre, Musée d'Orsay, and Centre Pompidou in Paris.

  • Wander through Villages: Discover charming villages like Colmar, Saint-Paul-de-Vence in the French Riviera, and Eguisheim in the Alsace Wine Route.

  • Enjoy Outdoor Markets: Experience the vibrant atmosphere of local markets, such as Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen in Paris and markets in Provence.

  • Attend Cultural Performances: Enjoy ballet, opera, theater, and music performances at renowned venues like Opéra Garnier in Paris.

  • Visit Monet's Gardens: Explore the exquisite gardens that inspired Claude Monet's paintings at Giverny, including the famous water lily pond.

  • Experience the Camargue: Discover the unique Camargue region, known for its wetlands, white horses, and pink flamingos.

  • Explore Alsace Wine Route: Journey through the picturesque Alsace Wine Route, stopping at wineries and charming villages like Riquewihr.

  • Discover Lyon's Culinary Scene: Visit Lyon, often considered the gastronomic capital of France, and explore its vibrant food scene and traditional bouchons.

Places to eat & drink in France

street in france


Le Comptoir du Relais: A charming bistro in the Saint-Germain neighborhood known for its classic French dishes.

L'Ambroisie: A three-Michelin-starred restaurant offering exquisite French cuisine in a historic setting on Île Saint-Louis.

Café de Flore: A legendary café in the Saint-Germain district, perfect for people-watching and enjoying a coffee or a light meal.


Paul Bocuse Brasserie: Experience classic Lyonnais cuisine at this renowned brasserie founded by the iconic chef Paul Bocuse.

Le Café des Fédérations: A traditional bouchon Lyonnais where you can enjoy regional specialties in a cozy atmosphere.


La Tupina: A rustic restaurant in Bordeaux offering traditional Gascon cuisine with a focus on local ingredients.

Le Pressoir d'Argent: A two-Michelin-starred restaurant in Bordeaux by chef Gordon Ramsay, offering fine dining with a modern touch.


L'Oustalet: Located in the charming village of Gigondas, this restaurant offers Provençal cuisine in a picturesque setting.

La Bastide de Moustiers: A country inn in the heart of Provence, with a restaurant by chef Alain Ducasse offering seasonal Provençal dishes.


Le Flamme & Co: Enjoy traditional Alsatian tarte flambée (flammekueche) and local wines in a cozy atmosphere.

Auberge de l'Ill: A three-Michelin-starred restaurant in Alsace known for its exceptional French cuisine and wine pairings.

Nice and the French Riviera:

La Petite Maison: A popular spot in Nice offering Mediterranean cuisine with a focus on fresh seafood and vegetables.

Château Eza: A restaurant with stunning views over the Mediterranean, offering gourmet dining in the charming village of Eze.


Le Bibent: A historic brasserie in Toulouse known for its regional dishes and elegant Art Nouveau décor.

En Marge: A unique restaurant in a wine cellar setting, offering modern cuisine with a twist in the heart of Toulouse.


La Couronne: Established in 1345, it's known as the oldest inn in France, offering traditional Norman cuisine in Rouen.

Le Pavé d'Auge: Enjoy rustic Normandy cuisine, including dishes like duck confit and apple tart, in a charming setting.

These are just a few examples of the many exceptional dining establishments throughout France. From the grandeur of Paris to the quaint villages of the countryside, you'll find a variety of culinary experiences that showcase the rich flavors and traditions of French cuisine. Be sure to explore local markets, try regional specialties, and indulge in the unique tastes of each region.

Need to Know

For more travel inspiration, check out my guide, Wine Regions You Should Visit in France.

Advisor - Anne Bisgaard

Travel Advisor

Anne Bisgaard

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to France.