Guide to Seeing the Tour de France

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Advisor - Sarah Keim
Curated By

Sarah Keim

  • City Travel

  • Arts & Culture

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  • Off-the-Beaten-Path Travel

  • Outdoor & Nature

  • Road Trip Travel

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  • France

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  • Outdoor

  • Romantic

Biking the Tour de France in France in an orange jersey.
Curator’s statement

If you are a cycling fan like I am, your travel bucket list includes traveling to see the Tour de France in person. On a trip like this you can build in your own cycling adventures, or just be a spectator and soak in all the excitement. How exactly to plan a trip where the event you want to see is constantly on the move can be quite intimidating, and most guides are not tailored to American travelers. A travel advisor with expertise in curating trips specially to see cycling events is indispensable for this kind of adventure. Based on my trips to see Le Tour, I have created this guide to traveling to see the Tour de France.

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Where to stay in France

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Things to do in France

Tour de France finish line on the Champs Elysees.

You can set aside 3 weeks to follow the entire Tour de France, or you can spend as little as one day experiencing a single stage.

Guided cycling excursions

Multiday or single day guided trips are available where you can cycle the same routes as the pros or take easier alternative routes. Many will store and transport your bike between stops.

Start line or finish line VIP access

You are traveling a long distance to see Le Tour, so make sure you have an excellent view of the start or finish line. Limited numbers of special VIP tickets are available to access special areas, usually with champagne and nibbles, while you enjoy all the excitement.

Go rustic with a campervan experience

Well-maintained and comfortable campers are available for rental at various points near the race route. On many of the most exciting mountain climbs of the race, the only way to access those viewing spots is arriving by campervan the day before to stake out a spot or cycling or walking up potentially miles of mountain road. The campervan offers shelter from the elements and the opportunity to host a day-long party with friends, family and even fellow fans you meet onsite.

Explore off-the-beaten-path small villages and towns in France

Many towns along the route will be hosting carnivals and other celebrations as the Tour de France visits their region. This is an excellent opportunity to see places that are definitely not on typical France travel itineraries.

Travel to Paris for the final stage and arrival on the Champs-Élysées

The final stage of the Tour de France ends with the presentation of the overall Yellow Jersey in Paris. Don't miss this thrilling spectacle and celebration!

Places to eat & drink in France

People sitting in a restaurant's outdoor sitting area.

Since the Tour de France ends in Paris each year and you are likely to fly in and out of Paris, here are some places to eat and drink in Paris:

Le Gourmet food hall at Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann - Explore this vast food hall featuring gourmet chocolates, cheeses, wine, bakery items and much more.

Fauchon Paris - Place de la Madeleine #11 is the location closest to the Champs Elysees.
Gorgeous macarons, teas and chocolate worth leaving room in your luggage for.

Baieta – Mediterranean cuisine is the focus of the menu at the Left Bank establishment just steps from the Seine. Under the leadership of Chef Julia Sedefdjian, who was the youngest Michelin-starred chef in France in 2016, the menu particularly highlights fish like smoked haddock and classics like bouillabaisse.

Ladurée - Enjoy an elegant tea on the terrace at Ladurée on the Champs Elysees.

Pick up a picnic basket of delicious Lebanese favorites at Liza (14 rue de la Banque, 8th arrondissement) and enjoy it in the Tuileries Gardens. Liza also hosts weekend brunch and has an adjoining bakery.

Le Mermoz - A "neo-bistrot" offering seasonal menus of small plates near the Champs Elysees.

Need to Know

Looking for more travel inspo? Check out my guide, Packing Luxury and Adventure Into a 4 Day Costa Rica Itinerary.

Advisor - Sarah Keim

Travel Advisor

Sarah Keim

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