With Mediterranean beaches, medieval cities, and Alpine villages, there's no lack of places to visit in France. The country attracts fashion and food enthusiasts from across the world. It also has a very rich history due to its strategic location in Europe. Travellers can visit one of over hundreds of France tourist places during their stay, without ever seeing the same place twice.
Since all this can be a little overwhelming, here’s a handy list of places to visit in France when you finally plan that trip. SOTC has some wonderful France tour packages waiting for you. Choose yours today!
Apart from checking out the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre Museum, indulging in delicious gourmet meals is a good choice as traditional French cuisine recently got the status of Intangible Asset of the World from UNESCO. Each and every region of the country has its own distinct culture and cuisine. For instance, in Brittany, you’ll find that the quiet fishing hamlets specialise in seafood and crepes, while in the French Alps, cheese fondue with charcuterie is one of the most common dishes. Indulging in them is a sure-shot way to ejoy France’s irresistible charm.
Below, we have compiled a list of must-see places in France:
Also known as the ‘Iron lady’, the Eiffel Tower is the symbol of Paris and one of the world's most recognisable landmarks. This feat of human engineering consists of 8,000 metallic parts and was designed by Gustave Eiffel for the World Fair of 1889 as a temporary exhibit. Though critics initially loathed it, the 320-meter-tall tower has become a symbol of the Parisian skyline.
With more than 3,000 artworks on display, the Louvre Museum, a former royal palace, has some of the topmost paintings of the western world such as the Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci, the 1st century BC sculpture of Venus De Milo and Veronese’s Wedding Feast at Cana. Additionally, many of the artworks present here belong to the spoils of Napoleon the First.
Spread over an area of over 2,500 square metres, this UNESCO World Heritage Site has beautiful stained-glass windows that allow light to filter into the cathedral in colourful hues. Many of the church’s windows date back to the 13th century and are a great example of unbelievable craftsmanship that was used to depict stories from the bible.
One of the most famous monuments in the city of Paris, this structure stands at the western end of Champs-Elysees, right at the juncture of 12 radiating avenues of Place Charles De Gaulle.
Le Mont-Saint-Michel is a mainland commune and tidal island in Normandy, France. The island is located around 1km off of France’s north-western coast, right at the mouth of the river Couesnon near Avranches.
The French Riviera, also known as Côte d'Azur, is South-eastern France’s Mediterranean coast. Though the place was a health retreat in the 18th century, in later times, aristocrats, and artists were attracted to the place. Now, it is a popular holiday destination that you should definitely visit.
In the 8th arrondissement of Paris lies an avenue named Avenue des Champs-Élysées. It runs between the Place Charles de Gaulle and Place de la Concorde, where the Arc de Triomphe is present, and is a popular tourist destination.
The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris, also referred to as Sacré-Cœur Basilica and often simply Sacré-Cœur, is a Roman Catholic church dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in Paris.
Located in Paris, the Musée d'Orsay is a museum on the Left Bank of the Seine River. It is located in the former Gare d'Orsay, a Beaux-Arts railway station which was built between 1898 and 1900. The museum primarily comprises French art dating from 1848 to 1914 and includes paintings, furniture, sculptures and photographs.
Montmartre is a large hill in the 18th arrondissement of the city of Paris. It is 130 m tall and gives its name to its surrounding district, which is part of the northern section of the city’s right bank.
Located between the Louvre and the Place de la Concorde, the Tuileries Garden is a public garden in the 1st arrondissement of Paris. It was created in 1564 by Catherine de' Medici as the garden of the Tuileries Palace and was opened to the public in 1667. After the French Revolution, it became a public park.
The Jardin du Luxembourg, also known as the Luxembourg Gardens in English, is located in the 6th arrondissement of Paris. Its construction began in 1612 by Marie de' Medici, the widow of King Henry IV for the newly built residence she constructed named Luxembourg Palace.
Moulin Rouge is a cabaret in Paris. The original house,was founded in 1889 by Charles Zidler and Joseph Oller and was burned down in 1915.
Formerly known as Euro Disney Resort, Disneyland Paris is an entertainment resort in Chessy, a town located 32 km east from the centre of Paris. It comprises two theme parks, several resort hotels, a shopping and entertainment complex, Disney Nature Resorts and a golf course.
Also known as the Pompidou Centre in English, The Centre Pompidou is a building in the Beaubourg area of the 4th arrondissement of Paris, near the Marais and the Les Halles.
The Place de la Concorde is the largest public square in Paris. It is located at the eastern end of the Champs-Élysées, in the city's eighth arrondissement.
Within the medieval Palais de la Cité, which was the residence of French monarchs till the end of 14th century lies Sainte-Chapelle, a royal chapel made in the Gothic style, on the Île de la Cité of the River Seine.
The Marais district in the 4th arrondissement of Paris is also known as South Marais and is filled with galleries, hip boutiques and gay bars. As this was once the heart of the city’s Jewish population, several kosher restaurants still exist here.
Who hasn’t heard of the majestic Eiffel Tower in Paris? One of the most recognisable structures in the world, it was originally built as an entrance to a World Fair, but today boasts of a number of dining and gift shop options — and, of course, a view to die for! There is a lift that takes you to the top of the tower, while more energetic visitors can climb as far as the second floor over a set of stairs. For a certain fee, you could also get priority access to the top of the tower, meaning you don’t have to wait in line.
Tip: Keep all your belongings safe as the area is known to be frequented by pickpockets.
The Louvre is the largest museum in the country. It’s one of the best places to visit in France for lovers of science and history. More than 9 million tourists visit the museum every year. Located behind the Seine River in central Paris, the iconic pyramid opens to the public at 9 am, and closes by 6 pm, except on Wednesday’s and Friday’s when it stays open until 9:45 pm. You could also arrive early and explore the beautiful Tuileries Garden a few minutes away.
Once the royal residence of the Sun King Louis XIV, the Palace of Versailles is now a tourist hotspot for anyone visiting France. The Palace is unlike other places to visit in France. This world heritage site gets 15 million visitors every year. You could start your day in the Royal Courtyard for a while before going for a walk in the large gardens. You could also visit the nearby Palaces of Trianon and Marie-Antoinette Estate, two popular places to go in France.
An area once reserved for the Kings of France, the Loire Valley is today one of the most famous places to visit in France. Take tours through grand castles and charming villages, while tasting some of the best food and wine in the world. This lush area is also a delight for people who enjoy long walks and has been listed as a World Heritage Site. What more could you ask for?
Tip: Make a stop at one of the many wine cellars for an impromptu tasting.
Named for its azure blue waters and fashionable crowd, the Côte D’Azur, or French Riviera is another must visit place in France. During summer, the resorts are packed with beach lovers, and are frequented by the rich and famous. You could take a trip to San Tropez to relax on a stunning beach, or take a trip to Monaco, one of the most exclusive party hotspots in the world. You could also visit the famous Cannes town, for the legendary film festival. It’s truly unlike of the other France tourist places.
If you’re planning a trip with young children, Disneyland Paris is a must-visit place in France. Located 20 kilometres from the city of Paris, with a number of resorts, golf courses, breath-taking parades and over 50 theme park attractions, you could spend a few days at Disneyland without ever getting bored.
The Notre-Dame de Paris, or Our lady of Paris, is a Catholic Cathedral in the heart of Paris. It is the most famous gothic cathedral from the middle ages, visited by over 14 million people every year. The cathedral is home to spectacular rose windows, magnificent bell towers, from where you will get a spectacular view of the capital city
In case you are the kind who prefers mountains to the seaside, France has you covered. You could take a trip down to the south-eastern part of the country, in the Alps Mountains, and visit Val d’Isere, a popular ski resort. The charming village hosted the 1992 winter Olympics, and regularly holds World Cup skiing events. The region is also home to Michelin-Starred restaurants and a raging nightlife.
Apart from being one of the most recognisable landmarks in France, the Saint Michael Island is also the most popular religious site in Europe. It attracts more than 3 million visitors annually, making it another of France tourist places to be included in the list of world heritage sites.
Of all the places to visit in France, this has to be one of the most iconic. It was built by the Emperor Napoleon in the 1800s and today stands has a burning flame in tribute to the soldiers who fought in World War One. You can climb to the top of the Arc for a wonderful view of the city or take a short walk around the area to visit Monceau Park, or the Champs Elysees.
Now that you’ve figured out your itinerary, it’s time to get packing.