What to do in France
There is nearly an endless list of things to do in France. To start, you’ll want to visit the iconic landmarks in Paris like the Eiffel Tower, spend time simply strolling the atmospheric streets, and enjoy a relaxed afternoon at a café, sipping French wine while watching the world go by. History enthusiasts might explore Normandy’s D-Day beaches and just about everyone will enjoy visits to beautiful palaces and gardens like Versailles. The Loire Valley is popular for wine tasting and its chateaux, with the highlight Chateau de Chambord, while the city of Lyons is especially notable for its gastronomic scene.
Best activities to do in France
France has a huge range of outdoor pursuits, history, culture, and food to enjoy. To help you narrow it down we have put together a list of some of our favorites.
See the Sunset from the Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower soars over Paris as the city’s most iconic landmark, drawing countless visitors to take in a panorama of it all from above. Arriving just before dusk brings the opportunity to experience this breathtaking sight at the best time of day, with the sunset casting a stunning golden glow across the horizon, reflected on the River Seine.
Discover the Old Quarters of Paris
The city’s Old Quarters are some of the most charming neighborhoods, providing a glimpse of the city’s medieval days, including the Latin Quarter, which has been its university quarter since the Middle Ages, home to bookshops and quirky boutiques. Wander the tranquil pedestrian streets of the Île Saint-Louis, and don’t miss hip Le Marais, especially atmospheric with its historic mansions and palaces.
Take a Trip to Mont Saint-Michel
One of the most iconic attractions in France, Mont Saint-Michel sits on a rocky island, linked by a causeway to the mainland. The breathtaking abbey was built in the early 8th century by devoted monks. Visitors walk through the Boulevard Gate and the fortified King’s Gate, to the Grand Rue lined with museums, shops, and homes dating from the 15th and 16th centuries.
Visit the Artist Villages in Provence
Provence is filled with gorgeous medieval villages and sun-soaked seaports that have been depicted in countless works of art. Some of the best to explore include the hilltop town of Saint-Paul de Vence which has attracted artists for 100 years. Visit Saint-Remy de Provence, famously associated with Vicent van Gogh, with the Musee Estrine displaying his works.
Cook Delicious French Cuisine in Burgundy
There may be no better destination than France to take a cooking lesson, with each area offering its own distinct culinary style, but Burgundy whips up some of the country’s most famous regional dishes like Coq au Vin (chicken stew) and escargots (snails). You’ll get an authentic look at the culture and lifestyle in the region, and a useful souvenir to bring home.
Take a Cycling Trip Around Bordeaux
If you like to cycle, the Bordeaux region should be on the top of your list, with opportunities to roll through picturesque historic villages, passing vineyard-covered rolling hills, and magnificent cycles. There are guided tours available or you can plan your own self-guided route like the popular Roger Lapebie path in Entre-deux-Mer, which offers lush landscapes leading to medieval Creon.
Take a Day Out to Chateau Vaux-le-Vicomte
One of the highlights of your time in France might be an enchanted summer evening, enjoyed at Chateau Vaux-le-Vicomte. Every Saturday night between early May and early October, a special candlelit evening is hosted, providing visitors the opportunity to marvel at the chateau’s opulent interior and beautiful gardens. Enjoy it with a gourmet meal at the fine-dining restaurant on-site.
Get Lost in the Colorful Markets at Aix-en-Provence
One of the best ways to delve into Provencal’s local culture is to visit the open-air markets in Aix-en-Provence. A daily traditional farmer’s market is held in shady Place Richelme square, bringing locals to shop for fresh produce, olive oil, cheeses, and fish. The Grand Marche (Large Market) takes place on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at Place de Verdun and Place des Precheurs.
Hire a Yacht in Saint-Tropez
You don’t have to be a wealthy yacht owner to sail the French Riviera. Yachts are available for hire by the day, week, or longer, so you can enjoy the salty sea breeze while soaking up the Mediterranean sun and gazing out at the endless blue of the glistening sea. Saint-Tropez is home to many local outfitters that rent yachts, sailboats, and motorboats.
Go Skiing in the Alps
The French Alps offers some of the world’s best skiing, along with some of the most spectacular views, with powdery snow and frequently bright blue skies. Some of the top resorts can be found at Portes du Soleil, including Morzine-Avoriaz, while legendary Chamonix-Mont Blanc offers a wide variety of slopes and Les Trois Vallees boats the largest skiing area in the world.
Cruise the River Seine
A must-do in Paris, cruising the River Seine provides the chance to see many of the city’s top sights, with a unique perspective from the water. You’ll sail past the Louvre, Notre Dame Cathedral, Place de la Concorde, Musee D’Orsay, and many other iconic landmarks while enjoying a relaxing excursion. Daytime tours, brunch, lunch, and dinner cruises are all available.
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