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France
Travel Guide

Annecy-le-Vieux

Famous for fashion and first-class cuisine, this influential European nation features monumental cities, quaint alpine villages and glamorous beach resorts.

Perhaps best known for its delicious wine and cuisine, France has many layers to uncover. In addition to visiting cities filled with fashion houses and the celebrity haven of the French Riviera, discover its rural side, where farmhouses, mountain peaks and majestic lakes dominate the scene.

In Paris, gaze up at the most recognizable attraction in all France: the Eiffel Tower. Built in 1889 and designed by Gustave Eiffel to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution, this wrought iron tower welcomes almost 7 million visitors a year. Ride the elevator high up the tower to appreciate a spectacular panoramic view of Paris.

Another popular highlight is the Gothic-style Notre Dame Cathedral. Climb the 387 steps up the bell tower for a wonderful view of the city. The Louvre, frequently cited as the world’s greatest art museum, is another Parisian must-see. Visit in the late afternoon to avoid the heaviest crowds.

For a different perspective of Gothic architecture, check out Strasbourg Cathedral in the Alsace region of France. Arrive by late morning to witness the 12:30 p.m. performance of the cathedral’s astronomical clock.

Find a more laid-back, rural side to France in the chateaux-dotted Loire Valley or the peaceful and pastoral Dordogne, where picture-perfect villages and wine-tasting opportunities abound. In the eastern part of France, discover the majesty of Lake Annecy and the French Alps. Visit during summer to enjoy scenic alpine walks or during winter for a snow-filled ski break.

On the Mediterranean coast, glamour rules the yacht-filled towns of St. Tropez and Cannes, while inland, Provence has Roman ruins, purple lavender fields and lovely rosé wines.

Numerous major airports serve flights to and from France: Charles de Gaulle and Orly Airports in Paris, Côte d'Azur International Airport in Nice and Lyon Saint Exupéry Airport in Lyon. Ride trams or metros in France’s bigger cities, take the train between cities or rent a car to get out into the countryside. Fall under the spell of this enchanting country.

Popular cities in France

Eiffel Tower showing a sunset, a monument and heritage architecture
Paris
Known for Cafes, Museums and Art
From an afternoon picnic in the Luxembourg Gardens to a night at the opera, France’s romantic capital offers both simple pleasures and extravagant splurges.

Reasons to visit

  • Grands Boulevards
  • Canal Saint-Martin
  • Rue de Rivoli
Vieux Port featuring boating and a marina
Marseille
Known for Ports, Business and Cafes
A stunning coastline, thriving café culture and 26 centuries of history makes this port city in the South of France the perfect year-round escape.

Reasons to visit

  • Old Port of Marseille
  • La Corniche
  • Prado Market
Lyon showing a city, a statue or sculpture and a river or creek
Lyon
Known for Historical, Business and Museums
France’s third largest city is famous for films, festivals, food and centuries-old architecture.

Reasons to visit

  • Bellecour Square
  • Place des Terreaux
  • Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière
Comedy Square featuring street scenes and heritage architecture as well as a small group of people
Montpellier
Known for Walking, Historical and Business
Imagine yourself in medieval France in this ancient trade and university town. Then take advantage of the easy access to the Mediterranean Sea.

Reasons to visit

  • Comedy Square
  • Corum Convention Center
  • Polygone Shopping Center
Bordeaux featuring street scenes and heritage elements
Bordeaux
Known for Shopping, Tours and Business
Cycle along the city’s network of bike paths as you taste local wines, look across the Garonne River or relax in one of the city’s many gardens and parks.

Reasons to visit

  • Rue Sainte-Catherine
  • St. Michael Basilica
  • The City of Wine
Nice featuring a coastal town and a sandy beach as well as a large group of people
Nice
Known for Dining, Beach View and Shopping
Unofficial capital of the French Riviera, this glamorous seaside city has been one of France’s most popular tourist destinations since the 18th century.

Reasons to visit

  • Promenade des Anglais
  • Place Massena
  • Avenue Jean Medecin

Popular places to visit in France

France

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