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Discover France: Know the 26 incredible activities to experience in 2024

Discover France's exciting experiences, from Paris to the southern coast, with numerous landmarks and tourist attractions to see.

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Discover France: Traveling to France is always an exciting experience, no matter which part of the country you are visiting. Whether you’re going to Paris or taking a road trip along the country’s southern coast, there are many landmarks and tourist attractions to see.

Among the most popular things to do in France are party in Saint Tropez and hiking in the footsteps of 18th-century customs officers for 2,000 kilometers. And there are countless things to do in between, including castles, museums, volcanoes, and, of course, Paris landmarks.

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In addition, no matter where you choose to stay or which places you decide to visit, you will experience some of the best food and wines in the world. It is the country that produces the Michelin Guide, one of the most respected authorities in the restaurant and travel industries.

The best things to do in France range from the stunning Mont St. Michel in Normandy to the beaches of the Côte d’Azur.

A first-time visitor to France should stay in Paris. Take advantage of the numerous and spectacular sights of the capital, and take as many day trips as possible.

Paris is relatively close to Versailles, Bourges, Champagne, and even Normandy, all of which can be visited on day trips via public transportation or by car.

France Quick Guide: The Best of France

Louvre, Palace of Versailles, Bourges Cathedral, and Chateau de Chambord are a few of the must-sees

A few places to stay include the Alcôve Hôtel (Nice), the Hotel La Maison Champs Elysées (Paris), and the Hotel Mont-Blanc (Chamonix).

Visit the Dune of Pilat, the House and Gardens of Claude Monet, ski in Chamonix, and visit Mont Saint Michel.

Visiting Bordeaux, the French Riviera, and Nimes as day trips

Foods to try: Coq au Vin, Ratatouille, Crepes, Pain au Chocolat

Florida City tops New York Times travel list

A guide to the best things to do in France

In addition to large cities, stunning beaches, and countless hiking trails, France has something for everyone. If you want a relaxing vacation on the beach and sipping cocktails, head to the French Riviera in southern France.

You may prefer hiking and outdoor adventure, but that shouldn’t be a problem since nearly a third of France is covered in forests with numerous trails to choose from. In addition, you can climb a volcano and stay in a village at the foot of the highest summit in the Alps. For a short city break, Paris is one of the best destinations in Europe.

The Mont Saint Michel

Located in Normandy, Mont Saint Michel is a tiny island with a Romanesque abbey at its center and the highest tides in Europe. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, inscribed for its importance as a Catholic site.

Mont St. Michel is one of the most famous landmarks in northern France. I recommend combining a visit to Mont St. Michel with a visit to Jersey Island, where there is a castle with secret chambers.

Useful information

The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. with no admission fee.

Mont Saint Michel
Source: Wikipedia

Take a tour of the Louvre

In recent years, the Louvre has held the title of the most visited museum in the world. Millions of people queue up to see the Mona Lisa for the first time.

Even in the off-season, the Louvre is immensely crowded, and getting the best spot in front of the iconic painting is nearly impossible. Sadly, many people do not have the opportunity to observe Da Vinci’s most famous work. There are lots of other interesting artworks at the museum, so that’s okay.

Besides Venus de Millo, The Wedding at Cana, and The Coronation of Napoleon, the Parisian museum also houses other iconic works of art that draw smaller crowds.

You can enter the Louvre without waiting in line for hours by heading to the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel and descending the stairs.

An overview of practical information

In general, the Louvre is open daily from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m., except on Tuesdays. A standard ticket costs 17 euros.

Take a tour of the Louvre
Source: Wikipedia

Drink champagne in champagne houses

There is no champagne if it does not originate from the Champagne region of France, and this is your chance to visit the region on a day trip from Paris. Champagne is located in the northeastern region of the country.

You will discover a detailed exhibit on the history, production, and trends of champagne making at the Pretoria Champagne Museum, as well as tastings.

Many wineries in the Champagne region offer tours and tastings to visitors. By far the most popular winery is Moet et Chandon, as well as Champagne Taittinger, Leclerc Briant, and Paul-Etienne Saint Germain.

An overview of practical information

There are many places in France from which to organize tours of the Champagne region, but most of them depart from Paris.

Visit the House and Gardens of Claude Monet

All art lovers in France must visit the garden of Monet’s former house in Giverny, which inspired his iconic painting Water Lilies.

In Giverny, an hour and a half outside Paris, Monet’s house is a favorite day trip for Parisians. The house features period furniture and is adorned with paintings from floor to ceiling.

As the garden is so expansive, visitors will receive a map so they can find their way around. Taking a walk around the garden is an adventure in itself and is one of my favorite parts of the entire experience. We already know how much Monet was inspired by the garden, so imagine what you could accomplish by experiencing it for yourself.

An overview of practical information

Until the 1st of November, Monet’s House and Garden are open to the public from 9:30 AM to 6 p.m. Tickets cost 13 euros.

Visit the Pilat Dune

Located in the Arcachon Bay region of France, the Dune of Pilat is Europe’s tallest dune. It looks like a mini desert and is an incredible natural landmark. Its best feature is that it is not extremely popular, so it is rarely as crowded as some other popular destinations in the country.

There is a wonderful view of the ocean from the top of the dune, which stands at 100–115 meters high, depending on the wind. You can climb to the top of the dune from the car park in 10–20 minutes, depending on your fitness level.

The easiest way to climb the dune is to remove your shoes and feel the sand between your toes.

An overview of practical information

In addition to being accessible by car and public transportation from Bordeaux, the Dune of Pilat is free of charge.

Pilat Dune
Source: Wikipedia

Kayaking in Verdon Gorge

The Verdon Gorge is one of the world’s most spectacular natural landmarks and a top destination for hiking, climbing, and water sports.

A drive can even be made to the highest cliffs in the gorge, where travelers can experience some breathtaking panoramic views. On foot, you may enjoy kayaking, climbing cliffs, hiking through the gorge, or even paragliding. You can easily spend several days here having fun and exploring the beauty of France.

An overview of practical information

In addition to being easily accessible by car, Verdon Gorge is also accessible by public transportation.

Visit the Palace of Versailles

The Palace of Versailles is one of the most famous landmarks in the country. It was built in the 18th century and is famous for its gilded apartments and fountain show. It is one of the main reasons why so many travelers choose Versailles commune, 45 minutes by public transportation from Paris.

With over 2,300 rooms throughout the Palace of Versailles, it is easy to spend hours strolling around the property and marveling at its opulent decor.

An overview of practical information

For guaranteed admission during busy periods, purchase tickets online for the Palace of Versailles. Tickets are available for 19.5 euros.

Go skiing in Chamonix

One of the best skiing destinations in France is Chamonix, located on the border with Switzerland and Italy. The best place in France for an active winter vacation is Chamonix, which boasts five ski resorts in the Swiss, Italian, and French Alps and access to World Cup pistes.

Chamonix is connected to the mountain slopes by cable cars in addition to being at the foot of Mont Blanc, the highest mountain of the Alps. Chamonix is a great place for hiking, alpine climbing, mountain biking, and virtually anything else you can do in the mountains.

An overview of practical information

By train, Chamonix is just two hours away from Geneva International Airport, the closest airport to the town.

Take a walk to the top of the Eiffel Tower

You can climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower to experience a spectacular view of Parisian rooftops and feel like you’re on top of the world.

Unless you’re afraid of heights, it’s a must if you’re in Paris. The Eiffel Tower is a bustling landmark, but the line to climb it is not nearly as long as anticipated. Visitors generally hang out at Champ de Mars, a sprawling park at the foot of the landmark, and enjoy the scenery.

You can capture stunning images of the famous Parisian tower by visiting Rue de l’Université. The charming alley offers an uninterrupted view of the tower, and it is rarely as crowded as the park.

Bring a jacket as it is always windy on the tower’s top floor.

An overview of practical information

Ticket prices range from 11.3 euros to 28.30 euros for the Eiffel Tower, which is open from 9:30 a.m. to midnight.

Eiffel Tower
Source: Travel+Leisure

The History of Perfume in Grasse

Grasse is a town on the Côte d’Azur famous for its perfume industry. The town is home to the International Perfume Museum, which exhibits the life and work of perfume makers through the ages.

In addition to seeing all the different tools used for perfume-making throughout history, as well as how the containers have evolved, the museum also provides some samples for visitors to smell, which are mostly staple ingredients used for perfume manufacturing.

An overview of practical information

The Perfume Museum is open daily from 10 AM to 6 PM, and tickets are available for 6 euros.

Discover the art of French cuisine

One of the world’s most influential cuisines is French cuisine. France has entirely attributed Michelin stars to fine dining and excellence, influencing many professional kitchens and creating the world’s leading restaurant guide.

It is advisable for anyone traveling to France to experience the best French cuisine. Personal favorites include French onion soup, coq au vin, ratatouille, and quiche Lorraine.

My favorite desserts are crepes, macaroons, profiteroles, or pain au chocolat. I’m getting ravenous just thinking about these delicious flaky pastries stuffed with hot, melted chocolate.

An overview of practical information

Some of the best fine dining restaurants in the country are Kei (Paris), AM par Alexandre Mazzia (Marseilles), and La Vague d’Or-Cheval Blanc (Saint Tropez).

The Roman Ruins at Nimes

Nimes is an important city for history and architecture in the Occitanie region of southern France. Once upon a time, it was an important outpost of the Roman Empire, as evidenced by its Roman Ruins.

A classic walking tour of Nimes will allow you to discover all the city’s best landmarks, including the double-tiered Amphitheatre of Nîmes, ancient Roman towers, churches, and city gates.

You must see the Pont du Gard if you are already in Nimes, an ancient aqueduct bridge from the 1st century AD that is just half an hour outside of the city.

An overview of practical information

In southern France, Nimes is located an hour and a half from Marseille.

Taking a tour of Chenonceau Castle

A French castle from the 16th century, Château de Chenonceau is a stunning example of late Gothic and early Renaissance architecture.

On the northern bank of the River Cher, the sprawling castle gardens, which include a maze, as well as the fine-dining restaurant, redefine the castle moat at Château de Chenonceau.

A highlight of this stunning castle is its collection of Old Master paintings, including works by Rubens, Van Dyck, Tintoretto, and others.

An overview of practical information

A tour of Château de Chenonceau is available every day from 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM. Tickets cost 15.5 euros.

Visit the Cathedral of Bourges

Situated in the center of France, Bourges Cathedral is among the most renowned religious structures in the nation. UNESCO has designated this location a World Heritage Site due to its exceptional Gothic architecture. Additionally, the cathedral is renowned for harboring the crypt of Jean de Berry.

Daily tours of the crypt are recommended for individuals who wish to experience the cathedral to its fullest. Similarly ostentatious as its High-Gothic exterior, the church’s interior features magnificent stained glass windows, vaulted ceilings, and opulent chandeliers.

An overview of practical information

Daily hours of operation for Bourges Cathedral are 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM and 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM. The price range for admissions is 6 to 12 euros.

Visit the Cathedral of Bourges
Source: Viator

Take a Canal Du Midi cruise

Canal du Midi, which stretches from Toulouse to Sète, is a section of the Canal des Deux Mers, a waterway that links the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Its picturesque landscapes, historic settlements, and extensive past are most effectively explored via the canal’s riverbank or bicycle paths.

In France, Canal du Midi comprises eighty percent of all river tourism. It provides a distinctive way for tourists to experience France by allowing them to dine in restaurant boats and remain in hotel barges. Water sports are prevalent in the vicinity; Canal du Midi is renowned for rowing, kayaking, canoeing, and various other activities, in addition to cycling.

An overview of practical information

Trails for cycling that follow Canal du Midi are open to the public at all times without charge. The busiest season is summer, while the majority of hotels and restaurants are closed for maintenance during the winter.

Climb a Volcano’s Summit

The Auvergne region of France is mountainous, and pastoral, and contains approximately eighty dormant volcanoes. The most prominent feature is Puy de Dôme, which can be conveniently reached via hiking pathways. Both routes leading to the summit of the volcano are so straightforward that even novice trekkers can traverse them.

Beyond the summit are breathtaking vistas of the surrounding landscapes. There is even a restaurant available for dining, albeit at a high cost. Camping is permitted in the region and provides an excellent opportunity to explore Auvergne’s breathtaking landscape.

A windproof garment is highly recommended due to the gusty conditions that prevail at the summit.

An overview of practical information

Access to the summit of Puy de Dome is possible via train and on foot. The ascent of the volcano is straightforward, and we advise hiking to save money and have a good time.

Relax On The Corsican Beaches

Côte d’Azur, an alternative name for the French Riviera, provides the ideal pretext to charter a vehicle in France. Spend days driving from Nice to Montpellier, stopping in every coastal town along the way. Although Cannes, Marseilles, and Monaco are all noteworthy locations along the Côte d’Azur, they are by no means the only ones.

By far, this region of France is the most ideal location for seaside excursions in the country. It is a miniature paradise with an infinite number of resorts, innumerable sand beaches, and an azure blue sea that you will never wish to depart from.

Despite the perpetual bustle and congestion of major cities such as Saint Tropez and Cannes, numerous smaller towns exude a more tranquil atmosphere.

An overview of practical information

The delineation of the French Riviera’s border lacks legal and official definition. It extends along the complete coastline of France along the Mediterranean Sea.

Relax On The Corsican Beaches
Source: Cool Corsica

Discover Hidden Chambers Within Mont Orgueil Castle

A visit to Mont Orgueil Castle is an essential must, despite presenting an enormous logistical challenge. Situated on Jersey, one of the Channel Islands, the location provides convenient ferry access from both Granville and Saint-Malo. Additionally, while the Channel Islands are not technically French territory, they are most conveniently reached from the northern coast of the nation.

The château entrance is situated mere minutes away from sandy beaches, which provide expansive vistas of the ocean. The secret chambers, however, are my favorite aspect of this castle; they are reminiscent of a scene from an Agatha Christie novel.

Additionally captivating are the castle’s various sculptures adorning its walls and the conjuring exhibit.

An overview of practical information

The daily hours of operation at Mont Orgueil Castle are 10 AM to 4 PM. The cost of tickets is £16.90.

Alsace’s Winter Wonderland

The French province of Alsace is situated along the German and Swiss borders. The UNESCO World Heritage Site, the historic city center of Strasbourg, Grande Île, is renowned worldwide as the region’s metropolis

The location’s atmosphere and architecture are distinct from those of the larger communities in France. The smaller communities in Switzerland and Germany are more reminiscent of me, and this is a direct consequence of Strasbourg’s border location.

In addition to hosting the finest Christmas markets in France, this magnificent city is an ideal location for a winter vacation in the nation.

An overview of practical information

By train, Strasbourg, Alsace is most conveniently reached from the Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg Airport.

Alsace's Winter Wonderland
Source: Pinterest

Vichy’s Thermal Baths

Vichy, located in the center of central France, is among the country’s preeminent spa towns. Spend your time indulging in the town’s thermal baths and absorbing the therapeutic properties of the waters.

Enter the old town of Vichy once you have sufficiently unwinded to admire its eclectic architecture and Art Deco churches. At twilight, stroll along the riverfront promenade and take in the breathtaking views of the Allier River for the most enchanted experience.

An overview of practical information

Internationally, the airport in Lyon is the most distant from Vichy. The travel time by bus or train from Lyon to Vichy is approximately three hours.

Tasting of Wines in Bordeaux

The Bordeaux region of France produces some of the finest red wines that have a global reputation. The region’s finest wineries offer unending sampling and tours, providing insight into the production of the various Bordeaux wines.

The Cité du Vin in Bordeaux is a viticulture museum that is renowned for its peculiarly curved structure. The high-tech exhibition provides an in-depth look at the winemaking process, including the functions of the variously shaped wine vessels and the distinctions between grape varieties.

An overview of practical information

The hours of operation at the Cité du Vin Museum are 10 AM to 6 PM, with extended hours of 7 PM on weekends. The tickets include wine sampling in their 22€ price.

Tasting of Wines in Bordeaux
Source: Wikipedia

Hike 34 GR34

Saint Tropez’s nightlife has gained international renown. Its abundance of outstanding pubs and nightclubs makes it the most lively party destination on the French Riviera. Furthermore, if you have an interest in engaging in nonstop dancing throughout the night in France, Saint Tropez is the best destination for you.

Additionally renowned for its expansive beaches, the city is home to numerous beach clubs and beach restaurants, ensuring that the fun never ends. Saint Tropez is among the finest locations in France for sunbathing, swimming, and socializing.

An overview of practical information

The location of Saint Tropez is along the French Riviera. Nice contains the aerodrome closest to the city.

Pay a visit to the Notre Dame Cathedral

Notre Dame, situated on a minuscule island in the Seine, is without a doubt the most renowned religious edifice in France. The catastrophic fire of 2019 severely damaged a substantial portion of the church’s roof, further enhancing its centuries-old notoriety.

Stained glass windows adorn the Notre Dame in Paris; they are regarded as Gothic masterpieces. Being one of the most renowned monuments in the capital of France, it is a must-see attraction for all visitors to Paris.

Since the flames, Notre Dame has been inaccessible to the general public, which is unfortunate. However, the cathedral is reopening in December 2024, allowing the curious public to once again explore its observation platforms and behold its enthralling interior.

An overview of practical information

Presently, Practical Information Notre Dame is off-limits to the general public. It cost eight euros to enter the cathedral prior to the conflagration.

Notre Dame Cathedral
Source: Viator

Chateau De Chambord

Chateau de Chambord is France’s most renowned and significant fortress. It was once the residence of French monarchs and dukes and is the preeminent example of architecture from the French Renaissance. The chateau has a complex and turbulent past.

King Francis I of France originally designed and built the castle during the mid-16th century as a hunting retreat. The French Revolution led to the liquidation of the castle’s furnishings. It remained deserted for decades before people restored it in the nineteenth century.

Presently, the chateau stands as a preeminent visitor destination within the Loire Valley. Its architectural grandeur, lavish interior, and extensive historical background all captivate visitors, rendering it an indispensable attraction in France.

An overview of practical information

The Chateau de Chambord is accessible every day between the hours of 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM. Ticket prices at full price are 14.50 euros.

Chateau De Chambord 
Source: Expedia

Frequently Asked Questions

Is France An Affordable Destination?

Although France is not exactly an inexpensive destination, it is possible to visit the country on a more limited budget. Paris is the most expensive region of France; hotels and restaurants in the other cities ought to be considerably more affordable.

For what is France renowned?

The Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Notre Dame de Paris, Mont Saint Michel, and the Palace of Versailles are all emblematic of France. Additionally, tourists from around the world visit the Côte d’Azur, Champagne, and Mont Blanc.

Which Three Destinations Are the Most Visited in France?

The Palace of Versailles, Disneyland Paris, and the Louvre Museum are the top three most visited locations in France. All three are located in close proximity to or within Paris.

Why Is France An Entertaining Destination?

It is enjoyable to travel to France due to its extraordinary diversity. The nation has something to offer everyone, from tranquil castles to sandy coastlines.

Information And Suggestions Regarding The Ideal Time To Visit France

There is no best time to visit France, but it depends on how you intend to spend your time there. During summer, France is perfect for hiking and visiting the seashore. The coast, however, remains a lively destination even in September, when visitors are half as many as in July and August.

When throngs are thinner, winter is the ideal time to ski in the French Alps and explore the region’s most popular tourist attractions. In general, there is no undesirable period to visit France, with the possible exception of strikes. Conversely, protests.

Arriving There

The busiest airport in France, Charles de Gaulle International Airport offers the greatest number of direct flights to foreign cities. You will almost certainly be arriving at this airport outside of Paris, from which you can board a bus or train to the city center.

Additionally, Toulouse Airport, Nice Airport, and Lyon Airport are all significant facilities in France. Lyon Airport services the eastern and central regions of France, while the other two provide easy access to the French Riviera and the Basque Country. Additionally, the Geneva and Basel airports provide convenient access to cities in eastern France.

Activities for Getting Around France Navigating the Grenoble Bastille Gondola
When touring France, it is most efficient to rent a car and drive in order to see as many locations as possible. However, if you are unable or unwilling to travel by foot, trains will serve as a transport alternative. Certain routes feature high-speed trains capable of reaching velocities of 300 km/h, rendering train travel frequently more expedient than driving.

Lodging Options in France

Top activities in France Places of accommodation

One of the finest locations to stay in France is in Paris. In addition to its many tourist attractions, the capital is conveniently located to reach northern, central, and eastern France. For road trips and seaside vacations along the Côte d’Azur, any municipality between Nice and Marseilles is an ideal location.

Those visiting France during the winter and desiring to go skiing or snowboarding should stay in Chamonix. The resort provides convenient proximity to the French Alps, which are home to some of the nation’s finest ski pistes.

Muskan Manocha
Muskan Manocha
Muskan Manocha is pursuing graduation from University of Delhi.

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