France has numerous cities of interest to travelers, some with Roman remains and medieval magic; others are contemporary chic; most have charming squares, bustling markets, majestic cathedrals, local industry, architecture, arts and sports.
The cities and towns of France all have their own unique character and attractions. And when it comes to beautiful and interesting French cities, Paris is just the start – there are 22 regional cities in France and each department also has a capital to explore.
Paris, the capital and largest city, is on top of the list for most tourists in France, it is often as the “City of Light”, and known for romance and the Eifel Tower. Bordeaux is famous for its surrounding wine areas with traditional stone mansions and smart terraces, and is in itself a charming city. Lyon has a history from Roman times to the Resistance, and is a center for the world famous cuisine.
Strasbourg is famous for its historical center, and home to many European institutions. Avignon is known as the “City of Popes,” and the Palace of the Popes is the city’s most famous architectural structure. Aix-en-Provence is built on hot springs and is where the renowned painter Cezanne lived and painted.
Reims is known for its production of champagne and its cathedral. Dijon has served as the capital for the dukes of Burgundy, and is home to some of the best wine yards in the world.
Marseille is France`s second most populous city and home to many wonders, setting alight the fires of any traveler`s heart. One of its most charming aspects is the many markets available for people of all persuasions including the Noailles market, featuring arts and crafts of African origin and design
Among the coastal holiday destinations, Nice, Cannes, and Montpellier are probably the most popular destinations. Nice is known for being at the center of Côte d’Azur, Cannes for its annual film festival, and Montpellier for its historic city center and universities.
Paris – Capital of France
Paris the capital city of France and is also known as the popular tourist destinations. The best time to visit Paris is in spring, because in rest of the seasons like winter Paris has all sorts of cultural events going on so it is advised to make a trip at this time. In summer the weather is warm and people avoid chilling in such season. Paris is all full of surprises.
Popular places in Paris include the Eiffel Tower one of the famous monuments ever built. You must not miss visiting “Louvre” which is one of the most impressive and well known museums in the world.
Another important Museum in Paris is the “Picasso Museum”, which displays the art of a famous artist’s such as “Picasso’s”. The beautiful churches in France are “Notre Dame Cathedral” and the “Sacre Coeur” which has the fantastic view of city around.
The places for people to stroll around Paris includes the “Place du Tertre” and do not miss the chance of climbing the steps to the “Sacre Coeur in Montmartre”. “Saucy Pigalle” district is the must watch place in Paris.
Take a delightful walk around the Latin Quarter – St. Germain and Boulevard St. Michel and there you can even check out the street performers doing their act.
The popular places in and around Paris includes “Fontainebleau” and “Versailles” with its magnificent palace of Louis XIV, Vaux-le-Vicomte. Palace also has a water fall which is almost as high as Nigeria water fall.
Travelers in Paris, on a airy summer’s day can get into the cool of the water and float down the Seine in a canal boat which are available on rent. They can even participate in other sports activates like ice skating and bowling.
Avigon – World Heritage Site
Avigon is a village in southern France. It is the World Heritage Site and the City of Theater. Avignon’s architecture is marked by Papal History. The town displays ancient culture and is full of history, life, youth, art, music and activity.
In order to discover the town you should prefer walking the narrow streets inside the fortified walls, it has great shopping area. The Palace of the Popes built in the 14th century is the most popular sight in Avignon. The museums such as Petit Palais and Palais du Roure, are the famous places in Avignon.
The Avigon has ancient streets, the courtyards of the private mansions, the renovated facades which looks charming. One of the most elegant streets is the “Rue Joseph Vernet”, nearby to the “Calvet museum” and the “Requien Museum”. Avignon is big enough for people to wonder around and they may even find themselves being lost in the crowd.
The places you must not avoid seeing on the streets of Avigon are “Place de l’Horloge” a long square which is situated in front of the “Hotel de Ville”. It has a terrace cafes on the both sides and the “Belle Epoque carrousel” at the top end. The streets at the top end of the Place d’Horloge lead to the Palace of the Popes.
The popular events and festival which takes place in Avigon are dance, music and theater. Among them theater plays an important role which was Started in 1947 by Jean Vilar, and it takes place every year between the 10th of July and the 5th of August. It is an international festival with 120,000 spectators with all over France and Europe who comes to discover new talent or admire those actors already known.
The City Bordeaux is one of the biggest cities of France with a population of over 900,000 people. It is situated along the bank of the Garome River. The city is known for its wines all over the world. It is located in west of France and the best time to visit Bordeaux is spring, though autumn is pleasant, too, but the days are really short at that time.
The climate of Bordeaux’s is mild as the Atlantic Ocean prevents from both freezing cold and excessive heat. Bordeaux provides with many sports activities such as soccer, horse ridding and racquet games.
The main events and festivals of Bordeaux are, “Fete le Wine” which means wine festival. It takes place in late June and early July and is an excellent opportunity to get to know the region’s famous wine. It carries out wine tasting art exhibitions wine-making exhibitions, wine tasting, and traditional music and dance performances.
The city has many worth seeing places for tourist like excellent museums and the nightlife is full of pomp and show. Bordeaux is also famous for its beaches. It has Wide avenues, neoclassical architecture and well-tended parks which gives the city a 18th-century splendor. Chateaux is a place to learn something about the Bordeaux wines. Other places worth seeing in Bordeaux are Quartier Saint-Eloi. It is one of the most picturesque districts in Bordeaux.
Cannes is a city in France and famous for the International Film Festival. The name Cannes is derived from “Canna”, which means a reed. It draws the maximum star tourist to the destination especially in the month of may and that too for 12 days.
Cannes has become a center of cinema hub with 30.0000 directors, producers, distributors and publist to buy sell or promotes movies every year. At this time you will witness foreign people and plenty yachts and cruise ships floating in the blue water, you can see the richer rich people ridding the most expensive car like ferrari for shopping trips.
Cannes has a pleasant temperate. Summers are warm without being uncomfortable, autumn are wet and winter brings cool days and chilly evenings but it hardly reaches freezing temperature. Spring is the nicest time of year, with sunny days with little rain.
The city of Cannes is centered on the old port, with the central part quite compact. The most popular destination of Cannes is “Croisette” beach that extends around the bay to the east of the port, in the protected “Rade de Cannes”.
The other places spotted in Cannes old town are “Le Suquet” which is on the west end of the port. The oldest church such as “Notre-Dame-de-l’Esperence” dating to 12th-16th-century gives a touch of medieval flavor to the city.
The street of “Le Suquet” is narrow and moving up and around the hill, which gives a fine view from the top. There are many beaches along the “Golfe de la Napoule” or along “La Croisette” in the “Rade de Cannes” which are sandy as in Antibes and Juan-les-Pins.
Cannes provides with a facility of sport and adventurous activities like cycling, walking, swimming, water skiing and scuba diving.
It is the third largest city of France. It is a major centre of business and is situated between Paris and Marseilles. Lyons is one of the most historic, fascinating, and exsiting towns to visit. Tourist can explore churches and historic museums, best restaurants around, and discover the famous silk industry and Lyons’ Roman heritage.
Lyon is a city with diverse culture. Lyon has an average temperature with 25 degrees. The famous Rhone river and the Saone river flow through Lyon which creates a peninsula called “Presqu’ile” and it is considered the modern center of Lyon.
Other places to be spotted in Lyon are, “The Basilique de Notre-Dame” which was built as a result of the Franco-Prussian war in the 19th century. It is situated on a hill which has a striking white exterior, and a colorful, ornate interior with religious mosaics.
You can Climb up to Fourviere to get a spectacular view of the whole town from the gardens, you should preferably visit this place at night. The St. Jean Cathedral, started in the 12th century, has impressive columns and stained-glass windows, a 14th century astronomical clock plays a hymn at noon. All the bridges and the buildings have been enlightened in a very artistic way in Lyon which looks majestic.
Marseille is the second largest and the oldest cities dating back more than 2000 years of France. The ancient name of Marseille is “Phocaea”. It lies on the coast of Mediterranean sea. The city attracts tourist from all over Europe for its status of complexity and superb weather.
Marseille is a great shopping place and also known as the second city of the most fashion conscious country on earth and there are plenty of varieties in clothes and accessories which you can find Marseille city of France. Well known designers have their exclusive boutiques in Marseille.
You will also spot high quality French and other international restaurants in the city. The National hymn of France was brought up in Marseilles. Marseilles is famous for its seafood. The most popular and world renowned seafood dish of Marseilles is Bouillabaisse.
Nineteenth century French author Alexander Dumas called “Marseille” the meeting place of the entire world. In Marseille 50 percent are French nationals and the other half are north and sub-Saharan African, Asian and non-French European.
The city has a lot of interesting sights such as OK Corral western themed amusement park and the Aqua City Water Park. Marseille has plenty of picturesque buildings and museums for visitors who can spend plenty of time in exploring.
Marseille is a city with diverse culture. There traditions in this old city are kept alive through cultural music, art and theatre. The Opera de Marseille is where maximum number of locals as well as tourists is spotted, they visit this place to listen to classical music concerts and sometimes a professional opera also take place.
There are theatres in Marseille that have a variety of performances throughout the year. There have been many silver screen movies filmed in the city of Marseille.
Dijon is located in southeast of Paris. It became the capital of the dukes of Burgundy around 1000 AD. The population of Dijon is about 150,000 while walking on the streets of Dijon you can discover some of France’s finest cuisine and drink Burgundy wines.
A mixture of white wine and cassis was invented by one of Dijon’s mayors which is known as the “kir” and is quite popular among the people of Dijon. It has variety of Food in menus such as snails in garlic butter, coq au vin, boeuf bourgignon and parslied ham.
Places to explore in Dijon are Saint Benignus Dijon’s cathedral of Saint-Benigne de Dijon and it is the crypt which is said to be one of the oldest Christian cathedrals existing in France. Dijon’s buildings are the ancient one which was built in 1365. “Palais des Ducs de Bourgogne” is an interesting structure to see in Dijon which was a home to the Dukes of Burgundy.
There is a Museum of Art and Musee de la Moutarde 48 quai Nicolas Rolin is a Museum of Mustard. Musee Archeologique 5 rue du docteur Maret is an archaeological museum which has some interesting things to display such as Celtic jewelry.
To get the best view of Dijon you can climb the Tour de Philippe le Bon. Jardin de L’Arquebuse Ave Albert 1er, is Dijon’s botanical gardens which is a must see place. The wonderful Place de la Liberation is across from the palace and where you can sit in a restaurant, wine bar or cafe and view the palace or the interesting fountains. Dijon’s Covered Market is also quit popular.
Dijon offers many cultural activities, and organizes annual festivals such as L’Ete Musical, a classical music festival in June which entertain tourist. To move around in Dijon, High speed TGV trains from Paris stops here and you can also hire a Car to explore the city. There are many hotels within a five minute walk of the station.
Nice is the capital of Cote d’Azur or French Riviera on the south-east coast of France and second largest tourist destination. The waterfront of Nice is one of the most beautiful of the Mediterranean coast .Nice is known for its wonderful attractions and sights. Nice in France features long path on the beaches, and good weather.
Nice has a rich history and fascinating landscapes, there are large number of tourists each year, The buildings of nice are built in decorative style, some are Provencal, medieval and Genoese architecture.
Nice has a delightful markets and narrow lanes crossing the street. It has all the attraction of France where food also plays an important part. The Old Town in Nice is crowded with bars and cafes. Nice has many attractions for tourists to explore such as museums and cathedrals of ancient times.
One of the finest example which displays ancient architectural style is “The Cathedral Ste-Reparate”. It was built in the 17th century and is known for its bell tower, and a ceramic tile dome. “The Chappell de la Misericorde” is worth watching due to its structure as it has a half dome, cupolas, and frescos, faux marble and crystal chandeliers which makes it look wonderful.
The street Cours Salega is famous for the construction of houses in ancient style plane trees, and a daily market. Nice has striking buildings such as Lascaris Palace which was built in 1648. It is admired for its best features such as arched staircases, railings made up of stones and bay filled with sculptures, paintings and furniture.
Matisse museum is a must watch place as it displays the original art of Henri Matisse who made it as a dedication to the beauty of nice. This vast museum shows Matisse’s works from his early days to the end of his career.
Strasbourg is the capital of the Alsace region of France. It is located in France’s border and close to countries such as Germany, Italy and Spain. It has a population of approximately 650,000. In 19th century Strasbourg was a part of Germany, but reverted to France in 1918.
The climate of Strasbourg is generally dry, warm in summers with temperature 19 degrees Celsius and In January the average temperature is 1 degree Celsius. The suitable time to visit Strasbourg is during the summer.
Strasbourg is also known for its beautiful historical centre, the Grande Ile which is a World Heritage site by UNESCO. The city hosts some important European institutions as the Council of Europe, the European Court of Human Rights, the European Ombudsman, the European Parliament and others. It is better to explore Strasbourg on foot or bicycle.
The attraction in Strasbourg’s brings tourists to the city throughout the year, with large tour groups. The city is known for its sandstone Gothic Cathedral which has a famous astronomical clock. The Cathedral is Europe’s most beautiful examples of gothic architecture.
The museums such as Musee d’Art Moderne et Contemporain which is popular for its Contemporary Art, and the Musee Alsacien with its exhibit covering the history and traditions of the region is the must watch places in Strasbourg.
Place Kleber is a crowded with popular shops and a hub of activity. Music in Strasbourg means more than just opera, the renowned Theatre National de Strasbourg and Opera National du Rhin feature high-quality shows which attracts maximum tourist to the city.
Toulouse is located in, Southwest France on the bank of the Garonne River. It has population amounting to 1,117,000 and is the fifth-largest city in France. Toulouse’s lies, on the banks of the Garonne. Its name is inspired from a pre-Celtic word of Aquitain. It was once considered as a major metropolis of Western Europe, but in the 18th and 19th centuries, the progress went into slow pace, completely missing the Industrial Revolution.
The city was relocated in 20th century, by the French central government. In sports, it boasts a respected rugby team, Stade Toulousain, which has been a three-time finalist and two-time winner in Europe’s top club competition in the sport, the Heineken Cup.
Popular places to see in Toulouse are Les Abattoirs, Bikini, Cafe Rex, Centre de developpement choregraphique, Centre municipal de l’Affiche, de la Carte postale et de l’Art graphique, Fil a Plomb and Jardin de l’universite, Musee des Augustins, Cite de L’Espace, Basilique St-Sernin, Cathedrale St-Etienne, Church of Les Jacobins, Fondation Bemberg, Bazacle, Canal de Brienne, Capitole, Couvent des Jacobins, FNAC junior, Church St-Sernin, Parc du Ramier. In order to move around the city an extensive bus and a modern metro system is also available.
Toulouse has rich culture and is known as the rose red city, “La Ville Rose” in French as the buildings is made up of red brick-sand tiles. Toulouse is the home to legends like Antoine de Saint-Exupery who gain popularity for a book written by him which was called “Le Petit Prince”. A gallery in the Hotel du Grand Balcon displays his work. The city is rated as the 10 most dynamic cities in the world.
The city has 140,000 students from all over Europe and the world so it makes city pouring with recreation places such as cafes, restaurants, dance clubs, music and bookstores, artist collectives, and a place for public debates, concerts of every style and a world-famous rugby team. 20 festivals Takes place every year of music, dance, film, art and literature.
Amiens is a city in the Somme region of France. It is Located about 120 kilometers from Paris and worth visiting. It has a Population of 130,000. The city has become the victim of World War II, and the scar on the buildings still tell the tale to people who so ever visit the city. Amiens is a city which depicts rich historical tradition, and people gather here to experience its ancient cathedral.
Tourist has lot of thing to do in Amiens such as taking a cruise in a 12-person gondola-like boat from the riverside kiosk and admire the flowers garden that float throughout the waterway. The Gothic Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Amiens is the best monument of France. It is France’s largest cathedral and its 42 m-high. It was constructed in the 13th century and is among the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Notre-Dame has picturesque architecture such as ornate doorways, beautiful stained-glass windows.
The other places to explore in Amiens are marshland canals which is a network of canals as well as cottages. This place was once the central hub for the textile industry. It has floating market gardens Hortillonages which covers a 330-hectare it have been created on little islands on the marshlands at the edge of the city, along the river Somne.
Visitors should not miss the Specialties of Amiens such as macaroons, chocolate biscuits, ficelle picarde, gateau battu. In order to move around the city train and bus stations are close together on the east side of the city centre and Bicycles can also be hired from the nonprofit Association Velo Service.
Metz is the capital of the newly created region of Lorraine. It is 3000 years old city and in ancient time Metz was known as Divodurum. Metz is known for its wealth and natural architectural heritage. Metz is worth to visit as it has number of beautiful parks to stroll around, good Museums, Churches, Art galleries, Markets.
City Metz was the part of Roman era and remains can be seen in the oldest church in France, Museums or in certain places in the city like Saint-Pierre-aux-Nonnains.
The buildings of Metz are old and narrow streets, in order to explore city it is better to walk to find much more interesting architectures, doors, statues one the way. The famous cathedral St. Etienne is the must see place in Metz. It was built around 13th and 16th centuries. It is a gorgeous building and considered the third highest cathedral in France. The cathedral is also known as “Lantern God” because of its 70,000 square feet of stained glass windows. Metz is also one of France’s greenest cities.
The other places to see in Metz is Arsenal, which is former military building erected by Napoleon III. Its concert hall combining is a real combination of classicism and modernity. The Metz, always was a land of music. To move around in Metz one has to rely on bus as it does not have any streetcars or subways.