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The Most Beautiful Tourist Attractions In France

Updated on September 15, 2014

France has, statistically, been the world’s most popular country in terms of tourism since the beginning of the twenty first century and is amongst the most geographically diverse lands in Europe. From great cathedrals and palaces to small medieval chapels, Roman ruins and other historic remains from the time of the Industrial Revolution, France has just about everything. It boasts of famous tourist attractions like Paris, the French Riviera, the Atlantic Beaches, the French Alps, the castles of Brittany, Normandy and the Loire Valley, to name a few.

Popular Historical Monuments You Should Not Miss

France has more than forty thousand sites that have been officially classified as historic monuments. The following are the most visited places of historic and cultural interest according to the French National Statistical Office.

  • · Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.
  • · Sacre Coeur Basilica, Montmartre in Paris.
  • · Gardens of the Chateau de Versailles near Paris
  • · The Eiffel Tower in Paris.
  • · The Louvre in Paris.
  • · George Pompodou Centre and Museum of Art.
  • · Notre Dame Cathedral in Strasbourg.
  • · Chateau de Versailles
  • · Mont Saint Michael in Normandy.
  • · Musee d’Orsay in Paris.
  • · Les Baux de Provence in Provence.
  • · Village of Riquewihr in Alsace.
  • · Pont du Gard near Nimes in Languedoc.
  • · Arc de Triomphe in Paris.
  • · Palace of the Popes in Avignon, in Provence.

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The Most Visited Cities

  • Paris or the 'City of Lights’ is the favourite of every romantic. The Eiffel Tower located on the Champ de Mars is a global cultural icon of France.
  • Bordeaux is known for its wine, traditional chateaus and smart terraces.
  • Bourges has picturesque gardens, canals and the St. Etienne Cathedral which is now a UNESCO heritage site.
  • Lille comes across as a modern and dynamic northern city which is known for its active cultural life.
  • Lyon was France’s second city which originated from the Roman era and was historically important till after the Renaissance.
  • Marseilles was the third French city with a big harbour and the heart of Provence.
  • Nantes has been named the 'Greenest City’ and is widely considered to be the best place to live in Europe.
  • Strasbourg is famous for its historical centres and many European institutions are based there.
  • Toulouse of the 'Pink City’ is distinctive for its brick architecture and mainly the city of Occitania.

Other Destinations That Beckon

  • Disneyland Paris is the most visited attraction in Europe.
  • The French Alps are great for both scenic beauty and for winter sports. The Mont Blanc is also the highest mountain in Western Europe.
  • French Riviera (Cote d’Azur) is the Mediterranean coastline of France with plenty of seaside resorts, yachts and golf courses.
  • The Loire Valleys is popular for its great wine and chateaux, medieval castles and fortresses..
  • Verdon Gorge offers a breathtaking river canyon , turquoise-green in colour and is a well-liked destination for kayaking, hiking, rock climbing and simply even driving around the limestone cliffs.

Advantages of Driving In France

  • Driving is probably one of the best options for tourists. There are roads ranging from narrow single lane roads in the country side to major highways and they are always in excellent condition.
  • You can rent a car online well in advance from your home country (this helps you to secure the vehicle that you want at the best price available.)
  • Driving offers you the flexibility to cover as many areas as you want and at the pace that suits you best.

You must be in possession of a valid driving licence from your home country in order to be able to drive in France. You can get a provisional driving licence if you have are a license holder in your country.

© 2013 Juana


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