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Things to do in France

Things to do in  France

Welcome to France

Chic. Sophisticated. Iconic. France’s cultural identity is prominent across the globe. Paris, known affectionately as the City of Light, tops every list of romantic destinations yet offers something for every type of traveler, from dinner shows at the Moulin Rouge to world-renowned art at the Louvre Museum and Gothic architecture at Notre Dame Cathedral. In Versailles, the colossal palace exudes grandeur; fine wines beg to be quaffed in Bordeaux and Champagne; and war history enshrouds the battlefields of Normandy and the Somme. Gastronomes will find nirvana in France, where freshly baked baguettes, cheese, casseroles, and delicacies such as snails and frogs’ legs are staples on most menus.

Top 10 attractions in France

#1
Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower

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The Eiffel Tower isn't just a symbol of Paris but a symbol for all of France. Erected by Gustave Eiffel to commemorate the centennial of the French Revolution in 1889, the 1,050-foot (320-meter) tower once held the title of the world's tallest structure. Despite having been dwarfed by Dubai's Burj Khalifa and The Shard in London, the Eiffel Tower remains one of the most recognizable landmarks on the planet. View the architectural icon from afar, or stop in at the three observation levels for stellar city views.More
#2
Trench of the Bayonets (Tranchée des Baionnettes)

Trench of the Bayonets (Tranchée des Baionnettes)

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The Trench of the Bayonets (Tranchée des Baionnettes) is a World War I memorial situated north of the Douaumont Ossuary. It pays homage to the Bayonet Trench soldiers who are thought to have been buried alive during an enemy bombardment on June 12th, 1916. According to the myth, in 1919, Colonel Collet, Commander of the 137 I.R., returned to the location where his unit had fought in 1916 only to find a dozen rifles still sticking out of the ground, some with their bayonets still intact, with a dead French soldier under each rifle. He built a small memorial on the site to honor the memory of his colleagues. The press picked up the story, which immediately captured the public’s imagination. The story, however moving, is believed to not be entirely historically accurate. Experts believe that survivors who wanted to memorialize the place where the attack occurred probably installed the bayonets and the rifles themselves after the bombardment.More
#3
Reims Cathedral of Notre Dame (Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Reims)

Reims Cathedral of Notre Dame (Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Reims)

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One of France’s greatest Gothic masterpieces, the Reims Cathedral dates to the 13th century and is hallowed as the coronation site of many French kings. The UNESCO-listed landmark—recognizable for its twin bell towers and rose stained-glass window—was shelled during World War I but has since been restored to its former glory.More
#4
Old Lyon (Vieux Lyon)

Old Lyon (Vieux Lyon)

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At the foot of Fourviére Hill, the historical streets of Old Lyon (Vieux Lyon) offer a welcome change of pace from the modern city across the river. With elegant medieval churches, Renaissance-era monuments, and pastel-painted facades, this is Lyon’s most atmospheric district.More
#5
Aiguille du Midi Cable Car

Aiguille du Midi Cable Car

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Soaring up the rocky peak of Aiguille du Midi at 12,605 feet (3,842 meters), the Aiguille du Midi Cable Car is one of the highest in Europe. Setting out from Chamonix, the cable car has two stages, culminating in an elevator ride to the summit with spectacular views over Mont Blanc and the surrounding French and Swiss Alps.More
#6
Colmar Old Town (Vieux Colmar)

Colmar Old Town (Vieux Colmar)

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A highlight along the Alsace Wine Route, Colmar’s compact and lovingly preserved medieval center is renowned for its postcard-worthy prettiness. Come here to admire the town’s half-timbered buildings painted rainbow colors, fishing boats bobbing along the flower-lined canal ways, and a maze of cobblestone lanes dotted with small cafés and artisan shops.More
#7
Île Sainte-Marguerite

Île Sainte-Marguerite

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A 20-minute ferry ride across the waters of the Mediterranean Sea transports travelers from the high-class commotion of Cannes to the tranquil Île Sainte-Marguerite, a small island with more pine trees than people. Bring your walking shoes and your love for the great outdoors for the perfect day trip away from it all.More
#8
Versailles Gardens (Jardins de Versailles)

Versailles Gardens (Jardins de Versailles)

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Louis XIV’s Palace of Versailles takes the award for the most visited château in France, and the magnificent Versailles Gardens (Jardins de Versailles) are world renowned. A series of beautifully landscaped gardens, show-stopping fountains, and tree-lined pathways covering 800 hectares (1,976 acres), the gardens center on the cross-shaped Grand Canal.More
#9
La Cité du Vin

La Cité du Vin

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Bordeaux has long been one of the world’s top wine destinations but when Cité du Vin opened in 2016, it finally got a museum to match its reputation. Housed in a modernist building that resembles a wine decanter, the center comprises exhibition spaces, cultural events, a wine bar, a cinema space, and more.More
#10
Port Vauban

Port Vauban

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The largest marina in Europe, with over 100 berths, Antibes’ ritzy Port Vauban is one of the most popular spots for yachts on the French Riviera. Originally a natural port run by everyone from the ancient Greeks to the Romans and the Barbarians, it wasn’t until the 15th century that the site was given adequate protection from raiders, when Louis XIV ordered military engineer Seigneur de Vauban to fortify the marina.Port Vauban Antibes is home to the Yacht Club d’Antibes and has its own private heli-pad for all those superyacht owners like Roman Abramovich. Berths at Port Vauban don’t come cheap—eachspot costs between 1 and 4 million euros. Each spring, the marina hosts the Antibes Yacht Show, which attracts more than 15,000 visitors every year.Just behind the archway to Antibes’ Old Town on the western edge of the marina is a lively market that is open every day except Monday. After checking out all the glittering yachts, the market serves as a great place to order all kinds of Provençal cheeses and fruits, and to stop and enjoy a drink at one of the many bars and restaurants.More

Trip ideas

Exploring the Dordogne River Valley

Exploring the Dordogne River Valley

Top activities in France

Louvre Museum Skip the Line Access Guided Tour

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Louvre Museum Skip the Line Access Guided Tour

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Recent reviews from experiences in France

star-5
A must do while in Nice!
Dave_G, Jun 2021
Nice Small-Group Walking Food Tour with Local Specialties & Wine Tasting
Very knowledgeable of the city‘s history and full of tips and secrets of things to do while in Nice.
star-5
Informative and easy
Jan_G, Jul 2021
Mont Saint-Michel Day Trip from Bayeux
Smooth driving through the French countryside lead us to this amazing place, and before we left we had enough time to see the town and step on the mud as it was low-tide.
star-5
Fantastic day tour of Paris!
Liz_H, Jul 2021
Layover in Paris round 24/7
I'd highly recommend his tour to anyone who wants to see Paris.
star-5
Recommend this tour!
Katie_S, Feb 2020
French Riviera in One Day
You get to see a lot of the highlights of the South of France all in one day.
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Paris in a day
Katherine_A, Feb 2020
The prestigious tour to not miss anything of Paris
She spoke English well and was accommodating with our visit in Paris.
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St Michel
Lingxi_J, Feb 2020
Mont Saint-Michel Guided Day Trip with Lunch from Paris
Strongly recommend this trip for people who have limited time in France but really want to visit St Michel.
star-5
Excellent tour!!
rexachcoral, Nov 2019
Versailles Bike Tour with Skip-the-Line Entrance to Palace
The biking was perfect to see all versailles even in a rainy day!
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Spectacular Show !!
Neil M, Nov 2019
Paris Moulin Rouge Late Night Show Ticket with Champagne
Fabulous show, top of the Paris attractions for me, love Eiffel, Arc, museums etc that Paris has to offer but The Moulin Rouge is the jewel in France's crown.
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Marine was excellent!
Denise C, Oct 2019
Montmartre Walking Tour: Paris' Best Art, Culture and Food
Her English is great!
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Solemn and spiritual
Ronabs, Sep 2019
LOURDES : COME FOR A DAY - Private Day-trip from PARIS by High Speed Train
Highly recommended if you are going to visit France
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Feel like a VIP at the Louvre.
Susan122015, Aug 2019
Louvre Museum Small Group English Guided Tour
She took us to see the most important pieces and some of the more interesting areas of the Louvre.
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Beautiful at night
BackPacker774068, Jul 2019
Eiffel's Glittering Tower's Summit by Night
Tour was good - transportation was nice - got to see fireworks which was nice since it was the 4th and we did not expect to see them in France!
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Excellent guide and got to so many popular places in the tour!
Cruiser38924044766, Jul 2019
Segway Eiffel Tour Paris
We are first timers here in France, got to see so much nice places in one tour and fun to drive the Segway around the city!
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Palace of Versailles and garden
marcoamelendez, May 2019
Versailles Palace Skip The Line & Audio Guided Tour Optional Gardens from Paris
We got to see almost everything except a bit of the gardens.
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Great day
scatoma, May 2019
Giverny's House & Gardens plus Versailles Palace Day Trip with Lunch from Paris
Being able to visit Giverny, have lunch, and drive to Versailles was great.
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Provence in the Day
michellemikin, Aug 2018
Provence Countryside Small Group Day Trip with Grasse Perfumery Visit from Nice
Good trip to see a glimpse of each town.
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Good for spending time with family
sci6688mj, Aug 2018
Seine River Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Cruise in Paris
Good thing was operate hours in the summer is 9:15pm
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Must Do!!!
tzteacher, Jul 2018
Nice Small-Group Walking Food Tour with Local Specialties & Wine Tasting
The English speaking was beyond amazing.
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Half day tour.
janjU4605RE, Mar 2019
Monaco, Monte Carlo, Eze, La Turbie half day from Nice small-group tour
Our tour guide had a great command of the English language and was able to not only explain the sites and countryside but provided interesting commentary on every day life in France.
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What an incredible day! We booked this...
Neil Y, Mar 2012
Provence Countryside Small-Group Day Trip from Cannes
We booked this trip because we wanted to see a side of southern France that cannot be seen in Cannes, and we certainly did.

All about France

When to visit

France is a country for all seasons. While summer visitors flock to the beaches of the French Riviera and the lavender fields of Provence, winter wonders include skiing in the Alps, the Christmas markets in Strasbourg, and Lyon’s Festival of Lights. Bastille Day (July 14) sees countrywide celebrations, while other major events include the Nice Carnival and the Cannes Film Festival.

Frequently Asked Questions