27 Enchanting Destinations to Explore in France during 2023

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France offers a plethora of enchanting tourist destinations that are essential for a complete French holiday experience. These captivating attractions in France have inspired countless poets and artists, captivating tourists from around the globe with their awe-inspiring beauty.

France is a breathtaking country, boasting picturesque cities with diverse landscapes, vibrant cultures, spirited locals, and tantalizing cuisine. Begin your European adventure by exploring the most popular attractions, and then immerse yourself in the authentic ambiance of local towns and villages.


27 Exquisite Destinations in France

To truly immerse yourself in the essence of exquisite France, it is essential to visit these cities and spend quality time there. Scroll down to discover the marvelous wonders that await you in this scenic land of endless possibilities.

1. Paris

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The Eiffel Tower in Paris stands as the epitome of France’s iconic landmarks. Paris, the capital city and a vibrant tourist destination, thrives as a hub of art, culture, architecture, food, and fashion. With its stunning cityscape reflecting the charms of the old world, intersected by grand boulevards and the flowing River Seine, Paris is undeniably one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. Its historic monuments, bustling riverbanks, captivating museums, and lively atmosphere make Paris a world-renowned destination in France.

Key attractions: Eiffel Tower, The Louvre, Notre Dame Cathedral, Palace of Versailles, Arc de Triomphe, and Montmartre.


2. Bordeaux

Bordeaux, at its most charming during a breathtaking sunset, is located just a 5 and a half hour drive from Paris. This picturesque city is a perfect destination to unwind and revitalize. Renowned as a wine-growing region, Bordeaux is a vibrant city and a significant tourist destination in France. Half of this port city has been recognized by UNESCO as one of the largest World Heritage Sites.

Known for its magnificent museums, churches, cathedrals, and splendid mansions, Bordeaux attracts tourists and students from near and far. Its exceptional dining scene, captivating coffee shops, delightful food trucks, and exquisite wines make Bordeaux one of the top attractions in France.

Key attractions: Cathédrale Saint-André, Le Grand Théâtre, Place de la Bourse, Basilique Saint-Michel, and Basilique Saint-Seurin.

French Riviera

3. Mont Saint-Michel

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The picturesque island commune of Mont Saint-Michel is a highly sought-after destination among tourists in France. Situated in Normandy, France, Mont Saint-Michel is a stunning island commune that attracts a large number of visitors. Nestled at the mouth of the Couesnon River, it offers breathtaking panoramic views to tourists and travelers. Surrounded by natural fortifications, this island is home to an ancient monastery, which contributes to its unique name.

Main landmarks: The Abbey, Tidal Island, Eglise Saint Pierre, The Parish Church and Museums of History, and Maritime and Ecology


4. The French Riviera

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Located on the Mediterranean Coast of France, the French Riviera is a renowned tourist destination in the country. It is acclaimed for its charming natural beauty, mesmerizing coastline, vacation retreats, and health resorts.

This glamorous French destination is widely recognized around the globe and is best known for hosting the Cannes Film Festival, picturesque perched villages, exquisite perfumeries, glass blowers, and potters.


Main landmarks: Eze, Grasse, Monaco, Menton, and La Colline du Chateau

5. Arles

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Arles is unquestionably a must-visit location in France, and it has earned the distinction of being a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This ancient city perched on a hill is where the Rhône River splits to meet the sea. Arles boasts a captivating cityscape adorned with sunlit houses, narrow streets, and roads.

Lined with shops and restaurants, the city exudes a charm reminiscent of centuries past. Additionally, the ancient city of Arles served as a muse for the renowned painter Vincent van Gogh, with several of his iconic works inspired by this town.


Main landmarks: Arles Amphitheatre, Alyscamps, Montmajour Abbey, Church of St. Trophime, Cloître Saint-Trophime, Musée Départemental de l’Arles Antique, and Fondation Vincent van Gogh

6. Biarritz

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Biarritz is an enchanting coastal city and an idyllic summer resort located on the Basque coast of France. This bustling and popular destination is among the top tourist attractions in the country. The main highlights here are the exhilarating surfing activities and the vibrant nightlife that includes lively pubs, clubs, and the marvelous beachfront Casino Barrière. The city also boasts numerous surfing schools and hosts an annual surfing competition.


Highlighted attractions: The Bonnat Museum, Herri Urrats, Uhabia, the Great Beach, the Museum of the Sea, Biarritz Lighthouse, and the Virgin Rock.

7. Strasbourg

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Strasbourg, situated near the German border, is home to the European Parliament and serves as the capital of the Alsace region in northeastern France. The cityscape beautifully combines French and German architectural styles and structures. With its iconic Gothic cathedral, Strasbourg has become a must-visit destination in France.

Highlighted attractions: Strasbourg Cathedral, Strasbourg Museum of Modern Art, Rohan Palace in Strasbourg, Quartier des Tanneurs, Maison Kammerzell, and St. Thomas Church. Don’t forget to catch the daily shows at the Cathedral showcasing the astronomical clock and the breathtaking views of the Rhine River from the halfway point of its 142-meter spire.

The pilgrimage site of Lourdes - a religious place to visit in France

8. Fontainebleau

Situated 55.5 kilometers from Paris, the exquisite town of Fontainebleau is a popular vacation getaway and one of the renowned destinations in France. Surrounded by lush green forests, it offers ample opportunities for trekking and rock climbing. The world-famous Chateau is the most captivating attraction in this area.


Highlighted attractions: Fontainebleau Castle, Fontainebleau Forest, and Entrance to Fontainebleau Castle Grounds.

9. Lourdes

Lourdes is a profoundly significant pilgrimage site and a source of awe, known for its shrine dedicated to Our Lady. Located at the foothills of the Pyrenees, this market town is a must-see among the various tourist destinations in France.


Highlighted attractions: Rosary Basilica, Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes, Ossau Valley, Massey Garden, and Lourdes Fortified Castle.

10. Lyon

Located at the meeting point of the Rhone and Saone Rivers, Lyon is the third largest city in France and a popular tourist destination. The city boasts incredible museums and palaces, as well as vibrant pubs and clubs. The fantastic shopping experiences and delicious cuisine are a true delight for travelers.

Highlighted attractions: Fine Arts Museum, Old Lyon, Lyon Cathedral, Tete d’Or Park, Bellecour Square, Fourviere, and Notre Dame de Fourviere Basilica.


11. Chambord: An Architectural Marvel

The city of Chambord has flourished around the internationally acclaimed Chateau, an awe-inspiring creation of the Renaissance period. As one of the extensively renowned locations in France, Chambord is renowned for its captivating architecture, vintage architectural design, craftsmanship, vibrant ambiance, and interior ornamentation of the chateau. The primary level comprises the principal chambers of the King and Queen. The central double-helix staircase leads to the rooftop, where an astonishing panoramic view of the surroundings awaits you.


Notable Attractions: Château de Chambord, Eglise Saint Louis de Chambord, Domaine national de Chambord, and Maison des Vinas a Chambord

12. Burgundy: A Picturesque Gem

Formerly a territory in the east-central part of France, Burgundy stands out as one of the most scenic and distinguished tourist destinations in France. Burgundy is characterized by a network of enchanting winding canals, vineyards, palaces, museums, lush meadows, medieval villages, and rolling verdant hills. This breathtaking French countryside, offering mesmerizing vistas, remains a popular choice for complete tranquility and relaxation.


Notable Attractions: Dijon, Nevers, Beaune, Macon, Autun, Auxerre, Vezelay, Avallon, and Cluny

13. Nice: A Mesmerizing Coastal City

Nice, a captivating and renowned city, tops the list of must-visit tourist destinations in France. This extraordinary seaside retreat is famous for its exceptional sunny climate, breathtaking landscapes, and harmonious blend of contemporary and medieval architectural styles in the city’s profile. The beach, adorned with excellent dining establishments and lively shacks, a bustling market, and magnificent structures, has solidified its reputation as one of France’s famous tourist spots. It is no wonder that people flock here in large numbers throughout the year.

Notable Attractions: Promenade des Anglais, Vieille Ville, Russian Orthodox Cathedral, Opera de Nice, Colline du Château, Musée Matisse, Monastère Notre-Dame-de-Cimiez, Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain, and Jardin Albert I.


14. Annecy: A Picturesque Haven

Annecy, located at the meeting point of River Thiou and Lac d’Annecy, is a picturesque town known for its rich heritage and historic charm. The old town boasts a collection of remarkable buildings, winding streets, enchanting canals, and vibrant houses that harken back to ancient times. Within the city museum, visitors can explore an array of alpine furniture, medieval art, and sculptures, offering a captivating glimpse into the past.

Key attractions in Annecy include Palais de L’isle, Chateau d’Annecy, Semnoz, Basilique de la Visitation, Thiou River, La Tournette, and Pont des Amours.

Lascaux Cave Paintings

Moving on to Noumea, the capital of New Caledonia, a French territory situated on Grande Terre. This sunny beach destination showcases a delightful fusion of French and Kanak architectural styles. The city is renowned for its lively Place des Cocotiers, beautifully landscaped gardens, bustling coastline, and warm and friendly locals.

Must-visit attractions in Noumea encompass Noumea Cathedral, Aquarium de Lagons Nouvelle Caledonie, Amedee Lighthouse Island, Tjibaou Cultural Centre, as well as the stunning beaches such as Anse Vata and Plage de la Baie des Citrons.

Now let’s delve into the captivating Lascaux Cave Paintings found in the Dordogne region of France. These prehistoric sites offer a unique opportunity for history enthusiasts to witness the ancient artwork in person. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site, these exquisite paleolithic paintings are among the finest examples of their kind worldwide. While the original cave is closed to protect its integrity, an exact replica known as Lascaux II is open for viewing nearby. Other notable sites to explore in the region include Grotte de Rouffignac, which boasts paintings of various animals, including mammoths, and Grotte du Mas d’Azil and Grotte De Niaux, where you can find rock paintings dating back to 14,000 to 10,000 BC.

Village Landscape Lot Rocamadour France

Additionally, the town of Tarascon-sur-Ariège offers more fascinating sites such as Grotte de Lombrives, Grotte de Bédeilhac, and Grotte de la Vache, ensuring a comprehensive exploration of this historical region.

Lastly, we have Rocamadour, a medieval pilgrimage destination dramatically perched on a cliff in the Dordogne region. This sacred site was the third most important Christian pilgrimage destination in the 11th century, following only Jerusalem and Rome. It served as a significant stop on the Pilgrim’s Way of Saint James leading to Santiago de la Compostela in Spain. Rocamadour is home to seven sanctuaries that date back to the medieval era, with the standout being the Chapelle Notre-Dame. In this chapel resides the revered figure of the ‘Black Virgin,’ a miraculous walnut wood carving.

To sum up, these remarkable destinations in France offer an unforgettable journey into the country’s rich history, culture, and natural beauty.


Suggested Read: [Link to Festivals in France Article]

Main highlights: Explore the magnificent Basilique Saint-Sauveur, a church of grandeur, recognized by UNESCO, in Rocamadour. Take a short drive to the historical towns of Limoges and Périgueux, the former being designated as a “City of Art and History” in France, while the latter dates back to the Roman era.

18. Louvre Museum

cuongdv for Pixabay Formerly the royal residence, the Louvre now stands as a captivating museum dedicated to the realm of fine arts. Enter through the former palace’s courtyard, where the iconic glass pyramid, envisioned by Ieoh Ming Pei in 1917, greets you. Marvel at over 30,000 masterpieces of art, ranging from antiquities to medieval works and European paintings spanning the 15th to 19th centuries. With such an extensive collection, it’s impossible to fully experience it in one visit. Thus, it is recommended to focus on specific galleries, such as the Italian Renaissance, classical sculpture, or 17th-century French paintings. Opt for a three-hour walking tour to skip the queues and gain effortless access to these artistic wonders.

Jardin des Tuileries

Main Highlights: Behold Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, the timeless Venus de Milo sculpture, Veronese’s mesmerizing Wedding Feast at Cana painting, Botticelli’s enchanting frescoes, and Eugène Delacroix’s striking Liberty Leading the People.

19. Jardin des Tuileries

Adjacent to the Louvre, lies one of Paris’s most picturesque and delightful parks, known as Jardin des Tuileries. This elegant garden was designed in a classic French style by the renowned architect André Le Nôtre, who also crafted the gardens of Versailles. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the charming café restaurant with its inviting outdoor seating.Main Highlights: Take in the beauty of the ornamental ponds, meticulously maintained trees, and comfortable park benches.

20. Avenue des Champs-Élysées

From desolate marshland to an iconic boulevard, the Avenue des Champs-Élysées has undergone a remarkable transformation. This grand boulevard is divided into two sections, with the Rond-Point des Champs-Élysées marking its intersection. The lower section is adjacent to prominent landmarks such as the Place du Concorde, the exquisite Petit Palais museum of fine arts, and the charming Jardin des Champs-Élysées. The upper section, stretching towards the magnificent Arc de Triomphe, is dotted with a variety of establishments, including renowned restaurants, cozy cafes, luxury hotels, fashionable shops, vibrant theaters, and cinemas. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the high-end boutiques of Tiffany and Co, Louis-Vuitton, and Cartier, alongside the exquisite dining experience offered at the prestigious brasserie du luxe restaurant.

Main highlights: Explore Maison Ladurée, a delightful pastry shop, and L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, an exquisite fine dining restaurant.

21. Palais Garnier Opera House

Palais Garnier Opera House

Music resonates deeply within France, and one of its prime embodiments is the magnificent Palais Garnier Opera House. Acclaimed for its Neo-Baroque architecture, this iconic theater was meticulously constructed by Charles Garnier. Within its walls, awe-inspiring sculptures of the muses – Poetry, Idyll, Music, Song, Recitation, Drama, and Dance – can be found. Additionally, there are enchanting busts of renowned composers such as Meyerbeer, Halévy, Beethoven, Spontini, Mozart, and more. Occupying a staggering 11,000 square meters, the Palais Garnier boasts a seating capacity of 2,200.

Main attractions: Marvel at the four opulently gilded groups atop the building, symbolizing fame and poetry. Take in the grandeur of the foyer, adorned with marble staircases and lavishly gilded lamps. Admire the opulent gold and red auditorium, featuring a mesmerizing ceiling painting by Chagall.

22. The Bibliotèchque-Musée de l’Opera

Bibliotèchque-Musée de l’Opera

A visit to the Bibliotèchque-Musée de l’Opera is essential for any opera enthusiast. As its name suggests, this extraordinary venue serves as both a library and a museum dedicated to the art of opera. Boasting meticulously documented archives spanning three centuries, the establishment showcases thematic exhibits, including avant-garde dance presentations like Ballets Suédois.

Main attractions: Explore an array of scenery and costume drawings, paintings depicting opera houses, and intricate scale models. If possible, enjoy a ballet or opera performance within these walls. Indulge in classic French cuisine at the bookstore-boutique on the premises.

23. Place de la Concorde

Place de la Concorde

Constructed between 1755 and 1775, Place de la Concorde once stood as the pulsating heart of 18th-century Paris. Witness to numerous historic moments, including the execution of King Louis XVI, this octagonal square offers breathtaking vistas of the route leading to the Arc de Triomphe and La Défense. Furthermore, visitors can observe the captivating path that stretches towards the Louvre, passing by the Madeleine and Palais Bourbon. The centerpiece of this bustling square is an intriguing Egyptian Obelisk, gifted to Charles X by the Viceroy of Egypt.

Main highlights: The Egyptian Obelisk and the breathtaking 360° views of the city’s prominent landmarks.

24. Sacred Heart

Resembling a stunning decorative masterpiece and situated atop the highest point in Paris, the Basilique Sacré-Coeur showcases an alabaster facade that combines elements of Byzantine and Romanesque styles. Inside, there is a mosaic depicting Christ with a passionate heart, which evokes a sense of emotional purity within this venue. When adorned with candles, the Place becomes a captivating sight, creating a striking contrast to the somber and dim atmosphere. Visitors can spend their time on the terrace, enjoying splendid vistas of Paris. Additionally, there is a tower that offers even more elevated perspectives.

Main highlights: The architecture, mosaic, and the panoramic views provided by this sanctuary.

25. Montmartre District

Credit for the Image: phooker for Pixabay What used to be a charming medieval village has transformed into a contemporary avant-garde destination, while still maintaining its old-world charm. The Bohemian spirit of Montmartre can still be perceived in its cobblestone streets and delightful squares, particularly around Carré Roland Dorgelès and Place du Tertre. Once the residence of artists like Edgar Degas and Toulouse Lautrec during the Belle Epoque, Montmartre now embodies the essence of a modern-day France.

Main highlights: Espace Dali and Musée de Montmartre. Take a leisurely stroll through this area to uncover many hidden treasures.

26. Vosges Square

Nestled in the enchanting Marais district, lies the Place de Vosges. As Paris’s oldest public square, it exhibits a remarkably uniform layout. This square served as the prototype for other squares like Place de la Concorde and Place Vendôme. In the past, it hosted weddings, festive gatherings, and even duels. Constructed between 1605 and 1612, the Place des Vosges was originally named Place Royale due to its aristocratic residences. The square features harmonious symmetry and is adorned with red buildings boasting exquisite stone embellishments and steep slate roofs.

Main highlights: Explore the Picasso Museum, visit Mariage Frères (a tea salon), and experience L’As 2.

27. Vendome Square

Originally named Place Louis le Grand, the buildings along this square were constructed between 1686 and 1701. Its initial intention was to accommodate the Royal academics, the Royal library, the mint as well as a hotel for foreign envoys. However, financial difficulties turned that goal into a mere dream, and it ended up being sold to new wealthy owners who built stunning mansions with gardens and courtyards. Notably, the Ritz Hotel was once the residence of Ernest Hemingway.

Notable attractions: Explore the jewelry boutiques in the area, such as Chanel, Boucheron, Arpels, Van Cleef, Cartier, and more. In the center stands a 44-meter bronze column known as the Colonne de la Grande.

France captures the attention of tourists as the most sought-after destination, and the grandeur, opulence, and aristocracy of its landmarks evoke memories of long-gone cultures. Visitors here have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the sights, aromas, and flavors of a world that resides in the 21st century while still retaining its old-world charms. A comprehensive list of exquisite tourist destinations in France is readily available. Let us know when you plan to explore them. Don’t wait any longer! Reserve your unforgettable trip to France with your loved ones and experience the magic!

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Which French city is known for its beauty?

It is an arduous task to pick just one. France boasts numerous stunning locations within its borders. Paris is renowned for its iconic Eiffel Tower, while Nice is a well-known coastal town. Bordeaux is celebrated for its wine villages, and Toulouse is affectionately referred to as the Pink City due to its architecture.

Where should I go when visiting France?

France offers an abundance of destinations beyond its main cities. You can explore the picturesque countryside of Provence or unwind along the coast of the Cote d’Azur. History and art lovers will find Reims with its magnificent structures captivating. Bordeaux is a haven for wine enthusiasts, while Nice offers relaxing beach getaways.

What is the most popular tourist attraction in Paris?

Notre Dame is the most visited tourist attraction in Paris, welcoming 13 million visitors annually. It is followed closely by the Louvre Museum and the Eiffel Tower in terms of popularity.

Why is France such a highly favored destination?

France’s immense popularity stems from its reputation as one of the most enchanting and romantic places on Earth. The country is also admired for its rich arts, culture, and historical heritage. Additionally, French cuisine has firmly established France’s position on the global map.

What is France most famous for?

Aside from its reputation as one of the most romantic and passionate nations, France is renowned for its exquisite cuisine, art, and literature. When visiting France, be sure to indulge in quiche, soufflés, mousses, pâté, croissants, and crêpes from local bakeries. Explore France’s museums to revel in its artistic and literary treasures. The French are also known for their love of philosophy, creating opportunities for engaging debates.

What is the distance between Nice and Paris?

The driving distance between Paris and Nice is 986 km, making them quite far apart.

What is France’s most famous dish?

Onion Soup and Souffle are among France’s most famous culinary delights. The country offers a myriad of other gastronomic delights worth trying, such as crepes, French bread, ratatouille, Nicoise Salad, and more.

How many days should I spend in Paris?

A minimum of three days is recommended to explore and experience Paris. However, once you fall in love with the city, it’s up to you to decide how much longer you wish to stay.

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