Places in France to visit: When you think of France, the first thing that comes to mind is Paris. But 30 million tourists a year come to the city, which is why the capital of the country becomes really busy, at the Eiffel Tower you will find yourself among huge crowds of tourists, and housing in the city is prohibitively expensive.
In this collection, you will see a worthy alternative. These nine French cities are worthy competitors to Paris, but they are also cheaper, less crowded, and easier to navigate.
Top 9 places in France to visit
Just a few kilometers from the border with Germany is Strasbourg, which is quite a popular tourist destination. It is home to major European political institutions and one of the largest Christmas markets.
Its majestic cathedral is the most visited in France after Notre Dame de Paris. This is a real symbol of the city. It was built in 1220 and remains one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture.
Located close to the Mediterranean Sea, Arles is home to one of the world’s most famous photography festivals.
It is the city with the most Roman monuments… after Rome. No wonder Vincent van Gogh fell in love with his endless landscapes of sandy beaches and salt ponds in the Camargue National Park.
Annecy borders the lake at the foot of the Semno Mountains and occupies an exceptional geographical position. The town is a series of charming half-timbered houses and views of the Boj and Aravis massifs that surround it.
Swimming in the lake is highly recommended in summer, while long walks along the coast in winter will give you the calm atmosphere of this place.
If you come with your soulmate, don’t forget to go to the Pont de Amour. Rumor has it that after this you will be connected for life.
- Basque Country
The Basque Country stretches between France and Spain.
Here you will not find a village without a pelota (tennis sport) wall, nor a hill without a hiking trail or a golf course.
Sea lovers will also enjoy miles of beaches for surfing and scuba diving.
Brittany is a popular holiday destination for the French, a region of contrasts that offers many places to discover.
There are fishing ports and farms, tourist sites, forests, museums, and leisure parks.
You can easily explore the region on foot along with one of the many hiking trails, such as the GR 34, which runs along the coast for almost 2,000 km.
But above all, Brittany is the place to go if you are a foodie. Oysters, cider, pancakes, and folk dances are typical ingredients of this unforgettable trip.
Corsica is ideal for a relaxing holiday in a hybrid Italian-French environment. It can be divided into two parts. Bastia is the main city in the north, while Ajaccio is in the south.
Its humble nickname is the Island of Beauty, which makes it clear how proud the locals are of their home.
Depending on what kind of relaxation you need, you can either lie in the sun on its sandy beaches with crystal clear waters. Or go hiking and climb impressive, jagged mountain peaks like the Bavella Pass.
European Green Capital 2013, Nantes stands out for its commitment to the environment.
You can walk along the paths and lawns on the banks of the Loire River, or ride a bike, and then visit the medieval castle of the Dukes of Britain. Or you can look at the mechanical elephant inspired by the books of Jules Verne.
Take a ferry to the old fishing village of Trentemolt, where the small, twisted streets are lined with colorful house fronts.
Marseille has a lot to offer, and this city will not leave anyone indifferent. This is the oldest city in France. Marseille has a very large Mediterranean coast where you can swim. But beware of the Mistral wind, which can blow at speeds of up to 100 kilometers per hour.
In 2013 it was the European Capital of Culture and offers a wide range of theatres, concert halls, and museums.
You can also walk in the Calanques National Park, but don’t forget to bring sunscreen and water as temperatures can reach 35 degrees Celsius in summer.
Lyon was the main city of France until 197 when the city was badly damaged after the battle, after which it lost its influence and wealth. But the ancient capital has preserved a remarkable architectural heritage.
Not surprisingly, the districts of Vieux Lyon, the hill of Fourviere, the Presqu’il, and the slopes of the Croix-Rousse are listed as World Heritage.
You can take the river ferry and see the entire city’s waterfront, or you can walk up the 567 steps to Notre Dame de Fourviere. Here you can enjoy the full panorama of the city.