From Paris To Provence, These Are The Best Things To Do In France

The magnificent alpine scenery and snow-capped peaks of the French Alps, the heady scent of lavender that lingers in the air across Provence, the exquisite selection of cheese spread across Paris many fromageries France, jadore! The seductive allure of this country, as rich in culture as it is in vineyards, is enough to soften the heart of even the hardest of cynics. France is where you go to fall in love whether its with a man, woman, or a full-bodied glass of Merlot. In this definitive guide, we share the ultimate list of things to do when unravelling the rich history, vibrant culture and picturesque beauty of France.

Best time to visit France

The best time to visit France is simply when youre there, as each season brings its share of exquisite offerings. The sun-drenched days of summer (June to August) are the peak tourist season, with long days of sunlight and colourful festivals across the country. Autumn (September to November) is quieter and cooler, with the country drenched in autumn colours, while winter (December to February) is perfect for winter sports in the French Alps and cosy Christmas markets. Spring (March to May) is a time of rebirth, with cherry blossoms blooming by the River Seine and lilies and wood violets growing across the French countryside a beautiful time to visit France if youre also looking to avoid the summer tourist crowds.

La vie en rose: The essential list of things to do in France

Snanque Abbey | Image credit: Gildo Cancelli/Pexels

Spend an evening at the ballet at Palais Garnier: Inaugurated in 1875 and probably one of the most famous opera houses in the world, this opulent architectural marvel in Paris plays host to some of the greatest masterpieces in the world of ballet and opera. Famous for inspiring the legendary Phantom of the Opera, you can even spend a night inside the venue, sleeping in the iconic dressing room that has been converted into a magnificent bedroom.

Cycle through Provences lavender fields: Immerse yourself in the heady scent of lavender and the picture-perfect beauty of Provence by cycling through this stunning slice of the French countryside, known for its vast fields of this sweet purple bloom. Stop for a wine tasting and sample one of Provences famous ross, explore the stunning landscapes of the Luberon region, or visit Snanque Abbey a 12th-century church near the village of Gordes that makes for one of the most scenic spots to take in the flower fields.

Go hot-air ballooning in the Loire Valley: Soar over resplendent Loire Valley, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site for its historic landmarks, rich architecture and breathtaking natural beauty. Glide over medieval castles, lush vineyards and remote villages with a flight either at sunrise or sunset you wont regret adding this to your list of things to do in France.

Indulge in a wine tasting in Bordeaux: Sample a taste of both terroir and tradition in the wine capital of the world, Bordeaux, home to centuries-old chteaux and the first Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon vines. Try the scent tour at Chteau de Reignac, a 16th-century chteau built by Gustav Eiffel (famed builder of the Eiffel Tower); explore the prestigious Chateau la Dominique vineyard in the medieval town of Saint-milion; or compliment your tasting with a French cooking class alongside a chef at Chteau Malartic Lagravire.

Go skiing in the French Alps: Top on the list of things to do in France is a skiing excursion in the magnificent French Alps. Stay at Val dIsre and soak in the charm of this quaint alpine village, book one of the resorts beautiful stone and wood chalets, and hit the slopes to spend the day skiing or snowboarding across the mountains diverse ski runs.

Take a Champagne-tasting trip: Visit the birthplace of this exquisite bubbly and stay at Chteau dEtoges, a 17th-century fairytale castle in the heart of Champagne with a gourmet restaurant and spa. Once settled in your castle, head out for the Dom Prignon Experience, a speciality half-day tour that invites you into the world of Dom Prignon, visiting his village and the abbey in which he worked, and ending with a champagne tasting in the cellars of Moet & Chandon where Dom Prignon bottles are aged.

Book your stay at Hôtel Plaza Athénée via Booking.com

Book your stay at Hotel Plaza Athenee via Agoda.com

Family-holidaying done right

Disneyland Paris | Image credit: Thomas Evraert/Unsplash

If youre travelling through France with the kids in tow, the country has mastered the art of family holidaying with an endless list of things to do. Take your kids to Disneyland Paris, spend a day at the Louvre Museum immersed in art, or visit one of the countrys many aquariums and zoos try the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco, the La Palmyre Zoo in Charente-Maritime, or the Aquarium de Paris-Cinaqalaidua. Set out on a family expedition to the Dordogne Valley famous for its fairytale-like mediaeval castles and prehistoric cave paintings, or relax with a family beach day (and try your hand at surfing) at the surf beaches of Biarritz.

Book your stay at Four Seasons Hotel George V Paris via Booking.com

Book your stay at Four Seasons Hotel George V Paris via Agoda.com

Under the moonlight: Exploring France by night

Eiffel Tower | Image credit: Masood Aslami/Pexels

The streets of Paris come to life with an inimitable joie de vivre by night, with trendy cocktail lounges, sexy nightclubs, dimly lit jazz bars and iconic cabarets like Moulin Rouge and Crazy Horse. Also called the City of Lights, you can wander the streets of Paris after dark and see some of the citys most iconic landmarks the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Louvre Museum all lit up against the night sky.

Take a night cruise along the Seine River, or spend your evening soaking in a bit of culture at the ballet or opera at world-class venues like Palais Garnier and Thtre des Champs-Elyses. The night markets across beautiful regions of France like Provence and Normandy are also a lovely way to spend a summer evening discovering local produce, art, and street performances by French artists.

Book your stay at La Réserve Paris Hotel & Spa via Booking.com

Book your stay at La Reserve Paris Hotel & Spa via Agoda.com

At zero cost: Free things to do in France

Louvre Museum | Image credit: Mika Baumeister/Unsplash

If youre looking to experience Frances rich culture, history, and natural beauty without breaking the bank, there is an endless selection of things to do across the country without spending a penny. Visit the Eiffel Tower in Paris (you pay only if you want to visit the top), wander through the historic neighbourhood of Le Panier in Marseille, or simply pack a picnic and sit outside in the sunshine in one of Frances beautiful parks and gardens try the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris, the Jardin des Plantes in Toulouse, or the Parc de la Tte dOr in Lyon. Some wineries also offer complimentary wine tastings, and on certain days, museums like the Louvre Museum offer free entry (check the museums website for their free admission days). Cities like Paris, Marseille and Lyon also have thriving street art communities with incredible works of art to discover around every corner.

Book your stay at La Chèvre d’Or via Booking.com

Book your stay at La Chevre d’Or via Agoda.com

Bonjour Paris: Make the most of your time at Charles de Gaulle airport

Charles de Gaulle Airport | Image credit: bellena/Shutterstock

Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport is one of the busiest airports in Europe with an equally eclectic selection of things to do from luxury boutiques and duty free outlets to browse, to restaurants serving up French delicacies and international cuisine, and spa facilities with facials and massages on offer.

Take a walk along the observation deck to watch planes take off and land, stroll through the terminal to take in some of the airports art installations, sculptures and exhibitions, or pass the time in the arcade gaming area until its time to board.

The city of love: French adventures for two

Champ de Mars Park | Image credit: Hanna Morris/Unsplash

The French are masters of the art of romance, and Paris famously called the City of Love is the epicentre of all things amoureuse. Try a romantic evening cruise along the Seine River complimented with a gourmet dinner and fine French wine, or pack a basket of French cheese, charcuterie and a bottle of wine and head to the Champ de Mars park for a romantic picnic overlooking the Eiffel Tower.

For a weekend of relaxation, indulge in a couples spa retreat at the stunning Vichy Clestins Spa Hotel located in the famous spa town of Vichy in Auvergne, home to the largest thermal spa in Europe. The spas treatments feature the mineral-rich waters of Vichy that soak in the properties of Auvergnes volcanic rock as it flows through it, making the water world-famous for its healing qualities.

Book your stay at Vichy Célestins Spa Hôtel via Booking.com

Book your stay at Vichy Spa Hotel Les Celestins via Agoda.com

Exploring France on a budget

Avignon Festival | Image credit: sansa55/Shutterstock

Exploring France on a budget doesnt mean missing out on the countrys incredible charm. Take advantage of Frances stunning natural landscapes for free by going hiking or cycling at Calanques National Park near Marseille or Mercantour National Park in the French Alps. Step into one of Paris many fromageries to sample an incredible selection of local cheeses, or spend the day relaxing on the pebbled beaches of Nice or along the sandy shores and azure waters of the French Riviera. Many cities across France also offer free outdoor festivals, like the annual Fte de la Musique featuring free outdoor concerts across different cities in France; the Avignon Festival Off featuring free outdoor performances, street theatre, and music; or the Nice Jazz Festival that often puts on free outdoor concerts (though some parts of the festival are ticketed).

Where to shop and what to buy

Avenue des Champs-Elyses | Image credit: HJBC/Shutterstock

France offers an exciting range of shopping experiences across the country, from luxury boutiques in the city centres to charming markets in quaint villages. Take a stroll down the iconic Avenue des Champs-lyses in Paris lined with designer labels like Louis Vuitton, Chanel, and Cartier, or dive into the Saint-Ouen Flea Market for a literal treasure trove of antiques, vintage clothing, old vinyls and one-of-a-kind collectibles. Bordeauxs March des Capucins is one of Frances oldest markets saunter through the bustling marketplace sampling regional delicacies and fresh produce, making sure to stop at Chez Jean-Mi for incredibly fresh oysters and a glass of wine. Marseilles historic Old Port features an eclectic selection of local artisans stalls with a wide range of handicrafts and Provenal products on offer (dont miss buying one of Provences famous lavender products lavender sachets, lavender soap, or lavender-infused honey).

shop the best travel experiences here

(Feature Image Credit: Alexander Kagan/Unsplash )

Related: 30 Best Things To Do In Paris, According To Locals

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the budget required for a trip to France?
The budget for a trip to France can vary; a moderate-budget traveller can look to spend USD 100-150 a day for meals at local cafes, accommodation at hostels or budget hotels, public transportation and admission to local attractions. For a more luxurious itinerary, the daily budget can range from USD 200-400.

-What are the best cultural places to visit in France?
A few of the best cultural places to visit in France include the Louvre Museum in Paris, the Palace of Versailles and Mont Saint-Michel (both UNESCO World Heritage sites), and the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

Are there any beaches in France?
There are many beautiful beaches to explore in France, including the pebbled beaches of Nice, the sandy beaches and luxury beach clubs of Cannes, the pristine beaches of Saint-Tropez, the surf beaches of Biarritz, and the dramatic cliffs and crystal blue waters of the beaches of Corsica.

-Is there a dress code in France?
France doesnt have a national dress code; however, it is advised that you dress for the season, and ensure that that you dress modestly out of respect when visiting certain establishments like religious sites.

-How many days are enough to explore France?
A minimum of 7 to 10 days is recommended to explore France and be able to soak in its rich culture, cuisine, history and landscapes.

-What are the best things to buy in France?
A few of the best things to buy in France include clothes from haute couture to chic streetwear, perfumes and cosmetics with France being home to iconic brands like Chanel and Dior, wine and spirits, gourmet food including artisanal cheeses and charcuterie, pastries and chocolate, as well as art and souvenirs from local markets and boutiques.

What are the best festivals to celebrate in France?
Some of the best festivals to celebrate in France include the Cannes Film Festival, Bastille Day (Fte Nationale), Avignon Festival (Festival dAvignon), Nice Carnival (Carnaval de Nice), Festival of Lights (Fte des Lumires), and one of Europes oldest jazz festivals Jazz Juan.

-What are the best adventures to embark upon in France?
A few of the best adventures to embark upon in France include hiking in the French Alps, cycling through picturesque Provence, surfing in Biarritz, hot-air ballooning in the Loire Valley, paragliding in the French Riviera, and skiing in the French Pyrenees.

-What is the best time to visit France?
The best time to visit France depends on the season you wish to experience. Spring (March to May) has mild weather and blooming flowers; Summer (June to August) is peak tourist season with long summer days and vibrant festivals; Autumn (September to November) brings colourful foliage while winter (December to February) offers skiing, winter sports and Christmas markets.

-What are the best hotels in France?
A few of the best hotels in France include Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris; Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc, Antibes; Cheval Blanc St-Tropez; La Rserve Paris Hotel and Spa; Chteau de la Chvre dOr, ze; and Htel Plaza Athne, Paris.

-What are cities near France that can be explored by road?
A few cities near France that can be explored by road include Brussels in Belgium, Amsterdam in the Netherlands, Geneva in Switzerland, Barcelona in Spain, Milan in Italy, and Cologne in Germany.

Suivez Actusduweb sur Google News

Ce site utilise des cookies pour améliorer votre expérience. Nous supposerons que cela vous convient, mais vous pouvez vous désinscrire si vous le souhaitez. J'accepte Lire la suite