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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 15 things to do 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
Louvre

Louvre

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Primarily associated with the steady gaze of Leonardo Da Vinci's famous Mona Lisa, Paris' Louvre museum is home to a 35,000-strong collection of paintings and sculptures considered one of the greatest in the world. The contemporary glass Louvre Pyramid heralds the museum's entrance, which millions of tourists flock to every year to feast their eyes on masterpieces that span from antiquity to the 20th century.More
#3
River Seine

River Seine

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The lifeblood of Paris, the River Seine acts as a dividing line between Paris’ historically sophisticated and bohemian halves; it provides transportation via riverboat and plenty of opportunity for romantic strolls; and its riverbanks are a UNESCO World Heritage Site lined with the city’s top landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame Cathedral, Musée d’Orsay, Jardin des Tuileries, and the Louvre.More
#4
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
#5
Notre Dame Cathedral

Notre Dame Cathedral

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Second only to the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral (Cathedrale de Notre Dame de Paris) is one of Paris' most iconic attractions, a marvel of medieval architecture that was immortalized in Victor Hugo's classic novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Today, the Gothic grandeur and stained-glass windows of the UNESCO World Heritage site continue to reign supreme from Ile de la Cite, an island in the middle of the Seine River.(UPDATE: Notre Dame Cathedral is currently off-limits due to fire damage.)More
#6
Orsay Museum (Musée d'Orsay)

Orsay Museum (Musée d'Orsay)

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Rivaling the Louvre as Paris' favorite art museum, the Orsay Museum (Musée d'Orsay) is known for its impressionist, post-impressionist, and art nouveau works from 1848 to 1914. Equally impressive as what’s inside the museum is its exterior: a former Beaux-Arts railway station with an enviable location on the banks of the Seine River. Both architecture and art buffs will want this museum on their Parisian itineraries.More
#7
Moulin Rouge

Moulin Rouge

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Expect bright lights, extravagant costumes, and raucous music at the world-famous Moulin Rouge. Opened in the Belle Epoque of 1889 to celebrate Paris' thriving creative scene and the end of the civil war, the windmill-cum-cabaret hall has never stopped basking in fun and frivolity. As a staple of Parisian nightlife, an unforgettable evening at the Moulin Rouge is a must on any traveler's France itinerary.More
#8
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
#9
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
#10
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
#11
Eze

Eze

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With its twisting cobblestone lanes, jumble of medieval houses, and shady courtyards lined with traditional cafés, Eze is a tranquil village high above the glamorous resorts and golden beaches of the Cote d’Azur. The hilltop town, traditionally written Èze, is undeniably picturesque, affording panoramic views over the Mediterranean, and its timeless charm has made it a firm favorite on French Riviera itineraries.More
#12
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
#13
Grand Palais

Grand Palais

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The Grand Palais is one of Paris’ most beautiful and recognizable structures. Debuted in 1900 in time for the World’s Fair, the architectural marvel is famed for its colossal nave, Beaux-Arts architecture, and immense glass roof. Today, the Grand Palais houses several gallery areas and also hosts tournaments, Chanel fashion shows, and other major events.More
#14
Latin Quarter (Quartier Latin)

Latin Quarter (Quartier Latin)

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Paris’ Latin Quarter is a popular, historical area of the Left Bank. Home to the main Sorbonne campus, this dynamic, student-filled neighborhood was once frequented by Ernest Hemingway, Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, and other revolutionaries. Today it’s distinguished for its buzzing cafés, lively restaurants, and must-see landmarks.More
#15
Hall of Mirrors (Galerie des Glaces)

Hall of Mirrors (Galerie des Glaces)

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The opulence of the Palace of Versailles reaches its peak in the Hall of Mirrors (Galerie des Glaces)—a 240-foot-long (73-meter-long) ballroom with 357 mirrors adorning 17 huge arches on one side and 17 arcaded windows overlooking the formal gardens on the other. It was also the location of the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, which formally ended World War I.More

Trip ideas

Exploring the Dordogne River Valley

Exploring the Dordogne River Valley

Top activities in France

Skip the Line Ticket Eiffel Tower Summit Priority Access with Host
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Louvre Museum Skip the Line Access Guided Tour
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Louvre Museum Skip-the-Line Guided Tour with Venus de Milo & Mona Lisa
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Eiffel Tower Skip-The-Line Second Level Access by Elevator
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Louvre Museum Paris Private Guided Tour (Reserved Entry Included!)
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Bateaux Parisiens Seine River Gourmet Lunch & Sightseeing Cruise
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Eiffel Tower Skip the Line and Small Group Tour with Summit Access by elevator
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Normandy D-Day Small-Group Day Trip with Omaha Beach, Cemetery & Cider Tasting
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Versailles Palace Skip-the-line Classic Guided Tour
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Recent reviews from experiences in France

star-5
Our tour guide Nima was...
Kathy_M, Aug 2022
NEW Versailles all included Golf Cart + Bike Tour
It would have been impossible to see as much as we did if we had not been on bikes
star-5
Five star Giverny Tour!
Christine_C, Jul 2022
Giverny Half-Day Guided Tour from Paris
He was a wealth of information as we toured the gardens, Monet's home and popped in to see his burial site as well.
star-5
Lovely tour. Our driver...
Stephanie_T, Jun 2022
Private Organic Wine & Provence Food Tasting Tour
Gave us a lot of information regarding things to do, places to see and a little history of southern france.
star-5
Versailles…great day with Michele!
Ben_G, Jun 2022
Versailles Best of Domain Skip-the-Line Access Day Tour with Lunch from Paris
Michele was the best guide we’ve had as she knows France 🇫🇷 And her English is good.
star-4
Great Gorge Trip
Nance, Jun 2022
Visit the gorges du verdon.
Got to see parts of France not easily visited without a car.
star-5
Wonderful day trip with Wagner as our guide.
Dave_F, May 2022
Cannes, Gourdon, & Saint-Paul-de-Vence Small Group Day Trip from Nice
We were able to see CNnes, The market at Antibes, Grasse, Gordon wand more!
star-5
Wonderful way to see the Calanques
Jonathan_A, May 2022
Calanques Trilogy Electric Bike Tour from Marseille
Highly recommend for an active and fun way to see a beautiful part of France
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The guide Gordona was...
Kelly_E, May 2022
Luberon, Roussillon & Gordes Half-Day Tour from Avignon
The tour is one of our best highlights for our France trip and it is best suited for those who want to see sceneries from postcards.
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Fun, interactive and interesting
Adam_J, May 2022
Stade de France: Behind the Scenes Tour
Our guide was funny, knowledgeable and spoke great English, French and Spanish.
star-5
Superb tour fo the old and new way of making champagne
DianeJeannine_P, Apr 2022
Champagne Day Trip with Moet&Chandon, Reims Cathedral & Family Winery from Paris
What a wonderful journey to see the champagn region of France and experience a vineyard with the traditional champagn making technique at Michel Fargo followed by a modern facility of NicolasFeuillate which is a wine coop.
star-5
Terrific and informative...
Nonie_A, Apr 2022
Normandy D-Day Small-Group Day Trip with Omaha Beach, Cemetery & Cider Tasting
Jean-Batiste, our guide, spoke fluent English and was knowledgeable and friendly.
star-5
One of the main reasons I...
Steven_b, Apr 2022
Normandy D-Day Small-Group Day Trip with Omaha Beach, Cemetery & Cider Tasting
One of the main reasons I wanted to go to France was to see the D-Day beaches and the war memorials.
star-4
Beautiful Southern France
Shauna_C, Aug 2022
Antibes, Cannes & Saint Paul de Vence from Nice
This was a great way to visit more of southern France beyond Nice, and we quite enjoyed the tour.
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Great tour fast bikes
Allison_o, Jul 2022
Night Tour of Paris in Electric Bike
We were able to see all the main tourist attractions in a matter of hours and ride around on the ebikes which was very fun.
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Beautiful and Enjoyable Day in the French Countryside
Ann_A, Jul 2022
Champagne Area Small Group Day Trip with 8 Tastings & Lunch from Paris
After lunch, we visited a smaller champagne house which allowed us to see their operations and taste their champagnes - a nice contrast between the large champagne house (Moet) and the smaller one.
star-5
Perfect day tour!
Lucia_L, Jul 2022
One day in Provence
I found we spent enough time at each location, and were dropped off close enough or right next to main attractions to make our stay easier.
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A visit to Notre Dame de Chartres is essential for a trip to Paris and environs.
LindaKay_T, Jul 2022
Chartres and Its Cathedral: 5-Hour Tour from Paris with Private Transport
Especially with Notre Dame de Paris closed to visitors because of the 2019 fire, Notre Dame de Chartres is a priority.
star-5
Best tour ever!
Anja_R, Jul 2022
Private Customized French Riviera Half-Day Tour from Monaco, Nice, or Cannes
Be aware that the driver will not go with you but rather will bring you to the different stops and give you the best local tips to make the best out of every sight to see while he waits by the car for you.
star-5
This tour is a perfect day trip out of Paris and offers great value for both the history buff and the casual observer.
Thomas_M, Jul 2022
Normandy American & British D-Day Beaches Half Day Tour from Bayeux
We were even able to see a few sites I hadn’t seen on my previous trip.
star-5
Made the Catacombs come alive
Charity_J, Jun 2022
Skip-the-Line Paris Catacombs Special Access Tour
We booked this very special “no-line” tour of the Catacombs and it was a great way to see this unbelievable Paris landmark.
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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.

People Also Ask

What is France best known for?

France is known for its world-famous wines and cheeses, delicious cuisine, and rich art history. As a tourist destination, France’s most iconic sights include the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the lavender fields of Provence, the glamorous beaches of the French Riviera, and the ski resorts of the French Alps.

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What are three fun things to do in France?

Ride the rollercoasters and meet your favorite characters at Disneyland Paris, hire a bike and cycle between fairy-tale châteaux and Loire Valley wineries along the Loire à Vélo bike route, or head into the French Alps to ski, snowboard, or ride the highest mountain zipline in the world.

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What is the most visited attracion in France?

Believe it or not, the Eiffel Tower isn’t France’s most visited attraction—that honor goes to Disneyland Palace, which draws up to 16 million annual visitors. The Louvre, Versailles Palace, and Eiffel Tower also top the list, while outside of Paris, the Futuroscope and Puy du Fou theme parks are most popular.

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What is the prettiest place in France?

There are 160 villages awarded the status ‘most beautiful villages of France’, found everywhere from Normandy to the Alsace. Aside from these, some of the most picturesque sights include the lavender fields of the Dordogne, the fairy-tale châteaux of the Loire Valley, and the rose-colored lagoons of the Camargue.

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What are some cultural activities in France?

France is packed with cultural activities, whether browsing the art museums of Paris, wine tasting in Bordeaux or Burgundy, or visiting UNESCO World Heritage sites like Carcassonne Medieval City and the Mont St-Michel. To experience authentic French culture, visit the local markets, attend a traditional festival, or take a cooking class.

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What are some outdoor activities in France?

France is hugely popular with hikers and cyclists, with long-distance trails covering the French Alps, Pyrenees, Loire Valley, and beyond. In summer, hit the west coast beaches to surf and enjoy water sports, or go rock climbing or rafting in the Verdon Gorge. In winter, enjoy skiing, snowboarding, and winter sports.

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