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What to see in France

France Attractions


France is the most popular sightseeing destination in the world. With millions of visitors every year, and just about as many things to see and do, this beautiful and historic country is a must for every traveller. Its buildings can be treasures - such as the magnificent Notre-Dame, stately Arc de Triomphe and the palace of Versailles - or containers of treasures, such as the unrivalled collections of the Louvre and the Museé d'Orsay with its globally respected portfolio of Impressionist art.

As one might expect, the tourist infrastructure is excellent with diverse offerings for every type of traveller. An organised tour is a good option if you have only a week, but for those with longer to indulge, car rental or train travel is the best way to get around. Wherever you go, France reveals its many faces and charms: the busy weekly markets in small towns, the rolling vineyards of the wine country, the sage-scented Mistral winds of Provence, and the luxuriant high life of the Cote d'Azure all form their own enduring impressions in the visitor's mind.

France is a year-round destination, although be sure to book ahead if planning a trip around Christmas or New Year, and during the major US holidays, when trans-Atlantic bookings are especially high. Summer (June to August) is the peak tourist season in France.


Annecy

Situated 80 miles (129km) east of Lyon, the holiday destination of Annecy has a magical setting on the shore of Lake…

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Arc de Triomphe

The world's largest triumphal arch, the Arc de Triomphe de l'Etoile is set at the centre of a star-shaped configuration…

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Bayeaux

This ancient Viking settlement is situated a few miles inland, between La Havre and Cherbourg, and was the first French…

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Château de Chambord

Eleven miles (18km) east of Blois, the vast Château de Chambord is the largest château in the Loire Valley.…

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Colmar

An attractive town in northeast France, Colmar is one of the most popular tourist draws to the Alsace region. Founded…

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Disneyland Paris

Comprising two theme parks, Disneyland Paris is a must for all children visiting the city. The resort is a great place…

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Eiffel Tower

Gustave Eiffel, the architect of the Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel) could never have guessed that it would become Paris'…

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Epernay

Epernay, along with Reims, is one of the great centres of champagne production; dug into the chalk beneath the town are…

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Lourdes

Not strictly Basque country, but part of the nearby Bigorre region, the town of Lourdes is situated in the Hautes-Pyrénées…

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Louvre

One of the world's great art museums, this vast edifice houses an extraordinary collection of paintings, sculptures and…

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Mont Saint-Michel Abbey

One of France's best-known attractions, the Mont Saint-Michel Abbey, is situated on a rocky island just off the coast…

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Musée d'Orsay

This great museum is fairly new by Paris standards. It is situated in a railway station by the Seine and houses a vast…

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Notre-Dame

Notre-Dame looms large over the Place de Paris, on the Isle de la Cité, and as the most enduring symbol of Paris…

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Palais des Papes

Towering over Avignon, the imposing Palais des Papes (Palace of the Popes) is the symbol of the city's medieval power.…

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Pompidou Centre

Built in the 1970s and named after former French president Georges Pompidou, the futuristic Pompidou Centre is now considered…

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Reims

A visitor's first impression of Reims (pronounced Rhance) is of a sprawling industrial town peppered with concrete…

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St Tropez and Surrounds

Behind the cafés, the small streets and old buildings of St Tropez form a picturesque scene, but they are popular…

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Strasbourg

Less than one hours' drive from Mulhouse and three from Paris, Strasbourg is a popular tourist destination in Alsace-Lorraine.…

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Versailles

The Château de Versailles stands 15 miles (24km) southwest of Paris and is one of France's most noted attractions.…

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