When planning a trip to France, you dream of the Eiffel Tower, charming Parisian boulevards and visiting the Louvre Museum or Arc de Triomphe. But often the most memorable moments of a holiday happens when you explore the local activities instead of just walking around countless hours, ticking sightseeing monuments and museums off a list. These special experiences and small adventures go beyond just sightseeing, they capture the spirit of the place. We’ve compiled a list of our top things to do in France…
Discover the country from a different point of view and make the most of your visit.
To discover Paris at its most dazzling self, go up the Eiffel Tower at night. In the early evening, the gentle lighting has an ethereal effect. At this special time of day (from late afternoon until dusk), the horizon glows gold, gives you a picturesque panoramic view of the city and beyond.
Cruising the Seine River is a beautiful way to see all of Paris’ top sights while enjoying a relaxing experience. Boat tours sail past the Place de la Concorde, the Louvre, the Musée D’Orsay, the Notre-Dame Cathedral, and other landmarks along the way. You can choose from a variety of Bateaux-Mouches experiences, including daytime boat tours, brunch or lunch cruises, romantic dinner cruises, and cabaret shows. At night, the monuments along the Seine are illuminated, creating a truly captivating view.
The Quartier Latin, the Île Saint-Louis, and Le Marais are charming neighborhoods, where you can soak up the ambience of medieval Paris. Begin exploring on the Left Bank in the Latin Quarter, the city’s university quarter since the Middle Ages. Discover eclectic shops and bookstores of these lively neighbourhoods, cross the Seine River at the Petit Pont bridge and head to the Île de la Cité to admire the façade of the Notre-Dame Cathedral. (Still under construction following the fire in 2019)
Mont Saint-Michel, the wonder of the Western World and one of the best places to visit in Northern France. This magnificent Benedictine abbey and renowned center of pilgrimage is set on a rocky island at the mouth of the Couesnon River, where the regions of Normandy and Brittany meet. The area is known for its high tides, which let the abbey inaccessible for some hours and give Mont Saint-Michel a picturesque setting.
Spending a royal night in a French château is one of the unique things to do in France. France is home to over 40,000 châteaux of all periods and styles. Some of these French châteaux are home to nobles or weathly residents, while others have been beautifully restored and turned into boutique hotels.
Parisian cabarets are a fun way to enjoy Paris at night in style. The most famous cabaret shows in Paris like the Moulin Rouge or the Lido are a mix of music hall and burlesque show offering extravagant musical and theatrical productions, with elaborate costumes, singing, and dancing. This is also a popular choice when celebrating a special occasion like a birthday.
The lavender fields in Provence are some of the most striking landscapes in southern France. From mid-June to late August, explore the Valensole Plateau, the Luberon Valley, and the Sault Plateau, well known for its ‘blue gold,’ lavender distilleries, and pretty small towns. For the best pictures, plan your trip carefully around the blooming periods in each area.
The French Riviera (Côte d’Azur) is one of the most beautiful parts of southern France, which always seems to be soaked in sunshine. Nice is the French Riviera’s capital and the perfect base to stay and explore the surroundings. Clustered around Nice, are some other mesmerizing destinations like Antibes, the hilltop villages, Cannes, Menton, or Saint Tropez. All of these perfect for exploring on day trips from Nice.
With more than 50 attractions (including the popular Pirates of the Caribbean and Dumbo rides) plus an impressive line-up of live performances and characters to meet and greet, this is the perfect place to spend a day out with the family or friends.
Take a tour around the Champagne region. Head east of Paris, where countless cellar tastings of the liquid gold are on offer. You can book an all-inclusive tour of Champagne, or opt to go DIY and hire a car. If you don’t have much time, focus on the town of Epernay, home to big names including Moet & Chandon and Pol Roger.
Interested in a holiday to France? Check out all our France packages and start planning your list of things to do in France!
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