Editor’s Note: While we can’t travel just yet, we can still bring you inspiration on destinations around the world. Here are some of our favorite things to do in France. Enjoy!
Located in Europe, France has become a sort of delicacy for world travelers, with Paris being one of the most famous tourist destinations. While Paris is filled with the most iconic landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum, Arc de Triomphe, the Seine and Notre Dame, there are plenty of other day trips and sightseeing opportunities outside of Paris that are worth visiting.
Here are some of our favorite things to do in France
Visit the Normandy Region
Spending time in the Normandy area will spark your interest in World War II history, specifically the beaches where Allied forces landed on D-Day, June 6, 1944, marking the beginning of the end of the war and victory over the Nazis. Rouen, the capital, is filled with gothic architecture and is where Joan of Arc was tried and burned at the stake for heresy in 1431. France’s Normandy is worth the day trip.
See the Arc De Triomphe
No sightseeing trip to Paris is complete without a visit to the Arc de Triomphe. Considered one of the most iconic landmarks in Paris and located just off the western side of the Champs-Élysées, the Arc de Triomphe provides a breathtaking view of the Paris skyline. This stoic monument was originally constructed to honor those that fought and died in France’s many wars including the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars.
Enjoy a River Cruise on the Seine
Sightseeing on the Seine River is a unique way to get to know the cities and monuments that exist in France. The Seine runs through the heart of Paris and into the English Channel and is the best way to get a view of the Paris countryside. Cruising the Seine River also means you can marvel at the architecture of the Louvre, the Musée D’Orsay and the Notre Dame Cathedral from afar. Sightseeing on the Seine can be experienced during the day or on a dinner cruise at night.
Take a Winery Tour in Bordeaux
If you are interested in the finer things in life, taking a top-rated wine tour in the city of Bordeaux may be perfect for you. Take a walk through rolling hills of vineyards and sample delicious wines, all for a price ranging from $50 to $300, making this an affordable experience. Another day trip worth taking is a visit to the Champagne wine region of France where guided tours are worth your time.
Tour the Catacombs Under the City of Paris
Paris’ Catacombs is an underground tunnel that also serves as a grave for more than six million Parisians, whose remains were transferred from surrounding cemeteries. This is a monument that has intrigued and perhaps creeped out tourists for decades.
Learn How to Cook a Gourmet Meal
What better to do in Paris, France than to learn more about its famous cuisines and take some of the knowledge with you. Many classes are offered, from how to make delectable sweets and crepes to preparing traditional gourmet meals and French dishes.
Palace of Versailles
Located outside of Paris, the Palace of Versailles provides a glimpse into the lavish lifestyle of the French aristocracy of King Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette. Guided tours are available and you will want to take advantage of those as there is so much to see, including the Hall of Mirrors, Grand Trianon, the Petit Trianon and the charming rustic Hameau (Hamlet) constructed for Marie Antoinette. One of the most magnificent displays of over-the-top opulence is the Gardens of Versailles with endless ponds, fountains and channels of waters.
Notre Dame Cathedral
Located in the heart of Paris Notre Dame is perhaps one of the most famous cathedrals in the world. This medieval structure has a rich history dating back to the 4th arrondissement of Paris. In spite of a recent fire, Notre Dame de Paris’ famous stained-glass windows were spared, and France will rebuild Notre Dame thanks to the expertise of French scientists.
Tour the Most Famous Art Museums in the World
Yes, you’ve seen the Mona Lisa, but another exhibit that lives in the capital of France will spark as much love for history as some of the most famous art museums in the world—the Louvre. Featuring permanent and seasonal exhibits every season, including the Venus de Milo, the Louvre Museum features pieces of art from artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Donatello, Rodin and Michelangelo.
Another famous art museum not-to-be-missed is the Musee d’Orsay. This art museum boasts the largest collection of impressionist art in the world. Originally a train station, the Musee d’Orsay has been transformed into a showcase of impressionist artwork from Monet, Van Gogh, Picasso, Degas, Gaugin, Renoir and Cezanne, to name a few.
Admire the Eiffel Tower
Constructed in 1889 to mark the 100-year anniversary of the French Revolution, the Eiffel Tower stands more than 1,000 feet tall and is named the most-visited landmark in history. The Eiffel Tower is still regarded as an architectural masterpiece and has become an iconic structure for photos and films from across the world.
There are so many sightseeing opportunities in Paris and across the country of France. Other honorable mentions worth visiting include the Cathedral of Strasbourg, Chamonix-Mont Blanc, the neighborhoods Le Marais, Île de la Cité, the nightlife of Lyon, the Luxembourg Gardens, the Palais des Tuileries, Loire Valley, the Palais Garnier, Mont-Saint-Michel and the Sacre-Coeur, to name a few.