France is a country renowned for its delicious delicacies, romantic atmosphere and rolling hills, perfect for an escape from everyday life in the UK. If you are taking a look at this guide then you are either already very accustomed to France, or you might be going there for the first time and want to get a better feel of as to what to expect. In this travel guide, we have everything you need to know about travelling to France and the best places that we recommend that you visit for a truly memorable break.
Where Should I Stay In France?
When deciding where to stay in France, you need to think about what you want to get out of your trip; if you are travelling to France to improve your French, then you need to consider which style of the French language you wish to experience or if you’re not the best with languages, a tourism-focused city could be a better choice. The Northern and Southern parts of France have a very different way of speaking the language, so just remember this when choosing where you want to stay in France!
We have picked out some of the best places for you to visit in France, to make your decision as to where to stay that little bit easier.
We will start with the ever-popular French capital that is Paris. Known for its romantic atmosphere and breathtaking sights, this city always has something new for you to discover. So, whether you regularly visit the city or are planning to visit for the very first time, you will always be able to find something new to see or do there. The city isn’t just all grand palaces and boulevards either – hidden behind them are courtyards and gardens perfect for exploring. For a modern foodie touch, find popular bars and restaurants dotted around the city and make the most of the food markets and cafés that this wonderful place has to offer.
If a more rural, traditional area is what you are after, then we highly recommend that you visit and stay in one of the picturesque villages in Burgundy. Not only is this region renowned for its delicious wines, but it is also home to medieval abbeys and ancient communities that offer a perfect insight into French historical culture. Home to towns and localities practically untouched by modernisation, Burgundy truly is perfect for history buffs looking for a true escape.
Nice is another popular holiday location in France, and it’s not difficult to understand why. Located on the French Riviera, this quintessentially French city has attracted millions over the years and will definitely continue to do so in the future. A unique colour palette and towering architecture make for a truly unforgettable trip. Visit Nice’s Old Town and experience their beautiful, colourful flower market and all the culture that the old town has to offer or spend hours walking along the bay and take in the fresh air.
Visit anywhere in the area of Dordogne and you will be truly swept away by just how this rural area has developed. This peaceful, illusory location will really capture your heart and imagination with its plentiful caves and caverns, including the Lascaux II and Grotte de Rouffignac. Alternatively, you could step away from the caves and instead take a Canoe Roquegeoffre down the river and admire your stunning surroundings from a whole new angle.
When Is The Best Time To Visit France?
If you’re looking for a peaceful break that allows you to truly indulge in a spot of sightseeing without the crowds, we recommend that you travel either in the Spring season (April to June) or in the Autumn (September to November). Not only are there fewer tourists travelling during these periods, but the prices tend to be lower, meaning that you won’t be paying out for the privilege of taking in a spot of French culture.
Before you book your holiday to France, have an idea as to why you want to visit the country and what you want to see and do. Find out when the best times to visit France for good weather when to start saving money, the best tips for sightseeing and even the right time for your honeymoon! As France is particularly well-known for their wine, while you are there you will probably want to taste some of the unique flavours in a wine tasting tour. Although September and October will be busier, the weather is always better and you’ll also be able to experience harvest time in France!
Popular And Traditional Events In France
If you want to travel to France, then you should visit the country during one of their popular events or traditional festivals such as:
Truffle Festival, Sarlet
If you are a truffle fanatic, you will not want to miss this festival. Each year in mid-January, there is a festival which celebrates everything to do with the truffle. The festival features a large market with truffle growers, who you can meet and buy fresh truffles from, and in some cases, you may be able to secure a free taste or two!
The Violet Festival, Tourrettes-Sur-Loup
Dedicated to the Violet flower, this floral festival has been hosted annually since 1952 and celebrates the coming of spring. The streets are filled with dancing, activity and life as a floral procession passes through the streets, lighting them all up with colour.
Joan Of Arc Festival, Reims
The Joan of Arc Festival in Reims is an annual weekend-long event that celebrates the coronation of Charles VII on 17 July 1429. Every year, the festival turns the city into a medieval paradise, filled with minstrels, jugglers, falconry displays, wool-spinning, stone-cutting workshops and more. There are concerts and costumes and plenty to enjoy, so it’s certainly worth a visit.
Look up any festivals or events in the area you are visiting before you go, so you don’t miss one of these fantastic events, which will allow you to feel like a local by celebrating an important holiday in France.
What Are The Best Things To See And Do in France?
There are so many popular and iconic monuments to see in France. We have handpicked a few of the most popular ones to get you started:
The Eiffel Tower
When you think of Paris or even France, you will always associate it with the Eiffel Tower. So, if you are in Paris, then you should certainly take the opportunity to visit the Eiffel Tower and have your picture taken in front of it for optimal bragging rights! When you visit the iron lattice tower, climb to the top and take in the breath-taking view of the stunning city from high up.
Notre-Dame de Paris
Also located in Paris is the Notre-Dame de Paris, which is otherwise referred to as the Notre-Dame Cathedral. Step inside the medieval Catholic Cathedral to experience one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture.
Just outside the capital is the Palace of Versailles, which was home to Louis XIV from 1682 until the start of the French Revolution. If you enjoy visiting historic monuments, then we recommend that you pick up some tickets to see inside this wonderful Palace and learn all about its past.
Whether you have children, or you’re a Disney fan yourself, Disneyland Paris is undoubtedly the most magical place you can visit near Paris! With several thrilling rides, an outstanding parade and your favourite Disney characters on site for you to meet, you may need to stay longer than just a day! Disneyland Paris has a range of themed hotels for you to choose from and stay in too, so it will truly be an adventure that your children will never forget!
This wonderful island is ideal regardless of whether you’re travelling with a partner, or with the entire family. Located in Normandy, the island consists of beautiful churches and abbeys, eerie museums, as well as plenty of places for you to eat and stay in. This little village on an island has so much character that you will instantly fall in love with.
Château de Chambord
The Château de Chambord is situated in Chambord, near Versailles and is perhaps one of the most famous chateaux across the globe. It represents traditional yet distinctive French Renaissance architecture and is jam-packed full of history and beauty perfect for history buffs.
Where Can I Taste The Best Food In France?
Whilst you are in France, you should definitely take the opportunity to try the local cuisine. Some of the best delicacies include:
If seafood is one of your favourites, then visit Finistere in France to sample some of the fresh catch from France’s largest traditional fishing posts in Le Guilvinec. If you are interested in learning about the industry, take a trip to Haliotika, where you can enjoy their fishing-themed tourist attraction right on the waterfront. There are so many restaurants where you can enjoy a fish-based dish, so take your pick!
Wine & Cheese
You can’t go on holiday to France and not try their local cheeses and world-class wines. Spend some time in Provence and take in the heritage whilst tasting exquisite cheese and washing it down with a range of wines, which will really bring colour to your palette!
Cheese & Beef
Burgundy is home to very distinctive cheeses, which you won’t try anywhere else in the world. In addition to the unique cheeses, Burgundy is also well-known for its heady gastronomy, so spend some time here and enjoy a very delightful meal in one of the many fine restaurants that are situated here.
Poulet Vallée d’Auge
Embark in cooking classes in Normandy and learn the art of creating a traditional dish such as Poulet Vallée d’Auge (chicken with cream and apples) and the Norman version of rice pudding, teurgoule. Base your holiday here, and enjoy trips to local markets and restaurants in an exciting gourmet break. You will definitely be hosting all of the dinner parties after this trip!
Do I Need An EHIC Card?
If you travel anywhere abroad, it is essential that you have an EHIC card and you take it with you overseas. By having one, you will be entitled to medical treatment if you are unfortunate to have an accident or illness whilst you are abroad. If you accidentally misplace or lose your EHIC card, then you can apply for another one. For more information, click here.
We hope that this guide has been an interesting and beneficial insight into what France has to offer as a holiday location. Embrace the country and its culture and treat yourself to an indulgent break!