From the groovy seaside resorts of the French Riviera to the boulevards of Paris, France has some of the world’s most famous monuments. Magnificent cathedrals, fairy-tale castles, and picturesque villages will, without a doubt, please romantics.
Start your journey with the Eiffel Tower, France’s most famous modern emblem designed by Gustave Eiffel. Then proceed to admire world-famous masterpieces of art at the Louvre Museum. Feel like royalty for a day at the exquisite Palace of Versailles. Find time for tasty gourmet meals- local French food has been added to the UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
The regions have their own culture and cuisine. For example, Brittany’s coastal region provides the old-world allure of ancient seaports and quaint fishing villages. At the same time, the French Alps displays the region’s delectable cuisine of charcuterie and cheese fondue. Indulge in the hearty treats and enjoy the country’s resistless charm with my list of the famous attractions in France.
Here Are a Few Things France Is Famous For
Paris: Eiffel Tower
This architectural masterpiece is a feat of brilliance as much as it is a famous landmark. Designed to be a temporary exhibit for the 1889 World Fair, one can see the applied ingenuity in its 8,000 metallic parts. The tower ruffled some feathers initially as many opposed its construction. Today, its 320 m height and structure is a national pride.
Its elegance has earned it the “Iron Lady”. Tourists will be thrilled by the tower’s fine airiness despite its massive size and the dumbfounding views at each of the three levels. At the first level, visitors can dine or indulge at Les Jules Verne restaurant at the second level. The tower’s top level has a broad look over Paris and beyond. On a clear day, views extend as far as 70 km.
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Paris: Louvre Museum
Set in an impressive palace that used to be a royal residence, the Louvre Museum ranks high in the top European collections of fine arts. Several famous works in many western civilizations can be found here like the Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci, the 1st-century-BC Venus de Milo sculpture, and Veronese’s Wedding Feast at Cana.
Thanks to the contributions from different kings who lived in the Louvre, the collection is rich and expansive. Other works were added after the country’s treaties with the Republic of Venice and the Vatican. Napoleon I’s spoils also make up the body of works.
The museum has a breathtaking collection of 35,000 works of art, including several masterpieces. You cannot explore everything it has in a day or a week. Nevertheless, there are private guided tours to help you get the best of your Louvre visit.
Versailles: Versailles Palace
You cannot help but think that he made a great choice when in 1682, Louis XIV relocated to the court of Versailles. Today, the stately Hall of Mirrors, the sparkling enfilade in the entire bedrooms, and the gilded royal apartments are all masterpieces that befit royalty. There are also the delicately tendered lawns and important landscaping that is closely related to a universe of fairy-tales. They all complement each other depicting absolute monarchy while serving as one of the leading tourist destinations in the country at the same time.
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Chartres: Cathedrale de Chartres
The adorable towering spires, the porches that are widely embellished with detailed sculpture works, and the stained-glass windows dating back to the 1100s and 1200s combine to arouse the realization that the Cathedrale de Chartres is the most famous piece in the class of French Gothic arts. Despite the town losing much in the 1134 fire, this sanctuary remained unscathed and became a central pilgrimage spot. In 1979, it also got on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Mont Saint-Michelle: Abbaye du Mont Saint-Michel
The Abbaye du Mont Saint-Michel lies on the border between Brittany and Normandy. It is a legendary abbey that blends the forces of nature and the artistry of medieval architecture. Perching on the top of a tidal island, the abbey was listed in 1979 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This fascinating spot commemorates the French heroic resistance to the English in the Hundred Years’ War.
The protected walls cover a picture-perfect Middle Ages village that prospered from the 1000s on. Its proximity to the land made it easily accessible to pilgrims during the low tide. More recently, in the time of Louis XI, the mont served as a prison even though it has now been made into one of the most visited tourist attractions in France.
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Paris: Notre Dame Cathedral (Cathedrale de Notre Dame de Paris)
Despite the Cathedral’s increasing popularity since its opening, Victor Hugo’s 1831 novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame accelerated its fame. All the same, the sanctuary reflects Paris’ prestige with its massive archways, rose-colored stained glass windows, ornate spires, Gargoyles, and flying buttresses, all of which conjure the spirit of Gothicism. The Cathedral surely deserves a spot in the travel plans of every tourist to Paris.
The Loire Valley
Providing a naturally lovely view, the River Loire turns and twists as it courses on the valley’s rolling hills. This beautiful area of lush flowers and prominent vineyards is marked on both ends with more than a thousand adorably elaborate chateaus. Trail the 280 km river from Sully-sur-Loire in Loiret to Chalonnes-sure-Loire in Anjou. You will conclude that the valley certainly deserves its UNESCO laurel.
Paris: Musee d’Orsay
The superb Louvre might be considered as France’s most impressive museum, but the Musee d’Orsay is a close second. Located on the Seine River’s left bank, and hosted in a railway station, the art repository houses sculptures and paintings owned by several French artists. Even so, the museum is famous for its decent variety of masterpieces from impressionists and post-impressionists. No place in the world can be compared to the expansive collection of art from Cezanne, Monet, Renoir, and Degas. You do not need to be an art buff before you fall in love with the museum.
Nimes: Arenes de Nimes
Arenes de Nimes is perhaps the best-preserved Roman amphitheater. This place has been part and parcel of the French city’s history for close to two millennia. Given the level of ingenuity accorded to Roman engineering, visitors can still witness and savor the shows performed in the amphitheater, including bullfights, well-known theatrical and musical concerts, and many more in this astonishing setting. The establishment is near the Principality of Orange and the Ponte du Gard, making the whole area a paradise of antiquity.
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Reims: Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Reims
Despite acting as a runner-up to Chartres’ prestigious Cathedral as regards ornamentation and sculpting, this Cathedral still depicts a lovely representation or architectural artistry and royal history. There you will see the combination and unity of Gothic elements. Even though the fine difference between realism and formal realism may not be profound to the ordinary person, the Cathedral’s general grandness will stun visitors. Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Reims has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1991.
Provence is an adorable landscape of rolling hills, olive groves, and lavender fields. Small villages set in the valleys and seated on craggy outcrops. The fantastic scenery has enamored famous artists like Chagall, Cezanne, and Picasso. Aix-en-Provence is an important town in the region with hundreds of fountains- a prominent feature of Southern France. Lovely ancient ruins and local festivals separate the towns of Arles, and Avignon’s medieval city is where the famous Palais des Papes is. Even small villages like Saint-Remy, Saint-Paul-de-Vence, and Gordes, have splendid historic sites, amazing museums, and a charming, quaint vibe.
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Chamonix – Mont-Blanc
In the French Alps, the incredible view of Mont Blanc is an unforgettable spectacle. It is Europe’s highest mountain summit and soars to 4,810 m. Because of its elevation, this area is often blanketed in wintertime. Under its majestic peak is Chamonix, the traditional alpine village nestled in a high-mountain valley. This small town has several historic churches, attractive auberges, and cozy chalet restaurants.
The village is a good base for hiking, outdoor adventures, and skiing. Chamonix is one of France’s best places to visit for the sheer alpine accommodations and wonderful natural scenery. The restaurants serve scrumptious traditional French and international meals to the delight of diners. You can try the local Savoyard treats too like fondue, charcuterie, and raclette. The mountain lodges are upscale but excellent and well furnished with modern facilities.
What is France Famous For? – Summary
For those who are romantically inclined, France serves enough features. To enjoy the country, you might sometimes need to go beyond Paris and fulfill your holiday fantasies. Each region has its unique cuisines and culture. From the most charming of Provence’s cities that have gorgeous landscapes and amazing weather; to the comfy chalets marked within the French Alps, where the famous charcuteries and cheese-based fondues are the day’s indulgence. Enjoy it all, and gratify yourself in the irresistible offers of France.