France

Travel Guide
Annecy-le-Vieux

Appreciate Mediterranean beaches, Alpine skiing, fine wines and cheeses, and some of the world’s most celebrated cities in this Western European country.

Whether you’re a Francophile or simply a world traveler, enjoy France, a country with diverse appeal. Explore snow-covered mountains, relaxing beaches, sophisticated cities, wine regions, small mountaintop villages and quiet countryside.

Fly into Paris, the capital. The city earns its nickname, “the City of Light,” when evening lights of the Eiffel Tower, the Champs-Élysées, Notre-Dame Cathedral and bridges over the Seine River illuminate a magical walking tour. Visit famous art galleries, including the Louvre, the Musée d’Orsay and the Musée de l’Orangerie.

French wine regions are famous, some bearing names now recognized worldwide, including Burgundy, Bordeaux and Champagne. Stop at large wineries or small cellar doors to taste varied vintages and purchase new favorites.

Come to Marseille and the French Mediterranean shores for sunbathing, swimming and living the Riviera lifestyle. Rub shoulders with the rich and famous at popular Côte d'Azur ports of Nice, Antibes and Saint-Tropez. Visit Cannes in May when celebrities attend the annual film festival. Menton, Bandol and smaller cities, including Cassis and La Ciotat, offer beaches and small cafés for relaxing getaways.

Vacation in the French Alps in summer to hike along trails with mountain wildflowers and valley views. In winter, ski some of the world’s most enjoyable high-altitude terrain. France has more than 200 individual ski mountains, with many ranges interlinked as cooperative resorts. Even if you don’t ski, ride the téléphérique up Mont Blanc for views of three countries.

Provence and the Luberon have many interesting “villages perchés,” perched villages built on small mountains. Visit the weekly markets across these regions for local fresh produce and colorful handicrafts.

In the north, imagine the beaches of Normandy filled with thousands of soldiers engaged in the marine assault against the Nazis, an important event of World War II. See the cemetery and monument memorializing American soldiers who lost their lives in Europe.

Make France an annual destination to visit all its diverse regions. In every city and village, enjoy the excellent cuisine France is noted for.

Popular cities in France

Eiffel Tower showing a sunset, a monument and heritage architecture
Paris
Known for Tours, Museums and Cathedrals
From an afternoon picnic in the Luxembourg Gardens to a night at the opera, France’s romantic capital offers both simple pleasures and extravagant splurges.

Reasons to visit

  • La Machine du Moulin Rouge
  • Notre-Dame
  • Eiffel Tower
Lyon showing a city, a statue or sculpture and a river or creek
Lyon
Known for Dining, Business and Museums
France’s third largest city is famous for films, festivals, food and centuries-old architecture.

Reasons to visit

  • Bellecour Square
  • Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière
  • Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon
Vieux Port featuring boating and a marina
Marseille
Known for Ports, Dining and Business
A stunning coastline, thriving café culture and 26 centuries of history makes this port city in the South of France the perfect year-round escape.

Reasons to visit

  • Grand Port Maritime de Marseille
  • Hotel de Ville
  • La Vieille Charite
Comedy Square featuring street scenes and heritage architecture as well as a small group of people
Montpellier
Known for Shopping, Walking and Business
Imagine yourself in medieval France in this ancient trade and university town. Then take advantage of the easy access to the Mediterranean Sea.

Reasons to visit

  • Comedy Square
  • Corum Convention Center
  • Polygone Shopping Center
Bordeaux featuring street scenes and heritage elements
Bordeaux
Known for Shopping, Tours and Business
Cycle along the city’s network of bike paths as you taste local wines, look across the Garonne River or relax in one of the city’s many gardens and parks.

Reasons to visit

  • St. Michael Basilica
  • The City of Wine
  • Cap Sciences
Nice featuring a coastal town and a sandy beach as well as a large group of people
Nice
Known for Dining, Shopping and Business
Colorful architecture, a warm climate and a laid-back Mediterranean lifestyle make this coastal city a favorite with celebrities and holidaymakers.

Reasons to visit

  • Albert 1st Gardens
  • Nice Etoile Shopping Center
  • Avenue Jean Medecin

Popular places to visit in France

France