Visiting Chateau de Cheverny in the Loire Valley of France might just be a highlight of your trip. Known for its richly-decorated interior and its connection to the Tintin comic books – it was the inspiration for Captain Haddock’s Marlinspike Hall – this gleaming French castle is the only family-occupied chateau open to the public. […]
Things to do in France
If you're travelling to France, here is a list of some of the top activities, places to go and things to do. Enjoy!
Things to do in France
If there is one country always on my travel horizon, France is it. There are so many historical/sophisticated/fun things to do in France you could travel for years through its various regions and never get bored. (And if you do get bored there, you really need to take up a hobby.)
From the chateaus of the Loire Valley to the cosmopolitan flair of the French Riviera, you can choose a million different ways to enjoy a French vacation. So let's jump right in and talk about some of the best things to do there.
Top activities for your France vacation
Explore the war memorials and D-Day sites in Normandy. It was at the Memorial de Caen in Caen that I broke down and cried. Add to that Dieppe and Juno Beach, and this is be one of the most sobering yet enlightening trips you'll ever embark on.
Wake up and smell the roses in Giverny. Also in Normandy, and only a couple of hours from Paris, the Impression master Claude Monet kept a lavish garden and home in the small town of Giverny. It makes a sweet-smelling day trip from Paris.
Stuff your face in Lyon. Often called Paris's second city, Lyon has become a must-eat destination for foodies.
Enjoy the haute culture of Paris. Factor in world-famous art museums such as the Louvre, French designers such as Coco Chanel, luxury hotels, and plenty of urban sophistication, and you've got yourself one of the most popular vacation spots on the globe. (In fact, it IS the most popular.)
Sip a glass of pink champagne or at least a crisp rosé on a breezy terrace overlooking the Mediterranean on the Cote d'Azur. Popular South of France destinations such as Nice, Cannes. St Tropez and Antibes bring you into jet set territory and offer a slice of the high life.
Relax in a French spa town. French spa towns such as Evian-les-Bains and Vichy offer Belle Epoque history, mineral-rich water and a look back at a more gracious way of life when wellbeing was a social activity.
Tour the chateaus of the Loire Valley. If you like grand castles, the beautiful Val de Loire should be on your list. Chateau de Chenonceau, the Royal Chateau of Amboise, the Domaine de Chambord ... these are just three lavish stops on a trip through France's valley of the kings.
Go star spotting at the Cannes Film Festival. A celebrity magnet, the Cannes Film Festival is one of those iconic stops for A-listers, producers, starlets, wanna-be starlets, men who want to date starlets and wheeler dealers that never get old. Oh right, the films are pretty good, too.
Go barging on the Canal du Midi. Built on the orders of Napoleon, this ambitious canal in the South of France is 241 km long and offers a lazy way to float through the French countryside.
Follow the footsteps of the playwright Molière in Pézenas, a town once known as the Versailles of the Languedoc region, it's a gem of a town that is well worth exploring.
Visit Versailles. For some serious luxury try a private backstage tour of the Palace of Versailles, or get into the spirit with a 18th-century photo shoot at Costumes & Chateaus.
When is the best time to visit France? Put it this way: You’ll find champagne year round and the Eiffel Tower is open in all four seasons, but your experience will change dramatically depending on when you go. To help you plan your trip, here are some things to consider when travelling to France, summer […]
The roaring Twenties were roaring indeed, and there is no place where they roared louder and laughed longer than in the historic Montparnasse cafes of Paris. Located in the 14th arrondissement near the 6th, and radiating out from the crossroads of Boulevard du Montparnasse and the Rue de Rennes, Montparnasse was the epicentre of les Années […]
The 18th-century Palace of Versailles is one of the most famous attractions in France. It’s also known as the Château de Versailles, or Versailles Castle, because a place this grand can’t have too many names. So how do you tackle something this legendary? With snippets of history and a 90-minute tour. Here is the best way to tour […]
Visiting Paris? A little planning will go a long way. Here are some tips on what neighbourhoods to stay in, how to get around and where to get all the travel info you need. Visiting Paris Have you ever popped out of a Paris metro station, suitcase in hand, wondering what to do next? I […]
Visiting Chateau d’Amboise, France, is a highlight of any Loire Valley tour. Known as the Royal Nursery, many future kings and queens were raised here, and Leonardo da Vinci worked here in 1516, but this popular French castle hides more than one tragic tale. Visiting Chateau d’Amboise, France The Chateau d’Amboise killed Charles VIII in […]
There are so many things to do in Nice, France, you could easily stay there a week. (Or 37 years, like the artist Matisse did.) Situated on the light-filled French Riviera, this popular city in the South of France makes a great base for touring the beautiful towns of the Côte d’Azur, but it also has plenty of charms of […]
If you’re travelling to the South of France, consider a day trip to Biot, France. A stunning medieval hilltop town just four km from the Mediterranean coast, Biot is famous for its glassmaking, its impressive museum dedicated to the Cubist artist Fernand Leger and for its fascinating -and notorious – heritage. Here’s my experience and everything you […]
The fabulous Chateau de Chenonceau, the ‘Ladies Castle’ in the Loire Valley of France inspires passion like no other chateau. A visit to Chenonceau is to delve into one of the most scandalous rivalries in French history, that of Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de Medici, Queen of France. Chateau de Chenonceau: a gift […]
Visiting Chateau de Chambord in the Loire Valley, France, is a glimpse into Renaissance history, architectural glory and the reign of the French king Francois I. Here is everything you need to know to plan a visit to the largest chateau in the Loire Valley. Built by Francois I of France It must be nice […]