Do you have a plan to travel to France? Do not just stuck on the city of Paris alone. France has a lot of cities and other places that are not less interesting to explore. Check out the following recommendations:

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Paris

Eiffel Tower and Seine River
Eiffel Tower and Seine River, via musement

As the nation’s capital of French, the city of Paris is certainly become the main entrance to enter the country. Automatically, Paris has become one of the favorite tourism destinations, as well as a major tourism destination for tourists who want to spend their leisure time in France.

Paris does have many irresistible tourism charms. The city which also has some cool nicknames like the City of Love, the City of Light, and Capital of Fashion is indeed one of the big cities that consistently preserved the atmosphere of the city, thereby impressing a strong romantism aura. Paris also has a number of famous landmarks whose popularity has spread to foreign countries.

Not to mention the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum, Notre Dame, and many more. In addition to those, Paris is also rich in various shopping tour destinations, especially for lovers of high fashion; because in that city there are so many fashion houses and world-class designer boutiques.

Interested in exploring Paris? Spare your time to explore the city on foot. One of the best ways to enjoy the beauty of Paris is to explore the various corners of Paris, and get lost. It will be more fun if the adventure is done when the city lights start to light up.

You may find lots of cool, yet romantic spots that may not be listed in the various travel brochures. Also, spare your time to try out a variety of roadside café, enjoying a cup of coffee while observing the real city atmosphere of Paris.

Well, because Paris is already very well connected with several other cities around it, you can also explore the nearby cities as a side-trip. Some recommended places to visit as side-trips from Paris includes Versailles, Fontainbleu, Provins, and many others.

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Marseille

Marseille
Marseille, via imgrabo

Crazy about the atmosphere of the port city? Just make Marseille your favorite destination in France. Marseille (often referred to as Marseilles) is a port city which located in the south of France, precisely on the Mediterranean coast. This city become the second largest city in France, as well as one of the must-visit cities by travelers while traveling to France.

Marseille offers an unique atmosphere. There’s a lot of Marseille-style atmosphere you can find there, such as the labyrinth-like streets with rows of staircases, old town areas, once-bastion island, as well as old and new ports. Do not forget also the distinctive sea scent, and the multi-nation population that makes the city feel so vibrant and colorful.

Marseille is also filled with various architectural styles, ranging from roman-style building ruins, medieval architecture, to modern landmarks such as the CMA CGM Tower, the masterpiece of renowned architect Zaha Hadid. Marseille is also rich in monuments and museums, and of course has various boutiques, bars, restaurants and various galleries.

There are many tourist activities that can be done in Marseille, therefore this city is not going to make you bored. Starting from just walking around the city, exploring the various markets, visiting prison islands, and many more. However if you only have a short tour time, Vieux-Port (Old Port) is the most recommended place to visit.

In that old harbor area you can find many things in one place, ranging from seeing dance performances and art, watching the performances of street musicians, and many others. Surely, during a visit to Marseille, spare a time to taste Bouillabaisse, typical culinary Marseille in the form of delicious seafood stew.

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Lyon

Lyon
Lyon, via royalairmaroccoticket

The list of “cities to visit in France” is incomplete if it has not mentioned Lyon. As the third largest city in France, that city is indeed one of the cities that offer a complete package of tours. Starting from historical tours, architectural tours, to modern shopping, all can be found in Lyon.

The age of Lyon city is estimated to be around 2000 years. No wonder if the city that is in the meeting point of rivers Rhône and Saône is arguably almost resembles a large museum. Lyon has a variety of buildings with classic and ancient architectural styles, ranging from medieval to Renaissance architecture, historic buildings, to modern-style architecture that portrays Lyon as a big city.

Lyon is also rich in districts that have its own charms. Tourists can freely choose to trace the various walks of the Croix-Rousse, indulging an appetite at Presqu’Île with its Restaurants and Bars, admiring the Renaissance atmosphere which still deeply felt in Vieux Lyon, and exploring the Brotteaux shopping spots.

Lyon also offers many other attractions. Let’s just say, this city has many cool museums, shopping districts, exciting nightclubs, renowned campuses, and restaurants that offer a heaven for culinary lovers.

Do not forget also the magnificent festival, the Festival of Lights, which is often held in the nearest week of December 8th. At that moment, there will be a special show performed by various world-class artists, which made the atmosphere of Lyon feel so festive.

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Strasbourg

Strasbourg
Strasbourg, via mondoramas

If you like the city with an atmosphere that never changes from time to time, you can consider to include Strasbourg in your list. Strasbourg is a 2000 years old city. This city was once founded by the Romans, so the distinct atmosphere of Rome can be felt throughout this city.

Overall, Strasbourg is one of the cities that is able to preserved its old mood successfully. Especially if you look at the various gothic churches all around the city, and some medieval style buildings which are still beautifully maintained, you will feel like stepping into the past. Fortunately this city also has a modern face that is displayed through the presence of various universities and European institutions in this city, which become a reminder that we are still in the present.

What can you find in Strasbourg? The answer: a lot. This city has a lot of historic buildings that still stands beautifully until now, various museums, various shops, cafes, restaurants, and many more. In addition, Strasbourg offers other uniqueness that is hard to be found in other cities.

The Strasbourg is located on the border of France and Germany, and this made the city has many uniqueness when viewed in terms of culture, language, to culinary. If you observe properly, you can find buildings with a mixture of architectural styles of France and Germany, which you may not find in other cities.

Furthermore, while visiting Strasbourg, take a chance to taste some of the region’s typical culinary such as sauerkraut (sometimes served in large portions enough for 2 people), Flammeküche (thin pizzas with cream onion sauce), Fleischnackas, and Baeckeoffe.

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Mont Saint-Michel

Mont Saint-Michel
Mont Saint-Michel, via khoahocphattrien

Around 3.5 hours away from Paris, there is Mont Saint-Michel, which located in Normandy. Mont Saint-Michel is the name of an island about 1 kilometer from the nearest beach. However that’s not the reason why Mont Saint-Michel is famous, but rather because the island has a monastery named Mont Saint-Michel Abbey, or the Monastery of Mont Saint-Michel.

The Monastery of Mont Saint-Michel was built at the highest location on the island. This convent buildings that have been built since several centuries ago is indeed quite unique because it is equipped with high towers. If seen from a distance, the monastery building is so iconic and distinctive, especially during high tides, you may see that Mont Saint-Michel looks so far from the mainland.

No wonder the Monastery of Mont Saint-Michel is then known as one of the iconic landmarks of France, which makes it included in the list of ‘must-visit’ places in the country.

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Bordeaux

Bordeaux
Bordeaux, via themodernconcierge

Paris may be titled as the Capital of Fashion, aka Fashion Capital. But the city of Bordeaux in France also has a nickname that is not less cool, the Capital of Wine. Hmm, how come?

Let’s first acquaintance with Bordeaux, a port city which located in southwestern France. Bordeaux is the fifth largest city in France, and it is a major wine-producing city in the world. This city has been producing wine since the 8th century, and until now still continue to produce wine with production figures more than 960 million bottles per-year.

Some of the best and most expensive wines of the world are the products of Bordeaux, so the city is really deserved to be called as the Capital of Wine. In fact, in Bordeaux it has now stood the first wine theme park in France, namely La Cité du Vin.

Interestingly, Bordeaux does not merely contain wine. This city is one of the few towns that managed to retain many of its old buildings, with a total of 362 buildings which already recognized as historical monuments. No wonder Bordeaux is often referred to as the “City of Art and History”, so this city is very interesting to be explored on foot or by bike because there are so many interesting sceneries can be found in this city.

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Aix-en-Provence

Aix-en-Provence
Aix-en-Provence, via vagabondyear

Aix-en-Provence, or simply called Aix, became the next city to be included in the list of ‘must-visit’ cities during a trip to France. The city is located in Provence, an area located on the south side of France, and is only about 30 kilometers away from Marseille.

Indeed, this Aix is just a small town. It takes you only about 15 minutes on foot to explore the downtown. However, as the streets of downtown Aix are predominantly pedestrian, furthermore this city has many narrow streets which is flanked by hundred-year-old buildings, thus making this city atmosphere so much fun to be explored on foot.

Moreover, the old buildings are still in a very neat condition and pretty well maintained. With such atmosphere, Aix became one of this city’s major attractions, and walking around the city became one of the recommended activities to do in Aix.

Although only a small town, Aix has several charms of its own. This city is rich in shopping spots, cool museums, churches, to fountains that adorns several corners of the city; thus makes Aix atmosphere  so unique and homey.

Aix is also rich in restaurants and eateries, and the numbers are quite abundant when compared to the size of the city. Transportation modes in Aix was good enough, so tourists can easily explore the city by bus. Tourists will find it easy if they want to travel to other cities, such as to Marseille.

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Lourdes

Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes
Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes, via wikimediacommons

Eager to travel as well as to experience a religious tour while in Paris? Maybe Lourdes is the right city for you. Lourdes is actually a small town located in the Occitanie region, the southwest of France. However, although the city is not too big, Lourdes is one of the most popular religious tourism destinations in France, because in this city there is a place called Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes.

Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes, or commonly referred to as Domain, is an area located around Our Lady of Lourdes, a sacred place for Catholics in Lourdes (called Grotto). The area has a total area of ​​51 hectares, and is popularly visited by those who want to do religious tours, as well as for those who are trying to find healing.

This happens because there is a spring (called Lourdes water) which supposedly can cure various diseases. Because of the Lourdes water popularity, many tourists flock to Lourdes, and make Lourdes as one of the center of tourism in France (after Paris), as well as become one of the important religious attractions for Catholics all over the world.

But if you are not interested in Lourdes water, this city is still quite interesting to visit. Lourdes still has several other tourist attractions, such as Château Fort which is now functioning as a museum, featuring local artefacts and arts, which is known as the Musée Pyrénéen. Furthermore, there are also many old buildings in Lourdes.

Some of them are silent witnesses which associated with Bernadette Soubirous, the young girl who claims to have a vision of the Virgin Mary and becomes the embryo of the construction of Our Lady of Lourdes. In Lourdes there are also many buildings and religious themed masterpieces that scattered in several corners of the city, and interesting to be captured in camera shots.

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Nice

Nice
Nice, via wikipedia

The port city always has an appeal that tempts tourists to come and visit. Especially if the city has  tourist attractions other than just geographical factors, such as those owned by the city of Nice.

Nice, pronounced like ‘Niece’ in English, is a city that is part of the French Riviera region, an area along the Mediterranean Sea. Nice is known as a big city that has a beautiful waterfront area, with various ethnic races scattered inside. This city also includes in one of the popular holiday destinations for the citizens of France, especially for those who are looking for a holiday atmosphere by the sea.

Besides its location factor, Nice also has many other attractions. This city was once a holiday place of the elite in the 19th century. Automatically, in Nice there are still some very well preserved of architectural heritage, as well as a number of ruins that have high historical value.

Nice also has an old town area, with walkways flanked by old buildings that are very photogenic. Moreover, Nice also hosts a number of cool museums, and of course a charming city landscape.

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Note:

Photos are taken from various sources (see caption) without any additional edits other than resizing process.

 

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