Welcome to France. A country that seduces travellers with its unfalteringly familiar culture woven around café terraces, village-square markets and lace-curtained bistros with their plat du jour (dish of the day) chalked on the board.
Cultural Savoir-Faire France is all about world-class art and architecture, Roman temples and Renaissance châteaux, iconic landmarks known the world over, and rising stars few yet know. Stroll the lily-clad gardens Monet painted and savour un café at the Parisian café where Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir met to philosophise. See glorious pasts blaze forth and imagine the life of a French king at bourgeois Versailles. View tomorrow’s art starts in squats secreted in abandoned 19th-century Haussmann mansions in Paris, or at new headline-grabbing museums up north. Drink cocktails in a shabby-chic Nantes warehouse. Listen to Marseille rap and Parisian jazz. Sense the subtle infusion of language, music and mythology in Brittany, brought by 5th-century Celtic invaders. Yes, French culture offers never-ending possibilities to fill any stay in France.
Gastronomic Art de Vivre Or perhaps it is the French feast of fine food and wine that woos so many travellers. (This is, after all, the country that entices more than any other: more than 80 million visitors a year, ranking it the world’s top tourist destination. But know that gastronomic France goes far deeper than Parisian bistro dining, long lunches outside, shopping for fruit and veg at the market and wolfing down croissants hot from the boulangerie (bakery) for breakfast. Learn how to make petits fours with the kids in Paris or flip crêpes in Brittany; taste wine with one of the world’s top sommeliers in Bordeaux; visit an Atlantic Coast oyster farm; drink Champagne in ancient cellars in Reims; tour a Provençal melon farm; harvest olives, peaches and cherries in the hot south… and understand that food is as much an art de vivre (art of living) for the French as an essential to survive.
Lyrical Landscape Then there is the terroir (land) and the startlingly varied journey it weaves from northern France’s cliff s and sand dunes to the bright-blue sea of the French Riviera and Corsica’s green oak forests. Outdoor action is what this lyrical landscape calls for, be it fast-paced and pulse-racing, slow and relaxed, solo or en famille. Walk barefoot across wave-rippled sand to Mont St-Michel; ride the cable car to mind-blowing glacial panoramas above mountaineering mecca Chamonix; cartwheel down Europe’s highest sand dune; surf in Biarritz; ski the Alps; hike from one extinct volcano to another in the Massif Central; float between locks or pedal the towpath along the Canal du Midi. The action is endless and the next adventure just begging to be had.
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Best places to stay in France
Mediterranean Europe travel guide
Your journey to Mediterranean Europe starts here. You'll find the tools to plan your adventure: where to go and when, how much to budget, plus info on the region's best festivals.
Toulouse: la vie en rose in France's pink city
When it comes to French cities, there are a few that stand out as traveller favourites: Nice, Bordeaux, Lyon and, of course, Paris. Toulouse is all too often overlooked, but it’s one of France’s most historic and fascinating cities...
Best chateaux in France
Best French mountains
France travel guide
France is a country that seduces travellers with its unfalteringly familiar culture woven around cafe terraces, village-square markets and lace-curtained bistros with their plat du jour (dish of the day) chalked on the board.
The hidden charms of Languedoc-Roussillon
Unrelenting rain and an April chill greeted us as we navigated the cobbled streets and narrow roads in the hamlet of Gattigues, a petite village in France’s Languedoc-Roussillon. Several twists, turns and reverses later, we discovered our inn...
Best places to eat in France
France's Best Trips
Discover the freedom of the open road with France’s Best Trips. We’ve selected 39 amazing road trips through France, from two-day escapes to week-long adventures, and packed them full of expert advice and inspirational suggestions. Whether you...
Champagne Region Day Trip from Paris
Enjoy a glass of bubbly as you spend a day in the famous region of Champagne on a day trip from Paris. With its magnificent vineyards, impressive heritage and world class champagnes, the region makes a great excursion from the French capital. Explore the Moet and Chandon cellars in Epernay. Also visit the Mumm Champagne House and Reims Cathedral.
Versailles Guided Tour with Optional Fountain Show
Throughout the tour your guide-interpreter will bring back to life the history of the Palace of Versailles where, from 1682, Louis XIV officially settled his court and his government. In particular, you will discover the Great Royal Apartments, the Hall of Mirrors and the Queen's Apartments.
Five reasons to visit northern France in 2014
France’s refreshing Nord-Pas-de-Calais has been overlooked by travellers for too long. The region has embraced the jokes about chilly weather and yokel locals while quietly transforming into a world-class destination with a daring arts scene, clutch of historic sights and irresistibly rugged charm...
Discover France travel guide
The Louvre, Provence’s lavender fields, the Loire Valley’s Chateaux – we’ve selected the most iconic sights and incredible places so you can enjoy the real France with the minimum of fuss.
Sights in France
Activities in France
Tours in France
Restaurants in France
Budget hotels & hostels
Guesthouses and B&Bs
Paris has all but exhausted the superlatives that can reasonably be applied to any city.