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Wedged between the plains and vines of Champagne and the hilly, thickly wooded Massif des Vosges, Lorraine is fed by the Meurthe, Moselle and Meuse Rivers – hence the names of three of its four départements (the fourth is Vosges).

Cities like Metz, with its outstanding galleries and jewel-like Gothic cathedral, and Nancy with its art-nouveau sophistication and uplifting Unesco World Heritage square, are a terrific starting point. From here, you can strike out into more uncharted territory. A hard-hitting journey heads west to the cross-stippled battlefields of Verdun, where the longest battle of WWI unravelled.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Lorraine.