France is a dream travel destination, whatever type of trip you’re looking for. With its unique tapestry of history, culture, cuisine, architecture, and natural beauty, it’s no wonder why France is the world’s most-visited country.
The fusion of its rich heritage with vibrant, contemporary life makes France an irresistible destination. Each corner of this amazing country, from the romantic avenues of Paris to the serene countryside of the Dordogne, tells a unique story.
7 Reasons Why You Should Visit France in 2024
My grandparents used to live in southwest France, and I’ve spent so much time there that it feels like a second home to me. It’s definitely one of my favourite parts of the world.
Call me nostalgic, but there’s something just so special about France, the culture, the customs, the landscapes, and of course, all the delicious food and wine.
There are so many reasons why you should visit France this year. But you don’t have all day – so here are seven:
1. Iconic Landmarks and Architecture
France is a treasure trove of iconic landmarks. Of course, everyone knows about the beauty and architectural wonder that is the Eiffel Tower.
And the opulence of the Palace of Versailles, with its lavish halls and vast gardens reflecting the extravagance of the former French royalty.
It’s true, Paris has more than its fair share of architectural splendour. But some of my favourite French landmarks are actually found outside of the capital.
For example, the picturesque Mont Saint-Michel, perched on a rocky tidal island, looks like something straight out of a fairytale. Seriously, the first time I saw it, I couldn’t believe it was actually real!
And let’s not forget the Pont du Gard bridge, in the southern Occitanie region. It’s a breathtaking example of ancient Roman engineering and one of the best-preserved ancient aqueducts in Europe.
2. World-Class Cuisine and Wine
Good food and wine are a key part of France’s proud heritage and a quintessential part of French life. The country’s rich culinary culture is world-famous for a reason. It’s hard not to eat and drink very well in France!
France is renowned for its exquisite regional dishes, such as coq au vin from Burgundy, bouillabaisse from Marseille, and cassoulet from the southwest.
Every bite and sip in France is a journey through its diverse regions, each with its own distinct culinary flair. And then there’s the wine – oh, the wine!
As you’d expect, France’s wine culture is unparalleled. The country is home to some of the world’s most famous wine regions, like Bordeaux, Champagne, and Burgundy, all of which are great for exploring and indulging in tastings.
3. Rich Artistic and Cultural Heritage
It would be amiss to talk about France without mentioning its incredible artistic and cultural heritage. Creativity and artistry run deep in French culture, from literature and music to painting and sculpture.
But it’s not only in Paris where you’ll find impressive art and culture. Cities like Lyon, Marseille, and Bordeaux also have thriving arts scenes worth exploring for anyone looking to immerse themselves in French culture.
4. Stunning and Diverse Natural Beauty
While France’s cities are undeniably beautiful, its natural landscapes are equally breathtaking.
The country boasts an incredibly diverse range of landscapes, from the rugged coastline of Brittany to the snowy peaks of the French Alps. There’s no shortage of wonderful scenery in France.
The Pyrenees mountains, stretching along the southern border with Spain, and the Vanoise National Park in the Alps both offer some of the best hiking trails in Europe, with jaw-dropping mountain views, carpets of wildflowers, and charming alpine villages.
And don’t forget about the enchanting lavender fields in Provence, the volcanoes of the Auvergne, and the idyllic beaches of the French Riviera – perfect for a relaxing day by the Mediterranean.
5. Charming Villages and Countryside
When many people think of France, they picture the bustling streets of Paris or the sun-drenched coastline of Nice. But France is also home to countless charming villages and vast stretches of picturesque countryside.
Take a break from the hustle and bustle of city life and escape to the French countryside, dotted with quaint towns and villages that have preserved their traditional medieval charm. Exploring these gems genuinely feels like stepping into a storybook.
For simply relaxing in nature, the rolling hills and vineyards of Burgundy are hard to beat. Here you’ll find traditional cottages draped in flowers, with the smells of home-cooked food and freshly cut grass in the air.
6. Fashion and Shopping
France is synonymous with fashion, and for good reason. From iconic designer brands to unique independent boutiques, there’s no shortage of fashionable finds in France.
Paris is the ultimate shopping destination, with its famous department stores like Galeries Lafayette and Printemps, as well as countless luxury fashion houses on the Champs-Élysées.
But don’t limit yourself to Paris – other cities like Lyon, Marseille, and Nice also have their own fashion scenes and are great for finding unique pieces to add to your wardrobe.
7. Festivals and Events
France is renowned for its vibrant festivals and events that attract crowds from around the world.
The Cannes Film Festival is a star-studded affair, an annual celebration of international cinema held each May. Here, the glitz of Hollywood meets the charm of the French Riviera.
Then there’s Bastille Day on July 14th, a national day commemorating the French Revolution marked by spectacular fireworks and parades, celebrating France’s revolutionary spirit.
The Tour de France, a world-famous cycling race also held in July, takes participants and spectators on a thrilling journey through the country’s picturesque and varied landscapes. And the French Open is a top event for tennis fans.
Additionally, the Avignon Festival in July transforms historic venues into stages for captivating theatre performances. No matter what time of year you visit, there’s always something exciting and memorable happening in France.
Looking back on a trip through France, you’re left with a feeling of magic and satisfaction. It’s a country that marries the elegance of its urban landscapes with the timeless beauty of the countryside.
Walking down age-old streets, indulging in fine food, and soaking in the rural vistas of France are some of the memories that stick with me the most. If France isn’t on your 2024 travel wish list, it should be!
Additional Information on Visiting France
France Travel Tips:
- France is generally pretty safe, but as with anywhere, it’s wise to stay alert in crowded areas.
- While many people in urban areas speak English, learning a few basic French phrases will enhance your experience considerably.
- French public transport is overall excellent, especially the train network.
- Renting a car can help when exploring rural areas.
Best Time to Visit France:
- The best time to visit France is spring (April to June) and autumn (September to October) for pleasant weather and fewer crowds.
- Summer (July and August) is peak tourist season in most places.
Top Destinations to Visit:
- Paris: The iconic capital of France, known for its art, architecture, and cuisine.
- French Riviera: Famous for its beaches, glamour, and sunny weather.
- Loire Valley: Renowned for its vineyards, chateaux, and scenic beauty.
- Dordogne: Known for its medieval fortified towns, castles, wine, and countryside.
- Provence: Offers picturesque villages, lavender fields, and a relaxed lifestyle.
- Normandy: Known for its WWII history, coastal towns, and culinary delights.