France is like something out of a dream, and you need time to really experience the best of it. So you can take full advantage of the greatest French attractions without busting your budget, we recommend you rent an Airbnb. Once you get settled in your lovely home away from home, you can take your time exploring the best things to do in France and truly appreciate all the country has to offer.
1. Cathédrale de Chartres
When UNESCO classifies something as a “masterpiece” and calls it “the high point of French Gothic art”, then you know it’s one of the best things to do in France. In addition to the spectacular architecture, many visitors come to pay respects to the Virgin Mary and the Sancta Camisa, said to be the tunic Mary wore during Jesus Christ’s birth. From history to sculptures to stained glass windows, a visit to Cathédrale de Chartres will be nothing less than magnificent.
2. Musee du Louvre
This former royal palace is now the world’s largest art museum. To see everything in the Louvre at one time would take about two weeks. Home to renowned artwork like the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo, this impressive museum is not to be missed when visiting Paris.
3. Champagne Route
See countless vineyards (and taste amazing wines) as you coast down stretches of the most picturesque roads in the world. Several routes covering over 300 miles will yield wonderful viewpoints, charming villages, ancient monasteries, lovely churches, and magnificent châteaux that you can only dream about.
4. Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris
Gothic architecture is at its finest at Notre-Dame de Paris. Situated on the River Seine, it’s one of the largest and most visited monuments in the world. From the famous gargoyles to the smallest details, the beauty of Notre-Dame is truly unmatched.
5. Lascaux II
Prehistoric art is at its best in Lascaux II. Lascaux was a world-famous Stone Age cave art site. After it was damaged due to the more than 1,000 visitors per day, Lascaux II was created as a replica so guests could still be amazed by the artwork and enjoy the significance of the site.
6. Abbaye du Mont Saint Michel
One of the first ever UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Abbaye du Mont Saint Michel is more than remarkable. From the 8th to the 18th century, it was one of Christianity’s most important pilgrimage sites. Even today, everything from the medieval architecture to the abbey church to the gardens continues to dazzle the millions of annual visitors.
7. Théâtre Antique d’Orange
Travel back in time to experience Imperial Rome in this first-century theatre. The grandeur of the theatre is unmatched, boasting a powerful facade and a stage that stretches over 61 meters. True opera fans must book their visit for the summertime as Théâtre Antique d’Orange hosts Chorégies d’Orange, an annual opera festival.
8. Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel)
There’s a reason that nobody thinks of France without thinking about the Eiffel Tower. With two restaurants, two cafes, and a bar, this global icon is the perfect place to spend an afternoon. Offering absolutely breathtaking views of Paris, the Eiffel Tower will always be one of the best things to do in France.
9. Pont du Gard
For centuries, this ancient Roman aqueduct and impressive three-tier bridge has been one of France’s most popular attractions. With UNESCO calling it “a technical and artistic masterpiece”, there’s no wonder a visit to this first-century monument is one of the best things to do in France.
10. Palace of Versailles (Château de Versailles)
Instead of living at the Louvre, King Louis XIV decided to move to the Palace of Versailles in 1682, and it’s not hard to see why. The palace and the gardens are absolutely stunning, with the famous Hall of Mirrors continually being a fan favorite. Tickets can even yield full access to the domain of Versailles, including the trianon palaces and Marie Antoinette’s estate. When it comes to the best things to do in France, the Palace of Versailles definitely highlights the list.
11. Jardin du Luxembourg
Once only open to the royals, a day at Le Jardin du Luxembourg will be exciting for the whole family! Based on an idea from Queen Marie de’ Medici, it has everything from an orchard to an apiary to greenhouses. 106 lovely statues are scattered throughout the park, including the renowned Medici Fountain, and it’s the perfect place to take photographs or just relax. For the kids, they have everything from rides to puppets, making it one of the best family-friendly places in Paris.
12. Loire Valley
The Loire Valley literally has everything you could want – vineyards, lush greenery, delicious food, more than 300 châteaux, UNESCO status, and so much more. Whatever your expectations, a visit there is sure to exceed them. For more information check out our Loire Valley guide here.
13. Chamonix Valley
A visit to the legendary Chamonix Valley has been one of the best things to do in France since they hosted the very first Winter Olympics. Perfect for winter sports lovers, mountaineering, or just enjoying views from altitude, Chamonix Valley is an amazing gem that guarantees a good time.
This hilltop town attracts more than four million visitors a year. Highlighted by one of the best medieval castles you’ll ever see, Cité de Carcassonne, and its winemaking, don’t make the mistake of overlooking Carcassonne.
15. Disneyland Paris
Any child, and many adults, will deem Disneyland Paris one of the best things to do in France. Home to two amazing theme parks, your favorite Disney characters, a golf course, an entertainment complex, delicious food, premium shopping, amazing resort hotels, and so much more, it’s hard to resist a visit to Disneyland Paris.
France is so much more than just Paris and wine. After you experience the best things to do in France, you’ll have such a greater appreciation for this amazing country.