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Top 10 Things to Do in France

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The Château Chenonceaux in Provence, France

The Château Chenonceaux in Provence, France

In France, simply walking down a tree-lined boulevard feels memorable, and our list of the top things to do provides inspiration for your travels to Paris, the wine country, and beyond.

Culture takes on a charming flair, with world-class architecture and artistic treasures abounding. Artisans turn chocolate into masterpieces and preserved historical towns make sitting at a cafe feel like entering a storybook.

France is seductively new yet comfortably familiar, and this guide introduces every traveler to what to do in the country on vacation.

  1. 1. Discover the Layered History on Cultural Tours
  2. 2. Uncover France’s Celebrated Flavors on Food Tours
  3. 3. Savor Incredible French Wines in the Wine Country
  4. 4. Cycle the Winding Countryside Routes
  5. 5. Uncover the Depths of Culture in French Museums
  6. 6. Discover Diverse Urban Scenery in Famous Cities
  7. 7. Experience the Regional Cuisine in Cooking Classes
  8. 8. Embrace the Various Styles and Tastes of French Cheeses
  9. 9. Enjoy the Heritage and Traditions of Artisans
  10. 10. Embrace France’s Fashion When Shopping
  11. Experience the Top Things to Do in France

1. Discover the Layered History on Cultural Tours

Le Château de Beynac, medieval fortress in Dordogne, France

Le Château de Beynac in Dordogne, France

France overflows with cultural history and heritage, which you can discover when touring historic neighborhoods and cultural districts.

You can trace the footsteps of royalty and find antique houses built before the United States existed. The country has played a fascinating role in European and world history, layered and explored from the Lascaux Caves to the palaces of the Loire Valley, epic cathedrals to opulent cemeteries, Roman ruins to former battlefields.

Art, history, music, and food speak to the inherent spirit of France, which has captivated visitors for centuries.

Best Places for Cultural Tours: Paris • Lyon • Bordeaux • Avignon • Dordogne • Loire Valley • Annecy

2. Uncover France’s Celebrated Flavors on Food Tours

Macrons in Paris, France

Macrons in Paris, France

France is not just a country of delicious food, but a society of gastronomes who love traditional regional flavors you can learn more about on French culinary tours.

Bistros, bars, streetside cafes, and elegant restaurants add to the ambiance of a typical French city filled with the colors of macarons, the scent of fresh tarte tatin, or steaming bowls of bouillabaisse.

The cuisine of France is not simply about the end result; it’s an entire culture that embodies preparation, seasonal ingredients, and a celebration of every dish, as well as the surrounding company.

Best Places for Food Tours: Bordeaux • Lyon • Paris • Grenoble • Toulouse • Perpignan • Strasbourg

3. Savor Incredible French Wines in the Wine Country

Gevrey Chambertin vineyards in Burgundy, France

Burgundy, France

France’s wine regions are an adventure in flavor and an indicator of how the smallest change in soil and climate can make a spectacular difference in flavor.

French vines create some of the most celebrated wines in the world and produce over 200 indigenous varieties.

French wine is an entirely different world, filled with fascinating discoveries and endless surprises taken from famous and inconspicuous wine regions crisscrossing the country.

Best Wine Regions to Visit: Loire Valley • Champagne • Bordeaux • Burgundy • Beaujolais • Côtes du Rhône

4. Cycle the Winding Countryside Routes

Woman traveler biking on the road through a small village with vineyards in Alsace, France

Alsace, France

France takes a place on the grandstand for cycling, with exceptional beauty and wide-open lanes on which to explore when in the countryside.

Whether winding through the blossoming lavender fields or the prairies of the central regions, speeding through the sea breeze or taking the infamous 21 hairpins of the Alpe d’Huez branch of the Tour de France, the country is ideal for cyclists of any skill level, revealing how the sport in France is not just an activity, but a culture all of its own.

Boasting Provence, one of Europe’s best cycling destinations, and more phenomenal places, a French cycling tour is a one-of-kind experience.

Best Places for Cycling: Burgundy • Alsace • Bordeaux • Dordogne • Provence • Normandy

5. Uncover the Depths of Culture in French Museums

Palace of Versailles in France

Versailles Gardens in France

France offers an immersion into exceptional art and ancient artifacts, with over 1,200 museums to explore.

You can bask in galleries devoted to artistic styles, specific artists, wine cultivation, and life in an ancient civilization, highlighting France’s long arc of history and its centuries of colonial power.

From the famous halls of the Louvre and Versailles to the preserved World War II ruins in Oradour-sur-Glane, museums in France represent wide and far-reaching depths of heritage, with each providing a unique perspective on the culture and history of the nation.

Best Places for Museum Tours: Paris • Strasbourg • Lyon • Toulouse • Nice • Bordeaux

6. Discover Diverse Urban Scenery in Famous Cities

The main square in Lille, France

Lille, France

France is a country of diverse urban landscapes that feed distinctive local cultures, inviting travelers to experience the charms and splendors of the best places to visit.

Brimming with fascinating architecture, unique artistry, changing flavors, and an endless sense of history, walking or touring France’s famous cities is always a good idea.

From the Flemish plains to the Mediterranean coast, the beaches of Normandy to the rigid alpine skyline, the wealth of cities adds to the simple joys of discovering the country.

Best Cities to Visit: Lille • Nice • Toulouse • Annecy • Colmar • Aix-en-Provence • Lyon • Paris

7. Experience the Regional Cuisine in Cooking Classes

Chef instructor pouring oil into a pan

Cooking class

French food is more of a lifestyle, and you can learn everything there is to know about the culinary culture when recreating classic dishes in cooking classes.

Recognized for high food standards and traditions studied for generations, elaborate visions and precise presentation add to the indefinable model of French cuisine, giving every bite bursts of mouthwatering flavor.

Cooking classes across France introduce you to the essential elements of a French technique and the distinctive tastes of a given region for the ultimate personalized culinary experience.

Best Places for Cooking Classes: Normandy • Aix-en-Provence • Paris • Nice • Pays de La Loire • Cannes • Lyon

8. Embrace the Various Styles and Tastes of French Cheeses

Selection of cheeses in Aligre Market, Paris

Aligre Market in Paris, France

Cheese is not just a luscious treat, but the embodiment of heritage and culture in France that you can discover when tasting a selection of wonderful spreads.

With roughly 1,600 distinct types of French cheese, it is easy to get lost in the traditional flavors, production techniques, and related culinary experiences across the country. France celebrates its love affair with cheese with an entire course dedicated to its flavors and textures, thus enhancing a typical meal.

Complexity, taste, and personality not only define the numerous cheeses in the country, but also personify France.

Best Places for Cheese: Chavignol • Époisses • Morbier • Meaux • Camembert • Paris • Normandy • Perigord

9. Enjoy the Heritage and Traditions of Artisans

Vintage hammers at Mâ Nouvelle Orfèvrerie, jewelry designers in Bordeaux, France

Jewelers tools at a workshop in Bordeaux, France

Artisans in France represent tradition brought into contemporary times, a reflection of the greater allure of the nation.

Workshops and markets brim with a wide variety of artists showcasing their woven wicker and sculpted wood, hand-stitched threads and exclusive chocolates. Crafters celebrate their heritage with every new creation, while turning the trade into an artform individual to France.

Artisans in France buck global trends and instead pursue a timeless passion in work intertwined with generational custom shaped by soulful human touch.

Best Places for Artisan Crafts: Champagne • Côte d’Azur • Lyon • Bourgogne • Provence • Mont Blanc

10. Embrace France’s Fashion When Shopping

Le Bon Marché, the oldest department store in the world, Paris, France

Le Bon Marché in Paris, France

Shopping in France is a timeless experience that no two people can duplicate, inviting you to embrace the chic and fashionable lifestyle for which the country is famous.

With countless designer stores and stylish boutiques pushing the boundaries of vintage aesthetics with modern ideals, French markets brimming with artisan jewelers, and quiet villages showcasing historic materials, France consistently balances previous grace with present-day design.

Shopping across the country is for the committed and curious, reinforcing why France remains one of the world’s most important fashion capitals.

Best Places for Shopping: Paris • Lyon • Cannes • Montpellier • Lille • Bordeaux • Reims

Experience the Top Things to Do in France

Quaint shop in the South of France

Quaint shop in the Côte d'Azur, France

France’s world-famous culture and layered history make it an immersive experience for any type of traveler, whether looking for a romantic getaway or a family-friendly excursion. The splendor, grandeur, and diversity of the country provide you with fascinating surprises.

Look deeper into France’s long arc of history and adventure with our France travel guide for helpful tips and information, or browse for the right trip in our collection of France vacations and tours.

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