Top 5 most visited places in France

Top 5 most visited places in France

There are so many interesting things in France that it is quite difficult to single out the best sights of the country. Huge gorges, fabulous caves, dramatic cliffs, picturesque towns and villages, ancient castles, beautiful vineyards, sunny beaches – so much has gathered in one country … But there are a number of attractions that are recognizable around the world, which have become the hallmark of France and which cannot be missed.

The 10 best sights of France:

1. the Eiffel Tower.

The most famous tower in the world, the absolute and universally recognized symbol of France:

Eiffel Tower 10 best sights in France

2. Mont Saint-Michel Abbey complex

The most impressive architectural ensemble: an ancient abbey surrounded by a small town on a rocky island in Normandy, the road to which sometimes hides, sometimes reopens at low tide.

3. The Papal Palace in Avignon

The magnificent, monumental, enormous palace, the Palais des Papes, is a legacy of the “Avignon Papal Captivity” period.

The Papal Palace in Avignon 10 best sights in France

4. Versailles

A masterpiece of palace art, the favorite residence of the Sun King, which became a symbol of the absolute monarchy of France. Versailles became the model for many subsequent palaces, including Peterhof.

Versailles 10 best sights in France

5. Verdon Gorge

Verdon Gorge (Gorges du Verdon) – the deepest and most beautiful gorge of France, sometimes more than 700 meters deep. It is located in Provence along the Verdon river.

Verdon Gorge 10 best sights in France

6. Lavender Fields of Provence

Romantic lilac fields of fragrant lavender have become a symbol of Provence. The plateau of Valencole is best known for its lavender fields. However, there is also a sea of purple around the other towns in Provence.

Senanque Provence lavender_6

7. Chateau de Chambord

The most beautiful chateau in France, an example of French Renaissance. Chateau de Chambord is located in the Loire valley and is one of the three most popular Chateaux of the Loire, along with the castles of Chenonceau and Amboise. The Château of Chambord was the first castle in the valley to be added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and later the entire valley was included.

 10 best sights of France Chateau de Chambord

8. The city-fortress of Carcassonne

Situated in the very south of France, close to the Spanish border, Carcassonne is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its perfectly preserved medieval fortified town and castle ensemble. About 4 million tourists visit Carcassonne every year – it is one of the most visited attractions in France.

Carcassonne - Cite

9. Pont du Gard

Pont du Gard is the highest surviving Roman aqueduct. This bridge was part of a 50-meter long aqueduct built to transport water from the Uzes springs to the city of Nîmes.

Pont du Gard - Languedoc-Roussillon, France.The 10 best sights in France

10. Château de Fontainebleau

A unique example of a royal residence beloved for centuries.

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The most visited places in France: Top 25

France's Most Visited Places: Top 25

The acquaintance with France begins with Paris – the city of romance and love, freedom and bohemia. Of course, in the rest of France there are many noteworthy sights: blooming fields of Provence, the splendor of the Alps, the magnificent castles of the Loire and Normandy, fine Bordeaux wines and delicious French cuisine. But this is only part of the reason why it is worth to come here. The list of the most visited places in France is based on the number of visitors per year.

1. Notre Dame de Paris

Notre Dame de Paris, located on the east side of the island of Cité, is the geographical center and heart of ancient Paris. Earlier on its site stood the first Christian church in Paris, the Basilica of St. Stephen, and it was preceded by a halo-Roman temple dedicated to Jupiter. Every year, 13.5 million people come to Notre Dame.

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2. The palace and forest of Fontainebleau

The famous town of Fontainebleau is situated 50 kilometers south of Paris, and together with the castle of the same name it is surrounded by a large forest covering 25 thousand hectares. The wooded valleys and hills are interspersed with cliffs and marshes of heather and rock. The first royal château was built at Fontainebleau by Louis VII. The Fontainebleau Palace, built in the early 16th century, is one of the largest in the country. The forest surrounding it used to be the royal hunting grounds for many French kings in the past. The beauty of this place is so attractive that every year more than 13 million tourists visit Fontainebleau.

3. Disneyland

Europe’s most famous Disneyland appeared in 1992 as a theme park, but in 2002 it underwent a major expansion. Tourists love this huge park, which is one of the ten best Disney parks in the world. It is located 32 kilometers east of Paris, in the town of Marne-la-Valais. Each year it attracts 12.8 million tourists.

4. A flea market in the Parisian suburb of Saint-Ouen

This market appeared in the early 19th century when junk people had to leave Paris to sell or exchange items they found in piles of garbage. Even today, quite a few people come here every year to sell or buy unusual items: 11 million people a year.

5. Sacré Coeur Basilica

The Basilica of the Sacred Heart is the Catholic jewel of Paris. It was built between 1876 and 1910 by Abadie at the top of Montmartre Hill in a rare Roman-Byzantine style. It is the highest point in Paris (130 m). Every year 10.5 million travelers climb here.

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6. Louvre

This is one of the world’s most important art museums, ranking third in size. The former royal palace stands in the center of Paris, in the 1st arrondissement of Paris, on rue de Rivoli, on the right bank of the Seine. The Louvre was built in the 12th century, its building itself is an architectural masterpiece. The museum has such an abundance of exhibits that it takes only a few days to see them, even at a glance. There is the famous “Gioconda” by Leonardo da Vinci and many other masterpieces of the world. Every year 8.3 million people come to the Louvre.

7. Versailles palace

20 kilometers from the capital in the town of Versailles, the French kings built for themselves a luxurious palace and park complex. The first modest hunting lodge here was erected in 1624 by Louis XIII. Later, up to the Revolution, Versailles remained a favorite royal residence. UNESCO inscribed the palace and park complex on its list of World Heritage Sites. The luxurious layout and scale of the complex make it one of the most famous palaces in the world. Every year, up to 7 million tourists visit Versailles.

8. Eiffel Tower

It is still the tallest structure in France with an openwork metal frame and has long been the most recognizable landmark in Paris. It was built in 1889 for the World’s Fair by engineer Gustave Eiffel. Since then, the flow of tourists seeking to admire the tower from below or the panorama of Paris from its observation deck has not diminished. The height of this elegant structure is 324 meters. More than 6.7 million people a year come here.

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9. Pompidou Center

In the 4th arrondissement of Paris, in the Beaubourg district, there is a quite modern cultural center named after former French president Georges Pompidou. It was he who in 1977 initiated the opening of this center. There is a large library, the Museum of Modern Art, exhibition and concert halls, and the Institute for the Coordination and Research of Music and Acoustics. Each year 6.6 million people come to the center.

10. Verdon Gorge.

800 kilometers south of Paris is the 25-kilometer canyon du Verdon, which is the largest in Europe. This deep rocky canyon offers wonderful scenery and bright turquoise water. If you continue a little further south, you can find yourself on the French Riviera. At the bottom of the canyon, the course of the Verdon River follows its curves. This natural attraction is visited not only by tourists to see and admire the surrounding views, but no less can be found here and lovers of outdoor activities. On the river here are rafting in kayaks and kayaks, in calmer places swim, and rock climbers are mastering local steep cliffs.

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11. mon-Saint-Michel

This is the name of a rocky island in northwestern France, connected to the mainland by a special dam. The island was turned into a fortress when the Benedictine abbey in the Gothic style was built on it which merged with the city and the island into one landscape-architectural ensemble. The fortifications on the island date back to the 8th century. At the top of the island there is a beautiful medieval castle, which for a long time served as a prison, and now it is loved by travelers from all over the world. Below the monastery is a medieval village.

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12. the Cote d’Azur

The French Riviera is a Mediterranean coastal strip that stretches from Saint-Tropez to Monaco. It is a place firmly associated with elitism, fabulous wealth and luxury. Otherwise known as the French Riviera, which then continues to the Italian Riviera. Since the XIX century Azure Coast gradually became popular in Europe as a place of rest and treatment. Thanks to the Russian tsars Nice blossomed, the film festival made famous Cannes, and the gambling became fashionable to satisfy in the casino in Monte-Carlo. Here everyone wants to show off their wealth by competing in the coolness of villas and yachts, and it is not considered shameful.

13. French Alps

The French Alps are home to many prestigious ski resorts. One of these is Annecy, which appeared in the neighborhood of a castle from the 14th century. The town of Annecy has many canals, thanks to which it is called the “Venice of Savoy.

14. Strasbourg

A subject of eternal dispute between France and Germany, Strasbourg after the last war became a fixture of the French. But over the centuries, it has absorbed the culture of both countries – the German thoroughness and French charm are evident in the way of life of its citizens and in the architectural appearance of the city. Here it is especially pleasant to walk along the picturesque embankment, along the rows of neat brick and wooden houses, to admire the flowerbeds and flowerpots that adorn the whole city.

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15. Provence

This distinctive and historic region of France is famous for its fields of blooming lavender, beckoning with its enchanting scent. Provence has many magnificent landscapes, lush green hills, some of which are nestled on the tops of ancient villages, and sharp cliffs. Provence country life is still measured and unhurried, so you feel drawn to enjoy the silence and beauty of nature.

16. Courchevel

Deep in the French Alps is a large ski resort, designed for the cream of society. There are more than a hundred pistes of varying difficulty level, served by 60 elevators. The altitude difference of the slopes is up to 1600 meters. In addition to the beautiful mountain scenery, you can count on high-quality service. No one here will be surprised if in the queue at the elevator to see the world famous movie star or sports star. Courchevel surroundings are some of the most beautiful places in France.

17. Loire Valley

The valley of this French river has many magnificent chateaux and gardens which are protected by UNESCO. Forested areas here alternate with rural landscapes, vineyards with mansions reflected in the mirrors of lakes. Especially popular among tourists such castles as Chambord, Chenonceau and Cheverny, which are not only fabulously beautiful, but also have an interesting history.

18. Marseille

Marseille is the main port of France. It has an incredibly rich history. Due to the fact that it is an international port, there has long been a multicultural atmosphere. In 2013, it was its turn to become the cultural capital of the European Union. Historians, artists, and poets enjoy wandering through the ancient streets of Marseille. Tourists love to visit local museums and view the city’s architecture. And foodies can enjoy a variety of Marseille cuisine in local restaurants.

19. Corsica

This island in the Mediterranean Sea is now owned by France and lies between France and Italy. On this peculiar island you can find a lot of wild beaches and a great vacation with your family. The most famous Corsican was Napoleon Bonaparte.

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20. Biarritz .

On the shores of the Bay of Biscay in France is the city of Biarritz. Once it was the resting place of Emperor Napoleon III, who built here a villa for Empress Eugenie in the style of architecture of the Third Republic. In the XX century, various presidents and celebrities vacationed in this resort. The famous opera bass Fyodor Chaliapin also had his own villa there. In recent years the magnificent waves of the Atlantic attract surfers from around the world to Biarritz.

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21. Champagne

This area of France has become famous as the birthplace of fizzy wines, namely Champagne. Not surprisingly, it is dominated by numerous vineyards. But apart from them there are also places where you can taste local wines, such as Épernay, and the historic cities of Troyes and Reims.

22. Saint-Tropez

The small but very famous and revered town of Saint-Tropez, especially in Western Europe, is flooded with crowds of vacationers every summer. But even in the off-season it is worth a visit. It is here that numerous yachts vie with their luxury. Here you can leisurely stroll along the cobblestone streets, moving from beach to beach, admiring the surrounding scenery. From the outside you may be curious to see the luxurious La Ponche Hotel where the famous guests usually stay.

23. Chamonix

In 1924 the first winter Olympic Games were held in this French Alpine city. Since then, there, among the magnificent mountains, winter sports flourish: cross-country and alpine skiing, snowboarding, mountain climbing. Professional athletes come to Chamonix, not by chance it became the European capital of extreme entertainment. But even not dashing slalomists or seasoned climbers here will be interesting, for example, ride the cable car and a bird’s eye view of the magnificent landscape.

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24. Normandy

This historic region of France is located on its northern coast. Two worlds collide here: the stormy waters of the English Channel and the lush greenery of the coast. Normandy has a long and very interesting history, which is very interesting to study. It is here that the beautiful island town of Mont Saint-Michel, the Gothic churches of ancient Rouen, where you can taste the real Neuchâtel and Normandy Camembert. There are also the Normandy Islands, but they belong to Britain.

25. The Château of Chambord

Chambord is probably the most recognizable castle in Europe. This unique construction has the features of Renaissance architecture. This castle was built during the time of Francis I. Some researchers assume that Leonardo da Vinci, who was at that time at the court of the French monarch, might have taken part in designing the castle. He designed a staircase that climbed to the very top of the castle where you can see all the details of the roof of the castle and the surrounding manor.

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