Stunning cities such as Paris, Marseille and Lyon should feature on your itinerary if you can fit them in. Many head over to Disneyland Paris also, but classic areas such as the Loire Valley, the Alps and Provence should spark the interest of any visitor. If you crave a varied and action packed holiday, then France is definitely calling.
France Tourist Board: The official website for the French National Tourist Office – a useful resource for planning your trip to France.
Know Before You Go: Travel advice from the FCO for France.
Things to see and do
- Sample some fabulous wine in Bordeaux, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and marvel at the ancient sites here.
- Go skiing or snowboarding in the French Alps.
- Explore the many wonders of Paris, including the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe and a trip to the Louvre.
- Amble around the breath-taking chateaus littered throughout the Loire Valley.
- Enjoy some of the greatest cheeses in the world; the best places to visit include Roquefort-sur-Soulzon and Meaux, home of brie.
- Wander around the marvelous Palace of Versailles, just outside of Paris. The historical influence and interest surrounding this building is fascinating for all who visit.
- Discover the medieval fortified city of Carcassonne. There are a plethora of ancient sites to unearth here.
- Relax in the South of France. Soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the glamour of St Tropez, Cannes and Nice.
- The Old Port at Marseilles is littered with fascinating buildings. Spend some time at the Phare de Sainte Marie for starters and enjoy a freshly cooked Bouillabaisse.
- Visit Europe’s most popular canyon, Les Gorges du Verdon, or simply known as Verdon Gorge. Relish in breath-taking views aplenty here.
- Explore the tallest cathedral in France, Amiens Cathedral. Gaze in awe at this stunning gothic building and marvel at its delights as you tour around.
Festivals and events
- Visit during International Comedy Film Festival, which is held in the Rhone Alps region and runs for a week, when you can experience 8 films. (March)
- If you are a car fanatic, head to Avignon Motor Festival which features a wide variety of vehicles. (March)
- Whether you are planning to participate or just watch, the Paris Marathon is certainly a spectacle. (April)
- Celebrated throughout France, almost everything is closed on May Day. (May)
- View the newest and best films at the Cannes Film Festival. (May)
- The famous Le Mans 24 Hour Race is hugely popular and brings tourists from throughout Europe and even worldwide. (June)
- The great cycle race across France, known as the Tour de France is held annually. (June-July)
- Bastille Day celebrations are held across France, but those at La Rochelle are particularly special and usually involve a host of live music and activities. (July)
- If you are a lover of golf, the Evian Masters, held in the Rhone Alps region are one of the most prominent women’s golf tournaments in the world. (July)
Tipping in France
Service charge is included in the bill by law in French Restaurants. As the service charge is included in the bill, you are not required to leave a tip however, if the service is good some people elect to leave a little extra. Some people leave small change in cafes and a few Euros in restaurants.
In hotels it is acceptable to tip porters, housekeepers and the concierge if they perform a special service. It is acceptable to tip for other general services such as taxi drivers, hairdressers and museum guides etc.