France is one of the dreamiest places on Earth. But where to go in a nation that boasts everything from famed cities and cute villages to sun-soaked beaches and wine-filled regions? To answer this important question, we had the enviable task of tracking down the eight places in France that should be on everyone’s itinerary. You can probably guess what’s number one…
See art from an expert’s perspective on a guided tour of the Louvre.

1. Discover Paris at your own pace

No rundown of the top places to visit in France is complete without mentioning its iconic capital. Whether it’s your first or fiftieth visit, Paris never fails to amaze, especially if you’re exploring world-famous museums like the Louvre and Orsay. There’s a never-ending list of things to do, see, and (importantly) eat in Paris! You can try your hand at making fluffy macarons or the most scrumptious of baguettes. However, Paris really springs into life when the sun goes down. So, grab your loved one and treat them to a gourmet dinner atop the Eiffel Tower before whisking them across town to the Moulin Rouge.

Spend an afternoon exploring the prestigious wine region of Saint-Emilion on a tour of the village and right bank of the Dordogne River.

2. Get to know the wine capital of France

Bordeaux might just be the most underrated city in all of Europe. And this is something you’ll realize as soon as you step under the Porte Cailhau and onto the cobbled streets of Saint Pierre, the medieval old town. While Saint Pierre may be centuries old, the streets are lined with trendy restaurants, boutiques, and (yep, you guessed it) wine bars. They’re the perfect place to introduce your taste buds to what puts Bordeaux on the map: world-class wine! However, if you want a truly palate-pleasing experience, leave the city center behind and head to a nearby vineyard for an unforgettable afternoon of swilling, spitting, and savoring.

Enjoy a driving tour in an iconic Citroen 2CV and experience Lille’s famous monuments in style.

3. Take a lil’ drive around Lille

Lille slips under the radar of most vacationers, but this cute city near the Belgian border is packed with things to do. The old town (known as Vieux-Lille) is a charming blend of age-old French and Flemish architecture that’s ready-made to explore in an afternoon. Just outside the old town is the 104-meter tall Belfry, which you can climb for panoramic views of the city and beyond. Once your feet are back on the ground, treat yourself to a ride through the city in a classic convertible Citroen. It doesn’t get more French than that!

Take the weight off your feet and see the sights of Strasbourg by pedicab.

4. Step back in time in Strasbourg

Strasbourg’s known the world over for its spellbinding Christmas market. If you can’t make it in December, worry not as the city’s built to wow throughout the year. Petite-France, the city’s historic canal quarter, is a joy to explore no matter the season. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a patchwork of colorful, half-timbered houses that’s easy to navigate by foot, bike, or even Segway. Just a short walk, pedal, or roll from Petite-France is the Strasbourg Cathedral, the city’s most-loved landmark. The 465-foot (142-meter) high structure was the tallest building in the world for over 200 years — and is still an imposing and impressive highlight.

Get wonderful views of Nice, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, and Villefranche-sur-Mer on a 1-hour sightseeing cruise of the French Riviera.

5. Soak up the sun in Nice

Who hasn’t dreamed of topping up their tan on the Côte d’Azur? The famed stretch of coast in the south of France is a paradise for sun-seekers. Not only does it feature some of Europe’s best beaches, but you’ll also find glitzy Mediterranean cities and towns that are ripe for exploring. Nice’s year-round sun, beachside promenade, and seafood scene combine to create arguably the region’s must-visit destination. Once you’ve got your fill of sun lounging and old-town exploring in Nice, take a cruise to Villefranche Bay and get a taste of French glam as you sail alongside the superyachts.

Explore Annecy’s picturesque streets and admire stunning mountain landscapes on this half-day guided excursion from Geneva.

6. Unwind in the “Venice of the Alps”

Annecy is just the tonic for anyone looking to spend a day or two away from the hustle and bustle of France’s famous cities. The idyllic little town sits perched on the northern shore of Lake Annecy, just a 45-minute drive from Geneva. It won’t take you long to discover why Annecy’s known as the Venice of the Alps. The centuries-old town is surrounded by mountains and boasts blindingly blue canals that meander through the center. Spend your days strolling along these flower-lined waterways, snapping pics of the Palais de l’Île as you go.

Colmar’s picture-perfect cobblestoned streets and half-timbered buildings are the definition of #nofilter.

7. Fill your camera in Colmar

If you’re looking for a picture-perfect old town in the heart of wine country, then it’s time to pack your bags and head to Colmar. This dreamy little town has been casting a spell over visitors for centuries — especially in the historic center. Here, cobbled alleys, canals, and pastel-colored houses make for particularly snappable walks. Thankfully, Colmar isn’t the only gorgeous town in Alsace. The region is home to a number of must-see little villages like Kaysersberg, Riquewihr, and Hunawihr. You’ll be forgiven for thinking you’ve wandered into a fairytale while exploring them.

Toulouse, or “La Ville Rose,” is known for its terra-cotta buildings and 17th-century canal.

8. Uncover France’s underrated gem

Toulouse isn’t the first name that springs to mind when planning a trip to France. However, this underrated gem of a city has heaps of memory-making activities on offer, especially near the Basilique Saint-Sernin and the Place du Capitole. It’s also a great base for exploring the southwest of France. So, if you can drag yourself away from the city festivities, you’re in for a real treat. Just an hour east of Toulouse is Carcassonne, a medieval, fortified city that sits perched on a hilltop. It’s one of France’s most awe-inspiring sights and a real highlight of any trip to this beautiful country.

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