It should come as no surprise that France is Europe’s # 1 travel destination. Destination # 1 is. There is just so much to see and such diversity … and so much more than just Paris. Its historical legacy is unmatched in its scope and diversity – which can sometimes be a problem in itself. There is so much to see, so much history, so many different rural and cultural settings that it can be difficult for visitors to decide what to see and where to go. What’s the best? And where?
This page is an entry page, a very compact guide to the best of what France has to offer in ten different categories. From each of these categories you can follow links to more detailed thematic listings and to specific pages with useful information on the most interesting and often fascinating places in France.
There is clearly only one candidate for the „Best Tourist City in France“ election: Paris. As one of the most visited tourist cities in the world, Paris is in a class of its own, with its fabulous museums, old streets, wide tree-lined boulevards, river and many other attractions. But there are many other cities in France to visit, smaller cities that are less busy than Paris but still have the vibrant life that visitors expect in a city. There are Lyon, Bordeaux, Toulouse and a whole host of other smaller French cities that are definitely worth a visit. Find out about the French heritage cities.
Best small towns
France is not just made up of its cities; to discover the real France, one must visit the small towns and the country, where life is slower and more traditional and the cost of living is lower than in the big cities. „Small towns“ are places with generally fewer than 15,000 inhabitants. There are hundreds of them across France and sometimes to find the most interesting ones you need the help of insiders. To make your search easier, About-France.com has selected some of the best small towns in France by region or area. These are places that are attractive and interesting as well as typically French. Historic small towns like Amboise, Bayeux or Brioude are three examples … Discover more about the best small towns
It is impossible to say how many villages there are in France; it depends how you count them … but it’s safe to say that there are at least 30,000 … so it’s almost impossible to find the best villages without help. You could have a look at the list of villages that have been designated as „Plus beaux villages de France“; however, the problem is that this list is referenced by every tourism website about France, which means that many of these villages are overrun with tourists and crowded with souvenir shops and cafes. Perhaps you prefer to consult About-France.com’s original list of beautiful villages, which includes many villages that have not paid to be listed as „plus beaux villages“,
Best rural areas
Most of France is rural, but rural France can vary greatly from one region to another. The north-east and south-west of France are generally quite flat, the south is mostly mountainous or hilly, and the north-west is hilly – which means that „rural France“ varies considerably from one part of the country to another. And some parts are quite touristy, while other parts are largely off the beaten track. On our page Best of rural France About-France.com presents a selection of eight attractive areas in rural France, which not only consist of forests and fields, but also have many interesting sights and attractions to offer and visitors,