You only have to look at the visitor numbers per year to see why France is a hot destination: It is in fact the most visited nation in the world, with a whopping 85 million visitors per year.
So what makes France so appealing and so special?
Well, the summers are glorious, the food is legendary, and it is a nation steeped in fascinating history. Add to that the romantic draw and you can bet quite a few of those 85 million visits are here on a honeymoon or to propose to their lover.
The entry point for most people is Paris, which is well connected by air all over the world, as well as the Eurostar high speed train that connects Paris to London via the channel tunnel.
Paris in itself is the capital and a must-see for many people.
Aside from the Eiffel Tower, Paris has so much more to offer: The Artists quarter of Montmartre is a labyrinth maze of back streets with traditional cafes, bars and quirky artists and art shops.
The Louvre is a museum that houses the original Mona Lisa and other famous works for lovers dating back to the Renaissance period, while the Latin Quarter is full of strange cafes and shops, while Notre Dame is the infamous Parisian cathedral.
The Champs Elysees is a large and long shopping street from Place D’Concord with it’s 3000 year old Egyptian Obelisk and all the way down to the fountains and to the Arc D’Triomphe.
Other sites are Napoleon’s tomb, and the Statue of Liberty: Yes the French made two and one they gave to the USA as a gift while they kept one for themselves.
Finally, a great way to see Paris is from the Seine River on a cruise that takes you past many of the above sights and explains what they are and their significance.
Outside of Paris and to the northern coast of Normandy you can walk on the beaches where the D-Day landings took place, one of the most important military campaigns ever fought.
For more World War II history, the abandoned village of Oradour-sur-Glane is sobering indeed. It is the sight where the Nazi occupation forces locked the whole village population into the local church and set it on fire, wiping out the entire population.
Along the south coast are the cities of Marseilles, Nice and Cannes.
Cannes in particular has high-class sea side town, and home to the annual Cannes Film Festival every May. However, despite it’s expensive prices, Cannes offers something for every budget. It costs nothing to enjoy the architecture of Le Suquet, the oldest part of Cannes, which has beautiful cobbled streets and back alleys to explore, and traditional cafes ideal for watching the world go by.
This only just skims the surface on things to see and do in France: Rustic and charming villages are scattered all over the beautiful French countryside, and on the border of Spain is the Basque region that flows over into Spain to make the “Basque Country”, not an actual country in itself, but they have their own language and culture of which they feel very proud about. Add to that the skiing resorts such as Chamonix and you start to get an idea of just how much there is to do here, in summer and winter alike.
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