Interesting Facts About France
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Top Things to Do in France
1. Take a Seine River Cruise
If you’re looking for a unique way to see Paris, consider taking a Seine River cruise. There are many different options to choose from, and many offer commentary in the language of your choice. Most of these cruises operate year-round and you don’t have to book in advance, but if you’re visiting during the peak tourist season, you’ll want to make sure you book early. You can book these tours online with GetYourGuide or on TripAdvisor.
Seine river cruises last about an hour and stop at similar points along the river. However, each company may offer a slightly different route, so it’s a good idea to check out recent customer reviews to get an idea of what to expect. Some companies also offer lunch cruises or dinner cruises.
2. Aquarium de Lyon
If you want to take your children on an educational trip, you must not miss the Aquarium de Lyon. This modern aquarium is home to over 5,000 fish, which can be seen in over 50 different tanks. You will be able to observe sharks, stingrays, and other marine life. There is also a show that shows how the fish use their five senses.
If you want to learn about the diverse aquatic life, head to the Aquarium de Lyon, located near the Rhone River’s confluence. Here, you’ll be able to observe over 5,000 animals from 300 species. In addition to animals, the Aquarium of Lyon features an interactive breeding pool, which lets you get up close to some of the creatures. The aquarium is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 11:00 am to 19:00pm, and admission costs 11 euros for adults. Children under 12 years of age are free of charge.
3. Paris: Musee de Louvre
The Musee de Louvre is the most visited museum in the world. This historic landmark is home to the famous Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo. It is a must see when in Paris. A visit to the Louvre is a wonderful way to experience French art and culture.
The Louvre’s collection of art includes pieces from around the world. The painting department, for example, features over 7500 pieces, divided into various schools. It also features objects from ancient Egypt. Its Egyptian collection includes sarcophagi and Egyptian artifacts.
4. Tuileries Garden
The Tuileries Garden was one of the most famous gardens in France and a direct witness to French history. Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI both sought refuge here during the French revolution. Built by Napoleon III, the Tuileries Garden is home to an orangery and a jeu de paume. Today, the Orangerie is a museum where visitors can explore the history of the gardens.
There are fountains and a pond in the Tuileries Garden. There are also many beautiful statues. You can see wild ducks playing in the water. You can also sit on a “lazy chair” and bask in the sunshine. The garden also offers a small playground.
5. Watch the Sunset from the Eiffel Tower
Watching the sunset from the Eiffel Tower is one of the most beautiful things you can do in Paris. It is also an ideal opportunity to take in the spectacular light show. The tower is covered with diamond-sparkling lights, which are illuminated every hour for five minutes during winter.
The Eiffel Tower is located in the 15e arrondissement of Paris. You can find it across the Seine River. The tower stands 50 meters high, which makes it one of the city’s most iconic structures. The best time to watch the sunset is during the day when the sun is high enough to make the entire structure visible.
6. Palace of Versailles
If you are traveling to France, one of the best things to do is to take a guided tour of the Palace of Versailles. The tour includes transportation from Paris and an expert guide who whisks you past the crowds inside the Palace. A guide can also provide special insights into what you are seeing.
The Palace of Versailles was built during the reign of Louis XIV. It was so large that it could accommodate more than 5,000 people. In fact, in its heyday, the palace was the home of between 2,000 and 5,000 government employees. The palace was also home to over 17,000 soldiers and servants.
7. Cathedrale de Chartres
The Cathedrale de Chartres is a great sight to see during a trip to France. It is located in the town of Chartres, which is 80 km southwest of Paris. It is the seat of the Bishop of Chartres and was mostly constructed between 1194 and 1220. It is said to have been built on the site of at least five other cathedrals. The Diocese of Chartres was established in the 4th century, and the Cathedrale was built in the Gothic and Romanesque styles.
If you have time, you can also take in the magnificent stained glass windows at the Cathedrale de Chartres. The cathedral’s windows are known for their vibrant colors, particularly the blue hue. The cathedral also contains a huge crypt, which is the largest in France. Visitors can also go up to the north tower to explore the crypt.
8. Enjoy Summer Outdoor Performances in Haut-Vaucluse
If you love the great outdoors and the theater, Haut-Vaucluse is a great place to go see a show. From July through August, you can catch classical performances, music concerts, and operas. These performances are held in picturesque venues and offer an opportunity to appreciate the diverse culture of France.
The region boasts a rich culture, with ancient history and a strong farming presence. The province is France’s number one producer of truffles and has preserved its natural environment and way of life. The area has also been the home to the Romans and Popes, who left an impressive heritage in Avignon and Orange. You’ll find a welcoming atmosphere here, along with the artisans’ savoir-faire and a fine dining experience.
9. Commune with Nature in the Auvergne Region
The Auvergne Region is a small but incredibly beautiful part of central France. The region covers an area that is roughly the size of Wales. It is also one of the least populated areas in France, which makes this region particularly attractive to people who appreciate the beauty of nature. The Auvergne is primarily agricultural, with tourism only slowly beginning to take hold. The area is known for its plentiful dairy and beef cattle. It is also home to several famous cheeses.
This region is home to some of the largest companies in France, including Michelin, Limagrain, and Danone. The region is also home to numerous dynamic SMEs.
10. Abbaye du Mont Saint-Michel
The Abbaye du Mont Saint-Michel is one of the most fascinating heritage sites in Europe. This medieval monastery sits majestically above the coastline of Brittany and Normandy. You should plan to spend at least four hours visiting the abbey and enjoying the spectacular views.
It is best to visit the abbey early in the morning so that you can avoid the crowds. Once there, you can explore the abbey, parish church, and museums. You can also visit some of the gift shops. During high season, the abbey is extremely busy so avoid going during these times. If you wish to explore the abbey in peace and tranquility, visit during the off-season, which is less crowded than high season. However, be aware that there are long queues, especially during the summer.
11. Paris: Notre Dame Cathedral
Notre Dame de Paris is a medieval Catholic cathedral on the Île de la Cité. It’s devoted to the Virgin Mary and is one of the best examples of French Gothic architecture. It’s a stunning sight to behold and is a must-see for any tourist visiting Paris.
The cathedral’s two spires stand 223 feet high. The original spire was built sometime between 1220 and 1230. The towers were not completed, however, until the year 1786. The original spire was blessed by the Bishop of Paris, and it was given a name by its godparent. Bells were also often named after donors or biblical figures.
12. Paris: Musee d’Orsay
The Musee d’Orsay in the heart of Paris is one of the world’s most important art museums. Its two floors are filled with paintings by French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist artists. Its galleries also feature sculptures, furniture, and photography. There are even temporary exhibitions.
Visitors can explore the works of the Impressionists and other famous artists. The gallery’s fifth floor is home to a collection of works by Pissarro, Cezanne, and Manet. The museum is also home to a collection of the revered Water Lilies by Monet.
13. The Loire Valley
If you’re looking for a unique and memorable experience, the Loire Valley is the place to be. From June to early September, the Loire Valley is in full swing with festivals and light shows. The region is also filled with magnificent chateaux and lush gardens. Though it can be hot at times, the Loire Valley is magical and worth spending time exploring. If you’re thinking about a visit, plan at least two or three days to see the popular chateaux and get a sense of the local culture.
14. Nîmes: Arenes de Nîmes
Arenes de Nîmes in Nîles, France, is a place full of historical significance. It was once the site of the Roman temple of Augustus. The Gothic church has a tower at its northwest corner and a few arches on its facade. The interior features neo-gothic and byzantine designs.
The Arenes de Nîmes was built around 70 CE. Later, it became a bullring. It has thirty-four rows of seats and can accommodate up to 16,300 people. The building has undergone many changes throughout the centuries but remains a prominent landmark in Nîmes. Today, it is the site of various concerts and sporting events and has been classified as a historic monument since 1840.
15. Attend the Cannes Film Festival
The Cannes Film Festival has many offerings for film professionals and enthusiasts. Film industry professionals can become accredited to attend most of the festival’s official venues, including the Marche du Film, where more than one million films are sold and distributed. Film professionals can also get access to the festival’s Producers Network, industry workshops, and the short film corner.
16. Ski in the French Alps
French Alps: a popular vacation destination, the French Alps are home to some of Europe’s highest mountains. Whether you enjoy hiking or skiing, you can find a variety of activities in these mountains. Many of these activities are easily accessible via regular trains or highways. Alternatively, you can rent a car to explore the region.
17. Jardin du Luxembourg
Located in the 6th arrondissement of Paris, Jardin du Luxembourg is an excellent place to relax and unwind after a long day of sightseeing. Also called the Luxembourg Garden or the Sénat, this park was originally created by Marie de’ Medici after she completed her extravagant Luxembourg Palace in 1612. It’s home to the Luxembourg Palace’s famous fountain, which was designed by French landscape architect Louis Boullat.
18. Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Reims
If you’re planning to visit a city in France, you’ll probably want to see the Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Reims. This Roman Catholic cathedral is the archiepiscopal see of the Archdiocese of Reims and is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. It was the traditional site of the coronation of French kings.
19. Paris: Arc de Triomphe
The Arc de Triomphe de l’Etoile is one of the most well-known monuments in Paris. It stands at the western end of the Champs-Élysées. The area in which it is located was formerly a place called Place de l’Étoile, or the juncture of the Champs-Élysées. It was constructed in 1889 and is now an icon of French culture.
20. Paris: Moulin Rouge
If you’re looking for a night of fun in Paris, then you’ll want to check out the Moulin Rouge. This cabaret is located at the intersection of Rue Blanche and Boulevard de Clichy. The Moulin Rouge is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.
21. Paris: Centre George Pompidou
Located in Paris’s Beaubourg district, the Centre George Pompidou is the perfect place for art and culture lovers. Its full name is Centre national d’art et de culture Georges-Pompidou, but you may also know it as the Pompidou Centre. It is located near Les Halles, rue Montorgueil, and the Marais.
22. Pèlerinage de Lourdes
When you’re visiting France, don’t forget to visit the Pèlerinage de Lourdes, the pilgrimage site in the town of Lourdes. You’ll find it in the Hautes-Pyrénées region of the country. This shrine is home to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes, a catholic Marian shrine located in the town.
Getting to Lourdes is easy. There is a train station in the city. The closest airport is Tarbes-Lourdes, about 15 minutes from the center of town.
23. Institut & Musee Lumiere
Located in Monplasir, Lyon, the Institut & Musee Lumiere is a museum, cultural space, and film theater dedicated to the Lumiere brothers and their invention of the cinematograph. The museum is divided into four levels, and visitors can explore the brothers’ inventions. During your stay, don’t miss the daily film screenings.
24. Planetarium de Vaulx en Velin
The Planetarium de Vaulx en Vénin is a great place to learn about the universe. It features interactive permanent and temporary astronomy exhibitions as well as a workshop program. There is no admission fee for visitors to the planetarium. Located in the heart of the village, the Planetarium is a fun way to spend a day with family or friends.
The basilica at Sacre-Coeur is located on the hilltop of Montmartre, one of the highest points in Paris. You’ll find the most breathtaking views of Paris from this spot. Its ivory domes are easy to recognize and the interior is absolutely stunning. The ceilings are covered in the largest mosaic in France, depicting the risen Jesus.
You can access the Sacre-Coeur by Metro or by foot. The easiest way to reach the hill is from the Anvers metro station. You can walk up the hill from here via the parkland and avoid the seedy parts of the city.
26. Languedoc-Roussillon: Pont du Gard
Located in southern France, Pont du Gard is an ancient Roman aqueduct bridge. Built-in the first century AD, it carries water 50 km to the city of Nemausus. The bridge crosses the Gardon near the town of Vers-Pont-du-Gard.
If you’re interested in archaeology, the Pont du Gard is worth visiting. The Roman aqueduct connected Uzes and Nimes, and it was as high as 49 meters. During its time, the bridge was 360 meters long. Today, the Pont du Gard is one of the best preserved ancient structures in Europe. In fact, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985.
27. La Valle de Chamonix
La Valle de Chamonix, France has a number of activities and sights to see. The Aiguille du Midi, the world’s highest lift-accessible mountain, is one of the best attractions here. The view from the summit of this iconic mountain is breathtaking and is the second-highest peak in France after Mont Blanc. In addition to the view of the mountain, there are a cafe and hiking trails to enjoy.
28. Montignac: Lascaux II
Located in Montignac on a Unesco-protected hill, Lascaux II is home to an exact replica of the axial diverticulum. This hall represents 90% of all Lascaux paintings and offers in-depth and thematic tours. You can choose to explore the site on your own or as part of a group.
29. Champagne Route
A trip to the Champagne Route is an excellent way to spend a day. You can find a variety of tours that feature tastings, take-home gifts, and talks. Tours are designed to highlight the small-scale, high-quality producers. During these tours, you will learn about the grapes and the process of producing champagne. You will also learn to appreciate the different flavors and smells of the wine. You’ll also have the chance to talk with locals who are knowledgeable about the production process.
30. Limoges: Old Town of Oradour-sur-Glane
Oradour-sur-Glane is a small town located in the department of Haute-Vienne, France, about 13 miles west of Limoges. It is easily accessible by car, taxi, or rail. Buses aren’t very frequent, however, and only two or three services run each day.
The town is home to a number of museums, including the Museum of French War History. Visitors can also see the old town, which contains many historic buildings. It is also a popular place to go wine tasting. There are also many restaurants and bars in the Old Town.
31. Theatre Antique d’Orange
Theatre Antique d’Orange is a restored Roman theatre built in the early first century CE. It is considered the best preserved Roman theatre in the Western World. Today, it hosts the Choregies d’Orange summer opera festival. In 1869, the theater rediscovered its lyric vocation and a new mission: to promote French dramatic authors and the sources of great Greco-Roman tragedies.
32. Alpes-de-Haute-Provence: Gorge du Verdon
The Verdon Gorge is a dramatic river canyon in southeastern France. Carved by the Verdon River, this canyon is filled with cliffs and white water rapids. Hikers can explore the gorge on trails, ending at the lookout point at Point Sublime. The Verdon Natural Regional Park also contains the 12th-century Notre Dame de Beauvoir Chapel and the Musée de la Faence, which features local woodworking and ceramics.
33. Ancient Theatre of Fourviere
The ancient Theatre of Fourviere dates back to 15 BC. A remnant of the Roman Empire, this theater could hold more than ten thousand spectators. The theatre is free to visit and hosts a drama festival in June. The ancient theatre can accommodate a variety of events, including concerts and theatre shows.
34. Bike around Bordeaux
One of the best ways to explore Bordeaux is to cycle. The city’s central area has numerous bicycle paths, and it is easy to reach the most popular sights by bike. You can also pedal along the riverside promenade, which is a hive of activity at any time of day. The area is also well-served by restaurants and cafes.
35. Route des vins d’Alsace
The Route des vins d’Alzace (Wine Route) is a 170km-long path that winds through Alsace wine country. The region is home to 7 grape varieties and has exceptional climate and soil. During your journey, you can taste and learn about the wines of this region.
36. St. Tropez Beaches
Saint-Tropez Beaches in France are generally separated into three sections. The first section has a large sandy beach that is ideal for families. The other two sections are generally quieter and less crowded. Each section offers different activities and amenities and is a good option for people who want to enjoy the beaches while having a relaxing vacation.
37. Disneyland Paris
One of the most iconic attractions at Disneyland Paris is the Wonderland attraction, themed to the story of Alice in Wonderland. It features famous creatures, deciphering signage and meeting the Cheshire Cat, making it a great challenge for the whole family. It is also one of the most loved attractions at Disneyland Paris.
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