Bonjour! France is definitely one of the best places to see in Europe. Known for its delicious French food, wines, architectures and romance, it has always been many people’s choice as one of the countries to visit in Europe. The first thing that comes to most people’s mind when we mentioned France is of course, the vibrant and romantic city of Paris.
However, do you know that there are other must see places in France other than Paris and the Eiffel Tower? These places, although not as popular as Paris, also has its own charms and is worth a visit if you are going to France and does not want to spend your time only in Paris.
6 Top Places to Visit in France other than Paris
Let’s see below for some places you can visit in France other than Paris:
Annecy is a charming and beautiful town located just one hour bus ride away from Geneva Switzerland making the town a popular choice for a day trip. If a day trip is too short for you, then you might considering staying here for 2 – 3 days just to relax and explore the medieval town. Annecy is referred to many as the Venice of France due to the small canals and streams connecting the town and the lake.
There are plenty of things to do in Annecy. Rent a bicycle to cycle around and stop as you like to take as many pictures as you want of the picturesque town. Enjoy lovely strolls along the canals of the old town or have a picnic at a nice, shady spot at Champ de Mars overlooking the breathtaking lake of Annecy. Starting from Pont des Amours which is also known as the lovers’ bridge, walk along the lake, feasting your sights on the stunning view of the lake with the snow-capped mountain behind the lake – you may even rent a boat and cruise along the lake. Across the lake is the old town, where Visit Palais de l’Isle, the arguably most photographed place of Annecy stood.
Rent a bicycle and explore Annecy.
Parked boats leading to Pont des Amours – it is said that lovers who kiss at the bridge will have an everlasting love together.
Beautiful view of snow-capped mountains behind the Annecy Lake.
The iconic landmark of Annecy, Palais de l’Isle.
Worth a visit when you are in Annecy:-
The Vieille Ville market on every Tuesday, Friday and Sunday mornings are a place you should drop by if you happen to be visiting Annecy during one of these days. The market is one of the best in France with arrays of fruits, vegetables, cheeses, sausages and many other local goods on sale for you to choose from. Definitely one of the places to visit in Annecy if you want to experience the culture of Annecy.
Nice is a gorgeous city with beautiful beaches that you should not miss if you plan to travel to south of France. Having a great mix of the historical old town charm and modern, luxury architectures, it is no wonder that the capital of the French Riviera is one of the most popular tourist attractions in France.
If you are a beach person and loves the sunshine, head over to Nice’s most popular seafront – the Promenade des Anglais. The beach here is made up of small polished pebbles and many came here to enjoy the beautiful sunset, relaxing under the sun on the benches or just walk along the promenade, looking at all the activities happening around them.
Or you can travel back in time and lost yourself in the old town, walking along the narrow and winding streets with old-world appeals and be mesmerized with the atmosphere and the vibrant colors.
Worth a visit when you are in Nice:-
While you are exploring the cobblestone alleys of the old town, stop yourself for awesome ice creams at the popular Fenocchio. This gelato shop offers varieties of mouthwatering ice creams in different flavors, the most difficult part might just be deciding which flavor you want.
Colmar is located in the north east part of France, in the Alsace region, near to Germany. The picturesque streets of Colmar is lined with colorful buildings and houses, thus every corner is a picture taking opportunity. During Christmas, the half-timbered houses are beautifully decorated with Christmas themes and the quaint old town looks spectacularly lit up in the evening, making Colmar one of the places to go in France during Christmas for the Christmas atmosphere.
Colmar has so much to offer – explore the quiet alleys of the medieval town, enjoy a stroll along the historic buildings in La Petite Venice or take a mini cruise along the canals of the charming town. The cobblestone streets of Colmar looked so attractive and cheerful with all the flowers and buildings, it is hard not to fall in love with the beautiful town.
Colorful buildings and flowers along the canal, the Little Venice of Colmar.
The fairytale-like half-timbered houses in the old town of Colmar.
One of the main streets in the old town area.
Stroll along one of the many quaint alleys in the old town area.
Worth a visit when you are in Colmar:-
Marche Couvert is a covered market near Little Venice which opens every Tuesday to Sunday, selling market produce and food to fill your empty stomach while you continue to explore Colmar. You can even buy your food and enjoy them at the small terrace next to the canal while people watching and enjoying the view of Little Venice.
Enjoy good food and great company at the terrace behind the market while watching the day goes by.
Take a bus from Colmar to Riquewihr, one of the Alsatian town situated along the scenic Alsace wine route. This picturesque village looks like something out of a fairytale, with radiantly painted half-timbered houses, and shops and cafes along the narrow cobblestone streets; making it one of the places to see in France. Riquewihr is also one of the charming villages that inspired the scene of Belle’s hometown for Disney’s movie, Beauty and the Beast. It is not difficult to picture this though, every corner of the colorful town looks just like a scene from a storybook.
Cobblestone walkway lined with vibrant yellow, green and blue half-timbered shops and houses.
The charming historic clock tower that overlooks the town’s main square.
Worth a visit when you are in Riquewihr:-
Feerie de Noel is one of the most delightful specialty shops in Riquewihr offering a vast selection of Christmas decorations. Upon entering the shop, you are greeted with a very festive, Christmas atmosphere. Even if you are not buying anything, it is worth to just walk around the shop as everything looks and feels so magical.
One of the most notable cities of France, Strasbourg is well known for being a historical centre with a rich heritage. Strasbourg is also the home of the European Parliament. There are modern architectures that makes it one of the cool places to visit in France as you have best of both in this charming city.
Place Kléber, with the Strasbourg Cathedral in the background partially covered by the morning mist.
Strasbourg’s historical peaceful and cheerful neighborhood, La Petite France in variety of colors.
Among the things to do in Strasbourg is to head over to Place Kléber, the central square of Strasbourg to people watch or have a feel of the vibes of the city. Not far away from Place Kléber is the majestic Strasbourg Cathedral which is Strasbourg’s most famous landmark. You may also take a walk along the most photogenic place of Strasbourg, the La Petite France where many quaint old buildings lined along the waterways in different coats of lively colors.
Worth a visit when you are in Strasbourg:-
One of Strasbourg France attractions is the Ponts Couverts located at the La Petite France district which gives you breathtaking view of Strasbourg from the top of the bridge. It is recommended that you visit the place at night when it is beautifully light up, with the colors reflecting against the river, creating a very spectacular sight.
6. Loire Valley
If you love road trips, castles, and vineyards, Loire Valley is a place you should definitely explore when you are in France. The Loire not only produces some of the world’s finest wine, it is also known for having majestic and impressive castles. Go for day trips to visit as many castles as you can, while stopping for some wine tasting sessions to enjoy the wines from the Loire Valley region.
The Loire is the home to more than 100 castles, however one of the most popular ones is the Chateau de Chenonceau, known for its amazing architecture and beautiful gardens. Walk around the castle and be in awe with the stunningly beautiful exterior as well as the intricate details of the interior of the castle.
Worth a visit when you are in Loire Valley:-
If you do not have a concern on budget and is the adventurous kind, or if you are looking for a romantic getaway with your loved ones, then try the hot air balloon rides around the Loire Valley. Be amazed by breathtaking views while you float above and over vineyards, rivers and forest, definitely an unforgettable once in a lifetime experience!
Hope you enjoyed France as much as I do. Feel free to leave your comments if there are other interesting places in France that you would like to recommend to everyone. Thanks!