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Grab a cool France travel buddy and explore every corner of France together. Stunning countryside, world famous wine, colorful streets and bustling cities - France is as diverse as any country can be. Still need some more inspiration, continue reading!
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France is the Perfect Date
France is romantic. France is confident. France is complex. France is condescending. Even though this is not the nicest combination. It is a winning combination. France is the most visited country in the world. France doesn’t have the friendly reputation of Spain or the challenging geography of Austria but more than 89 million were drawn to it.
People don’t care that France isn’t pushing the culture forward now; they flock to France because of the cultural influence France had in the past. Gasps escaped mouths around the world when Notre Dame was engulfed in flames in 2019. Museums are packed whenever the special exhibitions of the works of Edgar Degas, Édouard Manet, Claude Monet, Paul Cézanne and Pierre-August Renoir fill special exhibitions. People turn to French skies to marvel at the Eiffel Tower, not skyscrapers.
France's gastronomy is beloved the world over. Simplicity and complexity mark French food. Simplistic Provençal cuisine has ardent fans, classic French cooking requires five “Mother” sauces, a perfectly roasted chicken is a French delicacy, and baguette swathed in butter means “French” to people the world over. An occasion isn’t special unless it is marked with Champagne, a sparkling wine that is only produced in a specific region of France.
If you're planning on backpacking through France then don't miss out on reading about the most important tips for backpacking in Europe.
France at Play
France shines at the waterfront. It has 3,427 kilometers of coastline. People in search of beauty on the water and on promenades head to the French Riviera. Towns such as Antibes, Cannes and Èze are tourist destinations for a reason. You and your France travel buddy will find beautiful beaches, unique shops and amazing dining. This area also boasts bountiful gardens, well-preserved architecture, hiking trails, and interesting museums.
French geography isn’t very dynamic, but the Alps do extend past its borders. The mountainous Chamonix region has excellent skiing, hiking, biking and climbing opportunities. When you and your France travel buddy are finished with these adventures, you can melt away the stress and soothe sore muscles at a spa.
You and your France travel buddy will have a lot to explore if you are wine lovers. France is the second-biggest producer of wine in the world. It’s pretty easy to create a self-guided tour or join a group tour of Alsace, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Loire, Provence and the Rhone Valley, the major wine-producing regions of France. Winery tours naturally include magnificent castles, colorful fields and complex, lush gardens that must be explored.
During your trips to the French countryside, you and your France travel buddy will undoubtedly encounter the former homes of creative figures, such as F. Scott Fitzgerald. Jean Cocteau, Marc Chagall and Pablo Picasso.
French cities are alive
Urban life is where the excitement is in France. Lyon has been a stronghold since the ancient Romans settled it in 43 BC. The World Heritage site sits at the meeting of the Rhône and Saône rivers. It is a banking center boasts one of the best universities in Europe and its own take on French cuisine. Because of its relatively high crime rate, Marseille, France’s second-largest city, is more infamous than famous. But if you and your France travel buddy are fans of hip hop, Marseille is a must-see. Star athletes, chart-topping musicians and innovative artists with African and Arabic roots are climbing out of the public housing. Marseille is the place to eat cool fusion food, hear new music and see bold street art.
And then there’s Paris. Paris is an old city that hasn't lost a bit of charm. The gothic architecture gives the city a romantic aura. Visitors forgive the city’s lack of greenery or open spaces. In exchange, you and your France travel buddy get:
- World-renowned museums, such as Louvre, Galeries Nationales Grand Palais, Musée d’Orsay, Centre Pompidou, Musée de l’Orangerie and Musée National Rodin
- Art foundations. These are massive cultural centers that display a variety of works. Fondation Louis Vuitton has been making news since it opened in 2014. While the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain has been exhibiting groundbreaking contemporary art for more than 30 years
- Festivals like Paris Plage, which turns the banks of the Seine and La Villette Canal Basin into a beach resort every summer.
- French-style green spaces. Paris has about 100 intricately laid-out, colorful gardens, including Jardin des Tuilleries and Jardin du Luxembourg. Lovely statues and fountains are sprinkled throughout many of them. These are in addition to 15 parks that dot the city.
- Paris has outlets that will please fashion fans, gourmands, and history lovers. Just like its capital, France will delight travelers of every persuasion — from hip hop lovers to snowbirds.
Paris is the perfect city to explore, even if you don't have a lot of time. If you're planning on doing just a short trip this year, then you should read our tips on how to plan a short getaway.
To find out how to get even more out of France, look at these categories pages for more information:
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