The western European country France is not only known as one of the most attractive tourist destinations in the world, but also worldwide renowned for its special cuisine, iconic buildings, and sophisticated wines. Apart from all the famous sites heavily featured in movies and books, such as the Eiffel Tower, there are many more things that make France a unique attraction definitely worth visiting.
Let’s have a look at the things that put France on the map as the place to be for visitors from all across the world.
Paris – The City Of Light
Paris, the city of light, is one of the most famous cities in the world, known for its incredible monuments, picturesque little alleys, and bustling museums.
Undoubtedly, the Eiffel Tower is the most incredible architectural attraction found in Paris. With a height of 300 meters, the Iron Lady provides a spectacular view of the city and is often chosen as a background for engagements or photo shootings.
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The gothic cathedral of Notre Dame is another stunning architectural masterpiece that is high up on the bucket list of every visitor to Paris. Recently being caught in a dramatic fire, the cathedral of Notre Dame is currently still under construction.
A trip to Paris would not be complete without a visit to the Louvre. The Louvre is, due to its unique architecture, a deeply rooted symbol of France. Some of the most famous pieces of art, such as the Mona Lisa, can be admired inside the Louvre.
An entirely different side of Paris is portrayed in the Moulin Rouge. The Moulin Rouge is the most famous French cabaret, that featured stars like Edith Piaf and Mistinguett. The iconic cabaret with its big red windmill on the roof features the frivolous side of Paris, interpreted with music and dance.
Above all that, Paris is also known as the capital city of fashion and haute cuisine. Some of the most renowned restaurants and fashion houses can be found in Paris. Additionally, Paris is known to be a major center of diplomacy, finance, and science.
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Glitz And Glam At The Cote D’azur
The southeastern Mediterranean coast of France, also known as Cote d’azur is home of the Glitz and the Glam. Fabulous beaches, dreamy high-end resorts and a wild nightlife attract every year the rich and famous to come and spend an amazing summer on the so-called French Riviera.
The French Riviera is lined with famous cities, among them Saint Tropez, Cannes and Nice. Cannes is home to the yearly film festival that previews all major films to the haute-volée. The famous boulevard of Cannes, the Croisette, is lined with high-end fashion shops and fancy beach clubs.
Nice is the second largest city in France and is known for its beautiful beaches, picturesque coastline, and mesmerizing views. Saint Tropez is a small peninsula with a cute fisherman’s town with colorful houses, chic cafés, and exquisite restaurants. Above all that, it also features some of the hottest nightclubs in France and attracts some of the most exclusive super-yachts to stop by every year.
The Wines Of Bordeaux
All over the world, France is known for its fabulous wines and beautiful vineyards. Many of the most famous wines, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay originated in France and their versions influenced a lot of wines abroad.
The wine country France can be divided into 11 major wine regions, the most famous of them all being the Bordeaux region in the southeast of France. The Bordeaux area is most famous for its red blends, made of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet France. However, Bordeaux also produces a renowned white wine, made of Semillion, Sauvignon Blanc, and Muscadelle.
The best place to sample the famous wines of Bordeaux is without doubt the UNESCO world heritage village of Saint Emilion. It is home to charming little wine bars and some great restaurants.
All over the wine region of Bordeaux, charming old castles, the so-called Chateaux, offer tours
around the vineyards and the winery as well as wine tasting experiences.
Read more about wine area of Libournais, Bordeaux.
Champagne is a sparkling wine that originated in the Champagne region of France, located roughly 100 miles east of Paris. The Champagne region is home to five wine-producing districts, Aube, Côte des Blancs, Côte de Sézanne, Montagne de Reims, and Vallée de la Marne.
The most famous wine village in the Champagne region is without a doubt Reims. It is recognized as a UNESCO world heritage site and home to an impressive cathedral. Many of the French kings were crowned in the cathedral Note-Dame-de-Rems.
In order to call a sparkling wine Champagne, the grapes have to be sourced from very specific places within the Champagne area and have to be processed under a strict set of rules. The Pinot Noir, Pinot meunier and Chardonnay are the most frequently used grapes for the production of Champagne.
The Chateaux Of The Loire Valley
The French word chateaux refers to a very broad understanding of the English term castle and does not only include traditional castles, but also bigger mansions and vineyards. The most stunning French chateaux can be found alongside the banks of the river Loire, in the so-called Loire valley.
You can find more than 300 different castles in the Loire valley, all of them with a unique history and some stunning architecture. Some of the castles are former French Royal castles, others are famous for being the wedding venues of some prominent guests.
The most famous chateaux in the Loire valley is probably the Château de Chambord, built in 1519 by King Francois the I. One of the most famous architectural mixtures of Gothic and Renaissance can be found in the Château de Chenonceau, which was also built in the early 1500s. Overlooking the water of the Loire river, the Château of Amboise is definitely worth a visit.
The Lavender Fields Of Provence
Located in the South of France are the lavender fields of the region Provence, which are a major attraction to tourists from all over the world.
Most of the travel guides for the region recommend visiting the fields between mid-June and mid-July, in order to see the flowers in full-bloom. However, due to different climates in the spring, the lavender season may vary from year to year.
Most of the lavender grown in the South of France is being farmed for its oil.
Some of the mostimpressive lavender fields can be seen in the famous areas Valensole, Luberon, and Drome.
The Fabulous French Cuisine
France is most commonly known around the world as a culinary country. Some of the most famous dishes like Ratatouille, Coq au vin, and Soufflé have their origin in France. In all fairness, not all of the French cuisine is for everyone. Eccentric dishes, such as Cuisses de grenuilles (frog legs) and escargots (snails) can be found on the menu. In any case, the traditional French onion soup is a must-try starter for everyone.
Not only are the French known for creating a festival for the taste buds with their main dishes, but they are also famous for their pastries. The baguette is undoubtedly the most famous French baked good, followed by the croissant and the macaroon.
French bakeries are usually heaven on earth for everyone who’s a sweet tooth, offering not only traditional pastries but also fancy eclairs, profiteroles, cannneles, and millefeuilles.
As for dessert, you will not only find delicious pastries on the menu but usually also a selection of French cheese. Usually, the selection will include Brie, Roquefort, and Camembert, some of the most renowned French cheeses.
Fashion & Cosmetics
French women are worldwide known for having an amazing sense of style and fashion. This is not only due to the fact, that most of the distinguished fashion and beauty brands worldwide have their origin in France.
Ever since the 15 century, fashion has been one of the most profitable branches of export for France.
Twice per year, the new collections of famous design houses are presented during the Paris fashionweek. Most of these fashion brands have their home and flagship stores in France, such as Dior, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Yves Saint Laurent.
Not only the fashion but also the cosmetics and scents from French brands have taken the world by storm. Chanel’s famous perfume No 5 is most likely the most popular worldwide.
French men and women equally are intrinsically linked to the famous beret. Berets are flat hats that were originally part of a military uniform and have later been worn by many famous Frenchmen.
Nowadays the beret is rarely worn in France but can be bought at every tourist stand in Paris.
France is worldwide renowned for its art. Many of the most famous artists around the world were born in France, such as Claude Monet, Herny Matisse, Edgar Degas, and Paul Gauguin.
The most famous painting made by a French artist is likely to be the “Waterlilies” by Claude Monet. Monet was also the founder of the Impressionism movement, spreading his ideas from France all over the world.