But it was the early 20th-century visitors who sealed the resort's popularity, people like Scott Fitzgerald and other Americans who made the Cote d'Azur their playground. Good hotels and restaurants make Rouen an attractive place. It’s well worth taking a boat on a quiet trip through the blossoms of the fruit trees and fertile plots of land, still providing the locals with their fruit and veg. Marseille is also a great place to savor some delicious French seafood and Mediterranean cuisine. In one city you can see many architectural marvels like the Eiffel Tower, the Arc d’Triomphe and the Louvre, and more. There is good reason for that. Etias France » France’s Most Visited Cities. La Marseillaise, the Revolutionary song was called after the people of Marseille and sung during the storming of the Tuileries. To the east lie such delights at Notre Dame d’Orsan, where you can also spend the night and near Nevers, the spectacular Ainay-le-Vieil. Lille is the best city to visit if you are fond of delicacies such as waffles, mussels and French fries. 15 million people travel to EuroDisney on the outskirts of Paris. Try to visit Albi with its astonishing cathedral and great Toulouse-Lautrec Museum. The northernmost city on the Loire, Orléans is just over 100 km from Paris. Paris is the most popular French city, so we have to start there. The capital of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, Bordeaux has the highest number of preserved historical architecture in France outside of Paris. One of the greatest annual events in northern France is the annual braderie or flea market that takes over the whole city for a weekend in September. The main attraction drawing visitors is the Chateau de Versailles and its impressive gardens, however it is a large city in its own right and is worth exploring further. It is the oldest city of France and the largest one after Paris. Paris: The Most Visited City in France France’s cosmopolitan capital holds the number one spot on this list and it is not hard to see why. Amiens is best known for its cathedral; visit if you can during the summer months when the son-et-lumière (sound and light show) dances over the magnificent façade of the largest Gothic cathedral in France. It has amazing cities, villages, landscape and culture. They are easy to reach for international travelers who have the correct documentation to cross the border into the country. We created a big list of the 35 most beautiful cities to visit in France. The red-tiled roofs crowd the city's roofscape, with the towers of the St-Jean cathedral standing out. Once a major trading and industrial city with silk as the main production, today it’s a city with a vibrant buzz, the reputation of a major gourmet destination, exceptional museums and unique attractions like the traboules (secret, covered passageways that lead you hidden through the city), and the great murals painted on its buildings throughout the city. This is a list of top 100 cities ranked by the number of international visitors, including all international arrivals by land, sea, or plane, for tourist or business purposes.The consulting firm Euromonitor and the financial services corporation Mastercard define the concept of the foreign visitor differently thus their respective rankings differ. Marseille can be reached by flying to Marseille Provence Airport (Aéroport de Marseille Provence). She lives part-time in Auvergne, France and writes travel articles about the country. To review official information regarding travel to the Schengen Area you can access europa.eu. The cities in Brittany are full of history, with megalithic stones, medieval towns and castles, walled cities and a strong independent identity (breton – the dialect that used to be spoken in this part of France – is taught in some schools and used on the road signs alongside French). Toulouse is one of France’s most exciting provincial cities as well as being the main town in western Languedoc. Also referred to as La Villa Rose (the Pink City) due to the warm pastel colors of its beautiful buildings, it is the fourth largest city in France, and has much to offer tourists. There are formal gardens, a cathedral, and the Musée Fabre which displays 17th to 19th-century European paintings by major artists, ceramics and contemporary art. Place General … Not only do they offer tourists with an array of stunning architecture, history, culture, but you can also enjoy the non-stop delicious delicacies found throughout this beautiful European country.. Strasbourg. The 9 Best Day Trips From Marseille, France, The Top 32 Things to Do in Paris: Our Ultimate Bucketlist, The Top 15 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in France, A Lyon Travel Guide for Beginners: Planning Your Trip, 48 Hours in Marseille, France: The Ultimate Itinerary. It has been a tourist destination since the 18th century, when wealthy English visitors would take advantage of the Mediterranean climate during the winter. Yes, that’s what Dijon is known... Bordeaux. Orléans makes a good starting point for a tour of the Loire Valley Chateaux, which make the main reason to visit the region. And finally, there’s a great Christmas market here as well as two enormous annual flea markets, one around Easter and the second on the first Sunday in October. Nearby cities include medieval Arras, with its 2 major attractions, the World War I Wellington Quarry which dramatically and effectively shows how British and Canadian soldiers quarried under the town to attack the nearby German lines, and the British World War I Memorial in Arras. ​Paris is one of the world’s most romantic and beautiful capital cities and with a population of around 2,250 is by far the largest city in France. This list of the most popular cities might surprise you...in alphabetical order with one exception. The largest French city on the Mediterranean coast, Marseille is France’s main commercial port. The main railway station, Gare de Marseille Saint-Charles, connects the city with most other major cities in France, including Paris. Add to that the Maison Carrée, the best preserved of all Roman temples dating back to Augustus (1 st century BC) but rebuilt in the 5th century and used by Napoleon for a model for the Madeleine church in Paris; the surviving Roman gateway of Porte d’Auguste, and the famous Pont du Gard, just 12 miles (20 km) northeast of Nîmes, a huge long stretch of the original 31 miles (50 km) long Roman aqueduct. Visit the Old Port of Marseille. There’s a cathedral with an outstanding tomb with marble figures so life-like they send shivers down your spine, and a gracious 19th-century part. Bordeaux can be reached by flying to Bordeaux–Mérignac Airport, or by train from Paris, Nantes, Nice, Marseille, and Lyon. My favourite city in the west and one of the places to visit in France that I can go back again and again. The capital's museums are among the best in the world, with the Louvre leading the way. They're all worth a look at. It is a focal point of tourism in France. Nowadays, it has a lovely city center and vibrant cultural sector, with numerous museums that are worth checking out. Once the Roman capital, then a religious center in the Middle Ages, Arles has a fascinating history. A walled city with ramparts still standing, Avignon is best known for the huge Palais des Papes, built by the schismatic popes who started with Clement V, moving their headquarters from Rome to Avignon. From the remarkable Gallo-Roman museum on the hill of Fourvière (try to be there for the excellent summer arts festival which takes place here in the old Roman arenas), you can see Lyon stretching out below you. The final must-see site in the region is the Puy du Fou theme park, second only to Disney. Montpellier has a lovely old quarter, centered around the Place de la Comédie with the esplanade Charles-de-Gaulle running off the north end. Here you’ll find the Institute Lumière, the outstanding cinema and film museum housed in the former villa belonging to the Lumière brothers, two of the earliest pioneers of film. The “City of Light” is renowned for having been a center of European art for centuries, from Baroque to Impressionism and its many world-famous art museums reflect this history. All of France’s most visited cities are served by international airports and major railway lines. France is easily one of the most beautiful countries in the world! And it's near enough to Cannes to make staying here a viable alternative during the famous May Cannes Film Festival. Paris may be the capital but France is very regionally minded, and for a true taste of the country you need to explore other regions and cities. The majority of tourists to France come from other European countries, particularly: Germany, the UK, and Belgium. For 4 days in December, candles are traditionally used to light up residents’ homes and the facades of buildings all over the city are bathed in dramatic light and sound displays. There’s a good Musée des Beaux Arts, while the Maison de Jeanne d’Arc tells the saint’s story. Millions, however, are drawn to the urban heartlands of French culture — the cities of France. Marseille – to some people still the place of The French Connection; to others a reinvigorated city upping its image, particularly since its role as European City of Culture in 2013. The historic part of the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. To the west, you see Chaumont which has an international garden festival each year as well as lesser-known gardens like the English-style garden at Plessis Sasnières and the gardens around Clos Luce,  the house where Leonardo da Vinci spent his last years. There’s little left of the huge theater which could seat 12,000 people but it’s an impressive ruin. The riverfront has bars and restaurants where you can sip Loire wines. Over 30,000 inhabitants. Lyon is located near the Swiss border, 300 miles south of … Every2 is another major shopping mall in France which was opened officially in 1975 and currently features 225 shops. There’s plenty of history here too, seen in places such as the 14th-century Le Castellet, the gateway into the city which houses the Casa Pairal showing local Catalan rural culture. The ten big tourist cities in France , ranked in "must see" order. According to leading travel and tourism guide books for journeying to France, the most visited place in Paris is the Eiffel Tower and Disneyland Paris. Just 2 hours away from Paris by the TGV express train, it’s become the jumping-off point for a coastline that is fast rivaling the Côte d’Azur in the Mediterranean in popularity. From here, the Vendée coast runs south, offering small villages and lovely resorts, perfect for sailors. Located on the French Riviera close to the Italian border, Nice is the second most-visited city in France. After Barcelona, Perpignan is Catalonia’s second city so you’ll find plenty of Spanish – and North African – influences here. But there’s plenty to take you to Strasbourg at any time of the year. The old capital of Provence is one of the south of France’s most charming cities. Artworks looted by Napoleon are on display in the Musée des Beaux-Arts, making it the second museum after the Louvre in Paris, while important contemporary exhibitions are put on at the TriPostal, the old sorting office in the center. Once the Monte Carlo of the Atlantic coast of France, Biarritz’s bright star faded in the 1960s as the Côte d’Azur resorts took over as the places to see and be seen in. Learn more about who needs ETIAS to enter France. Arles is near Avignon, Nimes, and Montpellier. It was the French who first rediscovered the resort with its fabulous surf, along with chic Parisians who in the last few years, have made the French Atlantic coast a far more desirable place to visit than its rival to the east. Bordeaux in the Gironde on the Atlantic Coast, Peter Richardson/robertharding/Getty Images, Lille in Nord-Pas de Calais, North France, Nantes in Pays de la Loire, French Atlantic Coast, Toulouse in the Tarn Gorges of Languedoc-Roussillon. 2. For citizens of the EU and other Schengen countries, no documentation is required to enter France (although it is advisable to carry an ID card or passport). Lyon is easily reached by French public transport, with trains, including TGV, connecting Perrache and Part-Dieu Stations with other major cities. It’s near enough to Antibes via a quick train ride, where the walled old town and marina, the most extensive and expensive in terms of yachts along the coast, offer a good contrast. 5. Famous, or infamous depending on your point of view, for being the place where Joan of Arc was burnt at the stake  (on the Place du Vieux-Marché), Rouen also has a rare example of a medieval plague cemetery. This small city is so lovely that I forgot all about mustard when I visited it! The châteaux are strung along the river like a necklace of precious beads, but the gardens are equally as spectacular. Nearby cities include Marseille (25 km), Avignon, and Nîmes. With its gorgeous climate, it’s an all-year-round destination, with one of the world’s most famous carnivals kicking off the annual season of events in the early Spring. And it’s the canals that water the strange hortillonnages (market gardens). This is the place to stroll around, sitting in pavement cafés and listening to musicians. Nice. Today it’s the capital of the Languedoc-Roussillon region. And if you are a naturist or just like to bare all, then the nearby resort of Cap d'Agde is the place to go. It’s had a huge restoration project turning the 18th-century buildings along the quays and in the old town back to their original glorious ochre color. For culture, there’s the excellent Musée de Picardie with its huge Puvis de Chavannes paintings on the walls of the main stairwell, and a room, surprisingly, created by Sol le Witt. A truly global city and one of the largest in Europe, Paris has a reputation for being among the most beautiful and romantic places in the world. Paris is one of the world's best places to visit, so it's no surprise it tops this list. Add to that a huge Saturday flea market and a daily fruit and veg market around the Arc de Triomphe and you’ve got a great city to visit. And don’t forget the Centre Pompidou with its exciting contemporary art exhibitions, the fabulous collections of Impressionists and Post-Impressionists in the Musée d’Orsay, converted from a former railway station, and the less well known but superb Cluny Museum where medieval treasures like the 15th-century Lady and the Unicorn Tapestry are to be discovered. All figures reflect population sans doubles comptes (French: population municipale). Five special cities in France Dijon. The Palace is a vast fortress of two buildings with audience rooms, courtyards, a treasury, banqueting hall and bedchambers displaying the wealth, power and love of comfort of those long-dead spiritual leaders. Situated along the Loire River, the area... Marseille. Nice is served by Nice Côte d’Azur Airport — the third busiest airport in France. From Nantes, it’s a relatively short drive to one of France’s beautiful, and relatively unknown islands, the Isle de Noirmoutier, a delightful island just off the coast, cut off from the mainland twice a day (though you can cross a bridge to get there.) The largest city in the north of France, Lille was formerly a merchant city that owes its wealth to the fact that it lies between Flanders and Paris. The Essential Guide to Planning a Trip to France, The Mediterranean cities from Marseille to Montpellier are fabulous, Surprising Attractions and Things to Do in Orleans in the Loire Valley, The Top Roman Cities and Ancient Sites in France, The Essential Guide to Alsace, France: Architecture, Wine, & More, Nimes is the city for Roman chariot races and food with a Spanish flavour, Top 20 Most Popular French Cities for International Visitors, Tripsavvy uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. 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