France has continuously been one of the top most visited countries in the world. Of course, the covid-19 pandemic has affected numbers largely. But that has been the case throughout the world when travel came to a sudden halt. After several lock downs, France is tentatively open for tourists with much lesser restrictions.
In 2018 alone, over 89 million tourists were recorded. If you were wondering what’s so special about this part of Europe that makes people flock in huge numbers year in and year out, well, there’s just too many! Most of their citizens stay home for their summer break. If that is not a cue, we don’t know what is.
In this article, we have curated a list of things to do in France on your visit to this culturally rich nation. If you are thinking of travelling to Europe, read ahead to know why France could well be your first stop.
Climb the Eiffel Tower – Top pick from our list of things to do in France!
One of the most recognisable structures in the whole world, The Eiffel Tower has long been a symbol of Paris. It is perhaps one of the most photographed tourist attractions ever.
When Gustave Eiffel constructed his namesake tower, we doubt he imagined it would attract a significant number of people every year.
An elevator will take you to the top, but if you are in for the experience you can simply climb the stairs. The view at the top will be worth the flight. And of course, don’t forget to check out the secret room that Gustave used to entertain guests like Thomas Alva Edison.
Paris truly lives up to its name – the city of lights, and with tens of thousands of bulbs lighting up The Eiffel Tower at night, it sure is a spectacular sight. That is why it is on our list of top things to do in France.
Feast on the French cuisine
Food is an essential component of French culture. One way to properly comprehend the country’s passion for their cuisine? Try them all! Begin your day like a real Frenchman by having a butter croissant for breakfast, because they literally live off of these scrumptious buns.
In France, the dessert is as significant as any other dish. Pastries, cakes, macaroons, crepes, tarts… We’re sure your mouth is watering by now! Though they are not entirely French, Macaroons are a must-try. It comes in beautiful pastel colours and every mouthful is pure bliss.
Crème brûlée is a well-known French dish. There’s no turning back once you split the thin crunchy caramel shell and plunge your spoon into the luscious custard. This burned cream dish has a silky, pudding-like feel and is absolutely delicious!
If you don’t want your trip to feel half-baked, then add this to your list of things to do in France.
Get lost in Riquewihr
With its colourful buildings, flower bouquets, and picturesque avenues, if it gives you the fairy tale feels, you are thinking right. Riquewihr is a scene of serenity and was the inspiration for Belle’s little village in Beauty and the Beast, a movie loved by one and all.
Riquewihr offers you a plethora of businesses that sell gifts, traditional food, and, of course, wine. This hamlet could be explored for a week, strolling through all of its cobbled streets and gorgeous architecture. Riquewihr has a place in our list, only because it oozes with enchanting details at every step, and should only be experienced.
Feel the love at Love Lock Bridge
The Pont des Arts aka the Love lock bridge has long been a favourite of painters and photographers, who are inspired by the breathtaking sights of the river.
It is also a popular picnic site and, of course, a significant interest for lovers from all over the world, who meet in this most romantic destination to carry out a much-loved tradition: tying love locks to the bridge.
As a symbol of their never-ending love, lovers would attach padlocks on the bridge, with their names engraved. It was a lovely notion, but in fact, it resulted in the bridge being damaged by the huge weight of the locks. As a result, the authorities decided to have all of the love locks removed from the bridge. Love, it seems, could not bypass the laws of physics. Even though you cannot attach padlocks anymore, a picnic with a friend or partner, or even yourself (because.. self-love) will be a memorable thing to do in France.
Visit the Dead at Père-Lachaise
Père-Lachaise is Paris’ most visited and sought-after cemetery. It is the ultimate resting place of many renowned people, including Oscar Wilde, Jim Morrison, Chopin, and Colette. Normally, when you think of a cemetery, you don’t think of a beautiful setting. That is not the case when people from all over the world visit Père-Lachaise. They are met by the inviting whimsical charm of a beautiful park. Interestingly in the 1980s and 1990s, devoted fans of the superstars who rest beneath this unique place left lipstick stains on their gravestones and performed songs on their guitars. Eventually, the security shooed them away.
“Yes, death. Death must be so beautiful. To lie in the soft brown earth, with the grasses waving above one’s head, and listen to silence.”
Oscar Wilde wrote that, and we rest our case. Add this to your list of things to do in France, you will not regret it.
Walk among the dead
France has basically built a city of the dead beneath the metropolis of the living. A massive honeycomb of tunnels running beneath the city.
The system is a huge maze, and no one knows how many tunnels or chambers exist. However, one section of this network of tunnels is open to the public: the infamous Catacombs of Paris.
The Catacombs were built around the close of the 18th century. As the cemeteries became overcrowded and had to be relocated outside of the city, a section of the tunnels was converted into a storage facility for human skeletons, including the remains of about 6 million Parisians.
The entire experience is a self-guided tour in which you stroll at your own pace through a long succession of tunnels. In essence, it’s a subterranean cemetery. Skulls piled on top of skulls, bones meticulously placed by hand to make continuous, never-ending skeletal walls.
It could well be a scene from Pirates of the Caribbean and walking among the dead sure sounds like a thing to do in France by a living person.
Live the fantasy
Disneyland Paris is more than just a theme park. It is a location where time stands still, allowing you to escape reality. The Disneyland Resort consists of two distinct areas, Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park, as well as an entertainment area, Disney Village, and a theme golf course, Golf Disneyland.
Disneyland Park features a variety of exciting rides. Their Thunder Mountain Coaster is fantastic! Their haunted home contains zombies, making the experience more realistic and chilling. You may also visit Sleeping Beauty’s castle, embark on Snow White’s journey, watch Pinocchio’s narrative come to life, ride the merry-go-round, and explore Alice’s Labyrinth.
If you are a creator, then you should check out Disney Studio. There are tram tours of the studio, demonstrations of how they animate their films, a Toy Story Playland, rides, and much more for a movie buff.
Take a walk in Rue Crémieux
This lovely cobbled street is Paris’ most insta-worthy lane. Paris is well-known for its historic monuments, museums, structures, bridges, and plazas. Even if you believe you’ve seen all there is to see in Paris, it will always surprise you.
Rue Crémieux is Paris’s most vibrant street; a burst of colour in the middle of a monochrome city. It was once a “hidden spot” known to only a few. However, these days, Rue Crémieux is a popular haunt for fashion photographers, filmmakers, and anyone searching for something distinct to the colour-saturated world of Instagram.
The similar buildings that line the street have the appearance of English terraced cottages. The facades are painted in soft pastel colours, with wall murals, bikes resting against the house walls, and plants and flowers in pots arranged in rows along with the homes.
Simply going along this street gives the impression that the people here are content. If you want to feel that energy, this has to be one of the things to do in France.
I love you Wall
The I love you wall in Paris was created by two artists as a meeting point for lovers. The wall is covered in 612 lava tiles to withstand the heat and bears the phrase I love you” in 311 different languages.
Frédéric Baron and Claire Kito designed the artwork after collecting the phrase in notebooks by knocking on the doors of embassies and interviewing their neighbours until they had collected more than 300 languages, all conveying the powerful feeling of love.
This fabulous piece of art has become a gathering point, bringing together people of different cultures, just for the sake of love. When queried about the red pieces on the wall, the painters revealed that they are deliberately broken pieces of hearts, as an attempt to portray the human race, which they feel has been ripped apart in many parts of the world due to a lack of love.
Go, take a look, fall in love, more, or again. Definitely a thing to do in France, for anyone that loves or has been loved.
L’Atelier des Lumières
Does this place sound familiar? It should ring a bell if you are familiar with Emily in Paris, the popular Netflix series. The magnificent L’Atelier des Lumières, a digital art venue that exhibits classic artwork, is the digital exhibition Emily and Gabriel visited. Colourful projections of early twentieth-century paintings are on exhibit in Paris’s Atelier des Lumière, which is dedicated to great art.
It was destined to become one of Paris’s most exciting cultural hot spots. This cathedral of light and beauty, which opened three years ago, has already outperformed its own expectations. It has swiftly moved to the top of the list of the most popular creative destinations in Paris. It’s simple to comprehend why.
Nothing captures the allure of Provence more than the purple rows of lavender that sprinkle the countryside every summer.
The lavender meadows of Provence are among the greatest in the world, and surely among the well-known. Lavender’s relaxing, delicate scent and purple hue have charmed people for generations – so what could be better than spending your travel surrounded by lavender fields?
If there is one area that has become associated with lavender, it is Provence. Unfortunately, the lavender season in Provence does not last all year. From the latter week of June until the beginning of August is the greatest time to observe the flowers in bloom.
When visiting Provence in the summer, take a deep breath and let the fragrance of lavender take over your senses.
Whether it is the cultural beauty of the country or the romance that the Hollywood movies promise, there is only one way to know why France won’t disappoint. Get there when you can and make sure to get yourself a complete experience of this intriguing nation.
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