France

France Travel Guide

As one of the largest countries in Europe, it can be difficult to take the entire country of France in, but it is possible to travel to France and enjoy the best of its culture. Those who visit France will find it has a varied topography, which includes everything from the French Alps to the sandy beaches of the Mediterranean, offering visitors a chance to personally design their trip. What’s more, France is a country rich in history, making it home to some of the most famous museums, monuments, architectural feats and historical sites in the world. As a major destination, France travel is easy and visitors will find a nation that’s relatively easy to navigate even with language barriers and that caters to tourists looking for a budget-friendly vacation or a luxury-filled escape from the norm. Whatever your reason for visiting, the country is sure to impress, bearing repeat visits in the years ahead. Use Travel + Leisure’s France travel guide as a blueprint for what will surely be an unforgettable trip.

Things Not to Miss in France

• Visit wineries in Champagne and Bordeaux, the hearts of French wine country, or head to Normandy for delicious, locally produced cider and apple brandy
 • Take in the best of the French Riviera by visiting the cities of Marseille, Nice and Montpellier
 • Experience French Basque culture in Biarritz, located on the French-Spanish border
 • See The Louvre, Eiffel Tower, Tuileries Garden and other unforgettable sights in Paris
 • Head to Grenoble for easy access to skiing, snowboarding and mountaineering in the French Alps
 • Check out the city of Strasbourg, which shares both French and German cultural heritage and serves as the seat of the European Parliament
 • Follow the footsteps of Vincent Van Gogh and stay in the exceedingly charming city of Arles where he created some of his most amazing works

When to Go to France

As with any country of its size, climates vary widely across France with cities in the north and northwestern reaches of the country experiencing temperate climates (Parisian summers rarely exceed daily temperatures of 80 degrees) and the southeastern swaths of France weathering Mediterranean climates complete with warm, humid summers and mild, cool winters. Still, spring and summer is the best time to visit France if only for a chance at taking in the best weather the country has to offer. Unless, of course, you’re hoping to take part in more wintry activities. In that case, the best time to visit France and the French Alps is between December and March.

Articles about France

Restaurants Hot Tables Chef Toutain’s ethereal treatment of unusual produce at Restaurant David Toutain ($$$$) has notes of Scandinavian-style naturalism, but his dishes are locally sourced. The seasonal menu may include steamed sea urchin with ...
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“Darling, it’s detox or retox,” Kathryn Ireland had told me when she tried to explain the purpose of the retreat, her plummy English accent emphasizing the re instead of the de. I had been on wellness and weight-loss retreats before, at sterile-lo...
Video: Tour Paris’s Shangri-La Hotel The first tip-off came upon my arrival: a pair of oversize Ming dynasty–inspired vases flanking the Belle Époque entry. This was, after all, the Shangri-La Hotel, Paris, the European debut of a five-star, Ho...
“Marseilles, for the French, is a bit like Marmite is for the English,” says Matthieu Gamet, the director of Kulte, a Marseilles-based sportswear company known for clever graphic T-shirts and a hipster sensibility. “Either you hate it or you love ...
carousel, Tuileries Gardens, kid, Paris, France
Video: Exploring Paris with Kids We probably should have started with one of those outings that have introduced so many generations to the city: a bateau-mouche ride on the Seine, perhaps, or a visit to the Eiffel Tower. Even a jet-lagged prome...
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Julia Child’s kitchen in Provence is a square room with pale yellow walls, unusually tall counters, and dark emerald-green and brick-red tiles. The walls are covered with Peg-Board, upon which hangs an armory of cooking equipment: saucepans and fr...