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

For history buffs, veterans, and families of World War II heroes, Normandy has become something of a pilgrimage site. Millions of travelers come to the region each year to reverently visit the beaches (where Allied forces invaded on D-Day in 1944)...
Can’t wait for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art to re-open in 2016? Get a sneak peek of the museum’s new collection when its American Icons exhibit opens at the Grand Palais in Paris this April. Marking the international debut of SFMOMA O...
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Skin-care companies are taking a locavore approach, producing goods with a strong sense of place. Just as chefs are increasingly careful about knowing where their food comes from, beauty brands are thinking more about what goes into their produ...
Japanese chefs are jazzing up the Paris dining scene—no sushi or soy sauce in sight. One of France’s food obsessions of late is whether la gastronomie française is in decline, eclipsed by the sexier, more innovative cooking coming out of Copenh...
Calling all ski bunnies: Airbnb is offering up the chance to spend a night in a decked-out cable car high above Courchevel, a full 9,000 feet over the Combe de Saulire peak. And no, you won’t be sleeping on metal benches surrounded by ski racks—Ai...
With its romantic architecture, lose-yourself-in-them cobblestone streets, and cozy boutiques, Paris is undoubtedly a woman’s town. And nobody knows this better than Marcia DeSanctis, author of the new book 100 Places in France Every Woman Should ...
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 ...
  I first came to Lyons in 2011 to watch the Bocuse d’Or, the world’s most prestigious cooking competition. Held every two years, the Bocuse is an extraordinary spectacle—a kind of gastronomic Super Bowl. It takes place in a cavernous auditoriu...
See our slideshow of the World’s Best Secret Dining Clubs. “Look for the man learning How to Cook Everything. He will direct you to the location of the feast.” And so began a recent cloak-and-fork odyssey that ultimately led some 150 food lovers ...