With over 80 million tourists a year, France is the most visited country in the world. Here are the top five reasons why people from all over the world visit France – the very same reasons you should be planning your own French holidays, too.
1. The Most Romantic Place on Earth
France arguably has more romantic spots than anywhere else in the world. These include stunning gardens such as the world-famous gardens of Versailles, where kings and queens once walked, the gardens of Latour-Marliac in Giverny, which provided the inspiration for one of Claude Monet’s most famous paintings and the Loire Valley, which, with all its golden sunflowers, is a huge garden in itself – all of which are perfect places for a stroll with your loved one. There are also many fairy tale castles for you to tour, such as the Chateau de Chambord, Cheverny Castle and Fontainebleau Castle and you can even spend the night in one if you like.
Of course, you should also spend some time in Paris when you visit France on a romantic getaway. After all, the city is synonymous with romance. Savor the breathtaking views from the top of the Eiffel Tower, walk hand in hand along the Seine – while stealing a French kiss or two, or simply sit side by side in a small cafe and watch the city go by.
2. Gourmet Dining
It is a well-known fact that French cuisine is one of the world’s most popular cuisines, as well as one of the most refined. True, you can easily find a French restaurant in many corners of the world, but nothing still compares to eating fois gras, coq au vin, ratatouille, bouillabaisse, souffle, eclairs or ganache in one of the best restaurants in France. For a truly gourmet dining experience, reserve a table at one of the country’s Michelin three-starred restaurants, like Guy Savoy, Le Meurice or Plaza Athenee.
Be sure to order wine with your meal, since France also produces the best wines – whether red, white, or sparkling wines. You can also visit various wine estates and cellars during your French holidays in the regions of Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne so you can see how wines are made while treating your tastebuds to a wine-tasting escapade. And if you like cognac, you should try it at the town where it originated.
3. World-Class Art Museums
France is home to the Louvre, the world’s most famous museum, which, in turn, is home to over 30,000 priceless works of art. Its collection of paintings is the most impressive, containing masterpieces by the likes of Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Caravaggio and Rembrandt, although it also has various sculptures and artifacts from ancient Egypt and Greece. Aside from the Louvre, you should also drop by the Musee d’Orsay, which houses Monet and Renoir masterpieces among others, as well as the Musée National d’Art Moderne at the Centre Georges Pompidou, when you visit France. You can view exceptional works of art at the Palace of Versailles, too, and in many galleries outside Paris such as the Musee d’Unterlinden in Colmar.
For the ultimate shopping experience, you should definitely come visit France. You will find many fashionable shops on the streets of Paris, particularly world-famous boutiques selling the best and latest in shoes, bags and clothes and fashion accessories. The specialty food shops are just as popular, such as the pastry and cheese shops, although you won’t be able to bring these home as souvenirs. For more unique finds and better bargains, don’t be afraid to try the Saint Ouen Flea Market and other flea markets in Paris and other cities, though you should be mindful to come early and be on guard against pickpockets.
5. Beautiful Beaches
Many tourists visit France for its beaches, and why not, when its beaches offer fine sands, sparkling Mediterranean waters, spectacular scenery and great facilities? Most of the fine beaches in France can be found on the Cote d’Azur or the French Riviera, particularly near the cities of Cannes and Nice, such as the St. Tropez Beach and the Villefranche sur Mer, although you can also find great beaches on the coasts of Brittany and Normandy, as well as on the Atlantic coast, like Biarritz.