France is truly a magical country! It has so much to offer: from the gorgeous city of lights and best wine country in the world, to the beautiful coastlines and rolling Provencal hills. If you have the opportunity to spend a few weeks in France, take full advantage. We wanted to explore with an open agenda and mind, so we created our itinerary along the way…hitting most of the best spots.
Without further ado, here is our SB Travel Guide with the Top Places to Visit in France:
Obvi! You could spend weeks exploring this amazing city, but here are the main things that you should absolutely see:
- Eiffel Tower – catch a view from every angle and then go to the top (purchase tickets online in advance)
- Arc de Triomphe – watch the traffic at the roundabout, marvel at the monument, and take the lift to the top
- Champs-Élysées – walk on one of the most famous avenues in the world
- Sacré-Cœur – visit the basilica and watch the sunset over Paris
- Musée du Louvre – the largest museum in the world (pick a few focus areas to visit- you could spend days here…and swing by the Mona Lisa on your way out)
- Musée d’Orsay – check out this gorgeous museum in the old railway station (typically less busy than Musée du Louvre)
- Hôtel des Invalides – explore the museum, grounds, cathedral and tombs (most famous: Napolean’s Tomb)
- Place Vendôme – a great place for shopping (also, grab a drink at the iconic Hemmingway Bar in the Ritz)
- Sainte-Chapelle – my favorite cathedral in Paris…the most gorgeous stained glass I’ve ever seen
- Seine River Cruise – the best way to see all of the highlights of Paris at once (grab a bottle of bubbly for the ride)
- Notre-Dame – the most famous of the Gothic cathedral (try to stop by during mass)
- Château de Versailles – the most incredible royal residence (a day trip from Paris on train Line L)
- Palais-Royal – palace and gardens with iconic striped columns in the courtyard
The Palais-Royal courtyard was the perfect backdrop for this oyster Maddie Midi dress.
An important part of world history. Stop by the following sites:
- D-Day Landing Beaches – focus on Omaha Beach
- Colleville-sur-Mer – visit the American Cemetery and Memorial
This is one of the coolest places that I have ever been: a castle tidal island in the middle of the sea! Make sure you have at least 1/2 day for:
- Mont – only accessible by foot or horse drawn carriage (the best time to go is around sunset, after the tourists have started clearing out)
- High Tide – time your visit while the tide is approaching (check schedules online to experience at proper time)
- Saint-Michel-Abbey – visit the historic grounds and watch the light show at night (summer evenings only)
In the heart of the best red wine country in the world! Here are the spots you should visit:
- Wine Regions – Medoc and Saint Emellion for some of the best Bordeaux (book a day tour)
- Dune du Pilat – the tallest dune in Europe with forest on one side and ocean on the other (about 1 hour from Bordeaux)
- Arcachon – a quaint seaside resort town (stay or have dinner at La Co(o)rniche)
5. CHATEAUX DE LA LOIRE
There are so many Châteaus to explore in this area. But, you should prioritize these:
- Château de Chambord – the hunting lodge for Francis I (also, the inspiration for the chateau in Beauty and the Beast)
- Château de Chenonceau – unforgettable French château spanning the River Che
The amazing Château de Chambord calls for a classic black Stilla jumpsuit and scarf!
A wonderful city to explore and great spot to stay for day trips to surrounding areas:
- Marseille Cathedral – the iconic beautiful cathedral of the city
- Calanques National Park – coves, inlets, gorgeous cliffs, and bright blue water (great place to hike)
7. FRENCH RIVERIA
One of the most popular destinations for celebrities and F1 enthusiasts. Tourists flood the area during summertime, so we opted to stay away. But, if you aren’t traveling in peak season, add at least one of the following French Riviera destinations to your agenda:
- Saint Tropez
This is the area most famous for the incredible Lavender Fields. The top spots to visit are:
- Baumanière – an incredible property with an amazing two Michelin Star restaurant (stay or have dinner here)
- Château Baux de Provence – a castle built into the limestone of the town (only accessible by foot)
- Quarries of Lights – an art, light, and music show in the limestone quarries
- Plateau Du Valensole – the best place to see the incredible lavender and sunflower fields
This scalloped Harper One Shoulder Midi dress was the perfect choice for the bright and happy fields in Provence.
SB TRAVEL TIPS:
- Rent a car. The best way to see France is by car. You can go everywhere you want, with no set time limits.
- Download the sncf.com app (for Paris and its area) and “oui” app (for outside of Paris) – for any instances that you may take a train.
- Wear sunscreen. You’ll be doing a lot of walking outside (I walked 6-12 miles a day).
- Say hydrated and bring snacks. Don’t let anything get in the way of exploring.
- Choose your own adventure. Go with the flow and have fun!