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Last Updated: 6 April 2023

France is one of the world's most popular travel destinations, with millions of visitors visiting the country each year to experience its rich history, culture, food, and wine. With abundant beautiful landscapes, iconic architecture, and vibrant cities, there is something for every traveller to discover in France. If you are planning a trip in 2023 and are looking for inspiration, here are 10 compelling reasons to travel to France. So, pack your bags and get ready to discover the wonders of France.

Why France is the perfect travel destination

When a friend asks me whether to travel to France, I always say bien sûr! Something is captivating about France that's hard to describe.

France is the perfect choice if you're looking for a vacation destination offering diverse experiences, stunning landscapes, and rich cultural history. With world-class food, iconic architecture, and vibrant cities, France has something for everyone.

Things to see and do in Paris - River Cruise on the Seine © French Moments

Reasons to travel to France - River Cruise on the Seine © French Moments

Famous landmarks and great cuisine

The country is home to some of the world's most famous landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower, the Palace of Versailles, and Notre Dame Cathedral. And when it comes to cuisine, French food is renowned worldwide for its exquisite flavours and meticulous preparation. French cuisine is a feast for the senses, from buttery croissants and fresh baguettes to hearty cassoulets and savoury coq au vin.

Versailles Palace © French Moments

Reasons to travel to France - Versailles Palace © French Moments

Breathtaking landscapes

But France isn't just about culture and cuisine. The country's natural beauty is equally impressive, with stunning landscapes that range from the snow-capped peaks of the French Alps to the sun-drenched beaches of the French Riviera. The lavender fields of Provence are a must-see, as are the vineyards of Bordeaux and the dramatic cliffs of Normandy. And if you're an outdoor enthusiast, France has plenty to offer, with opportunities for skiing, hiking, kayaking, and cycling, to name a few.

Sénanque Abbey near Gordes (South of France) © French Moments

Reasons to travel to France - Lavender at Sénanque Abbey (Provence) © French Moments

Efficient transportation network

In addition to its many attractions, France is incredibly easy to navigate, with an extensive transportation system that includes high-speed trains, buses, and a comprehensive network of airports. And while the French may have a reputation for being aloof, they are warm and welcoming to those who try to speak their language.

Tramway at Mulhouse © French Moments

Reasons to travel to France - Tramway at Mulhouse © French Moments

Choose France!

Whether you're strolling along the Seine River in Paris or enjoying a croissant in a quaint café in a small village, a sense of romance and joie de vivre permeates everything in France. It's a country that always surprises and delights me, and I always feel like I'm discovering something new every time I visit. So, if you're on the fence about travelling to France, take my advice and go for it. You won't regret it!

Photos of rural France - The countryside of Lorraine near Sion © French Moments

The French countryside of Lorraine © French Moments

10 Reasons to Travel to France

Here are 10 reasons to travel to France this year.

1. Immerse Yourself in the Rich History and Culture of France

France is steeped in a rich and fascinating history, from the Roman conquest to the French Revolution and beyond. This has left its mark on the country through countless cultural landmarks and monuments, many famous worldwide.

Tramway at Mulhouse © French Moments

Reasons to travel to France - Tramway at Mulhouse © French Moments

The landmarks of Paris

One of the most iconic landmarks in France is the Eiffel Tower, which stands tall in the heart of Paris and offers stunning views of the city.

The Louvre Museum is another must-visit destination, with a vast collection of art and artefacts spanning thousands of years, including the world-famous Mona Lisa.

The Louvre © French Moments

The Louvre © French Moments

Other Paris Landmarks include the Invalides, the Panthéon, the Sacré-Cœur and Montmartre Village, the Arc de Triomphe and many squares such as Place de la Concorde, Place Vendôme and Place de la Bastille.

Montmartre 06 - Photo © Phil Bellamy

Reasons to travel to France - on a Montmartre Walking Tour © French Moments

From Versailles to the Loire

The Palace of Versailles, once home to the Kings of France, is a stunning example of baroque architecture and offers visitors the chance to step back in time to the grandeur of the royal court.

The Loire Valley is another hotspot for châteaux-lovers with hundreds of castles dating from the Renaissance era.

Hall of Mirrors in Palace of Versailles © French Moments

Reasons to travel to France - Hall of Mirrors in Palace of Versailles © French Moments

Lofty cathedrals and churches

France is also home to numerous cathedrals and churches, from the Gothic splendour of Chartres, Amiens and Strasbourg to the Romanesque beauty of the Abbey of Cluny.

Tour of Alsace - Strasbourg Cathedral © French Moments

Reasons to travel to France - Strasbourg Cathedral © French Moments

Ancient and Medieval sites

For those interested in medieval history, the walled city of Carcassonne and the island monastery of Mont Saint-Michel are both breathtaking examples of medieval architecture.

From the Roman arenas of Nîmes and Arles to the prehistoric cave paintings of Lascaux, France is a veritable treasure trove of history and culture, just waiting to be explored.

Carcassonne Walls copyright French Moments

Reasons to travel to France - Carcassonne Walls copyright French Moments


2. Indulge in the World-Class Food and Wine of France

France is a foodie's paradise, with a cuisine renowned worldwide for its sophistication and variety. From buttery croissants and crusty baguettes to savoury escargot and rich foie gras, French cuisine is sure to tantalise your taste buds.

Almond croissant © French Moments

Reasons to travel to France - An almond croissant © French Moments

French cheeses are also famous, with over 1,200 varieties, including Camembert, Roquefort, and Brie. But the most renowned aspect of French cuisine is its wine. France is home to some of the world's most celebrated wine regions, including Alsace, Bordeaux, Burgundy, and Champagne, which produce some of the finest wines in the world. Wine lovers can tour a vineyard, sample different wines, and learn about winemaking. 

Meursault in Burgundy © French Moments

Reasons to travel to France - Burgundy Wine from Meursault © French Moments

The food and wine in France are deeply intertwined, with each region offering its unique culinary specialties and wines. From the hearty stews of the south to the delicate seafood dishes of the north, there is something for every taste in France. So, if you are a foodie or a wine lover, France is a must-visit destination that will leave you craving more.

Salade Lyonnaise © French Moments

Salade Lyonnaise © French Moments


3. Experience the Breathtaking Landscapes of France

France is a country of immense natural beauty, with stunning landscapes that range from the rugged coastlines of Brittany to the rolling hills of Burgundy and the snow-capped peaks of the French Alps.

The panorama from the viewpoint of the Croix de Moisson © French Moments

Reasons to travel to France - The rolling hills of Burgundy at Châteauneuf © French Moments

One of the most iconic landscapes of France is the lavender fields of Provence, which burst into fragrant bloom each summer, filling the air with their sweet scent.

Abbaye de Sénanque © French Moments

Reasons to travel to France - The lavender field of Sénanque (Provence) © French Moments

The French Alps are another must-see destination, with their towering peaks and pristine snow offering visitors the chance to ski, snowboard, or hike in some of the most spectacular scenery in Europe.

The village of Peisey (Tarentaise) © French Moments

Reasons to travel to France - The village of Peisey (Savoie) © French Moments

The French Riviera boasts picturesque coastal towns like Saint-Tropez, Nice and Menton along the Mediterranean coast. Visitors can soak up the sun on sandy beaches and stroll along the palm-lined promenades.

The resort of Menton on the French Riviera. Photo: twenty20photos

Reasons to travel to France - The resort of Menton on the French Riviera. Photo: twenty20photos

In the heart of France, the Loire Valley is a verdant region of forests and fields dotted with ancient chateaux and charming villages.

Chambord Castle © Arnaud_Scherer - licence [CC BY-SA 4.0] from Wikimedia Commons

Reasons to travel to France - Chambord Castle © Arnaud_Scherer - licence [CC BY-SA 4.0] from Wikimedia Commons

To the east, Alsace unveils quaint and picturesque wine villages with colourful half-timbered houses. 

Tour of Alsace - Riquewihr © French Moments

Reasons to travel to France - Riquewihr (Alsace) © French Moments

And let's remember Brittany's rugged and wild coastline, with its dramatic cliffs and secluded beaches.

Cancale - Port de la Houle © Cancale35 - licence [CC BY-SA 4.0] from Wikimedia Commons

Reasons to travel to France - Brittany (Cancale) © Cancale35 - licence [CC BY-SA 4.0] from Wikimedia Commons

With such diverse landscapes, France is an ideal destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers.


4. Marvel at the Iconic Architecture of France

France has a rich architectural heritage, boasting some of the world's most famous landmarks and monuments.

Notre Dame Cathedral

One of the most iconic buildings in France is the Notre Dame Cathedral, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture that has stood for over 800 years. The cathedral is known for its stunning stained-glass windows, intricate stonework, and towering spires. It should reopen to the public in December 2024, following the great fire of 15 April 2019.

Notre-Dame Cathedral © French Moments

Notre-Dame Cathedral © French Moments

Arc de Triomphe

Another must-visit landmark is the Arc de Triomphe, a triumphal arch at the centre of the Place Charles de Gaulle in Paris. Built in the early 19th century, the arc commemorates the victories of the French army and is adorned with intricate carvings and sculptures.

Arc de Triomphe © French Moments

Reasons to travel to France - Arc de Triomphe © French Moments

Palace of Versailles

And only a visit to France would be complete with seeing the Palace of Versailles, a sprawling complex of buildings and gardens that was once the seat of the French monarchy. The palace is known for its opulent decor, including chandeliers, gilded furniture, and priceless artwork.

Versailles Gold © French Moments

Reasons to travel to France - Palace of Versailles © French moments

Other architectural wonders

But France's architectural wonders are not limited to these famous landmarks; the country is home to countless other beautiful buildings, from quaint country churches to grand city halls. Whether you are an architecture enthusiast or appreciate beautiful design, France is a treasure trove of architectural delights.

Most famous monuments of France: Pont du Gard © French Moments

Reasons to travel to France - Pont du Gard © French Moments


5. Discover the Vibrant Cities of France

France is a country of vibrant and lively cities with unique character and charm.

Paris
Top 10 Largest Cities of France © French Moments

Reasons to travel to France - Paris © French Moments

Paris, the capital city, is one of the most visited cities in the world. It is known for its iconic landmarks, such as the Hotel des Invalides and the Place de la Concorde, as well as its chic boutiques, lively cafés, and romantic ambience. 

Lyon
Things to see in Lyon - South of France © French Moments

The cathedral and the Fourvière Hill from Pont Bonaparte, Lyon © French Moments

Lyon, located in the east of France, is a city that blends old-world charm with modernity, with its historic old town and cutting-edge cultural scene.

Marseille
Marseille. Photo: Grigory_bruev via Envato Elements

Reasons to travel to France - Marseille. Photo: Grigory_bruev via Envato Elements

On the southern coast of France, Marseille is a melting pot of cultures, with a vibrant food scene, colourful markets, and a rich maritime history.

Nice
French Riviera - Beach in Nice © Dennis Jarvis - licence [CC BY-SA 2.0] from Wikimedia Commons

Reasons to travel to France - Nice © Dennis Jarvis - licence [CC BY-SA 2.0] from Wikimedia Commons

Not far from the Italian border, Nice is a city epitomising the French Riviera with palm-lined boulevards, pastel-coloured buildings, and a sparkling blue sea.

Bordeaux
Bordeaux © French Moments

Reasons to travel to France - Bordeaux © French Moments

Bordeaux is known for its wine but boasts stunning architecture, a wine museum, and a beautiful waterfront.

Lille
Lille © Velvet - licence [CC BY-SA 3.0] from Wikimedia Commons

Reasons to travel to France - Lille © Velvet - licence [CC BY-SA 3.0] from Wikimedia Commons

On the other hand, Lille is a bustling city with a rich cultural heritage, known for its charming Old Town and impressive museums.

Toulouse
Toulouse Capitole © Benh LIEU SONG - licence [CC BY-SA 3.0] from Wikimedia Commons

Reasons to travel to France - Capitole of Toulouse © Benh LIEU SONG - licence [CC BY-SA 3.0] from Wikimedia Commons

But France has many other vibrant cities to explore, like Toulouse in the southwest, with its red-brick buildings and lively student population

Strasbourg
Rue du Bain-aux-Plantes, Strasbourg © French Moments

Reasons to travel to France - Strasbourg © French Moments

Strasbourg in the east, is a popular destination with its charming canals and blend of French and German influences.

Whether you're a history buff, a foodie, or a culture vulture, France's cities offer something for everyone.


6. Get Active in France's Great Outdoors

France is a country that boasts an abundance of natural beauty, from the rolling hills of the Loire Valley to the majestic French Alps and the stunning beaches of the French Riviera.

With such a diverse range of landscapes, it's no wonder that France offers various outdoor activities for visitors to enjoy.

France in winter

In the winter, the French Alps provide some of Europe's best skiing and snowboarding, with world-class resorts like Chamonix and La Plagne.

The Alps seen from the Grande Rochette © French Moments

Reasons to travel to France - The winter resort of La Plagne © French Moments

France in summer

In the summer, the Pyrenees and the Massif Central offer excellent hiking and mountain biking opportunities, while the Ardèche Gorges provide the perfect setting for kayaking and canoeing. If you prefer the beach, head to Biarritz on the Atlantic coast, where you can catch some waves or try surfing.

Biarritz Beach. Photo Unai82 via Envato Elements

Biarritz Beach. Photo Unai82 via Envato Elements

France's National Parks

And for nature lovers, France has many national parks and nature reserves to explore, such as the Calanques National Park in Marseille, which boasts a stunning coastline and crystal-clear waters, or the Vanoise National Park in Savoie.

Walking in the Vanoise © French Moments

Reasons to travel to France - Walking in the Vanoise © French Moments

So whether you're an adrenaline junkie or just looking to get out and enjoy some fresh air, France has something for everyone regarding outdoor activities.


7. Easy Travel in France with Excellent Transportation

Travelling around France is a breeze, thanks to the country's extensive transportation system.

Le TGV

France has an excellent network of high-speed trains, known as the TGV, which can take you from Paris to other major cities like Lyon, Marseille, and Nice in just a few hours.

Metz Railway Station © French Moments

Reasons to travel to France - Metz Railway Station © French Moments

In addition to the TGV, France has a comprehensive network of regional trains and buses that can take you to smaller towns and villages throughout the country.

Major French airports

If you prefer to fly, France has several major airports, including Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, one of Europe's busiest airports, Lyon Saint-Exupéry Airport and Bordeaux Airport. 

Charles-de-Gaulle-Airport-by-Greenboost-[Public-Domain]

Reasons to travel to France - Charles-de-Gaulle-Airport by Greenboost [wikimedia commons, Public-Domain]

France's excellent road network

France's extensive road network is an excellent asset for exploring the country. With over 1 million kilometres of roads, including over 11,000 km of highways, travelling by car is a popular and convenient way to discover France's diverse regions.

Autoroute A35 © French Moments

The A35 motorway in Alsace © French Moments

The country is also home to some of the world's most scenic driving routes, such as the Route des Grandes Alpes in the French Alps, the D918 in the Pyrenees, the Route Napoléon in Provence and the Route des Crêtes in the Vosges.

The Route des Crêtes of the Vosges © French Moments

The Route des Crêtes of the Vosges © French Moments

Road trips in France allow you to explore charming small towns and villages, stunning natural scenery, and iconic landmarks at your own pace. With well-maintained roads, clear signposting, and plenty of rest areas and service stations, driving in France is a stress-free experience.

romantic destinations in France: La Rochepot © French Moments

The castle of La Rochepot from the D33 road © French Moments

Additionally, car renting in France is easy and affordable, with many major international car rental companies operating in the country. Whether planning a short weekend getaway or an epic cross-country adventure, France's road network is the perfect way to explore all this beautiful country has to offer.

Rent your car with Discover Car! Photo By Satura_ via Envato Elements

Rent your car with Discover Car! Photo By Satura_ via Envato Elements

With so many transportation options, planning your trip around France and exploring this beautiful country is easy. Whether you're looking to soak up the culture in Paris, relax on the beaches of the French Riviera, or explore the vineyards of Bordeaux, France's excellent transportation system makes it easy to get around and see it all.


8. Discover the Diverse Regional Cultures of France

One of the things that makes France such a fascinating country to explore is its diverse range of regional cultures. Each region has its unique cuisine, traditions, and dialects, making it feel like you're visiting a completely different country as you travel from one area to another.

The Basque country

For example, in the Basque Country, located in the southwestern corner of France, you'll find a solid Basque influence in its language, cuisine, and music.

Hendaye. Photo Unai82 via Envato Elements

Hendaye. Photo Unai82 via Envato Elements

Brittany

Meanwhile, in Brittany, in northwest France, you can explore picturesque seaside towns, taste traditional Breton crêpes, and witness the ancient Celtic traditions that still survive.

Brittany Coast. Photo Mint_Images via Envato Elements

Brittany Coast. Photo Mint_Images via Envato Elements

Provence and the French Riviera

In France's southeast, Provence is known for its colourful markets, picturesque villas, fragrant lavender fields, traditional crafts, and delicious dishes made with fresh herbs and vegetables. These elements collectively create the "provençal" style and atmosphere that attracts visitors from all over the world.

General view of Gordes © French Moments

Reasons to travel to France - Gordes (Provence) © French Moments

And in the French Riviera, you can soak up the glamour and sophistication of cities like Cannes and Nice while indulging in the delicious cuisine and wines the region is known for.

Cannes @SteveAllenPhoto via Twenty20

Reasons to travel to France - Cannes @SteveAllenPhoto via Twenty20

Alsace

The culture of Alsace is a blend of French and German influences, reflected in its architecture, cuisine, and language. For example, the Alsatian cuisine is known for its hearty and comforting dishes, such as choucroute (sauerkraut with sausages and potatoes) and flammekueche (a type of flatbread with cream, onions, and bacon).

Kaysersberg Alsace

Reasons to travel to France - Kaysersberg (Alsace) © French Moments

With so much diversity to explore, you will find something that captures your imagination as you travel throughout France.


9. Discover the Warmth and Hospitality of the French People

Contrary to popular belief, the French are warm and friendly people who take pride in their country and culture. While it's true that they can be reserved at first, especially towards those who don't try to speak their language, once you get to know them, you'll discover people who are open, welcoming, and always eager to share their love of life with others.

Lyon Old Town © French Moments

Reasons to travel to France - In a Traboule in Lyon Old Town © French Moments

Whether you're chatting with locals at a café in Paris, exploring the vineyards of Bordeaux, or hiking in the French Alps, you'll find that the French are always happy to help you make the most of your time in their country.

So don't be afraid to strike up a conversation or to try out your best French, as you're sure to be met with a warm smile and a friendly welcome wherever you go in France.

Christmas in Nancy © French Moments

Reasons to travel to France - At the Christmas market of Nancy © French Moments


10. Discover the unique shopping experiences in France

France is a shopper's paradise, with many options for every taste and budget. Whether you're in the market for high-end fashion, antiques, or souvenirs, you'll find plenty of options.

Art Nouveau Cupola in the Galeries Lafayette

Reasons to travel to France - Galeries Lafayette in Paris © French Moments

Paris is a mecca for fashionistas, with designer boutiques and department stores lining the streets of the city's most fashionable neighbourhoods. But the shopping options continue. You can also find unique treasures in world-famous markets like the Marché aux Puces in Saint-Ouen or explore the independent boutiques and artisanal shops in smaller towns and villages throughout the country.

The store of the Baccarat crystal works in Baccarat © French Moments

Reasons to travel to France - Baccarat store © French Moments

And if you're a foodie, you'll want to check out the local markets, where you can sample fresh, locally grown produce and regional specialties. So whether you're looking for a designer handbag, a one-of-a-kind antique, or just a tasty snack, you will find it while shopping in France.

Lourmarin - Provençal market © French Moments

Reasons to travel to France - The Provençal market of Lourmarin © French Moments

Reasons to Travel to France: A Final Word

France has everything, from world-class cuisine and wine to stunning landscapes and rich history and culture. Whether you are interested in exploring the vibrant cities, relaxing on the beaches of the French Riviera, or skiing in the French Alps, there is something for everyone in France. So why make 2023 the year that you finally visit this amazing country? We hope our 10 compelling reasons have inspired you to start planning your trip to France and that you will have an unforgettable experience discovering what this incredible destination offers.

Did you enjoy reading about the reasons to travel to France? If so, share this article on Facebook and Twitter, or pin the image below on Pinterest:

Reasons to travel to France Pinterest © French Moments

Featured image: RossHelen via Envato Elements

Gems of Paris by French Moments
About the author

Pierre is a French/Australian who is passionate about France and its culture. He grew up in France and Germany and has also lived in Australia and England. He has a background teaching French, Economics and Current Affairs, and holds a Master of Translating and Interpreting English-French with the degree of Master of International Relations, and a degree of Economics and Management. Pierre is the author of Discovery Courses and books about France.

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