What to See Outside of Paris
Paris is a mesmerizing city with its iconic landmarks, romantic ambiance, and rich history. However, France has a wealth of beautiful destinations just waiting to be discovered outside of Paris. If you’re an adventurous traveler seeking to explore more of this charming country, here are some must-see places that will leave you in awe:
Just a short trip southwest of Paris, the Palace of Versailles is a world-famous masterpiece of architecture and opulence. Explore the lavish royal apartments, stroll through the breathtaking gardens, and witness the Hall of Mirrors that reflects the magnificence of the French monarchy. Don’t miss the Musical Fountains Show during the summer months for a magical experience.
2. Mont Saint-Michel
Rising dramatically from the tidal flats along the Normandy coast, Mont Saint-Michel is a UNESCO World Heritage site that seems like something out of a fairytale. Marvel at the stunning medieval abbey perched on top of the rocky island and wander through the narrow streets of the village. Make sure to time your visit with the tides for a truly enchanting sight.
3. Loire Valley
If you are a fan of castles and picturesque landscapes, the Loire Valley is a must-visit destination. Admire the splendid châteaux, such as Château de Chambord and Château de Chenonceau, which showcase the architectural brilliance of the Renaissance era. Take a peaceful bike ride through the vineyards and indulge in the region’s delectable cuisine and world-renowned wines.
Step into the world of the renowned Impressionist painter Claude Monet by visiting his former home and gardens in Giverny. Explore the vibrant flower gardens and the famous water lily pond that inspired some of Monet’s greatest masterpieces. Immerse yourself in the colors and tranquility that captivated the artist’s imagination.
5. Côte d’Azur
For those longing for some sun, sea, and glamour, the French Riviera, also known as the Côte d’Azur, is the ideal destination. Enjoy the breathtaking coastline, sandy beaches, and azure waters. Visit the glitzy city of Cannes, stroll along the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, or explore the charming hilltop village of Èze. Don’t forget to try the mouthwatering seafood cuisine.
Provence offers a delightful mix of stunning landscapes, charming villages, and vibrant culture. Explore the idyllic lavender fields in summer, visit the picturesque town of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, which was home to Van Gogh, and experience the vibrant street markets where you can sample local delicacies. Follow the winding roads of the Luberon region to discover hidden treasures at every turn.
For history enthusiasts, a visit to Normandy is a must. Pay homage to the brave soldiers who fought during World War II on the beaches of Omaha and Utah. Visit the historic city of Bayeux to admire the famous Bayeux Tapestry – a remarkable piece of medieval art that depicts the events leading up to the Norman conquest of England. Indulge in the region’s delicious apple-based products, such as cider and calvados.
Wine lovers should not miss the opportunity to visit Bordeaux, a paradise for oenophiles. Explore the vineyards of the prestigious wine region, sample world-class wines, and learn about the art of winemaking. Don’t forget to visit the Cité du Vin, an interactive museum dedicated to the history and culture of wine.
Discover the unique blend of French and German influences in the charming region of Alsace. Explore the fairytale-like village of Colmar with its colorful half-timbered houses, visit the impressive Strasbourg Cathedral, and indulge in the region’s mouthwatering cuisine, which combines French and German flavors.
10. The French Alps
For those seeking outdoor adventures and breathtaking natural beauty, the French Alps are a paradise. Whether you visit in summer or winter, you’ll find an array of activities, from hiking and skiing to mountaineering and paragliding. Explore charming alpine villages like Chamonix, Annecy, and Grenoble, and be awestruck by the majestic mountain peaks.
These are just a few of the incredible places to see outside of Paris that will give you a deeper understanding of the diverse beauty and culture that France has to offer. From historic landmarks to picturesque landscapes, each destination will leave you with unforgettable memories. So step outside of Paris and embark on an adventure that will broaden your horizons and create lasting experiences.
Table of Contents