Been to Paris? 7 Other French Cities You Should Visit
Paris is by far France’s most famous city. About 32.3 million people travel to Paris every year, to see the Eiffel Tower, eat crepes from a street vendor, and peruse the incredible architecture and history of the place.
Paris is incredible, but it’s not the only place you’ll want to stop while in the country. There are centuries of history you can experience all over France if you’re willing to think outside the box and explore.
Here are a few cities other than Paris that should be on your list to visit.
Located several hours south of Paris, this small township has a lot to offer its visitors. Its biggest claims to fame include Laguiole cheese and the Laguiole knife and cutlery. This popular cutlery is characterized by the unique shape of both the blade and the handle. Some fold inside themselves like a sophisticated pocket knife.
There’s a lot of history to be found in Laguiole, including plenty of artisans and craftsmen worth visiting. It’s not nearly as popular to visit as Paris, but you won’t be disappointed if you stop in!
With so much attention on Paris, many people forget about the sea-front towns that are absolutely beautiful. Nice is located on the Côte d’Azur with a collection of glorious pebble beaches that you can roam before taking a dip in the Mediterranean Sea.
While there, see St. Jean Cap Ferrat, a charming town surrounded by both natural greenery and historical architecture. Check out the Promenade des Anglais, the famous street that lines the Mediterranean waterfront. You’ll find restaurants, food vendors, craftsmen, architecture, and beautiful views on this walk along the water.
If you’re thinking this must be the birthplace of champagne, you’re correct. This celebratory, bubbly drink is made from a blend of three grapes (Blanc de Blancs, Chardonnay, and Blanc de noirs), all of which grow prolifically in Western France. In fact, only wines produced in this region of the country can be labeled champagne, according to law. Others use a knock-off title.
Along with plenty of opportunities to taste sparkling wines and see where this magical drink is produced, you can wander around the beautiful French countryside, taking in picturesque townships and exploring to your heart’s content.
This incredible marina city was made popular by the annual film festival held there, but it offers much more by way of entertainment and tourist attractions. It’s one of the most luxurious destinations in France, with exclusive couture shops, yacht tours at Vieux Port, and sun-bathing on sandy beaches.
You don’t need a lot of money to enjoy the grandeur of Cannes because they have a variety of luxury items at affordable prices. They also have highly priced luxuries meant for the rich and famous, so don’t be surprised if you see a celebrity or two walking down the beach.
You’ll, of course, find plenty of art, history, culture, architecture, and local craftsman on the streets of Lyon, but it’s more regarded for its incredible food. Their specialty is anything pig, which is perhaps why it’s been given the loose title “the gastronomic capital of the world.”
If you’re tired of stuffing yourself with fattening French cuisine, walk along the waterfront, check out the annual light festival, tour churches, wander through museums, and take a picture in front of the Roman ruins. There’s plenty to do in this gorgeous town.
France is filled with delightful port cities rich in culture, history, shopping, and things to do. Marseille is one destination you must visit if you love art and culture. In 2013, Marseille was named the European Capital of Culture thanks to its prolific artwork, history, architecture, museums, and more.
You’ll find dozens of European cultures in Marseille and reap the benefits in the form of incredible cuisine and artifacts. You can spend hours wandering through shops and street sales and then take a stroll along the Mediterranean Sea.
You’ve probably heard of Versailles, as it’s a prevalent tourist destination. It’s home to the Chateau de Versailles or the Palace of Versailles, and it’s absolutely stunning. You’ll be blown away by the historic building, ornate architecture, elaborate landscaping, and beauty of this old palace.
The city itself is also beautiful with classic French architecture, shops, craftsman, and more. It’s only 40 minutes by train to Paris, so you can easily do both Versailles and Paris on the same trip.
As you can see, France is filled with incredible cities just waiting for you to visit. Add these breathtaking destinations to your list the next time you’re in Europe!