International tourists visit France to the tune of about 85 million per year, making France the top tourist destination in the world, even though it is smaller than the state of Texas. Isn't it time to start thinking about planning a vacation to a place so packed with interesting cities to visit?
See also: Interactive Rail Map of France Plan your itinerary and find ticket prices and journey times
How to Get to Paris
If you're a city person, you'll probably start your travels in Paris - and you should. If you're visiting London, a popular way to visit Paris is to take the channel tunnel Eurostar train service. You can check prices by using Rail Europe's Eurostar Booking Center (book direct).
There are also trains to Brussels in Belgium, Amsterdam in Holland and Cologne in Germany, as well as cheap buses:
- Book Trains in France
- Flixbus Buses from France
Where to Go in Northern France
Speaking of the great Gothic cathedrals of France, the cathedral at Amiens is the largest of the three, and visitors to the town can walk the old tow path along the river to see the famous floating gardens that have supplied the city with flowers and vegetables since medieval times.
With high-speed trains from Paris common these days, a trip to World Heritage Site Avignon in southern Provence can be done in a little over two and a half hours. If you're a wine lover, the Cotes du Rhone is a hop, skip and a jump away.
In the heat of summer, the north of France isn't a bad place to be. Mont St. Michel awaits your visit.
Also in northern France:
Where to Go in Southern France
Interested in castles and walled cities? Don't miss Carcassonne, one of the larger cities in the Aude Departement of the Languedoc region, commonly known as "Cathar Country", where the religious sect known as the Cathars retreated to remote castles to avoid religious persecution. See our Aude Map to learn more.
Provence is the place in France everyone knows. Spend a month there and you won't run out of things to do. If you don't have the time, a week in Provence will have to do, and it will likely stimulate your urge to travel rather than diminish it. The place people think most of when they visit Provence? The Luberon takes that honor.
Also in southern France:
You may wish to consult our France Regions Map to see how the regions are arranged.
Fans of the rough-and-ready rural lifestyle might like taking a ferry out to Corsica. Like nearby Sardinia, the traveler will want to get away from the coastal cities and beach resorts and head to the interior for the best festivals and cultural events. Corsica is best experienced in spring (for the wildflowers) and in fall.
Wine Travel in France
Wine regions in France offer fine cuisine and interesting landscapes. Check out the France Wine Regions Map, and consider spending some time in Burgundy or, in southern France, the famous Rhone Valley.