Bonjour everyone! Welcome back to my blog. Or welcome, if you are new. One of the primary reasons I started this blog was to express my desire to travel the world. As well as to have a place to document my future travels. As of now, I haven’t been to many places. But the traveling love and itch for adventure is still very strong. Due to platforms like Pinterest, I am able to discover many places to add to my list of places to see. By the time I am 30 I’d like to say I’ve been to every single continent. Ambitious? Maybe. Doable? Absolutely!
You may have read my previous post about Spanish cities I can’t wait to visit. Europe in general is the continent I am most looking forward to exploring in my life. France happens to be one country with an abundance of cities, towns and villages that look like they can be out of a storybook. In fact, some places are rumored to have inspired classic Disney films like Beauty and the Beast. In this post I am going to document the 10 cities/towns/villages in France I can’t wait to visit. I’m not going to include Paris because well, duh, it’s a must. Plus, everyone knows of it.
Are you from France? Tell me, what are your favorite French cities? If you’re ready to read of more places throughout France outside of the home of the Eiffel Tower, continue reading.
From the moment I discovered Strasbourg online, I was deeply infatuated with this quaint, whimsical town. Part of the old town look like they belong in a fairytale book. I feel if I ever want to write a novel that either has to do with royalty or back in the “olden” days (think, Cinderella or Beauty and the Beast) Strasbourg would be a great place to visit for inspiration. If you read my post on cities to visit during the holidays and winter, you’ll recognize this one.
You can get to Strasbourg from Paris by train, it takes a little over two hours. You can fly directly into Strasbourg through their airport, however flights may be a tad expensive. Some people opt to travel to Strasbourg from Germany rather than another French city because of it’s location on the border. Either way, whether it be for a day trip or a dedicated stay, I can’t wait to visit and explore this beautiful city.
Like Strasbourg, Colmar is located in the northeastern Alsace region of France. Also like Strasbourg, it has a fairytale like quality that adds to its appeal to me and many other tourists who want to admire the canals and flower lined streets. The half timbered houses and cobbled streets look like they’ll transport you back in time. When researching Colmar I’ve seen several people compare it to Venice due to the many canals throughout the city.
As with other towns on the France-Germany border, the influence of the two countries is apparent. From the architecture to the food. The Alsace region is particularly known for its wine, so if you’re a wine lover you may want to check this area out. There is a useful forum on Trip Advisor with users offering tips on how to get to Colmar. Check it out here.
Marseille is a city you”ve probably heard of before. It’s the second biggest French city and it’s located in the Southern region of France. I know when you think of France “beach” isn’t the first thing to come to mind. But Marseille has many beaches. For me, this city would be the perfect spot to visit in the spring or summer.
From the photos I’ve seen of Marseille, it gives me major Spanish vibes. Which makes sense due to its proximity to the France-Spain border. And you know I have an infatuation with Spain. Like all European cities, Marseille has beautiful cathedrals, great architecture like their Palais Longchamp and amazing views. I have heard some say that Marseille has sketchy/dangerous areas. But so does every city. Perhaps you may need to take more precaution if you like to travel solo like yours truly. Still…Worth it? I think so.
Stop pronouncing it like “lion,” stop pronouncing like “lion.” Yes, this city has an “old town.” It also has a “Notre Dame” cathedral. Sure, it may get repetitive to hear, but they are still beautiful and worth a trip. Lyon has a Roman influence in many of its historic sites. The Roman Theater of Lugdunum definitely has similarities to those you’d see in Italy. Also, if you are staying in Lyon you can make a trip to Annecy for the day.
If you think you’d like to visit Lyon during a trip to Paris, I’ve seen that it’ll take about two hours via high speed train. Lyon is known for its amazing food, so if you’re a big foodie, especially for French cuisine, you’ll definitely want to add this one to your travel wishlist.
5. Aix En Provence
Another city in the southern region of Spain. From what I’ve seen of this city, it doesn’t look like a place where there are non stop activities. Have you been and disagree? Let me know. But instead, this city seems like the perfect destination to take in the amazing scenery and simply enjoy being in France. Which is a good enough reason for me. Trust me, head to Youtube or Pinterest and search this city, it looks beautiful!
One of the places I’m most excited to see and pose for a photo op is the Bibliothèque Méjanes, the public library in Aix-En-Provence. As you can see from the photo above the library has huge books outside of it. The inside looks like a normal library but I’d definitely stop by to take a photo with the books.
Yes, Leila it’s spelled like “nice” in English, but it’s actually pronounced like “niece.” Aren’t languages fun? Nice is in the French Riviera and is the fifth most populated city in France. This is another French city that has plenty beautiful beaches to choose from.
Walk through Place Massena, the Promenade des Anglais or another spot to enjoy the aquatic views. Also, Nice is a perfect destination for an abundance of day trips. Not only can you travel to other French cities like Cannes and Saint-Paul-de-Vence. But, you can even get to other countries like Italy or Monaco, and it won’t take too long either!
This northern French city is on the France-Belgium border and is definitely a city I’d like to visit. The city has a heavy student/young population due to its university. Also, it seems to be a photographer or millennial’s dream because of the abundance of cute shops and buildings present in the city.
Check out the Vaubin Garden if you want a more laid-back atmosphere. You can also walk to the top of the Lille Town Hall and see the highest point of the entire city. Can you imagine the views? There are a view different museums as well as walking tours available, so for those who want culture, history and beauty Lille hits all the marks.
You’ve probably heard of the Cannes film festival and seen photos of celebrities at the star-studded event. But this city has way more to offer than a film festival. Coming here visitors can explore the colorful streets and take in the fresh smell of the sea breeze from the French Riviera. Seriously, from the photos and videos I’ve seen I feel like just wandering around would be amazing on its own.
When you’re done marveling at the beautiful streets and soaking in rays at the beaches find the “Cannes” sign to take a picture in front of. There’s also a church and museum that you can pay a visit to. But this city isn’t for those who want to go-go-go and see a ton of different landmarks and sights. This is for travelers in need of scenic views and relaxation.
Bordeaux is the French city on this list I’d like to visit the most, right after Strasbourg that is. For those of you who love both travel and wine, I’m sure you’ve heard of Bordeaux as one of the go-to cities in Europe to taste amazing wine. There’s no shortage of wine bars and wine tastings available for visitors.
The Place de la Bourse is an excellent attraction to see due to its stunning architecture and the reflective pool of water. You can opt to bike or walk around the rest of the city to visit its museums, Jardin Public (a beautiful park) and more.
Last but not least is Montpellier. I feel like this city doesn’t get much attention by travelers and I’m not sure why, it looks fantastic. This is another city located in southern France. The hub of the city is it’s Place de la Comédie, basically it’s main square. There is an opera house right within it adding to its charm. There are museums, another plazas, lookout points and an aqueduct that make this city feel a bit more “authentic” than other popular tourist locations.
It wouldn’t be a classic European city without a cathedral to visit, so head on over to the Saint Pierre cathedral that looks like a cross between a castle and a church. And the Champ de Mars garden would be the perfect spot to relax after a long day of exploring.
France Travel Guides
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Thanks for Reading.
As always, I really appreciate if you took the time to read this post. Hopefully you discovered even one new French city to add to your travel wishlist. What French city is on your list that I didn’t mention? Let me know by commenting below. Also, subscribe to my mailing list to keep updated on my blog. I update it weekly.