France. One of the most romantic cities in all of the world. Home to some of the most elegant shopping experience, the riches coffee and of course waking up to freshly bakes loaves and croissants. In all of the movies, and who can forget when Blair went to Paris in Gossip Girl… it is painted as a beautiful city, filled with gorgeous people and plenty to do. So, imagine you had a week in France. Where should you be going? What might you be eating? What words should you know? Take this quiz to help with your language skills and in the meantime here is a list of great attractions that you should have at the very top of your list.
“Paris is the city in which one loves to live. Sometimes I think this is because it is the only city in the world where you can step out of a railway station—the Gare D’Orsay—and see, simultaneously, the chief enchantments: the Seine with its bridges and bookstalls, the Louvre, Notre Dame, the Tuileries Gardens, the Place de la Concorde, the beginning of the Champs Elysees—nearly everything except the Luxembourg Gardens and the Palais Royal. But what other city offers as much as you leave a train?” – Margaret Anderson
The most obvious of all of the attractions in France is, of course, Disneyland Paris. It’s not just for families either, it is an experience no matter what your age. It boasts being Europe’s largest amusement park. Walt Disney Studios is a big hit with the grown-ups, hosting some brilliant rides for the thrill seekers and for the smaller ones? Fantasyland. With different and exciting events through the year, you can book and arrive knowing you’re getting a little piece of that Disney magic to keep with you forever.
If you’re looking for a small piece of paradise, then you should take a peek at Marseille. When you arrive you’d be forgiven for thinking you’re actually in a tropical paradise – such is the beauty. One for those who enjoy a stroll places like Sormiu, Morgiou and Sugiton are just some of the names for the little pieces of heaven. The smell of the pine trees lingers in the air and provide a perfect color compliment to the turquoise waters.
For foodies, the chances are you have been lusting after Lyon. One street in particular? Merciere. It is brimming with traditional Lyon restaurants where you can feast on a whole host of tasty treats. Lyonnaise sausage, gizzards and quenelle make this a meat eaters paradise.
If you’re into your bubbles, then there is, of course, an entire region for you to enjoy. Start in Massif de Saint-Thierry and finish up in Marne Valley to sample the most excellent golden champagne bubbles you have ever had. There are plenty of tours and tasting trips that you can book.
Take a boat to Bird Island. Surprisingly France is home to the tallest dune in Europe. This big pile of sand is all Ile aux Oiseaux and is house atop one of the most unforgettable nature reserves. This 3km long dune, Dune of Le Pilat will keep explorers of all ages happy and gives an unrivalled panoramic view of the Bassin d’Arcachon.
Hit up The Grande Braderie de Lille lets you combine eating fresh mussels in a flea market. If this sounds like your idea of heaven, you’ll need to visit in September to take part in this yearly event. It’s heaving with vintage furniture, trinkets, and treasures, and is incredibly popular. After you’ve loaded up on amazing one-of-a-kind pieces, then prepare yourself for the endless beer moules and the most exceptional frites around.
If you’re into some World Heritage Site seeing, and who isn’t? Then you might like to head to Mont Saint Michel. It is one of the most visited sites in the whole of France. Apparently, in the year 709 AD, there was a small church built – as requested by Archangel Michel. And, thus settled a community. You will discover, small cobbled streets, the Abbey, jails, and fantastic food.
Another one for the foodies. On the second floor of the Eiffel Tower, lives a Michelin-starred restaurant. Alain Ducasse displays some exceptional culinary wizardry in Le Jules Verne. Haute cuisine at an astounding 125 meters above ground.
The Louvre is the place to lose yourself. The beautifully sculpted glass pyramid draws crowds from all over the world. Housing the renowned Mona Lisa, plus Greek, Roman, Egyptian and Etruscan treasures – just to name a few.
Art lovers should make sure to make time for a trip to the most exquisite contemporary collection in France. The gold gilding of the Chateau de Versailles is a sight to behold. There have been a number of astounding exhibits from the likes of Bernar Venet, Takashi Murakami, and Jeff Koons to name a few. If contemporary art is your thing, then keep an eye on the program to make sure you catch something you’re going to enjoy.
You’ve heard of the city that never sleeps and probably think of New York. However, that is because you have never been to Pigalle. Pigalle is one of the most mystical and mythical neighbourhoods. While there are of course a few adult-themed shops and plenty of great cocktail bars there are also some great food places. You’d be forgiven for feeling like you’re somewhere deep in New Orleans. Before you leave, you should enjoy a tasty beverage at the Glass, and fill your boots on gorgeous grub at the Bouillon Pigalle.
For lovers of sports, you are going to want to try and head over to the Velodrome and catch a match. The Velodrome is one of the coolest stadiums in Europe. In fact, it is more than just a stadium, many fans of the sport consider this a somewhat holy ground – a cathedral to the beautiful game – if you will.
Finally, put on your hiking boots and get ready for an unforgettable walk in Corsica. There is a slightly different local accent here, as well as a reputation all of its own. This Mediterranean island is home to a breathtaking landscape and one that has to be seen to be appreciated fully. The juxtaposition of rocky mountains against heavenly beaches feels almost like a contradiction. While you’re there, you might like to stock up on figatellu sausages and lonzu sheeps cheese.