Located in Western Europe, France paints an instant picture in mind with grand monuments, alpine villages, medieval cities, art museums and, of course, iconic buildings. One of the most visited places on earth, France lives up to its name as one of the most important places of the European civilisation with incredible historical significance, such as the French Revolution. There’s always a little of everything for adventurers, history buffs and art lovers alike in France.
While most visitors are aware of Paris the capital city, also known as the city of love, there are many more magical places to discover in France. Encapsulating the French countryside, there are irresistible seaside towns and cities, charming chateaux, lined all over the French cities and stunning blue lakes. For the traveller in you, we have compiled a list of the most beautiful places to visit in France other than the iconic city of Paris, so read on.
Étretat, Northern France
Located in Normandy, France, Etretat is one of the most beautiful seaside villages in France, with fine dining, pristine, beautiful beaches, white chalk cliffs and natural arches carved by the wind and water alongside heritage and culture. The beautiful natural rock formations- Aiguille rock and Porte d’Aval arch are one of the world’s most photographed landmarks, if not France.
Although there are considerable crowds in Etretat during summer and holidays, the best time to visit is not restricted to that time period. In fact, Etretat is mesmerising during the autumn and spring season as well, as tourists and travellers advise. It can get quite windy atop the mighty hills as you hike up to take unforgettable pictures of the beach and the arches from your Xiaomi phone. Therefore, carrying warm clothes is a smart move to make.
The alpine town of Annecy in South-eastern France is known for Lac d’Annecy, or the Lake of Annecy in English, one of the largest and most pristine lakes in Europe. This lake is nestled in between snow-capped mountains and is quite possibly the most stunning natural lake in the country. This cleanest lake in Europe is ringed by historic buildings, including the UNESCO Prehistoric Pile Dwellings around the Alps.
Annecy is one of the most hidden spots in France that tops many other popular destinations in France in terms of beauty, history, food culture and architecture. The town of Annecy is dotted with whimsical canals and cobblestone streets. It is often called the Venice of the Alps due to its architectural aesthetics, including pasted houses, bright flower boxes, many gelaterias and town walls all around.
Nice is a seaport city located near the French-Italian border with a pleasant climate and surrounding beautiful hills. It is the most visited resort city of Cote d’Azur and is also known as the French Riviera. Nice is insanely popular as the Mediterranean holiday destination for Europeans and non-Europeans alike. It also supports a beautiful history prominently displayed in the form of historical neighbourhoods, beaches, museums and local food.
The historic Old Town of Nice, known as Vieux Nice, is one of the most beautiful remnants of 18th century Europe with must-visit places such as the Nice Opera and Lascaris Palace at a walkable distance from the town centre. It has a lot of quaint restaurants and comes alive at night with festivities and music performances worth capturing on your camera. Other than this, there are many historic churches in Nice with awe-inspiring architecture, such as the Cathedrale Sainte-Réparate, built in the 12th century.
Troyes is one of the must-visit towns in France as a haven for history and culture lovers. It used to be Champagne’sChampagne’s historical capital and has displayed the rule of many Roman emperors, including Julius Caesar and Augustus, in its architectural tradition. This town is located southeast of Paris, the capital of France, by a mere 87 miles distance which can be covered by a short train ride.
An overlooked gem of France, Troyes is known for its architecture, churches, museums, food and champagne. The must-visit places include the Museum of Fine Arts and Archaeology, Troyes as well as the magnificent Cathedrale Saint-Pierre Saint-Paul. The latter is denominated as a historical monument built in the gothic architectural style, dedicated to Catholic saints- Saint Pierre and Saint Paul.
If you’re looking to indulge in the cuisine, the regional cheese of Troyes- a soft cheese made from cow’s milk called Chaource is a must-try. Other than this, Prunelle de Troyes and Andouillette de Troyes are two delicious foods to try while travelling Troyes. This walkable French town is full of wonderful surprises for visitors, especially for those not looking to travel far beyond Paris.
These are some of the most beautiful places in France to explore and indulge in the rich history, architecture and culture of Europe’s one of the most magical countries. French people are known for their hospitality, and French cuisine is known throughout the world, especially the assortment of cheese and bread, not to forget the world-famous croissant. Whether you’re looking to indulge in exploring small medieval French towns or want to see the world-famous Palace of Versailles, France has much to offer.
Other than the places on our guide, Provence, Alsace and Brittany are other magical places in France that no traveller or adventurer should miss on their European tour. So, book your trip to France today and experience a diversity like no other, from geographical terrains, such as stretches of lavender to carved beaches to rich European food and culture with centuries of historical significance in the world.