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France, the quintessential travel destination. European old world charm. Rolling hills with vineyards stretching to the horizon. Quaint cafes tucked away in Parisian back alleys. Whether you love culture and history, natural scenery, seaside luxury, or just some heart-stopping mountain thrills, France has it all and more. Come along as we explore this great country. From the port cities on the English Channel to the storied towns on the French Riviera, we will highlight some must-see attractions and recommend ways to best enjoy the wonders on offer across the land.
France is a highly-developed and modern nation. Transportation links are well-established and tourists will have no problem moving around the country. If you’re arriving from outside of Europe, you will find Paris the easiest city to access. France’s centralized political structure means everything basically runs through the capital. From points in Europe, rail links are available and an effective way to get around. France’s domestic high-speed network, the TGV, branches out from Paris to the other major cities. Finally, a well-established network of highways crisscross the country. Road transport via car or passenger coach is easy.
（Photo by: 王耀南）
The French capital has long inspired travelers. Consistently one of the world’s top travel destinations, Paris enchants visitors looking for the thrill of romance. One thing many realize upon arrival is that the city is an utterly confusing patchwork of roads. In contrast to Manhattan’s easy-to-navigate grid system, Paris radiates out in a series of numbered neighborhoods called arrondissements. If it’s your first trip to Paris, concentrate on the areas around the Louvre Museum. Walk the Champs-Élysées and visit the Arc de Triomphe. The Eiffel Tower and Left Bank are great at night. You can get a fantastic view down into central Paris from the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. Finally, pay a visit to the suburban Palace of Versailles where you can walk the gardens or tour the Hall of Mirrors. The nightlife in Paris is legendary as are the many bakeries, cafes, and restaurants. There is no shortage of culinary treats on offer.
（Photo by: 王文杰）
Located northwest of Paris, Normandy is an expansive region filled with beautiful countryside villages, scenic coastal towns, and historic battlefield memorials. The medieval city Rouen is the regional capital. Here you can visit Rouen Cathedral and tour the Musée des Beaux-Arts to see paintings from Renoir, Degas, and Monet. Further west along the coast are the moving tributes to the D-Day landings when Allied forces began their campaign to liberate France from the Nazis on June 6, 1944. Walk along Omaha Beach and visit the American cemetery nearby. Tributes and monuments line the coast so there is plenty to see here. Finally, one of Normandy’s most beautiful attractions is the island commune Le Mont-Saint-Michel. Words cannot do justice to the beauty on offer here. Come see this UNESCO World Heritage Site for yourself.
（Photo by: 尼斯旅游局/AISSOCK）
France’s southern region has a long and storied reputation for luxury and great weather. Start in Nice where you can swim in azure waters along the Baie des Anges. Wander around St Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral before making the short trip to Monaco, the world’s second smallest country. Walk the streets in Monte Carlo and see the famous Formula One Grand Prix circuit. Further along the coast is Cannes, a town synonymous with cinema and glamour. Channel your inner movie star and strut on the red carpet at the Palais des Festivals. La Croisette runs along the waterfront and is where you’ll find some of the city’s best hotels and dining. The Cannes Yachting Festival runs each year in September and brings lots of activity to the harbor area. No matter what you decide to do along the Riviera, do it in style. This has long been a trendsetting part of France and it’s easy to understand why. Last, but certainly not least, is the port city of Marseille. Long tied to the wider Mediterranean region, it is arguably France’s most cosmopolitan city. There is plenty to explore and fall in love with here.
（Photo by: 王囍）
The French Alps, like their counterparts in Switzerland and Austria, are home to some of the best ski resorts in the world. Even if hitting the slopes is not your thing, you can marvel at snow-capped peaks from the verdant valleys below. Lyon is the regional capital and gateway into the Alps. Its distinctive character and charm earned it distinction as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Wander the old town in search of hidden cafes and art galleries tucked around small corners. Venture into the mountains and head for Annecy. Enjoy the town’s picturesque Alpine lake before finding a delicious French meal. A bit further east is the resort town of Chamonix, which sits in the shadow of the mighty Mont Blanc. The skiing and trekking here is some of the best in the world. Nestled in the valley, you will feel protected from the world by towering mountain peaks.
France’s reputation for elegance and refinement are well-earned. From the northern towns to the luxuriant Mediterranean, France is chocked full of charm and wonder. Whether you’re discussing philosophy and art on the Left Bank, skiing down Mont Blanc, or trying to spot movie stars in Cannes, you cannot help by feel overwhelmed by the emotion and excitement of seeing France. As they say, “qui n’avance pas, recule,” … “whomever does not move forward, recedes.” Don’t get your chance to visit France recede before your eyes!