To help you make the most of your trip to France, kimkim has curated a list of our top activities. Try soaking up the Parisian skyline on a Seine River cruise with live music and fine dining, visit a perfumery in the heart of the French Riviera, or immerse yourself in the history and architecture of Bordeaux. You could also add a day at Chateau la Coste, combining art, architecture, and vineyards or a rich historical tour of Avignon. Be sure to review our recommended activities in Paris, Nice, Bordeaux, Aix-en-Provence, and Avignon for your next trip to France.
Best Experiences in France
With towering snow-capped peaks, charming alpine villages, some of Europe's best skiing, and epic hikes to famous spots like Mt. Blanc, there's always something to enjoy in the French Alps. Ride a cable car to catch impressive views across the mountain range, boat or stroll around crystal-clear lakes, explore cultural towns, and taste the delicious food that keeps the locals warm and full all year long (we're talking cheese) all while breathing in that crisp alpine air.
The French Riviera evokes images of glitz and glamour. Still, you can also balance a trip with authentic experiences like making your own perfume, learning how to choose the best products at the market, and sipping wine in vineyards set against medieval villages. Then, of course, there's always the history of Monaco and the Monte Carlo to tempt you, plus sailing excursions and visits to the popular coastal hotspots of Antibes and Cannes.
Because France is a large and diverse country, it's an ideal location for a family trip. From art-centric and foodie cities like Paris to outdoor playgrounds like the French Riviera and the beaches of northern France, there's always something to do with activities appealing to various ages and interests. Along the way, make unique family memories that you can only experience in France, such as riding horses through the surf at Mont-Saint-Michel, learning to bake macrons, or enjoying a treasure hunt at the Louvre.
France has always been the center of culinary envy, known worldwide for its signature cuisine consisting of traditional techniques, ancestral secrets, and home-cooked comfort dictated by high-quality standards. From morning pastries to afternoon macrons, farm-fresh cheeses to wine, cider, and olive oil, and fresh food markets offering the freshest produce to unique dishes like snails and frog legs, you can truly enjoy it all in France.
Nice is brimming with unique cultural aspects, including vibrant markets showing off its signature Niçois cuisine, tiny multi-generational wine regions, a gorgeous coastline dotted with historic villages, and the title of the birthplace of perfume. Explore the city by diving deep into its culture, enjoying those legendary sunsets, and discovering neighboring villages and cities, such as Monaco, Eze, Cannes, and Antibes.
France is an active traveler's dream, with sandy beaches in the north, the towering Alps in the southeast, several river valleys across its heartland, and a rocky southern coastline dotted with inlets, caves, and coves. You can easily spend your time cycling through vineyards and from one chateau to another, riding horses in the surf, kayaking the famous Calanques, and hiking in the mountains. Or, if you're more of a city person, add a bike tour or vineyard stroll to your exploration of hubs like Paris.
Many travelers choose France specifically for its unique and diverse culture. Explore Paris for its food, literature, and cabaret, visit Normandy for its art (including Claude Monet's gardens), and escape to the Loire Valley for chateaus, palaces, castles, and more. When ready, head to the south and peruse the unique cuisine and culture of the French Riviera and Provence, plus romantic hilltop villages and medieval riverside hamlets.
Known as "mini Paris," Aix-en-Provence sits in the heart of the Provence region, known for its charm, lavender, wine, and unique signature cuisine. Spend time exploring these claims to fame with cooking classes, wine tastings, drives through lavender fields, and walking tours. Then head out into the countryside and discover more Provençal charm, such as in the city of Avignon, the scenic hilltop villages of Luberon, or the impressive Verdon Canyon.
France is a historical goldmine, from ancient, medieval, and early modern experiences to the events of the 19th and 20th centuries. Spend your time learning about the occupied and liberated Paris of WWII, exploring ancient castles and villages, and diving into what it was like to live in France during the Middle Ages. In every corner of the country, you'll find significant history that shaped France, Europe, and the world.
Provence's claim to fame might be its rolling lavender fields, but there's a lot more to enjoy in this region of France. It's a gastronomically rich area filled with vineyards, olive groves, and agricultural land, so tasting or preparing its Provençal cuisine is a must. You can also enjoy wine tastings and exploring historic villages like Aix-en-Provence, Avignon, and other hamlets dotting the hills.
Known for its wine and imposing chateaus, France's Loire Valley gives you those quintessential French vibes and experiences, with rolling hills dotted with fairytale-like castles and endless vineyards stretching across the region. Visit Leonardo da Vinci's mansion, sip on organic wine, cycle between chateaus, take a hot air balloon ride above the landscape, and discover humble villages, all within one compact area.
Lyon often escapes the list of must-sees in France, but the city and its surrounding areas offer a lot to do, see, and experience. Spend your time exploring historic neighborhoods filled with Renaissance-era architecture and hidden courtyards, tasting the internationally recognized Lyonaisse cuisine, savoring historic sites like the Fourviere Basilica, and exploring the traditional world of silk. With more time, take a day trip to the surrounding vineyards or historic cities like Annecy.
Set in northern France along the coast of the English Channel, Normandy is known for its chalky-white cliffs and beaches, the famous Mont-Saint-Michel island, the WWII D-Day landings, and picturesque half-timbered houses surrounded by dairy farms. History is the region's highlight, but you'll also find treasured towns like Honfleur and the Pays d'Auge, gourmet cheese, cider farms, and many sites of famous Impressionist works of art, plus the home and gardens of Claude Monet.
Marseille unites two very different worlds: the vibrant coastal French Riviera and the charming rolling hills of Provence. In addition, it's France's oldest city, founded by the Greeks in 600 BCE. So in just Marseille alone, you can enjoy a diverse trip strolling through the historic districts while nibbling on traditional food, discovering the renowned world of Marseille soap, sipping rosé among the lavender fields, and cruising or kayaking along the famed Calanques inlets.
As "The City of Love," Paris is known for its romantic charm, impeccable cuisine, and vibrant history, which is why it's always topping the list of the most popular tourist destinations. You can hop from district to district and experience various scenes, from artsy to bohemian, historic to trendy. Try some of France's acclaimed gastronomy, dig into the city's history, and take in the sweeping views from atop sites like Montmartre or the Arc de Triomphe.
Known for its signature wine, Bordeaux's surrounding vineyards and La Cité du Vin museum might be its biggest draws, but there's plenty to enjoy in the city and beyond. With the Garonne River weaving through Bordeaux's center, you can explore the city by foot and boat. Stop at vibrant markets and wine shops, tasting gourmet goodies like canelé, oysters, cheese, chocolate, and, of course, a glass of red. Then, enjoy discovering the countryside havens of Gironde and Dordogne, full of picturesque hamlets and vineyards.
The historic town of Avignon sits on the left bank of the famous Rhône River, its claim to fame being the incredible Palais des Papes, the largest Gothic palace ever built. Explore the city by walking or cycling among grand 14th-century monuments while surrounded by unique history. Then take advantage of Avignon's surrounding countryside and discover the heart of Provence, from lavender fields and vineyards to the region's signature cuisine.