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30 Top-Rated France Tourist Attractions, Top Sights & Things to Do

France Top-Rated Tourist Attractions

Top Sights & Things to Do in France

30 Top-Rated France Tourist Attractions, Top Sights & Things to Do

From the boulevards of Paris to the fashionable seaside resorts of the Côte d'Azur, France offers some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. Fairytale castles, majestic cathedrals and picture-perfect villages delight romantics. At the same time, the country's contemporary monuments and rapid train transit jolt visitors from a storybook environment to a 21st century environment.

Start with the modern symbol of France, the Eiffel Tower. Then discover famous masterpieces of art at the Louvre Museum. Spend a day pretending to be royalty at the elegant palace of Versailles. Save time for a gourmet meal at leisure. Traditional French gastronomy is inscribed on UNESCO's list of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Each region has its own unique cuisine and culture. Brittany's coastal region offers the old-world charm of quaint fishing villages and ancient seaports, while the French Alps boast a hearty cuisine of cheese fondue and charcuterie served in cozy chalets near the ski slopes. However, here is a list of the 30 Top-Rated France Tourist Attractions, Top Sights & Things to Do.

1. The Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower_Top-Rated France Tourist Attractions, Top Sights & Things to Do

The Eiffel Tower is an iron lattice tower on the Champ de Mars in Paris, France. It is named after engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower. Locally nicknamed "La Dame de Fer", it was built from 1887 to 1889 as the centerpiece of the 1889 World's Fair and was initially criticized for its design by some of France's leading artists and intellectuals, but has since become a global cultural icon of France and the world. One of the most recognizable structures. The Eiffel Tower is the most visited monument in the world with an entrance fee. 6.91 million people climbed it in 2015. It was designated a Monument Historic in 1964, and named as part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991. The tower is 330 meters tall, the same height as an 81-story building and the tallest structure in Paris. Its base is square, measuring 125 meters on each side. At the time of its construction, the Eiffel Tower surpassed the Washington Monument to become the tallest man-made structure in the world, a title it held for 41 years until the Chrysler Building in New York City was completed in 1930.

2. Louvre Museum

Louvre Museum_Top-Rated France Tourist Attractions, Top Sights & Things to Do

The Louvre or Louvre Museum is the most visited museum in the world and a historical landmark in Paris, France. It is home to some famous works of art, including the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo. A central landmark of the city, it is located on the right bank of the Seine in the city's 1st arrondissement. At any given time, around 38,000 objects from prehistory to the 21st century are on display across an area of ​​72,735 square meters. Attendance in 2021 was 2.8 million due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2020 the museum was closed for 150 days and attendance dropped 72 percent to 2.7 million. Nevertheless, the Louvre still tops the list of the world's most visited art museums in 2021. The museum is housed in the Louvre Palace, which was originally built in the late 12th to late 13th centuries under Philip II. The remains of the medieval Louvre castle are visible in the basement of the museum. Due to urban expansion, the castle eventually lost its defensive function and in 1546 Francis I transformed it into the primary residence of the French kings. The building was extended several times to form the present Louvre Palace.

3. Cathedral Notre-Dame de Paris

Notre-Dame de Paris, known as Notre-Dame, is a medieval Catholic cathedral located on the Île de la Cité in the 4th arrondissement of Paris. The cathedral, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, is considered one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture. Several of its features distinguish it from the earlier Romanesque style, notably its pioneering use of rib vaults and flying buttresses, its large and colorful rose windows, and the naturalness and profusion of its sculptural decoration. Notre Dame is also notable for its musical instruments, particularly its three pipe organs and its massive church bell. Construction of the cathedral began in 1163 under Bishop Maurice de Sully and was largely completed by 1260, although it was frequently altered in the following centuries. In the 1790s, during the French Revolution, Notre-Dame suffered widespread desecration; Most of its religious images have been damaged or destroyed. In the 19th century, the coronation of Napoleon I and the funerals of many presidents of the French Republic took place in the cathedral.

4. Palace of Versailles

Palace of Versailles_Top-Rated France Tourist Attractions, Top Sights & Things to Do

The Palace of Versailles is a former royal residence built by King Louis XIV located in Versailles, about 12 miles west of Paris, France. The palace is owned by the French Republic and since 1995 has been managed by the Public Establishment of Palaces, Museums and National Properties of Versailles, under the direction of the French Ministry of Culture. 15,000,000 people visit the palaces, parks or gardens of Versailles every year, making it one of the most popular tourist attractions in the world. Louis XIII built a simple hunting lodge on the site of the Palace of Versailles in 1623 and replaced it with a smaller château in 1631–34. Louis XIV expanded the château into a palace in several stages from 1661 to 1715. It was a favorite residence for both monarchs, and in 1682, Louis XIV moved his court and seat of government to Versailles, making the palace the de facto capital. France. This state of affairs was continued by kings Louis XV and Louis XVI, who initially altered the interior of the palace, but in 1789 the royal family of France and the capital returned to Paris.

5. Arc de Triomphe

Arc de Triomphe_Top-Rated France Tourist Attractions, Top Sights & Things to Do

The Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile is one of the most famous monuments in Paris, France, at the western end of the Champs-Élysées at the center of the Place Charles de Gaulle, formerly the Place de l'Étoile—the Étoile or "star of the junction" with its twelve radiating avenues. formed by The Arc and Plaza locations are divided between three arrondissements, the 16th, 17th and 8th. The Arc de Triomphe honors those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, with the names of all French victories and generals written on its inner and outer surfaces. Beneath its vault is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of World War I. The central integrating element of the Ax Historic, the Arc de Triomphe was designed by Jean Chalgrin in 1806; Its iconographic program pits naked French youths heroically against bearded Germanic warriors in chain mail. It set the tone for public monuments with triumphant patriotic messages. Inspired by the Arch of Titus in Rome, Italy, the Arc de Triomphe has an overall height of 50 meters, a width of 45 meters and a depth of 22 meters, while its grand arch is 29.19 meters high and 14.62 meters wide.

6. Musée d'Orsay

Musée d'Orsay_Top-Rated France Tourist Attractions, Top Sights & Things to Do

The Musée d'Orsay is a museum located in Paris, France, on the Left Bank of the Seine. It is located in the former Gare d'Orsay, a Beaux-Arts railway station built between 1898 and 1900. The museum houses mainly French art from 1848 to 1914, including paintings, sculptures, furniture and photography. It houses the world's largest collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masterpieces, by painters including Berthe Morisot, Claude Monet, Édouard Manet, Degas, Renoir, Cézanne, Seurat, Sisley, Gauguin and Van Gogh. Many of these works were held at the Galeries National du Jeu de Paume before the museum opened in 1986. It is one of the largest art museums in Europe. The museum had one million visitors in 2021, a 30 percent increase over 2020 attendance, but was far behind previous years due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite being low, it ranks fifteenth on the list of most visited art museums in 2020.

7. Disneyland Paris

Disneyland Paris_Top-Rated France Tourist Attractions, Top Sights & Things to Do

Disneyland Paris is an amusement resort in Chasse, France, 32 km east of Paris. It includes two theme parks, resort hotels, Disney Nature Resorts, a shopping, dining and entertainment complex, and a golf course. Disneyland Park is the complex's original theme park, which opened in 1992 A second theme park, Walt Disney Studios Park, opened in 2002 Disneyland Paris celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2017, by then 320 million people had visited, making it the most visited theme park in Europe. It is the second Disney park outside the United States and the largest since Tokyo Disney Resort opened in 1983.

8. Luxembourg Gardens

Luxembourg Gardens_Top-Rated France Tourist Attractions, Top Sights & Things to Do

Jardin du Luxembourg, known as Luxembourg Garden in English, colloquially known as Jardin du Sénat, is located in the 6th arrondissement of Paris, France. Construction of the garden began in 1612 when Marie de' Medici, widow of King Henry IV, built the Luxembourg Palace as her new residence. The garden is today owned by the French Senate, which meets in the palace. It covers 23 hectares and is known for its lawns, tree-lined promenades, tennis courts, flower beds, model sailboats in its octagonal grand basin, as well as the picturesque Medici Fountain built in 1620. The name Luxembourg comes from the Latin mons lucotius, the name of the hill on which the garden is located.

9. Sainte-Chapelle

Sainte-Chapelle_Top-Rated France Tourist Attractions, Top Sights & Things to Do

Sainte-Chapelle is a Gothic-style royal chapel within the medieval Palais de la Cité, residence of the Kings of France until the 14th century, on the Île de la Cité on the Seine River in Paris, France. Construction began sometime after 1238 and the chapel was consecrated on 26 April 1248. The Sainte-Chapelle is considered among the highest achievements of the Renaissance period of Gothic architecture. It was commissioned by King Louis IX of France to house his collection of relics from the Passion, including Christ's Crown of Thorns - one of the most important relics in medieval Christendom. It was later held at the nearby Notre-Dame Cathedral until a fire in 2019, which it survived. Along with the Conciergerie, the Sainte-Chapelle is one of the oldest surviving buildings of the Capetian palace on the Île de la Cité. Although damaged during the French Revolution and restored in the 19th century, it houses one of the most extensive collections of 13th-century stained glass anywhere in the world. Sainte-Chapelle is no longer a church. It became secular after the French Revolution, which ended the state religion.

10. Tuileries Gardens

Tuileries Gardens_Top-Rated France Tourist Attractions, Top Sights & Things to Do

The Tuileries Garden is a public garden located between the Louvre and the Place de la Concorde in the 1st arrondissement of Paris, France. Created by Catherine de' Medici in 1564 as a garden for the Tuileries Palace, it was finally opened to the public in 1667 and became a public park after the French Revolution. In the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, it was a place where Parisians celebrated, met, walked and relaxed.

11. Palais Garnier

Palais Garnier_Top-Rated France Tourist Attractions, Top Sights & Things to Do

Palais Garnier, also known as Opéra Garnier, is a 1,979-seat opera house located on the Place de l'Opéra in the 9th arrondissement of Paris, France. It was built for the Paris Opera from 1861 to 1875 at the behest of Emperor Napoleon III. Initially referred to as Le nouvel Opéra de Paris, it soon became known as the Palais Garnier "in recognition of its extraordinary opulence" and plans and designs by architect Charles Garnier, representing the Napoleon III style. It was the primary theater of the Paris Opera and the associated Paris Opera Ballet until 1989, when a new opera house, the Opéra Bastille, opened on the Place de la Bastille. The company now mainly uses the Palais Garnier for ballet. The theater has been a historical monument in France since 1923. Palais Garnier has been called "perhaps the most famous opera house in the world, a symbol of Paris like Notre Dame Cathedral, Louvre or Sacre Coeur Basilica." This is at least in part due to Gaston Leroux's 1910 novel The Phantom of the Opera and, in particular, the subsequent adaptation of the novel to film and its use as the setting for the popular 1986 musical.

12. Chateau de Chenonceau

Chateau de Chenonceau_Top-Rated France Tourist Attractions, Top Sights & Things to Do

Château de Chenonceau is a French chateau straddling the River Cher, near Chenonceaux, Indre-et-Loire, Centre-Val de Loire. It is one of the most famous châteaux in the Loire Valley. The estate of Chenonceau is first mentioned in writing in the 11th century. The present château was built in 1514-1522 on the foundations of an old mill and later extended to the river. The bridge over the river was built to designs by French Renaissance architect Philibert de L'Orme, and the bridge gallery was built from 1570 to 1576 to designs by Jean Boulant.

13. Place de la Concorde

Place de la Concorde_Top-Rated France Tourist Attractions, Top Sights & Things to Do

The Place de la Concorde is one of the main public squares in Paris, France. Covering 7.6 hectares, it is the largest square in the French capital. It is located in the city's eighth arrondissement at the eastern end of the Champs-Élysées. It was the site of many notable public executions during the French Revolution, including those of King Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette and Maximilien Robespierre, during which the square was temporarily renamed the Place de la Revolution.

14. The Grand Palais

The Grand Palais_Top-Rated France Tourist Attractions, Top Sights & Things to Do

The Grand Palais des Champs-Élysées, commonly known as the Grand Palais, is a historic site, exhibition hall and museum complex located on the Champs-Élysées in the 8th arrondissement of Paris, France. Construction of the Grand Palais began after the demolition of the Palais de l'Industrie in 1897 to prepare for the Universal Exposition of 1900. That exhibition also built the adjacent Petit Palais and the Pont Alexandre III. The building was designed as a large-scale venue for official artistic events. A pediment on the building signifies this function with an inscription that reads, "A monument dedicated by the Republic to the glory of French art." Designed in the Beaux-Arts style, the building features an ornate stone facade, glass vaults and period innovations including iron and mild steel framing and reinforced concrete. It is listed as a historical monument by the Ministry of Culture.

15. Pont Alexander III

Pont Alexander III_Top-Rated France Tourist Attractions, Top Sights & Things to Do

The Pont Alexandre III is a deck arch bridge that spans the Seine in Paris. It connects the Champs-Élysées quarter with the Invalides and the Eiffel Tower. The bridge is regarded as the most ornate, outstanding bridge in the city. It has been classified as a French monument historic since 1975.

16. Pont du Gard

Pont du Gard_Top-Rated France Tourist Attractions, Top Sights & Things to Do

The Pont du Gard is an ancient Roman aqueduct bridge built in the first century AD to carry water over 50 km in the Roman colony of Nemausus. It crosses the Gardon River near the town of Vers-Pont-du-Gard in southern France. The Pont du Gard is the highest of all Roman aqueduct bridges, as well as one of the best preserved. It was added to UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites in 1985 due to its exceptional preservation, historical importance and architectural excellence.

17. Pantheon

Pantheon_Top-Rated France Tourist Attractions, Top Sights & Things to Do

The Panthéon is a monument in the 5th arrondissement of Paris, France. It is located in the Latin Quarter, above Montagne Sainte-Genevieve, in the center of the Place du Panthéon, after which it was named. The building was built between 1758 and 1790 from designs by Jacques-Germain Soufflot on the orders of King Louis XV of France; The king intended it as a church dedicated to Saint Genevieve, the patron saint of Paris, whose relics would be enshrined in the church. Neither Soufflot nor Louis XV lived to see the church completed. By the time construction was completed, the French Revolution had begun; The National Assembly voted in 1791 to convert the Church of Saint Genevieve into a mausoleum for the remains of prominent French citizens, modeled after the Pantheon in Rome, which had been used in this way since the 16th century. The first pantheon was Honoré Gabriel Riqueti, comte de Mirabeau, although his remains were removed from the building years later.

18. Les Invalides

Les Invalides_Top-Rated France Tourist Attractions, Top Sights & Things to Do

Les Invalides, officially Hôtel National des Invalides, also Hôtel des Invalides, is a complex of buildings in the 7th arrondissement of Paris, France, which houses museums and monuments related to France's military history, as well as a hospital and a retirement home for war veterans, the main purpose of the building. Buildings include the Musée de l'Armée, the Military Museum of the French Army, the Musée des Plans-Reliefs and the Musée d'Histoire Contemporaine. The complex also includes the former Hospital Chapel, now the National Cathedral of the French Military, and the adjacent former Royal Chapel known as the Dom des Invalides, the tallest church building in Paris at 107 meters. The latter has been converted into the mausoleum of some of France's leading military figures, notably the tomb of Napoleon.

19. Chateau de Fontainebleau

Chateau de Fontainebleau_Top-Rated France Tourist Attractions, Top Sights & Things to Do

The Palace of Fontainebleau or Château de Fontainebleau, located in the commune of Fontainebleau, 55 kilometers southeast of the center of Paris, is one of the largest French royal chateaux. The medieval castle and later palace served as the residence of French kings from Louis VII to Napoleon III. Francis I and Napoleon were the monarchs who had the greatest influence on the palace as it stands today. It became a national museum in 1927 and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981 for its unique architecture and historical importance.

20. Parc des Buttes-Chaumont

Parc des Buttes-Chaumont_Top-Rated France Tourist Attractions, Top Sights & Things to Do

Parcs Buttes Chaumont is a public park at 19 arrondissement in northeast Paris. At 24.7 hectares, it is the fifth park garden in Paris, after Dinsens, Bois de Bouillon, Parc de la Lalette and Twillis Gardens. In 1867, towards the end of Napoleon III's regime, it was developed by Jean-Charles Adolphe Alfand, the emperor declaring all the great parks. The park has 5.5 public roads and 2.2 question roads. The park's most famous feature is the Temple of the Goddess La Sibyl, inspired by the Temple of Vesta in Tivoli, Italy, and perched on a hilltop five meters above water in artificial diamonds.

21. Champ de Mars

Champ de Mars_Top-Rated France Tourist Attractions, Top Sights & Things to Do

Champ de Mars is a large public greenspace in Paris, France, located in the 7th arrondissement between the Eiffel Tower to the northwest and the Ecole Militaire to the southeast. The park is named after Rome's Campus Martius, a tribute to the Roman god of war. The name indicates that the lawns here were formerly used as drilling and marching grounds by the French military. The nearest metro stations are La Motte-Piquet-Grenel, Ecole Militaire and Champ de Mars-Tour Eiffel, an RER suburban-passenger-railway station. A disused station, Champ de Mars, is also nearby.

22. Place des Vosges

Place des Vosges_Top-Rated France Tourist Attractions, Top Sights & Things to Do

Place des Vosges, originally Place Royale, is the oldest planned square in Paris, France. It is located in the Marais district, and it straddles the dividing line between the 3rd and 4th arrondissements of Paris. It was a fashionable and expensive square to live in in the 17th and 18th centuries and was a major factor in the glamorous nature of Le Marais among the Parisian elite.

23. Asterix Park

Asterix Park_Top-Rated France Tourist Attractions, Top Sights & Things to Do

Parc Asterix is a theme park in France based on the comic book series Asterix by Albert Ouderzo and René Gossini. With approximately 2.3 million visitors annually, Parc Asterix is the second largest theme park in France, behind only Disneyland Paris with its 14 million annual visitors. It is particularly famous in France for its large variety of roller coasters; It began to incorporate rides and themes from historical cultures such as the Gauls, Romans, Ancient Greece, and more recently Ancient Egypt, but always in the visual style of society. It is located within the Oise department, in the commune of Plélier, about 35 km north of Paris, 32 km from Disneyland Paris and 20 km from the historic Château de Chantilly. Opened in 1989, the park is managed by Compagnie des Alpes.

24. Cathedral Notre Dame de Strasbourg

Cathedral Notre Dame de Strasbourg_Top-Rated France Tourist Attractions, Top Sights & Things to Do

Strasbourg Cathedral or Cathedral of Our Lady of Strasbourg, also known as Strasbourg Minster, is a Catholic cathedral in Strasbourg, Alsace, France. Although significant parts of it are still in Romanesque architecture, it is widely considered the best example of Renaissance Gothic architecture. The architect Erwin von Steinbach is credited with significant contributions as chief architect from 1277 until his death in 1318, and later through his son Johannes von Steinbach and his grandson Gerlach von Steinbach. Steinbach's plans for the completion of the cathedral were not followed by the principal architects who succeeded them, and instead of the two spiers originally envisioned, a single, octagonal tower with an elongated, octagonal crown was built on the north side. West facade by master Ulrich von Ensingen and his successor Johannes Hultz. Construction of the cathedral, which began in 1015 and resumed in 1190, was completed in 1439. At 142 meters, Strasbourg Cathedral was the tallest building in the world from 1647 until 1874, when it surpassed St. Nicolas. , Hamburg.

25. Park Walt Disney Studios

Park Walt Disney Studios_Top-Rated France Tourist Attractions, Top Sights & Things to Do

Walt Disney Studios Park is the second of two theme parks built at Disneyland Paris in Marne-la-Valley, France, which opened on March 16, 2002. It is owned and operated by The Walt Disney Company through its Parks, Experiences and Products division. Upon opening, it was dedicated to showing business, movie themes, productions and behind-the-scenes, but in the 2010s, it began to distance itself, similar to Disney's Hollywood Studios sister park at Walt Disney World in Florida. The original studio itself entered a new direction in developing attractions inspired by backlot theming and iconic Disney stories. In 2019, the park hosted approximately 5.2 million guests. The park is represented by the Earfel Tower, a water tower that was installed at the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California.

26. Louvre Pyramid

Louvre Pyramid_Top-Rated France Tourist Attractions, Top Sights & Things to Do

The Louvre Pyramid is a large glass and metal structure designed by Chinese-American architect I. M. Pei. The pyramid is located in the main courtyard of the Louvre Palace in Paris surrounded by three smaller pyramids. The Great Pyramid serves as the main entrance to the Louvre Museum. Completed in 1988 as part of the larger Grand Louvre project, it has become a landmark in the city of Paris.

27. Palais des Papes

Palais des Papes_Top-Rated France Tourist Attractions, Top Sights & Things to Do

The Palais des Papes is a historic palace located in Avignon, southern France. It is one of the largest and most important medieval Gothic buildings in Europe. Once a castle and palace, the papal residence became a seat of Western Christianity in the 14th century. Six papal conclaves were held at the Palais, leading to the election of Benedict XII in 1334, Clement VI in 1342, Innocent VI in 1352, Urban V in 1362, Gregory XI in 1370, and Benedict XIII in 1394. Due to the outstanding architecture and historical importance of the Peps, Peps has been classified along with the historic center of Avignon as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

28. Puy du Fou

Puy du Fou_Top-Rated France Tourist Attractions, Top Sights & Things to Do

Puy du Fou is a historic theme park in Les Épesses in the Pays de la Loire region of western France. It receives more than 2 million visitors per year, making it one of the most popular theme parks in France. In 2019 and 2020, it is the fourth largest theme park in France in terms of attendance, after Walt Disney Studios, Disneyland Paris and Parc Asterix.

29. Futuroscope

Futuroscope_Top-Rated France Tourist Attractions, Top Sights & Things to Do

Futuroscope, or Parc du Futuroscope, formerly known as Planète Futuroscope, is a French theme park based on multimedia, cinematographic Futuroscope and audio-visual techniques. It has several 3D cinemas and a few 4D cinemas, some of which are the only examples in the world, along with other attractions and shows. It is located in Vienne, in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, 10 km north of Poitiers, in the communes of Chasenville-du-Poitou and Jaune-Clan. The park had 1.83 million visitors in 2015. A total of 50 million visitors have visited the park since it opened in 1987.

30. La Villette

La Villette

Parc de la Villette is the third largest park in Paris, covering an area of 55.5 hectares, located in the northeastern edge of the city in the 19th arrondissement. The park is one of the largest cultural spaces in Paris, containing the Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie, three major concert venues and the prestigious Conservatoire de Paris. Parc de la Villette is served by Porte de Pantin on Paris Metro station Corentin Carreau lines 7 and 5.

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