From Versailles to the Eiffel Tower, France offers an incredible history. Here are the top 6 France tourist attractions you must see for yourself!
France is among the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Between its beauty and history, this country never fails to entrance.
This country’s capital is the city of lights, and its lingua franca is the language of love.
When it comes to France, tourist attractions are incredible. A few obvious sights come to mind, but there are plenty of others that you may not think of.
We’ll talk about some of the greatest attractions France has to offer in the sections below.
- Eiffel Tower
When you think of France, tourist attractions like the Eiffel Tower are bound to come to mind. It was designed to show off France’s architectural skills at the 1889 World’s Fair.
The Eiffel Tower was originally designed as a temporary exhibit, built specifically for the fair and not intended to last long afterward. The public initially hated the design, which makes it all the more impressive that it’s stood the test of time and become one of the most popular attractions in the world.
- Palace of Versailles
Versailles is an opulent French palace that was initially used as a hunting lodge before Louis XIII began building a chateau there in 1631. However, much of the structure that is famous today was built under the orders of Louis XIV, beginning in 1661.
Louis was 22 when construction began again, turning the Chateau at Versailles to the Palace of Versailles. By the time the palace was finished, Louis was long dead, and France’s position was far from glorious.
Various changes were made to Versailles throughout the years, some ordered by kings, others envisioned by architects. The final changes to Versailles were made in 1789, under the reign of Louis XVI, the year the French Revolution took hold.
Efforts have been made to restore the Palace of Versailles, but the project hasn’t been completed yet. Finished or not, it’s still worth seeing, and skip the line tours are among the best way to see it.
- The Louvre
Another great site to see in Paris is the Louvre. It’s the world’s largest art museum, boasting masterpieces such as the Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo, and Hammurabi’s Code.
This museum is home to pieces dating from antiquity to modern-day, so whether you’re an art lover or a history buff, you’re bound to find something fascinating.
- Mont Saint-Michel
A walled town near the French coast, Mont Saint-Michel feels like a monument to the Middle Ages. It’s a gothic-inspired town with an abbey in the middle. The abbey is appropriately known as the Abbaye de Saint-Michel.
The abbey is an incredible structure with equally breathtaking history. It was built on a mountain, which itself rested on a piece of land that was prone to flooding, often turning the surrounding town into an island.
Despite its location, age, and the fact that it was besieged at least once, the abbey still stands just as glorious as ever.
Those who are avid fans of castles or board games may have heard of this medieval French city. Like Mont Saint-Michel, Carcassone is a walled town that dates back to medieval times. Another similarity the two cities share is that both have a cathedral in the center of town.
However, Carcassone looks a lot more like a castle. The size of the walls at Mont Saint-Michel gives the impression that they didn’t expect to be attacked very often.
Carcassone gives the opposite impression. With two sets of walls, one surrounding the other, and over fifty towers, this place was definitely built to take a beating.
Perhaps even more amazing than the outside is the inside. The medieval town behind the walls of Carcassone may forever change the way you think of medieval times.
To fit inside the wall, towns had to be tightly-packed, and Carcassone is no exception. You may be surprised at how small the houses are. The streets are quite narrow as well.
The city’s cathedral, the Cathedral of Saint-Nazaire, is also worth visiting. It’s every bit as beautiful as the Abbaye de Saint-Michel.
- Caves of Lascaux
A period of history that doesn’t receive much attention is the Stone Age. Thankfully, you can experience a bit of it in France.
Lascaux is an area near the south of France that is known for its cave network. This network is home to a collection of cave paintings that are among the most famous currently known.
The paintings in this cave are believed to be about 17,000 years old, which puts them near the end of the Paleolithic, or Old Stone Age. They depict early humans interacting with creatures that are now extinct, such as the Megaloceros.
Even more impressive is the fact that people haven’t known about the caves for long. They were discovered less than 100 years ago in 1940. From an archaeological perspective, that’s not very long.
The Best of France: Tourist Attractions You Have to See
When in France, tourist attractions should be your top priority. The country is full of amazing sights, most of them historical. This is a country where you can see a tiny slice of life from nearly every era.
Whether you’re into cities or artifacts, there’s something for everyone.
We’ve talked about some of the most famous in the sections above, but there are plenty more out there. We encourage you to do more research on your own if you’re interested.
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