Country guides Europe
France Travel Guide
There is no other travel destination on earth that has the romantic pull of France. Idealised by millions all over the world, dreams of French holidays involve champagne on the Eiffel Tower, cruises on the Seine, bicycling through wine country and exploring the resorts of the Cote d'Azur.
A holiday in France offers a wide variety of attractions for all travellers, whether they're interested in culture and history or just having a good time. While Paris is famous for its cultural refinement, there are more than 40,000 castles and chateaux dotting the countryside, dozens of ski resorts in the French Alps, holiday towns along the coast, and countless cities and villages hidden around every hill providing never-ending opportunities to explore.
French culture is known for its effortless sophistication, including the gastronomic delights of French cuisine, museums dedicated to centuries of French art, and the sought-after haute couture creations of French fashion designers. Whether looking for a city break in Paris or exploring the lesser-known delights of Alsace-Lorraine, a holiday in France is the dream holiday for many.
Best time to visit France
France has four distinct seasons and each offers different delights for travellers. Arguably the best time to visit is in late spring (May) and early autumn (September), to avoid the crowds of summer and the harshly cold winters. Having said that, summer (June to August) remains the most popular season to visit France.
What to see in France
-See the Mona Lisa and other famous works of art at the Louvre gallery in Paris.
-Spot celebrities at Cannes.
-Stroll through the gardens of the magnificent Palace of Versailles.
-Browse the luxury fashion boutiques on Paris' Champs-Elysees.
What to do in France
-Go skiing at resorts such as Tignes and Serre-Chevalier in the French Alps.
-Take a guided tour of the Moet et Chandon cellars in Epernay.
-Have dinner at the Jules Verne restaurant in the Eiffel Tower.
-Treat the kids to a day at Disneyland Paris.
-Party in the nightclubs of St Tropez.
Getting to France
Getting to France is easy from most Western countries. There are many direct flights to France from the US, nearly all of which land in one of the Paris airports. There are dozens of cheap flights to France from the UK as well, and direct trains from London to Paris.
Hotel Pastis by Peter Mayle, Five Quarter of the Orange by Joanne Harris, and Les Miserables by Victor Hugo.
Non, Je ne regrette rien (Edith Piaf) and Si tu n'etais pas la (Frehel).
La Vie en Rose (2007), Amelie (2001), and Midnight in Paris (2011).
French wine and champagne.
Croissants, macaroons, Beef Bourguignon and Bouillabaisse (fish soup).
What to buy
French wine and Parisian fashion.
What to pack
A French phrasebook or language app. Many French outside of Paris don't speak English, and a little French will make life that much easier, even in the capital.
What's on in France
Hollywood stars launch their newest movies at the Cannes Film Festival every May. The 2,000-mile (3,500km) Tour de France bicycle race comes to an exciting conclusion in Paris each summer. The larger-than-life puppets of the Festival of Giants parade through the village of Douai each July.
Did you know?
On average, two new cookbooks are published every day in France.
A final word
High fashion, delicious food and an overwhelming sense of romance make France one of the most popular travel destinations in the world.