Historic Attractions and Sights in France
Top Ten Chateaux in the Loire Valley
The Loire Valley is a wonderful place to visit, with its châteaux being the top attraction. From the Middle Ages on the French nobles and kings built their glorious palaces along the river banks. Here is my pick of the ten you should see along the banks of the Loire River.
The Loire Valley's Top Ten Attractions
The Loire Valley is one of France’s most popular regions to visit. Here is my choice of the top ten attractions including chateaux, gardens, vineyards, and great activities like cycling the Loire a velo route to enjoy. The whole Loire Valley is, quite rightly, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Charles de Gaulle Memorial Museum
The Charles de Gaulle Memorial in Colombey-les-deux-eglises, Champagne
Guide to Angers in the Loire Valley
Angers in the western Loire Valley is less well known than the posher part nearer Paris where kings, queens, princes and aristocrats built their fabulous chateaux. But this secret part of the Loire Valley is delightful with its own hidden treasures.
The Bayeux Tapestry
The World-Famous Bayeux Tapestry in Bayeux, Normandy, is one of the great works of art and a wonderful depiction of 1066 and the battle between William the Conqueror and King Harold of England
Romantic Vezelay in Burgundy
Vezelay in Burgundy is a beautiful hilltop village looking out over the surrounding vineyards and rolling landscape. The village's great claim to fame is the glorious Romanesque basilica. Today the Unesco World Heritage Site is a great tourist attraction, but in the past it was one of the great centers of Christendom.
The Meuse-Argonne Cemetery in Lorraine is the largest American Military Cemetery in Europe. It’s a huge site, set in 130 acres of gently sloping land. 14,246 soldiers are buried here in military straight lines. The graves are not set according to rank, you find a captain next to an orderly, a pilot awarded a Medal of Honor next to an African...
American Memorials in World War I in France
Guide to American Memorials to World War I in the Meuse Region in Lorraine. The Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery and Memorial, the The American Memorial in Montfaucon and the The American Memorial on Montsec hill commemorate the offensive in the Meuse in 1918.
Visitors Guide to Rouen in Normandy
Rouen is a lovely city and is the historic capital of Upper Normandy. It’s one of France’s lesser known cities, and well worth a visit. Walk through the old part of the city, visit the cathedral and make sure you see at least some of the museums.
Beaune in Burgundy
Beaune, one of the glories of the Burgundy region, is a delightful city to stay in. It’s within easy reach to get to from Paris, Lyon and Dijon and is in the Cote d’Or wine region. The town is compact and pleasant to walk around. Beaune is also wonderful old buildings, many with a fascinating history.
Guide to Attractions in Reims, Capital of Champagne
There are plenty of attractions in Reims, capital of the Champagne Region from the gothic cathedral, one of France's finest, to the Automobile Museum, from Champagne tastings to the room where General Eisenhower accepted Germany's unconditional surrender in May 1945
The Battle of Verdun in Lorraine has, for the French, become the symbol of the horrors of World War I. Strategically placed on the west bank of the Meuse river, the town was constantly besieged, taken and retaken. At the beginning of World War I, it was the most important stronghold in eastern France. Between February 21st 1916 and August 1917,...
The Toulouse-Lautrec Museum in Albi, Languedoc
The new Toulouse Lautrec Museum, now completely renovated, re-opened to the public in April 2012. It’s housed in the stunning Palais de la Berbie, or Bishop’s Palace, beside the cathedral. It fits perfectly into the red-brick setting of Albi, a beautiful city in the Tarn, in Languedoc.
Guide to Aigues-Mortes
Aigues-Mortes in the Camargue area of Languedoc-Roussillon is one of France’s most romantic towns. Called the ‘City of Dead Waters’ and in the middle of lagoons, this perfectly preserved medieval walled town conjures up the past with its fortifications, massive walls, towers and chapels.
Rene Lalique Museum Guide
Rene Lalique, one of the world's great jewelery and glassware designer, now has a museum devoted to his work. Visit the little village of Wingen-sur-Moder in the Vosges National Park in Alsace to see his wonderful creations in the dramatic setting of this attraction. It makes another unusual museum in France to visit.
The Chateau of Falaise – the Castle of William the Conqueror at Falaise,...
The Chateau of Falaise – the Castle of William the Conqueror at Falaise, Normandy
Top Attractions in and around Lille
Lille is one of north France’s most attractive cities to visit. When it became European capital of culture in 2004, it took on a new lease of life. Today the capital of French Flanders is full of attractions, both in the city and nearby. Here is my list of the top attractions in Lille.
Top Theme Parks in France
France has a wonderful selection of different theme parks. Disneyland Paris might be the best known, but for sheer variety, try the cinemas and modern technology at Futuroscope; the fish and sea animals at Nausicaa; the plants at Terra Botanica, and the superb theatrical performances at Puy du Fou.
Guide to Attractions in Compiegne
Compiegne, just north of Paris, is best known for the grand Palace of Compiegne. But there are other treats in store in this small town. This guide takes you to the Palace, the Historic Figurine Museum and the surrounding Forest of Compiegne.
Top Attractions in North France
North France is full of top attractions and places to stop at. Too often, visitors drive past them on their journeys south, missing some wonderful attractions, fortified, walled cities, and great museums. So turn off the motorway and see some of my recommended sights. Some are well known; others are well-hidden secrets; all of these in...
The Louvre-Lens Museum in North France
The Louvre-Lens is the latest huge cultural project to open in France, and being France, it’s done on a very grand scale. Located in an abandoned coal mining town in a former industrial part of north France, the Louvre’s new art galleryand museum opened on December 12th, 2012.
Winter Sightseeing in the Loire Valley
The magnificent castles or chateaux that line the mighty River Loire are a major attraction in summer. But happily, some stay open in the winter as well. And in winter, you have the rooms to yourselves so you feel the ghosts of the great figures of the past walking beside you through the echoing, empty rooms. Here are four of the most...
Roman Theaters of Lyon, France
Within the walls of Roman theaters your imagination brings to life the poets sharing their hearts, gladiators fighting to death, musicians composing their song in the arena where you stand. Find out about visiting the Roman theaters of Lyon, France.
One of the bloodiest points in the history of this area revolves around the rise and eventual massacre of the Christian Cathar religious sect in the 12th century. Tourists can visit the ruins of Cathar strongholds, and villages where crusaders conducted massacres with a trip to the beautiful and history-rich Cathar Country.
The Tapestry of the Apocalypse in Angers Castle
The Tapestry of the Apocalpyse in Angers Castle, Anjou, is one of the most impressive tapestries in the world. The medieval tapestry ilustrates the Apocalpyse from the Book of Revelations.
Short Trips from Paris
If you want a short trip outside Paris, try any of these suggestions. You can go for a day trip, or stay overnight for easy sightseeing outside the capital. Perhaps combine some of them into an overnight or longer stay.
The Musée de l'Hospice Comtesse in Lille
The Musee de l’Hospice Comtesse (the Hospice Museum of the Countess) is set on the banks of the former old port in Lille in northern France. Established as a religious community to care for the sick and the poor in the 13th century, it stands in a beautiful courtyard. Wander through the rooms to see the story of caring for the needy in an atmosphere of austerity and peace.
Nausicaa, the National Sea Experience Centre, is one of the main reasons many people visit Boulogne. It was opened in 1991 as a brave venture when Boulogne was losing its position as a major Channel port. Today it’s a wonderfully easy-to-negotiate journey through the wonders of the sea, catering for families, enthusiasts and school parties and...
Charles de Gaulle at Colombey-les-Deux-Eglises
Places and Museums associated with Charles de Gaulle, President of France at Colombey-les-Deux-Eglises, Champagne-Ardenne Region
The Lace Museum in Calais
The International Centre of Lace and Fashion of Calais is a super place, attracting visitors for the fashion element it has on show, the fascinating history of the lace making industry in Calais which goes back centuries, and the working machines. It’s in a converted 19th-century lace factory and makes a great 3-hour visit.