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The 15 best cities to see in France - Blog Voyage - Découvrir Ensemble

The 15 best cities to see in France

Last update : 24 April 2024
Today we present our selection of the 15 best cities to see in France. Cities you absolutely must see on your next vacation in France.

We’ve had the opportunity to travel a lot in our country, and the least we can say is that we’ve really got plenty to do! Between crazy landscapes (cuckoo les Gorges du Verdon, the falaises d’Etretat and the calanques de Cassis), the very beautiful villages and our beautiful towns, France has everything you need for a great vacation.

We hope our top 15 best towns to see in France will give you some ideas for future holidays in France. This selection is of course subjective, so don’t hesitate to share your most beautiful cities in France with us in comments or on our Instagram account. Please note that this is not a ranking, but a selection – we think all these towns are worth a visit.

What are the best cities to see in France? Our selection

1. Paris, France’s most beautiful city

It’s hard not to start with our city in this blog post on the best cities in France! For us, Paris is unquestionably the most beautiful city in France and one of the most beautiful in Europe. It’s not for nothing that the city is known around the world as the “City of Light”. The city’s many assets include emblematic monuments such as the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Sacré-Coeur and Notre-Dame Cathedral, as well as a number of small, intimate districts. We’re currently writing our guide to the must-sees and best addresses in Paris, which we’ll be sharing with you very soon on the blog.

la plus belle ville de France

2. Nice, second place in our selection of the best cities to see in France

Nice is one of our favorite destinations in France. Stroll through the charming alleyways of Vieux Nice, stroll along the famous Promenade des Anglais and bask on the sun-drenched beaches… This is what awaits you in Nice. No wonder it’s been included in our selection of the best cities to visit in France! Nice has so much to offer, it’s impossible not to put it at the top of our list. While you’re in Nice, don’t forget to stop off in Menton (which we’ll tell you all about shortly) and visit the magnificent village of Eze, two regional gems within easy reach of Nice. Nice is the art of French living under the warm Mediterranean sun – an experience not to be missed!

les plus belles villes de France

3. Menton, third place in our selection of the best towns to see in France

Discovering Menton was a real coup de coeur for us! The last French town before Italy, this small town nestled between the mountains and the sea exudes a unique atmosphere. Its narrow, colorful streets invite you to get lost and explore its rich heritage. Menton is famous for its exceptional gardens, notably the exotic Val Rahmeh, and its beautiful beaches. The Lemon Festival is an iconic event, with its incredible citrus sculptures lighting up the town. While staying in Menton, don’t forget to visit the charming perched villages in the surrounding area, such as Eze, Gorbio and Sainte-Agnès, for a total immersion in the Mediterranean art of living. Menton is one of those secret destinations that will charm you with its authenticity and beauty. If you’re exploring Nice, don’t miss this gem of the Côte d’Azur just around the corner!

France's most beautiful cities

4. Lyon

The city of Lyon in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region is famous for its cuisine, its traboules and its historic district, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Lyon’s cuisine is known the world over for its delicious traditional dishes served in bouchons. We love this city and think its location is ideal! Its close proximity to ski resorts means that Lyon is ideally placed for weekend getaways in France. Don’t hesitate to check out our must-see guide to the city of Lyon to prepare for your next adventure in France!


5. Bordeaux

We continue our list on the best cities to see in France with Bordeaux. Located in southwest France, it’s world-renowned for its wine and rich cultural heritage. Its historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. So don’t miss out on a visit. When you think of Bordeaux, you inevitably think of its wine production. The region is world-renowned for its prestigious vineyards, notably in the Médoc, Saint-Émilion and Pessac-Léognan. Wine lovers will be delighted by tastings and cellar visits. Bordeaux is also a gourmet’s paradise, with an abundance of fine restaurants.

If you have the time, spend some time at the Dune du Pilat, just outside Bordeaux. It’s the largest sand dune in Europe, and very impressive indeed. In short, Bordeaux is the perfect destination for lovers of culture, history, wine and gastronomy. 


6. Annecy

Often called the “Venice of the Alps”, Annecy is famous for its magnificent lake, medieval old town and picturesque canals. We loved discovering Annecy for a week, and if you haven’t yet discovered this French city, we highly recommend you take a look! Strolling through the town center, cycling around the lake… everything in Annecy calls for a break. We love this French destination. While you’re in Annecy, don’t forget to take in the sunset at the Col de la Forclaz.

les plus belles villes de France

7. Lille

Lille is one of our favorite cities in France! Located in the Nord region of France, this lively city boasts beautiful Flemish architecture, lovely alleyways and great restaurants. Less than 2 hours from Paris by train, Lille is a destination not to be missed. We also recommend a visit to Mallet Stevens’ Villa Cavrois. And if you’re passing through in winter, don’t miss Lille’s Christmas market.


8. Marseille

We continue our selection of the best cities to see in France with Marseille. Marseille is very often a destination that divides travelers. For our part, we love the city for its old districts like the Panier, its famous Vieux-Port, le Vallon des Auffes and the parc national des Calanques. It’s a must-see destination in the South of France.


9. Aix-en-Provence

Aix-en-Provence is a picturesque Provencal town, renowned for its narrow streets, open-air markets and fountains, including the famous Fontaine de la Rotonde. Just 1 hour by train from Marseille, Aix is well worth a visit, especially if you’re in the area! Don’t forget to add it to your list for your next vacation in the South of France. 

les plus belles villes de France

10. Strasbourg, tenth place in our selection of the best cities to see in France

It’s impossible not to include Strasbourg in this selection of France’s most beautiful cities. Head to Alsace for a city that harmoniously blends French and German influences. Its old town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is famous for its cathedral and Christmas market. Don’t forget to visit Colmar during your stay in Strasbourg, especially if you’re visiting at Christmas time. In fact, Strasbourg and Colmar boast two of the most beautiful Christmas markets in France.


11. Rouen

Rouen was one of our favorites of last year! Just 1h30 from Paris, Rouen has a huge amount to offer. In addition to the city’s rich heritage, architecture and historical facts (notably around the story of Joan of Arc), it’s a very lively and commercial city. We loved the atmosphere of the town! If you’re lucky, you may have the opportunity to discover the city during the Armada, an event that takes place every 4 years in the city. 

plus belles villes de France

12. Nantes

Nantes, located in western France, is a dynamic city full of charm. It is often nicknamed the “City of Dukes” in reference to its historical past linked to nobility and royalty. One of Nantes’ most emblematic attractions is the Château des Ducs de Bretagne, a magnificent medieval castle that today houses a museum retracing the city’s history. Nantes is also famous for its artistic and cultural atmosphere. The Île de Nantes district has become a veritable open-air artistic laboratory, with the “Machines de l’île”. Here, you can admire and even climb aboard the impressive mechanical elephant. When in Nantes, don’t miss the ligne verte. You’ll be able to stroll along it while passing by the city’s must-see attractions. 


13. Toulouse

Toulouse, nicknamed the “Pink City” because of the color of its bricks, is a city in southwest France located in the Occitanie region. Toulouse is renowned for its well-preserved architectural heritage, with pink brick buildings lending a special charm to its streets. The Place du Capitole in the heart of the city is one of the landmarks, surrounded by cafés, restaurants and boutiques. Toulouse’s gastronomy is also a highlight, with delicious regional dishes such as cassoulet, foie gras and Toulouse sausages. Local markets abound with fresh produce, cheeses and regional wines. If you’re a gourmet, you’ll love Toulouse! Toulouse’s mild climate, friendly atmosphere and vibrant cultural scene make it a great city to visit all year round. 

les plus belles villes de France

14. Biarritz

Head for the Basque coast to discover Biarritz. The town is beautiful, and we love the laid-back atmosphere. If you like walking, lounging on the beach or surfing, Biarritz is the destination for you. It’s one of our favorite destinations this year, and we highly recommend that you set off to discover it. Check out our complete guide to Biarritz below.


15. Saint-Malo, fifteenth place in our selection of the best towns to see in France

We end our selection of the best towns to see in France with Saint-Malo in Brittany. The town is famous for its ramparts and the many shops that bring the town center to life. Time permitting, we recommend a visit to Mont Saint Michel, just 50 minutes away by car.

plus belles villes de France

Merci pour votre lecture

Nous espérons que les conseils et bonnes adresses de notre blog voyage vous aiderons à organiser vos vacances dans l’une des meilleures villes à voir en France !

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Clem & Alex

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