Top Places to Visit in France Outside of Paris

Expedia Canada contacted me to ask what made me fall in love with France. While Paris is a city of stunning architecture, hidden streets, romantic energy, delicious street food and fascinating history, what truly made me fall in love with France are the cities outside of Paris. Why? I’m sure the following photos will be enough to convince you…


Beautiful architecture of Marseille France
Doesn’t it look like a painting?

Marseille is a lively port city made up of both historical architecture and hip modern multicultural urbanites. The streets of Marseille are so picturesque that it makes you feel like you’ve stumbled onto a movie set. As soon as you step foot in France’s second largest city, you will quickly notice how multicultural it is. This is because since Greek settlers came ashore around 600 BC, many immigrants have made Marseille their home. I’ve heard mixed reviews about Marseille, but I personally think this is one of the most exciting cities in France.


Segway riding in Dijon, France
One of the best way to explore Dijon!

Dijon is the capital of the Burgundy region in the eastern part of France. If you love wine, elegant medieval and Renaissance buildings, mustard and gingerbread, then this is probably the best place for you in the world to visit.

One of my favourite ways to spend a day in Dijon is by purchasing one of the Dijon City Cards. With the Dijon City Card, you can enjoy special privileges to access the main monuments and attractions of the beautiful city along with 2 guided tours of your choice for an grand total of… 12 €! Of course, I had to choose the lake view Segway tour.

Smaller Villages Surrounding Macon

Castles of Burgundy France
Feeling like a real princess.

While the city of Macon didn’t really impress me, the villages surrounding it in the region of Burgundy definitely did. Although Paris is known for being romantic, I felt that these villages were the true representation of romantic France. It’s an area in France where you hope to get lost because when you do, you stumble upon something unexpected and magical.

Whether that is exploring the ground of one of the many ancient castles or finding your way onto a cheese farm. Perhaps it’s turning a corner to find a traditional windmill or making friends with a friendly French donkey. Wherever you end up, you are guaranteed to be greeted by friendly locals and nearby delicious wine and unforgettable French cuisine.

Aix en Provence  

Couldn’t you just spend hours admiring this view? Photo Credit: She Loves Glam

Aix-en-Provence is a university city in the visually stunning Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region of southern France. If you love markets, moss covered mountains and sunshine there is plenty of all of that in this city. Aix is lush with golden sunflower beds, aromatic lavender fields, ancient olive trees, legendary grape vines and rolling mountains. It’s a great place to truly sit back, take a deep breath and relax.


Nice France

Whether you are a backpacker, romantic seeking couple or family, Nice has a little something for everyone. There really is a lot to see and do in this city. This city is a mix of old and new with a buzzing nightlife, endless dining options and thriving art scene. It also doesn’t hurt that Nice is also located on the Mediterranean Sea with beautiful beaches where you can get your tan on.

What part of France do you love the most?

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  • France is such I nice place. Il lived in Paris for 15 years. Loved it. I am now living in Tours, in the Loire Valley, a great wine region, only 150 miles south of Paris. Definitely worth the visit also : great castles of course (e.g. Chambord, Chenonceaux) and many great vineyards for a wine tasting tour. The region can also be discovered by bike : the local tourism councils have worked a lot on making it easy to cycle down the Loire Valley. They have even set up a dedicated website : A bientôt 🙂

  • Bordeaux It is one of the best tourist attractions of France which is also recognized as a wine capital. If you are a food lover and wine connoisseur then you will definitely have a lot to discover here. The city also features several historical landmarks and monuments which are worth adding in your list of best places to visit in France. Bordeaux also boasts several shopping markets where you can enjoy the ultimate shopping experience. Some of the key highlights worth visiting in the city include Pey-Berland Tower and Baillardran.

  • If money were no object I’d basically spend my entire life travelling through France and eating up all the pastries. So buttery. So good. Did you go to Rousillon while you were in the south? It’s awesome and it has a hiking trail through the ochre quarries. It’s like Australia or Arizona but in France.

    • I am so on the same page as you with the eating and the pastries hahaha. I am obsessed with the food in France! It’s definitely some of the best. I haven’t hit up Roussillon yet, but I’ll be back to France and check that out. Sounds amazing!

  • Mont St Michel is a must see
    The Loire Valley for its castle too
    Also, I would recommend the Cantal area (check Salers, it's really pretty)
    and the area souther (Lozere, Lot and Aveyron are gorgeous and full of pretty lovely village

    and if you havn't checked Strasbourg (North East), you should, it is quite a lovely city:)

  • Love this list! I’m heading back to France next year, so I’m trying to narrow down my list of places there to visit. There are so many beautiful towns, cities and regions outside of Paris and they all have their own unique character and identity (and food specialty!). Two of my favourite places in France are Carcassonne and Saint-Malo.


    • Awesome! Happy travels 🙂 I would highly recommend heading to the villages outside of Macon. Dijon is also awesome and you can go on a wine tour that will bring you to a lot of the smaller villages. If you love wine then you will love Dijon and Burgundy in general. I drank some of the best wine I’ve ever had there.


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