Category Archives: France

What to do in France; French attractions and the best places to visit in France.

Exploring Strasbourg in Eastern France

Strasbourg is the capital of the French region of Alsace, situated three kilometres from the border with Germany. This gives the city an unique mix of German and French influence in everything from architecture and artistic heritage, to food (sauerkraut or choucroute) and drink (Gewürtztraminer and Riesling).

Exploring Strasbourg in Eastern FranceMaison des Tanneurs by Jonathan Martz

It’s easy to reach the city by rail, as it’s only two hours from Paris on the TGV Est line. Railbookers have some tailor-made rail trips available that can take you from London to Strasbourg via Rail, which will allow you take in the sights of France as you go. There are a number of hotels close to the station, but these tend to be at the budget end. About a ten to fifteen minute walk from the station is the Grande ÃŽle and Petite France, two areas in the city centre that have charming medieval streets and squares with its typical Alsatian white timber-framed buildings. Here you will find a range of good hotels, from affordable to luxury. Being in the city centre you are close to the many bars and restaurants frequented by visitors and locals alike by day and night. Given that much of the city centre is pedestrianised, it is easy and pleasant to just wander around these streets admiring the architecture.

Exploring Strasbourg in Eastern France
Place du Marché aux Cochons de Lait by Rh-67

Strasbourg is an incredibly picturesque city, and is justifiably a popular tourist destination throughout the year. During the summer it is the scenic, mountainous landscapes of Alsace and the typical white timber framed Medieval buildings that attracts many visitors to the area and the city. Whereas during the winter months, particularly in the weeks leading up to Christmas, it is the annual market that draws people in.

Exploring Strasbourg in Eastern France
Strasbourg Christmas market by Jonathan M

Perhaps the most prominent architectural attraction is the sandstone Gothic Cathédrale Notre-Dame of Strasbourg, with its astronomical clock. This and many other Medieval churches thankfully escaped destruction during the many wars that have plagued this region of Europe.  Time your visit for 12:30 pm to see the procession of Christ and his apostles while a life-size cock crows. The astronomical element of the clock shows an accurate, relative position of the sun and noon, as well as the solar and lunar eclipses. The clock was installed in 1843 during the first period of French possession of the city (1681 – 1870). When observing the clock – look to the left where you will see a statue of the clock’s maker admiring his masterpiece.

Exploring Strasbourg in Eastern France
The astronomical clock in the Cathedral by Taxiarchos22

There are a number of breweries in Strasbourg, many offering  free tours during which you can see the production process, and even taste the beer at the end.

Leaving the Medieval city centre, there are more recent parks and castles to explore. The Baroque style Château de Pourtalès and the Parc de l’Orangerie with its Neoclassical castle are two popular attractions to explore on a sunny day.
Exploring Strasbourg in Eastern France
The Neoclassical Pavillon Joséphine by Jonathan M

Should the weather not be that great for exploring outdoors, there are plenty of museums to visit. Much of the city’s archaeological heritage is accessible in the Musée Archéologique. The more recent history of the city is explored in the Musée Historique.

There are a number of unusual museums in Strasbourg, some of which are owned and managed by the university. If you were ever curious about instruments that measure earthquakes and other seismic activity – don’t miss the Musée de Sismologie et Magnétisme terrestre. But perhaps the most unusual of the university museums is the plaster cast museum: Gypsothèque de Strasbourg, also called the Musée des moulages. In the basement of a Neoclassical Palace inaugurated by a German Emperor is an eclectic mix of plaster casts of various well known classical works of art – including some of the contested sculptures from the Parthenon in Greece. These casts were moved to the basement at the start of World War II, and have been there ever since. And, it was in this impressive building that the first meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe took place in September 1949.

History of Strasbourg

People have been settling in the area for many thousands of years. Archaeological evidence of human occupation stretches back to at least 600,000 years ago. More recently, during the third century BC, an important Celtic town called Argentorate developed alongside the river. More recently still the Romans established a strategic military settlement here, and the original shape of the Roman fort can still be seen in the layout and plan of the inner city.

The more recent Medieval past is everywhere – and it is this period that gives the city much of its photogenic character.

To many people, Strasbourg is the seat of the European Parliament. Besides hosting a number of European institutions, members of the European Parliament meet here for twelve sessions a year, during which all parliamentary votes that effect the European Union take place. But there is so much more to the city than the EU. Strasbourg’s political significance today reflects a city that has been at the heart of Europe’s history for centuries. Strasbourg was the first city to have  its entire centre listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site – in 1988.

If you enjoy exploring Europe by train, Railbookers offer rail trips to many other European destinations including Luxembourg, Cannes and Monte Carlo.

Brittany Ferries

Ferry Versus Plane for Holidays in France

Brittany Ferries’ infographic highlights some of the advantages of travelling from the UK to France by ferry versus plane.

The comparison is based on a holiday to the Loire Valley for a family of two adults and two kids. The journey by ferry would entail driving your own car to the UK ferry port, the ferry crossing from Portsmouth to Caen and the drive to the Loire Valley. The journey by plane would entail driving to your UK departure airport, flying to Nantes and picking up a hire car at the airport to drive to the final destination.

Check in time for Brittany Ferries is 45 minutes before departure, compared to two hours for flights. Travelling by ferry would avoid the drive to the airport, transfer from the airport car park to the terminal buidling and queueing up to drop off your hold luggage and to get through airport security.

To me, the biggest advantage of travelling with your own car and crossing the Channel by ferry is that there are no luggage restrictions. I’m geting fed up of squeezing all my luggage into one carry on case to avoid hold luggage fees, bag drop off queues and waits at the luggage carousel on arrival at the destination. Never mind the confusion over the differing maximum dimensions and weight of that cary on suitcase between the airlines.

You can fit in loads of luggage in your car, even in a supermini. This is a real boon, especially when travelling with kids. I remember how much gear I needed to take even for a day out, never mind a holiday. If your kids are small, you can use the foot wells at the back seats as extra storage space.


Ferry Versus Plane for Holidays in France

Image source: Brittany Ferries – Ferry VS Plane to France

It’s easier to keep kids entertained on a ferry than a plane. A ferry offers more space to move around.  When you’re on a plane you can be wedged into your seat, with a baby on your knee, unable to even walk up and down the aisle during trolley service. There’s the option to pay for a cabin on the ferry if you want some private space. Click here for information on the various Brittany Ferries routes to France.

I’ve never had a problem getting a seat next to my travelling companian(s) on ferry. With most airlines, you now have to pay an additional fee to select specific seats; the free allocated seats don’t guarantee that everyone in the party will sit together.

Another advantage for me is the free WiFi on board on Brittany Ferries. Although I can get online through Vodafone Euro Traveller, it costs me £3 a day to use my UK allowance, which only includes 1.5GB of data per month.

It can be a real hassle picking up a hire car when you arrive at your destination airport. There’s usually a queue, when all you want to do is get going to your final destination.

Not having to pay for car hire could make your holiday cheaper. You need to watch our for fairly hefty excesses, payable if the rental car is damaged of stotlen,  even on supposedly all inclusive prices with car hire firms.

Diesel is cheaper than unleaded petrol in France. As we have a diesel car, we’d be able to take advantage of this. Whereas, it’s usually more expensive to rent a diesel than a petrol car, so the additional cost of renting a diesel car would negate the savings made on cheaper diesel.

If you’re thinking of taking your car to Europe, check that your car insurance offers EU cover as standard, some insurance companies charge extra for this. Our M&S premier car insurance also includes European breakdown cover.

paris-amphitheatre-640

Discovering Roman Sites in Paris

Unlike many southern French cities, Paris tends not to be associated with a Roman past. Some guidebooks barely mention their presence at all, or they do so only in passing. Not surprisingly then, of all the things to see and do in Paris the Roman sites rarely get a look in. Of course the Roman archaeology that does survive in Paris today is nowhere near as visually spectacular as say the amphitheatre in Nîmes or the theatre in Orange. But, for those interested in a deeper past of European cities there are some interesting Roman sites to visit.

Discovering Roman Sites in ParisMultimedia display in remains of Roman port in Notre Dame’s crypt

Soon after Julius Caesar defeated the Celts in 52 BC, the Romans established a settlement on the left bank of the Seine River. Although it would never become an administrative centre, its location on the navigable river meant the settlement would always be strategic for shipping and maritime commerce. Visitors to the crypt of the Notre Dame Cathedral can see the remains of the Roman port. A wonderful but simple multimedia display that adds life to the stone foundations, and children today excitedly watch the arrival in port of a Roman ship (below).

The main centre of the Roman town, Lutetia as it was called then, lay to the south of the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Ile de Cit̩. Rue St. Jacques is generally thought to have been the main axis road, or the cardo maximus, of the town on the left bank, while the modern day equivalent on the right bank is the Rue Saint-Martin Рthe road that runs alongside the Pompidou Centre. So while tourists explore the very trendy Latin Quarter and students study at the Sorbonne, beneath them are the foundations of the Roman town.

Discovering Roman Sites in Paris

Remains of Roman bath house in Paris

An exception can be found on Boulevard Saint-Michel, where the substantial remains of what was one of a number of public bath houses can be seen from the street (above). This bath house still stands today because it was not destroyed by the Franks when they sacked the city in the mid fifth century AD, and it has been in continuous use since. Part of the building now houses the National Middle Ages Museum.

Discovering Roman Sites in Paris

Reconstruction of Roman amphitheatre in Paris

As with all sizeable Roman towns, Lutetia also had an amphitheatre. Do not expect anything like the Colosseum in Rome Рthat was after all the biggest and most elaborate amphitheatre in the entire Roman world. Today the Ar̬nes de Lut̬ce is a reconstruction of the amphitheatre that was located just beyond the edge of the Roman town. That there is anything there at all today is thanks in part to Victor Hugo who spearheaded a campaign to have the remains preserved when they were discovered in the 1860s.

The Romans were by no means the first to settle in Paris. The earliest evidence of human habitation along the Seine River goes back some 10,000 years. One of the earliest dugout canoes to have been excavated in Europe can be seen on display in the Carnavalet Museum; along with many other archaeological objects from the earliest times in Paris.

More Paris Tips

If you’re in Paris to attend a football or rugby match or a gig at the Stade de France, we’ve ideas for day trips by car from the Stade de France area in our guest post on the carhiremarket.com site. Having a hire car will enable you to visit places such as the Montmorency Forest and the Isle d’Adam, giving you a contrast to the hustle and bustle of the Paris.

A view from the central path of the Tuileries Garden towards the Arc de Triomphe.

Paris’s Axe Historique – From the Louvre to La Défense

If you’re looking for something different to do in Paris and would like to gain insight into the history of Paris, then exploring the Axe Historique, fits the bill perfectly. The Champs Elysées, which runs between the Place de la Concorde and the Arc de Triomphe, is the oldest part of the Axe Historique, also known as the Voie Triomphale (triumphal way)  an axis of roads and monuments that runs from the centre of Paris out beyond the city to the west.

With so much to see and do in the French capital of Paris. I’d start planning my Paris trip by thinking about my sightseeing itinerary. Having some ideas about what I’d like to see in Paris would allow me to decide in which area I wished to stay e.g. close to the route of the Axe Historique. While the Paris Metro is usually very efficient and reasonably priced, I’d prefer to stay in a hotel that’s not too far from the attractions that I wished to visit. Once I’d checked out hotel prices and availability, I’d book my flights to Paris. The city’s Charles de Gaulle Airport is served by a wide selection of airlines including Emirates, easyJet and Air France, which means that there are daily flights from most destinations to Paris. Once my flight was arranged, I’d book my hotel in Paris and then firm up my daily schedules.

Pariss Axe Historique    From the Louvre to La Défense
Looking up the Champs Elysées towards the Arc de Triomphe, with the tip of the Luxor Obelisk pointing the way. © Palagret

Exploring the Axe Historique

Walking along the Champs Elysées it is very difficult not to notice this alignment of monuments, which was first conceptualised in the 17th century, and has been repeatedly added to and extended ever since.. When going up the Champs Elysées towards the Arc de Triomphe, and looking back at the Louvre, the glass pyramids of the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, the central path of the Tuileries Gardens, the Luxor obelisk on Place de la Concorde are all but perfectly aligned with the Arc de Triomphe. Standing on the high point on which the Arc de Triomphe is situated and looking in the opposite direction of the Louvre, one can see that that Axe Historique continues on beyond the boundary of the city of Paris out to the business district known as La Défense with its modern Grande Arche.

Pariss Axe Historique    From the Louvre to La Défense
A few of the monuments along the ‘axe historique’ from the Tuileries Gardens. © Ximeg

The Champs Elysées was created in the 1600s as an extension of the central pathway in the gardens of the royal Palace of the Tuileries. Although the palace is no longer standing (it was destroyed in 1871), the Tuileries Gardens and its pathway have been retained. On the place de la Concorde, that crazy looking round-about between at the Tuileries Gardens and the Champs Elysées, is the red granite obelisk from Luxor. Erected on the axe historique on Place de la Concorde in October of 1833, this ancient Egyptian artefact was a gift from Egypt to France.

Pariss Axe Historique    From the Louvre to La Défense
Looking through the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel towards the Louvre, and the one end of the axe historique’. © Thomas Dowson

Constructed between the Louvre and Tuileries Palaces between 1806 and 1808, the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel commemorates Napoleon’s military victories of 1807. Today the arch has a statue that was installed in 1828, which represents Peace riding a triumphal chariot that was created to celebrate the restoration of the Bourbons after the downfall of Napoleon. This Quadriga replaced a much more the famous quadriga from Saint Mark’s Cathedral in Venice – looted by Napoleon when he captured the Italian city in 1798. Following Napoleon’s defeat at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 and the return of the Bourbons to the French Monarchy, France immediately gave the Venetian quadriga back.

Looking to the east, the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel is aligned with the statue of Louis XIV on a horse placed in the Napoleon courtyard of the Louvre. And on a clear day, visitors to Paris get a clear view from this arch up the axis to the Luxor Obelisk and the larger Arc de Triomphe at the other end of the Champs Elysées.

Pariss Axe Historique    From the Louvre to La Défense
The Luxor Obelisk and Arc de Triomphe viewed through the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel. © Simdaperce

Pariss Axe Historique    From the Louvre to La Défense
The Avenue de la Grande Armée from the Arc de Triomphe looking out beyond the city boundary to the Grande Arche in La Défense. © Hadouin

From beyond the Arc de Triomphe the axis is made up of the Avenue de la Grande Armée, so named in 1864 to honour French military who fought the Napoleonic Wars, and the Avenue Charles-de-Gaulle. Here the axis extends from the centre of Paris out towards the business district of La Défense, and the most recent monument to be added to the axe historiquela Grande Arche. The brainchild President Mitterrand, and designed by the Danish architect Johann Otto von Spreckelsen, this modern interpretation of the Arc de Triomphe was inaugurated in 1989 during the bicentennial celebrations of the French Revolution. Today the Grande Arche houses various government offices, unfortunately the viewing gallery and restaurant has been closed to the public.

Pariss Axe Historique    From the Louvre to La Défense
A view east from the Grande Arche in La Défense towards the Arc de Triomphe. © ZacharyS

So what might at first seem to be nothing more than random accumulation of monuments along a straight road (they do exist!) through Paris, is in fact a very significant focus for the commemoration of cultural and historical events in the story of the capital city. Over the years, successive French leaders have added monuments to the axis, at various political junctures in France’s history. And this shows no sign of having ended. There are now plans to extend the axis further west through the city of Nanterre.

I’m sure that you could spend weeks exploring Paris;here are our tips for things to do in Paris.

 

 

Normandy is well known for fresh seafood.

Exploring Normandy in Northern France

Normandy is one of the most popular tourist destinations in France. There is the Medieval abbey of Mont Saint Michel and Claude Monet’s gardens with the water lily ponds he created – with strong, initial objections from the local residents of Giverny. And then there are also the ruins of Jumièges Abbey, said by many to be the most beautiful ruins in France, and the amazing Bayeux Tapestry. Normandy’s beaches have also played host to numerous armies over the last two thousand or so years, from the Romans who invaded Britain in the first century AD, and more recently the Allied forces who invaded Nazi occupied France in June of 1944.

Exploring Normandy in Northern France

The American WW2 Cemetery above Omaha Beach.

It’s not surprising with this concentration of historically and culturally significant sites – many of which have been added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage sites – that Normandy attracts a lot of visitors each year. Monet’s garden in Giverny and Mont Saint Michel, are the most visited attractions outside of Paris.

Unless you are only interested in exploring the big cities, and why not – Rouen, Caen and Le Havre have much to offer, a car is essential in Normandy, enabling you to get off the beaten track and away from the popular sites. Public transport to cities and larger towns can be very good, but having your own transport allows you to see and do so much more, going from village to village exploring at leisure.

Exploring Normandy in Northern France

Rouen

If you bring your own car from the UK, you can cross the Channel through the Tunnel or by one of many ferry routes. You can bring as much luggage as you can fit in your car, instead of trying to cram everything into a couple of cases.. Check that your motor insurance is valid in France. Make sure that you take your driving licence and have a GB sticker, a warning triangle, a fluorescent vest and a couple of breathalysers in your car. It’s a good idea to make sure you’re covered for a breakdown to save hassle and expense if you have car problems.

I’d recommend avoiding being on the main roads in Normandy on a Saturday. This is the day that most self-catering gîtes and vacation rentals have their change-over, where the previous week’s guests depart and new guests arrive. As many routes from further south in France to the ferry ports of the north pass through Normandy, major roads and auto-routes are very busy, particularly during the peak summer months of July and August. A great excuse then to get off the main roads and explore the largely unvisited treasures of Normandy.

The Normandy we all know and love is made up of two different administrative regions: originally enough, Upper and Lower Normandy. It is Lower Normandy that is the more popular of the two, but do not overlook Upper Normandy. Upper Normandy may not have the well known places people visit, but for those searching for a less crowded destination that retains the Norman rural and cultural charm will not be disappointed here. The coastline from Dieppe to Le Havre with its stunning chalky cliffs attracted the Impressionists, and Monet produced more canvases of this coastline than of any other single theme. It was in the small town of Eu that William the conqueror married Mathilda, and centuries later in the Château d’Eu that King Louis Philippe welcomed Queen Victoria to his summer palace for the first Entente Cordiale between the French and English.

Exploring Normandy in Northern France
The chalky cliffs at Varengeville-sur-Mer, along the Normandy coast.

Just a few days ago I was driving from Jumièges Abbey towards Le Havre along the northern banks of the Seine River. Coming into the town of Caudebec-en-Caux I could not help but notice the church. Something made me stop and explore, and given my penchant for archaeology (prehistory to the Middle Ages), I am glad I did. Here on the front portal of the church I found some of the most exquisite stone carvings I have ever seen on a church. As Normandy has been a relatively prosperous region since early on the Middle Ages, there is a vast architectural and religious heritage across the region.

Exploring Normandy in Northern France
These detailed stone carvings on the church in Caudebec-en-Caux are only about 8 cm in height.

Besides churches and castles, Normandy is also well known for cheese and cider. Although there is considerable industry in the region, the vast, rolling green countryside supports numerous cattle farms and apple orchards.. We all know of Camembert, but there are many others that are older, and just as delicious Рsuch as a Coeur du Neufch̢tel. At the market, you will find one near you every day of the week, get yourself some fresh cheese, a bottle of cider and you are all set for a picnic Рall you need is a crusty baguette from the boulangerie.

Exploring Normandy in Northern France
Morning market in Aumale, Upper Normandy.

Given Normandy’s extensive coastline, a number of the quaint, seaside towns and villages are fishing ports. Normandy is the place to have one of those mouth watering plateau de fruits de mer (seafood platter). Two picturesque, seaside towns I recommend for their great restaurants, to suit all budgets, are Le Treport and Honfleur.

Exploring Normandy in Northern France

All the seafood you can eat in Normandy

Have a great time exploring Normandy.

9 Places to Visit in Provence

Provence is easily France’s most popular tourist destination after Paris and with books like A Year in Provence romanticising it even more, it is no wonder that everyone wants to travel there. To help inspire you even more, here’s a list of 10 things to do in Provence – both romantic and otherwise – many of which have been enjoyed by our contributors.

Luberon Valley

Kimberly took her family to the Luberon Valley and found it to be a spectacularly beautiful region. They based themselves in the hillside town of Gordes and also enjoyed visiting nearby towns like Oppède-le-Vieux and Roussillon. She particularly recommends visiting each town on their market day to stock up on tasty local delicacies.

9 Places to Visit in Provence

Luberon Valley by Kimberly Sullivan

Gorges du Verdon

The largest gorges in Europe are apparently the Gorges du Verdon (Verdon Gorges) in Provence. In summer you’re able to swim in the gorges and throughout the year there are lots of outdoor activities available so it’s not just scenic, but a great destination for some healthy fun (especially if you’ve been over-indulging in the great local food and wine).

9 Places to Visit in Provence

Gorges du Verdon by Kimberly Sullivan

Aix-en-Provence

Aix-en-Provence is a charming university town and artist Cezanne once lived there. It’s worth strolling around with the sole objective of looking at the fountains – there are some 40 different fountains in the old town alone and some of them are quite beautiful.

9 Places to Visit in Provence

Aix-en-Provence by Passion Leica

Avignon Festival

The city of Avignon is always worth a visit but if you can time it to celebrate the Avignon Festival then so much the better. The Festival d’Avignon has both traditional, formal performances and more off-beat, new performers and many of the festivities take place in the famous Palace of the Popes and other Avignon historical buildings.

9 Places to Visit in Provence

Palace of the Popes by Thomas Dowson

Marseille

France’s second city, Marseille, is no quaint and lovely spot like much of Provence, but still worth a visit. One especially lovely part is the Vieux Port area with its markets and winding streets (and of course a fish market too).

9 Places to Visit in Provence

Fish in Marseille by Alexbip

Sisteron

The pretty town of Sisteron is one of many known as a gateway to Provence and it has all the characteristics which make Provence an attractive destination: beautiful scenery, quaint old town, and great weather (300 days of sunshine each year, apparently!). There are also three museums, the most interesting or unique of which is the Baden-Powel Scout Museum.

9 Places to Visit in Provence

Sisteron by boldorak2208

Arles

Situated on the end of the Camargue National Park, Arles was once home to van Gogh and it’s the very town where he sliced off a part of his ear! Arles is also home to some impressive Roman ruins.

9 Places to Visit in Provence

Arles amphitheatre by ell brown

Saint Remy de Provence

The small village of Saint Remy de Provence is home to more impressive Roman ruins, and a particularly fine market every Wednesday. And significantly, it’s also home to the asylum where van Gogh was sent after the ear-slicing incident.

9 Places to Visit in Provence

Markets in Saint Remy de Provence by Fabrice Terrasson

Cassis

If you’re looking for a beach holiday then Cassis is one great Provence spot to have one. The town is gorgeous and the beach, surrounded by white cliffs, is beautiful too.

9 Places to Visit in Provence

Beach in Cassis by sambayogi

Nice-Musée-Matisse

10 Museums in France

Here are our travel tips for museums in France, outside the capital city of Paris.

Matisse Museum, Nice

French artist Henri-Émile-Benoît Matisse (1869- 1954) lived in Nice from 1918 until he died, and his great work is on display at death Musée Matisse. Located on 164, av. des Arènes de Cimiez 06000, the museum is open all year (with the exception of Tuesdays and some public holidays) and free to visit. It’s open from 10am till 6pm. The museum allows group tours that don’t have more than 20 people. However guided tours cost €20 for school groups and  €80 for adult groups. Getting to the museum is also convenient. You just need to take one of these buses: 15, 17, 20, 22, 25.

10 Museums in France

Photo by debs-eye.

Click here for great deals at hotels in Nice

Musée des Beaux-Arts et d’archéologie, Besançon

Interestingly enough, France’s oldest public museum was at first the private collection of an abbot, although he wanted the public to be able to visit it two days a week starting from 1694. Musée des Beaux-Arts et d’archéologie de Besançon’s collections consist of 3 different areas: paintings, drawings and archaeology, though I find the archaeological aspect the most impressive. Some of the archaeology pieces are the complete sarcophagus of an ancient Egyptian (21 Dynasty) royal scribe named Seramon and several Roman pavements of mosaic as well as various artifacts from different sites of the area. The painting collection includes works from European artists like Henri-Émile-Benoît Matisse Matisse, Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes, Pieter Bruegel (Brueghel) the Elder, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Tiziano Vecelli  and Sir Peter Paul Rubens – covering several centuries. The museum is also famous for the vast number of drawings it displays, which also covers several centuries and different countries. The museum is located in the France-Comte area, in the east of France, close to the Swiss border.

10 Museums in France

Photo by Magika42000′s photostream

Click here for the lowest prices on Besançon hotels

Continue reading

Travel in France with Europe a la Carte

Today, 18 April 2012, the theme on all Europe a la Carte social networks is travel in France.  Our 25 travel tips on what to see in France will give you some ideas for your French travels.

Travel in France with Europe a la Carte

Sacre Coeur in Montmarte, Paris

Facebook

Share your links on the Europe a la Carte Facebook page.

Pinterest

If you’d like to collaborate on the Europe a la Carte Travelling in France Pinterest Board, please contact me.

Twitter

Tweet your stories about travel in France with the hashtag #travelfrance.

nice

25 Places to See in France

When planning what to do in France, the first thing that usually comes to mind is vistiting Paris. While the French capital does have a lot to offer, there are many other wonderful places to visit; here are my travel tips on what to see in France during your next vacation.

Nice

Situated along the Mediterranean, this coastal town is renowned for its beauty. A walk down the Promenade des Anglais will give you a tour of Nice‘s best beaches as well as a great view of the Côte d’Azur. If you want to experience some history and culture, visit Terra Amata, an archeological site from about 400,000 BC, or the Musée Matisse, which features the work of Henri Matisse and is free to enter.

25 Places to See in France

Nice by Justin Knabb

St. Malo

While many people may think of St. Malo as nothing more than a ferry port, the city actually has a lot to offer. First of all, impressive walls surround what was once a medieval city. Once inside, you will be able to walk the medieval ramparts and the reconstructed city, perusing restaurants and shops along the cobblestone streets. And because of the city’s location, they serve excellent seafood.

25 Places to See in France

The walled city of St.Malo by Thomas Dowson

Continue reading

doublepyramid

10 Wonderful Paris Museums

It hurts to admit it, but my only visit to France has been an accident. A flight delay gave me a night (and a very early morning in Paris), and sneaking a visit to the Eiffel Tower on my way to the airport was all I could squeeze in.Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to see Paris the way it is meant to be seen, while discovering all its corners and streets, visiting the museums, and trying (yet failing to) manage French. For now, I made a list of museums that I shouldn’t miss the next time I go there, including tips from fellow writers on some of the best museums in Europe. You’ll find plenty more tips on what to do in Paris on Europe a al Carte.

10 Wonderful Paris Museums

Louvre Pyramids

Continue reading