Ports of Call
Paris, France © Benh Lieu Song
France Travel Guide
There isn't a single travel destination 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 Côte d'Azur.
A holiday in France offers a wide variety of attractions for all travellers, whether interested in culture and history or just having a good time. While Paris is famous for its sophistication, there are more than 40,000 castles and chateaus 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 for millions of tourists each year.
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 vacation for many.
Best time to visit France
France has four distinct seasons and each season offers delights for travellers, but 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. Read more on France's Climate and Weather.
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-Elysées. Read more on France Attractions.
What to do in France
-Take a guided tour of the Moët 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. Get more information on France Airports.
Hotel Pastis by Peter Mayle, Five Quarters of the Orange by Joanne Harris, and Les Miserables by Victor Hugo.
Non, Je ne regrette rien (Edith Piaf) and Si tu n'étais pas là (Fréhel).
La Vie en Rose (2007), Amelie (2001), and Midnight in Paris (2011).
French wine and champagne.
Croissants, macaroons, frog's legs.
What to buy
French wine and Parisian fashion.
What to pack
A French phrasebook. Many French outside of Paris don't speak English, and a little French will make life that much easier for you, 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. More information on France Events.
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.