Photo of French attractions

There are thousands of tourist attractions in France, with historic monuments and beautiful gardens, abbeys and cathedrals, museums and islands to explore among the most popular.

France This Way have visited and reviewed hundreds of the most popular of these French attractions...below you can explore these by category, and we also recommend our favourites in each category:

Abbeys :: Castles :: Cathedrals :: Caves / prehistoric sites :: Churches :: Gardens :: Islands :: Museums :: Scenic highlights

Abbeys in France

Abbey in France

With abbeys it is usually the environment that is as much part of the attraction as the buildings, because they are often in scenic and peaceful locations, as a result of the monks who established them searching for places that offered this tranquility. So abbeys are sometimes just romantic ruins, but still very evocative as a result.

Our favourite abbeys include:

Fontenay abbey, an extensive abbey complex in a lovely valley in Burgundy


Senanque abbey, in the heart of Provence and best known for the lavender field next to the abbey!


Beauport abbey, near Paimpol in Brittany, a lovely ruined abbey surrounded by gardens


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Cathedrals in France

Cathedral in France

French cathedrals are among the most impressive in the world with many to choose from and in different styles of architecture (usually romanesque or gothic), and with much of the best artwork and stonework to be seen in France, both inside and outside

Our favourite cathedrals include:

Albi cathedral, an unusual red brick cathedral that features almost 20000 square metres of wall paintings inside


Chartres cathedral, a very famous gothic style cathedral built in the 13th century


Bourges cathedral, with some outstanding stonework to admire


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Castles in France

Castle in France

There are more than 1000 castles in France, and although they are not all open to the public, it is true that wherever in France you visit you are likely to be within reach of a castle.

The category is very broad and includes, for example, the ancient cathar castles of southern France, medieval castles that saw a turbulent history during the Hundred Years War, and the more recent chateaux of the Loire Valley with their luxury and comfort.

Our favourite castles include:

Chateau of Les Baux-de-Provence is an extensive ruined castle with exceptional views across the village of Les Baux-de-Provence and the Provençal countryside


Chateau de Bonaguil is a medieval castle that never saw warfare and is now a major attraction in the Lot department of southern France


Chenonceau castle is one of our favourites of the (many!) beautiful castles in the Loire Valley


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Gardens in France

Garden in France

From beautiful gardens in the countryside of Normandy and the Dordogne to the remarkable Mediterranean gardens along the Cote d'Azur even visitors with no interest in gardens will be amazed by the variety and the quality of gardens in France

Our favourite gardens include:

Marqueyssac gardens are renowned for their large areas of carefully manicured box hedges and gardens and lovely views across the Dordogne countryside


Giverny gardens are perhaps the most visited and the most famous garden in France, because Giverny was the home of Monet when he painted the famous waterlily paintings


Exotic garden of Eze is only quite a small garden but it is in one of the most remarkable villages in France and in a setting that will take your breathe away - and you can see lots of exotic and other plants while you are here!


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Caves and prehistoric sites in France

Prehistoric site in France

Several areas of France are renowned for their prehistoric sites and their natural caves including Brittany which has many standing stones and dolmens; the Vézère valley in the Dordogne with its numerous traces of prehistoric occupation; some remarkable prehistoric settlements in Corsica, the Valley of the Marvels in the Alps and several cave systems in the Pyrenees among the most visited.

Our favourite sites include:

Font de Gaume caves, in the Dordogne, is one of very few caves where the public (in limited numbers) can still see the original cave paintings from thousands of years ago


Filitosa prehistoric site is in quite an isolated location in south Corsica and has several very imposing carved stones from prehistoric times


Padirac caves is one of the most entertaining and interesting cave systems in France


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Museums in France

Louvre museum in Paris

There are numerous museums in France: most large cities have several and even smaller towns often have one of two smaller museums dedicated to local traditions

Our favourite museums include:

Musée d'Aquitaine, an interesting museum in Bordeaux that celebrates the history of the region


Musée de l'Orangerie in Paris, with a collection of the famous waterlily paintings by Monet


the Louvre is probably the most famous museum in the world: a visit is indispensable when you are exploring Paris


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Beautiful scenery in France

Scenery in Corsica

As you explore France you will discover many beautiful places - our favourites include southern Corsica, Provence and the Alps but almost every region has its own special beauty

Our favourite scenic highlights include:

Dune de Pyla, the highest sand dune in Europe, near Arcachon in south-west France


Côte de Granit Rose in Brittany, a beautiful coast with red rocks in the blue sea


beaches near Porto-Vecchio in Corsica are our favourite beaches in France


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Islands around the coast of France

Scenery on Ile-Ouessant, island in Brittany

We love exploring islands around the coast of France, each has its own unique character, many also have pretty villages, and they often have beautiful scenery!

Our favourite French islands:

Ile de Batz, one of the most beautiful French slands, on the coast of Finistere in west Brittany


Ile de Ré on the coast of east France has pretty villages and beaches to visit, and is a very popular destination with families


Iles d'Hyeres in Provence are a protected environment and perhaps the most beautiful islands in France


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Churches in France

Church in France

There are more churches in France than we could ever hops to visit all of them, but when we discover a church in a town or village with some feature that will be of interest to visitors we nclude it here

We have included all religious monuments that are not cathedrals in this category - so some churches are impressive basilicas and others are small town churches that have preserved their roman style architecture, for example

Our favourite churches include:

The Church Saint-André in Sauveterre-de-Béarn is has a splendid roman style entrance and is just metres from a very lovely view to the pyrenees


Sante-Chapelle is a church in the centre of Paris which has the most beautiful stained glass windows that we have ever seen on all sides of the church


The church Saint-Hilaire on the edge of Melle is a very remarkable example of roman style architecture that merits a detour when you are in the area


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