France, in Western Europe, encompasses medieval cities, alpine villages and Mediterranean beaches. Paris, its capital, is famed for its fashion houses, classical art museums including the Louvre and monuments like the Eiffel Tower. The country is also renowned for its wines and sophisticated cuisine. Lascaux’s ancient cave drawings, Lyon’s Roman Theater and the vast Palace of Versailles attest to its rich history. Northern highlights include the Loire Valley’s majestic chateaux; Normandy’s WWII sites and iconic Mont-St-Michel; WWI Western Front battlefields; and Brittany’s rugged coast. To the east are German-influenced architecture and food, and the French Alps’ ski resorts. In the south, Provence is home to lavender fields, and the Riviera glitters with glamorous towns and beaches. Bordeaux and Burgundy produce renowned wines, while Champagne gives the bubbly stuff its name. Along with cheeses such as Camembert, Brie and Roquefort, local fare includes Brittany’s crêpes and Burgundy’s coq au vin.
Food Must Try
A fresh baguette is possibly the most iconic French food.
The bread is just as delicious by itself as it is with a traditional French cheese such as gruyère or brie.
If you’re in Paris, try Le Grenier à Pain; the bakery won this year’s Grand Prix de la Baguette
(Paris’s best baguette competition).
Crème brûlée is a favorite French dessert.
Once you crack the thin hard caramel shell and dip your spoon into the creamy custard below,
there’s no going back.
The French version of a grilled cheese sandwich, the croque-monsieur
Features jambon (ham) and melted gruyère cheese on the inside,
with rich béchamel sauce oozing out all over the sandwich.
The Eiffel Tower is a wrought iron lattice tower on the Champ de Mars in Paris, France. It is named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower.
Constructed from 1887–89 as the entrance to the 1889 World’s Fair, it was initially criticized by some of France’s leading artists and intellectuals for its design, but it has become a global cultural icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world. The Eiffel Tower is the most-visited paid monument in the world; 6.91 million people ascended it in 2015.
The tower is 324 meters (1,063 ft.) tall, about the same height as an 81-storey building, and the tallest structure in Paris. Its base is square, measuring 125 meters (410 ft.) on each side. During its construction, the Eiffel Tower surpassed the Washington Monument to become the tallest man-made structure in the world, a title it held for 41 years until the Chrysler Building in New York City was finished in 1930. Due to the addition of a broadcasting aerial at the top of the tower in 1957, it is now taller than the Chrysler Building by 5.2 meters (17 ft.). Excluding transmitters, the Eiffel Tower is the second-tallest structure in France after the Millau Viaduct.
Notre-Dame de Paris meaning “Our Lady of Paris”, also known as Notre-Dame Cathedral or simply Notre-Dame, is a medieval Catholic cathedral on the Île de la Cité in the fourth arrondissement of Paris, France. The cathedral is widely considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture, and it is among the largest and most well-known church buildings in the world. The naturalism of its sculptures and stained glass serve to contrast it with earlier Romanesque architecture.
As the cathedral of the Archdiocese of Paris, Notre-Dame contains the cathedra of the Archbishop of Paris, currently Cardinal André Vingt-Trois. The cathedral treasury contains a reliquary, which houses some of Catholicism’s most important relics, including the purported Crown of Thorns, a fragment of the True Cross, and one of the Holy Nails.
The French Riviera is the Mediterranean coast of southeastern France. It includes famously glamorous beach resorts such as Saint-Tropez and Cannes, and the independent microstate of Monaco. A health retreat in the 18th century, the area later attracted aristocrats, artists and the 1960s “jet set.” Today it’s an established holiday destination, with paths connecting many coastal villages and towns.