Sophisticated Tourist Experiences – France
The French Republic, as it’s officially called, has for a long time been one of the world’s top tourist destinations (if not the most popular). Everything there is conceived in order to attract visitors, while the combination between the culture, nature and economic power makes it the perfect place to spend a full week (even month) of your summer.
Paris, the capital, is the biggest tourist hotspot (and economic powerhouse, for that matter). Of course, everybody knows the Eiffel Tower, but Paris has much more to offer. The Louvre, located in the center of the city, is one of the biggest and most impressive museums in the world. The Gardens of Tuilleries, located close-by, are the perfect place to rest your legs after a tiring day at the museum. In the immediate vicinity you can find the Dome des Invalides (containing the tomb of Napoleon) and the D’Orsay Museum (yet another impressive art gallery, located in a former train station). In your tour around Paris, you definitely shouldn’t miss places like the Notre Dame cathedral, Sorbonne, the Pantheon, the La Defense business district, the Champs Elysee and, why not, Disneyland.
Outside the capital, the Southern, Mediterranean coast attracts the most tourists, because of its natural splendors and nice weather. The place is considered a destination for the rich, as urban settlements like Cannes, Nice or Monaco can be, at times, incredibly expensive. Still, from the moment you set foot on the beaches of Southern France, you can see why the place is called the Cote d’Azur – the color of the water and of the sky is truly unique.
More to the west, the Loire Valley and the city of Bordeaux are riddled with 17th and 18th century castles with exquisite gardens. Some of them are built literally on top of the river, patenting an old French construction technique that now is used all over the world for bridges and buildings. Driving up north, along the coast of Normandy allows you to take in the air of the Atlantic, while also visiting some small French towns that seem to be stuck in time.
The Mont Saint Michel and the beaches of Normandy await all those who are fans of weird architecture and history. The monastery and surrounding village of Mont Saint Michel transform into an island during the high tide and into a peninsula during a low tide, while the beaches of Normandy are riddled with very well preserved remnants of WWII (pillboxes, trenches, guns etc.) and, of course, cemeteries.
A tour of France would not be complete without a trip in the Alps, Grenoble being the preferred destination for many, as well as in the German speaking region of Alsace. Nothing left to say than: Bon voyage!