France is renowned for romanticism, creative artistry, and its deep-seated cultural heritage. From the eye-opening tastes of French cuisine to iconic wedding proposals atop the Eiffel Tower, there’s no culture quite like French culture. If you’re looking for an authentic French experience, take a look at nine activities unique to France.
1. Disneyland Paris
Disneyland Paris is the most visited theme park in all of Europe. Located 20 miles east of central Paris, the sprawling entertainment resort has two theme parks, a multi-level entertainment complex, and a full golf course, among several other features.
Each attraction is based on popular Disney franchises. For example, the top five attractions are based on Star Wars, Toy Story, Pirates of the Caribbean, Indiana Jones, and, of course, Frozen.
2. Eiffel Tower
Of course, this list wouldn’t be complete without the inclusion of the Eiffel Tower. One of the tallest man-made structures in the world, the Eiffel Tower is over 1,000 feet tall and made entirely out of wrought iron.
As you ascend, the tower has three main levels, each one more breathtaking than the last. A contemporary restaurant occupies the first level, while the second houses a Michelin-star bistro. The third level features a champagne bar and an observation deck, perfect for watching the sun go down over the backdrop of the city.
3. French cuisine
French cuisine has had a tremendous influence on Western cooking. As a testament to this fact, most Western culinary education bases its standards on French criteria. In 2010, UNESCO added French gastronomy to the list of the world’s “intangible cultural heritage”.
From sauteed steak to snails dipped in garlic butter, the influence of French cuisine can be seen all over the world. More important than the food itself, France has pioneered a high standard of cooking… a standard of quality that the world has taken to like a fish to water.
4. French Riviera
Few things in this world are as awe-inspiring as a sunset cruise on the French Riviera. Otherwise known as the Azure Coast, a trip down this Mediterranean coastline is on many a bucket list.
More than 14 million tourists visit the area every year, with more than half of them coming from abroad. A major draw for the area is that the weather remains warm and sunny for nearly the entire year. There are 18 golf courses and 14 ski resorts, along with over 3,000 restaurants.
5. The Louvre
Aside from being a historic landmark, the Louvre is the world’s most frequently visited museum. Despite lockdowns and travel restrictions, over 10 million people visited the Louvre in the last two years.
Situated in central Paris, the Louvre houses hundreds of thousands of historical artifacts. These artifacts are spread across eight departments, namely: Egyptian Antiquities; Near Eastern Antiquities; Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities; Islamic Art; Paintings; Prints and Drawings.
6. Mont Blanc
Mont Blanc, or ‘white mountain’ translated, is the highest mountain in Western Europe. Thanks to its high altitude and cold climate, it’s a popular destination for a number of outdoor activities such as hiking, climbing, skiing, and snowboarding.
There are three towns in the area surrounding the peak, Saint-Gervais-Les-Bains, Chamonix and Courmayeur which is on the Italian side. Chamonix was the home of the first Winter Olympics, all the way back in 1924.
7. Moulin Rouge
Found within the Pigalle district of Paris, the Moulin Rouge’s signature red windmill is hard to miss. As the official birthplace of cabaret, Moulin Rouge has delighted theater audiences for more than a century.
Together with the cabaret itself, the can-can dance owes its existence to Moulin Rouge. The theater is considered a cultural cornerstone of France, thanks to its immense contributions towards the growth of cabaret.
The Notre-Dame Cathedral, also known as Notre-Dame de Paris, is one of France’s most widely recognized symbols, and one of the world’s finest examples of gothic architecture. The cathedral is a popular tourist attraction, visited by over 12 million people per year.
Over time, many portions of the original architecture have been rebuilt. However, there are still many relics on display, including some of Christianity’s most important treasures like the Crown of Thorns, a nail from the true cross, and several 17th-century altarpieces.
9. Palace of Versailles
The Palace of Versaille is situated about 12 miles west of Paris. It’s an incredibly elegant structure, made all the more prominent thanks to the fact that it’s surrounded by natural beauty. The architectural opulence on display draws almost 15 million people a year.
Originally a hunting lodge back in the early 1600s, the structure was upgraded at the turn of the 17th century. It became a residence for royalty until the French Revolution led to its deterioration. It was restored in the 1830s and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.