What are The Prettiest Towns in France? 12 Most Picturesque Cities in France

If you had to do a tour of France for your next vacation, where would you go? We invite you to discover the 12 most picturesque cities in France.

Why always want to go far when you can visit France? This tiny country in the center of Europe is the most visited country in the world. For more than a century, France has been one of the favorite destinations of travelers. 

And if you had to focus on your own country before traveling to the end of the world, what places would you visit? Steeped in history and cultural heritage unique in the world, each French region is full of treasures. 

We invite you for an overview of French heritage, to discover the 12 most picturesque cities in France.

What are The Prettiest Towns in France? 12 Most Picturesque Cities in France

1. Paris

It is impossible not to start this ranking with the French capital. Considering that Paris is the most visited city in the world, its visit is a must. There is so much to discover in the capital that it would be impossible to establish an exhaustive list.

Have you never been to Paris? Start by visiting the must-see places such as the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum, the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, mythical neighborhoods like Montmartre, the Sacré-Coeur, the banks of the Seine. 

Delight in French gastronomy in one of the many Parisian bistros. Their cuisine and refinement are no secret. Discover the many art galleries, exhibitions of famous or unknown artists, theater shows. 

Stroll through the gardens and parks of the City of Light. Make this first meeting unforgettable.

2. Lyon

The geographical position of the city of Lyon makes it one of the most appreciated French cities in the country. Located between the Massif Central and the Alpine Massif, the fact remains that the city is in the south. 

Often considered a small Paris, it is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Are you a lover of French gastronomy? It is impossible not to visit Lyon, renowned for its tasty dishes of exceptional quality. Start by walking along Place Bellecour, which is the largest square in Europe. 

Then, go through the old Lyon with its famous traboules. These are passages arranged between two streets through courtyards of buildings often dating from the fourth century. 

Take a historic leap as you visit the Roman remains of Fourvière, which are over 2000 years old.

Lyon is also a city of celebrations. Discover the ambient nights of the city by passing through the famous district of Saint-Jean. It is undoubtedly one of the most picturesque cities in France.

3. Annecy

Nicknamed the pearl of Haute-Savoie, Annecy transports. It is undoubtedly the quietest city on this list. Its famous lake and Venetian allure characterize the beauty of the city. 

Between mountains and canals in the city’s heart, there is no doubt that Annecy looks like a paradise between two worlds.

The old town of Annecy is an enchantment. Walk through the small alleys connected by canals. It is thanks to the latter that it is nicknamed “Venice of the Alps.” 

Discover the Palais de l’Isle which sits on a triangular islet on the Thiou Canal. Pass by Annecy Castle for a tour of the historic city. Visit this lake, reputed to be one of the purest in Europe. 

Depending on the season of your visit, various activities are implemented. There are also many religious sites and buildings in Annecy. Do not hesitate to rent a bike on-site to enjoy this green setting and fill up on fresh air.

4. Nice

The famous city of the French Riviera is a real Eden on earth. Its landscapes are majestic, between the Mediterranean Sea and the mountains of the Alps. The city of Nice attracts many tourists throughout the year. Its mild temperatures and festive atmosphere make it a place of choice.

Start your visit with a walk along the sea. Take a look at the Matisse Museum or the Bay of Angels. Stroll the cobbled streets of old Nice. 

Let yourself be tempted by an aperitif on the terrace. Thus, taste the famous dishes of Nice, such as socca, pissaladière or small stuffed.

5. Biarritz

This seaside resort is renowned as the French capital of surfing. It is a jewel of the Atlantic coast. Nestled between relics of the past and rich cultural heritage, the charisma of this city will charm you from your first visit.

Like all the most beautiful cities in France, Biarritz has no shortage of things to do. Discover Basque culture and specialties through the city’s Halles. 

Afterward, discover the lighthouse at the tip of Saint-Martin. Go and enjoy a breathtaking view of the Atalaye plateau. 

Fill up on fascinating discoveries with the Museum of the Sea. Finally, end the day with an unforgettable sunset on the Rock of the Virgin.

6. Montpellier

How not talk about the jewel city of Occitania? The city of Montpellier calls for astonishment and wonder. It is a stronghold for French culture and arts. 

Its architecture is world-famous. Its success is global thanks to the trams designed by Christian Lacroix elected the “sexiest in the world.”

Explore the historic center, nicknamed the Escutcheon, which is entirely pedestrian. Go through the Saint-Pierre Cathedral or the Museum of Anatomy or Fabre. 

Taste the pleasures of contemplating the beautiful Plant Gardens of the city. Finally, end your day in one of the many establishments in the city, renowned for their nightlife.

7. La Rochelle

Nicknamed the white city, this city of Charente-Maritime deserves to be discovered. Whether you prefer cultural, city, or nature travel, there is something for everyone in La Rochelle. 

Explore the old town symbolized by the big clock. Discover arcaded streets with an atypical charm. Continue through the old port to admire the towers of La Rochelle.

End your stay with Charruyer Park, which is more than forty hectares and two kilometers long. The city is known for hosting successful festivals, such as Les Francofolies de La Rochelle

To this end, do not hesitate to go to La Rochelle, one of the most scenic cities in France, during a cultural event. Take advantage of the moment to discover the place.

8. Saint-Malo

This Breton city has all the attention of European travelers. The calm and beauty of a seaside town make it a great place to recharge your batteries. 

So, come and admire Brittany as you have never seen it before. The corsair city offers you attractive places such as the ramparts and the Cathedral of St. Vincent of Zaragoza. After that, go inside the ramparts, intramural. Here, you can see the Place Chateaubriand or the floors of the Hotel d’Asfeld.

Then, discover a remarkable phenomenon, which is experienced daily in Saint-Malo. The high tides are exceptional. The city is home to the largest tides in Europe

As the waves come aground on the dike during the open sea, it is a spectacular scene. On the other hand, low tide gives way to large sandbanks and rock, completely changing the scenery. Not far away is an exceptional place, the famous Mont Saint-Michel.

9. Bordeaux

It’s the wine capital of the world, but its architecture is just as captivating. Bordeaux is one of the most beautiful cities in France. Its eighteenth-century architecture and lively neighborhoods make it a famous city.

Between majestic viewpoints, green public gardens, and renowned museums, there is a wide French cultural heritage to discover in the city. 

There is no need to get bored with its famous monuments, such as the Pey Berland Tower, the Saint-André Cathedral, and historic districts, such as Saint-Pierre.

10. Marseille

Located in the south of France, Marseille is a Provencal city that has remained faithful to its traditions, rich in an incredible historical heritage and fabulous landscapes. 

You can add its Old Port, its redeveloped districts of Panier and Docks, its wild creeks, its cathedral, or its seaside park, the Prado, to its distinctive Provencal charm.

You will also have the opportunity to discover its gastronomy or the folklore of its inhabitants. In short, you are not likely to get bored in Marseille!

11. Toulouse

Known for its Capitoline Square and terracotta bricks, there is much more to see in the Pink City. Different eras and movements have nourished its perfectly preserved heritage. 

Toulouse Languedocian, Toulouse Renaissance or Toulouse spatial, the city has many facets, making the metropolis of the South-West unique.

Between pastel, violet, cassoulet, and singing accent, the Toulouseans have something to seduce visitors. With a rich historical heritage and sumptuous monuments, the famous “Pink City” ranks among the most picturesque cities in the country.

12. Strasbourg

The capital of Alsace and the Grand Est region, Strasbourg, has also been the parliamentary capital of Europe since 1949. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, its center on the Big Island is an old and historical city with an incredible historical heritage. But it is not only his heritage that makes his success!

Strasbourg is also famous for its famous Christmas market and its typical Alsatian gastronomy. Furthermore, you can visit its Cathedral, Palais Rohan, and its charming Cathedral of Petite France.

Among the most picturesque cities in France, which is your favorite city?

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