Things to see and do while backpacking in France.
Check out tips from other travellers and bloggers and their experiences in France.
If you're already planning to visit France - scroll to the next section for a list of the best places to stay.
Arc de Triomphe
About the triumphal arch, it was built in honor of those who fought for France, in particular, those who fought during the Napoleonic Wars. Engraved on the inside and at the top of the arch are all of the names of the generals and wars fought. There are inscriptions in the ground underneath the vault of the arch which include the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I where the Memorial Flame burns and have made the Arc de Triomphe Paris a revered patriotic site.Nguyen Giang
It is worth it to talk about food in Paris. Traditional French foods rely on simple combinations that enhance the rich, natural flavors of French ingredients. Many French chefs have earned international acclaim for turning French food into haute cuisine and influencing the gastronomic scene worldwide. Food in France is an integral part of its culture and was added to UNESCO’s world list of intangible cultural heritage in 2010. The most famous dishes are:Krystsina Lukashevich
Paris: Experiencing The Parisian Culture
I knew I wanted to explore France, and I chose the city Paris to be my first stop. Why choose to live in Paris? Well on my travels around the world I met amazing people along the way. I made a friend in Tahiti that lived in Paris and we met up again and he showed me his city that he loves so much and I began to love it too. My wonderful weekend in Paris is what made my mind up, I decided Paris was going to be my new home.Gemma Rakia
Things to do in Montpellier, France
An often overlooked city on France’s Mediterranean coast, Montpellier is thriving. Over half of its population is under 30, the city is becoming ‘smart’ and attracting a fair bit of attention from the start-up community in recent years. I decided to head down for a few days and check it out for myself. And I was not left disappointed; the city is absolutely charming with all its narrow, winding cobblestones streets and impressive buildings. The city is distinctly French, yet with a hint of Spanish vibrancy. It was also such a treat to see the sun shining every day. A city break here is definitely a must.Caitlin Hackett
Things To See
Croix Rousse: Lyon is a city that stretches far and wide, with each suburb within the Presque-Ile (central area) subtly changing it’s charm. Croix Rousse is that are where you walk and you walk and, being positioned on the eastern hillside, you take in the views which surround you. Croix Rousse has a labyrinth of staircases and secrets passages which lead you in all directions and getting lost (which you more than likely will) is half the fun. The other half is the artistic, bohemian feel that fills the streets. With the plenty of pop-up galleries, art shops, open- galleries and more, I highly recommend that you don’t plan where you want to go, but just go get lost in the streets. Discover what it has to offeraniko-fleming
Strasbourg: The city of roads
Strasbourg-more than 2000 years old, developed from Roman settlement named Argentoratum, then being renamed to Strateburgum „city of roads“, and finally in 842 got its today’s name. Nowadays, is a part of France, but in the past, it belonged to Germany. Considered as a symbol of reconciliation between two countries, no wonder why it is chosen to be one of EU administrative places. With that kind of background, Strasbourg is definitely a place where you can improve your diplomacy skills and career.Vanja Kukrika
Prepare for a crowded, but memorable experience.Alana Ballantyne
Welcome to Lyon, the Real Heart of French Culture
France: forget smoggy Paris; forget the painfully pebbled beaches of the likes of Nice and Marseille – Lyon, as a confluence of culture & history is the height of your French fantasy. Despite being the third-largest city in the country, this self-proclaimed food capital of the world is often overlooked by travellers as a place to sojourn and relish in French culture.Georgia Cox
Isla Negra–El Rincon de La Poeta
Crashing waves. Volcanic sand beaches. A frosty pisco sour. Welcome to the Pacific coast of Chile! With most of the country along the coast, a road trip along western edge of Chile has dozens of opportunities to pull over and enjoy a sweeping ocean view, or stop for a few hours and explore a small town. Here are my favorite 5 stops for a lunch or dinner with a view–ocean spray optional! Valparaiso–Casa de Cuatro Vientos You won’t forget your first trip to the rolling, raucous, vividly-colored Valparaiso, affectionately known as Valpo. In fact, I first visited the city on a day trip from Santiago three years ago, and haven’t stopped thinking about it since. I fell in love with this eclectic city from the top of one of the city’s many hills, or cerros, accessible via small funiculars, or acensors–a must for any visit to Valpo. Hopping on the Acensor Artillería, one of 16 funiculars, a short ride ($300 CLP/person) takes you to the top of the hill and the Paseo de 21 de Mayo, a small plaza with a sweeping view of the colorful hills full of seemingly precariously-stacked houses next to the water. Turning left as you leave the acensor, head down the stairs towards the bright blue house perched above the acensor railways. Stop in at the Casa de Cuatro Vientos for a breathtaking view of the city as you enjoy a refreshing maracuya (passionfruit) mojito and a tapas-style menu. There’s plenty to watch as you munch, from the cranes lifting shipping containers onto cargo ships, the ever-moving acensor, and ships arriving to the port. And the interior of the restaurant is just as interesting–the weather Victorian exterior reveals a carefully-restored interior of exposed wooden beams and stained glass windows. Hanga Roa–Pea Restobar Okay, so this one is a bit farther than a day trip from Santiago. In fact, just getting to Ranga Roa requires a five-hour plane flight from Santiago–this small town is nestled on Rapa Nui, known in English as Easter Island and in Spanish as Isla de Pascua. Taking a cab, bus or rental car into town, you can’t miss Pea Restobar in the center of town, opposite from the small boat harbor and line of scuba diving shops. Perched over the harbor, you can enjoy a 360-view of the vast Pacific Ocean and reflect on arriving in one of the most remote inhabited island in the world, 2,182 miles away from the mainland. But the highlight of this restaurant isn’t even the ocean view! Sit on the outdoor deck so you can spend your meal keeping one eye on the water–sea turtles are known to frequent the harbor, cruising the waves for a meal and delighting snorkelers. While we enjoyed a couple of beers and a light dinner, we spotted four sea turtles, one the size of a boogieboard–the largest I’d ever seen! At one point, a woman carrying a large armful of bright green seaweed waded out into the waves….and began hand feeding the turtles! If you’re not a snorkeler or a diver, this is your opportunity to see sea turtles in the wild! Isla Negra–El Rincon de La Poeta Nobel Prize-winning poet Pablo Neruda’s works have been celebrated around the world and translated into hundreds of languages–but his winding career path and unique perspective on life are the most intriguing aspects of this famous Chilean. Get a glimpse into the man–and the women–behind the exquisite love poetry, by visiting his lovingly-restored homes in Santiago, Valparaiso and Isla Negra. Led through La Chascona in Santiago years ago, I became entranced with the creative motivations for each aspect of the house. Neruda was in love with the sea, but afraid to swim, so he made his homes into ships: running water canals around the house, using old wood from ships in the floor to mimic the creaking of wooden frigates, and decorating his offices as captain’s studies full of maps and nautical prints. Actually located on the coast, Isla Negra was his favorite home–and undoubtedly the most impressive. Set above jagged rocks covered in sinuous seaweed tossed by crashing waves, the grounds of the home set the stage for an incredible, marine-inspired interior. After your tour of the home, treat yourself to a glass of Chilean Carmenere wine, a likely subject of Neruda’s Ode to Wine. Carmenere was thought to have been obliterated from France due to disease in the 1800s, only to be rediscovered in Chile decades later–and thank goodness, because it’s muy rico (very delicious)! Las Cruces–Puesta de Sol If you’re looking for a quiet oceanside retreat with a small town and accessible beach, Las Cruces is your spot. We spent a few days there over the holidays and enjoyed walking through the rolling streets and exploring neighboring towns, heading to the three restaurants along the water in the evenings. All seem to have similar seafood-based menus, so we chose based on location—ending up at Puesta del Sol, set on the rocks closest to the water. Outdoor tables let you take in the expansive sunset, as well as watch kids try their luck at surfing. Enjoy a crisp pisco sour (grape brandy), and a plate of machas parmesanas, local clams baked in parmesan cheese that you can top with a squeeze of lemon and a spoonful of aji pebre, a savory pepper sauce. Pichilemu–Kupal As with Las Cruces, for surf town Pichilemu, menus tend to run along the same lines of Chilean seafood and meat staples, so choose your evening spot based on location! Along Costanera sits three restaurants side-by-side along the coast–we chose Kupal, the first of the three. Guaranteed an ocean-view, you’ll find you’re even closer when you walk out to the patio and your feet hit sand. Find a table on the deck and settle in for a perfect sunset with a refreshing bottle of white wine. In fact, just leave behind your shoes like we did and take your wine glass out to the closest dune for a sandy, tranquil sunset. There’s no better way to end a day than watching the sunset with good food and good company. These spots will add a spark to your road trip along Chile’s coast–and hope you find your own hidden hideouts along the water! Happy travels!Samantha Squishnak
Breaking Out, and into Paris, France
This is the first blog I have written, and though I am an avid writer, it has never been for public consumption. Till now. I wrote this between January 22- February 10th in Paris, France.Kyle Franklin Johnson
Connemara and Cliffs of Moher
So, your trip might start with Connemara and the Cliffs of Moher, as are the closest places to the city, furthermore, for those places is worthy to pay a tour trip. Don’t forget to bring with your your student card! Ireland is a place for students and you can find deals everywhere, including ,of course, the tours. Those tours are around 25€ for adults and 20€ for students and they will drive through other points of interest like the well-known “The Burren” national park, caracteristic for the very rocky landscape that comes as a huge contrast to the vegetation that you will encounter later but not for that it means that is not worth visit. There you will catch view of few stone portal tombs (like the Britain and France dolmens) and take amazing pictures. It is also worth to pay attention to the tour guide while he relates some tales involving Leprechauns and why some circular tree formations are not removed due to the fear that those bad-luck wearers infuse on the zone peasants.Pedro Ireland
For breakfasts, bakeries are very popular. I like the most the sweet ones. I suggest you especially macarons without thinking of its price. They are so delightful and colorful. Délices de France near Louvre is a sweet shop which became my favorite. Louvre Museum might have different meanings for others, but we have a nice memory of a breakfast in its huge garden. (We spared that museum for our next visit to Paris.) In brief, you may enjoy to use whole Paris as your personal restaurant.Özge Kıter
Milan Central Railway Station
From here, trains to Switzerland, France and Germany depart.Sandra Gomez
Orientation of Paris:
Look at a map of this city and you will see the Seine River splitting it in half, dividing the two banks: The Left Bank (South) and The Right Bank (North). Now, don’t yawn when I say the H word because this ole river has her fair share of quirks, but historically speaking Seine has got some interesting tales. It’s the birthplace of France, where the Gauls first settled, but it has also transported the body of Napoleon and the statue of liberty, a gift from France to New York. The ashes of Joan of Arc apparently were thrown in and Nicholas Flamel’s ghost (he was a real guy, not just a Harry Potter character!) is said to haunt the banks. On top of that, the only Olympic obstacle and underwater swimming races were hosted! There are two natural islands in the Seine: Ile de la Cite and Ile St Louis.Judes
My Top 5 Autumn Alpine Activities
Now, before anyone who actually knows me starts calling me out on this one just know that there is a reason I’ve put cycling at the lowest possible number on this list – I hate it. In my mind, hell is Satan behind me screaming at me to cycle up a mountain. However, for some unknown reason people actually seem to like road cycling in the mountains. Its an unbelievably popular activity among locals and tourists alike, its good for you, gets you seeing the local scenery and the immense popularity of the Tour de France makes this region the perfect place to do it. There are plenty of local companies who can guide you on your tours including ChainLynx which are based in Montgenevre. There are hundreds of possible routes in this area but some recommended routes from locals I’ve talked to include the Col d’Izoard, the Serre Poncon circuit and the Col de Sestriere.georgia-gallon
How To Avoid Paris Syndrome (vol. one)
The city in France that takes away breathes of people all around the globe except for the twisted few. I am among them. My breath stayed as regular as it had been before I saw the inviolable being of The City of Light (it does have plenty of light, though).latich
The Eiffel Tower
After familiarizing ourselves a bit with our new environment, our first order of business was to… can you guess?? Make a trip to “La Tour Eiffel!” I will never forget the moment we first saw the Eiffel Tower: We got off at the train station (Gare de Lyon, if I am not mistaken) and we started walking toward where they indicated the Eiffel Tower was. Nothing could top the moment when we walked past the corner and there stood the Madame of France herself: the Eiffel Tower in all her glory! We screamed and hugged each other and were ecstatic with joy. But the fun didn’t stop there: we actually got ourselves some tickets to go straight to the top of that beautiful piece of architectural engineering. (I might need to mention this here: when going to see the Eiffel Tower, take A LOT of warm clothes with you- I took my very warm snow jacket, but only wore light cotton baggy pants. When we got to the second “level” of the Eiffel Tower, all my friends had to huddle around me, to prevent my legs from freezing off! It was memorable, but not recommendable. I am sometimes surprised that there isn’t snow or ice at the top of the Eiffel Tower.Femke Paul
Toulouse: "La ville rose"
Here we are, in the so called “La ville rose” a cause of all the buildings with an orange-pinkish bricks, so when you see the city with a wide angle you can see it pink. Toulouse is one of the most important cities in the south of France, is actually the capital of its own region which is called Midi-Pyrenees. It is also one of the most important amd biggest cities in the metropolitan area of France.pame-garay
It was the beginning of November back in 2013, I was in Zimbabwe on holiday with my family. I was sitting on the back seat of an old African Safari truck next to my 40-something year old Dad, we were the only Australians there, and we were about to white water raft down the Zambezi River, the river that divides Zimbabwe and Zambia.
My Dad and I are what I would call, beginner-level adrenaline junkies, especially when we’re on holiday. We are constantly daring each other to do crazy things. Ride the biggest roller coaster we can find in Disneyland with our eyes closed? Check. Strap ourselves into a sling-shot that flings you 52 meters into the air in Bali? Check. Slide down the tallest water slides in France to land in freezing cold water at the bottom? Yep we did that too. It’s kind of a tradition that we’ve got going, so why would we stop now?Sherstyn Pike
What’s Dunkerque ?
DK’s a town in the North of France, right next to Belgium, and on the North Sea coastline. Quite close to England as well, and that’s pretty cool : we can go there by ferry from Dunkerque, or just drive through the Eurotunnel from Calais to Dover.Camille Debussche
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