1. Visit one of France’s most iconic landmarks, Normandy’s Mont Saint-Michel and take in the tidal island’s stunning Gothic-style Benedictine Abbey, known as the ‘Wonder of the West’.
2. The French island of Corsica is considered by many to be a little continent in itself, from its dense green forests to sandy beaches to cosmopolitan coastal cities. Take advantage of great camping and hiking or visit the historic port of Calvi with its 15th Century citadel.
3. Enjoy a fizzy tipple (or two) and drive the beautiful ‘Route de Champagne’ from Reims and Epernay, only an hour’s journey from Paris. Just remember to spit if you’re the designated driver!
4. View the stunning art collection and ever-changing range of exhibitions at Paris’ Musée d’Orsay. Located on the banks of the River Seine, the gallery itself is a work of art, housed in the former Orsay railway station. Closed on Mondays but free entry on the first Sunday of each month.
5. A fan of winter sports? Why not brave the bobsleigh run at La Plagne, built for the Albertville Winter Olympics in 1992, and hit potential speeds of up to 100 km per hour.
6. It might be a little cheesy, probably why it’s one of the most popular spots on earth to propose, but a visit to the French capital isn’t complete without the view from the top of the Eiffel Tower, or ‘Tour Eiffel’ – built to mark the centennial celebration of the French Revolution.
7. Kim Kardashian and Kanye West apparently wanted to marry at the Palace of Versailles, and you can see why. From the stunning gardens to the breathtaking Hall of Mirrors, this is a must-see.
8. The Moulin Rouge’s iconic showgirls and famous Cancan dancers have made it the number one show in Paris for years. Make sure you book early though as tickets sell out months in advance.
9. If you want your children to love you for life then brave Disneyland Paris, which amazingly opened its doors back in 1992. With two theme parks and numerous resort hotels, restaurants and entertainment options to sample they’ll be exhausted, but never bored.
10. Visit the stunning ancient city of Lyon, also reputed to be the gastronomic capital of France. Famed for its ‘bouchons’, meat should definitely be on the menu here, whether you sample food at the main market or three Michelin starred Paul Bocuse’s restaurant.
11. Once the great sculptor’s studio, Musée Rodin a stately 18th-century mansion is one of Paris’s most beautiful museums and contains more than 6,000 of Rodin’s sculptures, including his great masterpieces The Thinker, The Kiss, The Burghers of Calais, and The Gates of Hell, along with 8,000 drawings and gouaches. The lovely grounds of the Musée Rodin, complete with a fountain, rose gardens, and a pleasant outdoor cafe make for a delightful afternoon outdoors. The museum also hosts special exhibitions and a cycle of exhibits on contemporary works.
12. Palais Royal Gardens Far from the noise and bustle, these serene formal gardens and elegant shops tucked behind the walls of a 17th-century palace are a delightful haven and one of Paris’s best-kept secrets. Once a royal residence, the hushed arcades and manicured gardens of the Palais-Royal are now home to world-class perfumers, antiquaires and designer boutiques—including Marc Jacobs, Rick Owens, Stella McCartney, and Pierre Hardy-and two of France’s most important glove makers (Maison Fabre and Lavabre Cadet). Enjoy lunch or teatime outdoors or splurge like Zola, Proust, and Colette did at the gorgeous Grand Véfour restaurant. Afterward, explore the lovely Jardin des Tuilieries.
13. Nothing says Paris like the Luxembourg Gardens. Bordered by Saint-Germain-des-Prés and the Latin Quarter, these lovely gardens are beloved by Parisians longing to bask on a lawn chair in the sunshine or enjoy an impromptu picnic. Children of all ages race their sailboats in the basin behind the Sénat, romp in the enclosed children’s’ playground, take in a puppet show, or ride the city’s oldest merry-go-round. A favorite circuit for joggers and amblers, the many paths are also perfect for an afternoon stroll past espaliered orchards and the old apiary, where beekeeping is taught and the honey is sold in the fall. Don’t miss the excellent art exhibits at the renowned Musée de Luxembourg.