Planning A Trip To France: Your Chic Cheat Sheet!

Dreaming of café terraces in Paris, lavender fields in Provence, or the glittering Côte d’Azur? Our chic cheat sheet for planning a trip to France is your passport to navigating the country with flair and finesse.

Aerial shot of people swimming and sunbathing on a beach in Nice, France
Aerial shot of people swimming and sunbathing on a beach in Nice, France

Did you know France is the world’s most visited country

With over 117 million visitors yearly, it’s a land woven with history and charm, where each region offers a unique flavor of culture and celebration. And whether it’s art, architecture, gastronomy, or fashion, France’s allure is assuredly timeless, making it a top destination for travelers around the globe.

Planning A Trip To France: Knowing The Basics

When planning a trip to France, getting right with the basics will always work wonders.

First, most travelers from the United States, Canada, and Australia can enter France without a visa for stays of up to 90 days. However, we encourage that you always check the latest travel advisories and visa requirements as policies may change from time to time.

And just like in any other destination, booking flights to and from early is always key, especially if you’re visiting during peak seasons like spring and summer. Consider flying into major hubs like Charles de Gaulle in Paris or Nice Côte d’Azur Airport for the best flight deals.

Once you land, France’s extensive rail network, notably the high-speed TGV, offers an efficient way to traverse the country, or you can opt for domestic flights to explore distant regions like Corsica.

Looking to explore French cities? The Paris Métro is one of Europe’s most efficient subway systems. However, cycling can offer a more scenic and intimate view of the countryside when you find yourself in smaller towns. Renting a car might also be preferable if you plan to wander off the beaten path in regions like Normandy or the Dordogne.

A chateau with lavenders in the foreground in Loire Valley, France
A chateau with lavenders in the foreground in Loire Valley, France

Planning A Trip To France: Creating Your Itinerary

When planning a trip to France, your itinerary can surely be as diverse as the country itself.

Start in Paris, the iconic city of lights. Wander through the historic alleys of Montmartre, marvel at the artworks in the Louvre, and don’t miss a twilight cruise on the Seine. Venture beneath the city to explore the mysterious catacombs or spend an evening at a cabaret like the famous Moulin Rouge.

Next, head to the Loire Valley, which is renowned for its fairy-tale châteaux and sprawling vineyards. Here, Château de Chambord and Château de Chenonceau await with their stunning Renaissance architecture and picturesque gardens, all worthy of an IG post.

And for a taste of the seaside, the French Riviera will surely beckon. Here, you can bask in the Mediterranean sun in Nice, stroll along the glamorous promenades of Cannes, and indulge in the luxury boutiques of Monaco.

But if you’re a fan of history, the beaches of Normandy, site of the D-Day landings, provide a poignant glimpse into the horrors and triumphs of WWII. The nearby Mont Saint-Michel likewise offers a spectacular medieval escape that rises from the tidal plains.

Regardless of how you want to start and end your French getaway, each region of France truly offers unique experiences. Wherever your feet might take you, you are assured a journey as enriching as it is exciting.

You might also like: French Art Museums To Add To Your Bucketlist

Where To Stay In France

Deciding where to stay in France can feel a bit like choosing a pastry in a Parisian bakery—overwhelming yet delightful. 

To ease the decision fatigue, we’ve handpicked some top spots that marry charm with comfort, promising to enhance your French getaway:

In the trendy Marais district of Paris, lose yourself in the lively café scene and unique boutiques. Here, the Hôtel de JoBo stands out with its playful décor inspired by Josephine Bonaparte, making it a fabulously chic base.

Dreaming of the Riviera? Nice is your definite go-to. Perched at the edge of Castle Hill, Hotel La Perouse offers jaw-dropping sea views and is just a hop away from the bustling city center—perfect for sun-seekers and nightlife lovers alike.

For wine aficionados, Bordeaux’s Yndo Hotel, a luxury boutique housed in a stunning 19th-century mansion, is a top-of-mind spot. It’s smack right in the city center, offering an opulent retreat after a day of vineyard tours.

Meanwhile, history buffs heading to Lyon should check into the Cour des Loges, located in the heart of Vieux Lyon. It’s where Renaissance charm meets modern luxury—a historical gem in itself.

And if castle life is what you long for, the Loire Valley’s Château de Pray is a dream come true, complete with turrets, a Michelin-starred restaurant, and royal-worthy rooms.

You might also like to read: The Best Luxury Hotels in France

A vineyard in Bordeaux, France
A vineyard in Bordeaux, France

Experience The French Life with ThisCityKnows

So your bags are packed, your itinerary is set, and France awaits with open arms. This enchanting destination is definitely ready to unfold its myriad charms—from the romantic streets of Paris to the lavender fields of Provence and beyond.

At ThisCityKnows, we’re excited to help you navigate your journey with expert tips and hidden gems. We’re always here to ensure your travels are not just trips, but transformative experiences.

Have a favorite moment from your trip or a special place you discovered? 

Share your stories and tips with our growing community of savvy wanderers. And if you can’t wait to experience the French lifestyle, start planning a trip to France with us—we’ll certainly guide you every step of the way, ensuring your vacation is as fabulous as France itself.

Bon voyage!

Author: Katie

Katie is all about hitting the road solo, always on the lookout for spots the internet hasn't fully discovered yet. She’s the one turning left when the map says right, hunting for those genuine, "you had to be there" moments. With a style that's as engaging as a late-night chat by the hostel fire, her stories aren't just about places, but the raw, unfiltered joy of exploring them on your own terms.

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