France, Slice of Life, Travel
Comments 26

10 mars – Top Ten Cities in France, So Far

Yesterday, I enjoyed reading a variety of “list posts” and, as I am lacking in inspiration today, I am following suit. And so, for the 10th of March and the 10th day of the Slice of Life Challenge, I offer you my Top Ten Cities in France, So Far (limited of course by the cities I have visited, which are heavily concentrated in the south-east of the country)

10. Nice

nice

Going to Nice at the end of January was probably not the best plan. Its long stretches of pebble beaches were all but empty and the town felt a bit deserted. Next time, I’ll be sure to visit during beach season!

9. Annecy

annecy

All the guide books will tell you that Annecy is the “Venice of the Alps” because apparently every city that has anything that even remotely resembles a canal is liable to be compared to Venice. This picture perfect town is really stunning, and as a result, also really touristy.

8. Aix-en-Provence

aix

Not going to lie… After hearing stories and stories about how amazing this city is from hordes of study abroad friends, I had pretty high expectations. In reality, it’s a classic, bougey, French town with some lovely fountains and architecture and– that’s basically it. To be fair though, I haven’t yet been on market day, which is when the provençal charm is really supposed to shine.

7. Paris

I mean, what is there to say about Paris that hasn’t already been written?! Relatively low on my Top Ten because I don’t know if I’d want to live there…a little too much muchness. But even so, Paris always manages to surprise me each time I go.

6. Grenoble

grenoble

The Bastille monument in Grenoble is the site of one of the most magical moments I’ve had the pleasure to experience: the engagement of one of my best friends! I regret not giving Grenoble more of a chance — that seductress Lyon always grabbed my attention first — because I suspect it’s a much more charming and vibrant place than I give it credit for.

5. Bordeaux

bordeaux

Even though it rained the entire weekend, Bordeaux was a joy to visit. The city just felt so livable! We passed dozens of super hip looking café/bookshops that made me want to come back to try all of them. Plus, I wouldn’t say no to all of that wine!

4. Avignon

avignon

I only spent one day in Avignon, and on the train home, I already wanted to go back. Between the massive Palais des Papes and the winding back alley streets, the city felt bursting with surprises to be discovered.

3. Lyon

I fell in love almost instantly with this alpine city. Situated on two rivers, Lyon offers all the perks of a big city without feeling too overwhelming and maintaining a certain charm. Plus, it’s the gastronomic capital of one of the foodie-est countries in the world!

2. Marseille

I truly believe Marseille has a bit of something for everyone: a cultural, diverse, busy metropolis bordering intense natural beauty plus 300+ days of sun per year. Literally, what about that sounds bad?!

1. Chambéry

I am basically this little town’s biggest fan. There’s almost nothing to do here, unless you’re really into outdoorsy mountain climbing type stuff, but I lived 8 unforgettable months here and it will always be top in my books for that. Read my article for more on what I love about Chambé ❤

Where in France would you like to visit? ❂

SOL

 

Slice of Life is a daily writing challenge during the month of March hosted by Two Writing Teachers. Visit their blog for more information about the challenge and for advice and ideas about how to participate.

26 Comments

  1. If you have not yet been, go to Strasbourg- my favorite! I love top 10 lists and may end up creating a few before the month is over. Enjoy exploring your corner of the world!

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  2. I really enjoyed this top ten list! I love love love to travel but the closest I’ve gotten to France was western Germany. Some French people brought a little traveling market over the border on a Sunday afternoon, and I got to use all three of the French words I know! 😉 I liked your comment about Paris: “a little too much muchness”. As a traveler, I tend to like the “off-the-beaten-path” sort of places, and Paris has always felt overwhelming.

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    • Paris is one of the top destinations in the world for a reason…so I definitely think everyone should go if they can, but so often I feel like France is reduced to just Paris, when there’s really SO MUCH more!!

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  3. Oooo. I want to go back. It’s been a very long time. I’ve been working on a post about London, but hadn’t decided on the form. Thanks for inspiring me to try a list of some sort. Cheers!

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  4. Eliza Earhart says

    I’ve only spent time in Normandy and a little in Paris. Le deux sont encroyables! Allez a Normandie et mangez tous le camembert!

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  5. I began reading this post thinking you’re going to list all the French cities I’ve never visited, but I’ve been to them all! Lived in Lyon and outskirts for nearly 20 years so it’s well familiar. Now we live near Annecy but never go as there are just too many tourists.

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    • Yep, I haven’t ventured too far outside the Rhone-Alpes in the brief time I’ve been here 🙂 I guess somewhere in Western France should be my next destination!

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  6. OK, so these pictures are divine! Did you take them all? I’ve only been to Paris (once, sadly), but I absolutely loved it, despite the freezing cold temps and rain. I can’t wait to go back, and explore more of France. You’ve given me lots of great options! 🙂

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  7. Been to all but Grenoble and Chaméry on the list; I really want to go, though! I agree with you in saying that Aix was quaint, but nothing really to do there: I only passed through for a few hours between Nimes and Marseille last year, and that was good enough. Love the south of France: wish I could be there now!

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    • Good for you!! Even though I’ve been in France for quite a while, I’m always torn between going off to see new places and exploring the city and region where I live…. so I definitely haven’t seen as much of France (or of Europe probably haha) as you!! I’d love to know your Top Ten as well !!! PACA is the best, I’m not even really a beach person and I just love it here!

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  8. That’s a gorgeous shot of Annecy – it was all grey skies when I visited in late February (but pretty nonetheless). I think Aix-en-Provence, though pretty, is a victim of its own hype in many ways – though market days there are very atmospheric. Beyond the small but picturesque old town, I’d say the best part of Grenoble is its proximity to the mountains – the Chartreuse Massif is beautiful (literally just behind the Bastille), already looking forward to returning for walks there when the weather is more reliable!

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  9. I love your photos! Glad to see Lyon high on your list 🙂 I actually love Nice in the winter! (Maybe because my hometown is a foggy beach town?) But I would love to go back to the Côte d’Azur in the summer. My list would have a lot of the same places on it, but I also love Montpellier – one of my favorite French cities after Lyon and Paris!

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  10. Pingback: 26 mars – Silent Sunday | Present Perfect

  11. Burst into a HUGE smile when I got to number one and saw it was our heaven on earth, Chambé!!!!! Best time of my life ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

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  12. I’ll be studying in Lyon this fall and I’m already planning my travels for my winter vacation! I want to see the major cities but I’ve also heard of a seaside city called Biarritz. It’s probably just one among hundreds of charming little towns in France.

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    • Lyon is one of my faves, I’m jealous you’ll get to live there! Biarritz is always rated among France’s top beaches. I haven’t yet been, but I’d love to! So many different corners of France to discover 🙂

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