North or South? Best Vacations in France

If you have not traveled to France before, then you are missing out. It is such a stunning country with so much to see and do. The country itself is quite large, as far as European countries go anyway. So it can be a good idea to divide the country in half and choose some vacation ideas based on what is each half. Have you done any of these before?

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The North of France

You can’t mention going to France without mentioning Paris, which is right in the heart of the north of the country. The city of lights is a must! The history that the city has is just amazing, and there are so many fascinating things to see and do. The Louvre Museum has to be one of the highlights, home to the world famous Mona Lisa painting. A trip up to the top of the Eiffel Tower is one of the top things to do too. You can even book a table at the restaurant at the top of the tower for a quintessentially Parisian experience. Notre Dame is magical to visit too, as well as munching on a macaron or two down the Avenue des Champs-Élysées.

If you are looking for something to do with the family, then Disneyland Paris is only a short train ride out of the city. Paris isn’t the most child-friendly city ever, so many families visit Disneyland instead. It isn’t as large as its American counterparts, but it still makes for an amazing day out for any Disney mad family members.

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The South of France

If you’re planning on a trip to the south of France, then the chances are that you’re looking for something quite romantic and relaxed. The scenery and views in the south are breathtaking, with large mountains and valleys to boot. The great thing is that you can enjoy the south of France all year round. You could enjoy St. Tropez and Cannes in the summer, and areas like Chamonix in the winter. So don’t just dismiss the south as only being a place that will work if you like the beach. The French Riviera is, of course, stunning. But the mountains are just as beautiful. So you could look for luxury ski chalets to luxury beach accommodation. There really is something for everyone.

The south of France is also a great area to explore and take in some of the French culture. You could enjoy the range of bakeries and patisseries that are scattered in the small towns, as well as discovering the many vineyards of France. So hiring a car is a really good idea. In the south, the towns and cities are a bit more sparse than they are in the north. So hiring a car means you’ll be able to see everything without missing anything.

Have you ever been to any of these areas in France? Would love to hear any of your top tips for traveling to France. Knowing some basic French phrases is pretty important, in my opinion.

9 Fun Facts About Paris

One of the biggest things you get out of travel is the culture. Meeting people, trying new and exotic foods and embracing the manner and lifestyle of the place you visit all can make you feel like you’re part of the country rather than just a visitor.

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When you are an avid traveller, you make a point of embracing new places and one of the best types of break you can have is a city one. It’s more than paying for visas and travel insurance and packing your bags ready for an adventure. Travelling is about the memories and the experiences. You get to immerse yourself in the culture of a new place and city breaks really get you into the heart of the country you’re in.

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Paris is one such place that is dripping in history and culture. There’s so much about France that is more than just Paris and Disneyland, but Paris is the capital city and the cultural factor is huge. There is so much about the City of Love that many do not know, so we’ve put together ten facts about Paris you may not have known:

  1. Did you know that the famous Eiffel Tower was never supposed to be a permanent fixture in the city? It’s one of the most famous world icons that there is and it brings a massive amount of tourism to the city. Originally, the Tower was supposed to stand for twenty years. It was so popular, it’s still there now!
  2. It’s widely believed that Paris only has one stop sign. Is it true? Well, book yourself a trip to Paris and scout around to see if you can find more than one! The one that is widely known is situated at the 16th arrondissement.
  3. Notre Dame is one of Paris’ biggest monuments, and the bells are what makes it so popular. The largest bell in the towers is named Emmanuel and weighs a stunning 13 tonnes.
  4. The Eiffel Tower may not seem tall in the pictures, but it takes 1,665 steps to get to the top if you choose not to use the elevator provided. Who would choose not to use it, though?
  5. French people are famed for their taste, and Paris has over 400,000 trees, making nature a priority in such a city. Every tree in the city is referenced and measured for aesthetics!
  6. Coffee – and food – is a specialty of the French and there are nearly 200 places across the city you can get an espresso for just a Euro!
  7. Paris is lesser known for its shadow town under the southern part of the city. Underground tunnels and galleries are there for your exploration.
  8. You can define Parisians by which side of the Seine they hail from. Most northerners won’t venture south of the river, much like in London!
  9. Paris was originally a Roman city – and it had a much nicer name! Lutetia was what is was known as and the remains are currently buried underground.

There is so much to see in Paris, it’s easy to put together an itinerary and get exploring the city. The city of love, baguettes and art is a wonder that everyone should behold at least once.

 

The Quick Paris Travel Guide

Paris is a great city, which has a little bit of everything. There is shopping aplenty, much history, culture, and it has a fine cuisine all throughout. It can be enjoyed through all times of year, though the Spring and Summer are the best times to visit as it can get quite cold during the winter months. You can visit it as quick weekend getaway or travel for a more permanent visit to ensure you can take in everything and see what you need to see. This guide can give you a quick overview so that you can check up on what the city has to offer, though further research is required for deeper knowledge basis and indeed recommended it you wanted to find out about the specifics of wider France. Enjoy your trip!

You can get to Paris in all manner of ways. Charles De Gaulle airport receives flights from the majority of countries in the world and the Paris train station and metro offer another great option. Driving can get a little chaotis, especially around rush hour, car parking in Paris can be easily done too, just so long as you book ahead in some way to ensure you get the places you want.

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The city is great for romance, with the eiffel tower the main attraction. Walks up it can be quite daunting, but there are many restaurants around so you can enjoy the sweet ambiance the tower provides.

For culture buffs, there is more than enough. Places of history and importance such as Notre Dame give a vivid look back into the history or Paris where places like the Louvre leave you stunned by the pictures and paintings of some of the best painters in the world. There are other museums too of course, yet the Louvre takes precedence due to its wonderful construction and glass facade.

There other points of interest, the arc de triomphe a harken back to days of Napoleon and French greatness. If you fancy some shopping then the champs-Elysees is a great place to take your partner to pick up a souvenir or two. There is something for everyone here, the Les Invalides offers another great museum for you to check out. There is also the mighty Paris St Germain football team, which you can go and watch at the parc des princes for a thrilling night or even day out. The are blotches of culture all throughout. The latin quarter is full of bistros, interesting stores and stalls with beautiful carved architecture dating back hundreds of years.

The place is great for youngsters too, as Disneyland Paris is a short ride away. The park is full of rides and entertainment, including shows and parades which will leave you happy and full of excitement. There are wonderful places to eat as well as constant entertainment for the little ones. There are all manner of rides too, so whether you like the super fast roller coasters or the slower rides it can be the great.

 

4 Amazing Cities That Are A Must See For Those With A Case of Wanderlust

The world is a huge place, and there are so many fantastic places to go and see. The places we can visit completely vary and offer us different unique and incredible experiences. So I am just sharing with you today, a few of those different and varied cities that are across the world. You might have been to some; you might have some on your bucket list. Either way, they are all fantastic places that are a must visit at some time in your life.

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London

Where do I start with London? It is a city like no other. You might think that it is quite a bland English place to visit, but you would be most incorrect! It is a bustling and diverse city, full of variety. There are the grand historical sites to see, including things like the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, and Big Ben. There are also much more modern sites and attractions to see, including things like the Tate Modern and Millenium Bridge. The food is varied; the shopping is fantastic. There really is something for everyone!

Perth

There are only a select few cities that have dream beaches to go with them, alongside the bustling city scene. Perth in the western area of Australia is certainly one of them! The beaches are beautiful; some of the best in the world. You could enjoy a picnic and a swim and then check out some of the best tourist attractions in Perth. There is a great food and music scene in the city too.

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New York

If you are looking for a city that never sleeps, then look no further than New York City. One of the great things is that there are so many shows and movies that have been filmed there. So you can visit a lot of the different spots that have been in movies. The weather is varied there, going from snow in winter to hot sunshine in summer. So you can choose ice skating or sunbathe in Central Park, depending on the time of year that you visit. The shopping is fantastic, as well as lots of things to do like visiting a comedy club or Broadway. The street food vendors are a must when visiting the city too.

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Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a vibrant city that is full of life. There are parks and skate parks, as well as plenty of museums and tourist attractions. It is a big center for culture with an art institute and the shipyard area. You can take a boat ride down the canal, or cycle around taking it all in.

Paris

What would a list of cities to visit be, without a mention of the city of lights? Paris is just as glam as it might seem in the movies. With plenty of parks to stroll around, you can enjoy the great cuisine and atmosphere. A walk down the Champs De Elysee is a must, as well as the Eiffel Tower. With good transport links, you can see other areas of France easily from Paris too.

A day in Lille, France

LILLE, FRANCE: Lille is a buzzing city which is waiting to be discovered by tourists yet. It makes a nice day trip if you are visiting Brussels or Brugges in Belgium. Lille is one of the largest cities in France with lots of Flemish influences, may be for being a bordering city with Belgium. Old town of this city is where local crowds gather to hang out and enjoy the atmosphere.

Closest parking we found here was right at Place de General-de-Gaulle. You just walk up and voila, you are right in the middle of the main square.

TIME of TRAVEL: My older sister and her family were visiting Europe in May 2013. It was their first time in this continent. We picked Lille because it’s only little more than an hour drive from our little town in Belgium and could easily make a day-trip and come back home before the kids were tired. They were going to go to Paris anyways the following week, just wanted to show them a smaller French town nearby. The weather was great and many festivals were going on every street of Lille that day.

EATING and SHOPPING: Restaurant or cafes are everywhere in the city center, especially in Place du Theatre. This is where we had lunch in front of the Bourse or the Chamber of Commerce building. You can see many quick and fast food type places while walking towards Vieux Lille. Do try some French bakeries and pastries. For shopping, Rue de la Monnaie had many options from small local stores to big brand names.

PLACES WE’VE VISITED: The main city center is very compact and can be covered on foot. We spent only few hours here and just walked around the old part and visited some old churches and main landmarks.

1) PLACE de GENERAL-de-GAULLE: The square is also known as Grand Place. This is the main square of the town with a big fountain in the middle with a statue known as Column of the Goddess from 1843. Many beautiful historic buildings are lined up on all sides of the square. One of the important buildings is a Flemish-style which is the headquarters of local newspaper La Voix du Nord.

Place du General-de-Gaulle, the main square of Lille, France
Place du General-de-Gaulle, the main square of Lille, France
             

2) PLACE du THEATRE: This is a lively place with to stop and take a breath. Located beside Place de General-de-Gaulle, the square houses two beautiful and historic buildings: The Opera and the Chamber of Commerce. Both of the buildings are from 1920s. These buildings are supposed to look very nice at night when all the lights are on, but too bad we didn’t stay that long!

Opera house in Place du Theatre in Lille, France
Opera house in Place du Theatre in Lille, France
              

3) VIEUX LILLE: This is the old quarter of the city and nice place to take a stroll. Loved walking on the cobble-stone street of Rue de la Monnaie while enjoying the view of old houses and designer stores. Some museums are also located on Rue de la Monnaie.

Vieux Lille - an old district of Lille
Vieux Lille – an old district of Lille
         

4) CATHEDRALE NOTRE DAME de la TREILLE: This is an old cathedral and went through many renovations and changes over the years. Outside it has that old and wise look but inside it is rather a very modern cathedral. Very grand but contemporary altar and some big colorful windows are worth looking. There was an art exhibition going on behind its main altar and a live band of youngsters was singing outside in front of the cathedral during our visit. It’s free to enter and is situated in Viuex Lille.

Main altar of Cathedral Notre Dame de la Treille in Lille
Main altar of Cathedral Notre Dame de la Treille in Lille
             

Companille or the Bell Tower of this cathedral is very old compared to the cathedral itself. There was a big fair or festival going on when we were there. Live music, food stalls, kids play area, and many other things were going on around the cathedral that day.

5) EGLISE SAINT MAURICE: Not sure when it was built, but it looked like a very old Gothic church not too far from city center. It was a big church with some beautiful stained-glass windows and really large old religious paintings.

6) HOTEL d’VILLE: We walked about 15 minutes from Place du Theatre to go see Hotel d’Ville or the city hall of Lille. It’s a big orange building with a clock tower at one side and is something worth a look. Walk few step across the street and Porte de Paris is there with a nice small garden surrounding this old gate from 1692.

Porte de Paris from 1692 near Hotel d'Ville in Lille, France
Porte de Paris from 1692 near Hotel d’Ville in Lille, France
            

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