top of page

These Are The Top 5 Destinations In France If You Love Food And Culture

France, the world's leading destination for tourism, draws over 100 million visitors annually. The allure lies in its exquisite culinary experiences and rich cultural heritage, with cities that are architectural masterpieces.

France is a vast country, comparable in size to Texas, and its diverse regions offer unique charms. In the north, you may find areas with a Celtic or Germanic influence, while the south exudes a distinctly Southern European ambiance. If you are visiting for the first time and wish to savor French flavors while immersing yourself in culture, these five destinations should top your list this year.

Nestled in the northwestern corner of France, Brittany is renowned for its rugged landscapes, wild Atlantic beaches, and deep-rooted Celtic heritage. This predominantly rural region is dotted with castles and quaint Breton villages that remain largely untouched by mass tourism. Brittany's culinary delights are a highlight, with seafood dishes like Coquille Saint-Jacques (great scallop) often served with light pasta or risotto.

The region also boasts rich cheeses, such as the monk-made Saint-Paulin, and delectable, buttery crepes.

Culturally, Brittany's star attraction is the walled port city of Saint-Malo, featuring a well-preserved medieval core. The charming city of Rennes, with its half-timbered houses and traditional Breton eateries, along with the fairytale-like cobbled streets of Vannes, also deserve a visit.

In the east, Strasbourg, the capital of Alsace, sits on the border between France and Germany. This city is a blend of both cultures, evident in its colorful half-timbered houses and cuisine. Strasbourg's food scene includes Tarte flambée (also known as Flammekueche in German), a thin pizza topped with crème fraîche and bacon, the hearty Choucroute Garnie, and cheese-filled pretzels known as bretzels.

Strasbourg's skyline is dominated by the towering Strasbourg Cathedral, one of Europe's largest Gothic churches and once the tallest building in the world. The picturesque canal district of Petite-France, lined with cafes, is another must-visit.

Lyon, situated along the Saône River, boasts a history that stretches back over 2,000 years, having been founded as a Roman colony. It is now France's third-largest city and a significant cultural hub. Dubbed the unofficial French Capital of Gastronomy, Lyon offers culinary delights such as andouillette (a coarsely-cut tripe sausage served with salad and fries), coq au vin (chicken braised in red wine), and the marzipan-chocolate fusion known as coussin.

For culture enthusiasts, Lyon is a UNESCO World Heritage city, with hilly medieval streets, ancient Roman monuments, and stunning Gothic churches. Exploring the local brasseries is an essential part of the Lyon experience.

Paris, France's capital and most cosmopolitan city, is renowned for its grand boulevards, elegant Haussmann-era buildings, and a culinary scene that encapsulates the essence of the entire country. In Paris, you can taste regional cuisines from across France, as well as Parisian specialties like steak tartare, French onion soup, and fresh pastries from its countless boulangeries.

Despite occasional complaints about cleanliness or ongoing repairs (the city is preparing for the Olympics), Paris remains an unmissable destination. The Eiffel Tower, especially when it twinkles at night, is a must-see.

Lastly, Marseille, located on France's Mediterranean coast, offers a lively and chaotic port atmosphere that contrasts sharply with the northern elegance of Paris. Known for its iconic bouillabaisse fish soup, anchoïade (a garlic and anchovy dip), bottarga (a type of caviar served as an aperitif), and boat-shaped biscuits called navettes, Marseille is a haven for food lovers.

Marseille's attractions extend beyond its cuisine. The city’s harborside fortifications and unique, almost Arabic, feel create an ambiance unlike any other in France.

Whether you're drawn to the Celtic charms of Brittany, the Franco-German blend of Strasbourg, the gastronomic delights of Lyon, the timeless allure of Paris, or the Mediterranean vibrancy of Marseille, France offers a rich tapestry of experiences for food and culture enthusiasts.


bottom of page