Category Archives: Travel France Vacation

Toulouse – Ville Rose`

As you transcend on Toulouse from the sky high above the city, after having just passed over the Pyrenees Mountains, you see it there, spread like a rose in bloom. The sun shimmers off the rooftops of the pale red buildings and the tree lined streets traverse down the center of it, ending at the River Garonne. You can not help but compare the beauty of it to a fully blossomed red rose with its stem dipping into a delicate vase.

The friendliness of Toulouse welcomes you and you suddenly find yourself tempted to speak like Pepe` Le Pew. Indeed savior fare is everywhere. The freshness of the flowers in bloom and the aromas of the gastronomic delicacies surround you as you begin your exploration of one of the most romantic and intriguing cities on earth.

Frances fourth largest city sits on the banks of the River Garonne, in the southwest, halfway between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, at the foot of the Pyrenees mountains and beckons you to be their guest. The invitation is for you to engulf yourself in the architecture, culture and cuisine of France’s fastest growing city. To enjoy all it has to offer.

Toulouse is the epiphany of a romantic city speckled with architectural jewels that testify to over 2,000 years of history. There is the Saint-Sernin Basilica with its 11th and 12th century Roman styling. Here you will find the resting place of the first bishop of Toulouse, who reigned in the 3rd century. There is also the astounding Southern-French Gothic architecture of the Jacobins convent, whose “palm-tree” pillar defies explanation with its single pillar that stems into twenty two branches. It was here that a society of agitators held secret meetings during the French Revolution of 1789.

While exploring the architectural treasures of Toulouse you will want to visit the Saint Etienne Cathedral. This structure expresses the evolution of French architecture. This massive structure was originally designed to be even grander with plans for three bell towers rather than the one it currently has. Also no trip would be complete without exploring the Capitole and its exuberantly decorated rooms. This political structure is well worth the tour.

End your visit of the historical buildings by visiting the place du capitole. This massive city square is filled with brasseries and cafes complete with an Occitan Cross.  The “place” is one of the most popular locations in the city to gather and enjoy the end of the day. This is also the home of the le Theatre du Capitole, Toulouse’s opera house.

Besides the great architecture there are numerous things to do that can be done on a budget. You can chat on a Terrace, enjoy the freshness of a fountain, saunter through a flowering walkway to Jordin Royal, Jardin Des Plantes, and Jardin du Grand-Rond also enjoy the Japanese garden, and the Praire des Filtres.  Meander along the banks of the Canal du Midi, or take a ride on a canal boat. Play a round of golf at the Toulouse La Remee Golf Course.

There are numerous shopping opportunities offering a variety of venues. You will find gift shops and street vendors; also plenty of opportunities to window shop the many chic boutiques that offer every major brand name. There is also an open air bric-a-brac market and plenty of opportunities to find antique treasures.

After you have explored all day, sample some of the gastronomical riches available. Check out the regional cuisine of Restaurant Au Pois Gourmand, and the French delicacies of Folles Saisons or L`Evangelina. Introduce yourself to Cuisine Du Monde of Le SW in the hotel Pullman Toulouse center.

Follow dinner with a night on the town. Be entertained at one of the many theatres or dance with passion at Le Chic or Le Ramier.  For a truly unique experience take in the dinner-show at the Lucien Barriere casino-theatre.

Finish your day at one of the grand hotels offered in Toulouse. There is truly a menagerie of world class hotels such as the Hotel de Berney, Hotel d’Assezat or Hotel de Pierre. If you are traveling on a budget there are plenty of less exuberant hotels that still offer great accommodations  to select from, such as the Best Western Hotel Des Capitouls and the Mercure Toulouse Saint Georges.

No matter where you stay and what you do you will find the city of Toulouse to be romantic and beautiful like a red rose in full bloom.

Answer a Wine and History Lover’s Prayers with Bordeaux France Travel

For wine lovers and history buffs, you won’t find a more rewarding vacation destination than Bordeaux, France.  Travel to this major wine center on the French Atlantic coast puts you right in the middle of where several hundred million bottles of wine are produced each year.  Both red and white wines are made in the wineries surrounding Bordeaux, and it’s been that way for several hundred years.  In Bordeaux you can find everything from inexpensive table wine to some of the most expensive wines in the world, including Chateau Lafite Rothschild.

Visiting the chateaux and estates where glorious French wines are made is an enchanting way to spend anywhere from one day to a week or more.  With several distinct wine regions you can arrange for tours of some of the world’s most famous wine producing estates and meet the hospitable wine makers and tour guides who are happy to tell you all about the area, not to mention who proudly offer sampling of their wines.

Bordeaux itself is a city of about a quarter million people in a metropolitan area of nearly  a million.  The city is surrounded by fertile vineyards and rolling hills of agriculture, and it is bordered on the west by a quaint, seaside resort area that includes beach communities like Cap Ferret on the Atlantic Ocean.

Bordeaux is known throughout Europe for its fabulous 18th century architecture.  More than 5000 historic buildings were erected between the late 1400s and the late 1700s.  The large scale gothic estates, cathedrals, and public buildings grace large public squares and lead to narrow streets full of boutiques, shops and restaurants.  The city is a sightseer’s delight.

The oceanic climate of Bordeaux blesses the area with mild winters warmed by westerly winds off the Atlantic Ocean. Summers in Bordeaux are long and warm, and definitely beach time Bordeaux-style.  Be sure not to miss the highest sand dune in France at the Dune Du Pilat, where you can climb a 154-step staircase and ride down to the beach from the top of the dune on a sand board.  Quiet beaches for families, like the Plage du Nice, and active ones for water sports (Biscarrosse Plage) are available.

Accommodations in Bordeaux range from comfortable boutique hotels in the heart of the city to incredible chateux and estates in the wine regions.  Because tourism is a major industry in this area, you won’t find anything but welcoming, friendly inn keepers. American hotels, including Holiday Inn and Best Western, as well as a variety of inexpensive hotels and youth hostels can be found.  No matter what you’re looking for, you can find it here.

As with any major city in France, the food alone is worth the trip.  As a seaside metropolitan area, Bordeaux boasts a wealth of excellent culinary experiences, from five star seafood restaurants to quaint beachfront cafes.  Traditional travel guides like Frommers are a great place to look for information on eating out in Bordeaux.  Many hotels feature restaurants with traditional French cuisine.  Continental pastries and fast food are also available in the city.

While in one of the world’s most successful wine producing regions, you might as well learn a little about the industry.  The Vinorama de Bordeaux is a museum dedicated to wine making and the history of the area.  Other museums in the city are also worth a visit.

The Musee des Beaux Arts has an impressive collection of European works from the 15th through the 20th centuries.  For contemporary art, don’t miss the Musee d’Art Contemporain.  The museum’s more than 1000 works make it one of the most important contemporary art museums in France.

Bordeaux is a major transportation center, and from Bordeaux you can get to Paris in just three hours aboard France’s high speed train, the TGV.  In Paris you can transfer to Amsterdam, Brussels, Geneva, London and many other major European cities.  Regular train service is also available to other areas of France direct from Bordeaux, including Nice, Marseille, and Toulouse.

If you’re into sports, you can join the locals for a major contest, such as football (soccer), rugby, or Cricket.  Bordeaux is home to professional teams in all three sports, and its Cricket team is one of the most respected in France.

It’s easy to get around Bordeaux.  You can fly direct to the city from most major airports, and whether you choose public transportation or a car service, it’s easy to get around.  The region is, however, quite large, so if you’re planning to stay outside the city center and yet visit the busy inner city, you’ll need to rent a car or plan on long public transportation journeys in and out of town.

No matter what time of year you go, you’re sure to enjoy Bordeaux France Travel.  It’s definitely one of the many jewels of France.

Travel Provence France

When traveling to France, Provence is definitely a stopping point. If you love France, stop in Provence. If you love Italy, stop in Provence. Located on the Mediterranean, Provence is the perfect mixture of Italian and French culture, history, and heritage interwoven together in a beautiful area. This gorgeous city was the first Roman province outside of Italy (hence the name Provence).

Before traveling to France, many things need to be considered. Money, accommodations, activities, and transportation are all issues that need to be worked out prior to boarding an airplane or a cruise ship.

As far as rates and lack of tourists, the best time to travel to Provence France is in the mild winter as the city is very quiet; however, for the ultimate trip, the best time to visit is the hot, dry summer because of the cultural events (such as the opera and jazz concerts), but all of the tourists visit then as well.  In Provence, the sunshine is prevalent, but it does receive a little bit of snow on occasion.

In Provence (like most of Europe), the main currency is the Euro.  As of December 10, 2008, one Euro is worth about $1.34 USD.  The best places to exchange your currency for the Euro are at airports and banks because they can offer you better exchange rates than ATM machines and stores.  This would be the first thing I would check off my list when I go to Provence (or anywhere else for that matter) after retrieving my luggage.  If you choose to drive rather than take guided transportation, bikes, buses, or walking, be sure you have allotted enough cash. Sold by the liter rather than the gallon, gas is over $6.67 USD per gallon. It is not uncommon for you to see Cokes sold for $9 USD and small cappuccinos sold for $7 USD; however, many prices are season and event specific. So, if you choose to go to France in the peak of summer season when there is a huge festival, you should expect and plan to pay top dollar for everything. For an average trip, you should allot about $300 USD per person, but that amount can include everything from accommodations, transportation, meals, and activities.

Like many other places in the world, Provence has an array of hotels at various price ranges. If you are trying not to spend too much dough on accommodations, you should consider staying at a hostel, a host home, or even staying at a tent campsite. For those (like me) who require a hotel on vacation (unless you are in the mountains or hiking up Mount Everest), Provence can accommodate just about any desire, luxury, request, and wallet; however, if you are staying for a long period of time, you may want to consider renting a home or apartment. This will give you privacy and a sense of home while away from home, but will also provide a kitchen (which will allow you to cook with the local ingredients). Renting a house or apartment could be the best idea yet while travelling abroad.

For cultural events, the Festival International d’Art Lyrique is the best. While this festival is typically in the summer, it is well worth the traffic of people and the costs of beverages, foods, entertainment, and products. While in Provence, the Musee de l’Annonciade is a museum that supports an intimate feeling with the small collections of art that range from Expressionism to post-Impressionism. Any art lover with be amazed at the extensive collection this 16th century chapel turned museum holds. If you like market shopping, the March d’Aix is perfect for you. You can shop with local merchants and families to find antiques, crafts, local items, fresh fruit and vegetables, cheese, wine, and other great area-specific items. This market is only open on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m., but you will definitely want to get by there.  For the outdoorsy people, Gorge du Verdon is called the Grand Canyon of France. With its limestone canyon, this beautiful place is perfect for sightseeing, hiking, and rock climbing.

As Provence was once a Roman province, the Roman feel is still prevalent there.  This can be seen through the Roman built bridges and buildings, food, and culture.

Provence is about 469 miles south of Paris; about 20 miles north of Marseille; and about 109 miles west of Nice.  Approximately 100 trains come to Provence from various other cities. If you travel from Marseille to Provence, the 45 minute trip will cost about $10 USD one-way. From Nice, the three to four hour train ride will cost around $45 USD one-way.

Often, when traveling abroad, people wonder about the food and its preparation. As Provence is a Mediterranean area, the most predominant main course is fish; however, the basic ingredients of the area include olives, olive oil, garlic, sardines, rockfish, sea spiders, sea urchins, octopus, lamb, goat, chickpeas, and local fruits (such as grapes, peaches, apricots, strawberries, cherries, and local melons). When fish is prepared, the seasoning, if any is used, will most likely include salt and pepper, onion, tomato, saffron, fennel, sage, thyme, orange peel, and white wine or cognac. If you have any allergies to any of these foods, you may want to let your cook know.

Although Provence is a large wine community, red wines are typically the only wines produced there due to the hot climate.

No matter if you are a wine lover, outdoor lover, food lover, adventure lover, or art lover, you will fall deeply for Provence. It has everything: perfect weather, great foods, beautiful scenery, mountains, oceans, and culture. What more could you ask for in a vacation spot?

Travel Lyon France

For an excellent mix of culture, history, amazing cuisine, and many other great experiences, we recommend you travel Lyon France.

A brief history of Lyon, France.

Lyon is a city that retains a firm foothold in French history.   Perhaps most significantly, it is the capital of the Catholic faith for the French, and when the Romans were touring Europe, they made Lyon the place where all the roads throughout Gaul began.

Claudius was born in Lyon, and the city became known as the capital of Gaul.   During the Middle Ages and on into the nineteenth century, Lyon became a centre for European industry and business.   This significance in regards to the money trade continued well into the fifteenth century, when it became an important financial hub for other countries, especially Italy.

Later, trade in silk made Lyon a formidable trading presence in the nineteenth century.   In fact, Italy had a major influence on the city, with aspects of the architecture in Lyon today bearing a distinctive Italian mark.   Today, Lyon is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which means it is in the interests of the international community as a whole to preserve the site..

Getting around Lyon

Happily, Lyon has an international airport, allowing you to get into it with the minimum of fuss.   The Saint-Expiry International Airport has coach links into the centre of Lyon, and the TGV has a link there too, so there are no problems regarding transport.   The north and south of France are all reachable via the TVG.

Try to drive a car in Lyon, however, and you are pretty much asking for trouble.   Coming a close second to the drivers in Barcelona for risk-taking and hot tempers, Lyon drivers are never going to be your friends, and you should think twice before considering hiring a car that you could very easily find scratched an hour later.

Instead, put your faith in public transport.   Within the city, there is an excellent system – the TCL – that uses buses and trolleybuses in a quick, efficient way.  The metro system can run as often as one metro every two minutes.   If you must be on the roads there is an excellent cycle hire system called Vélo’v, which enables you to sprint around the city with maximum mobility.   Over 3000 bicycles are available in the city, with a card and pin system in operation at the numerous stations dotted around Lyon.   The bicycles can be rented for up to twenty-four hours.

Places to visit in Lyon

And so to the sights that the city has to offer.   There is a lot to see and do in Lyon, and it is well worth taking the time to search out the places that offer some insight into the city as a historical area.

For somewhere quite breathtaking to start your sightseeing with, visit the Place Bellecour.   This is the largest open square in Europe, measuring 312m by 200m.   It is completely devoid of anything other than the concrete square itself, and is an impressive open space.   Right in the middle of the Place Bellecour is a magnificent statue of Louis XIV on a horse.   Chances are you are going to visit the Place Bellecour anyway, due to it having the biggest metro station in Lyon.   In fact, coming out of the station and into the incredibly vast space of the Place Bellecour is one of the essential Lyon experiences.

The Musée Lumière celebrates the birth of cinema, which was invented here by the two famous brothers.   Found on the rue du Premier Film, it still shows movies on a daily basis, and is a wonderful piece of history.   Visit, and enjoy the chance to witness the birthplace of the medium that impacts every single person in the world.

For a magnificent piece of baroque architecture, visit the Basilique de Fourvière.   A link to the city’s Catholic past, it was built on top of a Roman forum, and was intended to emphasise the might of the Catholic faith.   Marvel at the size of the St Jean crypt, and then climb the 287 steps to the conservatory, for a breathtaking view of Lyon.

Visit the Old Town and you will find magnificent examples of preserved architecture from the Gothic and neo-classical periods.   There are some wonderful old museums here and charming old houses, all just north of the city’s cathedral.

La Part-Dieu is the largest shopping mall in France, and is well worth a visit just for the spectacle.  In regards to eating and drinking, Lyon has a huge gastronomic reputation, and to list all the fine restaurants and cafes here would be impossible.   Words of warning, however, if you are intending to eat on the weekend, take the time to book ahead.   When it comes to a place to lay your head, you can usually find a reasonably priced hotel at short notice.

Some Tips when visiting Lyon:

Finally, to enjoy Lyon to the full, a few tips regarding local customs.

  • Taxi drivers expect a ten per cent tip.
  • Don’t go in the summer unless you enjoy intense heat.
  • Most one-way streets in Lyon have a separate lane for buses that come in the opposite direction.
  • Wear a neck wallet because Lyon has the same pickpocket problem that every major European city has.
  • And last, but definitely not least, try to learn some basic French; the people will respect you for it, even if it sounds awful.

Lyon is an exciting, vibrant place to visit.   Spend at least a week there, don’t rush anything, and if you can, see it by bicycle and you are sure to have an amazing trip.

Travel Nice France

Traveling around the world can be a major milestone in a person or family’s life.  Before leaving to travel the world, travelers should always do their homework. The key to easy, fun-filled travel with limited accidents is to be as prepared and knowledgeable as possible about where you are going and what to do when you get there.

Despite traveling being a great event, sometimes you just do not know what to do or where to go to have a great time. Fortunately, you have me!  In this article, I hope to give you a few options of entertainment, events, and restaurants in Nice, France.

The Promenade des Anglais is a major hotspot for the local dwellers and travelers alike. This promenade offers perfect seashore views while fulfilling your strolling and sunbathing needs. Often, many families come to the Promenade des Anglais to allow for children playtime on a safe, lovely beach.

If you are looking for a intriguing and engaging natural setting, Colline du Chateau maybe the place for you. This park has a great deal of entertainment to offer.  Pine trees, carobs, figs, and aloes surround this park, but other elements of Colline du Chateau amaze her visitors.  A lovely waterfall and the amazing views over the city make this park a favorite spot for everyone.  As if beautiful vegetation and natural beauty is not enough for children, a children’s play area is located in the park. The Maritime Museum and some medieval ruins also grace the park’s grounds. For an added amount of fun, you can get to Colline du Chateau by taking the life from Rue des Ponchettes in the Bellanda Tower.

Often rated in the top ten things to see in Nice, France, Musee d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain is located on Avenue de Saint-Sebastien in Nice, France. This is a magnificent museum filled with modern and contemporary art. The building itself is a masterpiece of marbled towers, glass footbridges, and a lovely terrace walkway with beautiful views of the city. The art in Musee d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain dates from the 1950s to the present. While there are many permanent exhibits at Musee d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain, the museum hosts many temporary exhibits and movie screenings; therefore, be sure to check with the museum before leaving to see what new exhibits and movies they have. The admission fee at Musee d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain is EUR 4 ($6.17 USD) per person; however, on the first and third Sundays of each month, admission is free.

As a monument to the dead, Monument aux morts is a beautiful edifice. It is often called one of the most imposing memorials in the country of France. The names of 3655 fallen soldiers are displayed in the building. The building also includes an enormous urn and bas-reliefs commemorating many fallen soldiers. While the memorial significance of this building is great, the physical beauty of the building is something that is not to be missed by anyone.

Place Massena is named the most famous square in Nice, France. When you are near the sea or main shopping areas, you should look for it. It is often extremely hard to miss. It is in the center of everything. This can be a great place to let the children (or even the playful adults) play in the water.

If seafood is your forte, Boccaccio is the restaurant for you. With two floors, this restaurant is nestled in the heart of the Massena district.  The décor is representative of the interior of old sailing ships. As a relaxed setting, the service and comfortable room make this restaurant a great place for private or business dining. While the food and décor are amazing, the prices may be a bit higher for a casual restaurant, but you will not be disappointed.

Entertainment with a meal is often what is desired while traveling. Bar des Oiseaux is perfect for this type of dining. Although Bar des Oiseaux is a bit out of the way (located at 5, rue Saint-Vincent in Nice, France), live theatre, concerts, and educational discussions are often the highlight of the dining experience.

Located in the city’s busiest shopping area, Quebec offers great pizza at anytime. With dining both indoors and out, this restaurant is always extremely busy and often overlooked. Although this restaurant is often extremely busy, it would be smart of you to stick through the crowds. If Johnny Depp can do it, you can too. You might even get an autograph or two while you are there!  Quebec also offers other great Italian dishes, such as pasta and fried squid.

Throughout the year, France offers amazing annual events for you to enjoy. The Nice Carnival occurs in February and March.  This is the top winter event in Nice with parades, concerts, and fireworks. The Gourd Festival is held in March and celebrates the end of winter. In May, La Nuit des Musees and La Fete des Mais are held.  Both events are free and open to the public. La Nuit des Musees opens great museums for debates, competitions, and exhibitions. La Fete des Mais celebrates Nice’s history with free concerts and folk tales. The Sacred Music Festival is in June. July contains the Nice en Roller (a unique demonstration of acrobatic techniques of roller-bladers) and the Nice Jazz Festival. The Christmas Swim and Living Nativity Scene are held annually in December for the Christmas season. The Christmas Swim, if you choose to do, is a swim from the Ruhl beach, but beware of the fifteen degrees Celsius water.

No matter where you go or eat in Nice, France, you will not be disappointed by the city’s beauty and intrigue.  The monuments, parks, and attractions will give you plenty to do while the restaurants fulfill your appetite’s desires. In France, you simply cannot go wrong.

Travel Paris France

Paris, France, with its awe-inspiring Eiffel Tower, romantic feel as the City on the Seine, and cultural history, should be visited at least once in everybody’s life despite what you might have heard about Parisians.

Stories have circulated about snobbish waiters or rude Parisians in general. That’s a stereotype that is not entirely true. Parisians, by most accounts of tourists who visit there, are no different than New Yorkers.

If you respect their ways, they will respect you.

When visiting Paris, France, the sights and cultural value of the city outweigh everything else. The city offers 10 must-see sights for first-time visitors. The following is a brief rundown on each of these destinations:

Louvre: The Louvre is the most visited art museum in the world (more than 8 million tourists visited there in 2006). Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, Madonna and the Rocks and the Virgin and Child with St. Anne are among the works of art on display. Alexandros of Antioch’s Venus de Milo is also housed at the museum. The building was a royal palace during the medieval times.

Jardin des Tuileries:  Also known as the Tuileries Garden, it occupies the large empty space between the northern and southern wings of the Louvre. The Seine is to the south. The Tuileries Garden covers about 63 acres. The spacious garden offers classic and modern sculptures, large basins, flowerbeds and wild birds. The space where it is located was once inside a palace adjoining the Louvre. That palace burned down in 1871, opening the space for the garden.

Centre Georges Pompidou: A uniquely designed art museum, library and music research building, is named after Georges Pompidou, who was the French president from 1969-1974. The building, which opened in 1977, includes large colored pipes on the outside of the rear. The colors of the pipes signify their contents: Yellow for electricity; red for heating; blue for air; and green for water.

Place des Vosges: It is Paris’ oldest square, built under King Henry IV from 1605-1612. The Place des Vosges – Paris’ first attempt at urban planning – consists of 39 houses each made of red brick with stone facings. Some of the houses are museums, showcasing its residents from 400 years ago.

Notre Dame de Paris: The gothic Roman Catholic cathedral took almost 200 years to build, with construction starting in 1163 and completed around 1345. The cathedral, with its distinct towers on the west façade, has been part of many historical events, including the placing of the Crown of Thorns by St. Louis during the building of Sainte Chapelle in 1239, and Henry VI crowned King of France in 1431.

Sainte Chappelle: A gothic chapel in the heart of Paris was quickly completed as it was consecrated in 1248 after plans for its construction started in 1241. Louis IX of France constructed it as a chapel for the royal palace. It was also built to house precious relics, such as the Christ’s Crown of Thorns, the Image of Edessa and 20 other relics of Christ.

Musee d’Orsay: Translated to the Orsay Museum in English, this building is on the left bank of the Seine and is housed in the former Orsay Railway Station. It holds French paintings from 1848 to 1914. Among the most famous paintings are those by Van Gogh, Monet and Renoir.

Eiffel Tower: The famous observation tower and radio broadcasting tower was constructed in 1889. It is the tallest structure in Paris (1,063 feet tall) and the most visited monument in the world (almost 7 million tourists visited the monument in 2006). The structure, designed by engineer Gustave Eiffel, was built over three years, was built as an entrance for the World’s Fair marking the centennial anniversary of the French Revolution.

Avenue des Champs-Elysees: One of the most famous streets in the world that includes affluent housing, cinemas, cafes and luxury specialty shops. It remains the second-most expensive strip of real estate in the world, behind New York’s Fifth Avenue. Rents are as high as $1.25 million a year for 1,000 square feet. The Champs-Elysees is also the traditional end of the last stage of the Tour de France.

Arc de Triomphe: Also one of the most famous monuments in the world, it stands at the western end of the Champs-Elysees. The arch honors those who fought for France during Napoleon Bonaparte’s imperial rule over France from 1804 to 1815. Today, it includes a tomb for the Unknown Soldier.

These are 10 of the most popular sights in Paris. The city offers so much more, including romantic walkways along the Seine, the Moulin Rouge cabaret, and some of the most beautiful gothic architecture in the world.

A trip to Paris requires at least two weeks, maybe more, to appreciate its place in the world’s culture history. All you have to consider: The finest works of Leonard da Vinci, Vincent Van Gogh and Claude Monet are in Paris. That’s reason enough to visit the City on the Seine.

With that kind of cultural value, who really cares if Parisians are perceived to be rude?

Travel France Vacation

France is great! The French nation has been labeled as the most arrogant nation on earth. That simply is not true. The French are a warm and welcoming crowd, especially if you go that extra yard and try to speak a few words of French.

The French may be a forward thinking and modern minded nation, but they are also one of the oldest and most cultured civilizations in the world. The country is blessed in so many ways. It has world class wine and cuisine, fantastic art and culture, and the landscape is spectacular. The French Alps offer arguably the best skiing in the world. The Alps, off course, are also home to several grueling stages on the Tour de France bicycle race each year.

It is impossible to speak about France without paying special mention to its superb wine and cuisine. With world renowned wine producing regions such as Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champaign, France is undoubtedly the world’s wine capital.

The same can be said for its food, which is world-leading in so many ways. The food has a fantastic simplicity, cooked only using in-season ingredients. That is a powerful combination and it is what makes the food superb. Many of the world’s greatest chefs have done apprenticeships here.

Over 58 million people live in France. Over 2 million live of Paris. Don’t miss Paris, the country’s tourism heart and capital city, which is awash with beauty. Must sees in Paris include the Eiffel Tower, the Champs-Elysees, and the Centre Pompidou.

Paris is quite rightly the global capital of romance. Why not take a walk along the River Seine. Or even better, take a bateaux mouche boat ride and see one of the most romantic cities on earth in all its glory from the river. Perhaps afterwards you can stop for a romantic meal and a good bottle of wine as you cast your eyes over the river.

Paris is also the home of Notre Dame, the chapel immortalized by a certain hunchback. You can walk around this breathtaking place and take photos so long as a mass is not in progress.

You can also see the magnificent Ark De Triomph, built in the early nineteenth century to celebrate Napoleon’s military victories. Another must see is the Louvre Museum, the set for the beginning of Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci code when the museum’s curator was killed inside.

Paris is also the home of the Disneyland Resort Paris, which is actually 32km outside Paris and is a great attraction or kids. The city is a great destination for families and kids because of its sandy beaches, canals and fishing.

Paris is a very expensive city to visit, probably just behind London in terms of cost. Don’t let that put you off. Just be careful and sensible about how you spend your hard earned cash.

As with any other country in the world, beware of pick pockets and thieves and don’t travel into areas you don’t know or are not recommended on visiting.

France has several airports so getting here is easy and convenient. Transport within the country itself is easy thanks to the excellent road and rail network.