Looking for places to visit in France? Here are the most famous landmarks in France that you should visit while traveling through the country.
France is a country like no other! Filled with impressive attractions, mindblowing architecture, hidden gems, famous cuisines, beautiful beaches, romance-filled French cities to its most locally loved croissants, it’s not hard to see why France is a popular destination among tourists.
Though the Eiffel tower is the most famous french landmark and the most photographed in the country, there are a number of famous landmarks in France that you need to add to your bucket list.
From the man-made beautiful structures of Mont Saint-Michel to the natural landmarks of Dune du Pilat, here are the must-visit landmarks in France.
Famous Landmarks in France
1. The Eiffel Tower
Kicking off the list of French landmarks is undeniably the most iconic structure in France, the Eiffel Tower.
Standing in sheer wonder in the center of Champ de Mars at 324 meters (1,063 ft) tall, the Eiffel Tower is the tallest structure in Paris and the second tallest in the country after Millau Viaduct.
Though it was initially constructed in 1889 by Gustave Eiffel to be a temporary structure, this Iron lady has become one of the most visited Parisian landmarks and also the international symbol for the city and France as a whole.
The Eiffel Tower doesn’t just give architecture satisfaction but also incredible views over the city of light when you climb it.
While the tower is impressive at any time, this iconic structure becomes more magical at night as it lights up in shimmer at every top of the hour for 5 mins.
It is such an incredible sight that everyone should see at least once in a lifetime. No wonder it also tops the list of famous landmarks in Europe.
Although the Eiffel Tower is the major tourist spot to visit, there are a number of other beautiful places in Paris including the hidden gems that you should not miss while exploring the French capital.
Recommended tour* I recommend going for this skip-the-line Eiffel tower guided tour with summit access.
2. Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris
Commonly known as just Notre Dame, this cathedral that was constructed in honor of the Virgin Mary is the most impressive French Gothic cathedral and also considered to be the most beautiful and most famous in the world.
Situated in the heart of historic Paris on Île de la Cité island in the middle of the Seine, the Notre-Dame cathedral is the second most visited attraction in Paris after the Eiffel Tower.
It’s the sumptuous facade at the front of Notre Dame that impresses tourists but the interior of the cathedral is equally awe-inspiring.
From the large colorful windows, splendid sculptures, and impressive church bells to one of the largest music organs in the world, Notre Dame set itself apart from other cathedrals making it one of the famous landmarks of France.
Though the roof of the cathedral was destroyed in a fire that set the Notre Dame ablaze on 15 April 2019, a number of precious artifacts and sculptures were untouched.
But as of now, the Notre Dame cathedral is under restoration and is anticipated to be completed in a few years.
Please note that this Impressive France landmark is still closed off to the public and its reopening will be announced when the restoration is over.
However, its closure doesn’t deny it its rightful place as one of the famous buildings in France.
3. Mont Saint- Michel
Perched on a small island on the coast of Normandy, Mont Saint-Michel and its impressive abbey are the most famous French landmarks out of Paris and it’s easy to see why.
Though its commonly mistaken as a fortified castle, Mont Saint-Michel is not just a church on a rock, but a city whose medieval features are still intact up to now.
Initially erected in 708, Mont Saint-Michel was one of the monuments that were first inscribed as a Unesco World Heritage site in 1979.
From afar, Mont Saint-Michel looks like just one magnificent medieval structure with the abbey as the point of interest but as you get closer, an entire town is opened up to you with a number of structures with so many things to do and see.
Though it is on a rock, this mystical wonder turns into an island when the tide comes creating an even more magical sight.
Even though the highlight of the visit is to climb to the Abbey and admire the impressive medieval architecture, you can walk around the ramparts, explore the Island’s only street; the Grand Rue, or be part of the annual pilgrimages across the Bay of Saint-Michel.
To enjoy this architectural and pilgrimage wonder, you can book this day trip tour if you’re coming from Paris or purchase this Mont Saint- Micheal museum pass that will give you access to all the 4 museums on the island.
But if you prefer a self-guided tour around the island, then you can get buy this skip-the-line entry ticket to avoid the long queues.
4. Louvre Museum
With over 300,000 artworks and only 35,000 on display, the Louvre museum is the largest art and antiques museum in the world and also the most visited making it a famous landmark in France that is worth visiting.
Home to the famous Leonardo Da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” painting, the Louvre museum receives over 15,000 visitors per day that want to get an up-close look at this famous piece.
On top of the famous Mona Lisa painting, there are a number of artworks that are categorized by themes.
From the Oriental Antiquities department, Egyptian Antiquities department, Roman & Etruscan department to the Greek Antiquities, there is a variety of antiques to see in the mega museum.
Though there is a lot to see in the Louvre, the most impressive paintings to see atop the Mona Lisa are the “Liberty Leading the People by Eugene Delacroix, “the Wedding at Cana” by Paola Veronese, and my personal favorite, the “Coronation of Napoleon I” by Jacques-Louis David.
Other impressive and famous sculptures not to miss include the “Venus de Milo” which is an ancient Greek statue, a “Seated Scribe” which is an Egyptian sculpture, and a “Winged Victory of Samothrace” which is a Hellenistic sculpture.
However, it’s not just the impressive paintings and sculptures that draw all those crowds, but also the impressive architecture it depicts.
From admiring the exterior and wandering around the Tuileries garden to the beautiful long arches that seem to drip in gold in the interior, the Louvre museum is truly one of the landmarks of France that will make your jaw drop because of its magnificent beauty.
But since the queues are always super long, you can book yourself this skip-the-line entry ticket and if you’re all about learning in-depth about the Louvre and its paintings and sculptures, then I recommended booking this skip-the-line guided tour with a professional tour guide.
5. Disneyland Paris
A trip to France is not complete without visiting Disneyland which is located just 40 Kilometers East of Paris.
With two distinctive parks; both the historical and Studio park, (Parc Disneyland and Walt Disney Studios), Disneyland is the most visited park in Europe.
While they’re so many beautiful places in France, Disneyland is a magical wonder that excites both the young and adult.
From seeing all the Disney characters to the 300 available rides varying in “difficulty”, Disneyland is truly one of the most beautiful and famous landmarks in France that you have to personally experience to understand its full amusement.
While just visiting Disneyland is fun and exciting, if you can afford it, sleep at one of Disney’s resorts to really feel like a sleeping beauty or a prince/princess. But I have to warn you, it comes with a huge price tag.
Since there are a variety of tickets for Disneyland depending on what you prefer as an individual, you can check out some of the tours I recommend below.
They are all offered by getyourguide, a trusted tour booking company with professional and knowledgeable tour guides.
6. Arch de Triomphe
Standing 164 feet tall in the middle of the busy Place Charles de Gaulle, Arch de Triomphe is one of the most important historic monuments in France.
Inaugurated in 1838 by the French King, Louis-Philippe, the Arch de Triomphe was dedicated to honoring the Fench army that fought the various wars during the Fench revolution and other important wars.
In fact, there is an eternal flame of remembrance that burns every day at the base of the arch as a way of showing honor to the unknown soldier that was buried beneath the vault in 1921.
This French landmark is not just a historic symbol but also a tourist attraction that provides 360-degree views of Paris if you climb its 280 stairs to the top.
From the top of the Arch de Triomphe, you’ll be able to spot most of the popular tourist attractions in Paris treating you to a whole new dimension of the French capital.
And a stroll just beneath and around the arch will take you back in history are you peruse through the 660 names of the generals including those that either died or survived in the war plus the face of the notorious Napoleon.
Due to the significance of this Parisian landmark, the grand Bastille Day Military Parade that takes place on 14th July every year starts from here.
Though a stroll around the arch is free, you’ll need to buy a ticket to climb it.
And due to long lines, I recommend getting yourself this skip-the-line ticket to the top of the Arc.
With all the history embedded in the Arc de Triomphe, it’s not hard to see why it’s one of the most famous monuments in France.
Related post: Most beautiful cites in France
7. Versailles Palace
One of the famous buildings in France is the Versailles Palace which used to be the official royal residence of France from 1682 until 1789 at the beginning of the French revolution.
Located approximately 20 km south-west of Paris, the Versailles which used to be just a hunting lodge now sits on a total estate of 2,014 acres and receives over 10 million visitors per year making it one of the most visited France landmarks and also one of the easy day trips from Paris.
The palace was not only home to the majesties of France but also held historic events like the signing of the Peace of Paris in 1783, the signing of the Treaty of Versailles which ended World War I and so many other important events that shaped France’s history and future alike.
A visit to the Versailles Palace will open doors to learning more about France’s history as you explore over 60,000 artworks that depict 5 centuries of the country’s past.
A walk through some of the 2,300 rooms in the main palace will treat you to the luxury that the kings and their wives used to enjoy with the most notable ones being the Hall of Mirrors, Marie-Antoinette’s bedrooms, the King’s apartment, and the Royal Bedchamber.
Enjoy the impressive architecture, decor, mirrors, and the flamboyant glass chandeliers that hang on the arched and beautifully painted ceilings in the Hall of mirror
Though you’ll spend most of the time exploring the main palace, spend some time strolling the beautifully shaped gardens as you walk past the impressive fountains and flower beds.
There is truly so much beauty and history to admire and learn in this Unesco World heritage site.
Its magnificent over-the-top details and historical significance make it undeniably one of the most beautiful and famous monuments in France.
Pro tip* With over 10 million visitors every year, there is no doubt that the Palace gets crowded, so to avoid the long queues, buy this skip-the-line ticket to the palace and gardens or book yourself this skip the line professionally guided tour to get the most of your Versailles visit.
8. Notre-Dame de Reims
Notre-Dame de Reims also known as Reims cathedral is notably famous for being the coronation place for the kings of France for over 1,000 years.
Just like the famous Notre-dame cathedral in Paris, the Reims cathedral was dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
But it’s not just the huge role it plays in French history that makes it one of France’s famous landmarks but also the impressive French Gothic architecture. It is actually one of the most beautiful cathedrals in France.
Constructed in the 13th century, Reims cathedral portrays a unique and unified style with the facade of the twin tower being the most impressive.
Although parts of it were destroyed over the years from the fire to World War I, this cathedral has bared it all and still stands in sheer beauty protruding through the skies of Reims city center.
From the impressive Gallery of Kings which consists of 56 statues that are 15 ft tall, the beautifully framed rose windows, to the splendid Rayonnant Gothic facade, Reims cathedral is truly an architectural marvel to see.
But as you walk inside, you will be more impressed as you lay your eyes on the main Nave that is almost 115 meters long.
The interior of Reims cathedral is awe-inspiring; from the Transept, beautiful stained large glass windows, the choir clock to other precious objects, the cathedral is truly a beauty not to miss.
And to get more out of your Reims cathedral visit, you can book this guided tour to take you through everything you need to know about this terrific cathedral.
Pro tip* As you explore Reims, I recommend buying the Reims city pass. The pass gives you access to all museums for free, free public transportation within the city, free guided tours of your choice, free bus tours, and discounts on lots of other attractions.
9. Dune du Pilat
Nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the huge pine forest in La Teste-de-Buch-in the Arcachon Bay 60 km from Bordeaux, the Dune of Pilat is the tallest sand dune in Europe.
The dune is approximately 500 meters and stretches almost 2.7 km long. It stands at approximately 107 meters high (as of 2018) but due to its uniqueness and location, various conditions can make the dimensions change every once in a while.
Dune du Pilat might not be as high as those you find in some parts of Africa or the Middle East, but the disparity between the ocean and the forest makes it a beautiful and unique sight.
Though it is a beautiful French landmark, not so many people have heard about it but Dune du Pilat offers so much for adventure seekers.
From climbing the sand dunes themselves to taking in the breathtaking views once you’re on top, it’s a true beauty that you should brave the 250 steps for.
While climbing is fun and exciting, the most fun activity to do is Paragliding. However, it’s not suitable for beginners.
And if you’re an adventurous couple, paragliding over the Dune du Pilat is one of the romantic things to do in Europe.
Also known as Sacré-Cœur, the Basilica of sacred heart, perched on Montmartre hill is the second most visited religious monument in France after the Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris.
Dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Christ, this all-white Romanesque-Byzantine style building impresses all its visitors.
Even though it was constructed between 1875 and 1914, the Basilica has maintained its natural white color regardless of the pollution due to the unique travertine stones which are able to preserve the original color.
But it’s not just the exterior architecture that is impressive with a Greek cross and four domes but also the interior.
The ceiling of the apse in the interior is decorated with the largest mosaic in France and you can also find the largest bell in the country inside the Basilica which is known as the Savoyarde. It weighs a whopping 18,835kg minus the weight of the accessories.
Since it is at the highest point of the city, the Basilica can be seen far away from a number of places. And a climb to the top of the dome will reward you with the most impressive views of Paris especially the southern part of the city.
It is the historic and religious significance that makes the Basilica of sacred heart one of the French famous landmarks that you should visit as you explore Paris.
11. Mont Blanc
Rising at 4,808m (15,774 ft) above sea level, Mont Blac which is also known as White Mountain is the highest mountain in the Alp and also the highest summit in Western Europe.
While Mont Blac is considered to be one of the toughest mountains to climb, it’s still one of the most famous natural landmarks in France.
Outdoor and snow sports lovers frequent this summit to participate in activities like hiking, skiing, snowboarding, and off-piste skiing for professional skiers and so many others.
All these fun snow activities make Mont Blac one of the best ski destinations in Europe
The best way to plan to enjoy a climb to Mont Blanc is by booking a tour with a professional mountain guide and also make sure that you’re in good physical shape.
Related post: Ski trip packing list
12. Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Strasbourg
Like all other “Notre-Dame” cathedrals in France, the Strasbourg Cathedral or the Cathedral of Our Lady of Strasbourg is not short of magnificent features.
Although it was the tallest building in the world during the mid 16th and 18th centuries at 142 meters(466 feet), currently, its the 6th tallest church in the world and the highest still existing structure built solely in the medieval period.
From the outside, the cathedral provides one of the most impressive facades with beautifully molded sculptures to the impressive color of the pink sandstone that changes color depending on the time of the day.
It is a magical sight and it becomes much better in the summer evenings when the light effects bring out the extra charm.
The long naves, glass stained windows, and the rose window will draw your attention as you enter this french landmark but it’s the Renaissance astronomical clock that will take your breath away.
Due to the height of the Strasbourg Cathedral, it can be seen from afar and it is believed that on clear days, the cathedral can be seen from as far as the Black Forest in Germany.
As you enjoy the interior, climb the 322 steps to the cathedral’s tower to enjoy spectacular views of Strasbourg city.
And from here, you are able to see the Black Forest in Germany on clear days which is truly impressive making the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Strasbourg one of the major landmarks in France.
13. Pont du Gard
One of the famous monuments in France is the Pont du Gard, an ancient Roman aqueduct bridge constructed in the 1st century AD with the sole purpose of supplying water 50 km to Nemausu, currently known as Nimes.
Pont du Gard is an ancient architectural masterpiece built on 3 levels which totals to 48m with various arches on each level.
Though it was initially built to bring water to the region of Nemausu in that era, this spectacular site which is also a Unesco world heritage site has turned into one of the most visited monuments in France.
A visit to the museum on the left bank of the river will give you an in-depth understanding of this ancient monument.
But it’s not just about seeing the Pont du Gard, you can kayak across the river where the bridge crosses for over 275 meters long.
The most impressive part of Pont du Gard is that in spite of having been constructed over 2,000 years ago, it’s still in perfect condition and you can walk on the bridge without any fears.
You can as well buy the skip the line admission ticket to Pont du Gard to avoid the queues. This ticket will give you access to the museum at the site and free parking.
14. Palais des Papes
Located in Southern France in Avignon, Palais des Papes (Palace of the Popes) is one of the largest and most important medieval Gothic buildings in Europe.
What sets Palais des Papes apart from other palaces is that it is composed of 2 palaces. The old palace of Benedict XII and the new Palais of Clement VI together form a lavish and largest gothic building of the middle ages.
Walk inside the palace and relive the lives of the popes by exploring the 25 rooms in the Palais including the Pope’s private chambers, chapels with fresco decorations, and the Great Audience room adorned with the famous fresco of the prophets.
Extend towards the terraces and you’ll be able to enjoy the views of the City of Popes and the Rhone.
Receiving over 650,000 visitors every year, Palais des Papes is truly one of the famous monuments in France.
15. Fontainebleau Castle
Located in the town of Fontainebleau, Fontainebleau Castle is one of the largest and most beautiful castles in France.
Sitting on a 130-acres parkland and garden, the castle has over 1,500 rooms and it is the only imperial French chateau to have been continuously used as a residence for the French Monarchs for seven centuries (from Louis VII to Napoleon III) with each century adding a unique touch of architecture to the castle by the reigning monarchs transforming it into a greater marvel wonder that we see now.
A step inside the palace will show you the true home of kings as you explore the beautifully adorned state of the art apartments, the Ballroom with a monumental fireplace, the King’s staircase decorated with sculptures depicting the life of Alexander the Great, the amazing Baroque Trinity Chapel, and the Queen’s bedroom.
The palace also houses a number of museums including the Napoleon I Museum which has a collection of objects, clothes, ornaments, and a number of things from him and his family.
When you’re done exploring the interior of the palace, a stroll around the four main courtyards and the three beautiful gardens will capitalize on your visit.
And if you feel like it, trek through the Fontainebleau forest which is one of the largest forests in France.
With all the features and history that Fontainebleau Castle possesses, it’s not hard to see why it’s considered one of the most famous France landmarks to visit.
16. Cirque du Gavarnie
Located in Southwestern France in the central Pyrenees, the Cirque de Gavarnie is one of the most beautiful and popular France landmarks.
Described by Victor Hugo as “the Colosseum of nature” due to its humongous size and the horseshoe shape that resembles an amphitheater, Cirque du Gavarnie is a French natural wonder that houses one of the largest waterfalls in Europe.
It also offers stunning views of the high limestone walls covered in a number of waterfalls that inspire writers, mountaineers, and botanists to visit.
With the stunning beauty and landscapes Cirque du Gavarnie depicts, it has become a haven for hikers both beginners and advanced.
So if you were looking to break a sweat while taking in all the beauty mother nature provides, then Cirque du Gavarnie is one French landmark not to miss.
17. D-Day Landing Site, Normandy
If you are interested in military and war history, then the D-Day Landing Site should definitely be on your bucket list.
This historical site is known for the landing operation that took place on 6th June 1944 during World War II. Today, it receives a large number of tourists, especially history buffs.
Besides the history, there are a lot of beach areas that you can visit around the site, including Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword. Each of these beaches has a new experience to offer.
There is also a war memorial that you can visit to reflect back on history.
And while you’re there, make sure to visit the “Atlantic Wall” which is one of the most prominent sites in the area and you’ll also be able to spot massive bunkers and tank traps.
So if you want to learn more about World war II, especially Landing day, the D-Day Landing Site is the perfect landmark in France for you.
18. Cite de Carcassonne
Are you an adventurer, history buff, or just a curious traveler? If you answered yes to any of those questions, then Cite de Carcassonne is one of the famous French landmarks you shouldn’t miss.
Located on the right bank of the River Aude on a hill seats this medieval citadel which hosts the finest remains of medieval fortifications in Europe.
This fortified city was founded between the 5th and 6th centuries during the Gallo-Roman Period and was later finished by the French.
It is renowned for its 3 km long double surrounding walls that are inter passed by 52 towers. It also has a 2,500-year-long history and was listed as a UNESCO world heritage site in 1997.
The intact old fortification, monuments, museums, and medieval houses will steal your heart while visiting Cite de Carcassonne.
To learn more about this fortified city, I recommend booking this guided walking tour that has a professional tour guide who will tell you everything there is to know about Cite de Carcassonne.
19. Lavender Fields of Provence
A road trip to the South of France will leave you in awe of the endless lavender fields in Provence. To the locals, lavender is not just any type of plant but their pride!
The purple rows of lavender beckon you to discover their beauty, and it’s the prettiest and most colorful sight you will ever see in France.
The acres and acres of hills and valleys with a striking purple make the lavender fields one of the famous landmarks of France that attracts thousands of tourists every year.
The Lavender fields of Provence are among the best and the most famous in the world, and their beatific landscape with a fresh floral scent is something not to miss.
Since they don’t bloom all year round, the best time to visit is between mid-June to mid-July. The Valensole plateau, sault plateau, and the Luberon valley have the most beautiful lavender fields and are the best areas to see the vast region of Provence.
For a perfect day at the lavender fields, you can check out some of the popular tours below that you can take to fully enjoy this beautiful french landmark.
20. Chateau de Chenonceau
Also known as the lady’s chateaus, Chateau de Chenonceau is one of the famous chateaux in France after the Palace of Versailles.
Located 5km from the village of Chenonceau on Cher River, this spectacular sight is a must-see on your trip to France.
Built in 1513-1576, the château’s unique architectural style mixes the late Gothic and early renaissance giving it a stunning appearance.
The visually striking castle has an integral bridge over the Cher River, exquisite gardens, and a forest surrounding it. Another key attraction here is a chapel with magnificent stained glass windows and the bedrooms of the ladies of the chateau.
Initially, King Henry II gave this chateau to his mistress Diana de Poitiers rather than the queen. After the King died, Queen Catherine de Medici threw Diane out of the residence and occupied it.
The chateau has a rich history of 6 prominent women who used, fought, and cared for the castle from 1500 to 1800, thus the nickname of the lady’s chateau.
And to visit this castle, I recommend booking this guided day trip from Paris to Loire Valley to take in the wonders of Chateau de Chenonceau.
21. Millau Viaduct
Located in the central-south region of France, Millau Viaduct is the tallest bridge in the world and a famous structure in France that no one should miss.
Standing tall at an impressive height of 343 meters, the bridge is more elevated than the famous Eiffel Tower by 19m making it the tallest structure in France.
Its height and outstanding design earned it the title of the world’s most remarkable engineering and architectural marvel.
The construction of Millau Viaduct began in 2001 and was completed three years later in 2004. So if you’re an architecture fanatic or you just love taking pictures, this stunning architecture and design feat will boggle your mind.
Though it was built to ease the congestion of the Route Nationale N9 which was heavily congested, today, it has become one of the most famous French monuments.
22. Verdon Gorge
In southeastern France, in the Provence-Alpes-cote D’azur region is a river canyon known as Verdon gorge and one of the deepest gorges in Europe.
It’s also one of the famous France landmarks attracting more than 1 million visitors a year.
This 25 km long and up to 700 m deep gorge was formed from erosion caused by the Verdon River. The turquoise-green water of River Verdon flows into an artificial lake of Sainte-Croix at the canyon’s end.
If you are an adventurous traveler, consider adding this site to the top of your bucket list since the location is ideal for hiking, fishing, canoeing, paragliding, and rafting, and it’s a perfect spot for wild swimming.
With over 1500 routes difficulties raging from 20m – 400m, the limestone walls of this gorge also attract many rock climbers.
23. Arena of Nîmes
Among all the French famous landmarks mentioned here, the Arena of Nîmes gives its visitors a unique glimpse of “Roman-France” as it is one of the best-preserved Roman Amphitheatres in the world.
Built in the 1st century during the reign of Emperor Augustus, this intricate building illustrates the degree of flawlessness demonstrated by the Roman engineers in designing and construction.
Measuring 133m long and 101m wide, the amphitheater has a seating capacity of 24,000 spectators. Today, the place is used to hold events, concerts, sports, shows, and the two annual bullfights during the Feria de Nimes.
So if you love ancient history and architecture, you’ll be wowed by the stunning facades, archways, ornamentations, interior galleries, and exhibitions.
24. Pont d’Avignon
In southern France, in Avignon town is Pont d’Avignon, a famous medieval bridge whose stunning views and lovely architecture attract thousands of tourists every year.
Built between 1177-1185, the bridge connected the two banks of river Rhone providing the only place to cross the river between Lyon and the Mediterranean Sea.
40 years later, in 1226, the bridge was destroyed and later rebuilt in 1234, this time with 22 arches with openings on the stonework to reduce pressure from the flow of water.
However, the bridge was later abandoned in the 17th century after numerous collapsing of arches every time the Rhone flooded. And since the constant repair required was expensive to maintain, the bridge was again abandoned.
Today, only 4 of the total 22 arches are remaining and have become the city’s emblem and one of the most famous monuments in France.
This UNESCO world heritage site became famous after a children’s song “Sur le Pont d’Avignon” went viral around the world, and everyone wanted to visit the place.
You can visit the place on your own but if you prefer an organized tour to learn more about Pont d’Avignon, then I recommend signing up for this Private Walking Tour of Avignon.
Located in the heart of the French capital is Sainte Chappelle, a striking holy chapel built in the 13th century by King Louise to house his Christian collection of artifacts.
The spectacular beauty of this medieval chapel attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over the world every year.
This architectural and aesthetic marvel was home to one of the most important relics in medieval Christendom – the Christ crown of thorns before it was moved to Notre Dame Cathedral and later the Louvre museum after the fire at the Cathedral.
The chapel also has the most extensive 13th century stained glass collections and gothic masterpieces of Christendom with the richest decoration in the world making it one of the famous French buildings worth visiting.
So go see the ancient relic shrine, explore the upper and lower chapels, and appreciate this stunning place.
But as you plan your trip, don’t forget to buy this skip-the-line ticket to avoid the long queues, or better yet buy this combined skip-the-line ticket that will give you access to both Sainte Chappelle and Conciergerie which is another popular Paris attraction next to the Chapelle.
26. Chateau de Chambord
Chateau de Chambord is a unique and outstanding piece of architecture and one of the largest chateaux in Loire Valley.
Built in 1519 in the middle of a hunting forest to serve as a hunting lodge for King Francis I, it is one of the most recognizable chateaux in the world.
Its distinctive French Renaissance architecture which is a blend of traditional French medieval forms and classical renaissance structures makes it a famous landmark in France and a symbol of the French renaissance.
The architectural curiosity of a double spiral staircase that turns in the same directions but people ascending can’t meet with the people descending is a revolutionary design and engineering masterpiece and one of the highlights of any visit to this majestic chateau.
Out of the 426 rooms, you can explore 60 rooms, 282 fireplaces, and 83 staircases together with 4,500 collections of objects displayed.
The chateau is surrounded by a vast park sitting on 5440ha which is in turn surrounded by 32km of walls. You can explore the park by bike, horse carriage, horseback, or a 4×4.
Grand and embedded with years of history, Chateau de Chambord is one of the best castles near Paris.
27. Etretat Cliffs
Etretat cliffs is one of the natural landmarks in France located in Upper Normandy. It is a popular day trip from Paris that you should consider adding to your bucket list.
It’s famous for 3 natural arches with white chalk cliffs that rise over the Atlantic Ocean.
Painted in the 19th century, these arches were carved by wind and water resulting in photogenic formations like Porte d’Aval Arch and L’Aiguile that attract thousands of tourists every year.
Sitting on top of the cliffs is a little church that gives breathtaking views of the rock arches, murky waters, and blue skies.
Walking or climbing is one way to discover this mythical natural wonder, but the views are more impressive from the sea. A stand-up paddler, sailboat, or kayak are some of the best ways to explore the cliffs.
So if you’re looking for France landmarks that offer outdoor activities, then the Etretat Cliffs will satisfy your adventurous side.
Final Thoughts on the Famous Landmarks of France
This list of French landmarks is by no means exhaustive but I tried to share landmarks from various cities of the country otherwise it would have ended up being all about Paris since it has the most number of landmarks in France.
Have you been to any of these famous French monuments and landmarks? Which one did you love the most? But if you’ve not been to any yet, which one are you most excited to visit? Let me know in the comments below.
And if you’ve been to some landmarks of France that are not on this list, still drop them in the comment section to inspire others!
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