Forum: France / France - General

I'm going to France next summer & I don't know what cities I should visit.....
By PomPonGirl
On Mon Dec 26, 2005 10:19 PM

I am planning on going to France either this summer (before my senior year) or the summer before I go to college, depending how much money I can save up. What I was wondering is where I should visit in France. I want to go to Paris, but I don't want to spend the whole time there because my French teacher (who has been all around the world) says that the smaller cities/towns are much more interesting. I don't know any places I should visit, and I thought I would get a "first person" opinion on this.

My teacher also told us to check out the Europass and I went on the website and found a pass that gives me 4 days worth of passes. I was wondering if I should get more becuase I plan on spending about 2 weeks there. I am completly new to this, so I would like to hear from people who visited France and the natives of France.

For those of you who have visited France, I have a few other questions. Do you recommend reserving hotel rooms before I get there, or as I go? And how much should I expect to spend on a hotel room per night (for like an American 1-2 star hotel, nothing fancy).

I think that is about it, but I would really appreciate any advice you have to offer.

Thank you,

10 Replies to I'm going to France next summer & I don't know what cities I should visit.....

re: I'm going to France next summer & I don't know what cities I should visit.....
By Etoile_Filantemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Dec 28, 2005 04:26 AM
I liev in France, so I can tell your teacher is right: Paris is a beautiful city, and you hav to visit it, but if you have time you may also want to enjoy other cities. Some a really beautiful.
In summmer, you'll especially enjoy south cities, more sunny,a and close to the mediterranean coast, like for example Nice and Cannes.
Lyon is not at the coast, but a must-see too.
The best would be to rent a car and drive a bit around somecities: for example the Porvence region, north of Marseille up to Avignon is amazing.

About hotels, in summer it's better to make a reservation before you arrive there: during European summer holidays time, it's sometimes difficutl to find something.
To get cheap nights, you could check the Ibis hotels, 2 stars, but not that expensive, you can get nights from 40€ sometimes
And check also the bed and breakfasts, some are inside the cities and really interesting prices: this website could give you more information: . . .

About Europapass, i'm not sure about this, I don't use it. but there is one thing to know about train in France: if you can use the TGV, very fast train, it's really good: it takes for example 2 hours from Paris to Lyon (500km), or 3 hours from Paris to Marseille (800km), so it's a good way not to spend too long time in trains.
re: I'm going to France next summer & I don't know what cities I should visit.....
By Angelinamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Jan 08, 2006 07:42 AM
You could also check out some hostels - they're basic, but cheap which is good if you're on a budget. And its a great way to meet people for everywhere in the world! Try (that's where we booked all our hostels when we went travelling round Europe in the summer). And yes, you should reserve.

You could get an Interrail pass, which lasts for 15 days, I think and you can use it to go anywhere in your zone for 15 days. However, I made a mistake with this: if you know where you'd like to go, try and get some rough prices for the train journeys, because that can sometimes be cheaper than an Interrail pass (we paid a lot of the pass, but if we had just paid for the separate journeys, we would have spent about £80 less). Go on Google and search for Interrail.
I'm going to France next summer - long post, links of interest
By leprechaun
On Tue Jan 10, 2006 05:22 PM
Hey Tiffany!

I spent a month travelling around France last summer, I live in Ireland.
Long post

Definitely don't miss Bordeaux and Pau(not far from Lourdes).

If you're taking in the Riviera coast(south) be sure to visit Cannes, Antibes, Nice and above all Monaco!
You can visit the palace, the Mone Carlo Casino and
Princess Grace's (Kelly's)tomb.
Monaco is such a fab place to spend a day or two,
it's more expensive obviously but sooo worth it!

Another lovely city is Lyon, I spent six weeks here on exchange and there is great countryside surrounding it, it is so
near to Geneva that you can feel the influence of Switzerland.

Finally before you even ATTEMPT to go home DON'T MISS the Normandy Beaches!!!
This place is indescribable until you've been there,

Here's a link for Arromanches (Juno Beach I think),
there's a 360degree cinema depicting the d-day landings...
Awesome! It'll take your breath away! At this place there is
a German bunker built onto the sandbank from the war and also
A Landing craft still left on the beach! . . .

The next is a link to the town of Caen (pronounced Cahwn),
this was the first town to be liberated by the allies
101st Airborne to be precise, one of the paratroopers
even got caught on the Church steeple(still standing) while Nazi soldiers stood around just below him!
Good place to base yourself in this region. . . .

And finally...this is the link to the US memorial in
Colleville-Sur-Mer, better known as Omaha Beach.
This place is haunting, there is a deafening silence,
my fiancé and I were there and noticed a few dogs running around the place but all the while they never made a sound! . . .

Nearly forgot, this place Oradour-sur-Glane was attacked by the
SS Waffen and the ruins have been left since
then for all to visit.

Hope this helps,
PS Etoile_filante is right about the Ibis hotels,
we stayed in them everywhere they're great, and if you're
moving from one to the other they will book ahead for you.

re: I'm going to France next summer & I don't know what cities I should visit.....
By testerus
On Fri Jan 13, 2006 11:14 AM
Well it depends on what you are most interested in, there are lots interesting places to see. If you are into castles you don't want to miss the loire valley. The towns can also be quite different, just to name Toulouse and Marseille or you might want to join the French on the beach in Nice or Biarritz. But there are lots of other options as well. It really depends on what you interested in most.
About staying: you might want to become a member of the Federation Unie des Auberges de Jeunesse.
Regards, Helge
re: I'm going to France next summer & I don't know what cities I should visit.....
By eclea
On Wed Mar 01, 2006 02:25 PM
I have been reading your replies, I Study in Holland at the moment and I was planning to go to France (mainly Paris), but now..
wow, Now I will be TRAVELLING!
Thank you a lot.
cycling along the atlantic ocean
By testerus
On Thu Apr 06, 2006 03:17 PM
Edited by testerus (112121) on 2006-04-06 15:18:57
Hello, a friend and me are planning to make a bicycle tour along the Atlantic ocean sometime between later August and early September 2006. On our way to the ocean we are probably going by train via Metz, Reims, Paris, Angers (?), Nantes (?) with some stops in between. In case you have any tips for us or if you would like to meet us somewhere or even join us please drop me a PM or jabber me at testerus(at)
I am sure we are going to have lots of fun there! Best regards, Helge.
re: I'm going to France next summer & I don't know what cities I should visit.....
By twinkletoes84member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sat Apr 22, 2006 10:42 AM

i lived in Tours in the loire valley for 5 months and loved it!!! its such a beautiful place!! there's an old part which is just soooo european and soo pretty!! i've attached some pictures!! also theres lots of castle eally near by, we only visited one but i wish we visited more!! i hope you have a great time in France!! i loved it there!!!

this is in the old part of tours in the town centre, sorry dont know what happened on this photo but hey,
Image hotlink - ''

this is also in the town centre near all the shops, excuse the scaffolding lol, didnt mean to get that in my photo.
Image hotlink - ''

and this is a picture of the castle we went too, its called Chenonceau,
Image hotlink - ''

i hope you like the pictures!! i'm sorry i dont have many pictures of just the places, most have lots of people on them.
have a good trip,
re: I'm going to France next summer & I don't know what cities I should visit.....
By Angelinamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Jun 04, 2006 10:36 AM
^ Ha, I went to that castle too when I went on our school's French Exchange in... 2002 (ish). We stayed in La Fleche, which is really near Tours, I think (I think its in the middle of the triangle made by Tours, Le Mans and Angers).
re: I'm going to France next summer & I don't know what cities I should visit.....
By twinkletoes84member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Thu Jun 08, 2006 03:52 PM
Oh wow!!! HOw cool!! its gorgeous isnt it??!! we came up with all these stories about which room we would have if we lived there and who would do what!! it was soooooo fun!!! lol!!!

it such a nice area!!
re: I'm going to France next summer & I don't know what cities I should visit.....
By MorningAurora
On Fri Jun 09, 2006 02:16 PM
I would agree...I studied in Avignon for 4 months and loved it. Avignon is really steeped in history and actually has a huge arts festival (dance, paintings, shows on the streets, and etc!!!) in the summer months. I was with a dance team that was going to perform there, but I had to return to America too early!!! do you know when you're plannign to go ? Avoid august because that is when the majority of tourist areas are crowded (and besides, the Festival d'Avignon is earlier than that) :) Also, Avignon often has ballets at the operahouse where students can get in for just five euros to see a very quality performance. (3 since you're a dancer!) More about Avignon: it's pretty Medieval; the popes lived there for several hundred years, and there palace still exists, it's enormous and tours run often. Avignon is also a big enough city to offer amazing experiences (with a high speed train for access), but small enough to be not quite so tourist-y.

Be careful when chosing places to stay, since it sounds like you're traveling alone. Hostels are cheaper, but to get the cheap rooms, you have to stay with a lot of students per room (and when you're alone, it's a good idea to be a lot more cautious about your possessions and etc. Although if you're traveling with another friend, it's a lot easier to watch out for each other. It's not like the hostels aren't safe--but just be aware of yourself :)). It's possible to book hostels for a single room, but the price then becomes similar to a hotel general, about 50-100 euros per evening? (It also depends what region of France you're in: if it's heavily-tourist-y or not). Find a website where hostels are RATED by students who have traveled there...! It's very very very helpful!!!!

Consider what you'd like to see most: countryside? historical places? typical elegant places? German-influenced? Mediterranian influenced? small villages? or just a variety of them all? And then plan accordingly.

I love France!!! If you want any more advice on what to do or where to stay, I will be GLAD to help!!!!!


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