Category: France

Hidden Places Of Europe

The Back Streets of Bohemian Montmartre

A Montmartre street artist finds a willing subject. (photo: Rick Steves) The famous Moulin Rouge dance hall, where cancan kickers have been taking the stage since 1889, is on the fringe of Montmartre. (photo: Rick Steves) Montmartre, the hilltop neighborhood hovering on the northern fringes of your Paris city map, is in many ways the perfect French cliché: red-and-white checkered tablecloths, artist's easels filling petite squares, and bohemian cabarets offering up high-kicking cancans. The literal high point is the bone-white Sacre-Cœur Basilica, from where the City of Light fans out at your feet.
Just over a century ago, Montmartre hosted a perfect storm of artistic creativity and avant-garde thinking. Back then, life on the hill was a working-class commotion of cafés, bistros, and dance halls. Its low rents lured struggling artists whose canvases now sell for millions (Renoir, Degas, Picasso, Toulouse-Lautrec, Utrillo).
These days, the hill is equal parts charm and kitsch ..

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Hidden Places Of Europe

Bordeaux: an insider’s city guide

Bordeaux: an insider’s city guide 16:43 17 February 2017
Emma Rawle
The city of Bordeaux © Thomas Sanson / Bordeaux Tourisme
Known for its wine, Bordeaux is an up-and-coming city that is growing in popularity. Here’s our insider’s guide to the main attractions, restaurants and hotels and the areas to buy property in Bordeaux
Think of Bordeaux and you’ll no doubt think of wine, and that’s hardly surprising given that the area boasts more than 60 appellations, 115 hectares and almost 9,000 wine makers. However, it’s not all about wine and the up and coming city of Bordeaux is gradually growing its reputation as an ideal city break location – voted one of the cities to visit in 2017 by Lonely Planet. And with the opening of a new high-speed train line from Paris in 2017 meaning that you can travel from Paris to Bordeaux in just 2 hours, Bordeaux’s popularity as a weekend break destination is only likely to increase.

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Hidden Places Of Europe

Getting Around France

Traveling around France is easy, whether you get there by plane, train, automobile — or even boat, in the case of Corsica. So don't feel like you've got to spend all your time in Paris. Get out and explore the countryside, wine regions and other sights to be found in Western Europe's largest country.
A fast two-hour train ride from Paris will get you to Lyon, France's gastronomic center. A 90-minute drive puts you in Champagne, where you can sip bubbly in the town where Dom Perignon perfected it. A flight to Marseilles lets you soak up the Mediterranean sun while visiting classic Provencal towns like Aix, St. Remy, Arles and Nimes. Or maybe you just want to hop a Velib' bike and cruise the streets of Paris like a local!
Here's our guide to getting around France.
Chances are, you'll fly into Paris if you're traveling direct from the U.S. — most likely landing at Charles de Gaulle (CDG) airport in Roissy, though some flights arrive in Orly (OR..

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Hidden Places Of Europe

France Lodging: Palace Hotels, Gites, Barges and More

Bienvenue en France! Welcome to France!
As the most popular tourist destination in the world, France offers up plenty of lodging choices — from basic hotels to luxurious chateaux, plus a few unusual options thrown in for the adventurous.
Before you choose, consider your experience, your budget and your travel style. Is it your first time visiting France? You may want to start out in a hotel, where you can get sightseeing advice and help with language challenges such as making restaurant reservations. If you've been before, you might choose an apartment in a less touristy area where you can live like a local, shopping the markets and doing a bit of cooking. Enjoy connecting with the people and the culture? Choose a bed and breakfast, rural gite, farmstay or even a monastery.
Below are some France lodging options to get you dreaming.
France certainly has plenty of luxury hotel choices, from grand palace hotels to luxurious inns and manors via groups like Relais & Chateaux and C..

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Hidden Places Of Europe

How to Discover Paris in Three Days without Missing the most Important Sights

02/07/2015 11:30 Paris is not among the cheapest cities in Europe. Even holidaying there we can spend a not inconsiderable amount of money. Not all travellers can afford a high amount of money for a stay, for example a week in the French capital.
Not all tourists want to part with their hard-earned savings in the French capital. So many of us decide to travel to Paris just for a few days, so as not to miss this French gem so admired by all visitors, numbering in the millions throughout the year.
We know it is impossible to see everything important that the city offers in a few days, so if we do not prepare our journey in advance, anticipating what we should see, we can waste it. Without seeing the most visited and valued sites we do not consider our visit to Paris successful. If, however, you decide to visit the French capital for three days, you know that it is very probable you are not going to see everything.
But still we encourage you to have a good itinerary and travel ..

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Hidden Places Of Europe

The French Riviera: Beyond the Beaches

Exotic plants and breathtaking views greet visitors to the Jardin d'Eze gardens in the French Riviera hill town of Eze-le-Village. (photo: Rick Steves) Picture-perfect cobblestone streets charm travelers in the French Riviera hill town of St-Paul-de-Vence. (photo: Tom Griffin) “French Riviera” often conjures up images of France's glamorous (and packed) cities — Monaco, Cannes, and Nice. But for some of the Riviera's best scenery — and occasional relief from the touristic crush — visit the less-familiar stops in the interior.
An easy 45-minute bus ride inland from Nice, St-Paul-de-Vence is part cozy hill town and part local-artist shopping mall. It's appealingly artsy, but this famous Riviera spot is also one of the most-visited villages in France…and it feels that way. Its attraction is understandable, as every cobble and flower seems just so, and the setting is postcard-perfect. Beat the crowds by showing up here for breakfast, or come for dinner and experience ..

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Hidden Places Of Europe

What to See in Marseille during a Weekend

03/02/2016 16:27 Marseille (Marseilles in English) is one of the oldest cities in France, on the Blue Coast. We invite you to spend a weekend in a place full of history, monuments and architecture, combined with a varied nature and overlooking the beaches of the Mediterranean.
Marseille is not only a place of French tradition but also emerges as an alternative to cities like Paris, and is certainly worth visiting. Tourism in Marseille is important because there is a great originality in the conditions that exist, simultaneously, in this city. Optimal for rest, and for a weekend, Marseille is worthy of the best holiday conditions, even to go as we say just for a few days.
What you can see in Marseille are basilicas, the port and palaces and cathedrals but also parks, and it is a wonderful place to stay by the Mediterranean without leaving the city environment.
Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde has Byzantine character and was built on the highest hill of the city. Inside are..

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