- Going to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
- Strolling the great Parisian boulevards
- The climb from Montmartre to Paris
- See the Gothic buildings on the Île de la Cité, in particular the Sainte-Chapelle and Notre-Dame
- You can admire world-famous works of art at the Louvre or visit the equally impressive Musée d’Orsay, housed in a former railway station.
- Discover the modern architecture of the La Défense business district
- Check out the Parc de la Villette Science Museum and the other strange attractions gathered there.
- Walk along the Promenade Plantée in Paris on an old railway viaduct
- See the magnificent but very busy Palace of Versailles
- Take the TGV, the train that holds the speed record for a conventional train (wheels on rails), from Paris to Lyon, Marseille, Strasbourg or Lille.
- See the “D-Day beaches” of Normandy
- Climb to the top of Mont Saint Michel
- Discover Chartres Cathedral
- Experience the silence of Alsace
- Sunbathing on the beaches of the Côte d’Azur
Like its German and Italian neighbours, France is known for having a very strong tradition of classical music. French composers who are well-known in classical music circles and even to many members of the general public include Lully, Rameau, Berlioz, Fauré, Gounod, Debussy, Bizet, Saint-Saëns, Ravel, Massenet, Delibes and Messiaen. Even if you have never heard of these composers, it is likely that you already know their compositions to some degree, as some of these pieces have found their way into popular culture and are often heard in commercials and film scores.
France is famous for its ballets, and most of the modern terms used by ballerinas are of French origin. French composers have, not surprisingly, contributed to many scores of famous ballets. To this day, the Paris Opera Ballet is one of the most famous ballet companies in the world.
French opera is also considered one of the greatest lyrical traditions in Europe. During the Baroque period, when Italian opera conquered much of Europe, it never gained a foothold in France. There, the French developed their own unique lyrical tradition, thanks in part to the Italian Jean-Baptiste Lully (born Giovanni Battista Lulli), who was hired for this purpose by Louis XIV. In the 19th century, new styles of French opera emerged, such as the Grand Opéra, which combined opera and ballet in a single performance. In fact, even foreign composers such as Rossini, Verdi and Meyerbeer are known for their contribution to the French opera scene. Another genre of opera that developed in France in the 19th century was the operetta, essentially a comic opera with light music and light themes, created by the German-born composer Jacques Offenbach. For those who want to see French opera, the Paris Opera remains one of the leading opera houses in the world, although there are also good operas in some small towns.
The most popular team sports in France (but not necessarily in this order) are rugby, football and handball (European/team/Olympic), with strong national competition and a national team that has won six Nations, World Cups and European Championships and is generally recognised worldwide.