cool places in France
February 12, 2006 11:56 PM   Subscribe

I'm going to france for my honeymoon and would like some advice from people who have been or live there on places to visit during my stay.

I have read some of the standard travel books, and i will read a few more - but I'm looking for information not found there. We like wine and plan on spending 4 days or so in a wine country (bordeaux or burgundy probably) and the rest of the time in Paris. Do you know of any off the beaten path wineries or towns that are just cool to visit? My fiance and I will be going from october 17th-27th. We will be renting a car for the 4 days outside of paris, so we're not really limited to where we can go.
posted by escher to Travel & Transportation around France (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
the sacre coeur it is pronounced sacra cur wich means sacred heart well worth a look
posted by baker dave at 12:29 AM on February 13, 2006

Alsace is splendid (don't miss Riquewihr, Colmar, Kaysersberg, and Strasbourg). You ought to love the white wine though...

If you travel there from Paris you can stop in Metz (where I live) or Nancy. The cathedral of Metz is splendid (especially by night).

In paris :
Quartier du marais (near the Georges Pompidou art center) where there are lots of design and art shops, cultural richness (... and it's a gay-friendly quarter).

For a good "patisserie" you can go to Ladurée on the Champs Elysées.

Montmartre is quite romantic.

I'm sure you will enjoy your stay in France. Welcome to the "old" Europe.
posted by vincentm at 12:37 AM on February 13, 2006 [1 favorite]

I second the Alsace. When I lived in Germany that was one place I took all my visitors. Haut Koenigsberg is a great castle right near Riquewihr worth a visit. Plus that time of the year the colors are beautiful in the area.
posted by vagabond at 3:36 AM on February 13, 2006 [1 favorite]

For a (long) day trip, I recommend the lovely mountain town of Annecy, nestled into the alps. There's a gorgeous lake with a charming town with canals running through it.
posted by allan at 6:08 AM on February 13, 2006

Mont-St-Michel (previously discussed here) is really quite spectacular. A bit touristy, but worth the trip.
posted by mkultra at 6:39 AM on February 13, 2006

I've been to Bourdeaux and wouldn't bother. It's far from almost everything and not very charming. The area around Beaune is much more interesting for wine lovers.
posted by smackfu at 6:45 AM on February 13, 2006

I went last summer and spent several days in Paris doing the typical things....With 3 friends we rented a houseboat on the Yonne River....It was great actually, the boat is easy to drive, no experience required, comes with kitchen, maps, lovely rivierside towns....There are many options all over France on many different rivers. I highly reccommend this and it is very affordable. Google, "houseboat rental france" many companies to choose from....
posted by jamie939 at 8:04 AM on February 13, 2006

I have read some of the standard travel books, and i will read a few more - but I'm looking for information not found there.

It's not exactly what you asked for -- and we're in the planning stages of our Paris honeymoon, not seasoned travellers -- but someone recommended Rick Steves' travel books to us, and we picked up the Paris one and have found all sorts of great things to see and do there that we wouldn't have heard about otherwise. His France book might be worth checking out if you're seeing more of France than just Paris.
posted by mendel at 1:15 PM on February 13, 2006

The home of Claude Monet in Giverny is gorgeous. Make sure to bring your camera.
posted by radioamy at 2:57 PM on February 13, 2006

Bordeaux is a long drive from Paris. The city is large, but lovely in parts. The Basque region to the southwest is great. The wine country of Burgundy is super. Dijon has nice places to stay, delicious places to eat. The region goes south from there through beautiful countryside. An outstanding 3-star Michelin restaurant called Lameloise. Look up the location. Well worth it, and not too much. In Paris have dinner at Brasserie Bofinger in Place de la Bastille in the Marais. Get a table downstairs. Anywhere you go in France you will have a great time.
posted by madstop1 at 4:44 PM on February 13, 2006

If you decide you want to skip Bordeaux, the south is lovely and probably still quite warm at that time of the year.

Among things to see in the general Aix/Avignon area of Provence are Les Baux de Provence, Tarascon, and goodness knows what other kinds of small towns you can find, with good food and wine. Oh, Cassis on the Mediterranean coast is gorgeous. Train from Paris there is only a couple of hours.
posted by anjamu at 8:54 PM on February 13, 2006

Some interesting places in the Dordogne (or Perigord) region, which is kinda near Bordeaux:

Rocomador has a touristy village built on the side of a cliff, and a monkey reserve where the monkeys come right up and grab the popcorn out of your hand. You can also buy a "sandwich american," made of ground beef, fried onions, french fries (yes, inside the sandwich), and real mayonnaise on a baguette.

There are grottos at Villares with stalagmites, stalactites, and ancient cave paintings.

Castlenaud is a fortified castle with a (non-working) trebuchet.

The sewer museum in Paris is interesting. Montmarte was full of scam artists and flea markets (tip: don't let anybody tie a string around your finger!) The Versailles palace is worth seeing, and a night-time boat tour of Paris is worth taking.

Second on the Rick Steves books.
posted by blue grama at 4:56 PM on February 15, 2006

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