France, in Western Europe, encompasses medieval cities, alpine villages and Mediterranean beaches. Paris, its capital, is famed for its fashion houses, classical art museums including the Louvre and monuments like the Eiffel Tower. The country is also renowned for its wines and cuisine, Lascaux’s ancient cave drawings, Lyon’s Roman theater and the vast Palace of Versailles attest to its rich history.
Paris, France’s capital, is a major European city and a global center for art, fashion, gastronomy and culture. Its 19th-century cityscape is crisscrossed by wide boulevards and the River Seine. Beyond such landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and the 12th-century, Gothic Notre-Dame cathedral, the city is known for its cafe culture and designer boutiques along the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré.
The French Riviera (or Côte d’Azur) is the Mediterranean coast of southeastern France. It includes famously glamorous beach resorts such as Saint-Tropez and Cannes, and the independent microstate of Monaco. A health retreat in the 18th century, the area later attracted aristocrats, artists and the 1960s “jet set.” Today it’s an established holiday destination, with paths connecting many coastal villages and towns.
We visited France twice. The first time we explored Paris and stayed at the Holiday Inn Paris Gare de Lyon Bastille in July 2012. The second time, we visited the French Riviera (in November 2017) while staying in Monaco. In Paris we admired art in the Louvre (including the Mona Lisa), went to the top of the Eiffel Tower, visited Notre Dame, Arc de Triomphe, Cleopatra’s Needle, and Moulin Rouge. We also visited Disneyland Paris. In the French Riviera we strolled along the picturesque beaches, charming towns and visited Cannes.