Where to go in France


Sean Woolsey Studio

A photo of the busy streets of Paris in the early evening

Anvi Bhagavatula, Photojournalist

France is a famed hub of all things art, fashion, and food. It’s procured dozens of tourist symbols as well as athletic events such as the Tour De France and Montagnes France. With the diverse nature of France, this country appeals to many travelers, such as soccer fanatics, history buffs, or nature lovers, So out of the numerous options on where to go and what to do and what to eat, what suggestions would be best for a traveler? 

For those that are looking for a classic, tourist destination, Paris is the perfect place to go. Known as the city of lights, it’s a commerce capital of trade, tourism, and rich, historical art. Officially founded in the fourth century, it holds a great affiliation to the history of Europe with buildings dating all the way back to the eleventh century. La Sorbonne, although not open as often as other tourist destinations are, is still in use as a renowned university sitting in south-central France. Anyone who is looking to take a glimpse at the inside life of the school in places like the inter-university library and the courtyards will be happy. Another place that holds great historical significance is La Conciergerie. It’s a vast Medieval Castle built in the early fourteenth century, this place was made as a Parisian home to the Hapsburgian and Holy Roman Empire king Charles V. Although it has housed many French leaders and diplomats, the most famous uses for it are that it was the home of famed former French queen Marie Antoinette as well as a current partial meeting area for the Paris Court System.

Although it’s a marginally rare sight to see a soccer fan in the United States as devout as an American football fan, soccer fans are all over the place in France. They add to the soccer culture that extends from Calais, the tip of France, all the way to Toulouse, a neighboring city on the French Border of Spain. Paris Saint Germain, a famous soccer team from Paris, is known all around the world as competition, including in their Ligue 1 team of French teams. Soccer fans are sure to enjoy the inner workings of such a prestigious team, home to three of the most gifted soccer players of the twenty-first century: Lionel Messi, Neymar, and Kylian Mbappe. 

Moving out of the French capital, surprisingly enough, the best places to eat in France aren’t all in Paris, where the cuisine is susceptible to outside cultural influence and world-renowned chefs. In fact, they’re spread all around France, even as far as deep into the Loire Valley. “The French love traditional food.” Mrs. Yakzan (S) the French teacher here at YLHS said when asked about traditional cuisine. “[For example] with les escargots (snails), they cook it so much in garlic and butter that you can’t taste the snail.” This allows for a lot of people to be able to eat the dish without issue. 

The most famous restaurant that should be on everyone’s French bucket list is Le Louis XV-Alain Ducasse a l’Hotel a Pari. This sprawling restaurant has been awarded three Michelin stars, courtesy of the adept head chef, Alain Ducasse. It’s located along the waters of the bustling south French Municipality of Monaco. This restaurant, similar to the historical sites mentioned before, carries captivating, elegant architecture that tourists love. In an interview with New York Times, Ducacase explained with passion how “Creating a menu is like writing good music…Loud and strong contrasts with soft and gentle (New York Times)” His quote sums up the luxury of the restaurant along with the extensive menu, ranging from home-grown marmalade to rum baba, a French cake. 

Even if a person has no intention of going to France, they will find something that they didn’t know they were looking for. Whether that be a new infatuation with FC Nantes, a sudden knack for cooking coq au vin, or an abrupt interest in why Louis VIII built Versailles, it’s hard to not have a good time in France.