aerial view of the Festival of Lights in Lyon
The Festival of Lights held in Lyon is the third largest festival in the world.
Photo Credit: iStockPhoto / Louis16

10 Must-See French Attractions Outside of Paris

Festival of Lights, Lyon, Rhone-Alpes

If you haven’t heard of the Festival of Lights, you need to add it to your bucket list right now. The third biggest festival in the world, the Festival of Lights is held in Lyon over four days in early December each year.

The whole city takes part in the celebrations, with tradition dictating that each house place candles outside their windows, adding to the surreal light installations artfully scattered around town. Join millions of other revelers in the beauty and spirit of this event.

sun-soaked vineyards in AquitaineWine tasting in Aquitaine is an oenophile's paradise.Photo Credit: iStockPhoto / Nellmac

Bordeaux Wine Tasting, Aquitaine

An oenophile’s paradise, Bordeaux is at the heart of one of the most celebrated wine producing regions in the world. Picture sun-soaked vineyards and wine-soaked dinners, where you can wrap your tongue around regional specialties such as Lamproie a la Bordelaise, Confit de Canard and Canelé. Bliss.

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a view of Toulouse from a canalKnown a La Ville Rose, Toulouse sums up all the best that France has to offer.Photo Credit: iStockPhoto / SergiyN


Known as La Ville Rose (the Pink City) France’s fourth largest town should be considered an essential when it comes to France destinations. With a lively student population, a beautifully preserved old quarter and an abundance of parks and picturesque riverside paths, this town sums up all the best France has to offer, minus the tourists that flock to Paris and Nice.

Add to this the fact that Toulouse is also perfectly situated as a jumping off point for hiking in the Pyrenees, and you have an unmissable stop on your French itinerary.

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