Paris is home to some of the world’s best art centers: The Musée d’Orsay, the Louvre Museum, and Center Pompidou. The French capital is also home to many other monuments. That means the art lover has a lot of options to include in their Paris tours itinerary.
The great thing about the city, aside from its landmarks, is that it serves as an ideal base for seeing more of France. It also helps that many of the best destinations in the country are just short distances away. Paris has a wonderful rail network to take you to and from places nearby the city, and many of these can be reached in a matter of minutes. For frequent or long-distance travelers, the following may seem a whistle-stop tour.
Pick the best option as per your requirements, much the same as you would while on Paris walking tours. Fix on the amount of time you spend at each place, so that you get to make the most of the experiences there.
For those who want to get a glimpse of the French luxury life, this is the ideal starting place. The main attraction here is Château de Chantilly. There are other must-visit spots as well, such as The Lace Museum, which is definitely a big draw for tourists. Chantilly is also known for its lace, thanks in part to its famous fan – Marie Antoinette. The Spa Valmont is not too far from the castle, and offers a number of relaxation and wellness treatment options, including a facial, a manicure, and a massage. For good dinner, you have fine restaurants: La Table du Connétable (which is Michelin rated), and Le Jardin D’Hiver.
In 2019, Loire Valley celebrates the quincentenary of the French Renaissance, so it is going to be an exciting and eventful place for art lovers as well. In addition to commemorating the start of the Chambord Château’s construction, as well as Catherine de’ Medici’s birth anniversary, it will honor the famous painter Leonardo da Vinci. The Italian artist passed away on May 02, 1519, in the French region. It is where the painter came to live and work towards the later stages of his life. That is why many of his creations, including the Mona Lisa, are on display at the Louvre Museum in Paris, rather than in his native country. Catherine de Medici spread the Renaissance art as well as ideas to France. If time permits, you should try and visit the Châteaux of the Loire Valley. The region also boasts Amboise, a stunning little town where you can spend a few relaxing hours.
This too is a little town in Paris, and one you really need to visit. Like in any classic town in France, there is a castle to visit here as well. The Château de Rambouillet, for example, was Louis XIV’s private property. Napoleon Bonaparte also stayed in the castle before his exile; plus, it used to be the residence for French presidents during the summer season.
Outside the castle is the Rambouillet Forest, which has trails for cyclists, bird watchers, and hikers. At the heart of the forest resides the wildlife park, Espace Rambouillet, where visitors get to learn about the boar, deer, birds of prey, as well as other wildlife in the area.
This small city just to the north of the French capital, feels distinctly French in parts, while the rest of it gives off a distinctly Belgian impression. The architecture in Lille hints to its origins: the city used to be part of Flanders till Louis XIV of France conquered it, and annexed it in the late 17th century. It is one of the most well-documented conquests of the Louis the Great.
Today it is a “university town”, meaning it has quite a number of young residents, many with preferences towards lively nightlife. It serves for one of the finest day trips from the French capital.
Caen is in Normandy, and was where the “Invasion of Normandy” arc was set in the movie “Saving Private Ryan”. Steven Spielberg’s film starts off with terrifying footage of the landings on “Omaha”, as the beach is codenamed in history.
It has been seventy-five years since similar famous real-life incidents – the Battle of Normandy and D-Day Landings – occurred, and the nations still commemorates the occasion. As part of that, there will be a Norman Rockwell exposition at the Mémorial de Caen this year, as well as military parades, firework displays, and more.
Apparently, the Normandy region is known for its cider production, Apple tarts, and Camembert cheese. In July 2019, UNESCO is set to decide whether to accept the nomination to make the D-Day Beaches in Normandy part of a World Heritage site, so all through the summer, there is something for tourists to look forward to.