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A Former Local’s Travel Guide to Paris, France (Things to do & more)

I was lucky enough to study abroad in Paris, the city of love and light. Over several months, I got to explore the city and acquainted myself with it on a more intimate basis. I got to visit every section, visit a lot of museums, and eventually this place dug a hole in my heart. I’ve returned quite a few times since my term there. So I’d like to share with you my recommendations for Paris, from the obvious to the more obscure.

Paris, France

The Essential Sights of Paris

Paris, France Paris, France

Paris, France

Of course you can’t go to Paris and miss out on the … Continue reading

Posted on Friday, May 12, 2023 in Destinations
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10 Beautiful Small Cities & Towns in France (Updated 2024)

There are so many beautiful cities and towns in France that it’s hard to keep track of them all. I lived in France for 5 months and it’s undoubtedly the country I know the best besides my own. That being said, there’s still a lot I’d like to see and do in France, so this list is nowhere near complete. However, I’ve compiled a list of beautiful small cities and towns in France that are absolutely worth visiting on your trip to France.

A star ★ marks my absolute favorites!

Aix-en-Provence ★

Aix-en-Provence - Beautiful Towns in France

Aix is one of the most charming and … Continue reading

Posted on Monday, April 19, 2021 in Destinations
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The Medieval Gem of Strasbourg – Things to Do & Travel Guide

Strasbourg is the largest city in Alsace, and the entire region is incredibly cute with old timber-frame buildings and splashes of colour – a marriage of French and German cultures. It’s a great day trip from Paris that’s only 1h45m away by train, but also a visit in its own right.

Strasbourg, France

Strasbourg’s History

Strasbourg has been inhabited since prehistoric times and became a Roman settlement, like many modern-day French cities. In medieval times, it became part of the Holy Roman Empire. It was a “Free City” for centuries and became the city where Johannes Gutenberg first invented the moveable type … Continue reading

Posted on Friday, August 2, 2019 in Destinations
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The Norman City of Rouen – Things to Do & Travel Guide

Rouen is such a charming city in Normandy with a fantastic history, and it makes an excellent day trip from Paris. It’s definitely worth seeing if you have time to spend in France. I’ve been twice and have enjoyed both trips to this lovely Norman city.

Rouen

The History of Rouen

Rouen has a very long and impressive history. The city of Rouen dates back to the Roman days and became a Viking city in 841. It was actually so important that it served as the capital of Normandy until about 1060, when William the Conquerer moved the capital to Caen … Continue reading

Posted on Saturday, December 29, 2018 in Destinations
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A Day Trip to Fontainebleau and Vaux-le-Vicomte

If you’ve any interest in French history, you may have heard of the castles Fontainebleau and Vaux-le-Vicomte. Both are located not in the Loire Valley but the Île-de-France region and have a lot of history behind them, Fontainebleau in particular. On my return to Paris, the urge to see such monuments brought me on a day trip.

Fontainebleau

Fontainebleau

Fontainebleau

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Fontainebleau has a history that goes back almost one thousand years. A keep (castle tower) was built there in 1137 and a monastery hospital was built there a century later. King Philip IV of France (1268-1314) … Continue reading

Posted on Tuesday, August 21, 2018 in Destinations
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3 Chateaux of the Loire Valley: Chenonceau, Cheverny, and Chambord

When my mom came to visit me in France, I thought a great way to spend the day would be to take a day trip to the Loire Valley, known for its Renaissance castles. We booked a tour as my mother prefers planned tours and then we set off to three castles: Chenonceau, Cheverny and Chambord.

Chateau de Chenonceau

Chateau de Chenonceau, Loire Valley Chenonceau, Loire Valley

Chenonceau Castle is one of the most famous in the Loire Valley, and France, because of its location atop a small river. There’s no need to tell you that the architecture is absolutely stunning and definitely worthy of a visit. However … Continue reading

Posted on Saturday, July 21, 2018 in Destinations
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Colmar, One of France’s Most Beautiful Cities – Things to Do & Travel Guide

Colmar is one of the well-known gems of Alsace, the region of France that borders Germany and combines the history and culture of the two. It’s rumoured to have inspired the setting for Beauty and the Beast but whether or not it was Colmar or another Alsacian village, Colmar is definitely a town out of a faerytale.

Petite Venise in Colmar

The History of Colmar

Colmar has been around for over 1,000 years but its history has been relatively quiet. The town of Colmar grew from the era of Charlemagne to 1226, when it was made an Imperial City. What I find most interesting … Continue reading

Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2018 in Destinations
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Dinan, a Medieval French Town in Brittany – Things to Do & Travel Guide

Dinan is part of Brittany, one of the most well-known regions of France and also one of the most interesting. Not only was Brittany its own kingdom for a short time but it’s only been formally incorporated as part of France since 1532, and the area also has its own language called Breton. Sadly, not a lot is available online about Brittany and its towns (comparatively), so it was difficult deciding which town to go to in my limited amount of time. However, I chose the medieval city of Dinan and was absolutely amazed.

The streets of Dinan

The streets of Dinan

A Short History of Dinan

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Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 in Destinations
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The Medieval Town of Provins, France – Things to Do & Travel Guide

Y’all know I’m a sucker for medieval towns and the town of Provins, France, about an hour away from Paris by train, was one I definitely had to see. Provins is a medieval town that still has its preserved medieval walls. Because it sat at a crossroads for many trade routes, it became a location of several merchant fairs, for which it became famous. Today, not much has changed! It still has its medieval structures and it’s modernly known for its medieval shows, especially The Eagles of the Ramparts, and they still have festivals and events to celebrate … Continue reading

Posted on Saturday, May 12, 2018 in Destinations
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Visiting Mont St-Michel, one of France’s Most Unique Destinations

You’ve probably seen the iconic mound of Mont St-Michel in Normandy before as it’s an architectural marvel that’s emblematic of France, and I actually went there once by myself and took my mom there a few months later. It’s definitely one of the most unique places I’ve ever been and honestly, visiting it was not what I expected. It is quite touristy but still worth the visit.

View of Mont St-Michel

The History of Mont St-Michel

View of Mont St-Michel

The Mont St-Michel monastery was built around 708 to be a sanctuary because of Aubert of Avranches, a bishop. He had a dream that the archangel Michael appeared … Continue reading

Posted on Monday, March 19, 2018 in Destinations
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