Why would a tourist to visit one place over the other? Taste and preferences you would say. In real sense, it all about what the select position has to offer. Rich history, beautiful scenes, and outstanding designs to name just a few. France has all this and much more to offer. Ranked as the leading tourist destination across the globe, an approximated 90 million tourists visit the country each year. The main attractions include the 37 sites listed by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites.
These are among other numerous attractions that dot the country. Ranging from historic sites, scenic buildings and natural wonders the list of attractions is endless. According to statistics from the industry, tourism is ranked among the highest contributors to the country’s GPD with a contribution of approximately 30%. This results from both local and international tourism. With the many attractions, selecting which to prioritize is a real challenge. It is for this reason that the list of top 10 most popular tourist attractions gives you the best choices to consider when intending to take a trip to the land.
10. Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris
Considered as one of the greatest landmarks in Paris, basilica of the sacred heart takes the tenth position among the most popular sites. Designed by Paul Abadie a French architect the construction of the cathedral was done between 1875 and 1914. It is located at the highest point in Paris, the Montmartre hill. Among the outstanding features of the cathedral, include a discharge of calcite which ensures the walls remain purely white irrespective of the prevailing weather. It also features a large meditation hall where tourists get an opportunity to get to the dome of the Basilica and enjoy a perfect view of the Paris city.
9. Pont Du Gard Bridge
An ancient creation, the Pont Du Gard Bridge is among the oldest construction in the country believed to have been constructed in the first century and listed in the UNESCO’s world heritage sites. Covering a length of 50 kilometers, it is one of the longest bridges in the world. The construction of the bridge was done using breeze blocks, calcium deposits and yellow limestone hence its strength to withstand the test of time. To add to its strengths, three tier arches are installed along the bridge with a height of 48.8 meters. The main purpose of the bridge was to create a passage for Romans to fetch water from Uzes to Nime but it was later transformed into a toll bridge.
8. Arc De Triomphe
Created in honor of warrior who fought alongside emperor Napoleon, it took over 30 years to complete the Arc De Triomphe. This was a span between 1806 and 1836 with constant abdication of the emperor halting the construction on several occasions. Created in an ancient astylar style, the monument bears the names of all the wars the first French republic took part alongside the Napoleonic wars. All this is written on the white walls of the monument giving it much historical significance. The tomb was built on top of a tomb belonging to unidentified solder from the word war I.
7. Verdon Gorge Canyon
Located in the Alps De Haute province in the Southeastern France, Verdon Gorge Canon is one among the major attractions in the country. Based along river canyon are high cliffs that measure in height at 700 meters. The river that spans over 25 kilometers features unique greenish waters that result from mineral deposits and glaciers. Alongside the attractive and scenic views, the location also offers a venue for numerous water sporting activities. Rafting, kayaking and canoeing are among the favorite sports in the area. Hiking and climbing are among other activities available and commonly sought by tourists in the region.
6. Chateau De Chambord
Located deep in the biggest forest in France, Chateau De Chambord is one of the biggest attractions in the region. It was constructed to act as a lodge for King Francois 1 during his hunting expeditions. Construction of the Chateau was started in 1519 and continued for 28 years when it was stopped with emergence of the French revolution. Though left incomplete, it showcases a combination of rich Italian and French styles in its interior. The construction consists of 80 stair cases, 280 fire places and 440 rooms. Visitors are taken through a guided tour to enhance a better understanding of the chateau.
5. St. Michel
One of the popular religious sites in Europe, St. Michael is among the leading attractions in the country. It is located in Normandy an island that is known for the abbey that occupies the rocks and measuring over 1 km. A church and monastery are the other features that occupy the top section with houses, halls and stores in the lower section. It is a popular place for pilgrims with a total of 3 million visitors reaching the place every year. 900 steps on the staircase give visitors’ access to the top galley. A museum is in place where visitors get an opportunity to learn on history that includes the construction of St. Michael.
4. The Louvre
With its home in Paris, The Lorve is one of the biggest museums in the world. It is home to a collection of over 35,000 prehistoric objects collected from across the globe. The museum was first opened in 1793 and has over the years been receiving collection from great leaders in French. The museum features a total of eight departments which are home to collections from different regions. The collections in the museum are known to date as old as 6th century BC. At the entrance, The Louvre pyramid is the first attraction for visitor to the museum.
3. Palace of Versailles
Otherwise referred to as the chateau de Versailles, it is the biggest palace in France. It was first constructed by King Louis XIII in 1624 and the construction was later expanded by Louis XIV to be the largest in the country. Initial purpose of the palace was to be a hunting lodge for the king. The palace features 700 rooms, 2153 windows, 68 staircases and beautiful gardens that are in excess of 2000 acres. It is one of the greatest attractions playing host to tourists and political functions as well. The biggest attraction is the hall of mirror with ability to diffuse daylight.
One of the recent creations, Disneyland is the second most popular tourist attraction in France. It was opened in 1992 and made history as having received over 275 million visitors by 2014. It coves 4,800 acres of land with parks, resorts, shopping malls and theme parks. Tourists are treated to rides with the most common being the Pirates of Caribbean over 55, 000 employees are known to work in Disneyland offering visitors different services including accommodation rides and guided tours.
1. Eiffel Towers
Constructed in 1889, Eiffel towers made history as the tallest building in the world for 41 years. The construction of the tower was headed by Gustaff Eiffel a French architect after whom the tower is named. It stands in height at 320 meters tall. To maintain the tower, a repaint job is done after every seven years where over 50 tones of paint are used to reduce the effects of corrosion.
France stands as the first in tourist attraction. At almost every corner there is an attraction site offering numerous options for visitors. For both local and international tourists, there is much to learn and enjoy. The top 10 most popular tourist attractions of France list above is just a guide to the places that every tourist should start. There are more however to cover for the wide taste and preference of tourists.