Top 10 Tourist Locations in France

by Robbie Doyle on 30-09-2019 in Aritcles1


Top 10 tourist locations in France

Starry Night over the Rhone by Vincent Van Gogh

Where is the most popular tourist location in France? The best way to list them would be by the number of visitors that go to these places. My research took me to Wikipedia (where else?) as this is a great source of information.

While the list below ranks the locations by annual visitors, this does not mean they are more beautiful or more interesting than other places in France, it just means they are more popular. After all, how does a small but beautiful French village compete with Disneyland?


  • Notre-Dame de Paris (13.6 million)

  • Basilique du Sacré-Coeur (10.5 million)

  • Louvre Museum (8.5 million)

  • Eiffel Tower (6.2 million)

  • Palace of Versailles (6 million)

  • Centre Pompidou (3.6 million)

  • Musée d'Orsay (2.9 million)

  • Musée du Quai Branly (1.3 million)

  • Arc de Triomphe (1.2 million)

  • Mont Saint-Michel (1 million)


Whilst I do trust the information from Wikipedia, I notice that Lourdes is not in that top ten. That is despite the 6 million or more visitors they receive per year, every year. Lourdes is a town in southwestern France, in the foothills of the Pyrenees mountains.

It’s known for the Sanctuaries Notre-Dame de Lourdes, or the Domain, a major Catholic pilgrimage site. Each year, millions visit the Grotto of Massabielle (Grotto of the Apparitions) where, in 1858, the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared to a local woman. In the grotto, pilgrims can drink or bathe in water flowing from a spring.

Why are these locations so popular?

Some of these fantastic French tourist locations need no explanation, some are patently obvious.

Notre-Dame de Paris for example

I doubt there is anyone who has a TV, read a book or watched the many films that have been produced, since movies first came to the public view that hasn’t heard of Notre-Dame? However; being more famous for the presence of a hunch-back bell-ringer than its fantastic architecture is somewhat of a come-down.

Notre Dame is famous for many reasons, including for being at the centre of major historical events, including: In 1431, Britain's King Henry VI was crowned King of France in the cathedral. The coronation of French Emperor Napoleon I was also at Notre Dame. U

Unfortunately, the spire was burnt to the ground this year. On 15 April 2019, just before 18:20 CEST, a structure fire broke out beneath the roof of Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral in Paris.

Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris,

The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris, commonly known as Sacré-Cœur Basilica and often simply Sacré-Cœur, is a Roman Catholic church and minor basilica, dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in Paris, France

Louvre Museum

The Louvre, or the Louvre Museum, is the world's largest art museum and a historic monument in Paris, France. A central landmark of the city, it is located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the city's 1st arrondissement. One for the artist and art lovers.

Eiffel Tower

Nobody can think of France without the Eiffel Tower comes to mind in an instant. Originally built for the World Trade Fair and to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution, the tower was only supposed to be a temporary structure. Because it was being used as a radio mast, it was kept on. It still is used for the purpose of broadcasting around the world but is also a fantastic icon and tourist attraction.

Palace of Versailles

The Palace of Versailles was the principal royal residence of France from 1682, under Louis XIV, until the start of the French Revolution in 1789, under Louis XVI. It is located in the department of Yvelines, in the region of Île-de-France, about 20 kilometres southwest of the centre of Paris.

After the outbreak of the French Revolution in 1789, King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette would be stripped of power, brought to Paris and ultimately beheaded. The palace fell under the control of the new republican government.

Versailles was also the place where Germany signed the infamous treaty that ultimately caused, directly or indirectly the second World War due to the harshness of the terms. Great place for the historians.

Centre Pompidou

Named after the French President, Georges Pompidou (1969-1974). It means "someone who is from Pompidou", a location in the South-East of France. Pompidou once said; “I passionately want Paris to have a cultural centre which will be both a museum and a creative centre“. He never lived to see it as it was built after his death. This post-modern/high tech building is a world-famous contemporary arts museum.

Musée d'Orsay

The Musée d'Orsay is a museum in Paris, France, on the Left Bank of the Seine. It is housed in the former Gare d'Orsay, a Beaux-Arts railway station built between 1898 and 1900. The museum holds mainly French art dating from 1848 to 1914, including paintings, sculptures, furniture, and photography. Interesting facts; Definition of d'Orsay. : a pump-type shoe or slipper made with a circular vamp and a quarter that curves to meet the vamp at the shank line. Another interesting fact; Starry Night over the Rhone is housed in this museum.

Starry Night commemorates the view Van Gogh had from his window during his hospitalization in the mental asylum in Arles in 1889.

Musée du Quai Branly

The Musée du Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac, located in Paris, France, is a museum featuring the indigenous art and cultures of Africa, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas. Unfortunately, Jacques Chirac Passed away just a week before this blog was posted. This is a great place to study the diversity of world cultures.

Arc de Triomphe

The Arc de Triomphe honours those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, with the names of all French victories and generals inscribed on its inner and outer surfaces. Beneath its vault lies the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I.

This is another icon of the French capital. You cannot imagine Paris without the Arc de Triomphe anymore than you could the Eiffel Tower.


The island was originally called Mont-Tombe but became known as Mont-Saint-Michel in the 8th century, when St. Aubert, bishop of Avranches, built an oratory there after having a vision of the archangel St. Michael. It rapidly became a pilgrimage centre, and in 966 a Benedictine abbey was built there.

Interesting fact: less than 50 people are currently living on the island. Mont Saint-Michel is a rocky tidal island located in Normandy, at the mouth of the Couesnon River, near the city of Avranches.

There you have it. Top 10 tourist locations in France. However, France is steeped in history and culture and so there are literally hundreds of places to visit when you rent in France.

You can also bet that rent-in-france.co.uk has apartments, gites, houses, chalets, chateaus and even castles for self-catering holidays to France. Check out the main website now!

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