Although Paris is one of the most popular cities to visit in the world, France has so much more to offer than it’s capital city. As magical and beautiful as Paris is, its regional cities are also filled with culture and history. What’s more, the south of France boasts of its warmer Mediterranean climate… Not surprising as to why Parisians escape to the south during Summer! The relaxed, quaint and smaller cities offer the perfect weekend break and is a much less stressful and expensive option.
Throughout my summers holidays I’ve been able to explore France. I traveled on a very tight budget, staying in hostels or friend’s houses. However, every city has a range of accommodation and hotels for tourists according to your taste and budget.
I chose to travel with SNCF trains however, for those travelling from the UK, most southern cities have an airport that take off from various airports in the UK. I find that the trains in France are so much more efficient and faster than in the UK. Although prices tend to vary depending on whether you’re going to a destination during it’s peak tourist season, SNCF are always offering discounts and deals, so keep an eye out on their website.
Here is a list of 8 cities in the south of France I recommend to visit.
Must see: La Basillique de Notre Dame de Fourviere
Make sure you wear suitable and comfortable clothing as it’s a long and steep way up to the top!
Must do: Take a Velib and cycle around Parc de la Tête d’Or. This is one of my favourite parks in France. Stop off at the restaurants beside the lake for a beverage and take a picnic to eat on the grass.
Don’t forget to: Discover the winding streets and secret passageways in the Vieux Lyon.
Must See: Vieux-Port de Marseille
Even though you’re in the bustling city centre surrounded by the steady flow of traffic, sit down beside the port and take in it’s tranquil atmosphere.
Must do: Rent a car and go lagoon hopping along the coast! Prepare to be blown away by the views.3) Montpellier
Renowned for its fantastic parks, Montpellier is also full of quirky cafes and bars. Go explore and see what you stumble upon!
Must Do: Take the Téléphérique de Grenoble Bastille and Climb le Fort de la Bastille
Must see: Le Pont Saint Benezet (le pont d’Avignon).
Where else can you see a half a bridge which is famous?
Must do: Climb le rocher des Doms to see a panoramic view of Avignon.
Relax on the pebble beach and absorb the sun’s rays. But make sure you take a towel to make lying down on the pebbles a bit more comfortable. After a few hours of sunbathing, take a break and stroll peacefully around the markets that sell local produce.
Take bus 100 from Nice to Monaco for only €1.50 and be blown away by the city’s affluence and luxuriousness.