Medieval cities, soaring mountains, french baguettes, sandy shores…need I say more? France is well known for its impeccable cuisine and delicious wine and no travelers can go wrong when booking a trip to this European paradise. Whether you’re looking for a city-driven escape, beach paradise or mountain retreat, France has it all. There is no bad time to visit France, with its mild winters and warm summers.
Much like its reputation, France is well known for its incredible luxury hotels, filled with stunning decor and rich elegance. Rates will vary depending on season, but expect luxury hotels to always be on the higher end of the spectrum, making it a great option for points redemption at major brands like Hyatt or Marriott.
Some of our favorite hotels in the biggest destinations:
Unless you are spending your trip in Paris only, we highly recommend renting a car to explore the region, particularly if you are visiting the French Riviera or the Provance region. There is so much to do, from exploring the beaches or countryside to wine tasting to shopping and it’s helpful to have the flexibility to drive yourself around.
In Paris itself, Uber is an easy and relatively inexpensive way to get around. Similarly, the metro is fairly easy to navigate and can take you to Versailles for under $10 USD.
Food and dining in France overall is world-renowned. There is absolutely no shortage of exceptional restaurants on every corner – so much so that its tough to go wrong. Our one recommendation is to step a bit out of the way of tourist destinations like the Louvre to find the best dining. As usual in many cities, the best restaurants are rarely located directly next to the major monuments.
Shopping is another category that France excels in. Whether you’re looking to pick up the newest Chanel bag from the original Chanel store in Paris or just looking for beautiful boutiques, France has it all. Prices are quite dependent on the currency exchange rate and how high-end the shop is. In general, shopping is on the pricier side.
While Paris gets a bad rap for being “snooty”, we’ve always found that wherever we go, we’re treated with respect and kindness if we try to speak the language and engage with people. Of course, Max is French, so we had the advantage there. However, outside of Paris in particular, you will find kind, welcoming people with laidback attitudes and lifestyles.
We flew to Paris for two night from San Francisco in February and boy, was that a whirlwind! We were going to Paris for a close friend’s birthday and spent 60,000 Hyatt points to book two nights at the famed Park Hyatt Paris.
If you’re looking to travel on the cheap, France is really not for you. France is up there as one of the more expensive travel destinations and its usually worth the splurge. We recommend our usual $300 USD per day budget for food & activities and we recommend budgeting ~$300 USD per night for a standard, 4-star accommodation or $500+ for a 5-star.
Suggested daily budget – We recommend budgeting extra for activities in France as museums and attractions are on the pricier side. Budget an extra $50 USD for activities. Dining we usually estimate around $300 USD per couple per day and that will get you pretty far. However, keep in mind if you dine at any of the Michelin restaurants or upscale options, a meal there will blow your budget out of the water.
Climates vary widely across France, depending on where you go. Overall, you can expect temperate summers and winters. Our favorite time to visit France is late spring and early fall with moderate rates and great weather. The highest prices will be over the summer.
First establish your travel time frame: quick trip to Paris? a week in the Riviera? From there, break down where you want to stay and the activities you want to take part in.
Consider the following: