France is one of the most charismatic countries to travel across Europe. From the alluring tranquility of the French countryside, to the glitz and glamour of Paris. The country is brimming with immense diversity and some of the most scrumptious cuisines in the world.
Backpackers have much to rejoice in France. Our list of the best places to visit in France will allow you to unravel the mysteries of the country. There’s cultural diversity, historic heritage, natural splendors, and artistic avenues across some of the most enticing French cities. Backpackers, rest assured that France is indeed the ultimate backpacking destination in Europe. You don’t need to worry about budget constraints to enjoy a rewarding experience.
France invites backpackers and travelers to enjoy immense natural and landscape diversity. It ranges from exciting metropolitan French cities, to the stunning French countryside dominated with high mountains, lush vineyards, and fields of lavender. Majority of the backpackers believe that France is too expensive amongst European destinations, but our guide will help you create a stellar itinerary with pragmatic budget planning for an unforgettable journey!
Budgeting A Backpacker’s Journey To France
Before we dive into the best places to visit in France, let’s take a look at the budgeting and financial details of planning a backpacker’s journey to this stunning European country.
Accommodation is the principal expense that backpackers need to be careful about, and dorm rooms across France typically tend to cost around US $17-45 per night. Paris typically tends to cost much higher, however, the country is brimming with private hostels costing around US $85.
Budget hotels equipped with air conditioners and Wi-Fi tend to cost around US $69, while the accommodations in the Southern cities of France tend to be much cheaper. Backpackers are strongly recommended to tune into Airbnb, and the rates tend to range around US $17 for a shared room, while US $50 for renting an entire apartment.
Food is probably the most enticing experience to enjoy while backpacking across the cities in France, and backpackers have much to rejoice as French food is excitingly cheap. You can enjoy shopping around the bustling marketplaces for exquisite wine, breads, cheese, and meat, alongside enjoying street food varieties for around US $11 for two people.
A fine restaurant will typically charge you US $23 to 40 for a scrumptious meal, wine included, while backpackers are strongly recommended to shop around for groceries and cook their own meals like the French prefer to do.
Wine tours and activities tend to cost around US $103, and backpackers are advised to choose the budget-friendly alternative of exploring vineyards in the French countryside instead. Museum fees and majority of the exhibitions and attractions tend to cost around US $10-23, while the Versailles Palace tour will cost you US $28.
Simply put, backpackers should prepare to set aside a budget of at least US $80 per day, which would allow them to stay in hostel rooms or Airbnb rentals, eating cheap street side meals, and feasting on local marketplace treats. The local transportation system is quite impressively commuter-friendly.
If you want to increase your budget to US $170 per day, you can add more to your itinerary and enjoy more attractions as you travel across the best places to visit in France.
Backpacker’s Heaven: Best Places To Visit In France
Cities in France are whimsical treasure troves of hidden mysteries, cultural secrets, historic heritage and indeed, some of the most stunning architectural specimens of European history. In this section, we aim to introduce you to some of the most spellbinding destinations amongst the top 10 places to visit in Europe.
The Splendid Cities
Renowned as the most glamorous amongst all the French cities, a backpacker’s journey to France will simply be incomplete without a visit to Paris. This stunning cosmopolitan city is indeed one of the thriving retail capitals of the world. It offers a stunning cornucopia of historic heritage and spellbinding architecture, including the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the Sainte Chappelle, and the Louvre Museum, amongst many more.
You can enjoy a thriving nightlife in the city of Paris or enjoy the tranquility of the Seine River as you bask in the sunlight while sipping coffee at the posh cafes lining up its banks. Paris is an endless pool of adventure and cultural pursuits, and every backpacker can find avenues that fuel their passions.
Palace Of Versailles
Built on the orders of Louis XIV, the Sun King, the Palace of Versailles is undoubtedly one of the most fashionable seats of French power. It signified tremendous opulence and luxury, with its stunning hall of mirrors, extravagant artistic décor and ornamentation, and a plethora of exquisite gardens. It is one of the most recommended best places to visit in France and offers a truly awe-inspiring journey. If you are in Paris, you can easily reach the Palace through multiple public transport facilities.
Pyrenees National Park
One of the best places to visit in France for nature junkies and hardcore adventurists, the Pyrenees National Park is brimming with stunning hiking trails, high mountain trails, and picturesque little fairy tale villages.
The Pyrenees Mountains are connected with multiple French cities resting at the base of the mountains, and this region allows you to feast your eyes at some of the most scenic vistas sprawling from the Mediterranean coast to the Atlantic coastlines.
Needless to say, this is one of the top 10 places to visit in France as it offers a distinctive flair of France, offering backpackers with the wondrous opportunity to lose themselves and run wild into the heart of the wilderness.
The Pyrenees will introduce you to the breathtaking charm of the French countryside, making it easy to visit a city that crosses your path. More importantly, it is home to some of the wildest mountainside towns, including Foix, Saint-Jean Pied de Port, Lourdes, Ayet en Bethmale and many more.
The seaside town of Biarritz is one of the most stunning French cities to explore the French countryside and the mysteries of the eclectic French Basque Country. Joined with the regions of Anglet and Bayonne, Biarritz is typically a metropolitan area, however, its stunningly breathtaking seaside appeal makes it quite attractive for nature enthusiasts.
If you adore water sports, you must head out to Biarritz as it is the birthplace of surfing in Europe. This seaside town is connected with numerous bays and beaches known for their rowdy waves, and a powerful surfing culture. This is one of the best places to visit in France if you want to enjoy picturesque beaches and explore beguiling castles and centuries’ old mansions.
Lyon is one of the most admirable and oldest cities in France, particularly ideal for backpackers who have a keen interest in exploring the history of medieval France. This France city is home to a stunning cascade of picturesque little villages and majestic castles that are laden with spellbinding ornamentation and architecture.
It is indeed one of the best amongst French cities to explore the French countryside and revisit the past through some of the most beguiling historic sites in Europe.
Tucked away in France’s city of Normandy, Étretat is one of the most stunning towns in the French countryside, and it is often overlooked by foreign tourists, making it an ideal destination for backpackers with budget constraints.
Étretat is brimming with spellbinding beauty from its breathtaking rock formations and rugged white cliffs, to its turquoise blue waters and white sandy beaches. It is home to one of the most beguilingly attractive sculpture parks in Europe, the Jardins D’Etretat, which is indeed one of the best places to visit in France.
The region of Bordeaux is indeed one of the most dramatic amongst the cities in France, and it has quickly emerged amongst the trendiest, top 10 places to visit in Europe. Bordeaux is immensely popular amongst the hippy culture, and it has garnered much attention for being the ultimate wine central amongst backpackers and millennial travelers.
The region is famous for its incredible varieties of wine, and a thriving food scene with traditional marketplaces, vegan food offerings, hip cafes, and trendy bars. The riverside trails and walks are spectacular, and vintage lovers can explore the amazing shops that beguile with their offerings.
Last but certainly not the least on our list of the best places to visit in France is the mystical and spectacular medieval town of Carcassonne. A medieval walled city, the town of Carcassonne has risen to fame for surviving one of the most challenging sieges witnessed in France.
It is home to a spellbinding architecture that will allow you to revisit medieval history as you feast your eyes on stunning buildings, alleyways, marketplaces, and vintage shops. The town has a grippingly powerful medieval character that begs to be explored and wouldn’t create a financial strain.