top of page

Avoid Paris, Go To These French Cities Instead!

Paris Syndrome, most frequently noted by Japanese tourists visiting the famous city, is the extreme disappointment that comes from visiting Paris, only to find it not to be as expected. And it’s no surprise that this occurs often. Movies have painted Paris as a storybook destination to fantasize about one day visiting. And while a visit to Paris should be done at least once in every traveler's life and is sure to be full of beauty and adventure, it’s also worth considering visiting other less frequented French cities instead. If you’re ready to say au revoir to Paris, visit one of these charming French spots instead!


Strasbourg is the capital city of the Alsace region of France. This unique area of France stands out for its blend of French and German cultures. Due to boundary lines being changed throughout the World Wars, this region has influence from both countries. This merge of cultures can be found in both the wines and foods produced in the region. With UNESCO sites, palaces, stunning gardens, and more, there is something for everyone to enjoy while exploring Strasbourg.

Côte d'Azur

You don’t have to be one of the rich and famous to vacation in the French Riviera! The Côte d'Azur, located in the south of France, ranges from the towns of Menton to Cannes. Known for its stunning beaches and luxury locations, a visit to the French Riviera will not disappoint. Film buffs will love exploring Cannes, the site of the famous film festival, whereas, James Bond fans must take some time to explore Monaco and Monte Carlo. For beach bums, hop around to different spots, like Cap d’Ail, to spend your days snoozing in the sun.

✈️ Pro Tip: While exploring the French Riviera, you’ll love going on these Best Days Trips From Nice, France.

Jessi's Journey in the French Riviera
Head to the South of France for some fun in the sun.


For history buffs, a visit to the famous beaches of Normandy to see the site of D-Day is a must. Apart from this historical site, visitors can also expect to find stunning coastal hiking trails perfect for beginner trekkers and experienced explorers, making it an excellent spot for nature seekers.


Wine lovers will love exploring the iconic city of Bordeaux. While many people associate Bordeaux with sprawling vineyards, Bordeaux is actually a lively city that serves as a hub for wine lovers to unite. Spend a few days exploring all the top sites within the city center and enjoying the wine bar and culinary scene. After, book wine tours to the various appellations (sub-regions) in Bordeaux to tour vineyards and taste some of the most iconic French wines. St. Emillion and Margaux make for perfect day trips you can get to by train from the city center and explore without a car.

✈️ Pro Tip: While in Bordeaux, grab a glass (or three) of wine at these Best Wine Bars In Bordeaux.

Jessi's Journey in Bordeaux
Wine lovers must escape to the famous city of Bordeaux while exploring France.


Mustard lovers must visit the city of Dijon while exploring France. Book a mustard tasting experience to learn more about how the famous condiment came to be. Foodies will love dining in the many Michelin Star restaurants in the region. Steeped with a rich history, expect to find Medieval and Renaissance architecture that will leave you speechless.


The Loire Valley used to be where royalty and the elite would escape from Paris to go hunting. And if the rich and privileged found it suitable for a Paris escape, it must also make for the perfect modern-day adventure. While there are many small towns throughout the Loire Valley, Tours makes for the perfect place to base your adventure. During your visit, explore the stunning castles that are sprinkled throughout the region. Top spots include, Château Chenonceau, Château de Chambord, and Château de l’Islette.


Arcachon is home to the Dune of Pilat, the largest sand dune in all of Europe and known for its having some of the best oysters in all of France. If you’re looking for a laid-back beach adventure, spending a few days in Arcachon will be just what the doctor ordered. Arcachon can be easily accessed by public transport from Bordeaux city, so check off two spots on this list by tying the two itineraries together!

We’re not saying you should never visit Paris. Seeing the Eiffel Tower sparkle at night and soaking up the view from the top of Sacre Coeur is an experience like no other. However, if you’re looking for a less traditional experience while in France, taking some time to explore outside of the capital city is a must. Bon voyage!


bottom of page