These are some of the most famous landmarks in France that you can visit. France has some of the world’s most iconic buildings which you can see here.
A lot of these famous landmarks in France are in Paris, which should be no surprise, as Paris has some of the most famous buildings and gardens in France.
I’ll start with a personal favourite, the Mont-Saint-Michel Abbey, which is a sister castle/abbey to that of St Michael’s Mount in Cornwall, U.K.
It’s located on a small tidal island and holds inside its fortified walls an abbey/castle and other old historical buildings.
When it comes to medieval famous landmarks in France, the Mont-Saint-Michel, along with medieval Carcassone (see further down the post) are hard to beat. A must-visit site in Normandy.
The Eiffel Tower is one of the most recognisable of all the landmarks in France. It can be seen wherever you are in Paris and is so iconic that if asked what image of a structure in Paris sticks out the most first in your mind, it’s most likely going to be the Eiffel Tower.
It was built in 1889 on the Champ de Mars and was named after the engineer that built it. Today it’s one of the most popular tourist attractions in Paris so it’s best to book a direct access tour to the summit by elevator before going to save time in a queue.
Arc de Triomphe
The Arc de Triomphe is one of the most recognisable and famous French monuments in Paris. It’s situated at the western end of the equally famous Champs-Élysées (see further down the post) and dates to 1836 when the French king dedicated it to the Revolutionary armies.
Take a stroll up the Champs-Élysées and see the Arc de Triomphe at the end of it.
The Louvre Museum is easily recognisable as one of the landmarks in France, not just because of the beautiful historic building that is the museum, but also for the glass pyramid that stands outside it.
This is the most-visited museum in the world!
It contains classic art such as the Mona Lisa and is the number one museum to visit in France.
Sacré-Cœur is my favourite area in Paris and for good reason. It’s one of the most seen landmarks in France due to its position on a hill, which is the highest point in Paris, overlooking the city and is a stunning building in itself.
It’s a Roman Catholic church and dates back to 1875, but it is the place itself that makes a trip there the best reason to go. There is such a good vibe in the area and it has great views of parts of Paris.
Palace of Versailles
The Palace of Versailles is one of the most famous palaces in Europe and is one of the most historic landmarks in France, as far as buildings go. In fact, it’s now considered a ‘national landmark’ of the country.
It’s located around 12 miles from Paris so makes a great day trip from the city. If you have any interest in historic places and architecture then you should definitely go there.
Out of all the famous natural landmarks in France, Mont Blanc tops the list.
It’s the highest mountain in the Alps and looms over the entire surroundings, making it a must-see mountain in France, in fact, a must-see mountain in all of Europe.
Pont du Gard
Pont du Gard goes back to antiquity, Roman times to be exact, as it’s a famous Roman aqueduct bridge dating to the 1st-century AD.
It’s located in southern France near Vers-Pont-du-Gard and if you have any interest in ancient architecture then this is a must-visit out of all the landmarks in France mentioned here and it’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Jardin du Luxembourg
The Jardin du Luxembourg is a garden and palace area in Paris and one of the best sights in the city.
The palace stands out as one of the most recognisable historical landmarks in France and the gardens that are located there are one of the best gardens in France to visit.
Jardins du Trocadero
The Jardins du Trocadero is a garden area in Paris and is located opposite the Eiffel Tower so you can do both at the same time.
The building that half-surrounds the garden is also epic in itself and the garden is one of the best places to get photos of the Eiffel Tower.
Sainte-Chapelle is a seriously impressive chapel of Gothic style and was used to house holy relics and was an important religious and political symbol for the kings of France.
The building itself is impressive but it’s most famous for the stained glass windows that are some of the best examples in the world.
It’s located in Paris making it easy to visit when in the city.
Notre Dame de Paris
The Notre Dame de Paris is probably the most famous Gothic cathedral in France. It’s situated in Paris and has an epic history behind it as well as being one of the most seen sites in the city.
Notre Dame de Paris sadly had a fire in 2019 that destroyed much of the building and the famed spire collapsed. Restoration work started and is due to finish in 2024. You can still go nearby and see the main structure from the outside and once fully restored it will take its place fully in the famous landmarks in France.
The Champs-Élysées goes hand in hand with the Arc de Triomphe mentioned earlier in the article and it’s a great avenue to slowly stroll up, stretching for 1.2 miles with the Arc de Triomphe at one end.
It’s been called the ‘world’s most beautiful avenue’ which says it all really. When in Paris you must go for a walk here and it’s in the perfect spot for many more of the attractions in Paris.
Château de Chenonceau
Château de Chenonceau is one of the most beautiful castles in France situated in the famed Loire Valley, which is home to many stunning châteaus’.
The estate dates back to the 11th-century although most of what you see today was built in later centuries.
This is one of the most famous landmarks in France for castle architecture.
Provence Lavender Fields
The Provence lavender fields are one of the most iconic famous landmarks in France as far as natural places go, and are located in the region of Provence in the south of the country.
The lavender fields are truly beautiful and stand out in the countryside with their epic shade of purple. If you have any interest in stunning flowers then this is a must-see site, although they only come into full bloom during the summer months.
Fontainebleau Castle is an epic castle/palace located around 55km from Paris and is a must-do day trip if you have any interest in French castles/palaces.
Its architecture is done in the classical and Renaissance style and started out as a castle in medieval times and later on developed into a palace as a residence for the royalty of France.
It’s easily one of the most impressive palaces in France.
Notre-Dame de Reims
Notre-Dame de Reims is a gothic cathedral in the city of Reims northeast of Paris and is famous as the place for the coronation of kings in France.
Apart from its interesting history, the building itself is a stunning example of gothic architecture and stands out as one of the most historic landmarks in France, as far as buildings go.
You can do a great day trip to Reim from Paris to visit it.
Carcassonne is one of the best-preserved medieval towns in France and even in all of Europe.
It’s located in the Occitane region of France in the south and its massive fortified walls stretch around the castle and other buildings inside and overlook the city below.
Love historical castles and medieval towns? Then you seriously need to visit here. It’s one of the most famous landmarks in France as far as medieval history goes.
Omaha Beach was part of the D-Day Normandy landings in WWII and today there are memorial sculptures on the beach and is a sobering place to visit given how many people lost their lives there.
Despite its sad past history, the beach area, and other beaches in the Normandy region, is a beautiful place of nature to visit. Just show your respects when there to all those who lost their lives.
This is a more modern famous landmark in France having been completed in 2004. It’s a huge cable bridge located in southern France across a gorge valley.
If you have an interest in modern structures, and especially bridges, then you should definitely visit the Millau Viaduct.
Famous Landmarks in France
Those are some of the most famous landmarks in France to go and visit sometime. Personally, my favourite is the Sacre Coeur in Paris and not just for the building but for the whole atmosphere of the place.
For more about France read how to spend the perfect day in Paris.
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