Which French destination is right for you?

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Choosing between two of the most beautiful cities in France is difficult, but the specificities of each destination should make the choice easier.

Thinking of taking a trip to France, but you don’t know where to start? While the glamorous capital of Paris may seem like the best place to explore France, some visitors may feel intimidated or even overwhelmed by the City of Lights and its abundance of tourists. In that case, a city like Nice may be the answer – although another popular French tourist destination, Nice is a bit more laid-back – and its location on the French Riviera is far from the lights and attractions of Paris, but still has a distinctive Mediterranean charm of its own.

Below are some of the best reasons to visit both cities for travelers struggling to decide which fabulous French place is the right one for their travel itinerary.


About Nice, France

Nice has long been a popular tourist destination due to its location on the French Riviera and its stellar views over the Mediterranean Sea. However, unlike Paris, Nice is a hybrid of French and Italian cultures, mainly due to its proximity to the neighboring Italian cities of Liguria and Sardinia. Italian influence is found in everything from the city’s architecture to its dialect.

Nice, like Paris, is a city with an artistic past that still permeates its sunny shores today. Once frequented by Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso and Pierre-Auguste Renoir, there are a myriad of museums throughout the region which represent the artistic heritage of the city.

Although Nice is full of cultures, history and leisure activities to recommend, it is the beaches that keep tourists coming back in summer and winter. For visitors looking for the perfect balance between urban culture and seaside ambiance, Nice is the ideal French destination.

Things To Do In Nice

  • Take the ultimate seaside walk on the Promenade des Anglais, the perfect place to enjoy the best views of the sparkling Mediterranean on one side and the city’s colorful and distinctive architecture on the other.
  • Discover the Italian side of Nice in the oldest part of town, the Old City. Home to winding streets and distinctive architecture like the Castle Hill (climb to the top for amazing views!) and the Nice cathedral, the neighborhood is bustling with activity.

  • Become artistic by visiting the Chagall Museum, Matisse Museum, or the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MAMAC).
  • Stroll along the Boulevard de Cimiez, one of the most beautiful arteries in Nice. Be sure to visit the beautiful Monastery of Cimiez and explore its beautiful gardens and spectacular city views
  • Nice is known for its delicious food, and a great way to experience it is through its street food. Want to learn more about Nice’s contributions to French cuisine? Then take a Nice food tour.

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About Paris, France

Paris is the capital and the most populous city of France. Located along the Seine, the city is one of the shining jewels of Europe; its cosmopolitan combination of history, culture, art and fashion is known around the world.

The cobbled streets of Paris lead visitors into a world of classic beauty and sophisticated charm, dotted with world-famous landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Montmartre, and the Louvre Museum, to only cite a few. Because there is so much to see and do in the City of Lights, it is one of the top tourist destinations in the world.

But Paris isn’t just about its tourist attractions – the city’s atmosphere and vibe is unlike anywhere else, making it more than the sum of its parts. While it is essential to see its famous monuments during a visit, Paris also has another facet, one that is a little off the beaten track. Less touristy, but still distinctly Parisian, there are plenty of places that go unnoticed, for those who want a more laid-back city experience. The beauty of Paris is that there is a surprise around every corner and an experience for every type of traveler.

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Things To Do In Paris

Almost everyone knows the main attractions of Paris like our Lady and the Champs Élysées, but what about other fun things to do that are outside the box?

  • To visit Concierge, an old medieval palace / prison often underestimated compared to Notre-Dame and the other cathedrals of the city. Visitors should be sure to check out nearby Clock tower also, because it is the oldest clock in Paris.
  • Paris is full of ghoulish places to explore, but the Paris Catacombs perhaps the strangest. Fascinating, historic and spooky, this gem is buried far beneath the city streets.
  • Stroll along the Canal Saint-Martin, a less touristy way to discover the city’s emblematic Seine. Along the canal you will also find plenty of shops, cafes and gardens to explore.

  • The Edith Piaf Museum and Curie Museum It might not be the Louvre, but they’re worth a visit to discover two women known for their contributions to the City of Light.
  • Immerse yourself in the history of France by visiting the National Archives
  • Brady Passage is a great place to experience Paris’s thriving and diverse Pakistani and Indian culinary communities – and a cool place to grab a bite to eat for those who need a break from French cuisine (as if).

Choosing between Paris and Nice can seem impossible, especially for travelers visiting France for the first time. Both cities have their own distinctive charms: Paris is vibrant, cosmopolitan and historic; and Nice is artistic, seaside and beautiful; with a typical Italian touch. However, both are popular and world-famous tourist destinations that have a plethora of things to see and do for the intrepid traveler – and the two make for a delicious and unforgettable French vacation.

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