Over 84 million tourists visit France every year. In fact, domestic and international travel and tourism make up a significant portion of the economy, contributing 9.7% to the country’s gross domestic product. The majority of tourists to France come from other European countries, particularly: Germany, the UK, and Belgium. They come to visit the countryside, the coast, and the historic cities and villages. This article takes a closer look at the most popular attractions in France.
5. Musee d Orsay -
The Musée d’Orsay is an art museum located in Paris along the Seine River. It occupies what was once the Beaux Arts railway station, built between 1898 and 1900. This museum receives around 2.9 million visitors a year. It is so popular because the largest collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings in the world are housed here. Many of these works were painted by famous artists, such as Renoir, Degas, Monet, and Van Gogh. In addition, a large portion of the museum is dedicated to other French works like furniture, sculptures, and photography that dates back to the middle of the 19th century through the beginning of the 20th.
4. Centre Pompidou -
The Centre Pompidou is a large, multicultural center located in Paris, near the historic district of Le Marais. Built between 1971 and 1977, this structure was designed in a high-tech architectural style. Over 5 million tourists visit here every year come to see a wide variety of sites. Some of the popular sites within the Centre Pompidou include the large public information library; the Musée National d'Art Moderne, with the largest collection of modern art in Europe; and the IRCAM, a research center. The museum alone draws over 3.6 million visitors. Its vast collection includes over 100,000 works of art in photography, cinema, drawing, print, new media, sculpture, architecture, painting, and design.
3. Palace of Versailles -
The Palace of Versailles, located in Versailles of the Ile-de-France region, is a royal residence. This palace was first built in 1623, commissioned by King Louis XIII. It was first expanded upon by King Louis XIV between 1661 and 1678. It served as the royal court from 1682 until 1789. Today, it covers an area of 721,182 square feet and has 700 rooms, 1,250 fireplaces, 67 staircases, and over 2,000 windows. It was inducted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. Approximately 6 million tourists come here every year to see the gardens, the main palace, or to catch an evening opera.
2. Eiffel Tower -
The Eiffel Tower is an iron tower located in Paris along the Champ de Mars, a public park. It was designed by Gustave Eiffel to be used as the entrance to the 1889 World’s Fair. Construction of the tower lasted between 1887 and 1889; it is the tallest structure in the city. Since then, the Eiffel Tower has become one of the most iconic symbols of France and is one of the world's most iconic tower. Today, approximately 6.2 million tourists stop at the tower while in Paris, making it the most visited structure with paid entrance in the world. Visitors can take an elevator to the top of the tower and look out over the city.
1. Louvre Museum -
The Louvre is undoubtedly the largest museum in the world and covers an area of 782,910 square feet. This museum is located in Paris along the Seine River and was established in 1793 with 537 paintings. Today, the Louvre houses a collection of over 35,000 pieces that span history from prehistoric times up to the 21st century. It receives around 8.5 million visitors annually, making it the second most visited museum in the world. Some of the most famous exhibits here include the Mona Lisa, Napoleon III’s apartments, Virgin and Child with Saint Anne, and the Venus de Milo.