8 Places you Must Visit while you Study in France
Getting to study abroad can be the best learning experience of your life and if you are getting a change to study in the land of wine and cheese, France, then grab the opportunity & hold on to it tight! For this country offers you countless places to explore after classes and over the weekends. Apart from the obvious city, Paris, that would top the list of "must visit places in France", there are many monuments, museums, cathedrals in other cities as well that international students in France must see.
Here's a look at the 8 places that you must visit if you're studying in France:
Places to Visit & See in Paris
The "City of Light" continues to be a popular study abroad destination for students across the world and is also home to some of the most popular cultural icons of our times.
1. Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower is symbolic of the city of Paris and vice versa. It's a sin to be in France and not pay a visit to the most famous monument of France! The higher you go up the tower, the more you discover the city of Paris. Students can visit the Eiffel Tower at discounted rates. If you're a school group of at least 10 (not more than 24 years old), the ticket lift entry (till 2nd floor) would cost you 7.50 Euros per person and the ticket lift entry (to the top) would cost 13.50 Euros.
Did you know?
The Eiffel Tower's construction was finished in record time – 2 years, 2 months and 5 days! The work started on 28 January, 1887 and ended on 31 March, 1889.
2. The Louvre
Image courtesy: www.facebook.com/museedulouvre
The Louvre is the largest museum in the world and with 70,000+ priceless classic & modern masterpieces (including the Mona Lisa), it is the jewel in the crown of French culture. If you're less than 26 years old, you can visit this enchanting museum for free on all Friday evenings (6 - 9.45pm), provided that you show your ID.
Did you know?
It takes more than 2,000 employees to maintain the museum and its artwork! The Louvre receives more than 80 lakh visitors every year.
3. Notre Dame
Visit the most famous cathedral (church) in France (thanks to Victor Hugo's novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame) and climb up all the 387 steps of the Notre Dame tower (no elevator!) to witness a panoramic view of Paris. You can enter the cathedral for free but access to climb the towers comes at a fee.
Did you know?
The Notre Dame Cathedral is located on a Parisian island called Ile de la Cite.
Places to Visit & See in Marseilles
Marseilles is the second-largest city of the country and is also a port city, sitting on the Mediterranean coast. The city has 3 grandes écoles as well as the Aix-Marseille University (which comprises of 3 different universities.) Foreign students studying here are spoilt for choice to tour this "Eurpean Capital of Culture" as there is no dearth of museums, art galleries, theatres and clubs to explore here, but the one thing you must do is cruise down the Mediterranean from the Vieux Port:
4. Vieux Port (Old Port)
The old sea-port of Marseille and Notre Dame de la Garde at the back
The Vieux Port, or Old Port, is where the port city of Marseille was founded. This natural U-shaped harbor is big enough only to allow small fishing and pleasure boats, and not for the huge sea-going container ships.
If you're a student in France, you must take a trip to Marseilles and take in the bustling activities around the Old Port. Stroll down the wide promenades of the port that are lined with cafes and restaurants, sit down in one of them, enjoy a steaming cuppa and watch the boats come in and go. You can also sail down from one side of Vieux port to the other in a little ferry boat.
Visit the Museum of Old Marseille (musée du vieux Marseille) and check out the magnificent view from its rooftop cafe.
Did you know?
The Old Port's is so strategically located on the Mediterranean Sea that it was bombed by both sides in World War II.
Places to Visit & See in Cannes
Bollywood stars, Aishwarya Rai and Sonam Kapoor's red-carpet stories at the Cannes Film Festival every year have ensured that most Indians are familiar with this city situated on the French Riviera. Once a fishing village, now the film festival has made Cannes a busy tourist destination which is also famous for its luxury shops, restaurants, and hotels. Even though it is an expensive destination, students can manage to enjoy a weekend here on there meagre budget. Instead of spending the night in the city, you can check into a hostel in the city of Nice which is just 25 minutes away from Cannes by train.
6. Promenade de la Croisette
The Promenade de la Croisette stretching along for 2 kms with the Mediterranean on one side and posh hotels on the other, Image courtesy: wikipedia.org
When in Cannes, one of the affordable things to do is to take a walk down the Promenade de la Croisette. This is a 2 km long prominent road lined with high-end shops and hotels. This beautiful sidewalk is the absolute symbolism of the glamour that is typical of Cannes. As you walk down, you'll come across vendors selling pretty souvenirs and see many beach-side cafes and french bistros that serve affordable yet a sumptuous fare.
Did you know?
The famous red-stairs of the Cannes Film Festival begin right at the end of La Croisette street.
Places to Visit & See in Versailles
Versailles is just an hour away by train from Paris and is world-famous for its two UNESCO World Heritage Sites - the Château de Versailles (Palace of Versailles) and the Gardens of Versailles.
7. Gardens of Versailles
The stunning Gardens of Versailles, Image courtesy: travelchannel.com
These gardens are part of the Palace of Versailles. Spread over 800 hectares, the gardens are as popular a tourist destination as the royal palace. 210,000 flowers and 200,000 trees are planted annually in these beautiful gardens which are painstakingly maintained by more than 24 full-time gardeners.
Did you know?
The 2014 movie, A Little Chaos, directed by Alan Rickman has Kate Winslet playing a fictional landscape gardener and Rickman as King Louis XIV. The movie is all about the creation of the gardens of Versailles.
Places to Visit & See in Montpellier
Montpellier in southern France is charming, alluring and inexpensive, all at once. Its a bustling college town with many universities like the Paul Valery University Montpellier III, Montpellier 2 University, Montpellier Business School, École Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Montpellier (National Graduate School of Chemistry, Montpellier) etc.
8. Place de la Comédie
The bustling city square of Montpellier, Place de la Comedie, Image courtesy: tripadvisor.com
This is Montpellier’s central square crowned at its southern end by an elegant 19th century opera house. Comedie is considered the most graceful square in the country. Find yourself a good spot in one of the many cafes here and you can spend hours watching the street artists & musicians, people eating, sitting, walking and simply enjoying the moment.