The Best Places to Go in France Outside of Paris (part 1)

With so many wonderful tourism destinations to choose from, it’s so difficult to pick the best places to visit in France. Traveling around the country, you can quicky find a lot of attractions outside its capital, Paris, including towns and villages that might offer even more authentic French culture.

Le Havre

History fans will get their fill in Le Havre. This is the place where you can find Omaha, Normandy, and Utah Beach, as well as other notable locations from the D-Day Invasion of Normandy. Inside the American Cemetery near Normandy Beach, you will be able to pay your respects to the men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice. Taking a look over the English Channel, you will feel the sense of what was to come on that fateful day when the Allied troops were marching in from the water.

There is not many option for cafes and eateries near Normandy Beach, but you must try Magasin General – a small cafe with only four tables, but the food is scrumptious, especially the quiche Lorraine. This is a great spot to warm up on the rainy days that may happen while touring the Normandy region of France.


The city of Rouen feels like a smaller version of Paris. In the middle of the city square is a stunningly intricate Gothic church where the city unfolds into smaller side streets and boulevards. Rouen is widely known for its history with Joan of Arc, and people can literally walk in her footsteps from a museum about her life, the Historical Jeanne d’Arc all the way to Église Sainte-Jeanne-d’Arc de Rouen, where she was burned at the stake.

If you are a big foodie, Rouen is the spot to be for a bit of food history. La Couronne is the oldest restaurant in all of France and is said to be the spot that Julia Child was inspired to learn French techniques for cooking. In fact, you can get the exact meal that Julia Child ordered way back in 1948 at La Couronne, which includes oysters on the half-shell, sole in a butter parsley sauce and a green salad.