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Top French Cities You Probably Won't Visit

  1. By lisa
  2. On Nov 18, 2018
  3. Europe
  4. Travel Tips

Say "French city," and most people immediately think of Paris. But that's a bit like saying the only city in the U.S. is New York, or in the U.K. is London. France is filled with bustling, hip and happening cities that are well worth a visit.

 

Aix-en-Provence

Aix-en-Provence is one of the most attractive cities in Provence. It has everything you expect from a southern France city: a delightful old town quarter centered around the tree-lined Cours Mirabeau; a tapestry museum in the former bishop’s palace with historic and contemporary tapestries, plus other museums from the Musée Granet in a 17th-century priory to the startling modern Fondation Vasarély which shows some of his visionary architectural ideas, and massive abstract art. And when you want something different, Aix is full of tempting shops and outdoor markets.

Aix-en-Provence is above all a city of artists, the place where Paul Cézanne was born and lived. You can visit his studio and house then go to Mont Ste-Victoire which he painted so famously.

 

Amiens in Picardy

Amiens in the Somme is the capital of Picardy. It’s best known for its huge Gothic cathedral, the biggest in Europe. Don’t miss the cathedral and try to catch the light show in summer.

Angers in the Loire Valley

Compared to the other great towns along the Loire Valley, Angers is strangely overlooked by visitors. But this city in the western part between Tours and Nantes is well worth a stopover. Once the capital of Anjou, it’s pretty and very green, full of parks and gardens.

Its blockbuster attraction is the Tapestry of the Apocalypse, woven between 1372 and 1382. It’s kept in a darkened room, depicting the end of the world in terrifying, graphic detail. In contrast, The Song of the World was designed and woven between 1957 and 1966, a modern version by Jean Lurçat, an artist living through World War II and the Cold War.