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Paris
Paris is magnetic, plastered across the vision boards of dreamy-eyed, budding travellers around the world. Start with a visit to the Notre Dame Cathedral for an understanding of Paris’s multilayered history. When you visit the city’s major attraction, the Eiffel tower, try reserving tickets ahead of time, to skip the long queues. Although there are many, many such things and attractions you must visit in Paris, don’t miss out on a leisurely walk under the shaded trails by the Seine, or unwind at the lush promenades of Jardin des Tuileries. Attend a poetry reading in an old bookshop and enjoy the illustrious cabaret of The Crazy Horse. This glittering city of light is all about understated, yet glamorised experiences - wandering the Parisian streets, walking the avenues and bridges, listening to the hum flowing out of bistros and bars; musicians in the metro and that particular scent of old, used books at the Shakespeare and Co. Paris is also a shopaholic’s Mecca, with a number of high-end shops and hidden flea markets. For those led by their stomachs, don’t leave Paris without getting your hands on their baguettes and macarons. And of course, many many glasses of wine.
Nice
Italy is just round the corner from French Riviera and therefore we decided to make the best use of our schengen visa. We took a train and headed to the Italian town of Ventimiglia. It's just a small train ride away. From eating oysters to digging in pasta- we did that in one day and we were pretty kicked about it. The moment you cross the border, you will notice a stark difference between the French and the Italian culture. Just within a few miles, you see a difference in food, textures, flavours, language, people. We entered a bustling market selling local fruits, vegetables and flowers. The prices are generally lower than what you will find across the French border. Do find time to devour some sinful local risotto, spaghetti and pasta and end your meal with a heavenly tiramisu.
Marseille
If you’re looking to venture to the South of France, don’t pass up this spot loved by locals. You may be thinking how a well known city like Marseille made this list, but there’s more to it outside of the crowded city center. Come here to experience Les Calanques, or coves, where adrenaline junkies can jump off cliffs into the sea or you can lounge in the sun.
Toulouse
How to reach: 1.5 hour train from Toulouse Matabiau station to Carcassonne. From Carcassonne rental cars are available to Montsegur.
Strasbourg
This stunning city nestled right at the France-Germany border is famous for it’s winter Christmas markets but truly a year-round gem! What makes it so special is the fusion of French and German culture. Mingle with locals and take note of their dialect, an intertwining version of both countries’ languages. While you’re there, don’t pass up making a stop to the stunning Cathedral of Our Lady.


Brussels
Brussels, capital of Belgium, is said to be the capital of Europe since it’s home to the European Parliament, European Council and European Commission.This old city has its own charm when it comes to attracting people. Belgian waffles, beer and chocolates oh and did I forget the Belgian fries? Definitely add it to the list. However I would say that Brussels is pretty famous for its Gothic structures and art in various form that makes another reason for this place to be experienced at least once.
Bruges
If you've seen the cult dark comedy In Bruges, you know exactly what to expect in this peculiar city. It's a prominent world heritage site according to UNESCO and that automatically makes it a haven for art connoisseurs. It's also called the "Venice of the North" so you can imagine how many new fairytales of your own you can create whilst walking down the cobbled roads to the whitewashed facades of historic churches. Spring is meant for daffodil carpets spread all over the city.Famous for: Beer and art.Things to do: Climb up the 366 stairs of the medieval Belfry Tower. Admire the flemish primitive artworks at Groeninge Museum.Weather in January: Average temperature is 5 degrees celsius. Remains dry, but nippy.Average budget per head for 5 days (excluding flights): Rs. 62,000For more details, read this.

Best Time to Visit France

Peak season: July and August are the months when the streets are crowded. December is another month when the streets are lively because of the Christmas season. Advance booking is recommended as the prices are high during this period.

Shoulder season: April to June and September is the period when there are fewer tourists compared to the peak season. The weather starts getting warmer and the prices tend to fall.

Off-season: November to February is the winter season when the tourists are less except the Christmas season.


Budget for France

For Budget Travellers: INR 3000 - 4000 a day

  • Accommodation in hostels and basic rooms in guesthouses: INR 1350-2000
  • Food in local cafes and street eateries: INR 700-1000
  • Public Transport in metro and buses: INR 130 - 550
  • Sightseeing: INR 300 - 500

For Mid-range Travellers: INR 5000 to INR 6000 a day

  • Accommodation in mid-range hotels and homestays: INR 2500 - 3500
  • Food in mid-range cafes and restaurants: INR 1500 - 2500
  • Local transport in subway train and taxis: INR 250 - 500
  • Sightseeing & Tours: INR 600 - 1000

For Luxury Travellers: INR 7000 and upwards

  • Accommodation in 4* or 5* hotels: INR 5000 and upwards
  • Food in upscale restaurants and bars: INR 3000 and upwards
  • Local transport in cabs: INR 600 and upwards

Visa Information for France

Visa is mostly not required for a visit of up to 90 days or at all for EU nationals, with France being a member of the Schenegen Agreement. Indians and some other nationalities need a Schengen visa. There are no border controls for the countries that are a part of the treaty, such as the European Union (except Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Romania, United Kingdom), Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

Citizens of Australia, the USA, Canada, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and many Latin American countries do not need visas to visit France as tourists for up to 90 days. Als tourist visas can't be extended exceot in the case of emergencies. For more information, head to this website.

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