Everyone on the planet knows about Paris. At the same time, many other remarkable cities and towns are scattered throughout France. Of course, they cannot compete with the capital in terms of the amount of tourist attractions, but you can easily find something unique there!

Read about the top 20 largest cities in France and what they are known for.


2.141 million residents

The well-known capital of France. Either bright and cheerful, or melancholic and washed out by rain. Either elitist or quite democratic. In fact, everyone has their own Paris. One thing is for sure: there is an incredible amount of interesting things in this city. By the way with us you can not only see, but also hear Paris, check out our audio guide shop.

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» READ MOREWhat to see in Paris: 33 best tourist attractions


853k residents

The second largest city in France is a real standard of a Mediterranean port city, noisy, vibrant, life here is always in full swing. A concentration of dizzying aromas, fresh breeze, southern architecture and romance. Colorful markets, delicious bouillabaisse, seafood drying in the sun, and the Calanques says a lot!

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496k residents

Capital of freemasonry and esoteric sciences. Great art museums, bustling cultural life and mind-blowing shopping. Beautiful embankments and parks immersed in greenery. A city with an impeccable example of night lighting. A real paradise for gourmets who are ready to taste bold and savory gastronomic delights.

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453k residents

Here there is an amazing mix of Aquitaine, Provençal, Basque, Spanish, Languedoc and French traditions. Toulouse grew up on the picturesque ruins of a Roman settlement. It received the romantic nickname «Pink City» due to the red brick buildings in the pseudo-Romanesque style. Today it is the largest technology center for aviation and astronautics.

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344k residents

This is an ancient city with French charm and Italian character. One of the most popular resorts on the Cote d’Azur with a developed infrastructure and a host of unique attractions. The old center still retains the charm of centuries past, while the seaside part of the city is dotted with eclectic houses with ornate facades and aristocratic ancestry. Get to know Nice better with our mobile application with many interesting places to visit and all the information you need on your trip. You can download it from this link.

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292k residents

In the past, the center of the duchy of Brittany still retains a rebellious mood, a certain isolation and its own position, the Breton character. A recalcitrant city with a difficult fate, the first to launch an omnibus, and also gave the world the legendary writer Jules Verne and the most delicate crepe pancakes.

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268k residents

Here, palm trees are spread on the streets, and couples occupy local cafes in the evenings. There are French coffee houses on Rue Louis Blanc and next to the Place de la Comédie. And the Languedoc Roussillon produces more wine each year than Australia. The largest cultural events are the Classical Music and Jazz Festival of Radio France, as well as the International Dance Festival.

» READ MORE10 ideas for a great vacation in Montpellier

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274k residents

It’s not a city, but a real international fusion: German speech and cool beer with pretzels on the background of French sophistication and elegance. Here you can see not only the buildings of the European Court of Human Rights, the European Parliament and the Council of Europe, but also the canals of «Little France», the richest collections of the Alsace Museum, luxurious mansions, botanical gardens and galleries. Make sure to try foie gras, onion pie and the famous Alsatian wines. And what is most important about Strasbourg is that it is the capital of Christmas!

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241k residents

«Sleeping Beauty», «Little Paris», «Port of the Moon», and these are not all the names of this magnificent French city! It is famous for its rich history with an English twist. The majestic Gambetta Square, the picturesque ancient Roman Arc de Triomphe, botanical gardens, the atmosphere of universal brotherhood and, of course, Bordeaux wines, are recognized as one of the best on the planet.

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» READ MOREEverything you need to know about Bordeaux


229k residents

This is a city with a northern character (by French standards), the iron general de Gaulle was born here. Here you will see a real architectural masterpiece of the Riour Palace, the magnificently decorated Old Stock Exchange and the House-Museum of Charles de Gaulle. Make sure to take a ride on a segway, 2-wheeled platforms with a high steering wheel. In September, there is a Big Sale where you can buy absolutely everything. Also Lille lies on the border with Belgium, which is an advantage for travelers!

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» READ MORELille – 10 vacation ideas


210k residents

Here you can plunge into the bustling life of international students, have fun at night festivals and feel the dizzying spirit of Breton freedom. The most popular attraction is the Palace of the Parliament of Brittany. Local cuisine is fragrant sausages, biscuits, pancakes, salted caramel, cider and fragrant soft beer.

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» READ MORE10 Ideas for a Vacation in Brittany


182k residents

Reims is the city where kings were crowned. Here you can feel the true spirit of French antiquity! It shines through in everything: in architecture, legends and traditions, the special atmosphere of the city. The majestic Cathedral of Reims, the triumphal Roman Mars Arch, the fabulous archbishop’s house on Tournelle Street. And lovers of champagne should visit the Lighthouse Museum, which really looks like a 25-meter lighthouse. It produces truly exclusive champagne according to a medieval recipe.

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171k residents

Previously, Saint-Étienne was perceived only as an industrial center, its cultural heritage did not get much attention. Today it is known as the residence of the famous football team. It is worth seeing the Cathedral of St. Carlo Bartolomeo, the Grand Eglise Church, the Football Museum and the Mining Museum in this city.

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» READ MOREOlympic games 2024 in Paris

Le Havre

173k residents

Le Havre was almost completely destroyed during the Second World War, the «harbor» (as the name «Havre» is translated), which lost its historical appearance, was rebuilt with gloomy concrete buildings. In the city center you will be surrounded by laconic and severe looking houses. A must visit is the Malraux Museum with a stunning collection of Impressionists’ works. And here you can also drink delicious cider and take a walk along the «shore of desert waves».

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» READ MOREWhat to see in Normandy: the cities worth visiting


165k residents

The second largest French port is located between Nice and Marseille. It resembles Nice with an atmosphere of relaxation under the rays of the Mediterranean sun. However, this city has its own specifics. For example, a great excursion program (the Naval Museum, a city block of the Louis XIV era), nice beaches and exciting festivals. Also Napoleon’s military career began here.

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» READ MORETop 10 Cities to stay on the Cote d'Azur


158k residents

The birthplace of Stendhal and the modern center of science is located in the valley between the Verkov, Beldon and Chartreuse mountain ranges. From here you can go for a walk through the snow-capped mountains, taste the famous gratin, the recipe of which will not be open to the public in any circumstances. And you can also mingle with the noisy student crowd, eat walnuts, and plunge into the coolness of the lake in the heat.

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152k residents

Here you will find the Museum of Fine Arts, the second largest after the Louvre, resplendent architecture, unique gastronomy and stunning landscapes. Make sure to rub the owl on the ledge of the Notre Dame church and the stone sculpture will fulfill your innermost desire. And let not everyone know about the famous Dijon mustard, but the name of Gustave Eiffel is definitely on everyone’s lips, and he lived exactly in Dijon.


149k residents

One of the most popular tourist cities in the Loire Valley. The central attraction is the medieval castle of Angers, located on the bank of the river Maine. It houses a unique collection of tapestries. The rest of the city is built up with buildings of the 19th century, the atmosphere here is very cozy and warm just like at home, although there are places for shoppers and party-goers to roam as well.

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» READ MOREA guide for visiting the Loire castles in France


147k residents

This city is often called the French Rome for the monuments of the Roman Empire era preserved here, namely the Arena of Nîmes and Maisons-Carré. The city park Fountain Gardens is nothing but gorgeous! Although Nîmes is not a gastronomic capital, here you can taste interesting dishes like guardian de toro and cod brandade.

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» READ MORE10 Best Cities to Visit in Provence


137k residents 

The unusual name is translated from Latin as «city villa». The city, known since ancient times, today is the center of mechanical engineering and the chemical industry. Despite this status, there is an abundance of greenery in Villeurbanne, there are cozy parks, churches and the main attraction, the City Theater.

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Happy travels!

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