Top 9 Historical Sites to Visit in France

History buffs heading to France, listen up! We have constructed a list of the top 9 historical sites to visit in France.

Every one of our recommendations has enormous historic significance. You won’t want to miss the incredible architecture and the thought-provoking religious and war history of the sites on this list.

D-Day Landing Beaches

Include the five codenamed D-Day landing beaches, Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword on your France trip.

You’ve likely heard the story of the Allied forces storming the Normandy shoreline in 1944. Pay your respects to the soldiers who lost their lives in the effort to liberate France and Europe from the Nazis.

The museums, cemeteries, memorials, bunkers, and bomb craters will thoroughly fascinate history buffs. WWII tours will take you through the monumental story of the battle that changed the course of history.


The Abbey of Mont Saint-Michel is a UNESCO World Heritage Site to behold.

The tale goes that the bishop, Michael Saint-Aubert, received an instruction from Archangel Michael to build a church on the top of Mont-Saint-Michel island. 

Those with an interest can take in one of the first examples of 13th-century Gothic architecture. 

At high tide, you’ll be able to witness the abbey as a free-floating figure in the merging bay of Brittany and Normandy. At low tide, you can walk across the light bridge that reaches towards it.

Nîmes Arena

34 seated rows. 126 staircases. And seating for 20 000 spectators. The Nîmes Amphitheatre is an incredible feat of Roman engineering, built in the 1st century AD.

Spectators bore witness to gladiator fights and animal hunting. After the Roman Empire disintegrated, in the middle ages, the Visigoths used the massive oval as a fortress.

Then it was back to its original use in 1813 for bull races, which remains its function to this day. Ascend the staircases and sit where the spectators once sat to watch classic Roman sports.

The Catacombs of Paris

Perhaps you are a fan of the dark and morbid. If so, we recommend you wander through the narrow, winding passages of the Catacombs of Paris

You’ll descend five levels, 131 spiraling steps, into the tunnels in which millions of Parisian bodies rest. These crypts were built to store the overflowing bodies Paris’ cemeteries could not contain, as well as those who suffered the guillotine during the French Revolution.

You’ll find a haunting, yet thought-provoking, ossuary with an enormous collection of human bones arranged in a macabre display.

Notre Dame Cathedral

Top 9 Historical Sites to Visit in France

Paris is one of the best cities to visit in France if you’re a history enthusiast. The Notre Dame Cathedral in this beautiful city is a must-see for those with a keen interest in Gothic architecture.

The cathedral has a religious background, dedicated to Mary, the mother of Jesus, in 1163. 

In the past, visitors could climb the 387 steps for a spectacular view. Unfortunately, because of a recent fire, it’s not yet possible to explore inside. However, visitors can learn the story of the cathedral and its current rebuilding process in the Architecture Museum.

Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris

Père Lachaise Cemetery is known to hold the buried bodies of approximately 300 000 to 1 000 000 individuals. Although, only 70 000 burial plots are marked.

Take a gander through this massive expanse of land. Marvel at the riveting gothic graves, Haussman chambers, and ancient mausoleums. All home to bodies of recognizable individuals, such as Frederic Chopin, Camille Pissarro, Oscar Wilde, and Jim Morrison.

This cemetery also pays tribute to the Communards who were killed in 1871. With monuments dedicated to Holocaust concentration camp victims.

The Palace of Versailles, Paris

France’s King Louis XIII used the vast Palace of Versailles as a hunting lodge. And then his son and successor, Louis XIV also known as The Sun King transformed it into a home and baroque estate in the 17th century.

Take one of the many available tours through the grounds to take you back in time. Marvel at the lakes, gardens, the Grand Canal, the Théâtre Gabriel Royal Opera, the Grand Apartments, and the Hall of Mirrors as you stroll.

Top 9 Historical Sites to Visit in France

Lascaux Caves, Dordogne

Within the Lascaux caves, the Paleolithic humans drew and painted over six hundred animals all over the walls and ceilings.

Due to damage caused by the carbon dioxide in human breath, visitors can no longer access the original caves. However, the nearby replica of the caves was reconstructed in detail. And their beauty still enthrals visitors.

Tour guides are delighted to guide you through the historical caves, and teach you about the animals native to the region, culture, and history of this part of the world.

Les Invalides

The House of the Disabled was built in the 1670s under the order of Louis XIV. Aged and ailing soldiers and war veterans were welcomed into this home and hospital. These days Les Invalides remains a hospital and retirement home.

Les Invalides houses French history monuments, museums, and gorgeous courtyards. You can explore the military history museum and the Dome Church, in which Napoleon Bonaparte’s tomb is housed.

To conclude, we have a few final tips for traveling to France.

Establish a plan of action ahead of time. Opt for an experienced tour guide. And don’t forget your camera to capture and commemorate these incredible historical sites