beautifl hotel room in paris

Compare the best France hotels

France is considered the home of style and sophistication, yet also for possessing considerable rustic charm in its rural regions. Mountains, sunshine and superb beaches can be found in this regionally very diverse nation.

Why go?

Sample fine food and even finer wine as you tour the vineyards, beaches, cities, slopes, and islands of this popular destination... Read more

France is a large country in the middle of Europe, sitting between Germany and Great Britain, two of its traditional political and military opponents in days gone by. The history of France is vast and rich, stretching back to the Ancient Gauls and hurtling through the Hundred Years War, the Revolution, the glory days of Napoleon's empire, and onwards through World War Two and beyond.

Paris, Nice and the Cote d'Azur, Toulouse, Chambery, Strasbourg - with its European parliament - and the Mediterranean island of Corsica are just some of the highlights.

Whatever your preference for holiday accommodation or activities, France can offer so much. For gourmets who want to sit down all day, for skiers who want to fly over snow, or for glamorous sophisticates who follow high fashion, France really has it all.

Considered by many as the home of fine cuisine, its culinary culture has influenced many other cuisines worldwide and French chefs are still considered as some of the finest in the world. Food pervades every aspect of French life and some of the rural bistros really do serve up heavenly meals. Whether you want haute cuisine or a peasant stew, you can always find somewhere in France that does it very well.

France is also, of course, famous for its wine and its wine-making culture. Many people travel to France simply to tour vineyards and immerse themselves in as much of this lifestyle as possible. Whether you are in Normandy or Marseille, you can always find a good bottle of wine in France.

The country is also home to one of the world's most gripping and famous sporting events, the Tour de France. This epic cycling race occurs every summer and tests its participants with the full range of obstacles France's varied countryside can offer. Thousands of people travel to France from all over the world every year to be spectators along the route, adding to the carnival atmosphere the race attracts.

Where to stay?

So where to visit? Let us tell you where to find the best hotels in France... Read more

Anyone thinking of visiting will be relieved to know that hotels in France are immensely varied, with more than 17,000 to choose from. Whilst the major chains such as Ibis and Novotel are well represented in France hotels of all kinds abound, with many being independently owned by families or individuals. There are busy holiday seasons though and for anyone journeying to France, hotels are best booked well in advance.

The jewel of France is its capital, Paris. This city has some of the world's most famous landmarks, from the Cathedral of Notre Dame to the Eiffel Tower and the Pompidou Centre. Other cities also offer great experiences for visitors. Marseille, down on the Mediterranean coast, is a sultry city, known for the passionate nature of its people. A spirit called pastis and fish stew are the things to try here.

Also on the coast is the French Riviera, where you can find glamorous resorts like Cannes, where the famous film festival is held, and St Tropez. Carcassone, in the south, offers a hazy summer idyll and many people opt for one of the many self-catering cottages or flats when they stay here.

The French Alps are good for a visit in summer, with their spectacular views and hiking and cycling routes, but it is in the winter when they come alive. Ski resorts like Chamonix-Mont-Blanc offer some of the best winter sports facilities in Europe.

France is still a predominately rural country and it is in the countryside that many people believe you will find the true France. Self-catering apartments are plentiful in rural areas, whilst gites and converted farmhouses offer other appealing options. Some locations, such as ski resorts, also have holiday villages, offering a great standard of accommodation as well as a ready-made community. Even some chateaux have been converted to accommodate tourists.

Hotels in France are inspected, then approved by the French authorities, and are classified using a star system, wherein four stars and an L (for luxury) would indicate a high class, sumptuous hotel, and a single star would be allotted to a very simple hotel that provides only essential facilities.

Booking cheap hotels in France is best done in advance, especially in the summer high season, as otherwise a suitable place to stay may prove elusive.

Remember that a surcharge may be levied, for breakfast or for such things as an extra bed, but that any relevant taxes should be included in the quoted rates. For hotels in France, the usual check out time is around noon, and it is customary to have checked in by about ten o'clock at night.

What to see?

Hop across the Channel and be enthralled by the many attractions of France... Read more

From sculptures to skiing and from Mickey Mouse to movie stars, the attractions of France are plentiful, diverse and eternally beguiling.

Top five attractions

Eiffel Tower

Erected in 1889 and loathed by some of the locals, there is no doubting the allure of this striking monument - millions visit and journey to the top every year.

The Louvre

One of the largest and most visited museums in the world, the Louvre Museum is home to many fine pieces of art from across the centuries and around the globe. Highlights for the masses include the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo - arrive early and head straight for the Mona Lisa if you want an uninterrupted view.

Disneyland Paris

Thrilling families since 1992, this theme park and resort is the short-haul alternative to the Disney parks of Florida and California. It's less than an hour from central Paris by train.

French Riviera

Live the Champagne lifestyle when you jet into the glamorous French Riviera. Choose hotels in resorts such as St Tropez or Cannes and watch out for fast cars and movie stars.

French Alps

Crowned by the staggering peak of Mont Blanc, the French Alps lure thrill seekers in the winter and walkers in the summer. Whenever you visit, the vistas are truly magnificent.

What's on ?

Find out more about the biggest annual events in France... Read more

Never needing an excuse to enjoy fine food, good wine and great company, there are plenty of events to see and be a part of wherever and whenever you visit France.


Cannes Film Festival (Festival de Cannes); May:
As if Cannes weren't desirable enough, in late spring the best of the movie business arrive and attend this world-famous festival of film. Red carpets are everywhere you look and hotels will be tremendously busy.

Bastille Day; July 14: Be anywhere in France to see the locals celebrating (aided by fireworks and lashings of food and drink) the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille and the end of the French Revolution.

Tour de France; summer: Cyclists first hopped on their bicycles in 1903 to take part in this now globally-famous race, which sees competitors battling across France in 21 stages. The finish line, at the Champs-Élysées in Paris, is crowded with spectators as the victorious race to the end. The Tour de France usually takes place in July.