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1st time visiting - where should I go?

Travel Forums Europe 1st time visiting - where should I go?

1. Posted by starsurfer (First Time Poster 1 posts) 12y

This thread is marked as being about France

Any tips on which French city to make my first trip to?

I prefer to not go to Paris on my first time and my budget is low.
Thanks for any advice offered.

2. Posted by BeckyR (Full Member 174 posts) 12y

I really enjoyed Chartres . . . . . .

but why not Paris, it is fab?!

3. Posted by coldwarspy (Travel Guru 1108 posts) 12y

Paris is great! expensive but worth it. I went to Leon as well...nice town.

4. Posted by Peter (Admin 5950 posts) 12y

I too am intrigued, why not Paris? I haven't seen much else of France, but Paris was a brilliant place and lives up to the hype quite easily :)

5. Posted by girgola (Inactive 15 posts) 12y

If this is your first time, you MUST go to Paris. But maybe if you go there you won't go anywhere else, so... Why not the South? Provence is really beautiful (Aix-en-Provence, Avignon, Arl├Ęs, Nimes...). You can go there by car easily.

6. Posted by IMonaghan (Respected Member 431 posts) 12y

Try the south of France. I personally enjoy Paris as well, but Toulouse and Champagne are both great spots that are not quite as big as Paris.

7. Posted by Gelli (Travel Guru 2457 posts) 12y

My 2 cents:

Not going to Paris on your first time DOES make sense to me. See some of proper France before your view on the country is coloured (either way) by Paris, which although brilliant, isn't exactly typical.

I'd personally suggest Lyon which i think is a very underrated city, and definitely worth some time. Girgola's suggestion of the area around Avignon/Aix-en-P is also very good and you could spend a day in Marseille as well if you were down there, which although again not typical of France, not very touristy and quite seedy, i find strangely captivating. Lille in the Nth East is the Euro Capital of Culture and worth a look.

Of the previous suggestions - Chartres and Leon are both nice but quite small (Leon is only a small village, although jgodek may have mean't Lyon), Toulouse is a huge student city and normally good fun, whilst Champagne isn't a town in the South - rather an area in the east, although the town of Reims their is ok.