I'm 20 yrs old, female, and am heading for my first trip to Europe, specifically to France, which will also be my first solo traveling experience. I am going to Montpellier for 3 weeks to study French at a language school and then I have 10 days to travel around France. I'd like to get some advice on the best places to visit. I'll be going from June 1st to July 1st. I'm really interested in the nightlife as well as the cultural and historical side of things and food, but I'm not too phased about shopping.
During my stay in Montpellier, I want to take a few days to go to the French Riveira.. I was thinking Nice, Cannes, St Tropez but because I don't have that much time ( pretty much just the weekends while I am in Montpellier) I want to narrow down the list and I heard Marseille is really nice too so it is also an option.
As for my 10-day long backpacking experience, I'm going to Lyon for sure to see a friend for a day or two and from that it is very open-ended. I was thinking of going to Paris, Nantes, Bordeaux and Touloesse and back to Montpellier to catch my flight home. I am not sure if that's way too many locations to go in such a short period of time or if it is doable. Also, if you know more about the cities I mentioned, I would love to hear your feedback. I also looked into the French Rail Pass, $372 for 8 days unlimited for one month and I am wondering whether it is a good option or not.
Basically, I'd just love any advice you could offer about the best places in France to visit for a first time solo traveler and any tips you might have.