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The reason that postcards are sold at every corner is this: If you're in Paris on business, taking a romantic trip for two through the wine country, or backpacking along the coast, France will give you something to write home about. France is more than just the Eiffel Tower, so head up into Montmartre's winding streets for breathtaking views of the city, browse through artist markets, and snack on a baguette or croque-monsieur as you stroll between the Louvre and the Musée d'Orsay.
Head away from the capital to wander through the opulence of Versailles and walk in the footsteps of French royalty. For a taste of famous French wine, Bordeaux or Loire Valley vineyards will let you sample some of the world's best for just a fraction of the cost. Check out quirky Brittany, an often—missed area that has some delightful old towns, its own language, and unique cultural traditions. Further south, live it up on the Côte d'Azur in St. Tropez and Cannes. Strasbourg in the east provides an insight into the countless power struggles in Europe, while Corsica is a good place to start tracing Napoleonic history.
Learning a few French phrases would be helpful, especially when visiting smaller towns where English is not widely spoken. Fine dining is at its best here, but you can try the traditional escargots, frog's legs, and over 400 cheese varieties at any of the local restaurants. Wine is always the first preference, but several beer brands are also available should you want a change.
Most international flights land in one of Paris' two airports — Roissy Charles de Gaulle (CDG) or Orly (ORY). Other airports with international service include Bordeaux (BOD), Lille (LIL), Lyon (LYS), Marseille (MRS), Nantes (NTE), Nice (NCE), Strasbourg (SXB), and Toulouse (TLS). There are smaller airports around the country which serve charter, private, and budget airline flights. Airlines that fly to France include Air Canada, American Airlines, British Airways, Continental, KLM, and Lufthansa.
If you want to avoid terrible traffic jams on your trip, skip France during the Easter, Christmas or French school holidays. On the Mediterranean coast, summers are hot and winters mild, while further inland the summers are fairly mild and winters much colder. Snow is common inland and in the eastern mountain regions.