The Most Beautiful City in France: Discover France's Stunning Gem

Choose the city you think is the most beautiful!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Feb 22, 2024 05:21
Discover the mesmerizing beauty and captivating charm of French cities as we embark on a quest to crown the most beautiful city in France! Join thousands of fellow explorers and Francophiles on StrawPoll as we delve into the enchanting allure of cities steeped in history, art, and irresistible culture. Will it be the romantic allure of Paris, the sun-kissed riviera of Nice, or the awe-inspiring medieval grandeur of Carcassonne? You decide! Cast your vote now or suggest a hidden gem that deserves the spotlight. Be a part of this captivating journey as we unveil the crème de la crème of French cities, and together, let's celebrate the magnificence that defines France. Et voilà!

What Is the Most Beautiful City in France?

  1. 1
    Known as the "City of Love" and famous for its architecture, history, and culture.
    Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, known for its rich history, cultural heritage, and iconic landmarks. Often referred to as the 'City of Love' and 'City of Lights', Paris is renowned for its art, fashion, cuisine, and romantic ambiance. The city is located on the Seine River and is famous for its striking architecture, charming neighborhoods, and world-class museums.
    • Population: Approximately 2.1 million
    • Area: 105.4 square kilometers
    • Landmarks: Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, Notre-Dame Cathedral, Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Élysées, Montmartre
    • Language: French
    • Currency: Euro
  2. 2
    Lyon is a city that offers a mix of modern and historical architecture along with beautiful parks and rivers.
  3. 3
    Located on the French Riviera, Nice is known for its vibrant culture, stunning beaches, and colorful markets.
    Nice is a city located on the French Riviera, in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region of France. It is renowned for its stunning coastal scenery, vibrant culture, and rich history. Nice is often referred to as a gem of the French Riviera due to its picturesque landscapes and charming atmosphere.
    • Location: Nice is situated on the southeastern coast of France, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.
    • Beaches: The city is famous for its beautiful beaches, such as Promenade des Anglais and Plage de Beau Rivage, where visitors can relax and enjoy the azure waters.
    • Architecture: Nice boasts a mix of architectural styles, including Baroque, Belle Époque, and Art Deco. The Old Town, with its narrow streets and colorful buildings, showcases traditional Provençal architecture.
    • Cuisine: Nice is a gastronomic paradise, offering delicious Mediterranean cuisine. Local specialties include socca, pissaladière, and salade niçoise.
    • Museums: The city is home to various museums, including the Musée Matisse, Musée Marc Chagall, and Musée d'Art Moderne et d'Art Contemporain, which display works of renowned artists.
  4. 4
    Strasbourg is a picturesque city located in the northeastern part of France, known for its stunning canals, quaint streets, and beautiful architecture.
    Strasbourg is a picturesque city located in northeastern France, near the border with Germany. It is renowned for its unique blend of French and German influences, evident in its architecture, culture, and gastronomy. The city is situated on the banks of the Ill River, which adds to its charm by offering scenic views and picturesque canals throughout the city. Strasbourg is also home to several important European institutions, making it a significant political and cultural center.
    • Architectural Beauty: Strasbourg boasts stunning examples of Gothic, Renaissance, and Romanesque architecture, notably the iconic Strasbourg Cathedral, known for its intricate facade and soaring spire.
    • Canals: The city features a network of canals lined with half-timbered houses, creating a picturesque atmosphere reminiscent of Venice.
    • Christmas Market: Strasbourg is home to one of the oldest and largest Christmas markets in Europe, attracting millions of visitors every year with its festive atmosphere and traditional crafts.
    • European Institutions: The city hosts the European Parliament, the Council of Europe, and the European Court of Human Rights, lending it a significant political and international importance.
    • Cultural Diversity: Strasbourg is a melting pot of cultures, with a rich blend of French, German, and Alsatian influences reflected in its cuisine, dialect, and traditions.
  5. 5
    Aix-en-Provence is a charming city located in the south of France, known for its beautiful gardens, fountains, and architecture.
    Aix-en-Provence is a picturesque city located in the Provence region of southern France. It is known for its charming old town, stunning architecture, and vibrant street life. Aix-en-Provence is often considered one of the most beautiful cities in France, attracting visitors with its rich history, cultural heritage, and natural beauty.
    • Old Town: The old town of Aix-en-Provence is a well-preserved historic area, with narrow streets, colorful houses, and beautiful squares.
    • Cours Mirabeau: This grand boulevard is lined with elegant mansions, beautiful fountains, and numerous cafes and shops.
    • Cathedral of Saint Sauveur: Aix-en-Provence is home to a magnificent cathedral, featuring stunning Romanesque and Gothic architecture.
    • Musée Granet: This fine arts museum houses a remarkable collection of paintings, sculptures, and archaeological artifacts.
    • Festival d'Aix: Aix-en-Provence is renowned for hosting the prestigious Festival d'Aix, an annual opera and music festival.
  6. 6
    Bordeaux is known for its stunning architecture, beautiful vineyards, and rich history.
    Bordeaux is a charming and picturesque city located in southwest France. It is renowned for its exceptional beauty, rich history, and world-famous wine production. Situated on the banks of the Garonne River, Bordeaux offers a stunning blend of elegant architecture, remarkable landscapes, and a vibrant cultural scene.
    • UNESCO World Heritage Site: Bordeaux is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in its entirety due to the exceptional urban and architectural ensemble it represents.
    • Majestic Buildings: The city boasts numerous monumental buildings, such as the Gothic Cathédrale Saint-André and the beautiful Place de la Bourse.
    • Grand Theater: The Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux, designed by Victor Louis, is an architectural masterpiece and one of the most prestigious opera houses in France.
    • Wine Capital: Bordeaux is known as the wine capital of the world, producing some of the finest wines. The city is surrounded by renowned vineyards.
    • Quays of Bordeaux: The picturesque quays along the Garonne River offer a tranquil and scenic promenade, perfect for leisurely strolls.
  7. 7
    Annecy is a stunning city located in the French Alps, known for its crystal-clear lake, charming streets, and mountain views.
    Annecy is a picturesque city located in the southeastern part of France. Its charm lies in its stunning natural surroundings, with the crystal-clear Lake Annecy nestled amidst towering mountains. The city's rich history, well-preserved medieval architecture, and vibrant culture make it a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.
    • Location: Southeastern France
    • Population: Approximately 52,000
    • Area: Approximately 14.58 square kilometers
    • Altitude: 447 meters above sea level
    • Lake: Lake Annecy, one of the cleanest lakes in Europe
  8. 8
    Avignon is a beautiful city located in the south of France, known for its stunning architecture, rich history, and beautiful gardens.
    Avignon is a captivating city located in southeastern France, known for its rich history and stunning architectural beauty. It is nestled on the banks of the Rhône River and is enclosed by medieval walls, adding to its charm and character. Avignon is renowned for its well-preserved medieval architecture, which includes the famous Palais des Papes (Palace of the Popes) and the Pont d'Avignon (Avignon Bridge). The city exudes a magical aura with its narrow cobblestone streets, beautiful squares, and vibrant cultural scene.
    • UNESCO World Heritage Site: Listed since 1995
    • Annual theater festival: Avignon Festival
    • Cultural scene: Vibrant and diverse
    • Rich history: Witness to significant historical events
    • Location: Southeastern France
  9. 9
    Montpellier is a vibrant city located in the south of France, known for its beautiful beaches, lively nightlife, and stunning architecture.
    Montpellier is a picturesque city located in southern France. It is known for its charming blend of modernity and historical heritage. With its sunny weather, vibrant atmosphere, and rich cultural scene, Montpellier has become a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.
    • Population: Approximately 290,000 residents.
    • Weather: Mediterranean climate with mild winters and hot summers.
    • Architecture: A mix of medieval, Renaissance, and contemporary styles.
    • Cultural Attractions: Prominent landmarks like Place de la Comédie, Montpellier Cathedral, and Saint Pierre Cathedral.
    • Educational Hub: Home to one of Europe's oldest universities, the University of Montpellier.
  10. 10
    Rouen is a picturesque city located in the north of France, known for its beautiful cathedral, charming streets, and rich history.
    Rouen is a charming city located in the north of France, renowned for its rich history, architectural beauty, and artistic heritage. It is often referred to as the 'City of Hundred Spires' due to its impressive gothic architecture and towers that dominate the skyline. Rouen is adorned with picturesque cobblestone streets, timber-framed houses, and stunning cathedrals which together create a unique and enchanting atmosphere. The city is also famous for its connection to the famous French historical figure, Joan of Arc, who was famously executed here in 1431.
    • Gothic Architecture: Rouen is home to numerous impressive gothic buildings, including the Notre-Dame Cathedral, Saint-Maclou Church, and the Gros-Horloge clock tower.
    • Artistic Heritage: The city has inspired many renowned artists, including Claude Monet, who famously painted a series of works featuring Rouen's striking cathedral facade.
    • Historical Importance: Rouen has played a significant role in French history, being the site where Joan of Arc was put on trial and executed, leaving a lasting impact on the city's identity.
    • Impressive Museums: Rouen is home to several exceptional museums, such as the Musée des Beaux-Arts, housing a vast collection of art spanning several centuries.
    • Vibrant Old Town: The old town of Rouen is filled with captivating narrow streets, charming squares, and beautiful half-timbered houses, evoking a sense of medieval charm.

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Ranking factors for beautiful city

  1. Architecture
    The architectural style and preservation of historical buildings and monuments, including gothic cathedrals, renaissance châteaus, and contemporary masterpieces.
  2. Natural Beauty
    The city's natural surroundings, such as rivers, mountains, parks, and gardens, as well as the overall cleanliness and greenery.
  3. Culture and History
    The richness of the city's cultural heritage, including museums, galleries, festivals, and traditions that reflect France's history and way of life.
  4. Urban Planning and Design
    The layout and design of the city, including streets, squares, and public spaces that create a harmonious and aesthetic environment.
  5. Walkability and Accessibility
    The ease of navigating the city on foot or by public transportation, allowing for a pleasant and immersive exploration experience.
  6. Food and Drink
    The quality and variety of French cuisine and local specialties, as well as the presence of high-quality restaurants, markets, and wine bars.
  7. Nightlife and Entertainment
    The vibrancy of the city's nightlife and the availability of entertainment options such as theaters, cinemas, and music venues.
  8. Safety and Security
    The general safety and security of the city, including low crime rates and a well-maintained public infrastructure.
  9. Atmosphere
    The overall ambiance and charm of the city, including its people, streetscapes, and natural surroundings, creating a pleasant and enjoyable experience.
  10. Popularity and Reputation
    The city's reputation as a beautiful and attractive destination based on the opinions of locals, tourists, and experts.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most beautiful city in France. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or city is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 150 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Movers & Shakers

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each city once every 24 hours. The rank of each city is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.


More information on most beautiful city in france

France is a country known for its stunning landscapes, rich history, and charming cities. It's no wonder that many tourists and travelers flock to France every year to explore its beauty. Among the many picturesque cities in France, there are a few that stand out for their unique charm and beauty. The most beautiful cities in France are often characterized by their stunning architecture, vibrant culture, and breathtaking natural surroundings. From the romantic streets of Paris to the colorful coastal towns of Nice and Cannes, France has something for everyone. So, which city is the most beautiful of them all? Let's find out!

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