France Flag France

Country Overview

Business Culture

Clothing Size Guides


Cost of Living

Culture and Society


Driving and Autos

Economy and Trade


Educational Resources


Export Process

Food Culture and Drink



Health and Medical


Holidays and Festivals

Import Process


Kids' Stuff


Life Stages


Media Outlets

Money and Banking



National Symbols

Points of Interest

Quality of Life

Real Estate


Security Briefing

Social Indicators

Travel Essentials

Points of Interest

Albert I Garden

Jardin Albert I

2–16 Avenue de Verdun
06000 Nice, France

Situated conveniently among the Old Town, city center, and seaside, Albert 1 Garden is the perfect place to unwind and relax during a long day of sightseeing. A tranquil respite, it features an expansive grassy area, numerous fountains, palm and pine trees, sculptures, and benches that beckon visitors to slow down and smell the roses. Kids will love the adorable carousel that plays happy tunes as it spins giggling children about. Named after a Belgian King, this garden is one of the oldest in Nice.

Aqualand Saint-Cyr-Sur-Mer

Zac des, Pradeaux
83270 Saint-Cyr-sur-Mer, France

Less than an hour’s drive east of Marseille, Aqualand in Saint-Cyr-sur-Mer is a fun summertime attraction. There are a variety of waterslides for all ages, including Europe’s largest. Other attractions include a wave pool, lazy river, thermal baths, and shallow play areas for little ones. Eateries offer options for dining, and a shop sells souvenirs as well as swimwear.


80 Av. Bernard IV
31600 Muret, France

Just south of Toulouse in Muret, Aqualudia is a waterpark with fun attractions for every member of the family. It has several pools, both indoors and outdoors, including those for experienced swimmers and beginners as well as those who just want to relax. There also are waterslides, thermal baths, hot tubs, and a sauna. A stand sells refreshments.   

Barry Garden

Jardin du Barry

Avenue Raymond Badiou
Toulouse, France

Though the Garonne snakes its way through the heart of Toulouse, this French city isn't inundated with open spaces and public parks. On the Left Bank, bordering the Cartoucherie district, is Jardin du Barry, which makes up for in size what it lacks in delicacy. Jardin des Plantes may be more attractive, but this western stretch of greenery is big enough to accommodate joggers, soccer players, newspaper readers, walkers, talkers, readers, and picnicking couples. Hemmed in by three streets, avenue de Grande-Bretagne, avenue Lombez, and Voie de TOEC (the site of a city sports club), Jardin du Barry forms a big triangle. In the late 18th century, it was the leisure site for workers at a nearby armory established in 1792, the Arsenale du Pyrenées. In the 21st century, the gardens still have a part to play, as the Cartoucherie neighborhood prepares for economic redevelopment.

Bordeaux Pessac Zoological Park

3 Rue du Transvaal
Pessac 33600, France

Children and animals are a natural fit, captivating and amusing each other whether two or four-legged. Among the animals here are red pandas, lemurs, giraffes, tapirs, lions, and tigers. Find natural habitats, an aviary, and lush paths to wander, as well as shows put on by the zookeepers. There also is an inflatable play area, playgrounds, picnic areas, and a small petting zoo with farm animals such as goats looking for treats. Located about 30 minutes from Bordeaux, this zoo offers bus rides from the city center or drive and park for free. Check the website for operating hours and information on special events.

Borély Park

Parc Borély

Avenue du Prado
Marseille 13008, France

Located off the Bay of Marseille, Borély Park shares its grounds with the Jardin botanique E.M. Heckel (botanical gardens). With 54 hectares (133 acres), Parc Borély is Marseille's largest and most popular park. People flock to this green open space to enjoy its ponds and lakes, long-established rose and other flower gardens, 3,500 species of plants in the botanical gardens, and other attractions. An 18th-century country home is also located at the center of this park, complete with its own manicured gardens. Enjoy a stroll around these grounds and perhaps even take a boat ride on the lake. The gardens are free for your wandering pleasure.

Botanical Gardens of Bordeaux

Jardin Botanique de Bordeaux

Esplanade Linné
Bordeaux 33100, France

Open daily and free to visit, Botanical Gardens of Bordeaux is the city’s public garden offering many alluring sights. The playground gives kids free reign to be themselves, while more than 3,000 plants are a visual treat for all ages. The gardens include a carousel and gallery featuring 11 natural landscapes found in the country’s Aquitaine basin. After strolling the paths beside flower beds and reflecting pools, enjoy a picnic and some frisbee amid the vast natural splendor.

Castle Hill

Montée du Château
Nice, France

On the famous rocky outcrop between Old Nice and the harbor sits Castle Hill, beloved by locals and visitors alike. While few sections of the old castle have survived, the area is celebrated for its breathtaking panoramic views of the city and sea. Kids can imagine what the castle was like while exploring. There are pine trees, carobs, figs, aloes, a gorgeous waterfall, children's playground, medieval ruins, and more. It was once the site of a military citadel, and there is a naval museum in its Bellanda Tower. Visitors can either brave the laborious climb to the top for free or take an elevator for a nominal fee. Plan on taking lots of photos at this scenic venue and even bring a picnic.

Château Pastre

Avenue de la Madrague Montredon
Marseille 13008, France

Château Pastre is nestled between the Point-Rouge and Rolland caves perched above the city center in the Marseilleveyre hills. Countess Pastre bequeathed this magnificent country home and 120 hectares (297 acres) of wooded park space to the city in the 1800s. The woods have been converted to public gardens and an adventure playground for children. The home hosts an outstanding museum of pottery; its stunning collection documents the technical and artistic development of pottery-making. Admission to this museum and the grounds is free.

Disneyland Paris

Boulevard de Parc
Coupvray 77700, France 

Originally known as the Euro Disney Resort, Disneyland Paris officially opened in 1992 and received its present name in 1995. A mere 20 minutes east of Paris this noted theme park is made up of Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park. There are thrill rides such as Thunder Mountain and Pirates of the Caribbean for the adults and big kids, while children have many fun areas and offerings just for them. These include It’s a Small World, Alice’s Curious Labyrinth, and rides on the mini train as well as an assortment of spinning rides. There also are horse-drawn streetcars and plenty of places to eat and grab drinks and snacks. Don’t forget a family picture in front of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle.

Écrins National Park

Southeast of Lyon
Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France

The Écrins National Park is one of France's important protected spaces. It covers an area of approximately 93,078 hectares (230,000 acres), and its highest peaks rise to a height of about 4,100 meters (13,451 feet). The park includes specially designed nature trail footpaths, observation points, and information points to help the visitor explore its natural beauty and varied flora and fauna. This park is a popular tourist attraction and has been awarded the European Diploma of Protected Areas.

Garden of Curiosities

Jardin des Curiosités

8 Place de l'Abbé Larue
Lyon 69005, France

Take a seat and enjoy the view—that’s likely the very reason this “garden” exists. The Jardin des Curiosités is a 6,000-square-meter (65,000-square-foot) park in the Saint-Just neighborhood and includes six chair sculptures that provide for the opportunity to take in the expansive city views. The park was built in 2001 to mark the 20th anniversary of Lyon’s relationship with Montreal, Canada, and the chairs were created by a sculptor from Quebec, Michel Goulet. The chairs vary in style, with the seats engraved with French quotes. This is why the garden is also known as Jardin de Montréal. Located on Fourvière hill, the entrance to the site is somewhat hidden, so go through the double entrance gate at the end of Abbé Larue square and follow the path to where the garden is located. Consider bringing a coffee or snack and don’t forget a phone or camera, as the panoramic views of Lyon from this elevated vantage point beg to be captured in time.

Garden of the Plants

Jardin des Plantes

57 Rue Cuvier
Paris 75005, France

Families may have a difficult time deciding where to start when they visit Paris’ botanical garden, one of the world’s most notable. There is a zoo, galleries—including a children’s gallery—and libraries as well as food kiosks and a carousel. Founded in 1626 as a royal garden of medicinal plants, it first opened to the public in 1650. Garden of the Plants encompasses 28 hectares (68 acres), on which are situated six greenhouses, home to around 23,500 species of plants. The garden features cacti, grasses, bromeliads, orchids, ferns, aroids, Australian flora, alpine plants, and more. The zoo houses approximately 600 animals including orangutans, red pandas, snow leopards, Arabian oryx, tree kangaroos, and many more. See the website for information on special events, temporary exhibits, and operating hours.

Jardin d’Acclimation

Bois de Boulogne, Route de la Porte Dauphine à la Porte des Sablons
Paris 75116, France

Rotating swings, roller coasters, kiddie rides, and more await families at this long-running Paris amusement park. There is something for every age, including the Little Carousel, the wading pool, and mechanical mice for the smallest fun-seekers. Take a leisurely tour along the Enchanted River before amping up the excitement on a rafting adventure. Includes a little farm with gentle farm animals to pet and feed and garden workshops. Restaurants and kiosks serve full meals to traditional carnival snacks such as ice cream and cotton candy, sure to put a sweet finishing touch on a fun family day.

Jardin Rosa Mir

87 Grande Rue de la Croix-Rousse
Lyon 69004, France

There’s no doubt a visit to this garden will leave a lasting impression, both for its engaging visuals and the story behind it, which elevates Jardin Rosa Mir to a special status. The multi-level garden was built by one man, Spaniard Jules Senis, who vowed to create a garden if he was released from the hospital while suffering from throat cancer. The garden’s existence marks Senis’ survival, and the name was chosen to honor his mother, who he left behind in Spain when he fled the country during the Spanish Civil War. Rough stones large and small cover nearly every surface of the maze-like, 360-square-meter (3,875-square-foot) garden, which includes ornamental details including mosaics, pillars, a fountain, sea shells, and sea creatures. Senis spent 25 years creating the space, which is a captivating refuge in a fast-paced world, and includes abundant flora including lemon trees and roses. Those familiar with the surreal and imaginative style of Spanish architect, Antoni Gaudi, will recognize his creative influence here. Garden tours are offered from April through October at 2 and 5:30 p.m.

Kid’s City

590 Boulevard du Mercantour Forum
Lingostiere, Nice

Parents know that not much beats the opportunity to let children have unstructured playtime, and at Kid’s City—just 15 minutes from central Nice—there is much to engage them. An indoor amusement park designed for children up to age 12, it should be on the list of things to do while in Nice. Children can bounce and zoom down inflatable slides and play in ball pools and along adventure courses. There also is a trampoline, zipline, tunnels, mazes, giant building blocks, mini rides, arcade games, and more. A snack bar serves a variety of kids’ treats and drinks. An air-conditioned venue, Kid’s City is a good place any time of year and a nice rainy-day destination. Check the website for hours and the snack bar menu.

K’ptain Park

185 Av. De Fronton
31200 Toulouse, France

Lots of fun is waiting at Toulouse’s K’ptain Park, the city’s only pirate-themed attraction for kids. It offers a variety of indoor games and activities aimed at children up to age 14. The park includes a huge three-level labyrinth, toboggan run, foam pit, slides, ninja-style obstacles, electric motorcycles, trampolines, and double zipline. In addition, there is a play area for little ones with a ball pit and foam slides. A snack bar serves refreshments.    

La Palmyre Zoo

Zoo de la Palmyre

6 Avenue de Royan Les Mathes
Poitou-Charentes 17570, France

Opened to the public in 1966, the Palmyre Zoo quickly caught the interest of the French and has become one of France's most popular zoos. Founded by a man called Claude Caillé, the zoo covers an area of about 18 hectares (44 acres) and has about 1,600 animal inhabitants from about 130 distinct species. The zoo has become the most popular private collection in France and attracts about 800,000 visitors each year.

Luxembourg Gardens

Jardin du Luxembourg

15 Rue de Vaugirard, between Saint-Germain-des-Prés and Latin Quarter
Paris 75006, France

A spacious 23-hectare (57-acre) green space, Luxembourg Gardens holds many delights within, sure to provide hours of relaxing entertainment for every member of the family. Kids will enjoy the swings, merry-go-round, pony rides, and sailboat rentals, while outdoor sports courts will engage the more athletic types. Bring a ball to toss! Take a stroll to marvel at the assortment of trees, lawns, flower beds, greenhouses, and fruit gardens or consider doing the garden’s treasure hunt. Guided tours and kid’s puppet shows are offered; check the website for more information.

Magic Park Land

Autoroute A55 Fos/Martigues
13820 Ensuès-la-Redonne, France

About a 30-minute drive northwest from Marseille, Magic Park Land is a popular amusement park with more than 40 attractions for families. Rides include a Ferris wheel, train, rotating swings, log flume, toboggan run, bumper boats, and more. In addition, there are a variety of inflatable bounce houses for little ones to explore. Visitors can win prizes playing midway games, and there’s also a video arcade. Along with rides and games, the park also hosts community events, birthday parties, and live shows such as clowns, motocross, and puppets. Shops and food vendors provide options for shopping and dining.  

Mercantour National Park

Parc National du Mercantour

North of Nice, Southeastern France

The Parc National du Mercantour was created in 1979 and is one of France's major national parks. About 800,000 tourists visit the place every year. The park covers around 68,500 hectares (169,267 acres) and includes seven beautiful valleys, Roya, Bévéra, Vésubie, Tinée, Haut Var/Cians, Verdon, and Ubaye. Surrounding the park are several beautiful villages that showcase some of the finest of French architecture. The park is home to about 2,000 species of plants and hundreds of animal species. The park is home to the famous Vallée des Merveilles (Valley of Marvels) and, at the foot of Mont Bégo, contains thousands of prehistoric Bronze Age art drawings and engravings.

Parc Astérix

Off of A1 Plailly
Picardy 60128, France

Parc Astérix, France's first theme park, opened in 1989. Within its 18-hectare (44-acre) area, it contains a reconstruction of the Gallic village home to the famous comic-strip character Astérix and his friend Obélix. Visitors to this giant theme park are taken through a journey across ancient Gaul, the Roman Empire, and the Middle Ages, right up to the 21st century. The park's other popular attractions include the Tonnerre de Zeus (rated one of the best wooden coasters in Europe), a haunted mansion, a bobsled that can reach speeds of 80 kilometers per hour (50 miles per hour), a swinging ship, a log flume ride, and a river with rapids. The park is open from April to October.

Père Lachaise Cemetery

16 rue du Repos
Paris 75020, France

Père Lachaise Cemetery is named after Père François de la Chaise, the confessor of Louis XIV, and was established in 1804 by Emperor Napoleon. The Père Lachaise Cemetery contains about 30,000 graves and is one of most visited cemeteries in the world, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. It owes its fame to the graves of highly eminent people who are buried here, most of whom have greatly contributed to enhancing French life for the past 200 years. Besides the graves, the cemetery encompasses Paris' largest park and boasts a varied terrain consisting of rolling hills, thousands of trees, twisting paths, and even streets.

Phoenix Park

Parc Phoenix

405 Promenade des Anglais
06200 Nice, France

There is much to see and admire at Phoenix Park that will appeal to both plant and animal lovers as well as kids and adults. Situated close to the airport, it features the largest glass greenhouse of its kind in Europe at 7,000 square meters (75,000 square feet). Within this large pyramid are extensive displays of plants and flowers, including an array of tropical palms from throughout the world. The park also features an artificial lake, home to several species of waterfowl and turtles, while within the reptile house are crocodiles, iguanas, and boa constrictors. An insect house showcases a variety of creepy crawlies and even a pool where the fish let you pet their bellies. Tell the kids to keep an eye out for lemurs, otters, wallabies, and little marmoset monkeys too. In addition, visit the park’s farm to see dwarf animals like goats, pigs, rabbits, and the miniature Falabella horse. Phoenix Park also is home to the Asian Art Museum.

Pierre Puget Garden

Jardin Pierre Puget

70 cours Pierre Puget
Marseille, France

Created in the 1800s, the Jardin Pierre Puget is one of Marseille's oldest and most tranquil city parks. It was named after a local icon, Pierre Puget, a painter, sculptor, architect, and engineer. Popular with locals and travelers alike, this park often draws visitors to its lush greenery and magnificent views overlooking the old harbor. A stroll through the park and across a footbridge will also bring guests to Notre-Dame-de-la Garde (see above), making for an excellent outing. The park is open daily year-round, and admission to the gardens is free of charge.

Promenade du Paillon

Plassa Carlou Aubert, Nice

Located in the heart of the city is Promenade du Paillon, a 12-hectare (29-acre) park kids will love for all the fun features within. A fenced-in playground with artificial grass features a giant whale to climb, octopus swings, and treehouse. Bring refreshments and plan for a relaxing break as you watch the kids have fun with some unstructured playtime. There is an area lined with olive trees, just some of the more than 1,000 trees and 50,000 plants, with paved walkways and benches throughout. Also within the promenade, which begins in Place Massena, is the Miroir d'Eau (Mirror of Water), a 3,000-square-meter (32,292-square-foot) section that contains 128 water jets. These variously puff out a cool mist or shoot jets of water high into the air, and their unpredictability makes for refreshing fun as kids play among them. Public restrooms and a tourist information desk are available.

Public Gardens of Bordeaux

Jardin Public

Place du Champ du Mars
Bordeaux, France

Laid out by enlightened French administrators in the middle of the 18th century, this inner city garden was designed with three grand gates. After the French Revolution at the end of the century, the Jardin Public took on a more civic role, as the site for military training. Today, the gardens have a distinctly British flavor, thanks to a 19th-century landscaping revamp. The Orangerie, surrounded by its sandstone colonnade, is an attractive spot for drinks and refreshments. The garden itself is dotted by couples in the afternoon, families on weekends, and, during weekday mornings, a modern mixture of smoking school kids and elegant French women walking dogs smaller than their handbags. Look out for the bust of Italian sculptor Dominique Fortuné Maggesi, the Carrara-born artist who became the city's official sculptor in 1829, and who was responsible for several of the city's statues of Montaigne and Montesquieu.

Tête d'Or Park

Golden Head Park

Boulevard des Belges
Lyon, France

A wealth of outdoor fun—from the blissfully relaxed to the thrillingly energetic—can be had at the 117-hectare (298-acre) Tête d'Or Park (Golden Head Park). Its botanical gardens and sumptuous lawns date back to the mid-19th century on a site local legend holds to be the burial place of Jesus Christ's head. Later additions such as an alpine garden; zoo housing giraffes, tigers, and elephants; and rose garden spell fun for kids and adults alike. If the weather permits and you're feeling more active, you can play mini golf, ride ponies, take a spin on the fairground-style rides, and go sailing on the river. An alfresco puppet show is an occasional highlight.

Tony Bertrand Nautical Center

8 quai Claude Bernard
Lyon, France

Summers get hot and kids get cranky, so let everyone cool off with a visit to Tony Bertrand Nautical Center. The public pool has two Olympic-size pools, one for casually hanging out in the refreshing water and the other for serious swimmers who want to get their laps in. Parents will appreciate the large, gated-off area for babies and kids. The pools get busy so it’s recommended to arrive early before lines form.

Tuileries Garden

Jardin des Tuileries

Place de la Concorde
Paris 75001, France

Bring a picnic and plan for a family day while people watching at this famous Paris attraction. Located between the Louvre and Place de la Concorde along the Seine is this historic garden. From a kid’s point of view, the garden has lots to offer, from a carousel and playground with a jungle gym, to two ponds for feeding the ducks and floating the little boats found at the Grand Basin. There also are trampolines to bounce on—a great way for kids to expel some of that energy they held in at the city’s stellar museums. Look for the goats who roam around the grounds too. Plenty of restaurants and cafes are nearby to provide a tasty treat.

Wakoo Park

38 Rue du Clos Verger
Vénissieux, France

There are several fun features at Wakoo Park, located 7 kilometers (4.3 miles) southeast of Lyon’s city center. Kids will find bouncy castles, pedal go-karts, a ropes course, and zipline, among other offerings. Play hide and seek or time your kids to get through the labyrinth. A shaded area of the park especially for ages 5 and under features a trampoline, inflatable structure, giant water mattress, playhouse, swings, tunnels, and more. There is a small educational garden, and the park offers deck chairs as well as treats and drinks served from a chalet.