10 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Visit France (+ 1 Reason You Should)


Last Updated: August 31, 2022

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As with anything and everything in this world, people often have conflicting ideas about a certain topic, or place for that matter. You’ve heard people rattle off reasons why they don’t like to go to France, while another half says quite the opposite. France is the number one tourist destination in the world, but should you really go visit it? Let’s explore some probably reasons why you shouldn’t – and why you should.

(Author’s note: this article is written in a tongue-in-cheek manner and may not work well with some readers. So, read until the very end and remember that the irony and sarcasm is strong in this one.)

Reason #1: You don’t really care at all about heritage sites.

1 Heritage Sites in France www.talkinfrench.com

Top to bottom: Mont Saint-Michel, Palace of Versailles, Palais de Papes, and the paintings in the Lascaux caves.

Palais de Papes, and the paintings in the Lascaux caves.

France has 41 heritage sites, but you’re probably not into that. Those that care, however, will find each of the sites insanely gorgeous and  discover that Mont Saint-Michel is jaw-dropping and that the French chateaux look ridiculously picturesque.


But surely, you can’t be missing anything in your lifetime by not seeing the Banks of the Seine at sunset? …
1 Seine River at Sunset

Nope. This doesn’t affect you the least bit.

Aside from the banks of the Seine, other popular heritage sites in France include the Palace and Parks of Versailles, Cite de Carcassonne, Port de la Lune in Bordeaux, the Fontainebleau Palace, and many others. A few lesser known sites that don’t get visited as much but are equally beautiful are the Gulf of Porto, the prehistoric ruins in Vézère Valley, Mont Perdu, the Grande Île, and more… Much, much more.

Reason # 2: “The buildings really suck.”

People can’t seem to stop yammering about the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, the Sacre Coeur, and all those seemingly endless list of buildings, monuments, royal palaces, basilicas, and centuries-old forts. But you find yourself wondering what’s the big deal, anyway?

French Architecture

Top to bottom: Hôtel de Ville, Paris, Notre Dame Paris, and Palais des Papes

I mean, come on, even the famous Palais Garnier isn’t really all that magical…amirite?

Palais Garnier Le grand foyer


Reason # 3. “French cuisine is just so-so.”

French Food

Top to bottom: Salade niçoise, Steak au poivre, Crêpe, macarons

What’s with all the fancy-schmancy gourmet food? You’re having none of that. France may be the birthplace of the modern restaurant and it may have thousands of places to eat that each all have raving fans of their own, but you’re probably allergic to fresh ingredients, well thought-out menus, decadent desserts plus all that yummy calories. So, thanks but no thanks.

Crème-Brûlée www.talkinfrench.com

You can’t imagine yourself holding a spoon and slowly cracking the caramelized top off that crème brulee, can you?

Reason # 4. You’re not a fan of epic views.

France is an entire country made of picturesque nooks and crannies and breathtaking views. But maybe stunning views are not really your thing.

Whether day views…

Paris day view

Or night…

Paris Night view Eiffel Tower as seen from Montparnasse

Photo source

Reason # 5. You’re not that into art and culture.

France Culture and arts

Top to bottom: the Louvre, Musee d’Orsay, Opera Garnier

While culture buffs go gaga over the Louvre with its vast galleries and treasures that include the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, and Egyptian mummies, there are loads of other places in France to soak up on culture.

Other popular cultural spots include the Georges Pompidou centre and museum of art, Musée d'Orsay with its collection of impressionist and post-impressionist masterpieces, Hôtel de Ville de Paris with its free art exhibitions, as well as the magnificent Opera Garnier; lesser known spots like the Musee des Arts Decoratifs, le Trianon Theatre, plus countless other museums for every kind of art and interests you could imagine.

Now that’s just in Paris alone. Outside of Paris are more museums, more chateaux, more theaters and shows than you can count.

Reason # 6: You don’t care about history.

Historical sites in France

Top to bottom: Arc de Triomphe, Pont du Gard, Notre Dame Paris

France is filled with historical gems from north to south with more than 40,000 officially recognized historical monuments. This makes France the top country in Europe with the densest concentration of historical places with its numerous grand palaces, cathedrals, ruins and ramparts, bridges, medieval fortresses, plus buildings and monuments that are bursting at the seams with thousands-old stories.

Among the most visited include: the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, the Sacré Coeur basilica in Montmartre, Les Baux de Provence, the Village of Riquewihr in Alsace, Pont du Gard in Languedoc, the Pope’s Palace… and the list goes on. History fans would jump up and down at the chance to lap up all the historic treasures these places hold, but if you loathe history, you’ll be like, “meh”.

Reason # 7: You’re allergic to romance.

People have often talked about how romantic Paris is and how it’s “The Most Romantic City in the World”, but you think that that sentiment is quite overrated (related article: Is Paris really Overrated?).

Romantic places in Paris

Top to bottom: Le Mur Des Je T’aime or the Wall of I Love You’s, view of Paris at dusk, and the Champs-Élysées

Maybe you’re the type who eschews romance, has given up hope on love, or you’re the Grinch’s equivalent when it comes to romantic stuff. Whatever the reason is, you would rather not stroll along Champs-Élysées or the banks of the River Seine while holding hands with the love of your life. For romantics however, they’d love this article of the best romantic spots in Paris.

Reason # 8: You can’t handle too much diversity.

France is one of the most diverse places in the planet. From the landscape that features three very different coastlines, several mountain ranges, bustling cities and lush valleys and plains; varied culture that includes the German and Flemish influences in the north, celtic Brittany, Basques and catalans in Languedoc, Italian-inspired Côte-d’Azur, and the deeply French center; there is too much diversity to see, feel, and experience. Too much, in fact, that it could make anyone’s head spin.

Diverse landscapes in France

Not the usual France that you see, but this is France, too! Top to bottom: Nice, France; Chamonix, French Alps; and Bonifacio in Corsica

Reason # 9: “The French countryside is blah.”

Outside of the main French cities, there’s nothing else really for you to see, is there?

Diverse landscapes in France

Not the usual France that you see, but this is France, too! Top to bottom: Nice, France; Chamonix, French Alps; and Bonifacio in Corsica

And finally…

Reason # 10: You’re not fond of too much wine and cheese.

You’re probably one of those who think wine and cheese are the bane of your existence. So you’re going to have an awful time in France where there are multitudes of wines and cheeses to choose from.

French wine and cheese

Top to bottom: Cheeses sold in French markets, several Rhone and Provence Rosé wines, more cheeses, and Bordeaux wines.

The French have a centuries-old love affair with wine that dates back to as early as the 6th century. Its wine regions produce around 7 to 8 billion bottles of wine each year and it is also the source of grape varieties like the Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot noir, Sauvignon blanc and many others. You can even find good wines in supermarkets for less than 10 euros! When it comes to cheeses, there are around 400 traditional types of cheeses as well with Camembert, Brie, Roquefort and Boursin among the most popular. You’ll find these as the star of several platters and meals all over France.

Now enough about all the reasons why you shouldn’t visit France. Let’s talk about why you should go there at least once in your lifetime.

1 Reason Why You Should go to France:

You know what the truth is? All the other reasons I listed above are nothing but a pile of crap (C’est vraiment des conneries!). I mean, you’re not really allergic to beautiful views, are you?  Just like the movie says, Paris is always a good idea (so is the rest of France).

So don’t scratch it off your list just yet because a beautiful, diverse and historical food haven awaits you. If you need more push, here’s Audrey Hepburn as Sabrina telling you why you should go to France.

But wait! Don’t grab your bags just yet! Before you do, make sure to get a copy of the best French phrasebook in the market, Travel in France with Confidence. Comes with free audio, too!

About the author 

Frederic Bibard is the founder of Talk in French, a company that helps french learners to practice and improve their french. Macaron addict. Jacques Audiard fan. You can contact him on Instagram

  • I’m visiting Paris as I read this article and I couldn’t agreed more that this country is an inexcusable riot of gorgeous everything and that somebody has to put a stop to it immediately or I will be forced to move here. 🙂

  • I lived near Paris and it felt quite normal to rush through it just to go to the movies on the Champs Elysées without really noticing anything around. Now of course, I think I should have visited more monuments … My favorite place there : the ‘quais de Seine’. So beautiful.

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