The Eight Best Places to Take Pictures in France
From the City of Lights to charming castles in the countryside, these are our top French photo spots.
France has long been a favorite amongst travelers, and once you've visited, it's easy to see why. In terms of photography, there's almost nothing you can't find in the country. The classic architecture, like you'll see at the Eiffel Tower and Palais Granier, bring a sense of sophisticated romance, while other areas of France, like Chamonix-Mont-Blanc and Arcachon Bay, feature incredible landscapes with massive mountains and pristine white-sand beaches.
The Explorest app has a variety of photo locations to choose from, so when you're planning your trip to France, we've got you covered. We offer exact GPS coordinates and directions, best time of the day and year to visit, expert tips by our contributors and more. We're like a personal travel guide in the palm of your hand—especially since the photographers we work with are either local to the area or have spent an extensive amount of time there, meaning all of the info on the app is from a trusted source.
Whether you're planning a trip in the near future or just want to virtually travel by scrolling through our feed, the best places to take pictures in France will give you a boost of much-needed photo inspiration.
Expected, but never overrated, the Eiffel Tower is France's most well-known landmark and one of the best places to take pictures. A trip to Paris wouldn't be complete without standing at the bottom of the 1,063-foot structure and basking in all of its beauty. We recommend taking a stroll along the blooming Allée Jean Paulhan walkway and then capturing the idyllic red roses framing the iron giant. Additionally, there are two carousels nearby that offer a more unique perspective, day or night, and both of them are featured on the app.
Alternatively, if you're trying to live more lavishly on your trip, travel like @parisverra and stay at the Shangri-La Hotel, which has a breathtaking view of the Eiffel Tower. What better way to wake up and have a pain au chocolat while gazing onto the tower and city below you from the privacy of your own hotel room.
credit: @a_ontheroad — discover The Eiffel Tower & Red Flowers on the Explorest app
credit: @ledoigtdansloeilfr — discover Le Kiosque du Carrousel view of the Eiffel Tower on the Explorest app
credit: @a_ontheroad — discover Carousel of the Eiffel Tower on the Explorest app
credit: @parisverra — discover Shangri-La Hotel Eiffel Tower Kind Bedroom on the Explorest app
Château du Rivau
Resembling a real-life Disney castle, Château du Rivau is a privately owned medieval estate in France's Loire Valley. The UNESCO world heritage site allows you to explore the historical castle, walk around lush botanical gardens while admiring the well-kept landscape and dine at a restaurant that serves farm-to-table food from the fruitful castle grounds.
After enjoying a day of fairytale adventures at one of the best places to take pictures in France, you can book a stay at Dormir au Château in one of their 12 rooms to spend a night like royalty. Wake up with a view of the flowers in full bloom in the morning and spend the day admiring the quaint decor. With the comfort of modern-day amenities, like wifi and AC, mixed with the classic architecture of the castle, you'll feel relaxed and rejuvenated by the special setting.
credit: @a_ontheroad — discover Château du Rivau Garden & Castle on the Explorest app
credit: @a_ontheroad — discover Interior Window of Château du Rivau Hotel on the Explorest app
Aigues-Mortes Salt Marsh
The Aigues-Mortes Salt Marsh is one of the most impressive, distinctive locations we feature in the Explorest app. The dreamy pink color of the marsh water is a result of naturally occurring chemicals in the land and when you're visiting, you can take a tour guided by The Salins du Midi company to learn how miners extract the salt out of the marsh. It's a real treat for anyone who's interested in food production!
If you're flying a drone above the scene (always check and follow local drone regulations beforehand), you'll also be able to photograph a vast perspective of the marshes. They're photogenic from the ground, but a bird's eye view gives you the opportunity to snap the pattern of the marsh, which resembles a giant geode of pastel hues.
Bonus: the Aigues-Mortes Salt Marsh is the only place in France where you'll find wild flamingos. It's another reason why this location is one of the best places to take pictures in France.
credit: @ledoigtdansloeilfr — discover Pink Aigues-Mortes Salt Marsh with Model on the Explorest app
credit: @ledoigtdansloeilfr — discover Aigues-Mortes Salt Marsh on the Explorest app
Hôtel Ritz Paris
Similar to the Shangri-La Hotel we mentioned before, the Hôtel Ritz Paris is one of the most glamorous hotels, not only in France, but in the entire world! The palatial Marie Antoinette Bedroom in the Imperial Suite, high-end Shopping Gallery hallway, serene Grand Jardin and posh staircase with red velvet carpet that elegantly wraps around levels of opulence are just a few of the many places where you can take photos. And even if you're not staying at the hotel, you can explore the premises and dine at one of the restaurants to have a real taste of luxury in one of the best places to take photos in France.
The legendary Bar Hemingway is also in the hotel, so make sure to visit while you're there. Named after the famous writer, the 25-seat space has an intimate, yet avant-garde feel—an air of "Je ne sais quoi", if you will—that can only be felt in the extraordinary city of Paris.
credit: @joethommas — discover Marie Antoinette Bedroom in the Imperial Suite of the Hôtel Ritz on the Explorest app
credit: @joethommas — discover Hôtel Ritz Shopping Gallery on the Explorest app
credit: @joethommas — discover Hôtel Ritz Paris Grand Jardin on the Explorest app
credit: @joethommas — discover Red Staircase Look Down in Hôtel Ritz Paris on the Explorest app
France is mostly known for its quintessential European architecture and bustling metropolises that evoke a vibrant joie de vivre, but the country also has sprawling beaches in hidden seaside towns. One of the most-visited, and photographed, spots is Arcachon Bay on the southwest coast of France. It's home to the continent's largest sand dune, Dune du Pilat, as well as the Bunkers de la Pointe, which was a World War II site that's become a popular tourist destination on Cap-Ferret.
In Arcachon Bay, the Atlantic Ocean basin glistens with sapphire-colored waters and during the summer months, people flock to the warm shores to soak in the sun and climb all 349 feet of Dune du Pilat. It's the perfect place to escape after spending time in the more urban areas of France, like Paris or Marseille.
credit: @ledoigtdansloeilfr — discover Bunkers de la Pointe on the Explorest app
credit: @ledoigtdansloeilfr — discover Dune du Pilat & Banc d'Arguin Salt Marsh on the Explorest app
credit: @ledoigtdansloeilfr — discover Banc d'Arguin Sand Dune & Beachgoers on the Explorest app
Palais Garnier Opera House
Step back in time at the 19th-century opera house, Palais Garnier, located in the renowned 9th arrondissement of Paris. The magnificent performance center was designed by architect Charles Garnier (hence the name!) in 1861 and since then, it's been visited by millions of people from all around the world. As the largest theater in Europe, the opera house features an auditorium with 1,979 plush red seats, gold-accented decor, and an eight-ton chandelier that tastefully hangs from the ceiling.
Don't forget to explore all of the nooks and crannies of the building while you're there, too—there's a reason why this location is one of the best places to take photos in France. Move from the grand staircase and auditorium to more underrated locations, like the smaller rooms that are adorned with stately columns and a view of chic retail shops that are just as photogenic as the interior of Palais Garnier.
credit: @joethommas — discover Palais Garnier Grand Staircase on the Explorest app
credit: @joethommas — discover Paris Theatre Auditorium on the Explorest app
credit: @joethommas — discover Palais Garnier Columns view of Shopping Gallery on the Explorest app
The charming neighborhood of Montmartre has notoriously been a favorite for some of the world's most prominent artists. From the likes of Picasso to Dalí, the 18th arrondissement of Paris has been called home by an essential part of the city's creative community. It's ideal for photographers—amateur or professional—and it's one of the best places to take photos in France.
Stroll through the narrow streets and then end your exploration at the Sacré-Cœur basilica. The way the light hits the hilltop illuminates the Roman-Catholic church in a rosy-colored hue (la vie en rose, as the French would say!) that complements the eccentric history of Montmartre.
credit: @a_ontheroad — discover Rue du Calvaire Steps & Chez Marie on Rue Gabrielle on the Explorest app
credit: @a_ontheroad — discover Parvis du Sacré Cœur view of L'Envol Hotel on the Explorest app
For those who enjoy the colder temperatures, a winter trip to Chamonix, also known as Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, is one of the best places to visit to take pictures in France. You're able to check out the town during other seasons, but in the winter, the resort town will transform into a hot-spot for skiers, snowboarders and adventurers alike. Coupled with the snow-capped mountains and clear-blue skies, Chamonix will take your breath away!
We recommend taking the cable-car gondola up to peaks, like Dent du Géant, and then photographing the panoramic views of two countries at once (France and Italy are both visible from the summit).
credit: @scott_kranz — discover Dent du Géant on the Explorest app
credit: @scott_kranz — discover Lac des Chéserys & Mountains on the Explorest app
credit: @scott_kranz — discover Grand Jorasses from Aiguille du Midi on the Explorest app
If you're looking to step up your snaps, download the Explorest app today. We provide insider recommendations to help you capture your travels, near and far.