Search for a destination guide

Guide Country

France

To discover France

Paris

Paris is the capital of France and the political, economic and cultural center of the country. For centuries, Paris has been one of the world's most important and attractive cities. It is appreciated for the opportunities it offers for business and commerce, for study, for culture, and for entertainment. Its gastronomy, haute couture, painting, literature, and intellectual community especially enjoy an enviable reputation. Each of its twenty districts has its own character and history.

Boasting around 200 museums and monuments, Paris is undoubtedly the world’s art and culture capital. From the left bank to the right bank, every monument reveals its history and its beauty. All the leading artists in history, from Leonard de Vinci, Raphael, and Monet, to Rodin, Delacroix and Picasso, are represented in the capital’s museums . Travel to Paris and you can also enjoy the many elegant and diverse parks. Even though Paris has a dense urban structure, it possesses some of the most beautiful green spaces in the world.

Despite the fiercely competitive economic climate, the meetings industry is growing. The business tourism sector comprises fairs, trade shows, congresses and corporate events. With 11.3 million visitors a year, business tourism makes a significant contribution to the economy of the city and its region. The capital offers around 18 convention centers and exhibition halls, 25 conference hotels, more than 100 meeting rooms and a variety of modern, classical and atypical meeting venues.  In addition, the Paris Region has the highest number of headquarters of Global 500 companies of any city in Europe. Furthermore, the excellent communications, the top-quality hotels, and the significant cultural attractions and entertainment on offer will surely make the organization of any business event a clear success.

The Louvre

Located right in the heart of Paris, the Louvre is one of the largest and richest museums in the world. Originally a fortress, it was built by King Philippe Auguste at the end of the XIIth century. In 1546, Francis I transformed it into a luxurious residence, while in 1793, it was converted into a museum. A fortified medieval castle, a residence of the kings of France and then an immense museum, the Louvre Palace has been carefully enlarged throughout each era and under every political regime. Its collection is grouped into eight Departments: Near Eastern Antiquities, Egyptian Antiquities, Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities, Islamic Art, Sculptures, Decorative Arts, Paintings,  Prints and Drawings. The museum also offers meeting planners a space of 700 square meters which is available for all kind of events, including concerts, seminars, parties, dances, shooting, bar mitzvahs and private parties.

The Centre Pompidou

Opened in 1977, the Centre Pompidou is located right in the heart of Paris. It is housed in a building designed by Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers, whose architecture symbolizes the spirit of the XXth century. The center is one of the most visited attractions in France, receiving around 8 million visitors per year. In a unique location and all under one roof, the Centre Pompidou houses one of the most important museums in the world, featuring the leading collection of modern and contemporary art in Europe, a vast public reference library with facilities for over 2,000 readers, general documentation on XXth century art, a cinema and performance halls, a music research institute, educational activity areas, and bookshops. Each year the Centre Pompidou holds around thirty public exhibitions, as well as a series of international events including cinema and documentary screenings, conferences and symposiums, concerts and dance and educational activities.

Notre Dame de Paris

Notre-Dame de Paris is the second most visited monument in France, attracting around 14 million visitors per year. It is located on the Île de la Cité, a small island in the heart of the city. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this gothic masterpiece was built in 1163, on the site of the former Saint-Etienne cathedral, which was erected between the fourth and the seventh centuries. In fact, Bishop Maurice de Sully decided to demolish the old cathedral to erect a new Gothic-style building, dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The cathedral’s façade is an imposing, simple and harmonious mass whose strength and sombre grandeur is based on interplay between vertical and horizontal lines. This façade’s simplicity and harmony has fascinated modern art historians and contemporary architects. Moreover, with its two majestic towers, its tapering spire, its slender buttresses, stained glass windows and its main organ, Notre-Dame de Paris remains one of the most fascinating buildings in the capital.

Musée d'Orsay

Located in the heart of Paris, the Musée d’Orsay is housed in a former railway station built in 1900. With its unique architecture which is steeped in history, this impressive building boasts the world’s finest collection of Impressionist painting, sculpture,and decorative objects . The Musée d'Orsay's collection focuses on French art from the period from 1848 to 1915, and is renowned for its unique collection of Impressionist and Post-impressionist paintings by artists such as Claude Monet, Edouard Manet, Edgar Degas, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Cezanne, Georges Seurat, Paul Gauguin and Vincent Van Gogh. In this exceptional venue, meetings, concerts and conferences can also be organized.

La Défense

Built in 1966, la Défense is Europe’s largest business district with 3 million m² of offices and shopping centers. Home to the headquarters of companies such as IBM, Total, Axa, EDF, GDF Suez and Areva, it is a European economic powerhouse. At the hub of the prime European business district, the CNIT (Centre des nouvelles industries et technologies) boasts a floorspace of 43,000 m2, including 29,000 m2 of modular spaces. This conference and exhibition centre hosts large-scale national and international events. 3 auditoria, 36 meeting rooms and 4 halls offer endless permutations for every type of event. La Défense also houses Europe's biggest shopping centre, and boasts nearly 3,000 hotel rooms, 600 shops and services and over 100 restaurants.

The Tuileries Garden

The Tuileries Garden is one of the largest and oldest public gardens in Paris, and was commissioned by Queen Catherine de Medici in 1564 during the construction of the Tuileries Palace. The garden is bordered from end to end by Rue de Rivoli to the north and the River Seine to the south. Covering an area of nearly 26 hectares, it was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1991. This lush green space is one of the city's most popular spots for both Parisians and tourists. The boundary of the gardens and the Place de la Concorde is marked by two terraces on each side, on which two famous museums stand: the Musée de l’Orangerie (overlooking the Seine) and the Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume (bordering Rue de Rivoli).

Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower is Paris’ premier attraction. It was designed by the French engineer Gustave Eiffel and his staff for the 1889 Universal Exposition in Paris. Located in the Champ de Mars by the River Seine, this Parisian monument, a symbol of France and its capital, is the third most visited site in Paris, attracting over 6 million visitors per year. With a height of 300 meters, later extended to 325 meters with an antenna, the Eiffel Tower was the highest building in the world for over 40 years. The first floor houses the Gustave Eiffel reception room which offers breathtaking views over Paris and its most remarkable sites. With its cozy atmosphere and its state-of-the-art equipment, this 300 m² room hosts all kinds of business events including seminars, conferences, cocktail parties, and press conferences.

Opéra Garnier

The Opera Garnier, built by Charles Garnier in the late nineteenth century, is a true architectural masterpiece which is famous all over the world. The monument boasts sumptuous sculptures and paintings, while its magnificent performance hall, dressed in red and gold and illuminated by the huge crystal chandelier, has 2200 seats covered in velvet. The staircase is richly decorated with statues, candelabras and low reliefs. The Palais Garnier is also home to a library-museum that conserves records of the building's past. Throughout the year it hosts permanent and temporary exhibitions that feature paintings, photographs and even scale models of stage sets.

Lyon

Nestled between Fourvière and the Croix-Rousse hills, Lyon is the second largest city in France after Paris. Ideally located between the Massif Central and the Alps, not far from the Mediterranean, it is the capital of Rhône-Alpes region. It thus benefits from an exceptional location at a crossroads of commerce, ideas and cultures. With its world-famous cuisine, its historic architecture, its wealth of museums, its vibrant music, its dance and art festivals and the picturesque nightly illumination of its monuments, this extraordinary capital is renowned for its quality of life.

Recently named a UNESCO World Heritage site because of its illustrious 2000-year history, Lyon is brimming with activities and attractions. The former capital of Gaul, its past is still very much in evidence in landmarks such as the Gallo Roman amphitheatre, now a site for outdoor concerts, and the Croix-Rousse hill, which was the center of the silk industry in the 1800s.

Bordering the vineyards of Beaujolais and the Côtes du Rhône, as well as an area that produces a wealth of fresh produce, Lyon is in fact the gastronomic capital of France and is an essential pilgrimage for any gourmet.

It is also famous for events which attract a worldwide audience. The Biennial Dance Festival turns Lyon into the dance capital of the world for a few weeks each year, when professional dance companies from all over the globe perform in the streets.

Lyon is also France’s second largest business centre after Paris and, thanks to its metalworking activities, its garment industry, and its chemical and pharmaceutical sector, is one of the country's most important economic powerhouses. Tourism also plays a key role in the local economy as the city attracts millions of visitors per year (primarily for business purposes). It has developed cutting-edge technologies and a bustling business center, generating a new dynamic economy in the city which has resulted in the appearance of a large service industry.

 Presqu'île (peninsula)

Located within Lyon's 1st and 2nd arrondissements, the Presqu'île district is one of the most popular attractions in the city. It was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1998. In ancient times, the Romans occupied the area of Presqu'île between the Ainay neighborhood and the bottom of the slopes of the Croix-Rousse. During the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, the center of the Presqu'île was the heart of trading activities and printing. In the streets around the Place Bellecour, visitors will find a host of antique shops, museums celebrating Lyon's heritage, and pavement cafes and restaurants. Many of the best bars and restaurants in Lyon, as well as trendy boutiques, are also located around Rue Mercière. Place des Terreaux is home to a number of the city's major tourist attractions, including its splendid town hall, art museum and opera house.

Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière

The Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière was built between 1872 and 1876 in a neo-Byzantine style. It sits high atop the Fourvière Hill in Lyon, offering a magnificent view over the city. This monument was designated a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1998. It was designed by architect Pierre Bossan of Lyon, who also designed the city's Église Saint-Georges. The gleaming white Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière rises like a fortress on Fourvière Hill, with crenellated walls and slender turrets at its four corners. The bell tower is topped with a gilded statue of the Virgin. This relatively austere exterior contrasts with the richly decorated interior, which was intended to demonstrate the Church's wealth and power. Gilt, marble work, stained glass windows, and colored mosaics cover virtually every surface.

Lyon National Opera House

Opera National de Lyon is one of the most visited landmarks in Lyon. The former Grand Theatre was built in 1826; however, it was entirely renovated in 1993 by architects Jean Nouvel and Emmanuel Blamont. Inside the opera, Jean Nouvel preserved the stucco, gold and frescoes of the public home, as a souvenir of the building as it existed in the XIXth century.  The hall seats 1,200 people and boasts six vertically stacked balconies overlooking the orchestra level. This Italian-style hall is lined with black wood and gold detail, and is home to the Lyon Opera Ballet company and the world-renowned Opera House Orchestra.

Lyon Museum of Fine Arts

Lyon’s Museum of Fine Arts is one of the largest museums in France and the whole of Europe. It is housed in a magnificent XVIIth century building, located between the Rhône and Saône rivers. The collections are exhibited in over 70 rooms and offer visitors an outstanding sample of art ranging in age from antiquity to the present day. The museum's collections are regularly enriched, thanks to an active acquisition policy that relies on donors, art lovers, collectors and the descendants of artists.
 

Bordeaux

Bordeaux, capital of the Aquitaine region, is one of the most attractive cities in France. It boasts some of the most beautiful and harmonious XVIIIth century buildings in Europe. Bordeaux, the world capital of wine, has a prestigious past, dating back thousands of years. It is also home to France's oldest trading port where wine exports to Britain began in the XIIth century. Thanks to this history, the world has come to know Bordeaux as the world's wine capital. The incredible countryside surrounding the the city is home to some of the world's most best and most famous vineyards, and is augmented by historical chateaux, quaint villages and architectural masterpieces which date back hundreds of years. Bordeaux was officially added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites due to the beauty of its architectural heritage, which has remained remarkably well-preserved. Thanks to its modern convention centers and comfortable hotels, the capital is also an outstanding destination for business tourism. It’s the perfect setting for successful conventions, business meetings, or even incentive trips.

Place de la Bourse

Built between 1730 and 1755, Place de la Bourse is a perfect example of XVIIIth century French art and architecture. The two large buildings’ façades boast beautiful sculptures decorated with masks and pediments. Place de la Bourse also offers 2,440 m² of floor space, steeped in French culture and history, which is suitable for all types of events. Its ideal location, on the banks of the Garonne River, near the Grand Théâtre, as well as its several fine hotels and a plethora of luxury boutiques, make Place de la Bourse the ideal venue for a successful professional event.

Cathédrale Saint André

Built between the XIIth and the XVIth century on the site of an ancient early church, Saint-André Cathedral is one of the city's main landmarks. It is home to a number of XIIIth and XIVth century sculptures. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, its choir and transepts date from the XIVth century.  The finest feature is the north doorway, richly decorated with sculptures and flanked by two tall towers.

Aquitaine Museum

Built in the late of the XIXth century, the Aquitaine Museum is one of the most visited museums in Bordeaux. It recounts the history of Aquitaine region from prehistoric times to the present day, taking a detour through the Gallo-Roman era and the Middle Ages.The building is split over four levels, of which 5000 square meters are devoted to permanent collections, 1000 square meters to temporary exhibitions and 4500 square meters to reserve stock.

Grand-Théâtre

The Grand Theatre is one of the many beautiful neoclassical buildings in Bordeaux. Its history dates back to mid XVIIIth century, when a fire destroyed the old theatre. Shortly after its destruction, the governor decided to build a magnificent new theatre.One of the most striking features of the neoclassical Bordeaux Grand Theatre is its main façade, decorated with 12 Corinthian style columns. Inside you will find beautiful sculptures, grand staircases and magnificent roof paintings. The main hall is painted in the colors of French royalty, blue, white and gold. Today, the theatre is home to the Opéra National de Bordeaux, as well as the Ballet National de Bordeaux. Musical plays, operas, dance acts and performances of many other kinds are shown on a regular basis in the theatre hall.

Museum of Contemporary Art


The Museum of Contemporary Art is one of the five most important contemporary art museums in France. It is housed in a XIXth century building and showcases the world's major art movements  which have taken place since the 1960s. The building itself is a colonial warehouse, a superb pre-industrial nineteenth century edifice. It hosts periodically a great variety of events, including artist talks, concerts, dance and live art performances, workshops and seminars.
 

Lille

Lille, capital of the Nord-Pas de Calais region, is the fourth-largest metropolitan area in France after Paris, Lyon and Marseilles. Its privileged geographical location between Belgium, Germany and England, as well as its high-density transport network (motorway, TGV, Eurostar, airport), make Lille a veritable gateway to Europe.  Only 1 hour away from Europe's major capital cities, Lille has proved itself to be one of Europe’s most attractive and dynamic cities, and this has made it one of the continent's preferred business travel destinations. It hosts the greatest number of international congresses in France, offering a wide range of amenities for all kinds of events.  For example, it provides historic and enchanting settings for congresses and large- or small-scale meetings, receptions and banquets, as well as modern and well-equipped facilities for product launches and presentations. Its vibrant economy is symbolized by the new EURALILLE business centre, built right next to the new high-speed train station of LILLE-EUROPE, where passengers arrive by Eurostar from all over Europe. In addition, Lille boasts an impressive range of well-preserved historical sites and museums including the Palace of Fine Arts, which is the second French museum after the Louvre. Lille attracts millions of visitors each year, thanks to its quality of life, dynamic economy, colorful architecture, warm hospitality and exceptional gastronomy.

Fine Arts Museum

Founded in 1792, the Lille Fine Arts Museum is one of Europe’s greatest museums and is the second largest museum in France after the Louvre. It houses, in its imposing XIXth-century building, collections of European paintings, a Prints and Drawings Room, a collection of Antiquities, a medieval and Renaissance collection, XVIIth and XVIIIth century ceramics, XIXth century French sculptures and XVIIIth century scale models. The paintings department contains more than 650 works, among which the Flemish School (Brueghel and Bosch workshops, altar pieces by Rubens, Van Dyck and Jordaens) is particularly well represented, as is Dutch painting (Emmanuel de Witte, Jacob Van Ruisdael and Pieter Lastman). The Medieval and Renaissance department has recently been enhanced by the addition of a contemporary setting that helps visitors to look at its masterpieces (Donatello, Dirk Bouts) from a completely different perspective. It is also worth mentioning the Italian painting section, which houses works by Veronese, Tintoretto, and Bassano, and the Spanish section, which displays masterpieces by Goya, Greco, Ribera and Valdes Leal. Finally, we come to the museum's drawings section which, with a total of 4,000 pieces, including 30 drawings by Raphael, is one of the greatest collections in the world.

Euralille

Euralille is the third French business district after La Défense (Paris) and Part-Dieu (Lyon). It covers an area of nearly 110 hectares and offers over 740 000 m² space for offices, shops and housing. This district is served by metro, tram and the Lille Flandres and Lille Europe train stations, making it a strategic business hub. This immense complex possesses one of the largest convention centers in Europe, Lille Grand Palais, which houses three inter-connecting areas under the same roof: congress, exhibition and the Zenith Arena. Uniquely for a convention center in Europe, the 45,000 m² surface area can be shaped, shifted and shared to fit your projects. With 3 auditoriums, 28 committee rooms and the Zenith Arena, Lille Grand Palais can accommodate events for between 50 and 5,000 participants.

Palais Rihour

Rihour Palace is one of the most visited monuments in Lille.  Built in 1452 by Philippe le Bon, the third Duke of Burgundy, this masterpiece of Flemish Gothic architecture has today been reduced to only a few vestiges. Numerous fires have ravaged the building throughout its history. The only area to have escaped the flames was the mess hall, with its beautifully vaulted ceiling, and the brick and stone chapel.

Musée de l'Hospice Comtesse

The Musée de l'Hospice Comtesse is housed in an old hospital founded by Jeanne, Countess of Flanders, for the poor of the city in 1237. The collection features XVIIth and XVIIIth century art, woodwork, ceramics, tapestries and musical instruments. The museum also focuses on Lille's history, particularly that of the revolution, and the story of the hospital and the monks that ran it.

Nice

Situated between the sea and the mountains in the southeast of France, 30km from the Italian border, Nice is the economic capital of the Côte d'Azur. The border town has come under the control of many different powers in its history. It was ruled successively by Provence, Savoy and Piedmont before becoming definitively French in 1860. Its sudden expansion in XXth century had a significant impact on its economical, political, cultural and social activities.This sunny city boasts fine architecture and a rich array of monuments, which has led to tourism and trade taking a prominent place in its economy. Thanks to a range of available actvities, including diving, visiting museums, golf, gastronomy and theater, one never gets bored in Nice. Featuring the second largest hotel capacity in France and attracting 4 million tourists every year, this destination is also the second most popular MICE destination in the country after Paris, thanks to its modern, suitable infrastructure.

Nice Opera House

Located in the old town district, close to the Nice-Ville train station, the Nice Opera House was once called “The little Maccarani theater”. Boasting a chorus, a ballet and a philharmonic orchestra, the opera is particularly appreciated for the quality of its lyric performances. Inaugurated in 1885 and listed as a historical building, the Opera possesses over 1000 seats.

Nice Observatory

Listed as a historical monument, Nice Observatory is a University Research Centre built in 1878. It hosts many researchers and engineers. Its great dome, which was designed by Gustave Eiffel, and its 35 hectare forest park overlook the city of Nice and a section of the seafront. Open to the public since 1987, Astrorama offers visitors a show under the stars, guided tours and many other activities, and also serves as a venue for conferences and exhibitions.

Nice congres acropolis

Inaugurated in 1985 by the architects Buzzi, Bernasconi and Baptiste, the Nice Convention Center is located in the heart of the city, just 15 minutes from the airport. Acropolis Congress and Acropolis Exhibition feature 5 Auditoriums ranging in capacity from 250 to 2,500 seats, 50 meeting rooms which can accommodate up to 800 delegates, and 26,000 m² of exhibition space. Moreover, the configuration of these facilities is flexible and easily adaptable to even the most demanding requests. Its large surface area, its cutting-edge equipment and its carefully studied architecture make it one of the most functional Convention and Exhibition Center in Europe and the most prestigious in the city.

Jardins Suspendus Du Paillon

Les Jardins Suspendus du Paillon were created in the 1973 above the bus station and car parks just above the Paillon river.These interesting hanging gardens cover a total area of 16,283 square meters. The upper level of the gardens features a number of sunshade pine trees and Phoenix palms,  which are suspended over sections of the lower level devoted to Mexican, tropical and Asian vegetation. Camellias, azaleas and rhododendrons adorn the paths. A dense wall of leafy trees isolates the garden from the outside world and creates a pleasant atmosphere of cosiness and tranquillity.

Château de Valrose

The Gothic castle of Valrose and its 10 hectare park were built in 1870, under the request of Baron Paul Von Derwies.The beautiful building is the most extravagant on the Mediterranean Riviera and originally featured a theater, later transformed into a concert hall.The castle is richly decorated with fresco ceilings, crystal chandeliers and the paintings of master artists. Today, this site  houses the University of Nice Sophia-Antipolis.