For the next few weeks, rugby will be the key focus for fans around the world.
The Rugby World Cup is officially kicking off on Friday and for those who have crossed over to France to support the Boks in action, there are plenty of places to see and things to do.
You will regret not exploring the country if you’re already there for the World Cup. So instead of hiding in your hotel room waiting for matches, ditch the covers and head out to explore.
The perk to exploring the country at this time is that the atmosphere is friendly, receptive and electrifying. As the host country, that means more safety measures are in place and the transport system is more efficient.
To truly experience France, take the opportunity to explore these sites in and around the RWC host cities.
We know its a sporting event, but don’t be afraid to unleash your inner traveller.
Bordeaux: For the wine connoisseur
Bordeaux Métropole borders the Garonne River and consists of 28 towns. Half of the metropole is woodland and natural areas.
Bordeaux is the French city with the most protected buildings after Paris as this 3.6km-long UNESCO World Heritage route leads to 27 emblematic or little-known sites and monuments, so there is plenty to see and explore.
Visit: The city is perfect for the wine connoisseur as you can visit the Cité du Vin, a unique cultural venue that gives a different view of wine, telling the story of its culture through an immersive and sensory presentation.
The visit ends at the Belvedere, where you can taste a vintage chosen from a selection of wines from around the world. Panoramic restaurant, cellar, boutique, immersive tasting trail, tasting workshops and lectures complete the experience.
Lyon: For a gastronomy outing
Lyon offers all the charm of the French way of life in a city listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city between 2 rivers, the Rhône and Saône rivers, is at the confluence of wine growing and gourmet regions giving it its gastronomic reputation.
There are close to 20 Michelin starred restaurants so you are bound to go on a gastronomical adventure. There are also trendy new venues and creative young chefs so you'll be amazed by the diversity offered in Lyon.
Where to go: Les Halles Paul Bocuse is known as Lyon’s temple of gastronomy. The region's finest producers are waiting to let you taste their products and share their passion.
Charcuteries, cheeses, quenelles, saucissons briochés and pralines, you name it and its here.
Named in honour of Lyon's most famous chef, Les Halles, it is best to visit in the morning, when the hustle and bustle is at its greatest.
The restaurants welcome you for lunch in the heart of Lyon's ‘belly’!
Marseille: Find your scent
Marseille is the perfect place for the CognoScenti to discover their true scent but before you get carried away by the aroma of Marseille with its bustling life and flower-filled streets, explore the heritage of this city by paying a visit to the Good Mother (Notre-Dame De La Garde).
You can admire the panoramic view of this seaside city from the top of the hill and the Good Mother facing the Mediterranean Sea is visible from all 4 corners of the city.
Visit: To find your scent, visit the Grasse region famous for its enchanting perfumes. Grasse perfumes are listed as an Intangible Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO with emblematic perfume factories such as Fragonard, Galimard and Molinard in Grasse, or at the International Perfume Museum.
Make sure to get your loved ones some scented gifts.
Toulouse: Discover Aeronautics
Dynamic and innovative, the Pink City is known as a place where life is good. Besides being the European capital of rugby, with 5 European Championship titles for its flagship club, Toulouse used to be the capital of the Visigoths and is now a dynamic aeronautics capital.
Visit: Cite de Le’Space and discover real spacecraft, train like an astronaut, travel to the farthest reaches of the cosmos, admire space treasures and discover all the secrets of space.
The exhibition features real spacecraft such as the Mir space station and the Soyuz capsule, a giant-screen IMAX cinema and a Planetarium with interactive, immersive shows.
You can also visit the Aeroscopia Museum which boasts an exceptional collection of legendary aircraft from all eras (Concorde, Caravelle, Super Guppy, A300B.) and a 58m fresco tracing the history of aeronautics.
Nice: Fun in the sun
Nice, capital of Nice County and the Côte d'Azur, is located in a vast hilly cirque overlooking the Mediterranean Sea and at the foot of the Alps. The city, nicknamed Nissa la Bella, has everything to dive into a daydream.
Visit: La Promenade Des Anglias Paris has its Champs-Élysées and Nice its Promenade des Anglais! Running for 8km along the Baie des Anges, this internationally-renowned avenue is a must for visitors and locals.
"La Prom'”, as the people of Nice call it, is also renowned for its many palm trees, its famous blue chairs, resplendent hotels and palaces. It’s perfect for those looking for chilled vibes and a day at the beach.
Paris: Cycle through the city
Have your own Tour de France by cycling through Paris. Paris is known as the city of love and well, the city needs no introduction.
From the Eiffel Tower to Sainte Chapelle, Madame Brassiere, Château de Versailles, Notre Dame de Paris and Louvre Museum, this host city has a lot to explore.
Cycling is a unique way to visit Paris, allowing you to explore the city while enjoying the fresh air. Paris is ideal for cycling enthusiasts, with its wide avenues and numerous cycle paths inviting visitors to let their curiosity and sense of adventure guide them through the city, discovering the city's hidden treasures.
Paris offers top-quality facilities and services for all cyclists, with over 1,000km of cycle paths, numerous bike rental possibilities, routes and guided tours.
∎ This list was sourced from Visit France.