Recommendations for Weekend Trips for Your Time in France

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Grace Heaton
May 10, 2024

During my semester in Nantes, I definitely took advantage of the ability to easily travel. In Europe, buses, trains, and planes to other places (inside your country of choice or even internationally) are relatively cheap in comparison to U.S. prices. This means you can more feasibly spend time in other places and really make the most of your time abroad.

Here are some recommendations of weekend trips I took during this past semester:

  1. Paris — an incontournable weekend trip if you’re studying abroad in France. Three friends and I took the train from Nantes to Paris Montparnasse on Friday afternoon after our French classes were done and came back Sunday evening. The ride to the City of Light was very easy, just two hours each way. During this fabulous weekend, we walked through the Marais, ate a bunch of delicious croissants, perused the Luxembourg Gardens, drank hot chocolate at Café de Flore, and more!


  2. Marseille — an often overlooked destination in the south. I have a French friend studying in Marseille, and so I took one weekend in early February to go visit her! It was sunny and beautiful, so if you’re looking for a break from the rain, go down south for sure. We spent our time hiking in the Calanques — an incredible national park an easy bus ride from downtown Marseille, exploring farmer’s markets and several Marseille monuments such as Notre Dame du Mont, and pick nicking on the beach.


  3. Lyon — France’s gastronomic capital. This was another city where I stayed with a local. We have family friends in Lyon who showed me around Lyon’s beautiful city center. We visited monuments such as the Notre Dame de Fourvière, Vieux Lyon, and more. While in Lyon, you must eat at a bouchon, a traditional Lyonnais bistro, and try the brioche praliné, a brioche with candied nuts that are died pink on top.


  4. Nice — sun, sand, and blue sky! Two of my friends from Pittsburgh came to visit me in Nantes, and then we all took a quick weekend trip down to Nice before they headed back to the States. One of these friends had studied abroad in Cannes before covid, and so she was eager to go back and show us some of her favorite spots in the region. We stayed in Nice and spent time in Vieux Nice, visited farmer’s markets, and took a day trip to Èze.


  5. Quimper — to make the most of beautiful Bretagne! Quimper is a relatively smaller city in Finistère, one of France’s other départements. This quintessential Breton city is filled with charm and very close to the ocean. I stayed with my French friend and her family for the weekend, and we walked through old town Quimper, had dinner on the beach, and made sure to eat lots of crêpes and galettes.

I spent all of my weekend trips in France, because there’s so much to see in just one country, but you definitely can take advantage of being able to travel to other countries as well! I had friends who traveled to London, Morocco, Scotland, Spain, and more during the semester, so you are definitely not just limited to France. I just wanted to dedicate my semester to seeing as much of the beautiful country that I was in. Happy traveling!

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Grace Heaton

Hi! My name is Grace Heaton. I am thrilled to be studying abroad in Nantes in Spring 2024. I am a junior at Duquesne in Pittsburgh, PA studying Marketing, French, and German. I enjoy traveling, learning languages, and adventuring with friends.

Home University:
Duquesne University
Portland, OR
French Language
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