Few countries capture the imagination like France.
From the nation's love of good wine (not to mention its cheese) to its lush greenery and sandy beaches, there's a lot about France to love.
Time to step outside of Paris.
While Paris is France's most well-known city, Bordeaux has most of its best wine.
And not only that: it rivals the capital in the food department too.
For the best example of the city's charm, make your way to the Triangle d’Or (Golden Triangle), the meeting point for several of Bordeaux's best architecture.
France's second largest city and the nation's old gateway to Africa and Asia, Marseille's old town dates back to the Ancient Greeks.
The city has its share of famous sites (shout out to Notre Dame de la Garde and Vieux Port) but it's the distinctive culture that marks Marseille out.
In particular, make sure you're outside for l'heure bleue the 'blue hour'), a phenomenon that's attracted painters across the centuries.
Though you can experience it across the world, it's not as beautiful anywhere else as it is in Marseille.
Close to the Belgian border, you'll find Lille, which retains much of its earlier Belgian influences.
For that reason alone it makes for an interesting trip: Lille is what you get when you cross Northern French and Flemish sensibilities.
In other words, Lille is the city with incredible Belgian waffles and divine raclette within a few doors of each other. In particular, check out Meert: a véritable institution lilloise (or a quintessentially Lille-style café to you and me).
If you're even remotely into movies, Cannes needs no introduction. Every year, the Cannes International Film Festival more than doubles the city's 73,000-strong population and fills its beautiful seaside streets with the world's glitziest and most glamorous.
Like Marseille, the old town neighborhood in Cannes is ancient: its cobbled streets are perfect for a stroll on a warm evening. At the same time, the beachfront has some of the most wonderful views in Europe.
For something completely different to Cannes, head to Reims.
A city founded by the Gauls (sadly, not Asterix and Obelix), Reims has France's royal history in its veins. The first French King (sort of: like a lot of pre-modern European history, it's complicated) was crowned in Reims all the way back in 987AD.
The Cathédrale Notre Dame, built in 1211, is one of the city's great landmarks. Make sure you check it out but don't forget, also, that Reims is the capital of the Champagne region of France.
You know what that means...