France Without the Flights: 5 Virtual French Field Trips
Virtual Tours of France Without Leaving Your Home
France drew in 90 million tourists in 2018, making it one of the hottest vacation spots in all of Europe. From the glamorous French Riviera to Paris, the City of Love, France is full of eye-catching landmarks and postcard-worthy views.
Unfortunately, as of late the CDC advises travelers to postpone or cancel all trips because of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. The result? Millions of people have nixed their vacations to France and are missing out on the cultural experience of a lifetime.
Be that as it may, although the situation may have you self-isolating at home, it doesn’t have to keep you away from the fascinating culture of France! But how can you explore this beautiful country without putting yourself and others at risk of COVID-19?
We have the perfect solution: virtual field trips to famous French landmarks!
Since you can’t jump on a flight, then virtual field trips are a quick and easy way to travel around the world from the comfort of your own living room. Pack your digital bags for this virtual field trip to France!
In this article, we put together 5 virtual tours of France that offer first-person views of France’s most famous landmarks, including:
- The Cathedral of Notre Dame Paris
- The Eiffel Tower
- The Louvre Museum
- The Palace of Versailles
Without further ado, let’s virtually fly to our first destination. Bon Voyage!
1. Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris
Our first stop on this virtual tour to France is Paris’s remarkable Cathedral of Notre Dame. One of the most iconic churches in the world, the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris enchants tourists and citizens alike.
From its completion in the 13th century, Notre Dame has stood for nearly 800 years. It has been the home of numerous religious gatherings and important events throughout history.
The most notable event that took place at Notre Dame was the coronation of Napoleon I in the early 1800s. Crowned as the first Emperor of France in more than a thousand years, this revolutionary ceremony took place on December 2, 1804. His wife Josephine was also crowned Empress.
Tragic Notre Dame Fire
Tragically, the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris was ravaged by flames on April 15, 2019, which captured headlines across the globe. This religiously and culturally sacred landmark was undergoing renovations when the accidental fire broke out. The entire world grieved as the cathedral’s vaulted roof went up in smoke.
Although a portion of this massive landmark was severely damaged, most of the sacred relics, art, architecture, and rose windows were rescued just in time. Watch the restoration process behind the scenes.
2. The Eiffel Tower
Let’s hop on a virtual metro and digitally ride to our next destination in Paris: the Eiffel Tower. No monument says “France!” like the Eiffel Tower. In fact, it is quite possibly one of the most recognizable modern structures on Earth.
Construction of the Eiffel Tower
The structure was built by engineer Gustave Eiffel in time for the1889 World’s Fair (to be the entrance, actually!) and was the first building ever to reach the 1,000-foot mark.
But did you know? The Eiffel Tower is important to French culture because it marked the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution, a watershed moment in France’s history. It also demonstrates the pinnacle of engineering and design for its time. The Eiffel Tower truly embodies the spirit of France and is one of the most popular paid attractions in the world.
An Eiffel Tower virtual tour is available for you to see it all . . . from underneath the tower to the tippy-top of this breathtaking structure. In this virtual field trip to Paris, you can even see the tower sparkle at night!
3. The Louvre Museum
So, you want to see the Mona Lisa? What about the Venus de Milo or La belle ferronnière? For art fanatics, the Louvre Museum is a must-see Parisian destination.
Why is the Louvre so Famous?
Originally built as a fortress in 1190, the building then was renovated into a Renaissance-style palace in the 16th century. Finally, during the revolution, it was repurposed as a public museum and named the Napolean Museum, owing to the abundance of loot won by the emperor in his foreign military campaigns and then added to the museum’s collection.
Today, the Louvre is the largest art museum in the world and houses highly valued pieces from:
- Leonardo da Vinci
- Théodore Géricault
- And so many more!
With collections of art and artifacts stretching from the underground moat around the medieval ruins of the original fortress to the magnificent Galerie d’Apollon, the Louvre is a surefire way to get a taste of French history and culture.
If you are searching for a treasure trove of art, look no further than the Paris Louvre Museum virtual tours. In this tour, there are several gallery descriptions and tours available for you to explore. And what’s more? You can even choose to navigate the site in French so you can learn the language while you virtually travel.
4. The Palace of Versailles
Next up, let’s take a ride on the virtual tour bus and digitally drive to the Château de Versailles, just a half-hour outside of Paris. This place is rich in history and was considered the “pièce de résistance” of the French monarchy.
Originally on this spot was a royal hunting lodge and later a small château. But in the 1600s, King Louis XIV turned it into a lavish royal estate. The royal court was moved to the Palace of Versailles, and eventually, the residence was expanded to house the French government. This massive, ornate palace was the ultimate symbol of opulence and oppression in the days leading to the French Revolution.
But that’s not all! This historic site saw both war and peace. Most notably, the palace served as neutral ground for making the peace that ended World War I. Can you guess what we’re talking about?
That’s right, the Treaty of Versailles!
Nowadays, the Palace of Versailles is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to a number of gorgeous 16th to 19th-century art collections… not to mention the STUNNING architecture! You can get an in-depth look at several sections of this landmark by checking out Rick Steves virtual tour of the Palace of Versailles.
5. Le Mont-Saint-Michel
Last, but certainly not least, we are going to embark on a quick virtual jaunt out of Paris and over to a little island off the northwest coast of France. That’s right, we’re taking you to Mont Saint-Michel!
This small, medieval island town is located in Normandy and was established as a monastic community in the 10th century. Through the ages, the strategically placed mount was much fought over by various kingdoms, its natural defenses serving it well. For a long time, it even served as a prison. Because of its cultural significance to Normandy, it was dubbed a historical site in 1874 and restored.
The Tide at Mont Saint-Michel
The highest tides in Europe occur at Mont Saint-Michel, rising as much as 50 feet during the spring tide and coming in at the speed of a galloping horse! The island is by turns surrounded by water or sitting high and dry. Similar to Venice, visitors can observe the tide coming in or going out, the scenery dramatically changing every couple of hours.
Immerse yourself in this video field trip of Mont Saint-Michel and see first-hand just how magnificent this landmark really is.
Enhance Your Virtual Field Trips with the French Language
So, this concludes our virtual field trip to Paris and France. However, you don’t have to stop exploring French culture here! Go the extra mile and learn the French language.
Try the Full Pimsleur French Premium Course for 7 days Free. Only $19.95/month thereafter.
Pimsleur offers proven ONLINE learning methods, so you’ll master French in no time and in the comfort of your own home. Bon Voyage!