THE CITY of Paris in France is known as a very iconic city and is often revered as a symbol of romance, fashion, culture, and history. Visiting the international center of Paris is always a good idea, however, it is best to use the City of Lights as a starting point for exploring other cities in France.

Here are five other cities worth visiting in France besides the capital, according to Travel Noire’s report:
1. Lyon
Located in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of France, Lyon is about a two-hour train ride from Paris. Locals call this Renaissance City the European Capital of Gastronomy because there are more than 90 Michelin-starred restaurants in Lyon, from Bib Gourmand to Two Stars.

For a panoramic view of Lyon, walk to the top of the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière. After reaching the top, tourists will see an impressive view of the city.

The city also has museums three times its size, according to the Michelin Guide. Must-visit museums are the Museum of Fine Arts, the Musée d’art contemporain de Lyon, dedicated to contemporary art, and the Musée des Beaux-Arts, one of the largest museums in France.

2. Nice
Nice is located along the French Riviera, and while it’s often thought of as a destination for luxury experiences, it’s also budget-friendly. Nice sits along the Mediterranean Sea with beautiful beaches and busy weekend markets to visit in the morning and evening, where tourists will find fresh flowers and baked goods.

For nightlife, start the evening on the rooftop to enjoy the sunset. The best rooftop bars in Nice are Le Plongeoir, Farago on the Roof, Movida and La Terrasse.

3. Bordeaux
The high-speed train from Paris will take tourists to Bordeaux in approximately two hours. Bordeaux is one of the most famous cities in France, due to its reputation as a wine producer.

Bordeaux produces more than 158 million gallons of wine each year. More than 85 percent of the wine produced in Bordeaux is red, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Book a spot on a bike tour to see as many wineries as possible with a local guide.

Another main attraction in Bordeaux is the Famous Water Mirror. When people go out to have fun, the most interesting thing is to photograph the amazing architecture.

4. Grenoble
Grenoble is considered the capital of the French Alps; it is located at the foot of the mountains between the Drac and Isère rivers.

Grenoble is a city in the mountains full of natural parks, so be prepared for activity. There are many things to do in Grenoble including winter sports, delicious food and visiting museums.

It is a great city for walking and cycling. Tourists can rent bicycles for less than US$5 per day. The Grenoble cable car is an exciting adventure that takes tourists to the Bastille of Grenoble, an old fortress that offers incredible views and ancient ruins.

5. Aix-en-Provence
Aix-en-Provence is an ancient rural town founded by the Romans in 123 BC. Apart from the warm weather, locals say that living in the city is like living in an open-air museum.

The city of Aix-en-Provence is full of colorful art and architecture, friendly cafes, and some of Europe’s most amazing museums. Cours Mirabeau is a popular neighborhood in Aix-en-Provence for people to explore the authentic feel of the ancient European city.

Another museum in Aix-en-Provence is the Granet Museum. In addition to being one of the most beautiful museums in the area, the Granet Museum also houses incredible collections of Picasso, Monet, Van Gogh and many more. [antaranews/photo special]