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River Seine

As romantic, beautiful and iconic as the glorious city which it drifts through, the Seine is arguably France's most well-known river, the subject of songs, poems and art throughout the ages. Outside the capital, the Seine takes in some spectacular scenery and indeed some of France's best; quaint villages, lonely farmlands and forested cliffs all make an appearance, as do fascinating historical ruins, exceptional cuisine and unique French culture.

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Countries of the Seine

The Seine is located in the north of France, beginning at its source from Montereau-Fault-Yonne and wending its way through the forestry of national parks and classic French towns on its way to Paris. The original City of Light was founded on the banks of the Seine by the Parisii tribe before being developed into a veritable city known as Lutetia by Roman conquerors. The Seine played a vital role in the city's development, forming one of the major trade routes through France.

From Paris, the Seine drifts through several important French cities, including Rouen, before it exits into the English Channel as it flows out at Le Havre.

Highlights of the Rhine

The main highlight of the Rhine is naturally the capital city of France, Paris. Found on both banks of the Seine in the Île-de-France region, Paris is one of the biggest, most famous and most visited cities in the whole of Europe. An eclectic melting pot of different cultures, brushing shoulders with one another, a key trait linking each neighbourhood is a unique and proud sense of sophistication and refinement. One need only take a stroll down the glittering Champs-Élysées or the prestigious Saint Germain-des-Prés district to see the luxury and style which so defines Paris. Paris can also be described as a truly international city, with many of its 'arrondissements' or quarters catering towards a specific cultural touch including a Chinatown district and the Latin Quarter.

Many iconic sights here need little or no introduction. The Eiffel Tower stands as noble as ever, while the Arc de Triomphe is as impressive as always. High upon the famous Montmartre hill, the famous and reverent Basilica of the Sacré-Cœur gazes of the wonderful Parisian skyline. The crystalline pyramid in front of the Louvre is an excellent introduction to the wonderful artworks held inside the hallowed walls of this prestigious art gallery. Paris truly is a city with something on each and every corner.

In terms of other highlights, the small villages and towns all along the riverbanks of the Seine, right up to its exit at Le Havre, are delightful to discover and explore. Pont L'Évèque is a classic example. Famous for its cheese, the streets of this town are full of charming small houses, seemingly frozen in time and painted in cheery greens, blues and yellows. Rouen is another excellent place to visit on the Seine. It is hard to overstate the elegance and refined architecture of this remarkable city, no more evident than in the glorious Gothic cathedral. Honfleur, by contrast is a homelier, cosy affair with a relaxed riverfront and harbour.

Helpful tips

Naturally, the main language used in France is French. In the larger cities, and in particular Paris, many people may speak English whereas in the smaller, more isolated areas, it may be harder to find help with the language. The currency used in France is the euro. 

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