CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to France Magazines today CLICK HERE

Stay the night in a UNESCO World Heritage Site in France

PUBLISHED: 17:02 21 March 2018 | UPDATED: 17:02 21 March 2018

Hôtel de la Cité in Carcassonne © Abacapress Philippe Louzon

Hôtel de la Cité in Carcassonne © Abacapress Philippe Louzon


Don’t just visit France’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites, stay the night at them! We’ve found 12 places to stay in UNESCO-listed areas of France including Carcassonne, Mont-Saint-Michel and the Canal du Midi

Hôtel de la Cité, Carcassonne, Aude, Occitanie

Stay at this five-star hotel within Carcassonne’s UNESCO-listed medieval citadel and you will experience some of the fairy-tale magic for which the fortified town is famous. Many rooms have views of the cobbled streets, or the ramparts, which also provide an enchanting backdrop for enjoying aperitifs on the terrace. Alternatively, relax in the book-lined library bar, before sampling Michelin-starred cuisine in the La Barbican restaurant. For more luxury, take a treatment in the hotel spa or go for a dip in the outdoor heated pool.

Doubles from €199


Don’t miss

France’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites

14 stylish hotels in France for under €150 a night


Cruise along the Canal du Midi with Minervois CruisersCruise along the Canal du Midi with Minervois Cruisers

Minervois Cruisers, Canal du Midi, Occitanie

On UNESCO’s World Heritage list since 1996, the 240-kilometre-long Canal du Midi is an enduringly popular holiday destination, and what better way to experience it than from the water itself? Minervois Cruisers is based in the hamlet of Le Somail, allowing easy access to must-visits such as Narbonne, Carcassonne and Béziers as well as the vineyards of the Minervois. You can choose from a range of all-steel English canal boats, or wide-beam craft, with spacious accommodation for either two or four people for the narrowboats and up to ten in the wide-beam vessels. No previous boating experience is required.

Prices from £895 per week for a two-berth narrowboat

Hôtel les Terrasses Poulard on Mont-Saint-MichelHôtel les Terrasses Poulard on Mont-Saint-Michel

Hôtel les Terrasses Poulard, Le Mont-Saint-Michel, Manche, Normandy

Explore one of France’s most iconic landmarks in peace after the day trippers have left the rocky islet, by staying at this three-star hotel. It occupies a 15th-century building on Grande Rue, the only street. The 29 bedrooms overlook the bay, the medieval Benedictine abbey or the village, and contain flat-screen TVs with international satellite channels, and a mini-bar. Dine on local fare in the restaurant, including a version of the famous omelette created by Mère Poulard, while taking in panoramic views of the bay, which is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with the island itself.

Doubles from €220, breakfast €19

OFF Paris Seine in ParisOFF Paris Seine in Paris

OFF Paris Seine, 13th arrondissement, Paris

The capital’s first floating hotel is moored alongside the Gare d’Austerlitz and has 58 rooms, some of which overlook the River seine. Walk along the banks, which gained UNESCO status in 1991, and within 20 minutes you will have reached Notre-Dame Cathedral and the Left Bank quarter. After a day’s exploring, relax beside the hotel’s plunge pool, or in the cocktail and tapas bar, where you also take breakfast.

Doubles from €127


Don’t miss

10 of the most beautiful hotels in France

Quiz: How many of France’s iconic attractions have you visited?


Hôtel de Normandie in BordeauxHôtel de Normandie in Bordeaux

Hôtel de Normandie, Bordeaux, Gironde, Nouvelle Aquitaine

Set within the UNESCO-listed, 18th-century district in Bordeaux, this four-star hotel is ideally placed to explore the city’s heritage. The banks of the River Garonne, the Grand Théâtre and other major monuments are a short walk away, and the hotel is opposite the CIVB, which represents the growers, merchants and brokers of the area’s wine industry. The rooms are quiet, elegantly decorated and offer views over the expanse of the Place des Quinconces.

Doubles from €110, breakfast €19

Couvent de la Tourette by Le Corbusier in ÉveuxCouvent de la Tourette by Le Corbusier in Éveux

Couvent de la Tourette, Éveux, Rhône, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes

Get back to basics at the Couvent de la Tourette near Lyon, the last major building completed in France by Modernist architect Le Corbusier, and one of 17 to be listed by UNESCO. Built for a group of Dominican friars, the accommodation has stayed true to its humble origins, with 100 cell-like rooms simply furnished with a single bed, desk, sink and shelves, and a small balcony overlooking the park. The austere exterior is offset by colourful pipes, floors and doors, as is the sparse dining room, where meals are served to guests and to around ten Dominicans who still live and work here.

Rooms from €51 including dinner and breakfast (book two weeks in advance)

Maison Philippe Le Bon in DijonMaison Philippe Le Bon in Dijon

Maison Philippe Le Bon, Dijon, Côte d’Or, Burgundy-Franche-Comté

Lying in the historic centre of Dijon, the Maison Philippe Le Bon is made up of three listed hôtels particuliers, one of which dates from the 15th century. Rooms are decorated in a modern style that complements the period surroundings. Before dining in the traditional restaurant, you can enjoy a glass or two of the famous Burgundy wines in the stunning Gothic courtyard. Historic Dijon is part of the ‘Climats, terroirs of Burgundy’ UNESCO site, which includes parcels of vineyards in the nearby Côte de Nuits and Côte de Beaune.

Doubles from €95

Domaine de la Chartreuse in Gosnay, Pas-de-CalaisDomaine de la Chartreuse in Gosnay, Pas-de-Calais

Domaine de la Chartreuse, Gosnay, Pas-de-Calais, Hauts-de-France

Anyone interested in industrial history will find plenty to discover in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais mining basin, whose pits and towering slag heaps were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2012. Gosnay is a former mining town, 40 kilometres from Lille, and it is where you will find the Domaine de la Chartreuse. It comprises two hotels – the four-star La Chartreuse du Val Saint Esprit and the three-star Best Western La Métairie – as well as three restaurants offering gourmet and traditional food, a fitness room, tennis courts and a 1.5-hectare French garden.

La Chartreuse du Val Saint Espirit, doubles from €155, breakfast €20; Best Western La Métairie, doubles from €121, breakfast €17


Don’t miss

11 secluded retreats in France you will love

Visit France’s most unusual museums


Grand Hôtel la Reine in NancyGrand Hôtel la Reine in Nancy

Grand Hôtel la Reine, Nancy, Meurthe-et-Moselle, Grand Est

Queen Marie-Antoinette once stayed overnight at this palace-turned-hotel, and guests still receive the red-carpet treatment. The classically designed four-star hotel overlooks Place Stanislas, the largest of three 18th-century, UNESCO-listed squares in the former capital of the Duchy of Lorraine. The 51 rooms incorporate styles from the Louis XV, belle époque and art deco periods, and some have views of the square.

Doubles from €129, royal rooms from €219

Gîte le Vintage in Saint-ÉmilionGîte le Vintage in Saint-Émilion

Gîte le Vintage, Saint-Émilion, Gironde, Nouvelle Aquitaine

This gîte occupies a charming old house in the heart of Saint-Émilion and makes the perfect base for exploring the famous wine-making village and the surrounding vineyards, which were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999. Accommodation comprises two bedrooms, a bathroom and an open-plan living area with a fully equipped kitchen, as well as a TV and free Wi-Fi. Shops, bars and restaurants are a short walk away, so you can indulge in a glass or two of the local vintages.

Prices from €150 per night

Saline Royale in Arc-et-SenansSaline Royale in Arc-et-Senans

Saline Royale, Arc-et-Senans, Doubs, Burgundy-Franche-Comté

Built by architect Claude-Nicolas Ledoux for Louis XV in the 18th century, the royal saltworks of Arc-et-Senans are a remarkable feat of architecture and engineering, as well as a pioneering social project, as the factory housed all its workers on site. The three-star hotel within the saltworks has 31 rooms, which have been refurbished by interior designer Jean-Michel Wilmotte, with decor by architect and comic-book artist Damien Cabiron. Both were inspired by Ledoux’s vision of architecture “as pure as that of the sun in its course”. Breakfast and dinner are available at the hotel restaurant.

Doubles from €113, breakfast €10pp

Oscar Hôtel, Le Havre, Seine-Maritime, Normandy

Travel back in time by staying at this 1950s-themed hotel in the UNESCO-listed centre of Le Havre, which was rebuilt in concrete by the architect Auguste Perret after World War II. Architect-designer Vincent Duteurtre renovated the listed building in 2010, giving the 14 rooms a mixture of period and new furnishings, along with modern facilities including free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs. The Oscar’s name refers both to a 1950s style of French modular furniture and to the Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, whose Volcan cultural centre is right opposite the hotel.

Doubles from €43, breakfast €9

Like this? You might enjoy:

10 of the best places to stay in a treehouse in France

10 alternative city breaks in France

Exciting and unusual holidays in France you should try

Article by France Magazine France Magazine

More from Travel

Friday, December 7, 2018

These welcoming and wonderful Christmas markets are just a short trip across the Channel away, so what are you waiting for?

Read more
Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Discover the Christmas delights of northern France with our top five Christmas markets in the region

Read more
Wednesday, November 28, 2018

From lakeside jazz festivals to chestnut fairs, get stuck in with these events taking place across France in December 2018

Read more
Thursday, November 22, 2018

You can ditch the airport queues and long drives, and hit the rails instead, says Daniel Elkan. The French Alps has an abundance of ski resorts that suit families, easily accessed by train.

Read more
Monday, November 19, 2018

Budget travellers can pay nothing to stay at bed and breakfasts around the world during Barter Week in exchange for manual, creative or teaching activities

Read more
Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Find out when your favourite French ski resort opens and closes this year and start planning your ski trip to France

Read more
Winter trips
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Find out what events are taking place in France to commemorate the Armistice centenary.

Read more
Friday, October 26, 2018

The full route of the 2019 Tour de France was announced in Paris on 25 October

Read more
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

From hot air balloon gatherings to scallop festivals, there’s always something fun and unique going on in France in November

Read more
Monday, October 22, 2018

Visit historic cities, Western Front battlefields and Unesco heritage sites on a journey through Hauts-de-France

Read more
Subscribe for

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

France Forum

Questions about France? Visit our free France forum to get help and advice from thousands of other Francophiles and expats. Topics include: property, tax, law, travelling, pets, education, healthcare and much more.

Join the forum

Most Read

Join us on social media

France magazine
Living France magazine
French Property News magazine

Enter our competitions

Win books, DVDs, travel and even holidays in France in our great competitions! Take a look at our latest competitions…

Enter now