Facts about France

France stretches from the Mediterranean to the English Channel and the North Sea and from the Rhine to the Atlantic From northeast to southwest, France shares borders with Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Monaco, Spain and Andorra. By area, France is the largest country in Western Europe and the third largest in Europe. France has the fourth largest number of UNESCO World Heritage sites and France is the country in the world with the most tourists.

France is, in many ways, not just a country, it is a way of life. The country has shaped the world with its culture, cuisine, fashion, artists and scientists. On a holiday in France you will be able to experience world-class art galleries, exciting museums, ancient Roman sites and beautiful Renaissance castles. When you get hungry you will be able to taste legendary dishes along the way and you can enjoy world-famous wines and liqueurs.

What to see in France?

Paris is the capital of France and it is the world’s most visited city. The city center has been described as an “open-air museum” with stunning buildings in traditional style and beautiful wide boulevards. Everyone knows the Champs Elysees, which is the city’s central street connecting the Arc de Triomphe at one end and the Place de la Concorde at the other end. Paris has several major art museums, such as the Louvre, the most visited art museum in the world. The Musée d’Orsay is located in a converted railway station. Those interested in architecture and history do not have to go very far outside Paris to visit the beautiful and impressive palaces of Versailles and Fontainebleau.

There are many other popular tourist destinations in France. The French Riviera, Cote d’Azure where there is sunshine almost all year round, it is the second most visited destination in France. Not far from the Riviera is another very popular destination, namely Provence with the historic and famous cities of Avignon, Arles and Nimes. Many come to France to visit the wine regions which also have picturesque towns and beautiful landscapes. The main regions are Burgundy in central France, medieval Bordeaux in the southwest, the Loire Valley and the Champagne region in the northeast. Skiing in France is fantastic with many famous world class ski resorts located in the French Alps.

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    Good to know in France

    The largest cities in France

    What are the largest cities in France ? Search among largest cities Find answers on our fact pages where you can see a list of the...

    Questions and answers

    The language of France?

    What language is spoken in France?

    French is the official language with various dialects. Some in the southwest speak Basque, while Breton is spoken in Brittany, in both places of course French is also spoken.

    French people are historically known / infamous for consistently only wanting to speak French, however, this has changed with the younger generation and in most places you will be able to manage to speak English.

    How many inhabitants does France have?

    The total population of France is approximately 66,700,000

    What is the capital of France?

    The capital and largest city of France is Paris

    When did France join the EU?

    France is a member of the EU, the country was admitted on 24 August 1949

    Is France part of Schengen?

    Yes, France has been a member of the Schengen cooperation since 26 March 1995

    Is France a member of NATO?

    Yes, France has been a member of the NATO Alliance since 1955

    What time is it in France?

    France has a time zone which is UTC +1. So no matter where you are in the country, the time is the same.

    Can you drink tap water in France?

    There are generally no problems with drinking the water from the taps. Those who want to be on the safe side buy bottled water, it is not very expensive and it can be bought in kiosks everywhere.

    When is the best time to travel to France?

    When is the best time to holiday in France?

    The best travel time depends on where you are going on holiday in France. It is a large country and the weather varies from the northern to the southern part of the country.

    If you are going to Paris it is recommended to travel in the spring, it is a pleasant time to travel where it is not crowded and the prices are generally lower.

    The south of France has mild weather almost all year round. Summer is hot and dry, spring and autumn are the wettest periods but usually there are not large amounts of rain.

    If you are going to the ski resorts in the French Alps the best month is January, this is where there are the fewest people and generally cheaper prices. If you are going on a hike in the Alps, late spring to autumn is the best time to visit the French Alps.

    It can be very hot on the south coast of Brittany in July and August and generally Brittany has a mild climate. Normandy also has a generally mild climate. The summer high season for both regions, if you want to avoid many tourists, May and September are a good time to visit the regions.

    Is it safe to travel in France?

    France is generally a safe country to travel in. However, like most other countries, France has problems with pickpockets in the big cities. It is no different than if you are on holiday at home, be careful and be sensible then you have a safe holiday in France.

    Family holiday with children in France

    If you need to take children on holiday to France, here is a link to experiences for children and families.

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