Discovering France: Geography, Travel Information, and Fun Facts

Bonjour! In this post, we’ll be answering all your questions about this beautiful country, from its location and capital to its currency, time zones, and culture. So, sit back, relax, and let’s dive into everything you need to know about France.

Geography & Demographics

Where is France located?

France is located in Western Europe, bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Monaco, Spain, and Andorra. It also has coasts on the Mediterranean Sea, the Atlantic Ocean, and the English Channel.

What is the capital of France?

The capital of France is Paris. Paris is known for its iconic landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, and Notre-Dame Cathedral, as well as its rich history, art, and culture.

What countries border France?

France is bordered by the following countries:

  1. Belgium
  2. Luxembourg
  3. Germany
  4. Switzerland
  5. Italy
  6. Monaco
  7. Spain
  8. Andorra

How many regions are in France?

There are 18 regions in France. These regions are further divided into departments. As of January 1, 2016, France was divided into 13 regions following a reorganization. In January 2016, the regions of France were restructured and reduced to 12 regions. Here is the list of the 18 regions of France as of 2016:

  1. Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
  2. Bourgogne-Franche-Comté
  3. Bretagne
  4. Centre-Val de Loire
  5. Corse (Corsica)
  6. Grand Est
  7. Hauts-de-France
  8. Île-de-France
  9. Normandie
  10. Nouvelle-Aquitaine
  11. Occitanie
  12. Pays de la Loire
  13. Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur
  14. Guadeloupe (overseas region)
  15. Martinique (overseas region)
  16. Guyane (overseas region)
  17. La Réunion (overseas region)
  18. Mayotte (overseas region)
The Rolling Hills of Burgundy

How many people live in France?

As of 2021, the population of France is estimated to be around 67 million. France is the largest country in the European Union by land area and the third-largest in population size, after Germany and the United Kingdom. France is known for its rich history, art, culture, and cuisine. It is also a popular tourist destination, attracting millions of visitors each year to cities like Paris, Marseille, Nice, and Lyon. France is a diverse country with a mix of rural and urban areas, as well as a variety of landscapes ranging from mountains to coastlines.

What is the size of France?

The total land area of France is approximately 551,695 square kilometers or 213,011 square miles. France is the largest country in the European Union and the third-largest country in Europe after Russia and Ukraine. It has a population of around 67 million people. France is known for its diverse landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and world-renowned cuisine.

What is the longest river in France?

The longest river in France is the Loire River, which flows for approximately 629 miles (1,013 kilometers) from its source in the Massif Central region to the Atlantic Ocean. The Loire River is often referred to as the “last wild river” in France, as it is relatively untouched by human development along much of its course. It is known for its picturesque scenery, historic chateaux, and diverse wildlife habitats. The Loire Valley, through which the river flows, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a popular tourist destination in France.

What is the highest mountain in France?

The highest mountain in France is Mont Blanc, which stands at 4,809 meters (15,777 feet) above sea level. It is located in the Alps on the border between France and Italy. Mont Blanc is a popular destination for mountaineers and outdoor enthusiasts, with many routes leading to its summit. The mountain is also famous for its picturesque views, glacial features, and challenging terrain. Additionally, Mont Blanc is part of the Mont Blanc massif, which includes several other prominent peaks such as Aiguille du Midi and Aiguille du Plan.

Useful Travel Information

What currency does France use?

France uses the Euro (€) as its official currency. Before the Euro was introduced, the French franc (FRF) was the official currency of France. The Euro was adopted as the official currency in 2002, replacing the French franc. France is a member of the Eurozone, which is a group of European Union countries that have adopted the Euro as their official currency.

What languages are spoken in France?

The official language of France is French. In addition to French, several regional languages are spoken in France, such as Breton, Corsican, Occitan, Alsatian, and Basque. Additionally, due to immigration, there are also many people in France who speak other languages such as Arabic, Portuguese, Italian, and English.

What time zone is it in France?

France has multiple time zones, but most of the country operates on Central European Time (CET), which is UTC+1. During daylight saving time, France switches to Central European Summer Time (CEST), which is UTC+2.

Practical Information

What side of the road do they drive on in France?

In France, they drive on the right side of the road. In addition to driving on the right side of the road in France, it is important to remember that traffic signs and signals may be slightly different from what you are used to in your home country. It is also recommended to exercise caution when driving in urban areas with narrow streets, roundabouts, and heavy traffic. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the local driving laws and regulations before getting behind the wheel in France.

What is the drinking age in France?

The legal drinking age in France is 18 years old. In France, it is common for minors aged 16 or older to consume alcohol with a meal in the presence of their parents or legal guardians. However, purchasing alcohol (including wine and beer) in stores or bars is restricted to those who are 18 or older. It is important to drink responsibly and adhere to local laws and customs regarding alcohol consumption.

How to call France from USA?

To call France from the USA, follow these steps:

1. Dial the international access code for the USA, which is “011.”
2. Dial the country code for France, which is “33.”
3. Dial the area code (excluding the initial “0”) and phone number of the person you are trying to reach in France.
4. Remember to include the correct time difference between the USA and France when making your call.

Example: To call a landline in Paris, France you would dial 011-33-1-xxx-xxxx (replace “xxx-xxxx” with the actual phone number).

If you are calling a mobile phone in France, you may need to dial a different area code. Make sure to check with the person you are trying to reach for the correct number to dial.

Holidays in France

What is the climate in France?

France has a varied climate, with a temperate climate featuring cool winters and mild summers. Regional variations include an oceanic climate in the north, a continental climate in central regions, and a Mediterranean climate in the south. The country experiences four distinct seasons, with snow in winter and hot summers, depending on the region.

When is the best time to visit France?

The best time to visit France is considered to be during the spring (April to June) and fall (September to October) seasons. During these months, the weather is mild, and attractions are less crowded compared to the peak tourist season of summer. Additionally, many cultural events and festivals take place during spring and fall in France, making it an ideal time to experience the country’s vibrant culture.

If you are looking to visit specific regions in France, the best time to visit may vary. For example, if you are planning to visit the French Riviera or Provence, the summer months of June to August are popular due to the warm weather and beach activities. The winter months of December to February are ideal for skiing in the French Alps.

What is France famous for?

France is famous for many things, including:

1. French cuisine, such as croissants, baguettes, cheese, and wine.
2. The Eiffel Tower in Paris, which is a symbol of France and a popular tourist attraction.
3. French fashion and luxury brands, such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Dior.
4. The Louvre Museum in Paris, which houses famous works of art like the Mona Lisa.
5. The French Riviera, known for its beautiful beaches and glamorous resorts.
6. The Tour de France, one of the most prestigious cycling races in the world.
7. French art and literature, with famous artists like Monet and writers like Victor Hugo.
8. The Palace of Versailles, a UNESCO World Heritage site and former royal residence.
9. French language and culture, known for its elegance and influence around the world.
10. The French Alps, known for skiing, hiking, and stunning landscapes.

What to do in France?

1. Visit iconic landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy, and the Palace of Versailles outside of Paris.
2. Explore the beautiful wine regions of Bordeaux, Burgundy, and Champagne and take a wine tasting tour.
3. Enjoy the world-renowned culinary scene by dining at Michelin-starred restaurants, trying local specialties like croissants and foie gras, and visiting local markets for fresh produce.
4. Explore the charming villages and towns of Provence, the French Riviera, and the Loire Valley.
5. Visit museums such as the Louvre in Paris, the Musée d’Orsay, and the Centre Pompidou.
6. Go skiing in the French Alps or relax on the beaches of the French Riviera.
7. Attend a music or cultural festival like the Cannes Film Festival or the Avignon Theatre Festival.
8. Take a river or barge cruise along the Seine River, Rhône River or the canals in Burgundy or the South of France
9. Visit historic sites such as the D-Day beaches in Normandy, the Palace of the Popes in Avignon, and the medieval city of Carcassonne.
10. Shop for designer fashion in Paris, explore local markets for antiques and crafts, and sample delicious pastries and chocolates.

L'Impressionniste cruising

What to wear in France?

When traveling to France for a holiday and looking for comfort and relaxed style, consider packing versatile pieces that can easily transition from day to night. Here are some suggestions for what to wear:

1. Comfortable and stylish walking shoes such as sneakers, flats, or sandals with good support for exploring the cities and tourist attractions.

2. Light and breathable clothing like cotton or linen tops, t-shirts, and loose-fitting pants or shorts for warm days.

3. Cardigans or lightweight sweaters for cooler evenings or visits to churches and museums, which may have strict dress codes.

4. A versatile jacket or coat that can be layered over your outfits for added warmth and style.

5. Accessories like scarves, hats, and sunglasses to add a touch of flair to your outfits and protect you from the sun.

6. A stylish backpack or crossbody bag to carry your essentials while sightseeing.

7. Opt for a mix of neutral colors and casual pieces that can be easily mixed and matched for different outfits.

8. Consider packing a versatile dress that can be dressed up or down for dinners or evenings out.

Remember to check the weather forecast before your trip to ensure you pack accordingly and plan for any unexpected changes in weather. The key is to prioritize comfort while still maintaining a relaxed and stylish look during your holiday in France.

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