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Location:Western Europe, bordering the Bay of Biscay and English Channel, between Belgium and Spain, southeast of the UK; bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Italy and Spain.
Area:643,801 sq km ; 551,500 sq km (metropolitan France)
Population:68,084,217 (July 2021 est.)
Languages:French (official) 100%, declining regional dialects and languages (Provencal, Breton, Alsatian, Corsican, Catalan, Basque, Flemish, Occitan, Picard); note - overseas departments: French, Creole patois, Mahorian (a Swahili dialect)
Religion:Christian (overwhelmingly Roman Catholic) 63-66%, Muslim 7-9%, Buddhist 0.5-0.75%, Jewish 0.5-0.75%, other 0.5-1.0%, none 23-28% (2015 est.)
Things to Do
1. Louvre Museum
The Louvre Museum is the world's largest art museum and a historic monument in Paris, France.
2. Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower is a wrought-iron lattice tower on the Champ de Mars in Paris, France. It is one of the most recognizable structures in the world.
3. Palace of Versailles
The Palace of Versailles is a royal château in Versailles, France. It is known for its stunning gardens and opulent interiors.
4. Mont Saint-Michel
Mont Saint-Michel is a medieval abbey located on a rocky island in Normandy, France. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and attracts millions of visitors each year.
5. Côte d'Azur
The French Riviera, also known as the Côte d'Azur, is a glamorous and popular coastal region in southeastern France. It is known for its beautiful beaches, luxury resorts, and bustling cities like Nice and Cannes.
6. Château de Chambord
Château de Chambord is a Renaissance castle located in the Loir-et-Cher department in the Centre-Val de Loire region of France. It is one of the most recognizable castles in the world.
Carcassonne is a fortified city in the Aude department in the Occitanie region of France. It is known for its well-preserved medieval walls and castle.
8. Gorges du Verdon
The Gorges du Verdon is a spectacular river canyon located in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region of France. It is often referred to as the 'Grand Canyon of Europe'.
9. Loire Valley Châteaux
The Loire Valley is renowned for its magnificent châteaux, which were once the homes of French royalty. These stunning castles include Château de Chenonceau, Château de Villandry, and Château d'Amboise.
Sainte-Chapelle is a royal chapel located within the Palais de la Cité complex on the Île de la Cité in Paris, France. It is famous for its stunning stained glass windows.
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Climate in France
France has a diverse climate due to its large size and varied topography. The country can be broadly divided into three climate regions: the Mediterranean, the Atlantic, and the Continental. The Mediterranean region has mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers. The Atlantic region has mild winters and cool summers with high rainfall. The Continental region has cold winters and hot summers with less rainfall.
Best time to visit France
The best time to visit France depends on the region and what you want to do during your trip.
- If you want to visit the south of France, such as the French Riviera, the best time to go is from May to September, when the weather is warm and sunny.
- If you want to visit the central and northern regions, such as Paris or the Loire Valley, spring (April to June) or fall (September to November) are the best times to go as the weather is mild and the crowds are smaller.
- If you want to experience the famous wine harvests, the best time to visit is in September and October.
- If you want to see the famous Christmas markets, the best time to visit is December.
- Keep in mind that the best time to visit also depends on your personal preferences, as some people may enjoy the crowds and the heat of the summer, while others may prefer milder weather and fewer tourists. It's always a good idea to check the weather forecast and plan your trip accordingly.
France offers a wide variety of accommodation options, from budget-friendly hotels to luxurious resorts. The country's major cities, such as Paris, Nice, and Lyon, have a large selection of hotels to choose from. You can find everything from budget-friendly hostels and guesthouses to high-end resorts and boutique hotels.
Another popular option for accommodation in France is vacation rentals. These can include apartments, houses, and even castles. Vacation rentals are a great option for groups or families traveling together, as they often offer more space and privacy than hotels. Websites such as Airbnb and Booking.com have a wide variety of vacation rentals to choose from in France.
France is home to thousands of campsites, ranging from small, family-run campsites to large, modern holiday parks. Many campsites offer a variety of amenities, including showers, toilets, and electric hook-ups. Some sites also offer rental accommodations such as RVs, tents, or cabins. Camping can be a great way to experience the beautiful nature in France, particularly for those who enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking and cycling.
Gites, also known as holiday cottages, are a popular accommodation option in rural France, especially in the countryside. Gites are often located in charming rural settings and offer a unique blend of traditional French charm and modern amenities. They are a great option for those who want to experience the French countryside in a more authentic way.
Châteaux and Castles
For a more unique and luxurious experience, you can rent a château or castle in France. These grand properties offer a unique blend of history, luxury, and elegance. They are a perfect option for those looking for an exclusive and luxurious experience.
France has an extensive and efficient public transportation system, which includes trains, buses, and trams. The country's rail network is particularly extensive, with connections to cities and towns across the country. The SNCF (Société Nationale des Chemins de fer Français) is the national railway company, and it offers a variety of ticket options, including single tickets, day tickets, and rail passes.
If you prefer to have more flexibility and freedom, renting a car is a great option. France has an extensive network of highways and roads, which makes it easy to travel between cities and towns. You can rent a car from major car rental companies such as Avis, Europcar, or Hertz. Keep in mind that driving in France requires a valid driver's license and a good understanding of the road rules.
France is a great country for cycling, with well-maintained bike lanes and bike paths throughout the country. Bike rental is widely available in most cities, and many hotels and hostels offer bikes for rent. Bikes can be a great way to get around cities and towns, and they're also a great way to explore the country's beautiful countryside.
Taxis and ride-sharing
Taxis and ride-sharing services such as Uber are widely available in France, and they can be a convenient way to get around. However, prices can vary depending on the city, and in some cases, it can be more expensive than public transportation. Keep in mind that some cities have specific regulations, so it's always good to check before you ride.
France has several airports with frequent flights from various destinations, making it easy to fly to different regions of France. Some of the most popular airports include Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport and Paris Orly Airport.
- The currency in France is the Euro (€).
Cash And Cards
- It is common to use credit or debit cards for most transactions in France. However, it is always good to carry some cash in case cards are not accepted.
- Cash can be obtained from ATMs or exchanged at banks and exchange offices.
- ATMs are widely available in France, especially in urban areas. They accept major international credit and debit cards.
- It is advisable to use ATMs located in banks or busy areas for safety.
- Tipping is not mandatory in France, as a service charge is usually included in the bill.
- However, it is customary to leave a small tip of 5-10% for exceptional service.
Cost Of Living
- The cost of living in France can vary depending on the region. Major cities like Paris tend to be more expensive compared to rural areas.
- Accommodation, dining out, and transportation are some of the main expenses to consider.
- Be cautious of pickpockets in crowded tourist areas, public transportation, and popular attractions.
- Beware of scams involving street vendors, fake petitions, and distraction techniques.
- Always keep an eye on your belongings and be wary of anyone trying to approach you with suspicious intentions.