Little by little, one travels far.
— J. R. R. Tolkien, 1892 - 1973
EN
EN

France

Background

France

Although ultimately a victor in World Wars I and II, France suffered extensive losses in its empire, wealth, manpower, and rank as a dominant nation-state. Nevertheless, France today is one of the most modern countries in the world and is a leader among European nations. Since 1958, it has constructed a hybrid presidential-parliamentary governing system resistant to the instabilities experienced in earlier more purely parliamentary administrations. In recent years, its reconciliation and cooperation with Germany have proved central to the economic integration of Europe, including the introduction of a common exchange currency, the euro, in January 1999.

About

France is a country located in Western Europe. Clockwise from the north, France borders Belgium and Luxembourg to the northeast, Germany and Switzerland to the east, Italy to the south-east and Spain to the south-west, across the Pyrenees mountain range (the small country of Andorra lies in between the two countries). The Mediterranean Sea lies to the south of France, with the Principality of Monaco forming a small enclave. To the west, France has a long Atlantic Ocean coastline, while to the north lies the English Channel, across which lies the last of France's neighbours, England (part of the United Kingdom).

France has been the world's most popular tourist destination for over twenty years (81.9 million in 2007) and it's geographically one of the most diverse countries in Europe. Its cities contain some of the greatest treasures in Europe, its countryside is prosperous and well tended and it boasts dozens of major tourist attractions, like Paris, the French Riviera, the Atlantic beaches, the winter sport resorts of the French Alps, the castles of the Loire Valley, Brittany and Normandy. The country is renowned for its gastronomy (particularly wines and cheeses), history, culture and fashion.

Read more about France in our France travel guide »

Featured journals from

France

Lan Stark's Even Greater Than the Last Great Adventure... Adventure!!

by LanStark

(or how I got to travel about, talk to lots of interesting - & most likely not so interesting - people - drink, eat, marvel at things & have a stupendous time!)

Jan 2018 - Apr 2018  »  Australia | United Kingdom | France

Beautiful British Virgin Islands - A Sparkling String of Jewels in the Caribbean Sea

by mwKable

Our Highly Anticipated and Much Needed Honeymoon!

Oct 2014 - Dec 2015  »  United States | France | British Virgin Islands

Travels

by DaniellaAdler

Aug 2011 - Jan 2015  »  Croatia | United States | France | South Africa

My Travel Tips

by vincenttabor

Different How To's When Traveling

May 2013  »  France

Arbury's on tour!

by Arburys

Road trip from UK to visit France and Spain.

Dec 2017  »  France | Spain

past

by travelblog

travels

Dec 2010  »  United Kingdom | France

The Erwin family's Europe trip!

by ErwinEurope

London, England

Jul 2017 - Aug 2017  »  United Kingdom | France | Germany

Paris and beyond

by BobAndSusan

Jun 2017  »  France

Featured hotels in

France

FranceVallon De Valrugues 

9 Chemin De Canto Cigalo
St-Remy-de-Provence 13210
France

Price (US$): $192 - $323 / night

Check rates »

Location. Located in St. Remy de Provence, Vallon De Valrugues is in the historical district and close to Collegiale Saint Martin, Centre d'Art Presence Van Gogh, and St Paul de Mausole. Nearby points of interest also include Mas de la Pyramide and Les Antiques. Hotel Features. Dining options at Vallon De Valrugues include 2 restaurants. A poolside bar and a bar/lounge are open for drinks. Room service is available during limited hours. Recreational amenities include an outdoor pool, an… more »

FranceHOTEL DE CHARME LES AIRELLES 

Le Jardin Alpin
COURCHEVEL FR 73120
Courchevel 73120
France

Price (US$): $2395 - $7450 / night

Check rates »

Seasonal hotel closed until December 13, 2012. Les Airelles in Courchevel 1850 is a mythical location in one of the most exclusive winter resorts in the world, and offers tailor made services in order to ensure the utmost comfort to their guests. Hotel clients are taken care of by a 180 person staff, welcoming regular guests with the same renewed pleasure and newcomers with unreserved enthusiasm. 37 guestrooms and 15 suites equipped with flat screen TV, built in DVD players, sound dock, VOD,… more »

FranceLE BURGUNDY 

6 to 8 Rue Duphot
Paris 75001
France

Price (US$): $700 - $3688 / night

Check rates »

FIVE STAR HOTEL DIVINELY SITUATED IN THE WELL KNOWN RUESAINT HONORE THIS FABULOUS HOTEL OF 51 ROOMS AND 8 SUITESIS THE NEW FRENCH JEWEL D ART DE VIVRE ITS AUTHENTICITYCOMES FROM ITS CONFIDENTIALITY AND ITS PROTECTED COMFORT IT IS AN IDYLLIC PIED A TERRE FROM WHICH TO DISCOVER THEPARIS THE BURGUNDY GETS ITS DISTINCTION FROM AN EXQUISITESERVICE WITH A VERY PERSONAL TOUCH THIS SUMPTUOUS HOTEL ISA NICE LESSON IN LIFESTYLE WITH JUST ENOUGH WARMTH FOR THOSEWHO WANT TO LIVE A LA PARISIENNE AND… more »

FranceHOTEL SAN REGIS 

Rue Jean Goujon 12
Paris 75008
France

Price (US$): $484 - $1238 / night

Check rates »

The hotel San Regis is a peaceful haven of luxury and comfort enjoying an outstanding location near the Champs Elysees, two steps from the luxury shopping of the Avenue Montaigne and the finest exhibitions of the Grand Palais. The gorgeous view on Eiffel Tower and Paris roof tops from the upper floor Junior Suites terraces, gives the feeling that Paris is as your home. The elegant facade and the exquisite architecture original from the 19th century private mansion provide the hotel San Regis… more »

FranceCap d Antibes Beach Hotel 

10 Boulevard Marechal Juin
Cap-d'Antibes
Antibes 06160
France

Price (US$): $367 - $1866 / night

Check rates »

Location. Cap d Antibes Beach Hotel is located on the beach in Antibes's Juan les Pins neighborhood, close to Pinede Garden, Juan les Pins Beach, and Palais des Congres de Juan les Pins. Other points of interest near this luxury hotel include Garoupe Beach and Picasso Museum. Hotel Features. Recreational amenities include an outdoor pool. Spa amenities include massage/treatment rooms, facials, and body treatments. Complimentary wireless and wired high speed Internet access is available in… more »

Browse more hotels in France »

France

Full name
Republic of France
Capital
Paris
Geographic coordinates

46 00 N, 2 00 E

Area comparative

slightly less than the size of Texas

Border countries

Brazil 673 km, Suriname 510 km

Climate

Generally cool winters and mild summers, but mild winters and hot summers along the Mediterranean; occasional strong, cold, dry, north-to-northwesterly wind known as mistral

Terrain

Mostly flat plains or gently rolling hills in north and west; remainder is mountainous, especially Pyrenees in south, Alps in east

Lowest point

Rhone River delta -2 m

Highest point

Mont Blanc 4,807 m

Population

64,768,389

Ethnic groups

Celtic and Latin with Teutonic, Slavic, North African, Indochinese, Basque minorities

Religions

Roman Catholic 83%-88%, Protestant 2%, Jewish 1%, Muslim 5%-10%, unaffiliated 4%

Languages

French (official) 100%, rapidly declining regional dialects and languages (Provencal, Breton, Alsatian, Corsican, Catalan, Basque, Flemish)

Government type

republic

Independence

no official date of independence 486 (Frankish tribes unified under Merovingian kingship); 10 August 843 (Western Francia established from the division of the Carolingian Empire); 14 July 1789 (French monarchy overthrown); 22 September 1792 (First French Republic founded); 4 October 1958 (Fifth French Republic established)

National holiday

Fete de la Federation, 14 July (1790); note - although often incorrectly referred to as Bastille Day, the celebration actually commemorates the holiday held on the first anniversary of the storming of the Bastille (on 14 July 1789) and the establishment of a constitutional monarchy; other names for the holiday are Fete Nationale (National Holiday) and quatorze juillet (14th of July)

Chief of state

President Nicolas SARKOZY (since 16 May 2007)

Head of government

Prime Minister Francois FILLON (since 17 May 2007)

Internet country code

.fr

Internet users

45.262 million; 44.625 million (metropolitan France) (2009)

Airports

474 (2010)

Ports and terminals

Calais, Dunkerque, Le Havre, Marseille, Nantes, Paris, Rouen

Other countries in the region