There isn’t a single traveler in the world that can resist the lure of France and for good reason! With famous authors, poets, painters, musicians and philosophers calling this country home, France is known for being inclined towards the arts. This, coupled with the sheer beauty this country has to offer, makes France one of the top destinations to visit, no matter what kind of travel experience you want to live through.
With thoughts of your next holiday already filling your mind with ideas, it’s time to find out why France is the perfect destination to travel to:
|France Tourism : A Quick Overview|
|Time Zone||UTC + 1|
Paris is almost synonymous with France so there’s no way you can skip visiting this city when travelling through the country. With the iconic Eiffel Tower, top-ranked restaurants, cafes and bistros, and, and abundance of high-fashion boutiques, Paris is definitely a city you must visit. Whether you’re an art lover or not, you must visit the Louvre to witness some of the best works of art mankind’s ever produced – one of the most cited stories at the Louvre is about how even the most skeptical people are left speechless on finally standing in front of the Mona Lisa.
Bordeaux offers a fantastic visual experience, with 19th century mansions standing next to magnificent palaces, the Garonne River and a spectacular view of the cities from the Napoleonic-era Pont de Pierre. Wine lovers can boast of actually visiting the home of one of the most renowned wines in the world. Additionally, Bordeaux offers a shopping experience that almost rivals Paris, with a score of vintage shops and affordable clothing.
Marseille is a cultural melting pot. Although the French considered this city to just be grimy port, it’s recently had its renaissance moment and seen a huge surge in tourism. Having said that though, the sights of the city haven’t changed – they’ve been rebranded, so to speak. Walk down to the harbour to watch local fishermen bring home the catch of the day, walk down the cobbled streets, and get a feel for what life’s like in the more rustic nooks of France.
Finally, if you’re interested in exploring a completely different side of France, head down to Annecy. The city is filled with gorgeous canals that make their way through ancient buildings, and because of this, it’s often called the Venice of Savoie. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a calmer day filled with experiences like biking, swimming, and enjoying a quiet picnic with your significant other.
If your idea of a great vacation centers around soaking up the sun and enjoying rustic countrysides, then you must visit Provence. With a patchwork of quaint farms, rolling hills, lavender fields, sunflowers, and olive groves, Provence redefines France and shifts the focus away from its bustling cities. If you need an additional incentive to visit this place, know this – the landscape is so stunning that many believe that it is what single-handedly spearheaded the impressionist art movement!
The Cote d'Azur or the French Riviera is a popular spot for tourists and locals alike. The Mediterranean coastline filled with colourful homes contrasts beautifully with the clear waters and blue sky. This coastline spans over 30 kilometers and offers access to various French cities that you can cross off your itinerary while soaking up its beauty. You can visit Nice, Monaco, Cannes, and Saint-Tropez while exploring this region.
Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy is a UNESCO-listed abbey. Perched atop a hill, the abbey stretches towards the sky, creating a visual effect that is simply stunning. The drive to Normandy alone is worth the visit – with cow pastures, woodlands, apple orchards, tiny towns and villages dotting the entire landscape.
Mont-Blanc & Annecy in the French Alps offer the most gorgeous views for nature lovers. If you visit this area during the summer, you can go hiking, mountain climbing and cycling. Similarly, during the winter season, you can ski or snowboard, or even take part in a cross-country skiing event if you’re in the mood for adventure!
France has an unshakable reputation for being the fashion capital of the world, with scores of women from different countries striving to emulate the effortlessly chic, French-girl look. So, it goes without saying that you can have a great shopping experience in this country. If you are in Paris, you must head down to Boulevard Saint Germain, Bon Marche, Rue Du Bac, Boulevard Haussmann, and Rue Tronchet.
Lyon offers a blend of high-end brands and street shopping, making it a great city to find your new favourite outfit in. One of the things that makes shopping in Lyon a great experience is that there’s always live music in the streets and the ambience is super lively. Even if you walk away from a store empty-handed, you’ll still manage to be in a great mood. A few of the popular shopping spots include Pôle de Commerces et de Loisirs de Confluence, Place Bellecour, Rue de la République and Lyon Part-Dieu.
Finally, Bordeaux has its fair share of great shopping streets too. Take a break from sampling the best varieties of wine to head down to Rue Sainte Catherine, Mériadeck, L’Intendant Grands Vins de Bordeaux, Quai Des Marques and Aushopping Bordeaux Lac.
There’s so much to try when it comes to French food that you can live a lifetime in Paris and still discover new flavours. French onion soup is so delicious that it is likely to become a staple during your trip. The same goes for the classic Coq au vin, braised chicken accented with wine, salty bacon, garlic, mushrooms, and, depending on the restaurant you’re at, a drop of brandy. Pair it with a red wine for a meal you’ll never forget! Boeuf bourguignon is a dish that’s internationally renowned (thanks to chef Julia Child), and though Indian travellers may find themselves steering clear-off this dish, we believe it’s worth mentioning because of its melt-in-your-mouth meat and splendid flavours.
Of course, adventurous foodies need to try escargot, but do keep in mind that the French consider this as a starter and not a meal in itself. Order some ratatouille to enjoy a more rustic vegetable dish when you’re tired of meat. Finally, help yourself to as many croissants and baguettes as you can because you’re never going to find bread that’s as tasty
France is located in western Europe and shares its boundaries with Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Andorra, Italy and Spain.
The summer sees the peak season of travel in France, with tourists from all over the world (and within the country) visiting its iconic cities. During this time, most hotels and restaurants are incredibly crowded, however, the sunny climate and abundance of activities like hiking, swimming, and trekking in the French Alps make this a popular time to visit.
The shoulder season (March-May and September-November) also experiences pleasant weather and is a great time to visit as there are fewer tourists in the country at this time. Most hotels offer lower rates during these months, making it possible to stick to a reasonable budget while travelling.
The winter season is the low season, however, there is something truly magical about Paris in winter. Although most cities tend to be a bit wet and cold, the low accommodation rates, lack of tourists, and an abundance of warm soups and meals make it worth it.
By Air: While there are quite a few airports in France, you’re most likely to land in Paris at the Roissy – Charles de Gaulle airport. This is the most widely used international airport in the country and caters to all major airlines.
By Boat: If you happen to be travelling in Europe, you can get to France via ferry. There are many ferry operators that can help you facilitate your trip, including DFDS, P&O Ferries, Brittany Ferries, and Condor ferries to name a few.
By Train: You can also get to France via train if you take the Eurorail. This is the most convenient way to travel if you’re planning to backpack across Europe.
During the second world war, France was invaded and occupied by Italy as well as Nazi Germany. As a result, during the occupation period, over 1,60,000 French citizens were marched to death camps. Eventually, Corsica freed itself from the Axis powers, deeply affecting French morale and inspiring other cities to continue to fight. After the war, French sovereignty was restored.
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Population: 66.9 million
Time Zone: UTC+01:00
Area: 643,801 km²
Official Language: French
Capital's calling code: +33
Located in Western France and south-east of the UK, France is a quaint European country and is neighbors with many other European countries such as Spain, Germany, and Italy. The total area of the country is approx. 643,801 km² and its total population are around 66.9 million. Its largest city and Capital is Paris whose total population is around 2 million. Followed by Marseille with a population of 850,000 people. Followed by Lyon, Toulouse, and Nice.
The earliest trace of human life in France can be traced back approx. 50,000 years. Before France came into existence, a country named Gaul existed, where modern-day France is located. Gaul is believed to have been conquered by the Romans in 1st Century BCE, as a result of which the locals adopted the Roman culture and language. The word France is derived from the name of a Germanic tribe called Franks, who began entering Gaul around 400 AD.
The formation of modern France began with the signing of the Treaty of Verdun in 843 that led to that formation of Western Francia. Before the French Revolution, France was ruled by many Nobilities that is of course until 1798 when the monarchy was finally overthrown. The movie Marie Antoinette was loosed based on the French Revolution. A decade after the great French Revolution, France was seized by the infamous dictator Napoleon Bonaparte, who declared himself as the Emperor of France. He waged numerous wars and forcefully occupied a lot of European territories but was ultimately defeated in the Battle of Waterloo.
During World War I, the country suffered tremendous loss, although it emerged victorious. Its fate was no better during World War II either, as it was captured by the Nazis. France was finally liberated in the year 1944, due to the joint efforts of UK, Canada, and the USA. Since then the country has come a long way and has become a key player in the EU. It is the fashion and food capital of the world. The country has set the standard for luxury, style, fashion and fine dining in the world. It is a popular tourist destination and has much to offer the world.
Some interesting fact of the Country that you may not have known:
Contrary to common misconception, The Statue of Liberty was a gift from France to the USA.
The French invented the bikini in the year 1946. They also invented denim jeans.
The Eifel Tower took two years to build. Construction completed in 1989. It was originally commissioned for just 20 years, but it has been around for nearly 120 years.
Population: France has a total population of approx. 66.9 million. Around 85% percent of the French population is of European origin, about 10% is of North African origin, 1.5% is from Asian, and the remaining 3.5% is Black population. In 2017 nearly 27% of all new-born kids in metro cities have at least one of not both parents of foreign origin. Over the last 100 years, there has been large-scale immigration in France. As a result, the population, especially in cities like Paris, is very diverse.
Religion: The main religion in France in Catholicism, around 53.8% of the countries identify themselves as Catholics. Although, the country is very secular, they have banned certain elements of other religions such as the head scarfs that women wear are prohibited in public institutions such as town halls, schools and universities. The other prominent relations in France are, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism and Judaism among other.
Language(s): Although the main language spoken in France is French, about 13 percent people speak English. 16% percent speak German, and another 13% speak Italian. Communication with a native French speaker can be challenging, but nothing a little sign language and google translator can't solve