France Guide

France Guide

France – country information

Country name France
Official name The French Republic
Capital Paris
Continent Europe
Area 551,500 km2
Population 65,844,000 (2014)
Foundation of a state 1/1/0486
The highest mountains Mont Blanc 4807 m (Alps), Vignemale 3298 m (Pyrenees), Monte Cinto 2710 m (Corsica)
Longest rivers Loire 1020 km, Rhone 812 (548) km, Seine 776 km, Garonne 647 km
State system a presidential-type pluralistic republic with a bicameral parliament
The biggest cities Paris (capital) 9,180,000, Lyon 1,290,000, Marseille 1,255,000
Official language French
Ethnicity/National Composition French 93.5%, Portuguese 1.3%, Algerian 1.1%, Spanish 0.4%, Italian 0.4%, other 2.2%
Religious affiliation Roman Catholics 78%, other Christians 4%, Muslims 3.5%, no religion and other 14.5%
Currency 1 euro = 100 cents
gross domestic product (GDP) US$35,295 (2012)
Average life expectancy of the population 79.73 years (2006)
Structure of GDP agriculture, forestry and fishing 5.5%, mining and industry 20.5%, construction 5.5%, services 68.5%

France – neighboring countries

State Capital Area Population
Andorra Andorra la Vella 468 km2 76,098
Belgium Brussels 32,545 km2 11,132,269
Brazil Brasília 8,514,880 km2 201 032 714
Italy Rome 301,318 km2 59,943,933
Luxembourg Luxembourg 2,586 km2 537,000
Monaco Monaco 2 km2 36 136
Germany Berlin 357,022 km2 80,619,000
Suriname Paramaribo 163,820 km2 534 189
Spain Madrid 505,992 km2 46,609,700
Switzerland Bern 41,284 km2 8,112,200

Country overview

According to Abbreviationfinder, France is the largest country in Western Europe by area. In many ways, but especially in culture, it influenced the entire continent, and thanks to its position as a colonial power, also almost the entire world.


The mixed origin of the French population is manifested anthropologically and culturally, especially in the differences between the north and the south, in addition to the regional dialects of ethnic minorities. Standard French dominates the center and north of the country, southerners are distinguished by distinctive nasals. The Provençal dialect is a continuation of the medieval speech of the region, which has also been preserved in written form. The most pronounced linguistic differences are manifested in peripheral areas: Catalan is spoken in the eastern Pyrenees, a dialect of Italian in Corsica, Celtic Breton in Brittany, a strong Germanic dialect survives in Alsace, and Flemish is also found on the border with Belgium. The Basque language, which stretches from northern Spain to the western Pyrenees, is linguistically unique among European languages.

The French Academy – founded in 1635, among other things, to take care of the purity and level of the French language and literature, insists on the exclusive use of expressions with a French basis even in the case of newly used words and terms that are mainly of English origin. So, for example, instead of “le computer” – computer, “1’ordinateur” – binder is used.

Culture and religion

French culture has consistently enriched the world since the time of Charlemagne. Dramatists, painters and sculptors, philosophers, writers, music composers and film directors are included in the long list of outstanding cultural figures of world stature. However, perhaps the most lasting contribution that France is famous for is its cuisine. From traditional country dishes to fashionable “nouvelle” or “haute cuisine”, it has won a dominant position on the boards of the whole world.

France does not have a state religion. The majority of the population adheres to the Roman Catholic Church. There are significant Protestant and Jewish minorities and a significant number of Muslims among immigrant communities from North Africa.

Country data

Location: Europe

Time zone: CET

Total area: 551,500 km²

Land area: 549,970 km²

Water area: 1,530 km²

Length of the state border: 2,751 km

Bordering countries:
Andorra: 55 km
Belgium: 556 km
Germany: 418 km
Italy: 476 km
Luxembourg: 69 km
Monaco: 6 km
Switzerland: 525 km
Spain: 646 km

Coastline: 3,427 km

Capital: Paris

Provinces: 22
Alsace, Aquitaine, Auvergne, Basse-Normandie, Bourgogne, Bretagne, Center, Champagne-Ardenne, Corse, Franche-Comte, Haute-Normandie, Ile-de-France, Languedoc-Roussillon, Limousin, Lorraine, Midi-Pyrenees, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, Pays de la Loire, Picardy, Poitou-Charentes, Provence-Alpes-Cote d Azur, Rhone-Alpes

Electric current: 230 V / 50 Hz

Telephone code: 00 33 (Source: Allcitycodes)

Highest point: Mont Blanc 4,807 m


Population: approx. 66.3 million residents (Countryaah, 2021)

Population growth: 0.4% per year

Population density (residents per km²): 120

Life expectancy: 79 (male), 85 (female)

Official language: French


  • 85% Roman Catholic
  • 2% Protestants
  • 13% other


In the prevailing European climate, the winter months are constantly cold and the summer months are mild. The climate on the Mediterranean coast is more moderate.

The average temperature in summer is 27 ° C and in winter 13 ° C.


Currency / finance

Currency unit: € / Euro (EUR)

Division: 1 € = 100 cents

ATMs: Available in many cities.

International credit cards: These are accepted by many hotels and shops.

Regulations: Foreign and national currencies can be imported and exported in unlimited amounts.

Customs regulations

The following may be carried duty-free:

  • 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 100 cigarillos or 250 g tobacco
  • 1 liter of alcoholic beverages
  • small amounts of perfume

(Information applies to people aged 18 and over)

Tourists and people in transit can bring items of personal use with them duty-free.

Travel advice

After the attacks in Paris in November 2015, checks on people and luggage at train stations and airports were tightened again.

Long waiting times must therefore be expected. Any luggage carried must be marked with name and address. This also applies if you are traveling by train.


Agriculture is one of the largest branches of industry alongside tourism. France is particularly known for exporting its various types of wine.

Industries: automotive, chemical, aircraft, agriculture, mechanical engineering, textiles, tourism

Natural resources: iron ore, fish, wood, coal

Land use:

  • Usable land: 33%
  • Grain cultivation: 2%
  • Pasture area: 20%
  • Forests: 27%
  • other: 18%


Almost all types of plants and trees that exist in Europe can be found in France.

Beech, oak, spruce, pine and fir are just as much a part of it as the various types of grass and moss.


Foxes, chamois, deer, roe deer and wild boar live in the higher regions of the country.

In the forests and plains of the lowlands there are mainly small animal species and many insects.

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