France is the world’s most visited destination, and is visited every year by 85 million tourists. Here you will find both beaches, alps, vineyards and a wealth of cultural riches. Few countries have such a rich cultural offer as France.
|State:||republic within the EU|
|Surface:||551 695 km|
|Population:||63.9 million (2012)|
|Population density:||94 residents per km²|
|Life expectancy:||81 years|
1 euro = 9.76 kr
|GDP per capita:||$ 34,200 (2010)|
|Time difference:||+0 hours|
|Electricity:||220 V AC, 50Hz|
|National Day:||July 14|
|Country area code:||33|
|2-Letter country abbreviation:||FR (See more abbreviations on Abbreviationfinder)|
|Business:||service sector 70%, industry 28%, agriculture 2%|
|Climate:||temperate; cold winters and mild summers; warmer on the Mediterranean coast|
In eastern France are Chamonix and the French Alps. One of the few ski resorts with more visitors in the summer than in the winter. This is because the place is also very popular with climbers and hikers.
The French Riviera is perhaps Europe’s most mythical coastal strip, and is located in the south of France. Here are places like Nice, Antibes, Cannes and St Tropez. In other parts of the country there are plains and plateaus, rolling green hills such as those in Normandy and Provence, the cliffs of Brittany and a plethora of historical monuments.
Few cities in the world are as mythical as Paris. The Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe, the Champs-Élysees, Montmartre, the Eiffel Tower and Montparnasse are some of the popular places to visit in Paris.
French cuisine is one of the finest in Europe. Cooking and dining are part of French culture and its way of life. Many people are probably familiar with wine districts such as Bordeaux and Champagne. French wines still have a special position among connoisseurs for their sophisticated taste.
France is also a leading country in the field of film art, where French film attracts filmmakers worldwide. Historic sites are often used in the films, such as in Amelie from Montmartre. The different and varied landscape of Brittany has attracted many filmmakers around the world. The Cannes Film Festival is the world’s largest film festival.
Films such as The Last Tango in Paris, Bourne Identity and French Connection are largely shot in France. Several James Bond films such as “Thunderball”, “Diamond Fever”, “Living Target”, “GoldenEye”, “Moonraker”, “Tomorrow Never Dies” and “The World Is Not Enough” have also been shot in France.
France also has a number of overseas administrative areas, which are remnants of the country’s colonial rule. Several of them are largely self-governing, with the exception of the French Southern Territories and Clipperton, which are more or less uninhabited.
The following objects in France are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The year in which the item was added to the list is indicated in parentheses.
- Chartres Cathedral (1979)
- Mont-Saint-Michel and its bay (1979)
- The Palace of Versailles (1979)
- The cave paintings in the Vézere Valley (1979)
- The Church and the Hill in Vézelay (1979)
- The Theater with Surroundings and the Arc de Triomphe in Orange (1981)
- The castle complex in Fontainebleau (1981)
- Fontenay Cistercian Monastery (1981)
- Roman and Romanesque monuments in Arles (1981)
- Amiens Cathedral (1981)
- The saltworks in Salins-les-Bains and Arc-et-Senans (1982)
- Stanislas, Career and Alliance Square in Nancy (1983)
- Nature reserves Cape Girolata, Cape Porto and Scandola in Corsica (1983)
- Saint-Savin Church on the Gartempe River in Poitou (1983)
- Aqueduct Pont du Gard (1985)
- The Old Town of Strasbourg (1988)
- The Cathedral, the Saint-Remi Monastery and the Tau Palace in Reims (1991)
- Buildings along the shores of the Seine in Paris (1991)
- Bourges Cathedral (1992)
- Old Town of Avignon (1995)
- Canal du Midi, the canal unites the Atlantic with the Mediterranean (1996)
- Old Town of Carcassonne (1997)
- The mountain landscape of Mont Perdu in the Pyrenees (1997)
- Old Town of Lyon (1998)
- French section of the Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage route (1998)
- Beffroier, a kind of bell tower, in Belgium and France (1999)
- The cultural landscape in Saint-Émilion (1999)
- The Loire Valley between Sully-sur-Loire and Chalonnes (2000)
- City of Provins (2001)
- Le Havres center, rebuilt by Auguste Perret (2005)
- The historic center of the city of Bordeaux (2007)
- Fortress of Vauban, twelve sites along the French border (2008)
- The city of Albi, with 1000 years of history as bishopric (2010)
- Prehistoric outbuildings in or around the Alps (2011)
- The mountainous cultural landscape of the Causses and the Cevennes (2011)
- Nord-Pas de Calais Mining Region (2012)
- Chauvet Cave, with cave paintings dated 31,000 BC (2014)
Electricity and electrical outlets in France
Voltage: 230 V
Frequency: 50 Hz
Type of plug: E
Need an adapter: Yes, Swedes need an adapter.
CLIMATE AND WEATHER
Weather in Paris
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|Soltim / day||5||6||8||10||11||13||13||12||10||9||6||5|
Aix en Provence
Aix-en-Provence, or just Aix is a city in the south of France, 30 kilometers north of Marseille. Aix is located in the region of Provence and has about 130,000 residents. Since the early 1990s, the city has been one of France’s fastest growing and wealthiest cities with an extensive university and a successful business community.
The central parts of Aix date from Roman times, and it takes a while to learn to find in the labyrinth of alleys and squares. In every square or place, no matter how small, there is always a fountain. Through the old town, the main street Cours Mirabeu intersects with its outdoor cafes and restaurants.
Ajaccio is the capital of Corsica and is located on the west coast. The current Ajaccio is located a few kilometers south of the city’s original location; it was moved by the Genoese in 1492. Between 1553 and 1559 the city was occupied by France but returned to Genoa in 1559. The city finally became French again in 1768. Napoleon Bonaparte was born in Ajaccio.
Bordeaux is a port city in southwestern France with 1.2 million residents (2006). The Bordeaux wines get their name from the city and have been produced here since the 18th century. The city is considered the wine capital of the world and hosts Vinexpo, by far the wine industry’s largest event.
With almost 100,000 students, the city’s university is renowned for its research in new materials and nanotechnology. Bordeaux offers a large number of cinemas, theaters and here is the Opéra National de Bordeaux. Every year, several festivals take place in the city.
Cannes is a city city in France, located on the Riviera, mainly known for its film festival. The city, located in the department of Alpes-Maritimes, has about 70,000 residents (2000).
Central Cannes is located in a slightly curved bay between the original settlement of Le Suquet and the casino at the far end of the Pointe Croisette. Along the famous beach boulevard La Croisette are the famous luxury hotels Majestic, Carlton Inter-Continental and Martinez, as well as the less beautiful festival palace. A few blocks inside runs the shopping street Rue d’Antibes.
Cannes is a vibrant city all year round, thanks in large part to its status as an international conference and festival city, and there are plenty of good restaurants and hotels. The city is also one of the most exclusive residential areas on the French Riviera.
The southern French provincial capital Carcassonne has double ring walls and is the administrative center of the Aude department. During the early Middle Ages, Carcassonne belonged to the historic province of Languedoc. On the river Aude is the Cité de Carcassonne with its medieval buildings surrounded by double city walls. These give an excellent picture of how the art of fortification developed from the 5th century to the 14th century. Carcassonne’s fortified city was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1997.
Most of the population lives in the western parts, Bastide Saint-Louis or Ville Basse (lower city), which are also the fastest growing. The central parts of the city are connected by the two bridges Pont vieux and Pont neuf.
Chamonix, actually Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, is a town located in the Rhône-Alpes region of eastern France. The resort is primarily known for its world – class downhill skiing opportunities. Aiguille du Midi and Grands Montets are two areas known for off-piste skiing. The ski system consists of several non-interconnected systems.
The resort has more visitors in the summer than in the winter. Climbers and even ordinary tourists fill the city in the summer. This is where the first Olympic Winter Games, or “International Winter Sports Week” as it was then called, took place in 1924.
Lyon is located in the southeast of France. Lyon’s metropolitan area with suburbs is with its 1,783,400 residents France’s second largest city after Paris and between the 20th and 25th largest in Western Europe.
Lyon is often regarded as the gastronomic capital of France. In 1998, historic sites in Lyon were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. The city is the seat of Interpol and Euronews. The city was a center of the French resistance movement during the German occupation during World War II.
With 1,623,720 residents (2008), Marseille is France’s third largest city with suburbs and is located in southeastern France. Founded by Greek colonizers from Fokaia (Ionia) in the 600s BC. under the name Massalia.
A large proportion of Marseille’s residents are descended from the waves of immigrants who arrived at the port in the early 19th century. Many of the residents are, for example, from Armenia, Spain, Italy, Greece, Russia or North Africa. Unofficial statistics say that a quarter of the residents are of North African origin, mainly from Algeria and Tunisia. Jewish society is also said to be the third largest in Europe.
Marseille is France’s largest Mediterranean port, with ferry services to North Africa, Italy and Spain.
Montpellier is a university and industrial city, but also a significant tourist center. The city has grown rapidly over the past 50 years, and today forms the fourth largest metropolitan area on the French Mediterranean coast and the fifteenth largest in France.
Nice is a city located in the southeast of France on the Mediterranean coast. The place was formerly called “Nice” in Swedish, but now “Nice” is the dominant name form. The city has 346,900 residents (2005). Nice is considered the center of the French Riviera. Among other things, the region’s largest international airport is located there.
The Italian influence is still noticeable in the city, including in street names and restaurants. The local dialect “Nicean” sounds like a mixture of French, Italian and Provencal. It differs so much from French that it is often considered a separate language. Local news on TV is read in Nicean, but only a fraction of the population masters the language.
Nice has its very own food culture where, among other things, socca (a kind of pancake), pissaladière (a kind of pie), bouillabaisse (fish soup) and salad nicoise are found as specialties.
Attractions include the Promenade des Anglais, which stretches along the long beach, the Hôtel Negresco, the city’s most prestigious hotel, La Colline du Château, which houses the ruins of an old castle, and Notre Dame Cathedral. Another sight is the Russian cathedral and the old town with its famous market.
According to Countryaah, Paris is the capital of France. The city is located on the river Seine and was founded by the Romans under the name Lutetia. Paris is a separate department in the Île-de-France region. The city is divided into 20 arrondissements. These are numbered 1s (premier), 2ème (deuxième) etcetera to 20ème (vingtième) and the number is often indicated with Roman numerals. The first arrondissement is located right in the middle of the city on the Seine, the second arrondissement is located just north of the first, and then winds third, fourth and so on like a cinnamon bun two and a half turns clockwise. The numbering roughly reflects how Paris has grown over time by incorporating outlying villages.
In parallel with the district system, there are a number of more traditional district names, such as Saint Germain, the Latin Quarter, the Marais, Montmartre, Montparnasse and Belleville. In general, it can be said that Paris lacks the large residential areas that exist in most cities. As the city is very compact and densely populated, there are restaurants, cafes, shops and offices on almost every street.
Paris has about 2.2 million residents and with suburbs over 11 million residents. Paris is one of the world’s most important business and cultural centers. As one of the most important global cities, Paris is also an important political, technological and artistic center, and is considered the capital of fashion and gastronomy. Paris is visited annually by over 30 million foreign tourists, making the city the world’s most popular travel destination.
Paris’s main feature today is the Eiffel Tower, which was built for the World’s Fair in Paris in 1889, when the centenary of the French Revolution was celebrated. The Eiffel Tower is composed of about 2.5 million bolts and weighs about 10,000 tons, of which 7,300 tons consist of wrought iron. To the top, if you do not want to take the elevator, you can go up the 1665 steps long stairs.
Other famous buildings and monuments are the Louvre, both its old buildings and the new glass pyramid in the courtyard that serves as the entrance to the museum, the Arc de Triomphe on Place de l’Etoile, a memorial with “the tomb of the unknown soldier”, the Center Georges Pompidou, where the architect placed all the pipes for heat, water, drains and more on the outside and also color-coded them, the modern “triumphal arch” consisting of offices, in the new district La Défense, the small Statue of Liberty in the Seine, the obelisk at Place de la Concorde and Les Halles .
Saint-Tropez was originally a quiet fishing village that eventually became a lively seaside resort. It is especially known for being popular with jet-setters and wealthy people. The resort has retained its character of fishing village, although the harbor and alleys are now lined with restaurants, bars and upscale boutiques. The Le Corbusier-designed Hotel Byblos is particularly famous, as are the many exclusive beaches on the other side of the peninsula.
Strasbourg has about 650,000 residents with suburbs (1999). The city has its seat in the city, where the main sessions are held every month. The Council of Europe also has its headquarters in the city. Here is also the European Court of Justice (European Court of Human Rights).
The city was founded on a former Celtic settlement at the birth of Christ on the orders of Emperor Augustus. The town was strategically located in the Roman province of Germania superior, and formed a hub for both land-based transport and shipping along the Rhine. The Strasbourg Cathedral was completed in 1439, becoming the tallest building in the world, a record previously held by the Pyramid of Cheops in Egypt.
In 1681, the city was annexed by France, but did not fall under the otherwise strict religious doctrines of France, and many French Protestants settled in Strasbourg. This, and industrialism, caused the city’s population to triple during the 19th century.
In 1871 the city was annexed again, this time by the newly founded German Empire, but returned to France in 1919 after the end of the First World War. In 1940-1945, the city was again annexed by Germany, until the end of World War II.
Toulouse is a city in southwestern France on the Garonne river. Toulouse is also the regional capital of the Midi-Pyrénées. Around 450,000 residents (just under 1,050,000 in Greater Toulouse) make Toulouse France’s fourth largest city after Paris, Lyon and Marseille. It used to be a county, and before that it was one of the six counties of the Frankish kingdom.
Toulouse is known as the pink city because most older buildings are built of locally produced bricks that are pink. Toulouse is a large university city with more than 100,000 students and Europe’s largest aircraft manufacturer Airbus has its main base here.
The Canal du Midi is a 240 km long canal in the south of France, connecting the Garonne river with the Mediterranean Sea, between Toulouse and the Mediterranean port of Sète. The Canal du Midi has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996.