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FRANCE

Return to Europe
Eiffel, Tower, Paris
Eiffel Tower

France is officially known as the French Republic and has population of approximately 65 million. The country is bordered by Spain, Andorra, Italy, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Belgium, the Mediterranean, the Bay of Biscay and the English Channel. Paris is its largest city and capital.  Human habitation is recorded in France for more than 1 million years and has includes the Greeks, Celtic Gauls, Romans, Germanic tribes and Vikings.  The first king of France was crowned in 987 and the last was Louis the XVI who was beheaded after the Storming of the Bastille in 1789.  This was followed by Napoleon's rule as emperor.  Napoleon was defeated in 1815 at the Battle of Waterloo.  In the 1800s France was an international power and their presence in Africa through the French Foreign Legion is legendary.  In the 20th century Charles de Gaulle dominated politics with his catch phrase, "Vive la France."

France is a popular tourist destination, with pleasant summers and excellent skiing in the Alps in the winter.  Its infrastructure in sub-ways and high speed trains makes travel by rail the preferred mode of transportation.

Currency:

The Euro has replaced the French franc as the currency of France.

Visas:

France participates in the Schengen Zone and Schengen Visa requirements.  That means there are no border controls between members and no border inspections by rail or vehicle when traveling from France to  Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Luxembourg or Belgium.  Some countries that are not members of the Schengen Zone require a Schengen Visa to enter Europe.  More than 40 countries outside the Schengen Zone do not require a visa.  Exemptions include citizens of Australia, Canada, Mexico, Japan, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.  For a list of exempt countries and requirements, refer to France Diplomatie or check your specific country at VisaHQ.   For a list of exempt countries, visit Project Visa.

Best Time to Visit France:

City Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

 Chamonix

 Ski          X  X  X  X      Ski

 Mont St-Michel

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 Nice

           X  X  X  X      

 Paris

             X  X        

 St-Malo

           X  X  X  X      

 Strasbourg

             X  X        


View France map