Introduction

General Introduction about France

Whatever you have been dreaming about in a holiday, chances are that France has it in abundance. A global centre for art, fashion and culture, for foodies especially, it’s hard to pick a better country to visit than France.

Home to thousands of small bistros and cafes, France is the source of culinary classics like croissants and Champagne, but for something out of this world head to a Michelin-starred establishment and treat yourself to an unforgettable night of fine food.

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Climate

Climate of France

A lot of variety, but temperate winters and mild summers on most of the territory, and especially in Paris. Mild winters and hot summers along the Mediterranean and in the southwest (the latter has lots of rain in winter). You may likely even see a few palm trees on the Mediterranean coast.

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Check out this icy scene from Minniehaha Falls! 📸: @clint_jee_

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Regions

Île-de-France
Northern France
(Nord-Pas de Calais, Picardy, Normandy)
Northeastern France (Alsace, Lorraine, Champagne-Ardenne, Franche-Comté)
Great West (Brittany, Pays de la Loire)
Central France (Centre-Val de Loire, Poitou-Charentes, Burgundy, Limousin, Auvergne)
Southwestern France (Aquitaine, Midi-Pyrenees)
Southeastern France (Rhône-Alpes, Languedoc-Roussillon, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, Corsica)

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Main Cities

Paris — the “City of Light”, romance and the Eiffel Tower
Bordeaux — city of wine, traditional stone mansions …
Bourges — gardens, canals …
Lille — a dynamic city known for active cultural life
Lyon — second city with a history from Roman
Marseille — Third largest French city with a harbour
Nantes — the “Greenest City” and, the best place to live
Strasbourg — famous for its historical centre, and institutions
Toulouse — the “Pink City”, for its distinctive brick architecture,

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Popular Destinations

Camargue — largest river deltas and wetlands
Corsica — the birthplace of Napoleon,
Disneyland Paris — the most visited attraction in Europe
French Alps — highest mountain in Western Europe
French Riviera – coastline of France with resorts, yachts and
Loire Valley — known for its wines and chateaux
Luberon — Provence of picturesque villages, and wine
Mont Saint Michel — second most-visited sight in France,
Verdon Gorge — beautiful river canyon in a turquoise-green,

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Visa

Foreign nationals who are not visa-exempt (e.g. South Africans) must make a ‘declaration of entry’ (déclaration d’entrée) at a police station or to border inspection personnel if they arrive in France directly from another country of Schengen Area (e.g. Italy), unless they hold a long-term visa or residence permit issued by a Schengen member state. Their passports will be endorsed by the authorities to prove that such a declaration has been made.

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Transportation

France transportation: Trains, metro, buses and taxis in France

Here’s a guide to transportation in France, from trains in France to buses, subways and taxi services in France.

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Sights

Paris. the “City of Light” and the capital of romance has been a travellers’ magnet for centuries and a real must-see.
France is famous for its amazing countryside, dotted with wonderful medieval villages and castles.
As the French have a real taste for art, the country has numerous art galleries and museums. Several of them are widely considered to be among the finest museums in the world of art, art-history, and culture.
Disneyland Resort Paris is by far France’s most popular park, visited by families from all over Europe.

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Shopping

This page is more than just a guide to the best places to shop; this is an overview of shopping and shopping habits in France for all purposes, from shopping on the Champs Elysées to visiting the local French supermarket.

A cross-Europe study recently showed prices in French shops to be among the lowest in Europe; and perhaps, if you are buying a cross-section of everyday goods, they are. But tourists do not shop like locals, so the price advantage of France may not be so obvious to visitors. Besides, shops selling to tourists are notorious worldwide for high prices, and France is no exception.

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Dining

With its international reputation for fine dining, few people would be surprised to hear that French cuisine can certainly be very good. Unfortunately, it can also be quite disappointing; many restaurants serve very ordinary fare, and some in touristy areas are rip-offs. Finding the right restaurant is therefore very important – try asking locals, hotel staff or even browsing restaurant guides for recommendations as simply walking in off the street can be a hit and miss affair.

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Hotels

With over 18,000 hotels and over 800,000 beds, has more space than any other country in the world outside the USA. France’s hotels vary from the five-star hotels such as Fouquet’s and the Hôtel Crillon in Paris, or the Majestic in Cannes, to rundown 0-star hotels in the side-streets of provincial towns or suburbs.

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Electricty

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