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Palace of Versailles, France
Palace of Versailles, Orangerie and garden. Image: Copyleft
Flag of France
Flag of France -
the Tricolore
Destination France, a virtual guide to the "Grande Nation". The country is located on the western edge of Europe, bordered by the Bay of Biscay (North Atlantic Ocean) in west, by the English Channel in north west, by the North Sea in north, by Belgium and Luxembourg in north east, by Germany, Switzerland and Italy in east, by the Mediterranean Sea, Monaco, Spain and Andorra in south. France shares also maritime borders with the United Kingdom.

With an area of 551,500 km² Metropolitan France is more than twice the size of the United Kingdom or more than twice the size of the U.S. state of Colorado.

In 2015 France has a total population of 66,3 million people; 64.2 million inhabitants in Metropolitan France (the European part of France plus Corsica) and 2.1 million in its overseas regions (French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, and Reunion), major other dependencies are French Polynesia, and New Caledonia.
Largest city and capital is Paris. Spoken language is French (official).

Where in Europe is France?

French Republic | République Française

Country Profile


Official Name:
Republique Francaise
short form: France
int'l long form: French Republic
int'l short form: France

ISO Country Code: FR - FRA - .fr

Time Zone: Central European Time (CET)
Local Time = UTC +1h
Actual Time: Wed-Oct-7  08:31
DST: March - October (UTC +2h)

Country Calling Code: +33

Capital City: Paris
The Romans called her Lutetia.

Other Cities:
Other Cities in France
List of links to official French city sites.

Type: Republic.
Constitution: The Constitution of 4 October 1958.

Location: Central western Europe, bordering the Bay of Biscay and English Channel, between Belgium and Spain, southeast of the UK; bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Italy and Spain.
Area: 551,500 km² (220,668 sq. mi.); largest west European country.
Terrain: Mostly flat plains or gently rolling hills in north and west; mountainous, especially Pyrenees in south, Alps in east.

Climate: Generally cool winters and mild summers, but mild winters and hot summers along the Mediterranean; occasional strong, cold, dry, north-to-northwesterly wind known as mistral.

Nationality: French.
Population: 65.3 million (2012)
Ethnic groups: Celtic and Latin with Teutonic, Slavic, North African, Sub-Saharan African, Indochinese, and Basque minorities.
Religion: Roman Catholic 90%.
Language: French.
Literacy: 99%.

Natural resources: Coal, iron ore, bauxite, zinc, uranium, antimony, arsenic, potash, feldspar, fluorospar, gypsum, timber, fish.

Agriculture products: Wheat, cereals, sugar beets, potatoes, wine grapes; beef, dairy products; and fish.

Industries: Machinery, chemicals, automobiles, metallurgy, aircraft, electronics; textiles, food processing, and tourism.

Exports - commodities: machinery and transportation equipment, aircraft, plastics, chemicals, pharmaceutical products, iron and steel, and beverages.

Exports partners: Germany 16.6%, Belgium 7.8%, Italy 7.2%, UK 7%, Spain 6.9%, USA 5.8%, Netherlands 4.1% (2013)

Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, vehicles, crude oil, aircraft, plastics, chemicals.

Imports partners: Germany 19.6%, Belgium 11.4%, Italy 7.6%, Netherlands 7.5%, Spain 6.8%, UK 4.9%, China 4.8% (2013)

Currency: Euro (EUR)

Since prehistoric times, France has been a crossroad of trade, travel, and invasions. Three basic European ethnic stocks--Celtic, Latin, and Teutonic (Frankish)--have blended over the centuries, to make up France present population.

Today France is one of the most modern countries in the world and is a leader among European nations. Since 1958, it has constructed a presidential democracy, resistant to the instabilities experienced in earlier parliamentary democracies. In recent years, its reconciliation and cooperation with Germany have proved central to the economic integration of Europe, including the advent of the euro in January 1999. Presently, France is at the forefront of European states seeking to exploit the momentum of monetary union to advance the creation of a more unified and capable European defense and security apparatus.

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Official Sites of France

Présidence de la République française
The Elysée Palace - President of France.

The French Parliament comprises of:
Assemblée nationale
The French National Assembly.
Sénat français
The French Senate (in French).

Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication
Full contents in French.
A portal to French government agencies and services.

Ministère de l'Outre-Mer
The Ministry for the French Overseas Departments of French Guiana, French Polynesia, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Martinique, New Caledonia and Réunion.

web culture France Diplomatie - Ministère des Affaires Etrangères
Information on France by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Diplomatic Missions
French Mission to the United Nations
France is one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council.
Embassy of France
Washington D.C.
Directory of French representations abroad (in French)
List of French diplomatic missions around the world.
Embassies and consulates in France
List of foreign missions in France.

INSEE - Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques
The National Institute of Statistics - France in facts and figures.

Meteo France
French and international weather.


Map of France
Political Map of France.
Google Earth Google Map France
Searchable map and satellite view of France.
Google Earth Google Map Paris
Searchable map and satellite view of France's capital.
Google Earth Google Map Eiffel Tower
Satellite view of the Eiffel Tower.
Google Earth Google Map Palace of Versailles
Annotated map and satellite view of Palace of Versailles.

Map of Europe
Political Map of Europe.

French Newspapers and Magazines

Agence France-Presse - news and photo agency.
National and international news. (in French)
Les Echos
Business and Finance Information. (in French)
Le Figaro
French daily with national and international news. (in French)
Le Monde
National and international news. (in French)
great site Le Monde diplomatique
International news and backgrond information.
Le Parisien
National and international news. (in French)
National and international news. (in French)
Regional and national news. (in French)
Paris Match
Magazine Paris Match. (in French)
La Tribune
Business and Finance Information. (in French)

Assemblée Nationale
National Assembly Paris © Mairie de Paris - France

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Arts & Culture

La bibliothèque nationale de France
The National Library of France.
Centre Georges Pompidou
Modern Art Museum.

royal Chateau de Versailles
Reflections of the French Monarchy.

Festival International du Film de Cannes
Cannes International Film Festival, the Official Site.
La Grotte de Lascaux
The Cave of Lascaux.
Jules Verne
Jules Verne website.
The National Library of Public Information (BPI)
Commander Bonaparte's home page.
French Museums
List of Links to the most important French Museums.
great site Réunion des Musées Nationaux
National Museums Directory.
Musée du Louvre
The Louvre Museum.


Business & Economy

The French economy is diversified across all sectors. The government has partially or fully privatized many large companies, including Air France, France Telecom (now Orange S.A.), Renault, and Thales (now Thales Group). But the French government still maintains a strong presence in some sectors, particularly in power, public transport, and the defense industries.

France is the most visited country in the world and maintains the third largest income in the world from more than 84 million foreign tourists per year.

Banque de France
The French Central Bank.
Bourse de Paris
Association of French Stock Exchanges (Euronext France).

Assemblee des Chambres francaises de commerce et d'industrie (ACFCI)
Chambers of Commerce and Industry of France.
CCIP - Chambre de Commerce et d'Industrie de Paris
Chamber of Commerce and Industry Paris.


Air France
The French Airline.

Aéroports de Paris
Official site for Orly and Roissy (Charles de Gaulle) airports.
Côte d'Azur International Airport
Third largest airport of France in terms of passengers.
Marseille Provence Airport
Marseille-Marignane Airport is the fifth busiest French airport by passenger traffic.
Saint-Exupéry International Airport
Lyon's international airport.

High-speed passenger train linking London, Paris and Brussels.
The French Railroad.
A very fast French train.

French products
Typical French cars.
Typical French cars.
More typical French cars.

Fashion & Cosmetics
Christian Dior
Fashion & Fragrance.
Christian Lacroix
International Fashion Magazine.
Jean-Paul Gaultier
Parfums Givenchy.
Le monde de Lancôme.
Louis Vuitton
Luxury Accessoires.
Internet Fashion Magazine.
Prêt à porter Paris
Virtual Catwalk.
International Fashion Magazine.
Yves Saint Laurent
Haute couture.

Wines & Champagne
Château Lafite Rothschild
Château-Margaux Moët & Chandon
Dom Pérignon.
Louis Roederer
Comtes de Champagne.
Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin

Asterix and Obelix Official Site.
Arts de la table.
French yoghurt.
French Table Water.

Destination France - A Collection of Travel Guides to France

web culture France Diplomatie - Ministère des Affaires Etrangères
Comprehensive information on France by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Secretariat d'Etat au Tourisme
The site of the French Tourist Board provides extensive travel and tourism information.
 French Government Tourist Office
Offers comprehensive information for vacation, accommodation and leisure activities in France.

Beyond the French Riviera
Travel in Provence beyond the Côte d'Azur and French Riviera.
France Hotels, Paris Hotels and the France Travel Guide.
Business travel and tourism on the French Riviera.
A guide to cultural events in France.

 Paris (the City of Light)

Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau
The official travel and tourism guide to Paris.
great site Metropole Paris
Paris for lovers, dreamers, hopeless romantics and ordinary visitors.
Les Pages de Paris / The Paris Pages
Everything for the Paris Tourist.
Paris Magazine. (in French)
The Eiffel Tower
The official site of Eiffel Tower.
More Cities of France:
Cities in France
List of links to official French city tourist sites.

Hotels in France
Find Hotels in France.


Travel and Tour Consumer Information


A gateway to higher education in France.
ENA - École Nationale d'Administration
The Nr. 1 education institution in France.
École Centrale Paris
The first Grande École.
École Polytechnique
Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Paris - ESSEC
Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po)
Université de Montpellier
The University of Montpellier, is one of the oldest universities in Europe, since 1220 (in French)
Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne
Université Panthéon-Assas

Le Grandes École online
A list of links to the Grandes Ecoles.
A list of French Universities
by the Ministry of Education.

Science & Research
French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS)
The French Space Agency (CNES)
Sophia Antipolis Science Park
The technology park or more a high-tech cluster near Cannes/Nice.


History of France
France's history at a glance.

Corsica, Corse

Country Guides
Corsica Guide
Corsica Directory.
Go to Corsica
Complete guide for staying and leisure, hundreds of accommodation links.

Université de Corse Pascal Paoli


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Overseas Departments of France: Guadeloupe | Martinique | French Guiana | Réunion
Overseas Countries: French Polynesia | New Caledonia

Other Countries in Western Europe
Austria | Belgium | Germany | Liechtenstein | Luxembourg | Monaco | Netherlands | Switzerland

Countries in the Mediterranean:
Albania | Algeria | Bosnia and Herzegovina | Croatia | Cyprus | Egypt | Gaza Strip | Greece | Israel | Italy | Lebanon | Libya | Malta | Monaco | Montenegro | Morocco | Portugal | Slovenia | Spain | Syria | Tunisia | Turkey