Global Explorer
France destination guide

France is in Western Europe and shares borders with Spain, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland and Italy. It has a Mediterranean coast on the south, the English Channel lies along the north coast and the Bay of Biscay is to the west. The island of Corsica is also part of France. The Alps mountain range lines the Swiss and Italian borders and includes Western Europe's highest peak, Mont Blanc (4807m).

Facts - find out the country's currency, language, time zone, visa requirements etc...
Country Highlights - where to go, top tourist attractions
Best Times to Visit - when to go according to climate and other factors
Getting There & Around - search for flights to get there and how to get around
Where to Stay - find accommodation
Official Tourist Information
Other Sources of Information

 
France - Mont Saint Michel
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France facts


Capital City: Paris

Other Major Cities: Bordeaux, Lyon, Marseille, Nice, Avignon, Toulouse, Nantes, Strasbourg, Lille

Currency: Euro, € (EUR)

Official Language(s): French

Predominant Religion(s): Roman Catholic

Time Zone: GMT/UTC +1 (+2 in Summer)

Drive on: right

Country Dialling Code: 33

Internet Country Code: .fr

Electrical Plugs: European Two-Pin 230V 50Hz

Visa Requirements: see our section on visas


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France tourist highlights and attractions

  • Paris - the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame cathedral, Louvre Museum
  • Avignon - picturesque town famous for the Palais des Papes, the one time papal residence
  • Bordeaux - red wine capital of France
  • Carcassone - medieval fortress town
  • Mont St Michel - tidal island with a steeply built monastery and village
  • Bayeaux Tapestry - famous work of art depicting the 1066 Norman invasion of England
  • Fontenay Abbey - Burgundian monastery
  • Provence towns and villages - beautiful hilltop villages (such as Gordes), and Aix-en-Provence, the regional capital
  • Alps - superb skiing in winter, walking in summer, and picturesque towns such as Annecy
  • Chateau Chambord - impressive castle on the River Loire
  • Les Gorges du Verdon - stunning gorges in Provence
  • Amiens cathedral - the largest Gothic building in France
  • Côte d'Azur - glitzy summer playground from Marseille, to Saint-Tropez, Cannes, Nice and Monaco
  • Carnac - a vast area of prehistoric aligned stones
  • Canal du Midi - a tree-lined canal running for 240km from the River Garonne at Toulouse via Carcassonne to the Mediterranean at Agde
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France climate and when to go

Summer is peak tourist season with long days and warm temperatures, but much of France goes on holiday between mid-July and the end of August so many businesses shut down during this time. Similarly, Easter is a bad time unless you enjoy crowds! Late spring/early summer is a good time to visit - the weather should be good in May and June and the crowds can be avoided. Obviously, skiiers will only be interested in the winter time, where snowfall in the Alps is greatest between January and March. France is a big enough country to have notable differences in climate between the Mediterranean south and the north, which resembles the UK climate. The charts show Paris for the north and Marseille for the south.

According to the climate, for general tourist visits the best months to go to France are shown below in green, the amber months are okay, and the red months represent the worst months due to less favourable climate conditions.

When to go to France

Paris Climate Chart:

Paris Climate Chart - Average Temperatures and Rainfall

Marseille Climate Chart:

Marseilles Climate Chart - Average Temperatures and Rainfall

Source: our climate chart data is obtained from the most reliable source available which in many cases is official data from the National Meteorological & Hydrological Service of the country. Climatological information provided here is usually based on monthly averages for a 30-year period. It should be noted that significant deviations from these average conditions can and do occur at any time.

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France flights and ground transport

Airlines that operate between the UK and France are:
British Airways serve Paris, Lyon, Toulouse, Nice, Marseille
Air France
Easyjet
Ryanair
Jet2
bmi baby
Flybe

For help finding flights to France, click here.

Other transport websites:
P&O Ferries
Brittany Ferries
Rail Network SNCF
TGV (High-Speed Trains)
Low-cost TGV
SNCM (Mediterranean Ferry Crossings)
Paris Metro
Paris Airports (Charles de Gaulle and Orly)
Marseille Transit Authority
Marseille Airport

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France accommodation

Find accommodation in France here.

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France official tourist information

Official Tourist Information Websites:

France

Alsace
Brittany
Corsica
Milau, Aveyron
Monaco
Rhône-Alpes

Avignon
Bordeaux
Carcassone
Marseille
Montpellier
Paris
Toulouse

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France - further tourist info

Other Useful Websites:

France listings under UNESCO World Heritage
Weather France
Louvre Museum
Disneyland Paris
European Independent Film Festival, Paris
Monte Carlo Casino
International Variety Shows, Monte Carlo
Exotic Gardens, Monte Carlo
Space City, Toulouse
Chemins de Fer de Provence, Tourist Train from Nice to Digne les Bains

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