France Travel Overview

France Travel Overview

Europe

GENERAL

Official name of the state

French Republic.

Capital

Paris.

Geography

According to topschoolsintheusa, France is the largest country in the EU in terms of area. It borders the English Channel (La Manche) in the north, Belgium and Luxembourg in the northeast, and Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Monaco in the east. France is bordered by the Mediterranean to the south, by Spain and Andorra to the southwest, and by the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The island of Corsica is located in the Mediterranean north of the Italian island of Sardinia.

The variety of landscapes ranges from the mountain ranges of the Alps and Pyrenees, the river valleys of the Loire, Rhône and Dordogne to the Côte d’Azur and the flatter regions of Normandy and the Atlantic coast. The coast is 3100 km long, on the Atlantic Ocean in northern France there are mainly sand dunes and limestone cliffs, in the west there is a steep coast with bays and in the south beach lakes and dune landscapes are common.

Government

Republic since 1875. Constitution of 1958, last amended in 2008. Bicameral Parliament: National Assembly (577 members) and Senate (348 members). The president is directly elected for five years. France is a member of the EU.

Head of state

François Hollande, since May 2012.

Head of government

Bernard Cazeneuve, since December 2016.

Electricity

230 V, 50 Hz.

Time zone

Central European Time: CET +2 (CET +3 from March 26 to October 29, 2017)

CULTURE

Religion

83-88% Roman Catholic; Protestant (2%), Muslim (5-10%), Jewish (1%) and Orthodox minorities.

Social rules of conduct

Etiquette: The common forms of politeness should be observed, polite phrases are common and important in conversation. You shake hands less often than in Germany, the hint of a kiss on both cheeks is more common. When you enter a shop, you greet with a friendly Bonjour, Monsieur / Madame. The salutation is monsieur or madamewithout mentioning the family name. It can take a long time to address each other by first name. At receptions or dinners, the guest of honor gives the signal to start eating. Meals are taken with pleasure and in peace, they often drag on for a long time. Unannounced visits or phone calls should be avoided during meal times between 12:00 and 2:30 p.m. and from 7:00 p.m. If you are invited to an aperitif, you meet about half an hour before meal time, have a drink and say goodbye in good time.

Clothing: Casual clothing is common, but the French are known for smart sportswear. Formal attire is desirable for public events and evening parties; many clubs, casinos, and fine restaurants also insist on suits and ties; Evening dress and tuxedo are shown separately. “Topless” is tolerated on most beaches, nudism is only permitted on the beaches specially designed for this purpose.

Smoking: Smoking is prohibited in public buildings (including train stations, airports, schools and government offices), in public transport, as well as in restaurants, bars and discos. Hotels offer both smoking and non-smoking rooms. Smoking in cars is prohibited when minors are in the vehicle.

Tipping: In France, tips are given together as a group and not individually by each guest at the table. Usually the total amount is divided by the number of people in order to calculate how high the share of the tip is for the individual. Before leaving the restaurant, you leave the tip on the table. 10% of the invoice amount is sufficient for the tip. In better restaurants the tip can be higher.

CLIMATE

Best travel time

Temperate climate in the north, continental in the northeast. Rainfall all year round, snowfall in winter.

In the east and in the center there is a continental climate with foehn winds in the east, which cause the temperatures to rise sharply in summer.

Mediterranean climate in the southeast and south, on the Riviera, in Provence and Roussillon.

In the mountain regions over 600 meters above sea level. there is an alpine climate. Heavy snowfall in winter. The French Pyrenees are known for almost permanent sunshine.

Humid coastal climates on the west coast can be very warm and sunny to fresh, rainfall all year round.

Paris is best traveled in spring, autumn and winter. The French Mediterranean coast is most attractive between March and October. Winter sports enthusiasts get their money’s worth in the ski areas of the French Alps and the Pyrenees from December to April.

COUNTRY DATA

Area code +33 Area (sqkm) 551500 Population 62814233 Population density (per sqkm) 114 Population in 2015 Member of the EU Yes main emergency number 112

France Travel Overview