10 fun facts about France – overview, geography, tourism, etc.

France is a developed country in Western Europe. A large country with numerous heritage sites, France is one of the most visited places in the world. The following are 10 fun facts about France. Let’s read.

10 fun facts about France

Flag of France
Flag of France

Geographical Overview

France has an area of approximately 551,500 square kilometers (not considering overseas territories). The population is around 66 million (2023 estimate). The major mountain ranges in France are the French Alps (in the southeast), the Pyrenees (in the south), the Massif Central (in the central region), the Jura, the Vosges, etc.

France shares a border with 8 countries (European France) –

  • Spain and Andorra in the South
  • Italy, Switzerland, and Germany in the East
  • Monaco in the Southeast
  • Luxembourg and Belgium in the North
France on the map of Europe
France on the map of Europe
(The total area of France with overseas territories is around 643,800 square kilometers.)

France is the most visited country in the world

Nearly 90 million tourists visited France in 2019, making France the most popular tourist destination in the world. I checked the tourism reports from many years back. Even in, 2010 France was the most visited country in the world.

(Read more: 5 reasons to visit France | Why do so many people visit France?)

France is the third largest country in Europe

With 551,500 square kilometers of area, France is the third largest country in Europe after Russia and Ukraine. France is larger than Spain, Italy, and Germany, and is more than twice the size of the United Kingdom.

There are 52 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in France

France has 52 sites inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage list. Among the 52 sites, 44 are categorized as cultural sites, 7 as natural, and 1 mixed. The most visited Heritage sites in France are – Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, Palace of Versailles, Arles, Roman and Romanesque Monuments, etc.

Louvre Museum in Paris, France
Louvre Museum in Paris
Also the world’s most visited museum, the Louvre Museum is in Paris.

Most popular sport in France

Football is the most popular sport in France. France men’s national football team is one of the most successful teams in the world of Football. It has won the FIFA World Cup twice (in 1998 and 2018). Apart from Football, Tennis, Horse Riding, Basketball, and Rugby are also quite popular in France.

The Eiffel Tower remained the tallest structure in the world for over 40 years

An image of Eiffel Tower in Paris
Eiffel Tower in Paris

The iconic Eiffel Tower located in Paris has a height of 300 meters/984 ft (330 meters to tip). It was the tallest structure in the world when its construction was completed in 1889. The Chrysler Building in New York City broke its record in 1930 after over 40 years.

Capital and Largest city of France

A view of Paris, France
The city of Paris

The capital and the largest city of France is Paris. With a population of 2.1 million (2023), Paris is one of the largest cities in Europe. The Paris metropolitan area is huge and has an estimated population of over 13 million. The world famous Eiffel Tower and monuments like Arc de Triomphe and Panthéon are located in Paris.

Most spoken language

French is the official and most spoken language in France. It is the main language of nearly 90 percent of the population. Minority languages in France include Arabic, Spanish, Italian, German, Portuguese, etc.

(Also read: France and Italy – country comparison | France vs Italy)

The tallest mountain of the Alps range is in France

A road in the Alps of France
French Alps

A large portion of the Alps mountain range is in France, which is known as French Alps. Mont Blanc (4,805.59 m), the tallest mountain of the Alps range is actually located on the France-Italy border. Other high peaks in France are – Barre des Ecrins (4,102 m), Grande Casse (3,855 m), Mont Pourri (3,779 m), etc.

Longest River, largest lake, tallest waterfall in France

  • Longest River in France- Loire River
  • Largest Lake in France – Lake Bourget
  • Tallest waterfall in France – Gavarnie Falls (422 meters)

Overseas Territories of France

There are numerous overseas territories of France outside Europe. The most commonly known are French Guiana (South America), Guadeloupe (Caribbean), Réunion, and Martinique.

Brazil is the country that shares the longest border with France through French Guiana. The European France has the longest border with Spain.

Basic facts about France

Capital CityParis
Largest CityParis
Areaapproximately 551,500 square kilometers
Population66 million (2023 estimate)
Highest MountainMont Blanc (4,805.59 m/15,766.4 ft)
Longest RiverLoire River
Most spoken languageFrench
Most popular sportFootball (Soccer)

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