France is much more than the country home to the Eiffel Tower, delicious wine, and even tastier cheese. Bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, Spain, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Andorra, Switzerland, Monaco, and Luxembourg, this landmark European country has a history as rich as its cuisine!
Home to over 67 million people, it is the largest in Western Europe and second most populated in the European Union. The capital city of Paris is a cultural and economic hub in the region. France retains major influence in Europe, and is the birthplace of many world-famous philosophers, artists, and scientists.
The country’s two largest airports are located in Paris (Charles de Gaulle and Paris Orly), with Nice, Lyon St Exupery, Marseille, Toulouse Blagnac, Bale Mulhouse, Bourdeaux Merignac, Beauvais, and Nantes capturing the remaining bulk of its flight traffic. Charles de Gaulle, commonly referred to as Roissy Airport, is the central hub for Air France, and is deemed a global aviation site.
62 million foreign and domestic passengers flew through the airport in 2013, making it second only to London Heathrow for Europe’s busiest airports. It dominates the cargo traffic industry in the region as well, with over 2 million metric tons shipped each year.
Direct flights to France are available from the United States through Delta, American Airlines, British Airways, United Airlines, and US Airways. Dozens of international carriers offer nonstop flights to the country, including Lufthansa, KLM, Emirates, Air Canada, ANA, Aeroflot, Cathay Pacific, Norwegian, and LOT.
Gorgeous scenery, world-famous architecture, friendly people, and great food make France a hard trip to pass up, but the only downside is traveling here can be expensive. Paris is an obvious tourist go-to spot. Tour the Eiffel Tower and spend a couple days in this magnificent city.
Venture out to the Palace of Versailles (built by Louis XIV), and journey south to the wonderful seaside city of Nice. Lyon has more than enough old world castles to entertain history and architecture lovers, and Bourdeaux boasts the planet’s best wine!
Accommodation rates vary considerably depending on where you stay. For expensive touristy cities like Paris, apartment rentals and private rooms are your best bet. Grocery shopping will save you a bundle on food costs, and the public train system is the cheapest mode of transportation. French is the official language, though English is spoken widely by the public. France uses the Euro as its primary currency. Thanks to our free online hotel price comparison tool, your travel budget will be bigger for better things, like hanging out in Monaco for a day or reserving a boat tour to stunning St. Tropez! Find a great rate on accommodations for your trip to France.
Images by flickr/arielwantsachip
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