France Facts: 97 Interesting Facts About France

Last updated on April 8th, 2018

51. Cheese Lovers, say cheese: it is said that France produces more than 365 types of cheese. Thus, you could enjoy more than one type of cheese for many days during the year.

52. France is the world’s second-largest exporter of agricultural products.

53. Eating horse and rabbit is quite common in France. You can easily find these items on a restaurant’s menu.

54. The French consider wine an intellectual part of every meal.

55. The French consume approximately 500 million snails every year.

56. Eating at McDonald’s in France would cost you double the amount if you were eating at McDonald’s in the U.S. The reason being the local sourcing of almost 90% of the ingredients in the U.S.

57. Mealtimes are valuable to the French. Most of the shop owners in France take a two-hour lunch break. They shut their shops mostly at 12 noon and reopen somewhere around 2 pm, or even 3 pm.

58. Another fun fact for kids about France is that French fries and French toast are not French inventions.

59. Paris alone has a whopping 5,000 restaurants.

60. Only 15% of women in France are obese, compared to 64% in the U.S. alone.

61. French is an official language in many countries including: Canada, Switzerland, Congo and Luxembourg. It is also the second-most commonly taught language after English, and is the mother tongue of more than 75-million people worldwide.

62. There are 28 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in France.

63. For more than 300 years, French was also the official language of England.

64. It is illegal to kiss while aboard a train in France.

65. All the trees in the French capital, Paris, are measured and referenced. There are 470,000 of them.

66. There is only one stop light in the entire city of Paris and 1784 bakeries.

67. France also hosts one of the four Grand Slam tennis championships. The French Open is held every year in Paris.

68. Louis Pasteur was a French scientist who invented the process of pasteurization, to prevent microbial growth and preserve food items like milk.

69. Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Loire and Provence are the names of wine-producing regions in France.

70. While wine is mostly free with every meal in France, beer is considered a luxury.

71. The Channel Tunnel, which connects Kent in the U.K. with Coquelles in northern France, has the longest undersea portion of any tunnel in the world. It is 50.5 kilometers long. This tunnel carries passenger and freight trains, and has a speed limit of 160 kilometers per hour.

72. The concept for “jean” clothing was born in France. It was imported by Levi Strauss from the United States of America, with the initial need to build tough clothes for gold diggers.

73. In 1984, France had an internet network for people to shop and pay utility bills online. This was before the world started adopting the internet so much that it became a necessity for billions of people around the globe.

74. A man in Paris, Jim Haynes, has been inviting total strangers for dinner every week for the past 30 years. You can visit his website to book yourself a seat at an upcoming dinner party.

75. Kids, did you know that there are 1665 stairs in the Eiffel Tower in Paris? And until 1909, the tower was lit by gas light?

76. In Paris, an apartment was left uninhabited by its renter for 70 years. When the renter died and the apartment was unlocked, a painting worth 2.1 million Euros was recovered.

Some random facts

77. France also collects the highest wealth tax in Europe.

78. A fun fact: April Fool’s Day (1st of April) is believed to have originated in France.

79. The Statue of Liberty was a gift from the people of France to the United States of America. It was built by Gustave Eiffel, the man who also constructed the Eiffel Tower.

80. Jean Nico, was a French diplomat for whom Nicotine is named. (Also, read some interesting facts about Cancer and Cigarettes)

81. Research concluded that at least thirty four percent of the French population can speak English fluently.

82. The word “entrepreneur” was also invented by the French.

83. France legally allows you to marry a dead person.

84. France won the Soccer World Cup in 1998. They also hosted the championships that year.

Soccer world cup 1998
France won soccer’s World Cup in 1998. Zinedine Zidane holding the trophy.  Image Credit

85. The French president Charles de Gaulle has survived 32 assassination attempts, the most in the world by anyone.

86. Henri Desgranges, a French journalist and cyclist, is the man behind the Tour de France – an annual, multiple-stage bicycle race. He started the race to promote his newspaper in 1903. Shame was brought to the well-known event when several teams were disqualified for doping in 1998, the same year France won the FIFA World Cup.

87. Before the introduction of the Euro, the French Franc was the official currency of France. The Franc was introduced by King John II in 1360.

88. To date, there are a total of 67 Nobel Prize winners from France. The first French national to win the prestigious award was Sully Prudhomme, who won the 1901 prize in Literature. They have the highest number of Nobel Prize winners in this category (literature).

89. The French kiss each other on the cheek as a form of greeting. However, it is illegal to kiss on railways in the country.

90. Frenchmen are considered to be image-conscious, which is why they do not like splitting the bill when they visit a restaurant with their friends. However, they like giving a fair share of theirs.

91. In France, it is illegal to take images of police officers or their vehicles, even in the background.

92. Between 8 AM and 8 PM, 70% of the music played on the radio in France has to be by French artists.

93. The shape of electrical outlets and the voltage in France both differ from that of those in the U.S. If you are visiting France, it might help not to over accommodate your luggage with much electrical or electronic stuff. However, there are a few notable exceptions in this category, and you also have an option to use a voltage converter.

94. A traditional French baguette is made up of only flour, yeast and salt. 10 billion baguettes are baked each year in the country.

95. The French capital, Paris, is known as the “City of Light.” There are 296 illuminated sites in the city, consisting of bridges, churches, fountains, hotels and national buildings.

96. Every day at least two cookbooks are published in France.

97. And finally, France is Europe’s most innovative country.

France – country at a glance

Capital CityParis
(48°51.4′N 2°21.05′E)
Largest CityParis
(48°51.4′N 2°21.05′E)
Total area643,801 sq km
Population66,836,154 (2016 estimate)
Official LanguageFrench
BordersAndorra, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Monaco (a principality), Spain, Switzerland.
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
ReligionRoman Catholic
Life expectancy81.8 Years (2016)
Life expectancy at birth indicates the number of years a newborn infant would live if prevailing patterns of mortality at the time of its birth were to stay the same throughout its life.
Climategenerally 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 (metropolitan France)
Terrainmostly flat plains or gently rolling hills in north and west; remainder is mountainous, especially Pyrenees in south, Alps in east (metropolitan France)
National anthem"La Marseillaise" (The Song of Marseille)
Government typesemi-presidential republic
PresidentEmmanuel Macron
Prime MinisterÉdouard Philippe
National colorsblue, white, red
National symbolGallic rooster, fleur-de-lis, Marianne (female personification)
Natural resourcescoal, iron ore, bauxite, zinc, uranium, antimony, arsenic, potash, feldspar, fluorspar, gypsum, timber, arable land, fish (metropolitan France)
Agricultural land52.7%
Birth rate12.3 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate9.3 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Sex ratio0.96 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Industriesmachinery, chemicals, automobiles, metallurgy, aircraft, electronics; textiles, food processing; tourism
Exports$489.1 billion (2016 est.)
machinery and transportation equipment, aircraft, plastics, chemicals, pharmaceutical products, iron and steel, beverages
Imports$561 billion (2016 est.)
machinery and equipment, vehicles, crude oil, aircraft, plastics, chemicals
GDP - per capita (PPP)$42,400 (2016 est.)
Time ZoneCET (UTC+1)
- Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Internet country
Drives on theRight
Calling Code+33
Data sourcesCIA, Wikipedia
Table last updatedAugust 25, 2017