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France

France today is one of the most modern countries in the world and is a leader among European nations. It plays an influential global role as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, NATO, the G-7, the G-20, the EU, and other multilateral organizations. France rejoined NATO’s integrated military command structure in 2009, reversing De Gaulle’s 1966 decision to withdraw French forces from NATO. Since 1958, it has constructed a hybrid presidential-parliamentary governing system resistant to the instabilities experienced in earlier, more purely parliamentary administrations. In recent decades, its reconciliation and cooperation with Germany have proved central to the economic integration of Europe, including the introduction of a common currency, the euro, in January 1999. In the early 21st century, five French overseas entities – French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, and Reunion – became French regions and were made part of France proper.

🇫🇷 France Tourism Information…

France.fr

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🇫🇷 The Best of France…

Here is a break down of some of the most interesting and visited places. Cities or areas listed will always have more than just one thing see and do. With the popular cities or areas we list some of the best known, which should go on everyone’s, must see list when they visit.    

 

🇫🇷 France Country Information…

Travel Facts

US State Dept. Travel Advisory:

The US Department of State currently recommends US citizens RECONSIDER TRAVEL to France due to COVID-19. Exercise increased caution in France due to terrorism and civil unrest.Consult its website via the link below for updates to travel advisories and statements on safety, security, local laws and special circumstances in this country.

Passport/Visa Requirements:

US citizens should make sure their passport will not expire for at least 3 months after they enter the country even if they do not intend to stay that long. They should also make sure they have at least 1 blank page in their passport for any entry stamp that will be required. A visa is not required as long as you do not stay in the country more than 89 days.

US Embassy/ Consulate:

[33] (1) 43-12-22-22; US Embassy in Paris, 2 Avenue Gabriel, 75008 Paris, France; https://fr.usembassy.gov Citizeninfo@state.gov

Telephone Code:

33

Local Emergency Phone:

Ambulance: 112, 15; Fire: 112, 18; Police: 112, 17

Internet TLD:

.fr

Vaccinations:

See WHO recommendations at http://www.who.int

Climate

Generally cool winters and mild summers, but mild winters and hot summers along the Mediterranean; occasionally strong, cold, dry north-to-northwesterly wind know as the mistral

Currency (Code)

Euros (EUR)

Electricity/Voltage/Plug Type(s):

230 V / 50 Hz / plug type(s): C, E

Major Languages:

French

Religions:

Christian (overwhelmingly Roman Catholic) 63-66%, Muslim 7-9%, Buddhist 0.5- 0.75%, Jewish 0.5-0.75%

Time Zone

UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time); daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March, ends last Sunday in October

Potable Water

Yes

International Driving Permit

Suggested

Road Driving Side

Right

Tourist Destinations

Eiffel Tower; Louvre Museum; Notre-Dame de Paris; Palace of Versailles; Côte d’Azur; Mont Saint-Michel; Loire Valley Châteaux; Provence; Normandy; Brittany; Carcassone; Avignon; Alsace (includes Colmar and Strasbourg); Notre-Dame de Chartres; Caves of Vezere Valley; Grotte Chauvet, Ardeche River and Pont d’Arc

Major Sports

Soccer, tennis, cycling, basketball, handball, rugby

Cultural Practices

Hugging is a much less common form of greeting in France than in other countries, and may be received uncomfortably.

Tipping Guidelines

Tips are not necessary, but appreciated and you may always round up for good service. In nicer restaurants, a tip of 5% is sufficient. Tip taxi drivers 10% of a total fare. Bellhops, room service, and housekeeping appreciate a tip between 1-3 euros.

Government

Chief of State:

President Emmanuel MACRON (since 14 May 2017)

Government:

semi-presidential republic

Capital:

Paris

Largest City:

Paris

Legislature:

London

Judiciary:

London

Ambassador to US:

Ambassador Philippe Noel Marie Marc ETIENNE (since 8 July 2019)

US Ambassador:

Ambassador Robert Wood “Woody” Johnson IV

Geography

Area:

 Total: 643,801 sq km ; 551,500 sq km (metropolitan France) Land: 640,427 sq km ; 549,970 sq km (metropolitan France) Water: 3,374 sq km ; 1,530 sq km (metropolitan France)

Natural Resources:

metropolitan France: coal, iron ore, bauxite, zinc, uranium, antimony, arsenic, potash, feldspar, fluorspar, gypsum, timber, arable land, fish, French Guiana, gold deposits, petroleum, kaolin, niobium, tantalum, clay

People & Society

Population:

0.33% (2021 est.)

Population Growth:

0.51% (2018 est.)

Ethnic Groups:

Celtic and Latin with Teutonic, Slavic, North African, Indochinese, Basque minorities

Urbanization:

urban population: 81.2% of total population (2021)

rate of urbanization: 0.67% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Economy

Economic Overview:

The French economy is diversified across all sectors. The government has partially or fully privatized many large companies, including Air France, France Telecom, Renault, and Thales. However, the government maintains a strong presence in some sectors, particularly power, public transport, and defense industries. France is the most visited country in the world with 89 million foreign tourists in 2017. France’s leaders remain committed to a capitalism in which they maintain social equity by means of laws, tax policies, and social spending that mitigate economic inequality.

France’s real GDP grew by 1.9% in 2017, up from 1.2% the year before. The unemployment rate (including overseas territories) increased from 7.8% in 2008 to 10.2% in 2015, before falling to 9.0% in 2017. Youth unemployment in metropolitan France decreased from 24.6% in the fourth quarter of 2014 to 20.6% in the fourth quarter of 2017.

France’s public finances have historically been strained by high spending and low growth. In 2017, the budget deficit improved to 2.7% of GDP, bringing it in compliance with the EU-mandated 3% deficit target. Meanwhile, France’s public debt rose from 89.5% of GDP in 2012 to 97% in 2017.

Since entering office in May 2017, President Emmanuel MACRON launched a series of economic reforms to improve competitiveness and boost economic growth. President MACRON campaigned on reforming France’s labor code and in late 2017 implemented a range of reforms to increase flexibility in the labor market by making it easier for firms to hire and fire and simplifying negotiations between employers and employees. In addition to labor reforms, President MACRON’s 2018 budget cuts public spending, taxes, and social security contributions to spur private investment and increase purchasing power. The government plans to gradually reduce corporate tax rate for businesses from 33.3% to 25% by 2022.

GDP (Purchasing Power Parity)

$2,832,170,000,000 note: data are in 2017 dollars (2020 est.)

GDP per capita

$42,000 note: data are in 2017 dollars (2020 est.)

Exports:

$746.91 billion note: data are in current year dollars (2020 est.) Germany 14%, United States 8%, Italy 7%, Spain 7%, Belgium 7%, United Kingdom 7% (2019)

🇫🇷 Holidays and Observances in France in 2021…

Date NameTypeDetails
Jan 1FridayNew Year’s DayNational holiday 
Mar 20SaturdayMarch EquinoxSeason 
Mar 28SundayDaylight Saving Time startsClock change/Daylight Saving Time 
Apr 2FridayGood FridayLocal holidayBas-Rhin, Haut-Rhin, Moselle
Apr 4SundayEaster SundayObservance 
Apr 5MondayEaster MondayNational holiday 
May 1SaturdayLabor Day / May DayNational holiday 
May 8SaturdayWWII Victory DayNational holiday 
May 13ThursdayAscension DayNational holiday 
May 23SundayWhit SundayObservance 
May 24MondayWhit MondayNational holiday 
May 30SundayMother’s DayObservance 
Jun 20SundayFather’s DayObservance 
Jun 21MondayJune SolsticeSeason 
Jul 14WednesdayBastille DayNational holiday 
Aug 15SundayAssumption of MaryNational holiday 
Sep 22WednesdaySeptember EquinoxSeason 
Oct 31SundayDaylight Saving Time endsClock change/Daylight Saving Time 
Nov 1MondayAll Saints’ DayNational holiday 
Nov 11ThursdayArmistice DayNational holiday 
Dec 21TuesdayDecember SolsticeSeason 
Dec 24FridayChristmas EveObservance 
Dec 25SaturdayChristmas DayNational holiday 
Dec 26SundaySt Stephen’s DayLocal holidayBas-Rhin, Haut-Rhin, Moselle
Dec 31FridayNew Year’s EveObservance