France Facts

Interesting Facts for Kids

france_header: France Facts: Alsace, Paris, ProvenceFrance Facts: Alsace, Paris, Provence

Here are some interesting France Facts which were chosen and researched by kids especially for kids.

Flag of FranceFlag of France
  • Population: 68 million people live in the country (2023)
  • Capital: Paris, with 11 million inhabitants
  • Name: République Française (French Republic)
  • Motto: 'Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité' (Liberty, Equality, Fraternity)
  • Government: Democracy
  • Language: French
  • Religion: mainly Christians  65%, Muslims 8%
  • Currency: 1 Euro = 100 cents, until 2002 French Franc
  • History: In 700 - 500 BC the Celtic Gauls arrive in France. In 58 - 50 BC Roman Emperor Julius Caesar defeats the Gauls and France becomes part of the Roman Empire until 476 AD. French was ruled by kings for many centuries until the storming of the Bastille during the French Revolution in 1789. Then Napoleon becomes Emperor of the French Republic until he is sent to exile.
  • Flag: blue, white and red. The French refer to the flag as 'Tricolore' (French for 'three colours')
  • Anthem: La Marseillaise

France Map | France Geography

France is the largest country in Western Europe. The capital city of France is Paris.

On the map you can see France and the French island Corsica in the Mediterranean Sea.

France MapMap of France

France shares land borders with eight countries. The bordering countries of France are BelgiumGermany,  Luxembourg, Switzerland, Italy, Monaco, Andorra and Spain. The longest border is shared with Spain and the shortest with Monaco.

Continental France is slightly smaller than the state of Texas in the USA.

It takes a one-hour-flight from London/England to reach Paris via airplane and a flight from Paris to New York/USA takes about 5.5 hours.

France is known for its stunning landmarks and attractions such as the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, Sacre Coeur Cathedral or the Loire castles. France is a country also known for its 'haute couture' designers and fashion houses such as Dior, Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent, and the French car manufacturers Renault, Peugeot and Citroën.

France Geography | Superlatives of France

  • The Loire is the longest river of France with about 1,006 km/ 625 miles. The river passes through the cities Orleans and Nantes.
  • The Pyrenées are the longest mountain range in France. The mountain range is located in the South of France and forms a natural border between Spain and France. The Pyrenées are 430 km/ 270 miles long.
French Pyrenees Pic du MidiFrench Pyrenees
  • The highest mountain in France is the Mont Blanc, that is 4,810 m/ 15,780 ft high and stands at the border between France and Italy. This is the second highest mountain in Europe after Mount Elbrus.
Relief map of FranceRelief map of France

France is generally a flat country with coastal plains and rolling hills in the north and west and high mountains in the south and south eastern parts.

Mainland France, also referred to as Metropolitan France, is divided into 27 regions and these into 101 departments. Of the 101 departments there are also 5 ROM ('régions d’outre mer' meaning overseas regions) that belong to France.

The 5 overseas departments of France are:

  1. French Guyana in South America
  2. Guadeloupe, an island in the Caribbean
  3. Martinique, an island in the Caribbean,
  4. Mayotte, an island in the Indian Ocean in Africa
  5. La Réunion, another Indian Ocean island in Africa - click here to read more about Reunion

France Facts
Tourist Attractions in France

  • Paris: The capital city houses the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Montmartre, Arc de Triomphe, the river Seine, the Louvre Museum and many other great attractions. The Eiffel Tower in the centre of Paris is often referred to as the "Iron Lady" and is 324 m high/ 1,063 ft. Built in two years by Gustave Eiffel and his collaborators for the Universal Exhibition of Paris in 1889, the tower has become the symbol of the French capital.
Paris Eiffel towerEiffel Tower
  • Versailles Palace: Located in the outskirts of Paris, this palace was embellished by several generations of designers. French monarchs from Louis XIV to Louis XVI have lived there. For more than a century, this palace was the model of what a royal residence should be. There is still a lot of gold inside this awe-inspiring "château"
Queens Bedroom at Versailles - image by Gabriela Beres/shutterstock.comQueens Bedroom at Versailles - image by Gabriela Beres
  • Mont Saint Michel: The gothic-style, Benedictine abbey is located in the Normandy. The cathedral has been built on a rocky islet surrounded by powerful tides. 
Mont Saint MichelMont Saint Michel
  • Pont du Gard: This ancient 50 m high three-level bridge is a technical masterpiece in Occitanie. It was  built shortly before the Christian era to allow the Nîmes aqueduct, nearly 50 km long, to cross the Gardon river. This tall and magnificent bridge is almost a thousand years old!
Pont du GardPont du Gard
  • Château de Chambord: Built in 1519, Chambord is the largest of the Loire Valley castles and has 440 rooms! There are about 300 castles in the Loire Valley. The origin of most of the Loire Valley castles comes from the Hundred Year-War between France and England. 
Chambord Castle

Read more about castles in France here.

There are so many more exciting places and landmarks, gorgeous beaches, historic cities and villages, ancient ruins and majestic castles to visit. Among these are:

  • Côte d’Azur for turquoise blue sea and great beaches
  • Corsica: island in the Mediterranean sea, known for being the birth place of Napoleon
  • French Alps: great for hiking, skiing and snowboarding
  • Provence: region with lavender fields and old historic towns like Avignon
  • Lascaux Caves: for 17,000 years old rock paintings

And here are 10 Attractions in France everybody should know about:

France Facts | French Language

French is the official language in France and it is also the second major language in Europe.

French is one of the Romance languages. The Romance languages, which include Italian and Spanish, have their origins in the Latin language. Today, French is the second most studied language after English and spoken by more than 300 million people around the world as first or second language.

Try these five useful expressions in French:

  • bonjour - good day
  • salut - hello
  • merci - thank you
  • je m'appelle... - my name is....
  • bon appétit! - enjoy your meal!

And here is the French Alphabet. Enjoy!

French alphabet with animals

France Facts | French People

Most of the French people in Metropolitan France (on the European continent) live in cities and urban areas. The three largest cities is France are:

  • Paris: 11 million inhabitants
  • Lyon: 1.7 million inhabitants
  • Marseilles: 1.6 million inhabitants

Lille, Toulouse and Bordeaux each have about 1 million inhabitants.

About 10% of the French people are unemployed and roughly 15% of the population live below the poverty line.

France Facts
Famous French People

French has made a lot of the world’s renowned inventions like the creation of the vaccinations and the pasteurization process by Louis Pasteur, the first hair dryer, the hot air balloon and many other useful things. Now, they are building the first prototype of nuclear fusion reactor in France, called ITER (International Thermo-nuclear Engine Reactor) with the collaboration of 35 other countries. 

France is famous for the 'beaux-arts' (fine arts). The city was and is still home for many artists and great painters, artisans and sculptors.

Eiffel tower ParisEiffel Tower by Gustave Eiffel

Gustave Eiffel (1832-1923), a French engineer who designed the famous Eiffel tower in Paris. The Eiffel tower is named after him. He also worked together with Auguste Bartholdi, designer of the Statue of Liberty in New York. 

Famous French painters are:

  • Claude Monet
  • Pierre-Auguste Renoir
  • Edgar Degas
  • Paul Cezanne
Sculpture by Auguste RodinSculpture by Auguste Rodin

and Auguste Rodin is certainly one of the most famous French sculptors.

Among the most famous French composers are Maurice Ravel (composer of 'Bolero') and Georges Bizet (composer of the opera 'Carmen'). Children all around the world love French literature, like the famous “The Three Musketeers” by Alexandre Dumas and “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupery.

French political leader Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) was born on Corsica. He reformed the French laws. He declared himself Emperor of the French in 1804. Napoleon’s army was defeated by the British in the Battle of Waterloo (now in Belgium) in 1815. Napoleon was exiled to the island St. Helena in the South Atlantic where he died in 1821.

The current president of France is Emmanuel Macron who in 2017 became the youngest president in the history of France, with 39 years of age. Now President Macron is 45 years old.

France Facts | French Food

The French main dishes contain: fresh vegetables, meat and cheeses. French cuisine is well known for its freshness and high quality dishes. The French people enjoy their main meal in the evening and this meal often consists of three courses starting with a 'hors d’oeuvre', a starter dish which often is soup or a salad and bread, then the main course and afterwards some cheese or fruit.

The bread you will buy in France in a typical French boulangerie (bakery) is mostly white wheat bread or bread sticks, called baguette.

Make sure to read our separate article on 'Food in France', but let's quickly tell you some typical French food:

  • Baguette: long thin white bread stick
  • Croque Monsieur: grilled sandwich with ham and cheese. Croque Madame is the more heavy version with ham, cheese and a fried egg on top
  • Escargots: snails cooked in garlic butter are considered a delicacy in France
  • Crêpes: very thin pancakes with sweet or savoury fillings
  • Foie Gras: goose liver paté
  • Ratatouille: vegetable stew
  • Pain au chocolat: similar to a croissant filled with chocolate
  • Cancoillotte: this is a liquid creamy French cheese typical for the East of France. It is eaten hot or cold and delicious when added to sausages and potatoes. 

Click here to read more about 10 Typical French Dishes

Food in France

Try to visit a patisserie for the wonderful sweet like cakes like the petit fours or pain au chocolat. Not to forget to eat some pancakes in the many creperies. In Paris, you will find the oldest café or coffee shop in the world which was opened in 1694. It is called 'Le Procope'.

Here is a good picture of a typical boulangerie (bakery) in Paris. You can see the white church of Sacre Coeur in Montmartre in the background.

Boulangerie - French BakerA French Bakery

More France Facts: And here is another unique fact about the French cuisine: Every meal has an "order", thus we begin with the starter followed by a main course, then it's cheese with bread and only after all that, the dessert. 

France Facts | Did you know…?

…the Tour de France, which is the world’s most famous cycle race, was first held in 1903. The participants of the next tour de France which takes place from 1 - 23 July 2023 will ride their bikes over 3,404 km/ 2,115 miles from Bilbao/ Spain to Paris.

The winning bike rider gets to wear a yellow shirt to show that he is the leader of the race. In 2020, the winner of the Tour de France was 21-year old Tadej Pogačar from Slovenia. He is the second youngest champion of this prestigious cycle race!

Popular Pages

Resources for France Facts

  • Central Intelligence Agency. "France." CIA WorldFactBook. Last updated 24 January 2023. Last accessed 27 February 2023
  • Estate of Chambord. "Chambord - Presentation Pack.” 3 September 2018. Last accessed 27 January 2023

Many Thanks go to Estelle Lin of EAC School of Languages, and for this article special thanks to the students Augustin Bailly, Julien Thoumy and Anais Erman for their fabulous insights and unique France facts.

We hope you enjoyed reading our France Facts. Please bookmark this page and spread the word. We will add more information about France in the near future.

Picture Credits on France Facts: All Pictures, own and if not otherwise mentioned from and

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