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France is the ultimate holiday destination in the world as it has everything from a great city like Paris to marvellous beaches to splendid monuments, lovely natural locations to incredible mountain scenery to mention a few? France is also a very comfortable place to stay as it offers good food, great wines and friendly people who love to enjoy their lives.
The Northern France comprises of the flatlands around the town of Lille and the Channel. The area will remind visitors in many ways of Belgium and the Netherlands. The Grand' Place in Lille for example is a lot like that of Brussels. Paris (capital city), the city of light is one of the most visited areas of France. Paris is without a doubt one of the most pretty cities on the planet.

Fact File
Official name : French Republic
Government : Republic
Nationality : French
Capital city : Paris
Ethnic groups : 92% French, 3% North African, 2% German, 1% Breton, 2% other (including Provençal, Catalan & Basque
Location : Western Europe, bordering the Bay of Biscay and English Channel, between Belgium and Spain, southeast of the UK; bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Italy and Spain
Continent : Europe
Currency : Euro; 1 Euro = 52.443 Indian Rupee = 1.2047 US $(subject to change)
Eiffel TowerPopulation : 60.4 million
Languages : French, Catalan, Basque, Breton, Corsican
Religion : 86% Roman Catholic, 8% Muslim, 2% Protestant 1% Jewish, 3% unaffiliated
Area : 547,030 sq km
Famous for : Fashion industry, perfumes, wine, etc. Also known for celebrated writers, philosophers, artists, designers and musicians
Major cities : Paris, Marseille, Lyon, Toulouse, Nice, Nantes, Strasbourg, Montpellier , Bordeaux
Clothing : Summers : light cottons ; winters : woolens.
Major events : May Day (1 May), Bastille Day (14 July), the primping and preening prêt à porter fashion show in Paris (early February); the Cannes Film Festival (mid-May); the International Music Festival in Strasbourg (first three weeks of June); the mainstream and fringe theatre of the Festival d'Avignon (mid-July to mid-August) and the Jazz Festival in Nancy (mid-Oct).
Things to Buy : Perfumes, wines
Things to do : Sightseeing, shopping
Cuisine : Characterised by Chinese and Indian cuisine. Beverages : wines which are world famous.

Visa Permit
Nationals of the EU, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Israel do not need visas to visit France as tourists for up to three months. Except for the citizens of a handful of other European countries, everyone else must have a visa. Tourist visas cannot be extended except in emergencies (eg medical problems).

When to go
Spring is the best season for the visitors, with beach tourism picking up in May. Winter season is very cold. Mid-July through to the end of August is when most city dwellers take their annual five weeks' vacation to the coasts and mountains, and the half-desolate cities tend to shut down a bit accordingly. The same happens during February and March.

FranceThe average temperature is about 79 F through the year. Average humidity is at 75%. The rainy season starts in August and ends by the end of October.Warm all year round with most rain falling during the Autumn; although showers can occur all year round. Upland areas are cooler

Getting there
By Air : Air France and many other airlines connect Paris to every section of the globe. Other French cities with international air links (mainly to places within Europe) include Bordeaux, Lyon, Marseille, Nice, Strasbourg and Toulouse.
By Train : France is connected with every country in Europe by railways. Paris is the country's main rail hub, with services to/from every part of Europe. Moreover, the completion of the Channel Tunnel in 1994 has ensured that the travel between England and France is quick and hassle-free.
By Bus : Paris is the country's main bus hub, with services to/from every part of Europe. Buses are slower and less comfortable than trains, but they are relatively inexpensive.
By Sea : The quickest passenger ferries and hovercrafts to England operate between Calais and Dover, and Boulogne and Folkestone. There are several routes linking Brittany and Normandy with England; Saint Malo is linked by car ferry and hydrofoil with Weymouth, Poole and Portsmouth, while Roscoff has ferry links to Plymouth. Ferries also provide the waters between France and Ireland (Cherbourg-Cork), the Channel Islands, Sardinia (Marseille-Porto Torres), Italy (Corsica-Genoa) and North Africa (Marseille-Algiers, Marseille-Tunis, Sète-Tangier).

Getting around
By Car : The Autoroutes of France are a great way of getting to one part of the country to another. They are in perfect shape, the places to stop (aire de répos) are always very well organized - in Summer they often have activities for.
By Train : France has a very well developed railway system and possesses fastest trains in Europe. The TGV (Train a Grande Vitesse i.e. Very Fast Train) takes one from Paris to most major cities at an average speed of some 200 km an hour.

Major attractions
Paris Ile de FranceParis (capital city) : Paris, the capital of France boasts of having the greatest number of parks, woods and gardens. The city is blessed with a wide range of squares like Place de la Concorde, Place de la Bastille, Place des Vosges and so on which offer the tourists with endless sightseeing opportunities. The city owns the most beautiful museums which are the fascinating gateways to knowledge, creation and human adventure. These can be called as the “ gates “ which give the visitor the opportunity to see some of the greatest works of art ever created by human genius. The city is famous for the museums and the art collections. In short the city of Paris is a remarkable destination for a wonderful vacations worth remembering for a lifetime.

The Eiffel Tower : The Eiffel Tower was built for the International Exhibition of Paris of 1889 commemorating the centenary of the French Revolution. The Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII of England, opened the tower. Of the 700 proposals submitted in a design competition, Gustave Eiffel's was unanimously chosen. The tower is 300 meters (320.75m including antenna) high and 7000 tons in wieght and is the world's tallest building until 1930.

Notre Dame : This is a Gothic masterpiece located in the heart of Paris. This monument was erected in three stages and the cathedral was completed in 1250. This period witnessed Paris coming into its own force as a center of political power and commerce. It was taken care of that the church should reflect the prestige of the city. One can reach the site via river boat along the Seine. Entrance is free, and the mass is highly recommended. At the end of the ceremony, there is a procession through the narrow surrounding streets.

Arc de Triomphe : The Arc de Triomphe lies in the Place Charles de Gaulle and dates to 1806, when Napoléon commissioned Chalgrin to build an arch to the glory of the French Army. Construction on the Arch began in 1806, restarted in 1825, and was not finished until 1836. The monument was constructed on the model of ancient Triumphal Arches and is unique because of its monumental size as it is 50 meters tall and 45 meters wide (164 by 148 feet). The four magnificent high reliefs are crowned by Rude's masterpiece, "The Departure of the Volunteers in 1792".

Other attractions
Pompidou Centre
Sacre Coeur Paris
The Montmartre hill
Château de Versailles
The Louvre

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