It’s not surprising that France is the most visited tourism destination in the world, according to figures from The World Tourism Organisation. One of the oldest nations in Europe, its famous landmarks are many – the Palace of Versailles, Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower. The country’s natural gifts are striking, with white sands, hulking mountains and swathes of rolling countryside. It’s a land that has inspired dreamers and drinkers, revolutionaries and artists.
At a glance
Full Name: Republic of France
Capital City: Paris
Area: 547,030 sq km
Population: 60.4 million
Time Zone: GMT/UTC +2
Languages: French, Catalan, Basque, Breton, Corsican
Country Dialling Code: 33
Must See’s and Must Do’s
Be part of the Tour de France, Coo over Carcassonne, Cross the Millau Viaduct, Cross to Mont Saint-Michel, Cycle the Loire Valley, Discover Provence, Drive the Alsace Wine Route, Explore past and present in Brittany, Feel the energy of Marseille, Feel the opulence of the Château de Versailles, Follow Bardot to St Tropez, Hike in Corsica, Kayak the Gorges du Verdon, Lose yourself in Lyon, Roll up for the Cannes Film Festival, See the cave art of Lascaux, Ski the Alps, Take to the peaks in Chamonix, Watch a game of boules
Money and Costs
Euro (EUR; symbol €) = 100 cents. Notes are in denominations of €500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5. Traveller’s cheques are accepted nearly everywhere in France. In Monaco, to avoid additional exchange rate charges, travellers are advised to take traveller’s cheques in Euros, US Dollars or Pounds Sterling.
1 AED =0.23 €
French toast and french fries aren’t French inventions.
The Eiffel Tower is painted every 7 years.
The French eat snails, frog’s legs and horsemeat.
In 1386, a pig was hung in France for the murder of a child.
France produces over 400 types of cheese!
All the trees in Paris are referenced and measured. And there are 470,000 of them.
The main bell in the Notre Dame Cathedral weighs over 13 tonnes, and it’s called Emmanuel.
Best time to go
Low Season (Oct-Mar)
Prices up to 50% less than high season. Sights, attractions and restaurants open fewer days and shorter hours. Hotels and restaurants in quieter rural regions (such as the Dordogne) are closed
Shoulder (Apr-Jun & Sep)
Accommodation rates drop in southern France and other hotspots. Spring: warm weather, flowers, local produce The vendange (grape harvest) is reason to visit in autumn
High Season (Jul & Aug)
Queues at big sights and on the road, especially August. Christmas, New Year and Easter equally busy Late December to March is high season in French Alpine ski resorts. Book accommodation and tables in the best restaurants well in advance
Cannes Film Festival (May)
Le Mans French Moto Grand Prix (May)
Bastille Day celebrations (July)
Fête de la Musique (June)
Tour de France (June)
Festival of the Giants (July)
Fête d’Avignon (July)
International Piano Festival (July – August)
Grand Pavois de La Rochelle (August)
Medoc Marathon (September)
Trois Glorieuses Wine Festival (November)
France tourist visa is not required for citizens of United Arab Emirates for a stay up to 90 days.
French General Consulate in Dubai :
Habtoor Business Tower – 32th Floor – Dubai Marina, Tel : +971 4 408 4900, Website : www.consulfrance-dubai.org
French Embassy in Abu Dhabi :
Etihad Towers, Tower 3, floor: 22 – Corniche Road West, Tel : +971 2 813 1000, Website : www.ambafrance-eau.org
FLIGHTS FROM UAE TO FRANCE
PLACES YOU MUST VISIT