France, officially known as the French Republic (République française) is a country including the mainland of metropolitan France in Western Europe, as well as several coastal islands like Corsica and several overseas territories like Guadeloupe and Martinique in the Caribbean Sea. France is bordered by Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Luxembourg, Andorra, Italy, Spain, and Monaco. It has coastline along the English Channel, North Sea, Mediterranean Sea, and Atlantic Ocean. France covers an area of 247,368 square miles (640,679 square km) in total, of which 213,011 square miles (551,695 square km) is made up by Metropolitan France. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.


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France has an estimated population of 67.1 million, with 65 million living in Metropolitan France. France has the seventh strongest economy in the world and is one of the most popular touristic countries on Earth, home to a large number of UNESCO World Heritage sites and attracting over 80 million international visitors each year. France is a major global economic power and a leading member of both the European Union and NATO. The capital city of France is Paris, which is also the country's largest city. Read on for more details and overviews on the largest cities in France.

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Located in the Île-de-France region in central northern France, Paris is the capital city of the country. Paris is also the largest city in France, covering an area of 40.7 square miles (105.4 square km) and having an estimated population of 2.2 million, with over 12.4 million people living in the surrounding metropolitan area.

Paris is broken up into 20 'arondissements' and is situated around the River Seine. The city has centuries of history behind it and is one of the most-visited cities in the world, home to a long list of world-famous monuments like the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe, as well as the renowned Louvre museum, which houses prestigious works of art like the Mona Lisa.

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Situated in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region of France in the Bouches-du-Rhône department, Marseille is the second largest city in France. It is located on the south coast of the country and covers an area of 92.9 square miles (240.62 square km). Marseille has an estimated population of 869,000, with over 1.8 million people living in the surrounding metropolitan area.

While Paris is known for relatively mild and often rainy weather, Marseille is known for warmth and sunshine through large parts of the year due to its southern location on the Mediterranean Sea. It is a major port city and a key cultural location for southern France. Some of the landmarks and points of interest around Marseille include the Old Part, Palais Longchamp, Marseille Cathedral, and Vélodrome Stadium.

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Situated in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, Lyon is the third largest city in France. It is located in the central eastern part of the country and covers an area of 18.48 square miles (47.87 square km). The estimated population of Lyon is 506,000, with over 2.2 million people living in the surrounding metropolitan area.

Lyon is known as a major contributor to French cuisine, with a lot of regional specialties. It's also a big economic, research, and finance city, as well as being a very popular tourist hotspot due to its beautiful architecture and annual lights festival, the Fête des Lumières.

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Located in the Occitanie region of France in the Haute-Garonne department, Toulouse is France's fourth largest city. It is situated on the Garonne River in the southwestern part of the country, relatively close to the France-Spain border. Toulouse covers an area of 45.7 square miles (118.3 square km).

The estimated population of Toulouse is 479,000, with over 1.4 million people living in the surrounding metropolitan area. Toulouse is nicknamed 'La Ville Rose' (The Pink City) due to the use of pink bricks in many of its buildings, and is a popular touristic destination. It's also home to one of the oldest universities in all of Europe.

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Situated in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in the Alpes-Maritimes department, Nice is the fifth largest city in France. It is situated in the southeastern part of the country, very close to the borders with Monaco and Italy. Nice covers an area of 27.77 square miles (71.92 square km) and has an estimated population of 343,000, with over 1 million in the surrounding metropolitan area.

A highly popular resort city, Nice is known as one of the prettiest and most expensive places to live in France. It is the heart of the French Riviera and is often nicknamed 'Nice La Belle' meaning 'Nice the Beautiful'. The city has a rich art and culture history and is well-known for its beachfront walkway, the Promenade des Anglais.

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5 of the Largest Cities in France

  • Overview, Photo: Simon/
  • Paris, Photo: Jbyard/
  • Marseille, Photo: Sergii Figurnyi/
  • Lyon, Photo: Frédéric Prochasson/
  • Toulouse, Photo: joyt/
  • Nice, Photo: proslgn/
  • Cover Photo: Courtesy of ekaterina_belova -

More Ideas: La Bouitte

From the frosty forests of Scandinavia to the forests of Germany, the iconic white coastal towns of the Greek islands, and the historic ruins of Italy, Europe is home to some of the most beautiful and exciting vacation destinations in the world, and nowhere is this more evident than in France. A nation with world class beaches, stunning countryside, rich history, a unique culture, some of the finest cuisine the world has ever known, and so much more, France is, for many people, the ultimate destination.

It’s a place blessed with everything from luxury beaches to rustic villages, special cities, and outstanding mountains and skiing areas. The Savoie department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of France is a perfect example of this. Home to some world class skiing areas, forests, mountains, and outdoor recreation opportunities, but also renowned for its exceptional cuisine like the classic fondue savoyarde and génépi liqueur and its unique culture, Savoie is a true microcosm of France and a wonderful place to visit.

Any trip to Savoie is made infinitely more magical and memorable by staying at La Bouitte. Located in Saint-Martin-de-Belleville and surrounded by the towering majesty of the French Alps, La Bouitte is, without a doubt, one of the finest hotels in the entire nation. A family owned and operated hotel that has earned itself three Michelin stars, La Bouitte stands out for its beauty, luxury, and service. Offering easy access to the nearby Trois Vallées skiing area, it’s the ideal base camp for explorations of the Savoie area.

- La Bouitte Location - La Bouitte is situated in a little hamlet right by St-Martin-de-Belleville. It's actually inside the Vanoise National Park, so the surrounding scenery and landscapes are simply phenomenal. The views from your room each morning can take your breath away, and the easy access to local mountains and ski areas make this a great place to stay for skiing trips. There's even a shuttle to take you right over to the local ski area within less than 10 minutes. Those visiting outside of the winter period can find many other activities nearby like scenic hiking and horse-riding trails.

- Luxury Accommodation - You'll find 15 luxury rooms and suites at La Bouitte, each decorated and furnished to an exceptional standard. All of the rooms feature hardwood floors and rustic beams jutting across the ceiling. The whole place is decorated in classic 'ski cabin' style, so guests can expect to see checkered curtains and deer antlers all around. All of the rooms are highly charming and unique, with each one being given its own name, and the standards of design and decor are simply second to none. It’s the perfect ‘home away from home’ for your trip to Savoie, with nothing but luxury and comfort all around you.

- Dining at La Bouitte - Dining is where La Bouitte really takes the guest experience to a whole new level. This location was awarded its third Michelin star back in 2015, so you can expect to enjoy only the best in fine dining when you take a seat at one of La Bouitte's tables. Father and son duo, René and Maxime, work together in the kitchen to provide guests with the sort of transcendental dining experiences you simply couldn't find anywhere else. With luxury ingredients like foie gras and caviar, combined with timeless recipes and classic Savoie dishes, the meals here are simply out of this world.

- Amenities - La Bouitte aims to offer only the finest experiences for all guests, so offers a great range of services, amenities, and facilities for everyone to enjoy. You can expect to find high speed Wi-Fi throughout the building, letting you keep up to date with all the latest news and social media info from your friends and family around the world. The hotel also comes complete with its own charming spa offering massages and other treatments, as well as a fitness center for those who like to stay active and an incredible outdoor whirlpool with awe-inspiring views over the Alps.

- First Class Service - Every hotel really lives or dies by the standard of its service. When you stay at a luxury location like La Bouitte, you need to know you’ll be getting the finest levels of care and attention for the full duration of your stay. Fortunately, that’s exactly what you’ll find here. Not only are the staff friendly and attentive, they’re also true experts at what they do. They can provide a lot of guidance and advice for exploring the region, as well as offering dinner recommendations and more. Despite the fact that this is a 3-star hotel, there’s a real lack of pretension here too and a nice family-friendly feel that can make you feel right at home.

La Bouitte is quite clearly one of the very best hotels in Savoie. In fact, with its 3-star meals and exceptional facilities, it has to rank right up there with the very best hotels in all of France. It’s the perfect place to stay for ski trips and Savoie vacations at any time of year, offering the standards of luxury, comfort, and excellence that very few other hotels can really live up to.

73440 Hameau de St Marcel, Saint-Martin-de-Belleville, France, Phone: +33 4 79 08 96 77

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More Ideas: Chateau Bouffemont, France

Château Bouffémont is a glorious 18th century estate in the heart of Montmorency Forest outside of Paris that offers first-class comfort, award-winning cuisine, and unrivaled personalized service. Once the setting for prestigious ceremonies organized by former residents, Baron Empain and the Marquise of Preignes, the Château is now a peaceful haven with luxurious accommodation and immaculate gardens and grounds for discerning guests to enjoy.

Surrounded by five acres of magnificent gardens and grounds over three levels set in a classic French way, Château Bouffémont features nine exquisitely appointed guest suites with refined décor and period furnishings, five grand reception halls and unparalleled views of the surrounding countryside. The Château is a fully functioning venue that operates year round with an array of services that can be tailor-made to meet specific requirements and needs. It also offers an extensive range of activities from recreational to leisure and sports.

Located in the heart of Montmorency Forest just 30 kilometers from the center of Paris, the Château boasts panoramic views of the Jack Nicklaus-designed 18-hole championship golf course at the Paris International Golf Club.

Château Bouffémont features nine exquisitely appointed and beautifully decorated guest rooms and suites with period décor and antique furnishings. Soft tones and pastel hues imbue an elegant ambiance and large windows flood each room and suite with natural light. Guest rooms and suites vary in size and layout, however, all feature comfortable king or queen size beds in designer linens, and en-suite bathrooms with walk-in showers, soaking bathtubs, luxury towels, and organic bath products. Modern amenities include flat-screen televisions, radios, telephones, and wireless Internet access and some rooms and suites have private terraces with beautiful views over the forest, gardens, or private Horse Club.

A private kitchen on the ground level of the Château is equipped with all the appliances and utensils needs for self-catering and cooking, including double-door refrigerator, a microwave oven, regular oven, dishwasher, coffee maker, wine refrigerator, kettle and more.

Château Bouffémont spans four floors and 2000 square meters of living space with elegant salons, spacious living areas and breathtaking interior spaces for guests to enjoy. On the garden level of the property is the Salon des Anges which features high ceilings and an elegant wooden bar where guests can relax over a drink with friends. The adjacent Dandy Lounge reflects the vibrancy of the 1920s and 1930s with plush Chesterfield sofas, eclectic décor, avant-garde objects, as well as murals by renowned artist Elisabeth Wela. Featuring a modern home theater and sound system, the Dandy Lounge can be used for all forms of entertainment.

The Grand Salon is found on the ground level of the Château and with beautiful views over the golf course, is the perfect place for relaxation. The inviting dining room known as the Salon du Baron is next door and provides a cozy corner for conversations and a glass of wine next to a large fireplace. Attached to this room is the Salon de la Marquise, which features a library that can be used for reading, studying or an impromptu game of chess. A large terrace on this level offers breathtaking views of the Montmorency Forest and the golf course.

A private kitchen is equipped with all the appliances and utensils needs for self-catering and cooking, including double-door refrigerator, a microwave oven, regular oven, dishwasher, coffee maker, wine refrigerator, kettle and more.

Additional guest services during a stay at Château Bouffémont include a dedicated butler, an array of housekeeping staff, a concierge service that facilitates day-to-day living and takes care of every request, and a 24/7 security guard on the property.

Château Bouffémont offers an exquisite venue for weddings, receptions, anniversaries and other special celebrations. The enchanting setting, magnificent gardens and grounds and elegant interiors cater for every need from intimate ceremonies and romantic outdoor receptions to grand indoor balls. Several options are available for receptions, including the gardens, the terraces, and the five salons, as well as various dining and catering options.

Château Bouffémont also caters for business functions and events, such as meetings and seminars with five fully equipped conference rooms with a seating capacity of up to 70 delegates in plenary, 140 for seated dinners, and 200 for cocktail dinners. These meeting rooms feature state-of-the-art sound and projector systems, microphones, stands, display cases, brochures (on request) and wireless Internet access. There is also an array of services available such as catering, transportation, and event planning and management.

Back to: Luxury Honeymoon Villas

8 Rue Léon Giraudeau, 95570 Bouffémont, France, Phone: 33-1-39-91-20-94

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France Currency

A historic nation, renowned for its world class cuisine, artistic heritage, intriguing history, beautiful cities, and varied spectrum of landscapes, France consistently ranks among the most popular European countries to visit. Whether you’re heading off on a skiing holiday, a romantic getaway, a beach trip, a family vacation, a city break, or some other kind of journey, France can provide everything you need.

Many visitors to France start off in Paris, known as the City of Lights and the City of Love. It’s one of the most touristic cities on Earth, with amazing shopping, dining, and sightseeing opportunities. Other visitors to France head to the coastal villages of Normandy and Brittany, the beautiful beaches of the Riviera, the vineyards of Bordeaux, and the cobblestone streets of places like Lyon and Toulouse. Wherever you’re going in France, here’s all you need to know about French currency.

Official Currency in France

The official currency for France is the euro. In the past, France used the French franc, but this was replaced by the euro in 2002. Many other countries around Europe make use of the euro, so it’s quite a simple system to understand and is very straightforward for people who have spent time in other European locations like Germany, Spain, or Italy.

The symbol for the euro is € and its code is EUR. A single euro is made up of 100 cents (c), but in France the term ‘centimes’ is used much more commonly than ‘cents’. A single euro is typically worth more than a US dollar, but exchange rates and currency values are always changing, so it’s important to check out the latest rates when buying your euros to have up-to-date information on their value.

Both coins and notes are used in the euro currency system. The coins are available in the following denominations:

- 1c

- 2c

- 5c

- 10c

- 20c

- 50c

- €1

- €2

The coin system for the euro is very easy to follow. All of the coins are circular, and they tend to get larger or change color as they increase in value. The three smallest value coins (1c, 2c, and 5c) are made from copper-covered steel. The next three values (10c, 20c, and 50c) are made from Nordic gold. The €1 coin features an outer ring of nickel brass and a middle section of copper-nickel, while the €2 features an outer ring of copper-nickel and an inner section of nickel brass. All of the coins used in France are clearly labeled with their values.

For notes, you’ll find these options in France:

- €5 (grey)

- €10 (red)

- €20 (blue)

- €50 (orange)

- €100 (green)

- €200 (yellow)

- €500 (purple)

The euro notes feature different sizes and a color-code system to easily differentiate between them. Each one is clearly labeled with its monetary value and they each feature images of architecture from eras of the past. The notes become larger as they increase in value. The colors of each note are listed above. The €500 note has stopped being produced and is quite rare, but is still accepted as legal currency.

Using Credit Cards in France

France is a modern and developed nation where cards are very commonly used in day to day transactions. Whether you’re visiting a big city or a smaller town, you’ll find that cards are accepted in the vast majority of locations, including small bakeries and stores, as well as restaurants.

The contactless payment system is quite prevalent in France also, and there are many ATMs all over the country. There are, however, some locations that will only accept cash, so it’s wise to take some cash along on your vacation to France and always have change on your person.

Using US Dollars or Other Currencies in France

The euro is the only official currency for France, so you’ll need euros in general when paying for goods or services. You may find that some hotels or restaurants, particularly in Paris, will agree to accept dollars, but this is very much on a case-by-case basis and it is unwise to travel to France and expect to be able to pay with dollars.

Here are some tips and useful bits of information to remember for money in France:

- Tipping isn’t as prevalent in France as in the United States, but it’s still widely accepted and many restaurants will automatically add gratuity onto your bill. You can also choose to add an additional tip as desired, and you may tip taxi drivers and various other workers too.

- If you’re going to Paris, be prepared to pay quite high prices for simple things. The cost of living in Paris is extremely high and simple purchases like food and drinks are significantly more expensive than in other parts of the country. If you’re traveling to France on a budget, consider heading outside the capital.

- Keep some change and paper money on your person at all times for the various market stalls and other instances where cards cannot be used.

- If you’re driving on an ‘autoroute’ in France, you may have to pay tolls. Be sure to look for the card or cash symbols above each toll booth and ensure you have the right payment method upon approaching the gate.

- When entering shops or bakeries or other establishments in France, take a look around near the cash register or ask a worker if they accept cards. Many places will put little signs up to let you know their policy on payment methods.

- Don’t forget to do your research when buying euros as the exchange rates can vary greatly from one place to the next. ATMs in France will often give you better rates than exchange centers.

- If you’re planning on visiting other parts of Europe, be sure to research their currency before you go. Many countries use the euro, so you can use the same euros in France in other places like Germany and Belgium too, but some European countries have their own specific currencies and won’t take euros.

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