Capital: Paris ♦ Population: 67.5 million ♦ Currency: Euro (€) ♦ Language: French

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From medieval cities, alpine villages and Mediterranean beaches, France certainly offers something for everyone. We also can’t forget France’s sophisticated culinary scene as well as its outstanding reputation for fine wine.

Provence: home to Lavender fields and historic towns.

Riviera: glittering beach side resorts, fancy towns and overpopulated beaches. Spend big or go home!

Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne: wine, what else?

Chamonix: let it snow baby. The cute little alpine village absolutely hums with the buzz of snow-bunnies. It is so easy to pop over the border and visit Italy while you’re at it!

Paris: Eiffel tower, fashion houses, world class museums (including the Louvre). Visit the nearby Versailles, a castle that was once home to the French King.

Strasbourg: Fairy-tale village complete with gingerbread houses, it really did feel like something out of Hansel and Gretel. These quaint houses adorned the canal edges, a multitude of different shapes, colours and sizes. The town is easy to explore by foot, helped by its logical layout. A perfect place to relax and soak up the beauty and cuisine of the Alsatian region.

Did you know?

  • Lots of famous artists, painters, artisans and sculptors originated from France (including Monet).
  • Food: whether it is basic or fancy, France does it well. Simple: think meat, cheese and baguettes. Fancy : try escargots (snails), foie gras (duck liver pate) and of course, frogs legs. France is world renown for both.
  • Louis XIX was King of France for a mere 20 minutes, the shortest ever reign. He abdicated himself. Yikes.
  • France has a national motto: Liberté, Equalité, Fraternité.
  • France was the first country in the world (2016) to ban supermarkets from throwing away unused food.

Useful tips

  • France is a very fashionable country. They say ‘less is more’ and for tourists in France, this is a good idealism to follow.
  • French people love it when you make an effort in their language. They also love New Zealanders, so weave that into conversation as soon as possible 😉
  • If in doubt about which wine to choose, always go for a local wine. You won’t be disappointed.
  • Money saving tip: buy local meats, bread and cheese at the supermarket for just a few euros, and then picnic in one of the many parks for lunch.