Getting there: Fly into Roissy - Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG), the main international airport in France, and the airport used by most visitors travelling from outside Europe. For those coming from Western Europe, there are many flights to regional airports including Bordeaux, Clermont-Ferrand, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Nantes, Nice and Toulouse. Travelling by coach is another option with services from Paris to every European capital.
Capital city: Paris.
Population: 67.110 million.
Religion: The majority are Roman Catholic.
Currency: Euro (EUR).
Climate: France has a combination of a continental climate in central and eastern France, with cold winters and hot summers, a humid coastal zone in the west with cool summers and a mediterranean climate in the southeast with mild and damp winters and hot summers.
Transport: Explore the coastal islands by ferry; cities and larger towns by world-class public-transport systems, including the high speed TGV (train à grande vitesse) at speeds of up to 300 kilometres per hour and tour the countryside by bicycle (vélos) — a mode of transport that has become very popular in France.
Best time to travel: Climate needn’t be a major consideration in planning when to go. The most pertinent thought might be how to avoid crowds. The main French holiday periods are mid-July to the end of August. Hotels are very likely to be overbooked and the traffic awful.
What to wear: Go for a smart, stylish look. When visiting restaurants, leave sneakers behind; this is a time to parade the latest trend. Outside of Paris and the cities, be it in the countryside or at the beach, dress is more relaxed; conservative and practical but still stylish and smart.