40+ Interesting Facts About France

  1. France, a country in Western Europe, is the second most populous and the second largest country among countries present entirely in Europe.
  2. France has the highest ratio of roundabouts in the world. There is one roundabout for every 45 intersections in France. (Source)
  3. The Musee du Louvre in Paris is the biggest and most visited art museum. Around 38,000 artistic objects in this museum attract millions of visitors annually.
  4. Disneyland Paris is the most visited theme park in Europe. It was visited by more than 13 million people in 2016, far more than the attendance of the 2nd most visited European theme park (Europa Park in Germany with 5.6 million visitors). (Source)
  5. France has the highest number of time zones in the world. Due to several overseas territories around the world, there are 12 time zones in this European country.
  6. These overseas territories provide a vital economic benefit to France regarding its share of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). France has the world’s largest EEZ, with an area of 3,791,998 sq. mi. (Source)
  7. The French Republic is composed of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas territories in various parts of the world.
  8. According to a few historians, April Fools’ Day was celebrated for the first time in France in 1582. It happened when France replaced the Julian calendar with the Gregorian calendar. (Source)
  9. The oldest recorded human voice is a French folk song. It was recorded on 9th April 1860 in France. (Source)
  10. The world’s first public screening of a movie was held in France. This event took place on 28th December 1895 at the Grand CafĂ© in Paris. (Source)
  11. The world’s oldest known human was a 122-year-old French woman. She died at age 122 and 165 days in 1997. (Source) 
  12. Mont Blanc is the highest mountain in Western Europe. The summit of this mountain (4,807 m) is in France.
  13. Modern camouflage was initially used by the French military in 1915. The first units of camoufleurs (camouflage specialists) were also developed by France during WW1. (Source)
  14. France has the largest Jewish population in Europe and the third-largest in the world after Israel and the USA.
  15. France is the favorite country for visitors. It receives the highest number of tourists in the world every year. More than 80 million people visit France annually. (Source
    Backpacking tourists
    France receives the highest number of tourists in world

  16. According to a 2019 report, the French capital Paris is the world’s second most expensive city. It has tied with Singapore and Hong Kong for the top position in the list of the world’s most expensive cities. (Source)
  17. France has 58 nuclear power plants, the second highest in the world after the USA. France fulfills around 75% of its energy requirement through atomic power, which is the highest in the world. France is also 2nd in the world for the production of total nuclear energy. (Source)
  18. France has 300 nuclear weapons, the third highest in the world after Russia and the USA. It is also one of the only two European countries (along with the UK) having nuclear weapons.
  19. France has one of the most powerful militaries in Europe and in the world. Like many other modern countries, France relies mostly on its navy and air force. (Source)
  20. France has the 2nd largest rail network in Europe. The total length of railway lines in the country is 28,120 km. (Source)
  21. Europe’s busiest railway stations are also present in France. Gare du Nord and Gare de Chatelet (in Paris) are the two busiest railway stations in Europe. (Source)
  22. France has the highest number of Muslims in the Western world. Mayotte, an overseas region of France, has a 97% Muslim population.
  23. In 2016, France became the first country in the world to ban supermarkets from throwing away or destroying unsold food. Supermarkets have to donate this food to food banks and charities. (Source)
  24. In 1893, France became the first country in the world to introduce license plates to vehicles.
  25. According to WHO’s ranking of healthcare systems, France has the best healthcare system in the world. (Source)
  26. France is the world’s biggest exporter of helicopters, airplanes, spacecraft, wine, cosmetics, perfumes, and bovine animals. It is also the biggest importer of fish, nuclear reactors, footwear, jewelry, leather goods, and travel goods. (Source)
  27. France is the 2nd oldest country in Europe after San Marino. Charles the Bald became the founder of this nation-state in 843 AD. (Source)
  28. The statue of liberty in New York (USA) is a gift from France to the USA. It is known as a symbol of friendship between two nations. (Source)
  29. The shortest-ever reigning monarch was the French King Louis XIX. He could remain the French emperor for just 20 minutes in 1830. (Source)
    Portrait of Louis XIX of France
    Louis XIX was the shortest reigning monarch in history

  30. The first-ever public transportation system, horse-drawn carriage routes, started in Paris in 1662. The first-ever omnibus was also launched in France in 1826.
  31. Under French law, one can marry a dead person if he/she had the intention to marry his/her partner while living. (Source)
  32. The world’s longest novel was written in France in 1912. There are more than 9.6 million characters in this novel. (Source)
  33. France is the world’s largest consumer of Snails. The French eat more than 40,000 tons of snails every year. (Source)
  34. Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris is the biggest airport in Europe, with a total area of 32.27 km2. It is also the world’s 10th busiest airport. (Source)
  35. Charles de Gaulle, a famous French politician, survived more than 30 assassination attempts. Some of these attempts failed due to his dependable car and skillful driver. The people who tried to kill him in 1962 were the last to receive capital punishment by firing squad in the country. (Source)
  36. France has 44 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The country is at the 4th spot in the list of most heritage sites.
  37. France has the 4th highest number of Nobel Prizes in the world. The country has won 16 Nobel Prizes in Literature, the highest in the world. (Source)
  38. In 1879, Paris became the first western capital to have a mayor of African descent. Mayor Severiano de Heredia was a Cuban by birth. (Source)
  39. The world’s first artificial face and heart transplants were operated successfully in France. Surgeons performed these operations in 2005 and 2013, respectively. (Source)
  40. The origin of denim fabric is in France. It was created during the 17th Century in the French city Nimes. 
  41. French is the official language of 29 countries, including 13 adopting it as the sole official language. Most of these countries are in Africa. (Source)
  42. France is famous for its tricolor flag. However, the country had a plain white flag from 1814 to 1830. (Source)
  43. Many famous scientific inventions have French origins. A few of the most significant French inventions still useful are the metric system, Braille, parachute, hairdryer, stethoscope, and many others.


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