When most people think of France, they think of wine, cheese, and baguettes. But, there's so much more to this European country than that! France is famous for a number of things, from its art and culture to its history and people.
Let’s explore the 10 things France is known for, diving deeper into the question of why it is so distinctive. Read on, and find out why France is one of the most desirable places to visit in Europe.
There’s a reason why French cuisine is considered one of the best in the world. The country’s chefs have perfected the art of using fresh, seasonal ingredients to create dishes that are not only incredibly tasty but also healthy.
French is known for many of its national dishes. From starters such as onion soup and escargot to mains like boeuf bourguignon and cassoulet, there’s something to suit everyone’s palate. And, don’t forget about the dessert – France has some of the best sweets in the world, whether it's crème brûlée, chocolate éclairs, or simple croissants. One famous thing that, despite its name, is not French, are French fries – this food actually originated in Belgium.
Why is French cuisine so renowned? Mostly because of its focus on simplicity. Chefs in France often keep their dishes straightforward, using high-quality ingredients to let the flavors speak for themselves. This philosophy extends to all aspects of French food culture, from the way dishes are presented to how they’re eaten.
Among the most famous French things are the delicious cheeses, which can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. From creamy brie to tangy goat cheese, French cheeses are incredibly versatile.
They can be eaten as part of the main dish or as a dessert, and they go well with both red and white wines. In fact, the best way to experience French cheese is by sampling a range of different varieties off a cheese plate.
Tour de France
Since 1903, cyclists from around the world have come together each summer to participate in a grueling race that takes place over nearly three weeks. The Tour de France is the most famous of all the major cycling races, with competitors competing on different routes throughout France and neighboring countries.
Over the years, this annual competition has captured people’s attention for its intensity and drama, as well as its scenic routes through some of France’s most beautiful regions. While it’s impossible to win every year, participants who excel during parts of the race are often given special prizes, such as best climber or best young rider.
Cannes Film Festival
Each May, movie buffs from around the world flock to Cannes, France to participate in one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world. For two weeks, celebrities from the film industry gather on the French Riviera for this glamorous event, which features high-profile premieres of some of Hollywood’s biggest movies.
Some celebrities even choose to wear elaborate costumes when taking part in red carpet events at Cannes or socializing with friends at lavish parties during the festival. But, while everyone is vying for attention, there is one thing that unites them all – their love of cinema!
Over a hundred years since its inception, the Cannes Film Festival remains one of France’s most celebrated cultural events.
While it’s easy to visit the Disney theme parks in the US, why not check out Disneyland Paris? Located just outside of the French capital, the Walt Disney Studios Park is easily accessible from both Paris and other popular destinations throughout France.
As you would expect from a Disney park, there are plenty of family-friendly attractions for children to enjoy. From rollercoasters and stage shows to seasonal events such as Halloween or Christmas celebrations, there’s always something new at Disneyland Paris. But, with so much to see and do here, many adults end up having just as much fun as their children!
Whether you’re visiting Disneyland Paris for a day or staying for the weekend, there’s no doubt that this is one of the best places to enjoy fun and entertainment in France.
France is known for its stunning architecture, from the ancient ruins at Carcassonne to the modern marvels of the Eiffel Tower. But, some of the most famous French architecture can be found in Paris, where tourists can admire centuries-old cathedrals and palaces.
The Notre Dame Cathedral is perhaps the most iconic building in Paris, with its imposing spire and intricate stone carvings being an outstanding example of French Gothic architecture. This cathedral has been standing since the 12th century and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Just a few kilometers away from Notre Dame is another famous landmark – the Palace of Versailles. This opulent palace was once home to French kings and queens, and today it attracts thousands of visitors each year.
With its grand halls and gardens, Versailles is definitely worth a visit for anyone interested in French history or architecture.
Finally, no discussion of French architecture would be complete without mentioning the Eiffel Tower. This world-famous tower was originally built as a temporary structure for the 1889 World’s Fair by the French engineer Gustave Eiffel, but it soon became a Parisian landmark.
Standing at over 300 meters tall, the Eiffel Tower is one of the most recognizable buildings in the world. Whether you’re visiting Paris or just looking at photos online, you’re sure to recognize this iconic structure!
The French Revolution
The French Revolution is one of the most important events in France’s history. Beginning in 1789, this revolution saw hundreds of years of monarchy replaced by a new republic and, eventually, a constitutional monarchy.
Many notable events took place during the French Revolution, such as the storming of the Bastille prison and the beheading of King Louis XVI and his wife, Marie Antoinette.
Despite its bloody beginnings, the French Revolution helped to shape modern France and modern French people. The values of equality, liberty, and fraternity that were espoused during this period are still at the core of French society today.
For anyone interested in learning more about this pivotal moment in European history, there are many museums and historical sites across France where you can explore exhibits detailing life during the French Revolution.
Whether you’re a history buff or just looking for something interesting to do in Paris, a trip to the French Revolution exhibition is sure to be an enlightening experience.
France has some of the most stunning natural landscapes in Europe and, in many cases, it’s possible to enjoy these breathtaking views without ever leaving a city. From rivers and forests to canals and mountains, France is home to a wide variety of geographic features that are perfect for anyone interested in exploring the great outdoors.
One of the best places to explore this diverse landscape is along France’s longest river – the Loire. This 1,000-kilometer waterway flows through central France before emptying into the Bay of Biscay on the Atlantic coast.
Along its banks, you’ll find quiet villages, vineyards, historic castles, and protected landscapes that are ideal for hiking or cycling trips.
The Alps, another natural attraction, are a mountain range that extends across southeastern France, northwestern Italy, and southwestern Switzerland. At over 4,000 meters high, Mont Blanc is the tallest mountain in the Alps and a popular destination for hikers and climbers who adore its snowy peak.
If you’re looking for a challenging hike with stunning views, the French Alps are the place to be. With miles of trails to explore, you could easily spend a week or more simply enjoying nature here. It’s also one of the best places to enjoy the picturesque villages, rolling hills, and tranquil forests of the French countryside.
Overall, France is a paradise for nature lovers, and anyone with an interest in exploring the great outdoors should make sure to put this stunning country on their travel bucket list.
Depending on your interests, you can go to the Champagne wine region with its iconic sparkling wine, visit Grass in southern France to explore the capital of fragrance, or relax in the French Riviera. France has something to offer everyone.
Paris is known for being one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and it’s a must-see destination for anyone planning a trip to France. Whether you’re visiting Paris for the art, history, food, or architecture, there are countless things to see and do here.
Perhaps one of the best ways to get a taste of all that Paris has to offer is by taking a guided walking tour through some of its most famous neighborhoods. This way, you can explore the charming streets of Montmartre or enjoy a leisurely stroll along the Seine River without missing out on any of the city’s major attractions.
Another popular activity in Paris is exploring its many museums and galleries. With over 150 museums dedicated to a wide variety of subjects, there are plenty of exhibits to choose from. Whether you’re interested in art, architecture, fashion, history, or science and technology, Paris has the perfect museum for you.
Of course, no trip to Paris would be complete without a visit to some of its iconic landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower that we’ve already mentioned. Other notable sights include Notre Dame Cathedral, Place de la Concorde, and the Arc de Triomphe.
No matter what brings you to Paris, you’re sure to be amazed by this beautiful city’s rich history and culture. And, if you want to explore the city like a real Frenchman, make sure to check out our Paris guide.
Art and Culture
France is often referred to as the cultural center of Europe, and it’s no wonder why. From renowned art museums to scenic vineyards, there are countless ways to experience France’s rich artistic heritage.
If you love art, Paris is one of the best places to visit in France. Home to some of the most famous artists in history – including Claude Monet, Paul Cézanne, Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas, Pablo Picasso, and Vincent van Gogh – Paris has long been a hub for creative inspiration.
Today, it still offers visitors numerous opportunities to explore its fascinating art scene. Whether you prefer traditional paintings or modern sculptures and installations, there’s something here for everyone.
Outside of Paris, you’ll also find many other great museums and galleries that are worth a visit. In the small village of Giverny, for example, you can tour the famous gardens of painter Claude Monet and even see his paintings up close in the Musée d'Art Américain Giverny.
Located near Aix-en-Provence, the Fondation Louis Vuitton is another popular art museum with an impressive collection of modern sculptures by artists like Alexander Calder and Joan Miró.
In addition to its world-famous art museums, France has plenty more to offer when it comes to culture. From attending concerts at the Palais Garnier opera house in Paris to sampling some delicious wines in Bordeaux, there are countless ways to soak up France’s rich artistic and cultural heritage.
France is home to some of the most famous people in the world, including legendary designers, athletes, and political leaders. Some of the most iconic French celebrities include:
- Coco Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, and Christian Dior – people who made France famous as the capital of fashion.
- Zinedine Zidane,widely considered to be one of the greatest soccer players in history; and Kylian Mbappé, the second teenager ever to score a goal in the finals of the World Cup.
- Napoleon Bonaparte, one of the greatest military leaders in history and head of the French Revolutionn. He played a major role in shaping French history.
- Marie Curie, the Nobel Prize-winning scientist whose groundbreaking research in physics changed our understanding of matter.
- Albert Camus and Jean-Paul Sartre, two philosophers who shaped modern political and moral thought with their writings.
And, of course, we can't forget about the famous French women who inspired generations with their art, literature, and activism. These include Catherine de Medici, Simone de Beauvoir, Édith Piaf, Brigitte Bardot, and many others.
There are a myriad of reasons why France is famous the world over. From its rich history and art to its delicious food, this country has something for everyone. In this article, we’ve explored just some of the most famous things France is known for, but there are many other aspects of French culture that are worth remembering.
And, if this made you a tad more interested in France’s history and culture, we also encourage you to take a glance at the French language via our app. After all, as a reflection of all things French, it may be just the thing you need to feel closer to this amazing country.