EUROPE

Discover the Hidden Quirks of France

France

About

France, one of the largest countries in Europe, is a popular destination amongst tourists. This country is a hotspot for food lovers as it has an excellent reputation for its cuisine and wine, and its cooking is said to be one of the best in the world.

The French landscape ranges from the countryside to boulevards, mountainous areas to famous beaches. That being said, each region in France looks different and holds different atmospheres. The French capital, Paris, is at the top of the ‘to-do-list’ for many travellers due to the city’s history, architecture and cafés and restaurants on every corner. This city is home to the famous Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, The Louvre and Notre-Dame de Paris.

The South-eastern city of France, Nice, is a popular sun destination for many tourists due to its Mediterranean climate. Situated on the Mediterranean Sea and overlooked by the Alps, this city has a range of museums, beautiful beaches and fantastic nightlife. The Nice Carnival held for two weeks in February attracts over a million visitors every year and is one of the most famous carnivals in the world.

Initially, the Carnival celebrated the last few days before Lent began and was also to wish winter goodbye and welcome in spring. Now, each year, a unique theme is dedicated to the Carnival. In 2018, it was “King of Space”, and in 2019, it was “King of Cinema”. These events take place both day and night.

Although these two cities hold tonnes of history, architecture, art and excellent cuisine, the other cities of France are just as enjoyable. For instance, Cannes is known for its world-famous events such as the Cannes Film Festival and the Cannes Yachting Festival. Lyon is famous for its cuisine with streets filled with restaurants and cafés. And, Bordeaux is said to be the wine capital of the world with over 500 million bottles of wine produced here each year.

Things to Know Before You Go

  • French is the official language of France; however, other commonly used languages are English, German and Spanish.
  • The currency used in France is the Euro (abbreviated €).
  • Major Airports in France: Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG), Paris Orly Airport (ORY), Nice Airport (NCE) and Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport (LYS).
  • Summer months in France averages at daily highs of 25°C/ 77°F and in winter months it averages at daily highs of 7°C/45°F.
  • To rent a car in France, you need to be at least 21 years old; however, some rental car agencies require individuals to be 25 years old. You must have a credit card in your name and may need to have a driver’s licences for at least one full year.
  • France drives on the right side of the road.
  • Beware of pickpockets and scammers, especially in major attractions.

The Quirky and Unusual

The Paris Catacombs

Hidden below the streets of Paris, lie underground tunnels of the remains of over six million people. Every day, tourists walk above these tunnels unaware of what lies beneath. In the 18th century, there was a problem with overcrowding of dead bodies in cemeteries. So, these bodies had to find a new place to lay to rest.

Authorities made the decision to turn Paris’ abandoned quarries into a burial ground. The Cemetery of the Holy Innocents was the first cemetery to transfer its bones to the Catacombs. Over time, different cemeteries around Paris were emptied and moved into the Catacombs as well.

All the bones in the Catacombs are stacked in sections. In front of each section is a plaque informing visitors of the cemetery that the remains came from and the date which they were transferred. The number of tunnels is unknown, so only a particular section of the Catacombs is available to the public.

Address: Catacombs of Paris, Avenue du Colonel Henri Rol-Tanguy, Paris

Coordinates: 48.833835, 2.332422

Wanderful Ideas

Welcome! I'm Grace, a travel enthusiast who loves everything about visiting new destinations & finding unusual things to do.

Telephone: 01 123 4567
E-mail: grace@wanderfulideas.com

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