Really, every person has his own association with this amazing country. In one - a sensual melody of French chanson, flying over the bustling Champs Elysees, Montmartre and the Eiffel Tower. Others with majestic castles in the Loire Valley, Versailles, keeping the age-old mysteries of palace intrigues or sung Hugo Notre Dame de Paris. Others imagine the Côte d'Azur Mediterranean landscapes, bathed in dazzling sunshine and glory of world stars. Fourth - glamorous fashion shows, the refined luxury of France restaurants and incendiary show at the «Moulin Rouge» and «Crazy Horse». Someone sees himself on the white beaches of the Atlantic, among the rocky coast of Brittany, or on the background of snow-capped peaks of Mont Blanc ...
And all this - France, unique and multi-faceted as the world itself.
The population of mainland France is about 60.8 million people, ethnic composition is quite diverse - about 94% of the population is French, but their has been steadily declining due to the increasing share of other ethnic groups - the Portuguese, Algerians, Italians, Moroccans, Turks, Basques , Slavs and others.
The official language is French but regional languages and dialects such as Breton, Catalan, Corsican, Basque, Alsatian or Flemish are still widely used.
France is a secular state and hasn't any official religious. But the traditional religion is Catholicism.
The cultural life of the country is represented by numerous theaters and museums, including such world-famous as the Louvre and the Musee d'Orsay, as well as a variety of music, theater and film festivals. The widest popularity in the world received the French fine arts, literature and music culture. French cultural center is Paris, where are the main museums of the country: the Louvre Museum (the former Royal Palace, which is located 225 galleries and nearly 400 thousand exhibits), Art Centre Pompidou, the Picasso Museum with a collection of works by the famous artist, the Museum of Modern Art, Impressionist Museum, the Museum of Decorative Art, Rodin Museum.
French cuisine is considered one of the best in the world. Characteristic for the French cuisine omelettes and cheese souffle, which is prepared with a variety of spices and flavors: ham, mushrooms, herbs. The most famous products of French cuisine are buns, croissants, chocolate bread, Baghetti, etc. As for drinks, the French prefer fruit juices and mineral water, from alcoholic beverages in France spread absinthe, calvados, brandy.
The climate in the European territory of France is moderate sea. The territory of France is divided into four climatic zones: in the west of the country there are maritime climate - mild winters, cool summers, frequent but not heavy precipitation. In the center is dominated by a dry continental climate - hot summers and winters more severe.
The main transports are metro and bus. The bus is useful when you need to get from one town to another. You can take a taxi at the taxi ranks or on the street. There are two types of taxi's tariff: «А» (0,61 EUR 1 kilometers) in Monday-Saturday, 7:00 am - 19:00 pm, tariff «Б» (3 EUR 1 kilometers).
The official currency of France is Euro (Euro, €), 1 euro equal to 100 cents. Banks are open Monday to Saturday from 9.00 to 12.00 and from 14.00 to 17.00. Currency exchange can be made at banks, exchange points, railway stations, airports, travel agencies, hotels.