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 Travel Guides > France

Paris - Eiffel



General Information

AREA: 543,965 sq km (210,025 sq miles).

POPULATION: 58,143,000 (official estimate 1995).

POPULATION DENSITY: 106.7 per sq km.

CAPITAL: Paris. Population: 2,100,000 (1995)

RELIGION: Approximately 81% Roman Catholic with a Protestant minority. Almost every religion has at least some adherents.

TIME: GMT + 1 (GMT + 2 from last Sunday in March to Saturday before last Sunday in October).

ELECTRICITY: 220 volts AC, 50Hz. 2-pin plugs are widely used; adaptors recommended.




GEOGRAPHY: France, the largest country in Europe, is bounded to the north by the English Channel (La Manche), the northeast by Belgium and Luxembourg, the east by Germany, Switzerland and Italy, the south by the Mediterranean (with Monaco as a coastal enclave between Nice and the Italian frontier), the southwest by Spain and Andorra, and the west by the Atlantic Ocean. The island of Corsica, southeast of Nice, is made up of two Départements. The country offers a spectacular variety of scenery, from the mountain ranges of the Alps and Pyrénées to the attractive river valleys of the Loire, Rhône and Dordogne and the flatter countryside in Normandy and on the Atlantic coast. The country has some 2900km (1800 miles) of coastline.


LANGUAGE: French is the official language, but there are many regional dialects. Basque is spoken as a first language by some people in the southwest, and Breton by some in Brittany. Many people, particularly those connected with tourism in the major areas, will speak at least some English.


COMMUNICATIONS: Telephone: Full IDD is available. Country code: 33. Outgoing international code: 00. Card-only telephones are common, with pre-paid cards bought from post offices and Tabacs. International calls are cheaper between 2230-0800 Monday to Friday, and from 14:00 Saturday to 08:00 Monday. Calls can be received from all phone boxes showing the sign of a blue bell. Fax: Services are widely available; many hotels have facilities. Post: Stamps can be purchased at post offices and Tabacs. Post normally takes a couple of days to reach its destination within Europe. Post office opening hours: 0800-1900 Monday to Friday; 0800-1200 Saturday. Press: There are many daily newspapers, the most prominent being Le Monde, Libération, France-Soir and Le Figaro. Outside the Ile-de-France, however, these newspapers are not as popular as the provincial press. All the main UK papers are available in the larger cities.



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