545,630 sq km (210,668 sq mi)
547,030 sq km (211,209 sq mi)
Population (2009 est.):
Capital and largest city (2003 est.):
Paris, 9,854,000 (metro. area)
Other large cities:
Marseille, 820,700; Lyon, 443,900; Toulouse, 411,800; Nice, 332,000; Nantes, 282,300; Strasbourg, 272,600; Bordeaux, 217,000
Roman Catholic 85% (est.), Muslim 10% (est.), Protestant 2%, Jewish 1%
GMT+1; Daylight Saving Time: GMT+2, observed from last Sunday in March to last Sunday in October
AC 230V/50Hz, plugs: 2 round pins (Europlug)
France is a country in Western Europe, bordered by Belgium
to the northeast, Germany
to the west, Monaco to the south and Spain
and Andorra to the southeast. France has several overseas departments on other continents: Guadeloupe
(including Saint Martin and Saint Barthélemy) and Martinique
in the Caribbean, French Guiana in South America and Réunion in the Indian Ocean. European part of France is sometimes referred to as 'Metropolitan France'.
France is the largest country in the European Union by area and the second largest in Europe behind Ukraine. It is bounded on the south by the Pyrenees Mountains and the Mediterranean Sea; on the east by the Alps and the Rhine River; and on the west by the Atlantic Ocean and the English Channel.
The terrain of Metropolitan France varies from coastal plains in the north and west, mountains and plateaus of the Massif Central in the south-central part of the country and two more mountain ranges of Alps in the southeast and Pyrenees in the southwest. The highest point in France is Mont Blanc, at 4,810.45 m (15,782 ft), located in the Alps on the border between France and Italy.