Want to learn more about France and what it’s associated with? Here are the things France is famous for that you probably didn’t know about.
What is France famous for? What is France known for? If you’ve been asking yourself these questions or you just want to increase your knowledge about France and the popular French things, then you’re in the right place!
France is no doubt a popular destination among tourists famously known for its capital, Paris! But even though Paris is the most famous thing about France, there are so many things France is known for that you probably didn’t even know.
From the iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris which is the international symbol of the country, expensive wines to bustling cities and impressive architectural wonders, here are some of the things France is famous for.
What is France Famous For? 28 Famous Things About France
In no particular order, here are the famous things from France that will increase your knowledge about the country!
1. The Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel tower is the most famous french landmark and one of the famous things in France.
With over 6 million visitors every year and a title of being the most visited paid landmark in Europe and the world as a whole, it’s obvious that the Eiffel is truly a symbol of France.
Almost everyone knows the Eiffel Tower! There is no way the Eiffel Tower can be shown anywhere and not think France even if the topic is about something else!
So if you were wondering what France is known for the most, then I hope the Eiffel Tower answered your question.
Psst… As you plan to visit the Eiffel Tower, make sure that you buy this Eiffel Tower skip-the-line entry ticket to void long queues.
You can never think/ see a Baguette and not think France!
This nationwide favorite bread may not have a clear history of where it originally came from with various myths surrounding it, but it took over the country, and now it’s sometimes referred to as the “French bread” in some countries!
The French love their Baguette and it’s evident when you walk on its streets in the evenings.
You’ll see most people holding Baguettes in their hands as they go back home from work. It’s like a tradition for so many people.
To help you understand how baguettes are loved in France, it’s believed that on average, each French house eats at least 2 baguettes per day.
To some people, it may be just bread, but to many, a baguette is one of the famous French things that showcase the country’s culture and the French are super proud of it.
And no, they didn’t just stop there, the French want everyone to know that a baguette is not just dough put in an oven but rather something of significance that showcases who they are and that’s why on May 21, 2021, they submitted it for a UNESCO intangible cultural heritage status!
One of the other things France is known for is its fashion.
With household fashion brands like Chloé, Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Balmain, Christian Dior, Céline and so many others that have taken over Hollywood and the entire fashion industry like a storm, it’s evident that you can’t think of fashion without thinking of France!
Besides the famous fashion brands and designers, France is also famous for its annual Paris fashion week that showcases all the most elegant and creative designs of that time! No wonder Paris is regarded as the capital of fashion!
Actually even just walking on France’s streets, you’ll realize that locals make an effort to look good unlike in some cities!
It not only represents style in the social life but it’s also a huge part of the country’s culture.
Some countries might be known for their coffee, tea or even beer but France is known for its wine or Vin as the French call it!!
With various French cities specializing in producing good quality wine, there is no country that is mostly known for wine like France!
Actually, I know some friends who plan a wine night out just to have that sense of being in France! Yes, that’s how wine is associated with France!
And every time I travel to France, they keep asking me if drink wine every single day because they know that France is a wine haven.
From red, rose, to white wine, there is a variety of wines from France that make this European country a perfect destination for wine lovers.
Dating back to the 13th century, it’s believed that Cheese might have been “created by accident” when farmers tried to preserve milk and transport it to other places.
Since then, it has gone through a number of stages to perfect it to the present-day cheese we see (or Fromage in French).
And today, no country in the world has the same variety of cheese as France. In fact, currently, the country produces over 1,500 different types of Cheese.
I guess the former French president, Charles de Gaulle, had no idea that it would become like this when he said that “How can you govern a country which has 246 varieties of cheese?”
The French have so much love for their cheese in that they can eat it at any time of the day! Whether at breakfast, lunch, dinner or as an apéritif, you’ll find cheese there.
I actually remember the first time I traveled to France, my friends were like, if you love cheese, you’ll love France which goes to show how France is famous for cheese!
Croissants are some of the famous French stuff known worldwide. At just the mention of croissants, everyone’s mind will go to France.
If you’re wondering what a Croissant is; It is a favorite French pastry that is made of layered dough with butter, shaped in a crescent shape, and later baked in an oven.
You can literally find it in any pastry shop around the country and no French breakfast is complete without it.
Though it originated from Austria, it was embraced religiously in the country, and today, there is nothing more French than a croissant.
France might have so many pastries but personally, every time I feel like I want to eat a typical Fench thing, I always opt for a croissant.
Don’t just want to taste it but want to earn how to make it? Then you can sign up for this Paris Coking class that will teach you how to make your own Croissant.
7. Tour de France
One of the other things associated with France is Tour de France. While France is known for other sports like rugby, tennis, and soccer, none beats cycling.
Tour de France which is the biggest cycling tournament in the world is held in France every year in the summer for three weeks, where many cyclists compete for the ultimate cycling championship covering an approximate distance of 3500 meters (2200 miles).
Cyclers show their A-game on the scenic routes of France while onlookers shout and cheer them on wildly.
The tour attracts both local and international biking enthusiasts from all across the world to witness the world’s largest annual sporting cycling event.
8. Cannes Film Festival
Though Cannes is synonymous with summer vacations, it’s the Cannes Film Festival that put it on the international map.
With international celebrities, movie stars, A-listers, high-end producers, and directors gracing the Cannes Film Festival, every year since 1946, it is one of the most prestigious film awards in the film industry with its biggest prize being the Palme d’Or.
The festival is also one of the most publicized cultural events in the world that sees every international A-lister pull out the most fashionable attires to commemorate the function.
If you love art and the whole idea of movies, you will fall in love with this festival; however, it’s an invite-only event.
9. The Beret
Who would have thought that a single piece of clothing like a hat would make a country like France famous? Yes, the Beret is one of the famous things of France.
Though it was initially part of a military uniform worn as a symbol of French resistance by the elite members of the French army, it changed course and normal people started wearing it.
However, over the years, the number of people who adorn this flat crowned hat has reduced. (Majority of the people who wear a Beret now are using it as a prop to get Instagram-worthy photos while trying to look like “true French people”!)
But even with the decreasing number of people wearing it, a Beret is still a unique symbol of cultural identity that the French are proud of.
And today, it’s made differently to improve its original form and make it more appealing and classy.
Actually, even big brands like Dior have made their own fashion-forward Berets that fashionistas drool over.
10. French Cuisine
Did you know that France is also known for its food? Yes, French cuisine is reputable worldwide, and it’s not only one of the best-tasting but also the best-presented.
The country is not only a food paradise but also home to popular chefs like Anne-Sophie Pic, and Alain Passard. Also, the famous food guide Michelin was created in France.
Just to understand how famous French food is, its cuisine (the french cuisine) was added to the UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
So while in France, make it a point to taste as much French food as you can because it’s such a delight!
Some of the French food that stands out the most are the infamous snails or escargots as the French call them and the frog legs.
Other traditional French dishes include; Soupe à l’oignon (onion soup), Boeuf Bourguignon (think of it as beef stew with red wine), the famous Ratatouille and so many others.
You can even sign up for this Paris food tour to taste some of the authentic French dishes.
The list of famous things about France would be incomplete if I didn’t include its pastries.
With thousands of delicious pastries like croissants, macaroons, Pain Aux Raisins, crepes, chocolate mousses, Milles Feuilles, eclairs, Religieuse Au Chocolat, etc, it’s not hard to see why France is a Pastry heaven.
Actually, these days most people who want to expand their knowledge in Pastry baking go to France to study in a pastry school which goes ahead to show how France beats other countries when it comes to sweet delicacies.
12. Beautiful Beaches in the French Rivera
Cote d’Azur, also known as the French Rivera, is a stunning Mediterranean coastline in the south with gorgeous beaches. If you love nature and beaches, this is a place not to miss.
It is a little heaven on earth that serves pure beauty, tranquility, charm, calmness, and glorious views that are unmatched.
13. Louvre Museum
Louvre Museum is the biggest art museum in the world and one of the most visited places in France attracting approximately 10 million visitors every year.
Opened in 1793, this iconic museum houses about 38,000 historical objects and pieces of art.
Popular attractions in this museum include the Mona Lisa Painting by Leonardo da Vinci, Vénus de Milo sculpture, the painting of Napoleon’s coronation (which is actually my favorite painting in the museum), the painting of the wedding at Cana and so many other beautiful paintings and sculptures.
Even non-art lovers know about the existence of this museum and a visit to Paris is not complete without visiting this magnificent place.
Whether to enjoy art or to see what all the fuss about the Louvre is, literally everyone who visits the French capital makes their way to this grand museum.
Pro tip* Since the Louvre is so popular, I advise you to buy this skip-the-line entry ticket to avoid the long queues or better yet book this Louvre guided tour to learn more about the museum and find your way around easily.
14. Mont Blanc Mountain
Rising 4804m (15774ft) above sea level, Mont Blanc, also known as the white mountain is the highest mountain in the Alp.
While Mont Blanc is one of the hardest mountains to climb, adventure seekers keep flocking to it for fun and exhilarating activities.
During winter, the white snow-covered slopes of Mont Blanc offer excellent skiing tracks, and the glaciers and icefalls make it an ideal destination for snowboarding.
However, in the summer and spring, the mountain attracts hikers, mountaineers, and bikers.
But if you’re not an adventurous person to take on those adrenaline activities, you can explore the mountain by taking a cable car to the top and enjoy the panoramic views of the Alpine range.
15. Versailles Palace
If you are a history buff, you will fall in love with this incredible French landmark.
Versailles Palace which was initially the official residence of the French royals is one of the most beautiful palaces in Europe and one of the most famous French castles.
Its dazzling chandeliers, painted ceiling, the famous hall of mirrors, sculptures, fountains, water features, and the surrounding stunning gardens are some of the popular attractions that draw in almost 10 million visitors every year.
Spread over 63,154m2, the palace has over 2300 rooms to explore, including the flashy apartment of Marie Antoinette. The palace is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
So while in Paris, take a day trip to Versailles and step into the footsteps of the royals.
But since it’s always packed, it’s better to buy this entry ticket online to skip the long queues.
And if you want to learn more about the history of the palace and the royals that lived in it, I recommend taking this guided tour with a very friendly and knowledgeable tour guide.
16. Marie Antoinette
Born as an Austrian Princess in 1755, Marie Antoinette was the last queen of France before the infamous French revolution.
She is controversially famous worldwide because she was overthrown by the revolutionaries and publicly guillotined in 1793 after she was accused of treason following the abolition of monarchy in France.
Though she was seen as a “disgrace” to the country, the French can at least thank her as it is believed that croissants, (now a French staple) were introduced in the country by her from Austria.
17. Lavender Fields
You’ve probably seen pictures of influencers on social media with a backdrop of the beautiful purple rows. If you wondered what they were, they were probably the famous Lavender fields of Provence!
These picturesque landscapes of endless rows of purple attract hundreds of thousands of tourists every year between the months of June and July to not only buy natural perfumes but mostly to take Instagram-worthy photos.
To tourists, these lavender fields may just be photos props but to the locals, they are their pride and livelihood.
18. The French Revolution
One of the things France is famous for is the French Revolution. This is one of the country’s most important historical events that lasted for 10 good years, from 1789 to 1799.
In fact, it’s so legendary that it is still taught in various schools around the world.
Just a little gist of it, the revolutionists went to the streets to protest against the royalty after the gap between the wealthy and ordinary citizens kept increasing, bread prices skyrocketed, and famine had destroyed crops.
Revolutionaries managed to break into the prison and killed the governor of the Bastille, overthrew the monarchy, and took control of the government.
The French Revolution changed the social and political state of the country and influenced people in other countries across Europe.
Today, since the revolution, France has been one of the most established and developed countries.
You can say that this event not only shaped the history but also the present and future of France.
19. Napoleon Bonaparte
Just like the French Revolution, Napoleon is a household name in history not only in France but also worldwide. He is one of the greatest military leaders of all time and his influence is still felt up to date!
With so many statues and paintings of Napoleon all over France, it’s evident that his name may never ever be forgotten.
He overthrew the revolutionary government and crowned himself as the first emperor of France.
During and after the French Revolution, he played an important role, and France’s known military achievements happened during his reign.
He was so great in his battles and Napoleonic wars that raged during most of his time, earning him more than 200 places in France that are named to honor him or his soldiers.
With all that, we can’t argue but rather agree that Napoleon is one of the people that made France famous.
20. Disneyland Paris
Disney is truly a magical place like no other! Just one step into the park and you’ll feel more alive and happier like never before and France is blessed to have such a place.
There are 6 Disneyland resort theme parks globally, and Disneyland Paris in France happens to be the only one in Europe.
Located 32km from Paris, Disneyland Paris attracts about 15 million visitors every year both young and adults who come to enjoy the various attractions and spot out their favorite characters from Disney movies.
Disneyland Paris consists of two theme parks; Disney park itself which was opened in 1992 and is all about fairytales, magical experiences and attractions, and Walt Disney Studios Park which was opened a decade later and is about showcasing some of the big movies Disney produces over time.
If you want to experience the magic, Disneyland Paris is the place to go. But just like other popular attractions in Paris, queues are quite long, and adding the queuing time for the ticket makes it even worse.
So to save time while visiting the most magical place in France, (at least in my opinion), I recommend buying this Disneyland Paris 1-Day Ticket online or this Disneyland Paris Multi-Day Entrance Ticket if you want to spend more than one day in the park.
21. Mona Lisa Painting
One of the things France is famous for is the Mona Lisa Painting.
Painted between 1503 -1506 by the renowned Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci, Mona Lisa is the most known and most visited painting in the world.
It might be small in size (77 cm x 53 cm to be exact), but this painting of a mysterious woman with an enigmatic smile is valued to be worth around $700 million.
Actually, most people are usually shocked at how small it is when they see it for the first time.
One of the interesting things about this painting is that whichever angle you look at it from, it will seem like she is looking directly at you!
Some people find it a bit creepy and shocking but others see it as an outstanding talent by the painter.
Due to its worth, a bulletproof yet very transparent glass was installed around it for security reasons.
22. Luxury Perfumes
France is the capital for luxury perfumes in Europe and the world. The country is home to the world’s most famous perfume brands like Chanel, Christian Dior, Givenchy, Estee Lauder, Yves Saint Laure, and so many others.
In fact, French perfume brands make up a huge chunk of what is available in the stores today with 30% of the world perfume market being French.
While in the country, you can go for this perfume walking tour and discover some of the world’s famous French fragrances, or better yet go window shopping in some of the big department stores like Galeries Lafayette and admire these luxurious brands.
If France is known for one thing, it’s got to be its capital, Paris which is literally on every traveler’s bucket list.
Paris is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, and there are never-ending reasons to visit it over and over again.
It is the world’s most romantic city and home to some of the famous sights in the world, including the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum (the most visited museum in the world), Notre Dame Cathedral, Seine River, Palace of Versailles, and Disneyland Paris.
Paris is also known as a great shopping hub with famous fashion brands like Chanel, Dior, Hermes, and Yves Saint Laurent whose headquarters are in Paris. And let’s not forget its charming streets!
With so many beautiful attractions and things to do, it’s not hard to see why Paris is the most famous city in France and one of the things that make France as famous as it is.
24. Art and Painters
Art is a major part of the culture in France. The country is home to the world’s largest, most famous, and most visited art museum in the world, the Louvre Museum which houses the most famous piece of painting in the world, the Mona Lisa Painting.
And it’s not just these two. The country has various pieces of art, paintings, and sculptures all around that can be seen in various museums and art galleries.
France is also home to world-renowned artists and influential painters like Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir, Edouard Manet, Henri Matisse, and Edgar Degas whose work is admired and appreciated by many people around the world.
25. Chateaux and Palaces
Thanks to its past as a monarchy, France is dotted with hundreds of thousands of Palaces and Chateaux or Castles in English. In fact, they’re estimated to be around 45,000 of them in the country.
Though they’re many, the Palace of Versailles which is located 10 miles (16km) out of Paris is the most famous followed by the castles in the Loire Valley which is like a hub for chateaux.
With all the beauty, glamourous architectural designs, and historical significance, these Castles are some of the famous things in France.
26. Love Locks
One of the things France is known for is its love locks. The tradition of putting love locks on bridges may not have started in France or Paris specifically but it’s been more embraced in the country than anywhere else in the world that it became a “French thing”.
This can be clearly seen on the Pont des Arts or the Love lock bridge as commonly known which is a lovely pedestrian bridge that crosses the Seine River.
This bride became the ideal spot for lovers to lock padlocks engraved with their initials and throw away the keys into the river as a sign of sealing their love permanently.
However, over time, the weight of the locks became unbearable, and a glass panel was added to prevent new love locks from being added.
Also, the city is now discouraging people from adding more locks as it destroys the bridge which can become unsafe for people.
Besides the love lock bridge, lovers are have made it a point to now add locks literally anywhere there is a rail on the bridge.
You may not get to put your own lock on the love lock bridge but it’s still worth visiting not only to see the locks themselves but also to enjoy the stunning views of the Eiffel tower.
27. Love and Romance
If you are wondering how the whole notion of love and romance came to be associated with France and even be termed the capital of romance, by visiting the country, you’ll truly attest that indeed love and romance live here.
The stunning historical buildings, impressive architecture, exquisite restaurants, the environment, and the beautiful French language all exude a romantic atmosphere.
I might have told you earlier about how popular the French cuisine is but nothing stuns foreigners like Escargots or Snails if you may.
You might give them a weird stare but they’re much loved in France in that they’re one of those special dishes that are served at Christmas and other special occasions. Think Turkey for Thanksgiving — that’s how much Escargots are loved in France.
The Snails have become so popular that at the mention of them, everyone will immediately think of France.
Final Thoughts On What france is famous for
There are so many things that make France a beautiful country that stands out from the rest! Though this post is non-exhaustive, I hope that you got a better understanding of what makes France famous.
Do you know of other famous French things that I might have missed? Share with me in the comment section or better yet, let me know which point surprised you the most about France.
Otherwise don’t forget to share this post to make more people aware of what France is famous for.
More posts to inspire you to visit France
- Famous landmarks in France
- Best Places to visit in Paris
- Most beautiful castles in France
- Must-visit cities in France
- Big mistakes to avoid in Paris
- Most beautiful beaches in the South of France
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