59 Intriguing French Culture Facts You Should Know About!

Sridevi Tolety
Feb 29, 2024 By Sridevi Tolety
Originally Published on Jan 20, 2022
Fact-checked by Vikhaash Sundararaj
Paris is the fashion capital of the world. Get to know more such French culture facts in this article.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 10.6 Min

The culture of France is associated with its local language French which is now the language of 88% of the population as per BBC.

Gallo-Roman and Celtic culture influenced French culture to a considerable extent. Initially, France was confined to Germany's western area.

If you are keen on visiting France or a French person, then let us tell you that you must know a little bit about their culture. Not because it is imperative that you create a good impression (which you should ideally!) but because the French value their culture the most, and understanding their culture and heritage would help you build better relations with them.

Since the 17th century, France has been the epitome of high culture and, regardless, has been an important pillar in shaping world art, science, cuisine, fashion, and cinema. The culture in France has always received great international attention, so why don't you find out the reason for this attention and much more about French culture! From their breakfast dishes to their religion, this article will cover everything you need to know about French culture.

If you are fond of French culture and France, then you must check out these articles on French clothing facts and French fashion facts as well! We are sure you would love these.

Interesting Facts About France

Are you planning your next vacation to France? If you are, then you must create a to-do list of things to learn and do before you step into France, because French people value their traditions a lot and expect the same even from the tourists! If you feel you don't know how to behave according to the French, simply observe the locals. Try to mimic their polite ways and be respectful to any French families you see. In short French traditions value beauty, unity, family, and respect above all. So keep this in mind if you touch down France anytime soon! Also, check out some interesting facts about France that you probably never had any idea about!

Equality is a virtue that's sincerely valued in France and its culture. A French word called égalité signified the meaning of three words liberty, equality, and fraternity and was coined during the famous French Revolution. These three qualities form the foundation of many French traditions.

French cuisine is another important aspect of French culture, and most people link French food to complex preparations and heavy sauces, but there's more to food in French cuisine apart from this. A classic French breakfast would comprise chocolate bread and croissants. Other dishes like beef broth with seasoned onions, mushrooms, and garlic, a stew made of need in red wine, boeuf bourguignon, burgundy wine, lardons which are fat pork strips, button mushrooms, and coq au vin (a chicken dish). While eating these dishes, there is a certain french dining etiquette that you must follow to a T. Expect multiple courses in any French family and mind you; they like to eat their food slowly and in small proportions!

As we talk about food, we are sure you must be wondering if French fries are a French delicacy? As surprising as this may sound, French fries, in contradiction to their name, are actually a Belgian or Spanish dish! It is said that because Thomas Jefferson had come across this dish in France, he had decided to call it French fries, and as Jefferson served as the American Minister from 1784 to 1789, he made it quite famous throughout the States.

The popular cycle race held in France, Tour de France, has been a tradition for almost a century. It is regarded to be the most prestigious cycling race globally and has been running since 1903 except between the two world wars.

Did you know that the native French people are supposedly not fond of Parisians? The French people think that Paris is unlike any other city in France and is filled with rich, high-class people who are hard to get along with and invoke any conversation with.

Paris is rather regarded as the world's fashion capital and is a one-stop place to shop from the world's topmost brands like Chanel and Louis Vuitton.

France is a famous tourist destination for not just for fashion but also for some of its iconic monuments and structures. You can't really talk about France without talking about the Eiffel Tower, can you? Named after its chief builder and mastermind Gustave Eiffel, the Eiffel Tower welcomes about 89 million visitors per year. In fact, France is named as the most visited country globally and is regarded as a popular tourist destination for travel lovers.

As you prepare to travel, ensure you are familiar with basic French such as asking where the restrooms are, in case you are lost, and asking for food at a restaurant, although many French citizens are acquainted with diverse languages.

French Culture For Kids

France is a country enveloped with lots of excitement and joy, and there's something in it for every age group. So dive straight into this answer and find out some interesting French culture facts for kids.

The country France shares its border with about eight different countries! These countries are Spain, Monaco, Italy, Andorra, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Belgium, and Germany. Spain shares the longest border with France in contrast to the shortest with Monaco.

France is, in nature, a flat country that has different landforms like hills and coastal plains with mountains on South and South-Eastern parts.

Metropolitan France is segregated into 27 regions, with each region divided into 101 different departments. One of these departments is called the 5 ROM, which is an acronym for the french word régions d'outre mer which means overseas regions belonging to France.

Texas in the States is larger than France!

To travel to Paris from England or London, you will need just one hour on an airplane and from New York, you'd need about 7.5 hours.

The famous landmarks to look for in France apart from the famous Eiffel Tower are the Loire Castles, Sacre Couer cathedral, and Arc de Triomphe. Many fashion houses and designers such as Yves Saint Laurent, Dior, and Chanel from France are known for their local Haute couture designs. Even car manufacturers like Peugeot, Renault, and Citroen got inspiration from this design.

The native language French is considered to be one of the Romance languages alongside Spanish and Italian that have Latin origins. Did you know that today French is studied second to English and is spoken by 300 million people of the world?

France is renowned for fine arts (known as beaux-arts in their local language) and houses countless sculptors, painters, artists, and artisans.

Many other famous inventions like creations of the process of pasteurization, hair-dryers, hot air balloon, and vaccinations were first done in France. Not just these, but now a prototype of nuclear fusion factor is being made in collaboration with 35 other countries by the name ITER (International Thermo-nuclear Engine Reactor).

French Culture Topics

France has so much to talk about when it comes to its culture. There is fashion, religion, art, cuisine, architecture, values, and so much more, but all these aspects vary from region to region. Let's look at some of such prominent french culture topics.

France's 88% population speaks French, but that doesn't stop other languages like German and Arabic from prevailing as well. There are also Flemish speakers in the northeast region of the country. Despite France's 70 million residents speaking French, Arabic still grabs the third-largest spoken minority language spot.

When it comes to religion in France culture, Catholicism takes the top spot. According to a survey taken by the French Institute of Public Opinion, 41.6 million people (64% of the population) have termed themselves as Roman Catholic. Other religions like Judaism, Islam, and Buddhism also prevail in the country.

You cant skip the topic of values when it comes to French culture. The people of France take massive pride in their traditions, customs, government, and nation and do not make offensive comments about France lightly. This often seems rude to tourists, especially the ones from America.

The French revel in their customs which also include celebrating many holidays. They celebrate Easter and Christmas with equal joy and enthusiasm. On May 1, the French celebrate May Day or Labor Day. On May 8, they celebrate the end of World War II hostilities in Europe. July 14 marks the celebration of Bastille Day in the French calenders.

Last but not least, French art makes up for a very important French culture topic as France is synonymous with art, especially in Paris. In many French cities, you would observe the influence of Rococo, Gothic, Neoclassic, and Romanesque cultures in several public buildings and churches. Many famous artists like Camille Pissarro, Claude Monet, and Edgar Degas had their inspiration drawn from Paris, which also eventually gave rise to the Impressionism movement.

A typical french breakfast would always include bread.

Origins Of French Culture

The origins of French culture are a confluence of both historical events and its geography, along with the interference of several internal foreign groups. Let's try to trace and understand the origins of the very popular French culture.

Paris in France has had a significant role from the 17th and 19th centuries in shaping France's high culture. Throughout the late 19th century, France saw the beginning of French fashion, literature, technology, cinema, science, and social sciences. The impact of culture in France has deepened over centuries on the basis of military, economic and political conditions. Today French culture is denoted by differences that are both socioeconomically and regions. As per the BBC, France is marked as the fourth country to have the most positive influence on the world. Quite an interesting and optimistic fact for a country, don't you think so?

Gallo-Roman, Franks (a German tribe), and Celtic cultures have greatly influenced the culture of France historically. Initially, France had a defined area for Germany called Rhineland, but after a point of time, this territory was called the Gaul, something it was called even during the Roman era and Iron age.

If we were to trace the evolution of the French culture and state starting from the Renaissance to this day, a wave of centralization of media, politics, and cultural productions had spread to many urban areas of France, including Paris. Industrialization in the 20th century caused many Fench people to relocate to urban areas from the countryside.

Let's compare the different occupations that have changed through the influence of different cultures. Only about 6-7% of farmers are present today compared to the 50% during the 19th century. Today 73% of the population lives in cities. This is similar to 19th-century French literature, which had similar depictions of many youths taking up jobs in Paris in response to several political, social, or cultural changes.

French Cultural History

French culture is an essential part of any french family, and it would be evident in every lane of native France cities. Like any other country, the French, too, have a rich cultural heritage associated with which their history speaks volumes. Let's learn about their cultural history here.

During the 1600s, France was known for its expensive goods throughout Europe, and even today, their goods and fashion reflect their sophistication and style. A typical French outfit would include scarves, coats, and dresses with suits. Even the media and arts have a deep connection to their French traditions.

People in France have their religion to primarily be Catholic. Catholicism has not been in the picture recently in France but has been a significant influencing factor for France since 1789. Many French kings were crowned in 1825 in the cathedral.

While traveling in a typical French countryside, you will get a great experience of learning and appreciating the french culture that's been carried forward for years. Many different communities have made sincere efforts to preserve the culture in the form of books, museums, and art galleries.

Have you ever come across the term haute couture? It is a term linked with French fashion that signifies fancy and luxurious garments that are handmade. This term is lawfully guarded in France and is respected by the Paris Chamber of Commerce.

France has a lot of art and culture in galleries and many museums that house many historical pieces of art. Some of the iconic pieces like Venus de Milo and Mona Lisa have their spaces in the Louvre Museum in Paris.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created many interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for 59 intriguing French culture facts you should know about, then why not take a look at French art facts or French football facts?

We Want Your Photos!
We Want Your Photos!

We Want Your Photos!

Do you have a photo you are happy to share that would improve this article?
Email your photos

More for You

See All

Written by Sridevi Tolety

Bachelor of Science specializing in Botany, Master of Science specializing in Clinical Research and Regulatory Affairs

Sridevi Tolety picture

Sridevi ToletyBachelor of Science specializing in Botany, Master of Science specializing in Clinical Research and Regulatory Affairs

With a Master's degree in clinical research from Manipal University and a PG Diploma in journalism from Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Sridevi has cultivated her passion for writing across various domains. She has authored a wide range of articles, blogs, travelogues, creative content, and short stories that have been published in leading magazines, newspapers, and websites. Sridevi is fluent in four languages and enjoys spending her spare time with loved ones. Her hobbies include reading, traveling, cooking, painting, and listening to music.

Read full bio >