If someone were to ask you what you know about France, you might have no trouble listing off a slew of facts and data. Some would be based on its geography, others on its cuisine, others related to the country’s famous landmarks. But despite being the most visited country in the world, there are lots of lesser known facts related to its cultural attractions, customs, and language. Here are just 10 interesting facts you may not have known about France:

1) Five overseas departments and regions are part of France. These include French Guiana, located in South America; Guadeloupe, a cluster of Caribbean islands; Réunion, a small island in the Indian Ocean; Martinique, a Caribbean island; and Mayotte, an archipelago in the Indian Ocean.

2) Mainland France borders eight other European countries, including Spain, Monaco, Luxembourg, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, and Andorra.

3) French people kiss each other on the cheeks up to 4 or 5 times as a greeting! This varies greatly depending on where you are in France.

Mona Lisa (Public Domain)

Mona Lisa (Public Domain)

4) The Louvre is home to one of the world’s most famous paintings, the Mona Lisa, and is the most visited art museum on the planet.

5)  France is home to 39 World Heritage Sites, including 3 that are natural attractions, 35 cultural attractions, and 1 mixed.

6) The French that is spoken in Quebec, Canada is a different dialect than that spoken in mainland French and can be confusing to French people.

7) France follows daylight savings time, just like the U.S. They shift the time one hour forward on the last Sunday in March each year and shift it back on the last Sunday in October.

8) Starting in the late 1800s, seaside destinations throughout France were renamed with romantic and exotic sounding names. Ruby Coast, Azure Coast, Opal Coast, and Emerald Coast are a few of these popular destinations.

9) France is home to Europe’s largest canyon, Verdon Gorge.

Réunion [Photo Credit: B.navez, GNU Free Documentation]

Réunion [Photo Credit: B.navez, GNU Free Documentation]

10) France has the record for most precipitation in a 24-hour period–but, not mainland France. The island of Réunion received over 73 inches of rainfall in a 24-hour period in 1966 and holds this record.

And did you know that French is the second most studied language in the world? If you’re ready to join the estimated 400 million people who study or speak French as an adopted language, be sure to contact us!