Culture of France

France is a cultural icon for the entire World. A lust for life, a proud history of art, fashion, language and food and wine make France a dynamic, intriguing destination for the culturally curious traveler.

Historically, the culture of France is influenced by the Celts, Gallo-Romans, Germans, and the Franks. France borders, Belgium, Spain, Monaco, Italy, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Germany, and integrates cultural elements from each. For example, in the Alsace region, German and French cultures have peaceably combined to form unique variations in linguistics, architecture, and identity.

Paris always tops the list of most popular cultural destinations. Visit the Louvre Museum and study 35,000 pieces of art, or enjoy hours in the countless cafes observing passersby.

Wander into Montmartre for an intimate encounter with some of the most eccentric connections to its cultural contributions- the famous Moulin Rouge or Place du Tertre where artists sell their art to curious tourists. Known as the “Fashion Capital of the World”, travelers in Paris with a curiosity of the history of fashion can visit The Musee Galliera, or City of Paris Museum of Fashion which houses a vast collection of historical and modern fashion from the 18th century to present day. Paris is in itself a mecca of French culture, sure to awe and inspire, entertain and fulfil.

The west coast of France, framed by the English Channel, the Atlantic Ocean, and including the Bay of Biscay, is rich with maritime history. Calais is the natural sister city to Dover, England, and the British influence is present in the seaside architecture and cuisine. Further into Brittany, the people are warm, and genuine. The heritage is a mixture of French, Breton, and Celtic influence and is relevant in Brittany’s language, music, and festivals. Quimper, spanning nine raucous days at the end of July, showcases Celtic artists, musicians, and dancers from all over Europe.

Culture in the south, specifically The French Riviera or Cote d’Azur, embodies not only the modern influences of fashion, film, and celebrity, but boasts nearly one hundred museums, and countless more art galleries, and dozens of historic monuments like Les Arenes de Cimiez in Nice- the remains of the Roman city of Cemenelum.

The depth of culture in France, her essence of character, philosophy and sophistication is most often glorified through masterful creations of cuisine and wine. Each region has a reputation for its food specialties and wine varietals. Alsace, with its German influence, is known for Sauerkrat, Munster cheese, and sweet Gewurztraminer wine. Burgundy is known for its take on snails, and famous for its Pouilly Fuisse. Provence, the Alps, and the Cote d’Azur are heralded for lavender honey and, well, an entire history of world famous wines.

French culture is a vibrant mix of art, cuisine, architecture, meaningful family relationships, pleasure in life, regional and geographic diversity, and national pride. One cannot help feel a sense of community, and warmth in every destination on can discover. What often emerges for travelers to France is the sense that the country has truly figured out a meaningful avenue to life, to living, to self awareness and collective vision. A trip to France promises extraordinary insight into the most passionate aspects of the human condition.