France is aunitary sovereign state comprising territory in western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. Metropolitan France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean; France covers 640,679 square kilometers (247,368 sq mi) and has a population of 66.6 million. It is a semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the nation's largest city and the main cultural and commercial center. The Constitution of France establishes the country as secular and democratic, with its sovereignty derived from the people.
Metropolitan France has four broad climate zones:
• An oceanic climate in the west and northwest: warm (but not hot) summers and cool (but not cold) winters
• A semi-continental climate in the northeast: hot summers and cold winters
• A Mediterranean climate in the south and southeast: hot summers and mild winters
• A mountain (or alpine) climate in the Alps, the Pyrenees, the Massif Central, the Jura and the Vosges: mild summers and cold winters
Except in the south which has generally dry summers, rain is evenly dispersed throughout the year in the rest of the country.
French (français) is the official language of France, although there are regional variations in pronunciation and local words. For example, throughout France the word for yes, oui, said "we", but you will often hear the slang form "ouais", said "waay." It's similar to the English language usage of "Yeah" instead of "Yes".
With an estimated population of 66 million people as of July 2013, France is the 21st-most populous country in the world and the third-most populous in Europe.
France is a secular country, and freedom of religion is a constitutional right. French religious policy is based on the concept of laïcité, a strictseparation of church and state under which public life is kept completely secular. Catholicism has been the predominant religion in France for more than a millennium, though it is not as actively practised today as it was. Among the 47,000 religious buildings in France, 94% are Roman Catholic. While in 1965, 81% of the French declared themselves to be Catholics, in 2009 this proportion was 64%. Moreover, while 27% of the French went to Mass once a week or more in 1952, only 5% did so in 2006. The same survey found that Protestants accounted for 3% of the population, an increase from previous surveys, and 5% adhered to other religions, with the remaining 28% stating they had no religion. Evangelical Protestantism may be the fastest growing religion in France.
French cuisine is renowned for being one of the finest in the world. According to the regions, traditional recipes are different, the North of the country prefers to use butter as the preferred fat for cooking, whereas olive oil is more commonly used in the South. Moreover, each region of France has iconic traditional specialties : Cassoulet in the Southwest, Chou route in Alsace, Quiche in the Lorraine region, Beef bourguignon in the Bourgogne, Provencal Tapenade, etc. France's most renowned products are wines, including Champagne, Bordeaux, Bourgogne, and Beaujolais as well as a large variety of different cheeses, such as Camembert, Roquefort and Brie. There are more than 400 different varieties.
Transportation in France relies on one of the densest networks in the world with 146 km of road and 6.2 km of rail lines per 100 km2. It is built as a web with Paris at its center
There is a total of 64,900 kilometers (40,300 mi) of railway in France, mostly operated by SNCF, the French national railway company. However, the railway system is a small portion of total travel, accounting for less than 10% of passenger travel.
All medium and large train stations – and many small ones – have a taxi stand out front. In small cities and towns, where taxi drivers are unlikely to find another fare anywhere near where they let you off, one-way and return trips often cost the same. Tariffs are about 30% higher at night and on Sundays and holidays. A surcharge is usually charged to get picked up at a train station or airport, and there's a small additional fee for a fourth passenger and/or for suitcases.
The hotel offers a snack bar/deli. A bar/lounge is on site where guests can unwind with a drink. Guests can enjoy a complimentary breakfast. An Internet point is located on site and high-speed wireless Internet access is complimentary.