France is one of the world's top tourist destinations, and there's plenty to get your teeth stuck into, from great cities like Paris, Bordeaux and Marseille to the prehistoric sites of the Vézère valley and Brittany's beautiful coastline. But how well do you really know the country? Embrace "joie de vivre" with these fun facts about France.
1. Turning a baguette upside down is unlucky in France.
2. The croissant was actually invented in Austria.
3. France is known as L'Hexagone, ("the hexagon") due to its geometrical shape.
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5. French was the official language of England for about 300 years, from 1066 to 1362.
6. Some claim that French toast isn't French, but was actually invented by a man called Joseph French.
7. Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite ("Liberty, Equality and Fraternity") is the national motto of France.
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9. The French coastline adds up to 3427km. This is roughly the distance from Paris to Petra.
10. Kilts originated in France, not Scotland.
11. The Tour de France cycle race has been running for over 100 years.
13. Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite ("Liberty, Equality and Fraternity") is the national motto of France.
14. With a land area of 547,000 square kilometres, France is the largest country in the EU.
15. France is by far the most popular tourist destination in the world, with some 82 million visitors annually.
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17. A 1910 law in France forbids couples from kissing on train platforms to avoid delayed departures.
18. The average French citizen eats 500 snails each year.
19. There are over 400 kinds of cheese made in France.
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Top image © Javier Brosch/Shutterstock