Essential info for France

Population: Over 65 million

Major religion: Christianity, but largely secular

Capital city: Paris

Legal system: Constitutional republic

Main languages: French is the official language, but English is widely spoken and understood

Time: GMT+1 (GMT+2 from the end of March to the end of October)

Electricity: 230 volts, 50Hz. European two-pin plugs are standard

Currency: The Euro (EUR), divided into 100 cents

Tipping: 15 percent service charge always included, although tipping for exceptional service is common in the main centres

International dialling code: +33

Emergency numbers: 112 (general emergencies), 15 (specialised emergency medical services), 18 (fire), and 17 (police)

Internet domain: .fr

Drives on the: Right