Climate
The French metropolitan territory is relatively large, so the climate is not uniform, giving rise to the following climate nuances:

The hot-summer mediterranean climate (Csa) is found along the Gulf of Lion. Summers are hot and dry, while winters are mild and wet. Cities affected by this climate: Arles, Avignon, Fréjus, Hyères, Marseille, Menton, Montpellier, Nice, Perpignan, Toulon.
The warm-summer mediterranean climate (Csb) is found in the northern part of Brittany. Summers are warm and dry, while winters are cool and wet. Cities affected by this climate: Belle Île, Saint-Brieuc.
The humid subtropical climate (Cfa) is found in the Garonne and Rhône's inland plains. Summers are hot and wet, while winters are cool and damp. Cities affected by this climate: Albi, Carcassonne, Lyon, Orange, Toulouse, Valence.
The oceanic climate (Cfb) is found around the coasts of the Bay of Biscay, and a little bit inland. Summers are pleasantly warm and wet, while winters are cool and damp. Cities affected by this climate: Amiens, Biarritz, Bordeaux, Brest, Cherbourg-en-Cotentin, Dunkirk, Lille, Nantes, Orléans, Paris, Reims, Tours.
The degraded oceanic climate (degraded-Cfb) is found in the interior plains and in the intra-alpine valleys, far from the ocean (or sea). Summers are hot and wet, while winters are cold and gloomy. Cities affected by this climate: Annecy, Besançon, Bourges, Chambéry, Clermont-Ferrand, Colmar, Dijon, Grenoble, Langres, Metz, Mulhouse, Nancy, Strasbourg.
The subalpine oceanic climate (Cfc) is found at the foot of all the mountainous regions of France. Summers are short, cool and wet, while winters are moderately cold and damp. No major cities are affected by this climate.
The warm-summer mediterranean continental climate (Dsb) is found in all the mountainous regions of Southern France between 700 and 1,400 metres a.s.l. Summers are pleasantly warm and dry, while winters are very cold and snowy. City affected by this climate: Barcelonnette.
The cool-summer mediterranean continental climate (Dsc) is found in all the mountainous regions of Southern France between 1,400 and 2,100 metres a.s.l. Summers are cool, short and dry, while winters are very cold and snowy. Place affected by this climate: Isola 2000.
The warm-summer humid continental climate (Dfb) is found in all the mountainous regions of the Northern half of France between 500 and 1,000 metres a.s.l. Summers are pleasantly warm and wet, while winters are very cold and snowy. Cities affected by this climate: Chamonix, Mouthe. In January 1985, in Mouthe, the temperature has dropped under −41 °C.
The subalpine climate (Dfc) is found in all the mountainous regions of the northern half of France between 1,000 and 2,000 metres a.s.l. Summers are cool, short and wet, while winters are very cold and snowy. Places affected by this climate: Cauterets Courchevel, Alpe d'Huez, Les 2 Alpes, Peyragudes, Val-Thorens.
The alpine tundra climate (ET) is found in all the mountainous regions of France, generally above 2,000 or 2,500 metres a.s.l. Summers are chilly and wet, while winters are extremely cold, long and snowy. Mountains affected by this climate: Aiguilles-Rouges, Aravis, the top of Crêt de la neige (rare, altitude 1,718 m) and the top of Grand-Ballon (rare, altitude 1,423 m).
The ice cap climate (EF) is found in all the mountainous regions of France that have a glacier. Summers are cold and wet, while winters are extremely cold, long and snowy. Mountains affected by this climate: Aiguille du midi, Barre des Écrins, Belledonne, Grand-Casse, Mont Blanc (4,810 m), Pic du Midi de Bigorre.

Culture
According to the 2007 Adult Education survey, part of a project by the European Union and carried in France by the INSEE and based on a sample of 15,350 persons, French was the native language of 87.2% of the total population, or roughly 55.81 million people, followed by Arabic (3.6%, 2.3 million), Portuguese (1.5%, 960,000), Spanish (1.2%, 770,000) and Italian (1.0%, 640,000). Native speakers of other languages made up the remaining 5.2% of the population

Most French people are of Celtic-Gallic origin, with a significant admixture of Italic (Romans) and Germanic (Franks) groups reflecting centuries of respective migration and settlement.[278] Through the course of the Middle Ages, France incorporated various neighbouring ethnic and linguistic groups, as evidenced by Breton elements in the west, Aquitanian in the southwest, Scandinavian in the northwest, Alemannic in the northeast, and Ligurian in the southeast.

Large-scale immigration over the last century and a half has led to a more multicultural society; beginning with the French Revolution, and further codified in the French Constitution of 1958, the government is prohibited from collecting data on ethnicity and ancestry; most demographic information is drawn from private sector organisations or academic institutions. In 2004, the Institut Montaigne estimated that within Metropolitan France, 51 million people were White (85% of the population), 6 million were Northwest African (10%), 2 million were Black (3.3%), and 1 million were Asian (1.7%).

A 2008 poll conducted jointly by INED and the French National Institute of Statistics[281][282] estimated that the largest ancestry groups were Italian (5 million), followed by Northwest African (3-6 million),[283][284][285] Sub-Saharan African (2.5 million), Armenian (500,000), and Turkish (200,000).[286] There are also sizeable minorities of other European ethnic groups, namely Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Greek.[283][287][288] France has a significant Gitan (Romani) population, numbering between 20,000 and 400,000;[289] many foreign Roma are expelled back to Bulgaria and Romania frequently.

It is currently estimated that 40% of the French population is descended at least partially from the different waves of immigration since the early 20th century;[293] between 1921 and 1935 alone, about 1.1 million net immigrants came to France.[294] The next largest wave came in the 1960s, when around 1.6 million pieds noirs returned to France following the independence of its Northwest African possessions, Algeria and Morocco.[295][296] They were joined by numerous former colonial subjects from North and West Africa, as well as numerous European immigrants from Spain and Portugal.

France remains a major destination for immigrants, accepting about 200,000 legal immigrants annually.[297] In 2005, it was Western Europe's leading recipient of asylum seekers, with an estimated 50,000 applications (albeit 15% decrease from 2004).[298] In 2010, France received about 48,100 asylum applications—placing it among the top five asylum recipients in the world[299] and in subsequent years it saw the number of applications increase, ultimately doubling to 100,412 in 2017.[300] The European Union allows free movement between the member states, although France established controls to curb Eastern European migration,[citation needed] and immigration remains a contentious political issue.

In 2008, the INSEE (National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies) estimated that the total number of foreign-born immigrants was around 5 million (8% of the population), while their French-born descendants numbered 6.5 million, or 11% of the population. Thus, nearly a fifth of the country's population were either first or second-generation immigrants, of which more than 5 million were of European origin and 4 million of Maghrebi ancestry.[301][302][303] In 2008, France granted citizenship to 137,000 persons, mostly from Morocco, Algeria and Turkey.[304]

In 2014, the INSEE reported a significant increase in the number of immigrants coming from Spain, Portugal and Italy between 2009 and 2012. According to the French Institute, this increase resulted from the financial crisis that hit several European countries in that period.[305] Statistics on Spanish immigrants in France show a growth of 107 percent between 2009 and 2012, with the population growing from 5,300 to 11,000.[305] Of the total of 229,000 foreigners who were in France in 2012, nearly 8% were Portuguese, 5% British, 5% Spanish, 4% Italian, 4% German, 3% Romanian, and 3% Belgian

Tourism
With 89 million international tourist arrivals in 2018, France is the world's top tourist destination, ahead of Spain (83 million) and the United States (80 million). However, it ranks third in tourism-derived income due to shorter duration of visits. The most popular tourist sites include (annual visitors): Eiffel Tower (6.2 million), Château de Versailles (2.8 million), Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle (2 million), Pont du Gard (1.5 million), Arc de Triomphe (1.2 million), Mont Saint-Michel (1 million), Sainte-Chapelle (683,000), Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg (549,000), Puy de Dôme (500,000), Musée Picasso (441,000), and Carcassonne (362,000).

Paris region
France, especially Paris, has some of the world's largest and most renowned museums, including the Louvre, which is the most visited art museum in the world (5.7 million), the Musée d'Orsay (2.1 million), mostly devoted to Impressionism, the Musée de l'Orangerie (1.02 million), which is home to eight large Water Lily murals by Claude Monet, as well as the Centre Georges Pompidou (1.2 million), dedicated to contemporary art. Disneyland Paris is Europe's most popular theme park, with 15 million combined visitors to the resort's Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park in 2009.

French Riviera
With more than 10 millions tourists a year, the French Riviera (French: Côte d'Azur), in Southeast France, is the second leading tourist destination in the country, after the Paris region.[213] It benefits from 300 days of sunshine per year, 115 kilometres (71 mi) of coastline and beaches, 18 golf courses, 14 ski resorts and 3,000 restaurants.[214]: 31  Each year the Côte d'Azur hosts 50% of the world's superyacht fleet. 

Châteaux
With 6 millions tourists a year, the castles of the Loire Valley (French: châteaux) and the Loire Valley itself are the third leading tourist destination in France; this World Heritage Site is noteworthy for its architectural heritage, in its historic towns but in particular its castles, such as the Châteaux d'Amboise, de Chambord, d'Ussé, de Villandry, Chenonceau and Montsoreau. The Château de Chantilly, Versailles and Vaux-le-Vicomte, all three located near Paris, are also visitor attractions.

Other protected areas
France has 37 sites inscribed in UNESCO's World Heritage List and features cities of high cultural interest, beaches and seaside resorts, ski resorts, as well as rural regions that many enjoy for their beauty and tranquillity (green tourism). Small and picturesque French villages are promoted through the association Les Plus Beaux Villages de France (literally "The Most Beautiful Villages of France"). The "Remarkable Gardens" label is a list of the over 200 gardens classified by the Ministry of Culture. This label is intended to protect and promote remarkable gardens and parks. France attracts many religious pilgrims on their way to St. James, or to Lourdes, a town in the Hautes-Pyrénées that hosts several million visitors a year.

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