From the Renaissance to Modern Art, France has been an important cultural centre in the world. Combining the traditional French Art de Vivre with great concern for elegant language, architecture, fashion and fine food, the French Culture is highly appreciated, heading for a rich, cosmopolitan culture.
France boasts one of the most beautiful capitals in the world - Paris, City of Lights! It is not surprising then that the whole French Culture relies on Art, Elegance and Sophistication. Besides its Artistic heritage, Culture of France also refers to valuable Food & Gastronomy, some renowned Art de Vivre & manners and a sought after language.
The renowned Académie Française (French Academy) was originally responsible for the usages, vocabulary, and grammar of the French language but today, it is also an essential actor of the Arts and Literature scenes in France. Many prizes are awarded by the Académie, from the Grand Prix de Poésie (Poetry) to the Grand Prix de la Francophonie (French-speaking Community).
You can visit the French Culture Organisation and the French Cultural Institute of the UK websites to keep you posted about the Cultural and Artistic events in the United Kingdom, from exhibitions of French art to French movies coming out, without forgetting lectures, tuitions and any information about the well-known Beaux Arts of France.
Learn more about the regional specialities of France and visit our French Food and Gastronomy Guide by Region!
And as fine food always comes with fine wine in France, do not forget our French Wine Guide!
The French Culture is actually an exceptional combination of all the regional traditions and habits - from the popular folkloric dance and music from Brittany, to the greater Carnaval festival in Nice and the authentic Feria feasts in Béziers or Arles. Definitely worth it!
Traditions and customs in France also refer to the Art de Vivre, with typical French good manners and social etiquette.
For example, although Frenchmen are famous for their romantic attitude, many French people have got a practical - sometimes materialistic! - approach towards Marriage, especially since the PACS (Pacte Civil de Solidarité) was created in 1999.
The Family remains an important social bond in France though, even if French families are now made of few children (with 1.98 children per woman in 2008, one of the highest fertility rates in Europe by the way).
The formal French greeting is the handshake, when friends like to lightly kiss each other on the cheeks.
This ancient French tradition actually originates from Bourgeois manners, as explained in a French article (www.lexpress.fr) about the Art de la Bise ("Art of Kiss")!
Why, when talking about France, do great writers like Victor Hugo, Molière or Rimbaud always cross your mind?
The culture of France is actually closely linked to the French language - which actually has reinforced the cultural identity and unity of the French-speaking people.
Learn more about the French Language, how to learn French and where to speak French in the UK!