Looking for beautiful quotes about France? This gorgeous country inspires thousands of tourists every year, not to mention novelists, historians, and travel writers over the past centuries. Whether you’re looking for France travel inspiration or France Instagram captions, here are my favorite France quotes.
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Quotes about France & French Travel Quotes
Every man has two countries: his own and France.
-John F. Kennedy
They had spent a year in France for no particular reason and then drifted here and there unrestfully wherever people played polo and were rich together.
There is an admirable fact about the psychology of France: she knows no half measures, loathsome or sublime, she forges the thought and the beauty of a world or of a dung heap; her destiny is never to be mediocre.
We had seen France in flames. We had seen the sun shining on the sea. We had grown old in the upper altitudes.
France has the only two things toward which we drift as we grow older – intelligence and good manners.
If debates about beauty in nineteenth-century France were ﬁerce, that was because beauty was seen to matter. This was a world of political revolutions, of social reformism, of belief in progress and human perfectibility. Why was it that beauty mattered so much in such a world?.
It was then I thought of Corsica, the place we had discovered together. I craved the wind, the sun and salt, the simplicity of the island.
I had come to the conclusion that I must really be French, only no one had ever informed me of this fact. I loved the people, the food, the lay of the land, the civilized atmosphere, and the generous pace of life.
Here is everything I know about France: Madeline and Amélie and Moulin Rouge.
The Seine. I have painted it all my life, at all hours of the day, at all times of the year, from Paris to the sea…Argenteuil, Poissy, Vétheuil, Giverny, Rouen, Le Havre.
France is the only country where the money falls apart and you can’t tear the toilet paper.
But of Paris it can be said that the right bank of the Seine belongs to the world, and the left bank to France.
France is like a maddening, moody lover who inspires emotional highs and lows. One minute it fills you with a rush of passion, the next you’re full of fury, itching to smack the mouth of some sneering shopkeeper or smug civil servant. Yes, it’s a love-hate relationship.
We love the carnal sway of the Eiffel Tower and the stories of France’s great queens and mistresses told in the châteaux of Versailles and Chenonceau. Of course, we love the perfume, to scan the market for the best deal on fresh figs, the hollow clack of cobblestones under our heels, the citrusy scent of gorse blowing across a field in Normandy. We love the safety and ease of the Paris Métro and marvel at the sweep of almond blossoms in Haute-Provence.
We gasp at the beauty of the bridges over the Seine and always feel at home when we stop in the middle of one to gaze down at the cottony wake of the Bateaux Mouches. We love the mountain air that refreshes us in the Alps, and the nighttime clouds that eat the stars over the Breton coast. We love to slow down, and France requires us to do so. In France, we find what we are missing.
France is beautiful. I stood at the bottom of the Eiffel Tower today and looked up at it. There are
very few times in my life I’ve felt so small.
You can’t escape the past in Paris, and yet what’s so wonderful about it is that the past and present intermingle so intangibly that it doesn’t seem to burden.
America is my country and Paris is my hometown.
France is to me the heroine in the romance of all the nations of all time.
The spectacle of this lovely nation, with its great agricultural wealth and its cultural riches , continually stepping on its own toes, made me wonder if France suffered a kind of national neurosis.
There’s nowhere that life feels more eternal, your dimwit youth more important, than Paris.
It was all there, in short – it was what he wanted: it was Tremont Street, it was France, it was Lambinet. Moreover, he was freely walking about in it.
France has more need of me than I have need of France.
It’s a great city, Paris, a beautiful city––and––it was very good for me.
Paris is always a good idea.
France is the most civilized country in the world and doesn’t care who knows it.
It was like the first time I visited Versailles. There was an eerieness like I’d been there before. I don’t know if I was Louis XIV or Marie Antoinette or a lowly groundskeeper, but I lived there.
He wanted to tell the baby that Paris was like a poem in stone.
Who ought to be the King of France-the person who has the title or the man who has the power?
Sea and land may lie between us, but my heart is always there with you.
It is not what France gave you but what it did not take from you that was important.
Quotes About French People
I like France, where everybody thinks he’s Napoleon.
They have a very low rate for attempted murder and a high rate for successfully concluded murder. It seems that when a French person sets out to k**l someone, they make a good job of it.
France may be the only country in the world where the rich are sometimes brilliant.
The French believe that kids feel confident when they’re able to do things for themselves, and do those things well. After children have learned to talk, adults don’t praise them for saying just anything. They praise them for saying interesting things, and for speaking well.
The French have a penchant for absolutism, for thinking that things are all one way or all another, which is why their politics are marked by a general inability to compromise and why they tend to hold their personal opinions until the bitter end, even after they have clearly lost an argument.
France has a clear and defined policy… The French know what they want.
English fondness for France is normally a sort of neutron love: take away the people and leave the buildings standing.
I like Frenchmen very much, because even when they insult you they do it so nicely.
Far be it from a French man to interfere with love.
Everyone remembers their first taste of Paris. This will be his.
True democracy, the French were teaching me, involves swallowing loads of s*** to arrive at a consensual second choice we can now all critique.
It is true that in France, women put on less things. If they have a necklace, they don’t put on earrings; if they have nail polish, they don’t put on all their rings and all their bracelets.
-Ines de La Fressange
Maybe it can’t be proven statistically, but it’s a safe bet that any given American on his or her first trip to France will at some point remark with indignation that he or she had thought the French were supposed to be so polite.
The Frenchman is first and foremost a man. He is likeable often just because of his weaknesses, which are always thoroughly human, even if despicable.
In French culture, the best way of buying time or getting off the hook entirely in a thorny personal situation is to claim that it’s complicated. The French did not invent love, but they did invent romance, so they’ve had more time than any other culture on earth to refine the nuances of its language.
He was a Parisian,’ he said. ‘You can never be sure what Parisians believe in – beyond Paris of course.
It’s true that the French have a certain obsession with s**, but it’s a particularly adult obsession. France is the thriftiest of all nations; to a Frenchman s** provides the most economical way to have fun.
The tastes of France are changing and we are the last of the banquet.
We are all very much alike in France in this respect; we still remain knights, knights of love and fortune, since God has been abolished whose bodyguard we really were. But nobody can ever get woman out of our hearts; there she is, and there she will remain, and we love her, and shall continue to love her, and go on committing all kinds of follies on her account as long as there is a France on the map of Europe; and even if France were to be wiped off the map, there would always be Frenchmen left.
I cannot prevent the French from being French.
-Charles de Gaulle
Quotes about France at Night
To a common man, the opulence of the day makes no sense but to a philosopher, it is as clear as a night in the southern France.
Near the kiosk the old lady who sold refreshments seemed slowly to be gathering all the shadows of evening about her skirts.
French Food Quotes
How can you govern a country which has 246 varieties of cheese?
I hate France. It’s like the whole country’s on a diet.
Cook with butter in the North, olive oil in the South.
Nothing is more disgusting than a glass of milk, especially French milk, which comes in a box and can sit unrefrigerated for five months, at which point it simply turns into cheese and is moved to a different section of the grocery store.
Now nothing is real except French wine.
-Conrad Kent Rivers
I’d love to be a tabletop in Paris, where food is art and life combined in one, where people gather and talk for hours. I want lovers to meet over me. I’d want to be covered in drops of candle wax and breadcrumbs and rings from the bottom of wineglasses. I would never be lonely, and I would always serve a good purpose.
The flavors melted in my mouth- warm chocolate and melted butter and the flaky sweet crust. This was what I loved about France. A keen appreciation for the simplicity and sweetness of life. The French seemed to savor their minutes along with their food.
When I got to France I realized I didn’t know very much about food at all.
I’ll pretty much try any cheese, but I have found that I prefer young goats and old cows. I don’t like gray areas.
Other countries drink to get drunk, and this is accepted by everyone; in France, drunkenness is a consequence, never an intention. A drink is felt as the spinning out of a pleasure, not as the necessary cause of an effect which is sought: wine is not only a philtre, it is also the leisurely act of drinking.
Everything ends this way in France – everything. Weddings, christenings, duels, burials, swindlings, diplomatic affairs – everything is a pretext for a good dinner.
It is at a time like this, when crisis threatens the stomach, that the French display the most sympathetic side of their nature. Tell them stories of physical injury or financial ruin and they will either laugh or commiserate politely. But tell them you are facing gastronomic hardship, and they will move heaven and earth and even restaurant tables to help you.
In France, Paul explained, good cooking was regarded as a combination of national sport and high art, and wine was always served with lunch and dinner.
The French have the right respect for dogs–in France we chiens get to go to lunch and dinner anytime, anywhere.
God, it’s good to be eating in France again.
Years later, when Julia was famous she would often receive letters from people who asked not simply how they might learn to cook. They already knew the answer: The owned her cookbooks, but they were yearning to know how they might become passionate about it. She always answered the same thing: Go to France and eat.
France Weather Quotes
The French air cleans up the brain and does good – a world of good.
-Vincent Van Gogh
One mustn’t ask apple trees for oranges, France for sun, women for love, life for happiness.
Quotes about the French Language
No matter how well I could pronounce words or expressions, there was no terroir in my vocabulary. Words all meant the same to me—almost like those black and white letter magnets you stick to a refrigerator. Table, Chaise, Connard, Pute, Vélo, Merde were all interchangeable and non-denominational, standing next to each other in my brain like a bad haiku.
Learn French because there’s small chance that French will learn any other language.
Boy, those French. They have a different word for everything.
The French: a people who have used their sophisticated culture and beautiful language to bequeath to the world the sliced potato.
Occasionally, merely for the pleasure of being cruel, we put unoffending Frenchmen on the rack with questions framed in the incomprehensible jargon of their native language, and while they writhed, we impaled them, we peppered them, we scarified them, with their own vile verbs and participles.
If the French were really intelligent, they’d speak English.
For example, in Paris, if one desires to buy something, you enter the store and say “Good morning, sir” or “madam,” depending on what is appropriate, you wait until you are greeted, you make polite chitchat about the weather or some such, and when the salesperson asks what they can do for you, then and only then do you bring up the vulgar business of the transaction you require.
I am just like 99% of my friends in France, who say on their resume they can speak fluent English. In reality, they can’t even count up to three.
Quotes about the French Riviera
Yes, sir, there are things to see and do on the French Riviera without spending money.
The French Riviera: A sunny place for shady people.
On the pleasant shore of the French Riviera, about had way between Marseilles and the Italian border, stands a large, proud, rose-colored hotel.
-F. Scott. Fitzgerald
You were never told that Saint-Tropez is paradise?
So, where’s the Cannes Film Festival being held this year?
If you could have walked on the planet before humans lived here, maybe the Ivory Coast would have seemed more beautiful than La Côte d’Azur.
The Mediterranean is in my DNA. I’m fine inland for about a week, but then I yearn for a limitless view of the sea, for the colours and smells of the Italian and French Riviera.
Most of my holidays are with wonderfully generous friends with houses in the country or the South of France.
The easy glamour of the French Riviera in the 1960s – inspired by Rome Schneider’s character in La Piscine – mixed with garden elements. Blueprint, botanical, lattice, Queen Anne’s lace and folly prints are paired with cleaner silhouettes and proportions in a fresh palette of green, white, and coral.
Every year there’s a jury at the Cannes Film Festival. Getting on the jury is very competitive in France. Not because the French love cinema, but because they love to judge.
Quotes About Not Liking France
What’s the big deal with France? How come everyone wants to go there? Let me tell you about France. Their music sucks. Their movies suck. Their berets suck. Their croissants are pretty good, but the place overall still sucks.
Want more Travel Quotes?
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5 Things to Pack for Your Trip to France
The Lonely Planet France guidebook or the Rick Steves Paris guidebook for your trip. It can be kind of a pain to find the major guidebooks once you arrive in France, or you’ll find them overpriced. I always like to pick mine up ahead of time.
An Unlocked Cell Phone so that you can use a French sim card while here to help navigate the trains.
Backup Charging Bank for your cell phone since you’ll be using it as a camera, GPS system, and general travel genie.
A Great Day Bag so you can carry what you need with you (like your camera, snacks, water, sunscreen, cash, etc). My current favorite is the Pacsafe Citysafe, which is especially great for Paris and Bordeaux because it has many anti-theft features.
More France Travel Resources
Headed to Paris? Check out the 10 Historic Churches in Paris you should see and the best quotes about Paris, plus this podcast episode Rick Steves Over Brunch: Highlights of Paris and my favorite Paris puns.
If you’re looking for more Paris Instagram captions or other travel quotes and didn’t find what you’re looking for, you can also check out my massive 250+ Real & Inspirational Travel Quotes (with Images!).
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance!
Before you leave for France make sure you have a valid Travel Insurance Policy because accidents happen on the road. I pay for World Nomads, and I happily recommend them. It’s especially important to get travel insurance if you’ll be hanging out in cities (like Paris…ahem) where tourists can be the victims of pickpockets.
I have been a paying customer of World Nomads for travel insurance for three years, and I happily recommend them. If you get sick, injured, or have your stuff stolen, you’ll be happy to have the ability to pay for your medical bills or replace what’s stolen or broken.