List of cities in France, size and population

List of cities in France, size and population

France has some of the most beautiful cities around the world. As a first-class country, most of the cities form best tourist destinations, thanks to the conducive ambience in most parts of the country. The census carried out in France in 2013 clearly showed that the cities of France have variable population sizes. This article looks at the list of cities in France, the population of the cities as per the 2013 census and the region of the country where the cities can be found. The cities are arranged under regions and in a descending order of their population.

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Most people love France not only for its aesthetic charm but also because it is one of the best countries in the world. However, knowing the different cities in the country makes it possible for you to prioritize which ones to visit first. The following list shows the different cities you could plan to visit since it may not be possible to visit all cities in France on your first time there . It is important that you plan and prioritize.

Cities of France

If you are wondering which of the cities of France is the best compared to the rest, below is a list of all cities of France. Accompanying the cities are the explanation about the city. However, it’s worth mentioning that the cities have distinctive and unique identities which make them different from one another and other cities across the globe. These are the French city names.

1. Paris

Best known for tourism in which the city has been ranking among the best five, Paris turns out to be one of the world's major economies. It is a leading hub of business, finance, and fashion among many others. Paris is the largest city in France. Connected to London through the channel tunnel and the rest of the world via airports, the city receives visitors in large numbers. The city occupies an area of 14,549 square kilometres and has a population of 2,229,621 people.

2. Lyon

The city is located near the border of Swaziland, about 300 miles to the south of Paris. The locals consider it as the ‘second city.' It was one of the major cities way back in the Roman Empire times. At that time, the city was referred to as Lugdunum. Lyon city remains an attractive place of cultural and historical import. It has a population of 500,715 people. Lyon city covers an area of approximately, 3356 square kilometres.

3. Nice

Nice city is the fifth most populated of all the cities of France. The city rests on the Alps and enjoys a long stretch on the Mediterranean coast. With its strategic position, the city hosts about 5 million tourists annually, second to Paris. It has a population of 342,295 people.

4. Marseille

This is the oldest city in France. The city's timeline goes way back to the 600 BC when the Ancient Greeks settled in the region. Its location along the Mediterranean Sea enabled it to become a famous port city throughout history. Marseille is the second largest city in France boasting of a population of 272,084 people.

5. Bordeaux

The city is considered as the wine capital of the world, thanks to its distinct and coveted ‘Bordeaux’ wine. The wine comes in various ranges. From simple table wine to the most prestigious wines on the market. In addition to the distinct and coveted wine, Bordeaux has 362 National heritage sites. The city has a population of 243,626 people.

6. Toulouse

cities of france
french city names
city of southern france
all cities in france

The city is nicknamed La villa or Pink city. The city covers an area of 4,015 square kilometres. The name comes from the signature light red terracotta bricks. The bricks are made from reddish mad in the Garonne River. The city's prominence dates back tothe 15th century. During that time, it was a major producer of blue dye. It was among the wealthiest cities in the world but suffered a setback when cheaper indigo pigment was introduced. The city carries a population of 458,298 people.

7. Strasbourg

With a population of 275,718, Strasbourg is one of the most popular tourist destination cities of France. The city is located to the eastern border of Germany, so, it has a number of things in common with the Germans. Strasbourg Christmas market is one of the most famous tourist attraction sites in the city. Being in the Alsace region of the country, the majority of its populace speak Alsatian (a German dialect)

8. Montpellier

Montpellier is the seventh largest city of France. As a port along the Mediterranean sea, the city has gone through tremendous developments. Almost a third of the population is made up of students. Half of the city's population is composed of people below the age of 35 years. The city has a population of 272,084 people.

9. Dijon

Talking of the country’s wine capital, Dijon turns out among the famous thanks to its mustard; la Moutarde de Dijon. The city holds its International and Gastronomic Fair, one of the most essential Food Fairs in all of France. Dijon has a population of 153,003.

10. Nantes

Nantes was at one point the largest port city in France. It stood out as a significant trading centre together with other coastal Atlantic neighbours. The majority of its booming population constitute of artistic culture and thriving service industry. The city has a population of 292,718.

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11. Nimes

Think of a city of southern France, and the name will flash right into your mind. The city is close to Camargue in the Languedoc. During the Roman times, the city was the most prosperous and most elegant of the cities of Gaul. Essential Historical remains can be found around Nimes. Nimes city has a population of 150,564.

12. Orleans

Orleans city is famous because of Jeanne d'Arc (Joan of Arc). Joan of Arc was the maid of Orleans, the liberator of the city in 1429. The city has a population of about 114,375 people.

13. Versailles

The city is located southwest of Paris. With a population of about 86,477 people, the city came to the limelight thanks to the palace of Versailles. The treaty was signed in the castle. Versailles city is a 45 minute-drive from Paris.

14. Le Havre

Bombs eviscerated this town in World War II. However, after that, the city was rebuilt almost wholly of concrete. Le Havre has a world-class modern art Museum. The museum contains the country’s most extensive collection of impressionist paints. The paints are for those who need a little of Monet to feel they are really 'doing' France. The city has a population of 175,497.

15. Arles

The city inspires some of the history’s most famous artists. The most famous artist included Picasso and Van Gosh. Today, Arles city is outfitted with cute little signposts in various places where the artists painted their better works. If you are an artist and what to be inspired by the most celebrated artists, then Arles city will offer you that to your satisfaction.

16. Saint-Denis

The city is the capital of the French overseas department of Reunion. It lies in the basin at the mouth of the Saint-Denis River. As a capital, Saint-Denis has an airport, a university for the study of Political Science, Law and economics, many libraries and a Natural History Museum. The city has a population of about 133600 people occupying it.

17. Rennes

Rennes city is located at the confluent of the Ille and Vilaine Rivers. It is the capital of Ille-et-Vilaine department, Brittany region in the western part of France. The city derived its name from the Rodones which was a Celtic tribe the established the town. Being the Centre of Archbishoprics and the Universities of Rennes I and II, the city has established itself as an intellectual Centre of Brittany. Rennes city has pollution of 213,454 persons.

18. Ajaccio

The city is the capital of Corse-du-Sud Department of Corsica region. Ajaccio is a Mediterranean Port on the west of the Island of Corsica. The city has a museum, Maison Bonaparte. Maison Bonaparte was the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte. The economy of the city largely depends on tourism. However, there is a light industry, hence, the manufacture of aeronautical components. The city has a population of 68,587 people.

19. Lille

It is located in northern France on the Deule River. It is the capital of Nord department of the Hauts-de-France region. The city has a population of 1,037,939.

20. Saint-Quentin

Saint-Quentin town is located in the slopes of a hill on the right bank of Somme River. It is at the junction of the river with the canal de Saint Quentin. The city has a population of about 55,878 people.

21. Auxerre

The city is the capital of Yonne department, Bourgogne-France-Comte region. It is located along Yonne river central of France. The town’s most notable landmark is the Cathedral of Saint-Etienne, the 13th – 16th century Gothic. It is a commercial, administrative and industrial centre. It has various industries among them manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, electronic equipment, and food and drink products. The city has a population of 34,843 people.

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States in France

cities of france
french city names
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all cities in france

France is divided into eighteen administrative regions. The regions constitute thirteen Metropolitan and five overseas regions.

The 13 metropolitan regions are further divided into 2 to 13 departments whereas the overseas states constitute only one department and are referred to as ‘oversea departments.'

Here is a list of states of France. The state comprises cities and towns which form them.

1. Metropolitan States

  • Alsace
  • Aquitaine
  • Auvergne
  • Basse-Normandie
  • Brittany
  • Burgundy
  • Centre
  • Champagne-Ardenne
  • Corsica
  • Franche-Comte
  • Haute-Normandie
  • Ile-de-France
  • Languedoc-Roussillon
  • Limousin
  • Lorraine
  • Midi-Pyrenees
  • Nord-Pas-De-Calais
  • Pays De La Loire
  • Picardy
  • Poitou-Charentes
  • Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur
  • Rhone-Alpes

2. Oversea regions

  • Reunion
  • Mayotte
  • Martinique
  • Guadeloupe
  • French Guiana

With the above list of cities in France, anyone wishing to travel to France for any reason has an idea of where to start. This list makes it possible for you to plan your travel to the country.

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