French Quotes – 48 Inspiring Quotes About France and Life!

Sharing is caring!

Need some inspiration for planning a trip to France? Read these brilliant French quotes, including quotes about Paris, quotes about France in general, as well as French quotes about life in general! 

There’s no denying it, France is a truly magical and romantic place. From the twinkling lights of Paris at night to the glorious beaches on the French Riviera to the stunning landmarks found throughout the country, to the rolling vineyards in France. There is something just so special about travelling to or living in this beautiful country.

It’s no surprise then that so many visitors, writers, and poets have all been inspired to pen their very own French quotes, quotes about Paris, or quotes about France and French life to showcase their love for this place.

In this post, we list 48 of the best France travel quotes as well as quotes about French life in general. Enjoy. 

Disclaimer: This post contains links to services or products that I trust and recommend and from which I may earn commissions. Read our privacy policy for more.

Before you go, be sure to plan & book your France Travel Essentials:

Pssst…Have you packed all your essentials? Make sure to read our packing list for Europe guide to ensure you’ve ticked all the packing necessities off your list!

Quotes About Paris – France Quotes

Montmarte Paris - Travel Quotes About Paris

Paris is probably the first place that springs to mind when thinking of France. The city of lights is pure romance personified – so it’s no wonder that so many quotes on Paris have been written or made famous. Check out these inspiring Paris quotes.

“People wonder why so many writers come to live in Paris. I’ve been living ten years in Paris and the answer seems simple to me: because it’s the best place to pick ideas. Just like Italy, Spain.. or Iran are the best places to pick saffron. If you want to pick opium poppies you go to Burma or South-East Asia. And if you want to pick novel ideas, you go to Paris.”Roman Payne, Crepuscule

“London is a riddle. Paris is an explanation.” – Gilbert Keith Chesterton

“Paris is not a city; it’s a world.” – King Francis I

“… you’ll have to fall in love at least once in your life, or Paris has failed to rub off on you.” – E.A. Bucchianeri, Brushstrokes of a Gadfly

“That Paris exists and anyone could choose to live anywhere else in the world will always be a mystery to me.” – Marion Cotillard, Midnight in Paris

“Whoever does not visit Paris regularly will never really be elegant.” – Honoré de Balzac

“The shopping, the food, the views! Paris is a city that entrances us all—and I’m no exception.” – Michael Kors

Quotes About France

Colmar - Quotes About France

France is one of the most beautiful European countries rich in culture, historical architecture and art. Here are French quotes about the country, everyday life, love, and its world-renowned art.

“How can you govern a country which has 246 varieties of cheese?”Charles de Gaulle

“I hate France. It’s like the whole country’s on a diet.”Gordon Korman, One False Note

“I like France, where everybody thinks he’s Napoleon–down here everybody thinks he’s Christ.”F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tender Is the Night

“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.” – Josephin Peladan

Inspirational French Quotes (with Translation)

The French are very well-known for these three things that they seem to do best: life, love and art. Here are some French quotes translated to allow you to embrace the true culture and romance of France.

Eye-Opening French Quotes About Life

French Quotes About Life

One thing that the French seem to understand very well is the ups and downs of life. Although they indulge in the beauty of it, they also don’t sugarcoat it. Here are some French sayings about life in general.

“À vaillant coeur rien d’impossible.”“For a valiant heart nothing is impossible.” – Jacques Cœur

“Je pense, donc je suis.”“I think, therefore, I am.” – René Descartes

“Il vaut mieux prévenir que guérir.”“It is better to prevent than to heal.” – French Proverb

“Le temps est un grand maître, dit-on. Le malheur est qui’il tue ses élèves.”“We say that time is a great teacher. It’s too bad that it kills all its students.” – Hector Berlioz

“Un homme seul est toujours en mauvaise compagnie.”“A lone man is always in poor company.” – Paul Valéry

“Il vaut mieux faire que dire.”“Doing is better than saying.” – Alfred de Musset

“Chacun voit midi à sa porte.”“Everyone sees noon at his own door.”French Proverb 

“Prouver que j’ai raison serait accorder que je puis avoir tort.” “Proving that I am right would be admitting that I could be wrong.” – Pierre Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais

“On n’est point toujours une bête pour l’avoir été quelquefois.”“Being a fool sometimes does not make one a fool all the time.” – Denis Diderot

“Il n’y a pas de verités moyennes.”“There are no half-truths.” – Georges Bernanos

“A vaincre sans peril, on triomphe sans gloire.”“To win without risk is a triumph without glory.” – Pierre Corneille

“La vérité vaut bien qu’on passe quelques années sans la trouver.”“Truth is more valuable if it takes you a few years to find it.” – Jules Renard

“Qui craint de souffrir, il souffre déjà de ce qu’il craint.”“He who fears suffering is already suffering that which he fears.” – La Fontaine

“La parfaite valeur est de faire sans témoin ce qu’on serait capable de faire devant tout le monde.”“True valour is to do in secrecy what you could just have easily done before others.”  – La Rochefoucauld

“La raison c’est la folie du plus fort. La raison du moins fort c’est de la folie.”“Reason is the madness of the strongest. The reason of those less strong is madness.”  – Eugène Ionesco

Famous French Quotes About Love

French Quotes About Love

The French are famous for being ultimate romantics. Just look at Paris; the ‘City of Lights’ has very easily been mistakenly referred to as the ‘City of Love’ on more than one occasion, and it’s no wonder why. 

“La vie est un sommeil, l’amour en est le rêve.”“Life is a long sleep and love is its dream.” – Alfred de Musset

“La vie est une fleur dont l’amour est le miel.”“Life is a flower of which love is the honey.” – Victor Hugo

“Il n’y a qu’un bonheur dans la vie, c’est d’aimer et d’être aimé.”“There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved.” – George Sand

“Aimer, ce n’est pas se regarder l’un l’autre, c’est regarder ensemble dans la même direction.”“Love doesn’t mean gazing at each other, but looking, together, in the same direction.”  – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

“On n’aime que ce qu’on ne possède pas tout entier.”“We love only what we do not wholly possess.” – Marcel Proust

“L’amour est comme le vent, nous ne savons pas d’où il vient.”“Love is like the wind, we never know where it will come from.” – Honoré de Balzac

“Le cœur a ses raisons que la raison ne connaît pas.”“The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of.” – Blaise Pascal

“Le seul vrai langage au monde est un baiser.”“The only true language in the world is a kiss.” – Alfred de Musset

“Entre deux cœurs qui s’aiment, nul besoin de paroles.”“Two hearts in love need no words.” – Marceline Desbordes-Valmore

“Vivre sans aimer n’est pas proprement vivre.”“To live without loving is to not really live.” – Molière

“L’amour c’est être stupide ensemble.”“Love is being stupid together.” – Paul Valéry

“Un seul être vous manque et tout est dépeuplé.” “Sometimes, only one person is missing, and the whole world seems depopulated.” – Alphonse de Lamartine

“C’est cela l’amour, tout donner, tout sacrifier sans espoir de retour.”“That is love, to give away everything, to sacrifice everything, without the slightest desire to get anything in return.” – Albert Camus

“L’amour est une passion qui ne se soumet à rien, et à qui au contraire, toutes choses se soumettent.” “Love is a passion which surrenders to nothing, but to the contrary, everything surrenders to love.” – Madeleine de Scudéry

“Le prix d’Amour, c’est seulement Amour… Il faut aimer si l’on veut etre aimé…”“The price of love is love itself. One must love if one wants to be loved…” – Honoré d’Urfé

Best French Quotes About Art & Literature

French Quotes About Art & Literature

French history is characterized by centuries of elaborate architecture, captivating art and inspiring literature. Most of the world’s greatest artists and writers were French.

“Imaginer c’est choisir.”“To imagine is to choose.” – Jean Giono

“Le monde est un livre dont chaque pas nous ouvre une page.”“The world is a book – with each step we open a page.” – Alphonse de Lamartine

“Les livres sont des amis froids et sûrs.” “Books are cold and certain friends.” – Victor Hugo

“L’æuvre d’art, c’est une idée qu’on exagére.”A work of art is an idea that someone exaggerates.”André Gide

“Ècrire, c’est une façon de parler sans être interrompu.” – “Writing is a way to talk without being interrupted.”Jules Renard

“Les chefs-d’oeuvre ne sont jamais que des tentatives heureuses.”“Masterpieces are never anything else but happy attempts.” George Sand

“La critique est aisée, mais l’art est difficile.” “Criticism is easy, art is difficult.” Philippe Destouches

Scroll to top