What Countries Border France? A List of French Borders

(Last Updated On: February 26, 2019)
What Countries Border France? A List of French Borders

What countries border France? It’s a pretty straightforward question, but one that comes with a few surprising answers. Metropolitan or mainland France is located in western Europe, but the country also has several overseas regions and territories. So does France have borders outside of Europe as well? Let’s take a look at a complete list of French borders.

Here Are the 10 Countries That Border France

1. Belgium

To the north of France is Belgium, a country known for its high standard of living and safety. Belgium and France are close allies and share many cultural similarities. Both were also founding members of the European Union.

2. Luxembourg

Present-day Luxembourg emerged from the Congress of Vienna in 1815, and today it is one of the smallest countries in Europe. Luxembourg is landlocked, sharing borders with France, Belgium, and Germany. The city of Luxembourg is the country’s capital and largest city.  

3. Germany

Despite some messy history, today Germany and France are very friendly and among the biggest proponents of an integrated Europe. Germany borders France in the northeast, and the countries have been described as the “twin engine” that pushes for changes within the European Union.

4. Switzerland

East of France is the country of Switzerland, the nation that has been famously neutral since the Reformation. Switzerland is one of the most developed countries in the world, and have traditionally been very friendly with France. In fact, French is one of Switzerland’s four official languages.

5. Italy

France and Italy have also had a complicated history. Though France played a major role in helping the unification of Italy, tensions would arise between the two countries at the end of the 19th century. Today, however, the countries are on much better terms. There is even a popular saying among the two nations: “Only Paris is worthy of Rome; only Rome is worthy of Paris.”

6. Monaco

Monaco is a microstate on the French Riviera. France borders the country on three sides, while the other side borders the Mediterranean Sea. Monaco is the 2nd smallest country in the world after Vatican City. French is the official language in Monaco, and French and Italian nationals comprise more than half the country’s population.

7. Spain

Formally defined in 1659 after the 24-year Franco-Spanish War, France and Spain share a 407.8 mile (656.3 km) border that runs along the Pyrenees mountains from the Bay of Biscay to the Mediterranean Sea. France is one of the largest trading partners of Spain today.

8. Andorra

Nestled in the Pyrenees mountains between France and Spain is the small country of Andorra. While the border might be small, France plays a big role in the Andorran government. The President of France also holds the title of Co-Prince of Andorra along with the Catholic Bishop of Urgell in Catalonia, Spain.

9. Brazil

Yes, you read that correctly. France does border the South American country of Brazil. How is this possible? Remember that France has several overseas departments, and one of them is French Guiana in South America. French Guiana is one of the 18 administrative regions of France and it is seen as an integral part of the country, in much the same way the United States would view Alaska or Hawaii.

10. Suriname

French Guiana is located in the northeastern part of South America, on the Atlantic side. In addition to bordering Brazil, it also borders the country of Suriname. Because the majority of France is located in Europe, however, France is not typically listed among the countries of South America.

France on a map

Now that you’ve had a chance to learn more about France’s borders, how about testing yourself to see what you can remember? Can you pick all the countries that border France?

About the Author:

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Mark Heald is the Managing Editor of Sporcle.com. He enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, and bemoaning the fact the Sonics left Seattle.