07/18/2014 08:00 am ET

Chinese Tourists Think France Is The Friendliest Country In Europe

interlight via Getty Images

Come on, homme, it's time to stop hating on France.

Chinese travelers say they consider France the "most welcoming" nation in Europe, ahead of the UK.

The news, from a survey commissioned via, couldn't come at a sweeter time: the French government recently outlined a "tourism action plan" designed to attract tourists from foreign lands and combat the country's unsavory reputation.

Either it started working really quickly, or the Chinese just don't have the same Frenchie frustration we've adopted in the States.

Or maybe it has something to do with visas. France is part of the Schengen Area, a series of European nations requiring only a single visa, so most travelers are able to visit multiple countries in one fell swoop. The UK (France's big tourism competition) requires a separate visa for Chinese tourists.

And travelers from China -- who spend four times as much money as the average visitor -- clearly enjoy the ease, choosing France as a friendly spot to visit (and, no doubt, to spend money). Vive la France!


  • 1 Le Marché des Enfants Rouges
    Yelp/Jeffrey C.
    Le marché des Enfants Rouges is the oldest covered market in Paris. Built in 1615, it is a bustling and loud market and food hall in the Marais, where you can find pretty much anything you'd want to eat, from Lebanese food to Japanese. It may be visited by tourists, but that doesn't mean it's strictly a tourist destination. Locals love and frequent Le Marché des Enfants Rouges too.
  • 2 Popelini
    Popelini is a small pâtisserie where you can only buy cream puffs. The legendary cream puffs are one of the best things one of Le Huffington Post's editors have ever eaten in Paris. Need we say more?
  • 3 L' Eclair de Génie
    Facebook/L' Eclair de Génie,
    As if it weren't enough that Paris is home to a store where you can only buy cream puffs, it is also home to a store where you can only buy eclairs. L' Eclair de Génie is partly responsible for the revival of this classic 19th-century pastry that may have been eclipsed by the macaron in recent years. Thank you, L' Eclair de Génie, for reminding us of the glory of this fantastic dessert.
  • 4 Balls
    There is a trendy new restaurant in Paris called Balls, it serves primarily meatballs, and we need to go there. Plus, the waiters wear T-shirts that read, "Eat My Balls," or so we hear.
  • 5 La Candelaria
    If you're looking for a bar that's trendy with Parisians, head to La Candelaria. (You'll have to walk through a taqueria to get there.)
  • 6 Chez Jeannette
    Facebook/Chez Jeannette
    For French and Mediterranean cuisine favored by Parisians, Chez Jeanette is the place to go.
  • 7 Dédé la frite
    Facebook/Dédé la frite
    Dédé la frite is where to go to get your French fry overdose. We're in.
  • 8 Big Fernand
    Facebook/Big Fernand
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  • 9 Little Fernand
    Facebook/Little Fernand
    If you're looking for a hot dog, Big Fernand's little brother, Little Fernand, is here to fulfill your American dreams. You can also get a bag of chips, coleslaw, brownies and Dr. Pepper with your hot dog.
  • 10 Racines
    A favorite Paris wine bar, Racines serves market-driven food with simple ingredients. It's situated in a 19th-century shopping arcade and is known for its natural wines. A location has just opened in New York City.
  • 11 Pho 14
    Trip Advisor/Churrrr
    Our French editors think the best Pho and Bo bun (a noodle bowl) in Paris come from Pho 14. Locals love it. As food blog Paris By Mouth says, "It’s easy to find Pho 14. Just look for the line."
  • 12 Le Petit Cambodge
    Facebook/Le Petit Cambodge
    Cambodian restaurant Le Petit Cambodge is home to the second best "bo bun" (noodle bowl) in Paris, our editors tell us.
  • 13 Café des Musées
    Café des Musées is a charming restaurant serving classic French dishes like entrecôte steak and house-made pâtés.
  • 14 La Butte Aux Piafs
    Facebook/La Butte Aux Piafs
    La Butte Aux Piafs opened last summer and is already a favorite among local students who go to school in the area. One of our French editors tells us the bistro sells a special squid ink burger.
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