France is officially divided into 22 administrative regions (plus four overseas), then further divided into 96 departments.
Each French department falls entirely within one region, and has its own local 'capital' town - called a prefecture. Each department is further subdivided into 'communes' - locally administered areas (there are approximately 37,000 communes in France, approximately representing each place in France).
Confusingly some parts of France that you might visit are best known by their 'department' name e.g. Dordogne is a department forming part of the Aquitaine region, while others are better known under their region name eg Brittany (where the region includes several departments)
The departments below are listed by department number - these department numbers are very widely used, including being the first two digits of French postcodes. and the last two digits of a car registration number (until spring 2010).
* Note: these listings provide complete alphabetical list of all the communes in France, by department - which in turn will provide you with maps, tourist information, hotels and places of interest for each of these communes (Paris communes are grouped together).
The four overseas departments are Guadelope, Martinique, La Réunion and Guyane
See 'Places to visit in France' for a map of the regions of France. This list of departments in France should help if you know what department you want to visit e.g. Dordogne 24 but you don't know which region it forms part of.