The number of visitors from Europe to the country was up 3.1% in total, while the total number of foreign visitors stood at 81.4 million.
This was an all-time high, beating the previous record of 77.6 million set in 2010 and climbing 4.8% along the way.
The 67.8 million European visitors made up 83.3% of the total, France's DGCIS international competitiveness agency said in its annual report.
There was also a surge in Chinese, Russian and Brazilian visitors, who were driving growth, with the number of tourists from these emerging nations rising by 17% in 2011.
The number of people who visited from China increased by 23.9% according to the report, but still only represented a 1.1 million share of France's foreign visitors.
Visitors stayed in France for more than 10% longer than they did the year before, and spent 8.4% more money, which totalled 33.4 billion euro.
Paris is a must for many visitors to France, who will either holiday in the capital or arrange a day-trip from elsewhere.
There are countless attractions for tourists to visit, and yet more are being unveiled, including the Chateau de Versailles' History Gallery.
The gallery is a project of the Parisian world heritage site, also known as the Palace of Versailles, and was designed by Projectiles Architecture Studio.
It was classified as a world heritage site 30 years ago and its location is 20km south-west of the capital. The Chateau is seen as a European art and history treasure.
Constructed in 1624 by King Louis XIII, the building's purpose was to be a simple hunting lodge. Now a renowned palace, it has been enlarged successively.
In partnership with Google, the palace decided to create a gallery of its history in order to give some understanding of how it evolved.
Named Galerie de l'Histoire, or 'History Gallery', the palace project was won by the Projectiles studio after a contest ran from February until April 2010.
The History Gallery has been created along 700 square metres, and is made up of a chain of rooms along the north wing.
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