Areola was starting on goal in place of the injured Hugo Lloris, winning his first chapter in the only change made by France coach Dider Deschamps, compared to the team that started the final of the FIFA World Cup on Croatia in July .
The Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper intervened brilliantly to deny Marco Reus and keep a header from Matthias Ginter, while the well-aimed shot from Antoine Griezmann that was saved by Manuel Neuer was as close as France came.
"I know we're getting greedy, but a draw in Germany is a good result," Deschamps told French television TF1.
The Netherlands are the other team in Group 1 of the A League, and Ronald Koeman's team travels to Paris on Sunday, when the French will meet at home for the first time since their glorious campaign in Russia.
The best teams from each of the four groups in the A League will advance to a final mini tournament in June next year, with the general title of the League of Nations in play before the Euro-2020 qualifiers begin.
Under the elite league, there is promotion and relegation and also a potential path for the European Championship for those who do not through the traditional classifiers.
Good evening for Giggs
Bale scored a dazzling goal when an impressive Wales defeated the Republic of Ireland 4-1 in the first competitive game of Ryan Giggs as manager.
Bale followed his good start to the season with Real Madrid curling in a sensational shot from outside the box in the 18th minute of their meeting in the B League in Cardiff.
It was a 30th international goal for Bale, who is the all-time top scorer in Wales.
Tom Lawrence had already given Wales the lead before that, and Ethan Ampadu, 17, set up Aaron Ramsey for the third goal before the break.
Ireland's 1-0 win in Cardiff last October had ended Wales 'dream of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, but Martin O' Neill's team was terrible this time.
Bale set up Connor Roberts for the hosts' quarter after the break, before substitute Shaun Williams cut a goal for the Irish after stealing Ramsey's possession.
"We wanted to make a presentation in front of the fans and make a statement," Bale told Sky Sports.
Wales will go to Denmark on Sunday, and the Danes are expected to form a full strength team in that game after sending a team of low-league and futsal players in a friendly 3-0 defeat in Slovakia on Wednesday.
That was because leading stars like Christian Eriksen were absent due to a contractual dispute over commercial rights.
Bale added: "The goal is to win all the games we play, we know the format, we know it's another way to qualify for euros, so we'll take it seriously."
Also in the B League, Ukraine came from behind to win 2-1 in the Czech Republic with Oleksandr Zinchenko scoring the decisive goal in injury time.
In League C, Stefan Johansen of Fulham scored twice and Norway beat Cyprus 2-0, and Bulgaria won 2-1 in Slovenia.
The first goal of the new League of Nations was dazzling, scored by Giorgi Chakvetadze in distant Astana, while Georgia beat Kazakhstan 2-0 in Group 1 of the D League.
In the same league, Henrikh Mkhitaryan of Arsenal suffered a penalty when his Armenia beat Liechtenstein 2-1.
The opening round of the matches of the League of Nations continues on Friday, and Italy will face Poland in the outstanding game.