What are some travel tips for France?
Did you know that France is one of the most visited countries in the entire world and with diverse cultural landscapes and geographical beauty, it’s no wonder! If France is at the top of your travel list and you’re planning a visit soon, there are a few things you should know before you go!
From food and wine to the way you start a conversation, following our travel tips for France will help you to have an unforgettable time on your visit to this beautiful country. To find out more, check out our tips below.
Check your visa requirements before you travel
This is key for entry into the country. The country in which you hold citizenship plays a huge role in how you travel into France. While many countries hold visa-wavier agreements with France, some don’t and you may require a visa for entry.
Many citizens of European countries and countries with visa-waiver agreements can enter France using an ETIAS, a new system of travel brought in to countries within the Schengen Zone in late 2022. To find out if you need an ETIAS, you can check here.
It is very important you ensure that you have the right kind of travel documentation upon entering France and that you do not exceed the limit of your visa or ETIAS or breach the contract in any other way on your travels.
Learn at least some key phrases in French
Contrary to popular belief, the French aren’t actually rude. Unlike many European countries, English is not as widely spoken in France outside of tourist areas meaning you will need to learn some key phrases in French to be able to have a smooth visit. It is a courtesy to try to speak the French language and you will likely find you get far better service if you do indeed try!
Use the trains
France has a pretty great rail system that links up many of the countries cities and regions. Using the train is an easy way to get out of the major tourist cities and see some of the sights in rural France.
When people think of France, they often think only of Paris, but there are tons of other great places to see in the country and the train can take you there!
Take advantage of the shopping
France is renowned for its shopping and Paris is known as the birthplace of modern fashion. Take advantage of it while you’re there! Spend an afternoon on the famed Avenue des Champs-Élysées and enjoy the best of European shopping.
Skincare enthusiasts will also be in their element in French stores, with hundreds of well-known and quality brands on sale. This is great if you’ve missed anything out in your packing too!
Embrace the food and wine
France is known for its incredible food and wine. From cheese to bread to pastries, you cannot go wrong when eating the local cuisine. Stop by a farmers market and eat in restaurants that source locally to taste the magnificent homegrown food and wine that France has to offer.
Learn emergency numbers
When traveling Europe, it is useful to know that the European emergency number is 112. In France, you would dial 15 for a medical emergency, 16 for the police, and 17 for the fire department.
It is also worth knowing where your country’s embassy is and how to contact them if necessary.
While you’re probably used to your local shops accepting card payments, in some parts of France, you may find shops and restaurants that only accept cash. It is a good idea to carry cash on you at all times.
Carry cash safely and do not leave yourself open to pickpocketing. For lots of other tips for staying safe, check out guides, like this one, before you go.
Start with bonjour
We previously mentioned learning some key phrases in the French language before traveling out there and ‘bonjour’ is the first one you should memorize. It is etiquette in France to begin any conversation with ‘bonjour.’
Try to avoid approaching people without starting with ‘bonjour’ as you may be greeted with a rather frosty reception.
Be prepared to eat dinner late
Like many European countries, it is customary to eat dinner rather later than usual in France. Expect to eat your evening meal after 7.30 pm and try to stick to the local eating times so that you don’t miss out on a meal!