France Travel Guide

France Travel Guide

A Quick Intro to France

Attracting around 89.4 million tourists per year, France is the most visited country in Europe.

Since the country is linked to the United Kingdom via the Channel Tunnel (nicknamed ‘The Chunnel’) it’s especially popular with visitors from the UK. The Eurostar train will get you from London to Paris within about 2 hours 30 minutes, or you can take your own vehicle via the Eurotunnel Shuttle.

A number of low cost airlines fly to Paris Charles de Gaulle and Paris Orly too, so France makes for an attractive city break if you’re on a budget.

Many people dream of visiting Paris, which is home to so many iconic landmarks including the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral and the Arc de Triomphe. But of course, there’s so much more to France than its capital city.

The country is an exceptional producer of wine, so if you want to sample some of the best wines, pay a visit to regions such as Bordeaux, Bourgogne, the Rhône Valley, the Loire Valley or Champagne. 

For beaches, you can’t go wrong with the French Riviera – a stunning stretch of coastline in the south of France. Running from St. Tropez to Menton, the French Riviera is dotted with picturesque coves and quaint towns.

This France travel guide is filled with itineraries and resources to help you plan your trip to France. It’s a beautiful country with incredible food, so be sure to add it to your list of places to visit!

View of Paris and the Eiffel Tower

France Essential Info

Language: French

Currency: The currency in France is the Euro

Plug sockets: France has two plug types – C, and E. Any standard European plug or adapter with the two round pins should work in France. France operates on a 230V supply voltage and 50Hz.

Credit Cards & ATMS: Credit cards are widely accepted in France, including American Express. Always have a Mastercard or Visa with you for places that don’t accept Amex though. You can get cash out of the ATMs at the airport, at banks and main shopping areas. In many instances you can use contactless, including Apple Pay, for amounts up to €50.

Getting Around: The best way to get around France is by train using the SNCF network. SNCF has high-speed trains (TGV) and regional trains (TER). Trains are bookable on the SNCF website or on Rail Europe. You can also get around France by coach using FlixBus. If you’re planning to travel throughout Europe by train, you may want to consider a global Eurail Pass, or you could get a Eurail France pass.

Safety: France is generally a safe place to visit and violent crime involving tourists is rare, although the country has been the target of terrorist attacks. The most you’ll probably have to worry about is theft. In Monaco I had my camera stolen at a bar because I wasn’t paying attention. Always watch your belongings.

Best Time to Visit France

When is the best time to visit France? Generally the best time to visit is June to September, which is summertime in Europe.

At this time of the year the weather is warm and lovely, so it’s a great time for visiting the beaches of the French Riviera. However, summer can be very busy and crowded, and hotel prices will usually be more expensive.

Paris can be stiflingly hot in summer, so if you plan to visit the capital I’d suggest planning your trip for spring (April-May) or fall (September-October), when temperatures are pleasant and there are fewer crowds.

March/April can be a lovely time to visit Paris, since you’ll be able to catch the cherry blossoms in bloom!

Winter weather in France can be quite grey and dreary, with more rainfall in the north. However, if you want to go skiing, this is the perfect time to hit the slopes of Chamonix, Tignes or Val d’Isère. Ski season usually runs from early December to the end of April, depending on the snow conditions. 

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