France Travel Guide: Useful Things to Know When Planning Your Trip
France is one of the most visited countries in the world, and for good reason. From great wines and cheeses, famous landmarks, charming spas, and stunning historical sites, France is definitely a place that you have to see to be believed. Looking for advice before you go? Here are 13 things to know before visiting France.
France is the biggest country in Western Europe
France borders Germany and Belgium to the north. Atlantic Ocean to the west. Pyrenees and Spain in the south. To find out how to get there, Paris is the capital and is located in the north-central part of the country. To the east is Strasbourg, Marseille is on the southern Mediterranean coast and Bordeaux is west of France.
The weather and seasons
For the most part, France has cold winters and mild summers, except along the Mediterranean coast, where winters are mild and summers are hot. Winter temperatures range from 0 ° C to 8 ° C, and average summer temperatures range from 16 ° C to 24 ° C. If you want to enjoy the snow, head to Mont Blanc and the French Alps.
There are a variety of transportation options
Many of the major French cities, such as Paris, Lyon and Marseille, have excellent metro systems with prices below € 2 per trip. The SNCF (French National Railways System) is a great way to see the country - the train goes to all major cities. Small towns also have a regional train or intercity bus station.
Getting around France by bus is easy and inexpensive. The three intercity operators (Flixbus, Ouibus and Eurolines) have routes to almost every city in the country.
Taxis are plentiful and cheap, just use an app like Uber or Le Taxi to order a taxi from your phone.
Traveling in France is completely safe, but like most European countries, scammers may attack you if you look like a tourist. Just be careful around pickpockets, especially in popular tourist spots and on public transportation. Follow common sense, be mindful and aware of your surroundings, and you will be fine.
French cuisine is iconic
You won't get an argument from many people when you say that the French know how to cook good food. Nothing beats sitting at a sidewalk cafe sipping an espresso while enjoying a French pastry. A trip to Lyon will bring you the duck, Coq au vin and a visit to Dijon will include its famous mustard.
Imagine walking down the Champs Elysees and feasting on a fresh baguette and a slice of cheese, it is out of this world. In fact, cheese making is an art form, and brie, roquefort, and camembert are popular French cheeses. They are named after the regions they come from and, like champagne, have become household names.
Currency and bank cards
France is part of the Eurozone, so you will pay in Euros wherever you go. Almost all stores and restaurants accept bank cards, but depending on your bank or card provider, high fees may be charged for foreign transactions. Have a few euros on hand for small purchases or in places where credit cards are not accepted, especially in small towns. If possible, try to use a tax-free card. For UK citizens, a good option is Monzo.
The museums of Paris are a must-see
Of course, the most famous museum in the world is the Louvre, which is so big that you would need a whole day just to see it. Inside the Louvre you will find great works of art such as the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo. But the Louvre is just one of dozens of great museums in Paris, like the Center Pompidou and the Musée d'Orsay.
France is famous for its wines
The French love their wine, and there are many vineyards to explore and taste some of the best wines in the world. For an unforgettable experience, head to the walled city of Bonn that is surrounded by nothing else: the vineyards! Wine tasting seems to be the main activity in town. As you travel through the countryside, you will learn about other iconic names associated with the fabric of French life, such as Burgundy, Bordeaux, and Champagne.
There are so many fantastic places to see in France
Paris will be as wonderful as you imagined, with a host of stunning cities, palace villages, historic castles, and the beautiful French Riviera. After seeing the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame Cathedral, visit Versailles to see the picturesque palace. Then there is Brittany, a coastal region with Celtic history.
France cares about food, so don't forget to visit Bordeaux and Dijon for otherworldly wines and cheeses. History buffs will simply adore the picturesque provincial towns of Strasbourg or Colmar, the great palaces of the Loire Valley, the majestic Mont Saint-Michel, the famous Normandy village, and the medieval city of Lyon. Finally, France is home to Mont Blanc, the jewel in the crown of the French Alps and home to the most amazing landscapes in the world.