Saturday, November 18, 2017 Edition: U.S. & World | Regional

Travel Guide to France – A Visitors Guide to France

Planning to visit France? Be prepared for tantalizing cuisine, world renowned art, and first class shopping. You can choose the sophistication of Paris, explore medieval towns like Carcassonne, visit the French Riviera's sexy beaches, or explore the countryside in Provence. A pivotal player in Western Europe, France continues to charm visitors with its joie de vivre and enduring culture.

France
Capital
Called the City of Romance, Paris is the capital of France. Located in the northern region, Paris is home to landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe.
66 Million People
Encompassing medieval cities, alpine villages and Mediterranean beaches, France is the largest country in the EU and boasts one of Europe's fastest growing populations.
Main Airport
Charles De Gaulle Airport
Of 464 airports in France, the main airport is the Charles de Gaulle, located near Paris. This airport handles the vast majority of traffic connecting Paris with major world cities.
When to Go
Best Time
  • Spring: ~0°C (32°F)
    April - May
  • Summer: ~0°C (32°F)
    June - August
  • Autumn: ~0°C (32°F)
    September - October
  • Winter: ~0°C (32°F)
    November - March
Currency
Euro
10 Fun Facts
  • • In France you can marry a dead person.
  • • The oldest recorded human voice is French.
  • • A French woman is the world’s oldest ever human.
  • • The French eat around 30,000 tonnes of snails a year.
  • • France is the world's most popular tourist destination.
  • • Europe’s highest mountain is located in the French Alps.
  • • There is only one stop sign in the entire French city of Paris.
  • • France is the largest country in the EU, and known as 'the hexagon’.
  • • About one million French people living near the border with Italy speak Italian.
  • • At least 40 percent of the music on private radio stations must be of French origin.
Basic Phrases
French
  • PLEASE
    S'il vous plaît
  • THANK YOU
    Je vous remercie
  • ENGLISH
    Anglais

  • Hello
    Bonjour
  • goodbye
    Au revoir
Food and Drinks
  • Steak Frites
  • Granizado
  • Baguette Sandwich
  • Croque-Monsieur
  • Fondue
  • Crepes
  • Croissants
  • Foie Gras
What to Tip
  • 10%
    Waitstaff
  • 1€ - 2€
    Bartenders
  • Round up
    Taxi Drivers
  • Optional
    Porters per bag
  • Change
    Tour Guides

Encompassing medieval cities, alpine villages and Mediterranean beaches, France is the largest country in the EU and boasts one of Europe's fastest growing populations. The population of France is approximately 66 million people. France's currency is the Euro.

Called the City of Romance, Paris is the capital of France. Located in the northern region, Paris is home to landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe.

The main airport serving France is Charles De Gaulle Airport. Also known as Roissy, this airport handles the vast majority of traffic connecting Paris with major world cities. Major designers have shops within the airport and restaurants and bars abound.

France experiences four seasons.

  • Spring: April - May. Average temperature is ~0°C (32°F).
  • Summer: June - August. Average temperature is ~0°C (32°F).
  • Autumn: September - October. Average temperature is ~0°C (32°F).
  • Winter: November - March. Average temperature is ~0°C (32°F).

Visitors will want to be sure they don’t miss these top tourism attractions in France.

Here are some interesting and fun facts you may not know about France.

  • In France you can marry a dead person.
  • The oldest recorded human voice is French.
  • A French woman is the world’s oldest ever human.
  • The French eat around 30,000 tonnes of snails a year.
  • France is the world's most popular tourist destination.
  • Europe’s highest mountain is located in the French Alps.
  • There is only one stop sign in the entire French city of Paris.
  • France is the largest country in the EU, and known as 'the hexagon’.
  • About one million French people living near the border with Italy speak Italian.
  • At least 40 percent of the music on private radio stations must be of French origin.

Don't leave your electronics at home. Here are the best French travel apps you'll want to download to your iPhone or Android device before your visit.

For a real France experience, you need to try these iconic foods and drinks. Some are traditional French dishes while others have been "borrowed" from immigrants and neighbors.

  • Steak Frites
  • Granizado
  • Baguette Sandwich
  • Croque-Monsieur
  • Fondue
  • Crepes
  • Croissants
  • Foie Gras

Work off that amazing food, enjoy the great outdoors, or just try something new. These favorite French activities let you get out and enjoy the country the way the locals do.

Every country has its own ideas of who should be tipped and how much. Nobody wants to overtip or, worse, be considered a rude guest. Here’s what to tip in France.

  • Waitstaff – 10%
  • Bartenders – 1€ - 2€
  • Taxi Drivers – Round up
  • Porters per bag – Optional
  • Tour Guides – Change

From casual comfort to luxury accommodations, France has plenty of great hotel choices for you to relax and unwind.

  • Le Pavillon de la Reine – A 4-minute walk from Chemin Vert metro station, this palatial hotel is a 2-minute walk from the Place de Vosges, Paris' oldest square.
  • Hotel d'Aubusson – In a 17th-century townhouse, this elegant hotel with grand public spaces is an 11-minute walk from the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, 1 km from the Louvre.
  • Madison Hotel by MH – This elegant hotel is located in the intellectual district of Paris, Saint-Germain-des-Prés, and is only 100 meters from a metro station.
  • Hôtel Le Six – A 2-minute walk from the Notre Dame des Champs metro station, this refined hotel in the 6th arr. is also a block from Boulevard du Montparnasse.
  • Regina Hotel – Across the street from the Jardin des Tuileries, this ornate hotel built in 1900 is a 5-minute walk from the Musée du Louvre.
  • Castille Paris – Set in the 1st arr. next to the flagship Chanel store, this luxurious hotel is a 4-minute walk from Madeleine metro station, and 1.5 km from the Louvre.

French culture and cuisine make it a perennial favorite of international travelers. Stunning architecture, iconic artwork, rich historical significance, famous fashion houses, and unparalleled food and wine all make France a dream tourist destination.


9 Comments

  1. Roberts
    September 16, 2017 - 3:21 am

    Je vous remercie! I love this piece. France being the largest country in EU makes it a good place to visit. But I’m not cool with the idea that one can marry a dead person in France. Maybe, I’ll just pay a visit, catch some fun and leave.

    Reply
  2. Yassine
    September 16, 2017 - 12:31 pm

    Merci infinement pour les informations! France is a lovely country with an amazing culture, history and nature, and Paris is the capital of light, love and art!

    The guide is very clear, simple and concise i love the Infographic style. This will be helpful for my trip to France, the only thing missing are the beaches, and Nightlife (Clubs, Bars, and Lounge) since I’m a big fan of both.

    Good to know that you can married a dead person in France, i hope i got chance with Jean D’Arc! 🙂

    Reply
  3. September 18, 2017 - 7:34 am

    Bonjour, you put a lot of info in it and I learned a lot about France just reading this article than any other. I’ve been learning French for a year now and my obsession to visit France is increasing day by day. My scheduled tour date is 3 December. Thank you for sharing this!

    Reply
  4. Richard
    September 19, 2017 - 3:22 pm

    Although I had some of this information previously, the book reiterated what I’d already found out, and in addition had very useful information on following the Tour, the regions of France, the mountains of the Tour, and photography tips. For someone just beginning, his planning & travel tips would be very welcome and a good starting point for planning a trip. All in all, a fast read, with nice color photographs, and a fair amount of practical information.

    Reply
  5. Dianne Rouge
    September 20, 2017 - 9:26 am

    Fantastic overview of France! I am in the middle of helping my brother plan his honeymoon there. He and his wife to be get married in November so we are planning it all out now and getting it all booked in. This has been very helpful for both of us and I just wanted to say thank you!!

    Reply
  6. Janice Hullinger
    October 28, 2017 - 3:34 am

    I’m going to France for my honeymoon with my honey. It’ll be in December. I’m collecting all the information I can get my hands on. And this is by far the best article I’ve read on France. I’m surprised to see new destinations (I mean destinations other than Eiffel Tower) and facts about France (the oldest recorded human voice one is surprising). Can you also share some French stories that can go well in travel scene? Thanks in Advance!

    Reply
  7. Cait
    October 29, 2017 - 10:00 pm

    I visited France in the beginning of the summer and the weather was actually quite lovely! The Louvre is an amazing place to visit in Paris and I’d suggest it to anyone! It’s very crowded, but if you have the opportunity to take your time looking through the amazing art on display, it can be very moving. I really want to go visit the caves, though, because there is a lot of really neat stuff there! The Eiffel tower is pretty much exactly what you’d expect of such a touristy spot, but it’s a…

    Reply
  8. Vicky
    October 30, 2017 - 11:34 am

    Finding a location close to Disney would really be expensive. Three grand a night looks cool for the Reunion resort, especially when considering its proximity to a popular golf course.

    Reply
  9. Gemma
    October 30, 2017 - 11:36 am

    Quite absurd that someone is allowed to marry a dead person in France. Visiting the Eiffel tower in France is on my list of travel destinations for next year.

    Reply

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