• 5 minute guide france

    I can’t believe it’s been 15 years since I last visited Paris and I just had to go back. My parents and I had a long weekend in Paris a couple of weeks ago and it was lovely seeing all of the sights again. Of course I had to write up my 5 minute guide to France to help you out for when you visit France, whether it’s your first time or not.

    CURRENCY

    In France, the main currency is Euros. I didn’t get any Euros out before I went and instead I used my Monzo card when purchasing things. It was a lot easier to keep track of how much I was spending – as Paris isn’t cheap! I use Monzo which is an app based bank account and contactless card (there are lots of similar ones to choose from though). It also alerts you once you’ve used the card and gives you the current exchange rate on purchases too.

    Top Tip:
    Download the app “Currency Plus” to get currency conversions on the go. It updates daily and when connected to WiFi or Network to give you the latest conversion  and you can have multiple currencies shown in one go.

    LANGUAGE

    In France, they speak French but also speak English… If you know a little French, it really does go a long way. Even knowing Hello, Thank you and Please – it really does help.

    A few phrases to remember:

    • Hello/Good Morning – Bonjour
    • Goodbye – Au revoir
    • Good Afternoon – Bon soir
    • Good Night – Bon nuit
    • Thank you – Merci
    • Thank you so much – Merci beaucoup
    • Have a good day – Bon journee
    • Yes – Oui
    • No – Non

    TIMEZONE

    It will depend on what country you are travelling from. But coming from the UK, it’s about an hour ahead. It is really easy to adjust to the time difference coming from the UK.

    CUISINE

    Food and eating out in France is amazing. There are so many different restaurants across France which cater for different cuisines and tastes everything from Indian, Italian and American etc. The delicacies from France that you need to try are crepes, french onion soup and if you fancy it muscles – although that wasn’t very high on my list.


    DRIVING

    It will be quite easy to drive in France and Europe in general. The roads are all similar across Europe so it will be really easy to adjust to driving. Although we didn’t drive in Paris, we mainly walked or used public transport. There are plenty of car hire companies should you wish to hire a car and drive.

    VISAS

    You won’t need a visa to visit France no matter where you are travelling from. But you may need to fill in an immigration card, make sure you check your countries local government website for more information.

    INJECTIONS

    You do not need any injections to visit France.

    5 minute guide france

    EXPLORE FRANCE
    Paris

    CAPITAL/CITY

    The capital of France is Paris. It has lots of smaller cities around France that are worth visiting as well. I have also been to Dunkirk for a school trip. Which is a  lovely coastal city in the Northern part of France. It is famous for where WW2 was located, so it’s perfect to visit if you love history.

    FLIGHTS

    Flights to France can be from any major city across the world or from having a stopover in a major city if you are coming from somewhere smaller. Be sure to search Skyscanner to find your best time to fly to France from which airport you are flying from. I flew with British Airways to and from London Heathrow via Charles De Gaulle Airport. My flight cost around £161 to fly mid July for a 4 day weekend return.

    HOTELS

    There are so many hotels and accommodation across France depending on where you are planning to stay. These can vary from major hotel chains, AirBnB’s, homestays or hostels. Make sure you check out AirBnB and also TripAdvisor for booking your hotel or hostel. Me and my parents booked a lovely hotel in Paris called Les Jardins De La Villa Hotel, located in the 17th arrondissement of Paris. I will warn you that accommodation can get quite expensive in Paris at times so watch out for the prices.


    WHAT TO WEAR

    You can wear pretty much anything in France, of course depending on the weather. We were so lucky with the weather we had in Belgium as I was so worried it would be raining and cold. Instead we had gorgeous sunny weather all weekend with high 20s.

    WEATHER

    The weather in France can be a mixed bag but they can also get some stunning weather during the Spring and Summer. We visited Paris in July and we had the most amazing weather during the heatwave, and only had rain for a few hours on one of the days.

    ACTIVITIES & THINGS TO DO

    There is so much to do in France from exploring the cities to trying all of the yummy food. I definitely recommend visiting the various museums across France, try traditional delicacies, explore the sights and many more.

    Highlights of Paris: 
    • Eiffel Tower
    • Latin Quarter
    • Montmartre
    • Moulin Rouge
    • Arc de Triomphe
    • Basilica De Sacre Coeur
    • Sainte Chapelle
    • Notre Dame

    Has my 5 minute guide to France inspired you? Have you been to France before? Let me know in the comments below.

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