• Travel Guide

    Travel Guide | France

    5 minute guide france

    France, in Western Europe, encompasses medieval cities, alpine villages and Mediterranean beaches. Paris, its capital, is famed for its fashion houses, classical art museums including the Louvre and monuments like the Eiffel Tower. The country is also renowned for its wines and sophisticated cuisine. Lascaux’s ancient cave drawings, Lyon’s Roman theater and the vast Palace of Versailles attest to its rich history.

    Basic info & culture

    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.

    Download here: Apple App Store // Google Play Store

    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. Below are a few phrases to remember and help you get by.

    • 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

    France actually has 12 time zones which spread across to their islands and territories. But their main time zone is Central European Summer Time (GMT+02:00).

    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 and snails – although that wasn’t very high on my list. It is also quite hard to find a cooked breakfast, most of the breakfasts in France are typically continental.


    Budget Tips

    Suggested Daily Budget – 50-60 EUR / 52-62 GBP (Note: This is a suggested budget assuming you’re staying in a hostel, eating out a little, cooking most of your meals, and using local transportation. Using the budget tips below, you can always lower this number. However, if you stay in fancier accommodation or eat out more often, expect this to be higher!) During my 4 days in Paris, I spent around £215.71 including meals out, transport and general shopping.

    01. Use the Metro were possible before booking taxis and Ubers – Travelling on the Metro is so much cheaper than booking a taxi or Uber, so before you book one – see if it’s easier to travel via the Metro as it’s so much cheaper and can save you some money.

    02. Eat breakfast at a cafe – I found wanting a cooked breakfast very hard to find as it’s mainly continental. I found eating something like a croissant at a small cafe much cheaper than ordering a continental breakfast at a restaurant.

    03. Eat dinner further away from the tourist attractions – It was our last night but I found having dinner near the Eiffel Tower a complete rip off. The food wasn’t amazing and I could have found it cheaper elsewhere but if you are eating out, try and stay away from restaurants near the main attractions.

    04. Jump on an electric scooter for something quick to get around on – There are lots of electric scooters dotted around Paris for you to jump on. Simply scan the barcode on the corresponding app and you can hire it for an hour or for the day. It’s cheaper than getting a taxi or the Metro if you need to get around quickly.


    Travel tips

    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.

    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.

    ACCOMMODATION

    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 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.

    ACCOMMODATION I’VE STAYED IN:

    5 minute guide france

    EXPLORE FRANCE
    Paris

    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.

    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.

    PUBLIC TRANSPORT

    I used quite a bit of public transport while in Paris as it was the main way of getting around the city quickly and easily. I have written a guide on how to get around Paris and the best public transports to use to save you money.

    READ MORE: Transport In Paris | How To Get Around


    Packing Tips

    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.

    FRANCE WEATHER


    Activities & things to see

    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 FRANCE:
    • – Eiffel Tower, Paris
    • – Latin Quarter, Paris
    • – Montmartre, Paris
    • – Moulin Rouge, Paris
    • – Arc de Triomphe, Paris
    • – Basilica De Sacre Coeur, Paris
    • – Sainte Chapelle, Paris
    • – Notre Dame, Paris
    • – Dunkirk

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    6 comments
    Travel Guide | France