Bienvenue en France! Welcome to France, the country of love, romance, art, culture, and of course, wine and cheese!
France is located in Western Europe and is known for its iconic landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum, and the Palace of Versailles. The capital city of France is Paris, which is considered one of the most romantic cities in the world.
Aside from Paris, France is home to many other beautiful cities such as Marseille, Lyon, Nice, Bordeaux, and Strasbourg, each with its unique charm, history, and culture.
France is also famous for its gastronomy. French cuisine is known for its sophistication and includes dishes such as escargots, coq au vin, ratatouille, and many more. The country is also famous for its wines and cheese, which are enjoyed all around the world.
France has a rich cultural heritage, with a long history of art, literature, and music. The Louvre Museum in Paris is one of the world’s most famous museums, housing a vast collection of art, including the Mona Lisa. The country is also famous for its fashion and haute couture, with Paris being the fashion capital of the world.
In terms of natural beauty, France has a diverse landscape that includes the stunning French Alps, the scenic French Riviera, and the rolling hills of Provence.
As you can see, France has something for everyone, from its breathtaking scenery and rich culture to its delicious food and wine. I hope you enjoy your time in this beautiful country and make memories that will last a lifetime.
Travel Essentials for Visitors
VISA POLICY: France is listed among the Schengen zone of the European Union, whether you are planning to go on a visit, study or work and reside in France permanently, you will have to apply for a different France Schengen Visa, accordingly. There are 36 countries that are free to travel without a French Visa for a short stays (up to 3 months) unfortunately, the Philippines isn’t included therefore, Philippine Passport holders should undergo the French Visa Application procedure and secure the appropriate French Visa.
Entry visas can be broken down into two main categories:
- Short-Stay Visa (Category C) – Authorizes foreign nationals to enter and stay in French territory for up to 3 months.
- Long-Stay Visa (Category D) – Allows foreign nationals to stay in France for longer than three months.
TRAVEL INSURANCE: When planning your trip to France, securing travel insurance is a crucial step to ensure peace of mind and protect yourself from unexpected mishaps. France is renowned for its enchanting cities, stunning landscapes, and delectable cuisine, but unforeseen circumstances such as flight cancellations, lost luggage, or medical emergencies can put a damper on your vacation.
With travel insurance, you can rest assured knowing that you’re financially covered in case of emergencies, allowing you to fully enjoy your time exploring the charming streets of Paris, wandering through historic châteaux in the Loire Valley, or savoring wine tastings in the vineyards of Bordeaux.
Additionally, travel insurance often provides assistance services, such as emergency medical evacuation or 24/7 support helplines, which can be invaluable when navigating unfamiliar territories. Whether you’re embarking on a solo adventure, a romantic getaway, or a family vacation, investing in travel insurance before your trip to France is a wise decision that ensures a worry-free and unforgettable experience.
LOCATION: France, a captivating country in Western Europe, is renowned for its rich history, cultural heritage, and breathtaking landscapes. Situated at the crossroads of Europe, France shares borders with Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, and Monaco, making it a gateway to diverse cultures and experiences. To the west lies the vast Atlantic Ocean, offering stunning coastlines and picturesque beaches along the Bay of Biscay. To the south, the Mediterranean Sea graces France with the sun-drenched French Riviera and enchanting islands like Corsica.
Inland, France boasts diverse terrain, from the rolling hills of the Champagne region to the majestic Alps in the east and the rugged beauty of the Pyrenees to the south. Its central position in Europe not only makes France a melting pot of influences but also provides easy access to neighboring countries, inviting travelers to embark on unforgettable journeys across this enchanting continent.
WEATHER: France’s weather is as diverse and captivating as its culture and landscapes. Along the sun-kissed French Riviera, visitors can bask in the Mediterranean sunshine, enjoying warm temperatures and clear skies, perfect for beach days and outdoor adventures.
In Paris, each season brings its own charm, from the cherry blossoms of spring to the colorful foliage of autumn, making it a year-round destination. The wine regions of Bordeaux and Burgundy boast pleasant climates, ideal for exploring vineyards and indulging in wine tastings.
Whether you’re drawn to the snowy slopes of the Alps for winter sports or the lavender fields of Provence in the summer, France offers a weather palette that caters to every traveler’s preferences, making it a beloved destination throughout the year.
LANGUAGE: French is recognized as the official language of France with 93.28% of the population has it as the their mother tongue. 3% of the population speak German dialects, predominantly in the eastern provinces of Alsace-Lorraine and Moselle. Flemish is spoken by around 90,000 people in the north-east, which is 0.2% of the French population. Around 1 million people near the Italian border, roughly 1.7% of the population, speaks Italian. Many French people also learn some English in school. In some places, like Paris, you might be able to get by, especially in tourist-heavy areas. Keep in mind that the French will always appreciate it if you speak to them in French first.
Do you want to learn French? The French Language – Beginner Must-Know Phrases and Pronunciation
RELIGION: The country’s secular approach to governance emphasizes the separation of church and state. Religious freedom and tolerance are core values in France, welcoming people of all backgrounds to practice their faith freely.
- Catholicism has deeply influenced French culture, art, and traditions. It is also the most prominent religion in the country.
- France also embraces religious diversity, with significant communities of Muslims, Jews, Protestants, and others.
CONNECTIVITY: France currently has 4 mobile networks, Orange, SFR, Bouygues Telecom and Free with Orange as the leading mobile operator in terms of both population and territory coverage. As of 2020, the four major French mobile operators offer comparable and almost total 4G coverage. More than 95 percent of the French population was covered by mobile broadband no matter which operator they chose.
TRANSPORTATION:Transport in France is comfortable, quick, usually reliable and reasonably priced. The four common transportation are: Train, Bus, Car and Bike.
- Train: If you want to get between French cities, you can comfortably take SNCF trains. It has extensive coverage of the country and frequent departures.
- Buses are are cheaper and slower than trains. Useful for more remote villages that aren’t serviced by trains.
- Bicycles: The expanses of gorgeous countryside and mountain regions have numerous cycle trails that are enjoyed by residents and tourists alike, for exercise, day trips, and tours of the country. Most French cities and towns have at least one bike shop that rents out vélos tout terrains (mountain bikes; around €15 a day), known as VTTs, as well as more road-oriented vélos tout chemin (VTCs), or cheaper city bikes.
SOCKETS AND ADAPTERS: There are two associated plug types, types C and E. Plug type C is the plug which has two round pins and plug type E is the plug which has two round pins and a hole for the socket’s male earthing pin. France operates on a 230V supply voltage and 50Hz.
Culture and Society
CUISINE: When visiting France, be sure to indulge in its world-renowned cuisine, which is a culinary delight for food lovers everywhere.
- Buttery croissants for breakfast, accompanied by a rich café au lait.
- French onion soup topped with gooey gruyère cheese for lunch.
- Niçoise salad, bursting with fresh Mediterranean flavors, as a light and refreshing midday meal.
- Treat yourself to a hearty coq au vin, a traditional dish of chicken braised in red wine, served with creamy pommes purée for dinner.
Ready to explore France’s culinary gems? 10 Delicious French Foods Everyone Should Try in France
TOURISM: prepare to be enchanted by its myriad of iconic landmarks that blend history, culture, and architectural marvels.
- Eiffel Tower in Paris, an iconic symbol of France and a must-visit landmark offering breathtaking views of the city.
- Louvre Museum, home to thousands of priceless works of art, including the enigmatic Mona Lisa.
- Palace of Versailles, a UNESCO World Heritage site renowned for its opulent architecture, lush gardens, and fascinating history.
While Paris undoubtedly captures the heart of many travelers, France has so much more to offer beyond its capital city. Don’t miss the chance to explore other captivating destinations like the historic region of Normandy, with its charming towns and poignant World War II sites. Venture to Bordeaux, renowned for its exquisite wines and elegant architecture, where you can indulge in wine tastings and scenic vineyard tours. And don’t forget to soak up the sun and glamour of the French Riviera in Nice, where you can stroll along the Promenade des Anglais and dip your toes in the sparkling Mediterranean Sea. France’s diverse cities promise unique experiences and unforgettable memories beyond the enchantment of Paris.
CURRENCY: Euro is the official currency that you will use in France, meaning you will have to make sure that you convert it in the right way and you have ample cash to move around the city and to pay for food and services and to shop as well. It’s short name is EUR and it’s symbol is €. It’s denominations are: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cent; and 1 and 2 euro coins. While Euro banknotes are: €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200 and €500.
BANKS AND ATMS: ATMs are plentiful in France where they are known as DABs or Distributeur Automatique de Billet. Do be careful though that if you are staying in a small village or rural area an ATM machine may not be that close to hand. Make sure that you know the limit for cash withdrawals from your account so you don’t get caught out if you need more money. The ATM machines in France are much the same as anywhere else – fortunately for English language speakers most of them offer an English language option for transactions. You can use your French card or non-French card in the ATMs – your bank may charge you for this service.
- Auberge Le Cabaliros – Restaurant in Lourdes, France: A Michelin-Starred Restaurant (A Comprehensive Review)
- French Terms of Endearment: Expressing Love and Affection in the Language of Love
- The Exquisite Charms of Nice, France: A Comprehensive Travel Guide to the Mediterranean Gem
- Navigating the Challenges of Dating a French Man: 10 Common Issues and Practical Solutions
- 15 Qualities of French Men You Should Be Aware Of (Especially, If You’re Dating One)
- 10 Delicious French Foods Everyone Should Try in France
- Olim in Nice, France: A Comprehensive review
- La Route Du Miam in Nice, France: A Comprehensive Review
- 10 Books Set in France to Satisfy Your Wanderlust | #FridayReads
- 10 Mind-Blowing Signs You’re Dating A French Man – With Tips on How to Handle It