France is known as the world's most popular travel destination and is home to the most famous monument in the world: The Eiffel Tower.
But there is more to France than the city of lights, travelers can visit a range of different destinations from lounging by the Mediterranean sea to hiking in the Pyrenees mountains.
Or you can sip on a superb glass of French wine and nipping on a gastronomically pleasing piece of cheese.
This France travel guide will help you plan your next vacation.
- French power voltage is 230 V 50Hz; Plug E
- The French currency is the EURO and is around 1 Euro to 1.35 USD
- If you ask for water in a restaurant, you will be served with a bottle of water (charged to your account) unless you specifically request une carafe d'eau (a jar of tap water).
- Unlike Canada, it is legal for travelers to drink alcohol outside, so you can buy a bottle of wine and sit in a park or under the Eiffel Tower and enjoy!
- Value-added tax (VAT) is charged on purchases, such as meals at restaurants, shopping expenses, and hotel accommodations. If you are resident of a non-European Union country, you can get a refund of this tax in certain participating shops. For more info on VAT refunds, click here.
- SIM Cards:
- We use KnowRoaming – unlimited data for $3.99 per day. Readers Receive a 50% Discount with our promo code DDSave50. You can order here and have it delivered or find out more at our post.
Getting to France:
Flights: You can check for the best flights to France \on Skyscanner.
Packing for France can be tricky depending on the areas that you will be visiting and the time of year.
The climate of France is temperate and varies from west to east and especially between the north and south.
- Leave your heels at home – Cobblestone streets are common in many cities and towns across France. Heels and cobblestone do not mix so opt for flats, boots and/or sandals.
- Classic Basic items – You do not need to be a fashionista to blend in. The key is in embracing neutral toned items that can be mixed and matched easily. Avoid logos, baseball caps, shorts, hoodies, flip-flops and running shoes as these items scream tourist!
- Personal Safety products – Certain areas in Paris are known as pickpocket hotspots; two of those infamous spots are the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre. Before leaving for your trip, make sure to pack some personal safety products, like money belts and locks, so that you can keep your valuables safe on your trip.
See our packing tips: packing tip for Europe list for smart travel.
When to Go
Things to Do
- Tackle a Via Ferrata in Haute Provence – this Via Ferrata is a protected climbing route that was originally used by military squads in WWI. Nowadays it is a lot like rock climbing, but you don't have to have any technical skill or training.
- Camp in France – save money and explore off the beaten path by camping across France.
- Follow the Footsteps of Cezanne– through Belle Provence.
- Perfection at Chateau de Chambord – if grand castles are something you are excited about seeing during your travels then this chateau is for you!
- Stand in the exact spot where Joan of Arc was burned – Joan of Arc was born and executed in the small town of Rouen, located 135 km outside of Paris.
What not to Miss
- Explore the New Paris – watch Sonia Gil as she searches for the new Paris, a vibrant part of the city that has been left unexplored by many travelers.
- Visit Jim Morrison at Pere La Chaise – arguably one of the most famous cemeteries in the world, Cemetery Pere la Chaise is home to some famous individuals, including Jim Morrison from the Doors, Chopin and Oscar Wilde.
- Take a Montmartre Tour – did you know that Amelie was filmed in Montmartre? This beautiful neighborhood is definitely worth a lazy Sunday afternoon stroll.
- Visit the port city of Marseille – this old port is stunning and filled with a raw energy that you would expect from a lively port town.
Places to Stay
Whenever we travel to we make sure to start with these companies.
We have tried a lot of different ones over the years and all of these have consistently proven to be the best when it comes to offering great prices.
We have used every one of these personally and continue to do so.
Booking.com: This is our go site to when comparing prices for accommodation. It is usually the has the cheapest prices, not to mention you get free cancellation and you are guaranteed the best price.
Trip Advisor: What we like about Trip Advisor is that we can look at all the reviews and then book our accommodation.
Air BnB: Airbnb is the main search engine we use when we are looking for a home or apartment rental. It is the best way to stay in areas that offer a more local feel.
Skyscanner: This is the first place we check for flights. It consistently comes back with the cheapest and best options. It allows us to compare a lot of airlines to get the best price.
Hostelworld: With one of the largest databases of hostels in the world, Hostelworld is the go-to site when you are looking for budget accommodation.
Rome 2 Rio: If you want to see how to get somewhere by plane, train, bus, ferry or car Rome2Rio lays it all out for you as well as related costs. I love how they show it all to you on a Google Map and it works offline.
Get Your Guide: For all your day trip and city guide needs, we use Get Your Guide. It has the world's largest collection of things to do with more than 30,000 activities in 7500 destinations.
World Nomads Insurance: When you should always have travel insurance. We have found the best bang for your buck is by far World Nomads.