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 while sipping 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.
France Travel Guide: Fast Facts:
- 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.
Top Packing Tips for France Travel
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.
Top Things to Do in France
- 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, than 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.
- Peruse Art in Montmartre – Montmartre is a lively district near the Basilica of the Sacre Coeur and is one of the most colourful areas of Paris.
- 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 cemetery's 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 neighborhoods 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.