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France travel guide

France offers up a kaleidoscope of experiences, like discovering the chic and cosmopolitan city of Paris, the sunlit vineyards of the wine country, the white-sand beaches along the Cote d'Azur, and the relaxing rolling countryside. The country where it's ok to stuff your face with pastries, fresh seafood, cheese and bread, then guzzle it all down with some delicious wine (anywhere that encourages foodie fanatics is fine by us!)

France Fast Facts

language in france

Languages Spoken

The official language spoken in France is French.

france currency

Currency

Name: Euro
Code: EU
Symbol: €
€25 is approx $30

time zone in france

Time Zone

The time zone in France is Central European Standard Time (CET)

Some of our favorite cities in France

Eiffel Tower lit up at night

Paris

Paris, c'est magnifique -  visit one of the most visited places in the world! Whether it’s hitting the shops along the Champs Elysees, gazing at the Mona Lisa and other pieces of art at the Louvre, getting the obligatory selfie with the Eiffel Tower, checking out the gothic Notre Dame, or soaking up all those romantic vibes. Paris is a city that will never disappoint. 
A female looking out towards the sea on a street lined with Mediterranean style houses

Corsica

Visitors flock to the island of Corsica to bask in the Mediterranean sunshine and laze on the sand – with 1,000 km of it there is plenty to go around.  Along with the perfect beaches come plenty of activities like swimming, snorkeling, wind-surfing, scuba diving and sunbathing.  Corsica is also a great place to sample not only French cuisine, but Italian as well because of its close proximity.
Pont de pierre crossing the Garonne River in Bordeaux

Bordeaux

Bordeaux is one of France’s key wine regions, and therefore a hot destination for wine lovers (the region is especially famous for its red wine), but there is plenty more on offer if you’re not into it. Beautiful mountains in the Pyrenees, great beaches such as Biarritz and many medieval towns and castles, to name just a few highlights. The ever-popular Dordogne valley is also only a stone's throw away!
A pastel-colored street of Aix-en-Provence

Provence

With hills covered in herbs and flowers, Provence has long inspired artists – from Van Gogh to Picasso.  You can actually visit the cafe Van Gogh painted in ‘the Cafe Terrace on the Place du Forum’.  Each village has its own character, specializing in a type of wine, cheese, sausage, or particular craft.  Visit Orange for impressive Roman ruins, including an amphitheater. 
A busy pedestrian street lined with cafes and restaurants in Nice Centrum

France costs

cost of beer in france

Beers

A pint in a pub/bar in France is around €5, or if you're looking to sip a glass of vino at a chic wine bar, look to pay between €3-€5.

cost of food in france

Meals

A basic meal in a French restaurant is around €12 but if you want to sample a croissant or a pastry, they can be as little as €1.

Transport

One-way tickets on public transport in France start around €2 per journey, or do as the locals do and hop on a bike!

cost of cab in france

Cab

Taxi tariffs start at around €4.50 and they add about €2 for every km.

hostels in france

Hostels

Traveling on a budget, or just want to meet some more like-minded travelers? Grab a dorm bed in France from €20-€40.

hotels in france

Hotels

Looking for something a little fancier? A double room in a mid-range hotel in France can vary between €75-€300.

The exterior of a French hotel with a table and flowers
France

Adventure Tours

The Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris

Explore Normandy and Burgundy | 17 days

From our once-in-a-lifetime Burgundy river barge voyage to a deep dive into the rich history of Paris and the WWII legacy of northern France, embark on more than two weeks of unforgettable adventures in culture and gastronomy. Float by canal to medieval towns and pastoral vineyards, and enjoy plenty of free time to roam gorgeous centuries-old cities, gardens, and grounds. 
The Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

Highlights of France | 8 days

Check out the highlights of Paris, like the Louvre, Sacré-Coeur Basilica, and the Eiffel Tower. Then visit the famed wine region of Burgundy, where medieval villages and rolling countryside show a different side of French living. Head to Provence to relax seaside on the French Riviera. Live like the French, and enjoy every minute of it.
The handle bars and basket of a bicycle going down a country rode from the perspective of the rider

Loire Valley Cycling | 8 days

Each summer, the Tour de France races across the country, giving a select group of very talented cyclists a chance to see the country from a blurry perspective. Hop on a bike and experience ornate châteaux, rustic markets, vineyards, and rural Gallic charm. Think of this as the perfect combination of slow food, fine wines, and remote country tracks – ideal for seeing the inspiring scenery.

France health and safety

Medical Services
France health care and hospitals are of a very high international standard. Citizens of the US are covered for emergency medical treatment in France as long as you have purchased health insurance, and after you have worked 70 hours you will have health insurance and be covered by the French national health system. Full travel insurance is advised for all travelers. Treatment in private hospitals or clinics is not covered. In an emergency call 15 for assistance.

Safety & security

• Take the usual precautions to protect yourself, your passport, and other valuables when out and about.
• Try to utilize hotel safe facilities and if driving, do not leave valuables in the vehicle. Be especially wary while in Paris at Charles de Gaulle airport, at the Gare du Nord railway station or while on the metro and suburban trains as pickpockets and bag snatchers operate in these areas.
• If traveling in a caravan or rental car be wary of stopping at isolated rest areas in case of mugging.  If you are planning to stop overnight to sleep, seek local advice on where to park to avoid burglary. 
• Try to avoid parking in isolated or dark areas of camping grounds or car parks, and consider installing an alarm if you are traveling in a caravan.
• Keep vehicle doors locked and windows closed in the South of France. It is common for passing motorbike riders to snatch handbags from the passenger seat while vehicles are stopped at traffic lights.

 

 

France visa: do you need one?

Tourist Visa
If you hold a valid US passport then you don’t need a tourist visa to enter France for the first three months of stay. Although you will need a return ticket.

Working Visa
Want to soak up the true culture of France, how about working there?  US nationals are able to work in France visa-free! After the 90 day period you will need to apply for a long stay visa.

Looking for some French inspiration? Check out our blogs...

STA Travel Blog

Where should I visit in the South of France?

read blog
STA Travel Blog

A Parisian foodie agenda

read blog
STA Travel Blog

24 hours in Paris

read blog

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