10 Top Things to Know Before Visiting France + Cultural Do’s & Don’ts🇫🇷
France welcomes more tourists than most countries in the world, and this should not come as a surprise. People dream of visiting the Eiffel Tower, never-ending baguettes, delicious croissants, colourful macarons, and many more things. You will find stunning beaches, art museums, snow-capped Alps including Europes’s tallest peak. If France isn't on your bucket list, it should be.
Check Why You Should Visit France: 10 Reasons Why You Should Visit France
How to Get Your Visa for France
You can get the visa by going to the embassy, or visiting the official website, or getting it with an agency like iVisa. iVisa provides 100% online travel documents such as: Visas, health declaration forms, embassy registrations, passport photos, passport renewals, tourist cards, and other travel documents. It is the simplest solution to process your travel visa.
Here’s why you should choose iVisa:
Speed and Simplicity - Easy, traveler-friendly application process. Simple and much less complicated than dealing with foreign governments.
Get Approved - All documents are reviewed by a team of immigration experts. Their staff is well-trained and offers years of experience.
Secure and Safe - World-class data centres and state-of-the-art security. Your credit card information will never be exposed to any government websites!
Awesome support - Their customer support is ready to help 24/7. They want you to enjoy your travels and avoid the stress of getting a visa!
Check Lyon Travel Guide: The Best 2 Days Travel Itinerary
How to Get to France
France’s biggest airports are Paris Charles de Gaulle, Paris Orly, Nice, and Lyon Saint Exupéry. So you will not struggle to find flights to France.
If you are looking for an easy, quick, and reliable way to reach France by plane, train, or bus, then Omio is your best option! Omio are my favourite app/website to move around Europe, and they have been changing the world of travel by empowering customers to go on journeys that move them. Their pioneering and practical platform helps travellers worldwide explore Europe, the United States and Canada via train, bus, flight and ferry. Choosing them means saving time and money while loving the journey you’re on.
Omio is a unique platform on which users can book travel tickets by comparing trains, buses, and flights in Europe on one search. Compare and book tickets for trains, buses, and flights in Europe, the US, and Canada with multiple search filters and time estimates.
All your travel options in one place, with more than 1,000 trusted travel partners across trains, buses, flights, ferries, and airport transfers, so that you can focus on the journey.
Here’s why you should choose Omio:
Support on your journey
Tickets on your phone
COVID-19 travel info
Updates & reminders
If you are arriving in Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Bordeaux, Nice, or Toulouse and you are looking for an easy, quick and reliable way to get from the airport to your accommodation, then Welcome Pickups are your best option! Welcome Pickups are the safest way to travel as they provide airport and port transfer, sightseeing rides, and in-city rides. Welcome Pickups are one of the best, most trustworthy and convenient 5-star airport taxi companies for your airport transfer based on user reviews across various platforms such as Google, Tripadvisor and Trustpilot.
Welcome Pickups offers a great experience and safety to its travellers such as:
Local english-speaking drivers
Flat, pre-paid fee
Flight monitoring for delays
24/7 customer support
Here’s why you should choose Welcome Pickups:
20 minute gap between transfers - After each ride, their drivers have 20 minutes to clean the car and ventilate the cabin.
Contactless ride - You can request to have zero contact with the driver during the transfer with just one click.
Regular Car Sanitisation - They provide hand sanitisers and hand wipes for all their travellers and drivers.
Cultural Do's & Don’ts
Learn French: French people like to engage in their language, and they will certainly appreciate you making an effort to learn even a few words and sentences. If you speak in English away, people will not help you even if they do speak English. So make an effort an learn the basics of French in order to communicate with people there.
Say “Bonjour”: Once you enter a store or a restaurant or any place really, always start with greetings before asking a question, and also don't forget to say “Au Revoir” when leaving.
Dress appropriately: Do not wear shorts, flip flops, and running shows when moving around France, this is not appropriate, these things are for the beach or for running, so dress appropriately.
Hang onto your tickets: If you do take the metro, tram, bus, or any other method of transport, make sure to hang onto your ticket at all times because they can be checked by the police at any time, and always remember to validate your ticket once you get onto the method of transport.
Learn the history: French people appreciate it when you demonstrate some knowledge in their history, as they take great pride in their culture and history, so make an effort to learn a few things.
Check Lyon Travel Guide: 10 Top Things to do in Lyon, France
Use “tu”: When addressing someone you just met or even someone older than you, you need to use “Vous” instead of “Tu”, this is the respectful way of addressing them.
Drink coffee when walking: If you want to drink a coffee, then go to a cafe and drink it there, do not get one on the go and drink it while walking.
Rush your meal: Do not ever rush your meals, French people always take their time and enjoy it when it comes to meals or coffee. So take at least two hours to savour it.
Ask personal questions: Avoid asking questions related to someone’s age, religion, sexual orientation, and things along that line. These things are private and you shouldn't just ask about them.
Drink before everyone has been served: If you are out with other people, do not drink or take a sip before everyone else has been serve on your table.
10 Top Things to Know Before Visiting France
1. It is Not Just Paris
If you want to visit France because of Paris, that's great, but there are other beautiful cities and places in France that you can visit. France doesn't begin or end in Paris, so it is important to explore the rest of France to understand the culture and its history more.
Check My 3 Days Solo Trip to Lyon, France
2. Visit During the Off-Season
I always recommend visiting countries during their off-season because it is less crowded, it is also cheaper, and you get to enjoy the country to the fullest without the huge crowd. So, be aware that July and August are the busiest months, so try to avoid them, you can visit in June or September where the weather is still nice but it is not that crowded.
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First things first, getting cash from the ATM is cheaper than exchanging currencies, so be aware of that, and also always carry cash with you because cash is not accepted everywhere. Also, make sure that your card will work in France, so contact your bank first before travelling to France or any other country in general.
4. Keep Your ID with You
Always keep some form of ID with you such as your National Security Number or your passport. A driver’s license or any other form of identification will not suffice. This is also an important tip for travelling in general.
5. The French Aren't Rude Unless You Are
So the French has a bit of a reputation that they are rude, but here's the thing, they aren't rude unless you are. So for example, if you want to ask for something always try by greeting them in French to show some effort and then you can speak in English if you want, but show effort in speaking their language and they will be helpful.
Check Lyon Travel Guide: 24 Hours in Lyon, France - A Complete 1 Day Itinerary
6. Smoking is Allowed
Unlike most countries around the world, smoking is still fashionable in France in public areas. So do not be surprised when you see people smoking in public places such as cafes, restaurants, or even when walking or waiting in a queue.
Check Why You Should Visit Lyon: 10 Reasons Why You Should Visit Lyon, France
7. Keep Your Voice Down
Always speak with a low tone, do not raise you voice as it will be considered rude and inappropriate.
8. Stick to Meal Times
If you do not stick to meal times in France, then you may not eat at all. French people won't budge when it comes to meal times, so you need to know them and respect them if you want to eat.
9. You Pay When Using the Toilets
When you are in most train stations or stores, and you want to use the toilet, you will have to pay a nominal fee of around €0.35. So always be aware of that and carry change with you in case you need to use the toilet.
10. Sundays Are for Families
The Country basically comes to a standstill on Sundays, because this day is considered to be a family day, where everyone gets together, so do not expect to find stores open. Even though in some parts of the country this is changing as you might find a few stores open, but do not count on it.