France is the land of Fredrick Chopin, Napoleon Bonaparte and the city of lovers, Paris. The scents of Co Co Chanel and allure of Bridgette Bardot.The football genius that is Zinedine Zidane and artistry of Henri Matisse and Paul Gauguin. The Tour de France, Henri de Toulouse Lautrec, Marcel Duchamp and The Baguette. To Champagne, Escargot and the iconic Champs Elysées and Eiffel Tower.
These are some of the things you will remember or observe when in France. Of course your own list will be interesting and we would love to read it.
But on a practical note, we have listed some information below to help you relax and enjoy your tour.
Mont Saint-Michel spectacular and well-preserved Norman Benedictine Abbey of St Michel stands at the peak of the rocky island, with convoluted architecture of the medieval town.The Palace of Versailles is frequently associated with Marie Antoinette and the revolution. Chamonix Valley is one of the oldest ski resorts in France, The Eiffel Tower is the symbol of Paris. St Tropez a resort community on the French Riviera along with Cannes film festival. The Chateau de Chambord is a masterpiece of the French Renaissance, The Palace of Fontainebleau is one of the largest French royal chateaux. Bordeaux is a must-see for wine lovers, producing some of the world’s greatest red wines. The Promenade des Anglais in Nice is probably the most famous walkway along the Mediterranean. Strasbourg is a medieval city that serves as the capital of Alsace and Notre Dame d’ Amiens, a medieval Roman Catholic church, is the largest cathedral in France.
In France the regions are Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, Aquitaine-Limousin-Poitou-Charentes, Normandy, Grand Est, Languedoc-Roussillon-Midi-Pyrénées, Hauts-de-France, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Brittany, Centre-Val de Loire, Corsica, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Île-de-France, Martinique, Mayotte, Pays de la Loire, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, Réunion.
Coming from the States you do not need a visa to enter France. As a visitor you can stay up to six months without any restrictions.
The currency is The Euro and this is generally the only currency accepted, except in rare circumstances. In most places you can also pay with Visa or Mastercard. American Express is less accepted so check in advance. 1 USD is equivalent to approximately .90 euro and there are 100 cent in one Euro.
France has a reputation for snow and Skiing in winter and warm in summer! In France temperatures are very moderate. Winters are cold with snow, usually around -10 – 0 degrees in winter. Some summer months the country experiences is warm and temperatures, particularly around Bordeaux, and temperatures can reach up to 27- 30 degrees, but as most central European countries thunders storms as well. The wettest months are in Autumn and Winter
In France the main language is French and you can also hear German, Flemish and Italian.
There is a multicultural society in France and the restaurants, especially in the large cities, most certainly reflect this. German, French, Italian, Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine can be found everywhere.
However, The French still love their traditional French recipes! Beef, Soups and of course Escargot (Snails), feature high on the menus in pubs and restaurants. French breakfast is also a staple part of the diet and is served in most hotels as the standard breakfast. This consists of either a plain croissant or a pain au chocolat and they don’t typically add butter, jam, Nutella, or other condiments and of course expresso coffee. (see Dictionary below!)
Once you have reached the legal age for drinking alcohol, that is 16 years, you can wander into one of the many pubs and experiment with one of the beers. Typically you will find that each pub/ restaurant sells larger, Wine and champagnes and a friendly barman will be happy to inform you of the differences between them all! You are usually never more than five minutes away from a pub or restaurant in France and often these pubs serve a mixture of traditional and international food dishes. Most pubs close at 11 or 11.30pm.
With regards to non-alcoholic drinks, tea is still the favoured hot cup of the day, although American influences such as Starbucks are now to be found in most large cities and towns.
Electricity and Phone
In The France there are one of the two European standard electrical socket types: The “Type F” German style Schuko and the “Type C” Europlug. Almost all sockets are Schuko, and while the Europlug socket may be found With regards to your cell phone, it may be cheaper to buy a local number and use this for the duration of your stay. Your hotel/guesthouse receptionist can advise you on this. If you are only staying for a short period and planning on using mostly Wi-Fi, then your current sim will suit best.
We have listed a few common differences in language between French and the U.S English
Toilette = restroom | Ascenseur = elevator | Poubelle = Trashcan| Chandial = Jumper
| Téléphone portable = cellphone | Gaz = gas | Tronc = trunk | Placard =Closet Pantalon = pants
Bouillabaisse: Fish stew, usually containing at least three, but often far more – types of fish and shellfish, a Marseilles speciality.
Cassoulet: Rich haricot bean casserole, often slow-cooked with various meats including duck, goose and pork sausages.
Quenelles de Brochet: Pounded pike formed into sausage shapes and usually served with a rich crayfish sauce, common in Lyon.
Soufflé au Grand Marnier: Traditional light and fluffy dessert flavoured with orange liqueur.
Boeuf Bourgignon: A Burgundy dish of beef stewed in red wine. Chips = Frittes Courgette = Zucchini