Vive la France! Travel Tips for Your First Visit to France

Eiffel Tower, France

Have you been captivated by the magic of France? France is often depicted as a country with a rich culture and history, with some of the best food in the world and of course, romance at its heart (just check out these top 5 movies set in Paris if you don’t believe me). From the bright, romantic lights of Paris in the north to the stunning waters of the French Riviera in the south – and, not forgetting all the quaint villages in between, seemingly stuck in time and utterly enchanting at the very same time.

It’s hardly surprising that many travellers, holidaymakers and even families opt to visit France every single year. But if this is your first time travelling to France, what do you need to know? How can you make the very most out of your trip? Here we’ll look at some simple travel tips for your very first trip to France.

Don’t forget your camera

You can’t possibly visit the streets of Paris or the fairy tale villages of Provence without taking a single picture. You’ll find fantastic photo opportunities in the food you eat, the architecture, the locals, the views and the nightlife. When you return, check out for the latest in printing solutions and ideas for your prints. Remember to bring a tripod so you can feature in some of your photos!

Always be polite

In France, it’s customary to say Hello/Bonjour before you engage in any kind of conversation. Whether you’re ordering a meal, getting into a cab or speaking with the staff at your hotel. Not doing so is considered very rude indeed and you may find the response you receive to be rather abrupt.

There are smoking restrictions

The French make smoking look fashionable and stylish. However, don’t expect to be able to light up in any bar or restaurant. Just like most places in the world, there is a smoking ban on any enclosed public space e.g. cafes, restaurants. Make sure you follow the rules, or you could end up spending your travel money on a hefty fine.

Make sure you ask for the bill/ l’addition, s’il vous plait!

In many countries, eagled-eyed waiting staff will know when you’ve finished your meal and either bring the bill to you or ask if you’d like it. In France, patrons often sit for hours after their meal has finished, chatting, drinking and enjoying their dining experience. Therefore, if you want to leave, you’re going to need to brush up on those French skills and ask for the bill yourself.

For more French travel tips, check out:

Must-see Paris: the Arc de Triomphe

Disneyland Paris : the happiest place in Europe?

Navigating Paris if you don’t speak French

Escaping to the Chateau d’If in Marseilles

About Simon Petersen 505 Articles
Travel blogger, journalist, sports and movie fiend. Chronicling the life and times of a Kiwi at home and abroad.