France Travel Guide: All you need to know to visit France in 2023
Welcome to France
The country, known for its Magnificent wines, cheeses, and bread, is a whole experience of color, flavors, and sensations. As you know, Paris is the capital, a city that vibrates with fashion, cultural life, and a lot of history in every one of its streets. A must-see destination for an excellent Eurotrip to take with your friends, family, or a perfect romantic getaway.
France is a country that developed the concepts of a republic and human rights, being so vital that it was exported to the different democracies of the world. So, not only can romance be felt on French soil, but also its revolutionary history by defending human rights. In this ultimate France travel guide, we share with you some travel tips and tricks of everything you need to know to enter France with a dynamic attitude.
Are you ready for an adventure? Indeed, you are!
Travel requirements checklist for France
You need to have the following requirements to enter France:
- A valid passport/Visa
- Sufficient funds for the trip
- Return airline ticket
- A valid email address
Before you go
Currency– Euro (€). $1 is equivalent to approx. €0.98.
Daily budget for one person – A daily budget of €65 ( 65 USD, without hotel).
Languages – French
Socket type–Types C and E. France operates on a 230V supply voltage and 50Hz.
Time zone– Central European Summer Time, (GMT+2)
Top 3 cities to visit – Paris, Strasbourg, and Bordeaux.
Top 3 landmarks/monuments – Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, and Louvre Museum.
Visa information for France
Traveling to France is effortless because it is part of the Schengen Zone; this means that most foreign nationals who want to enter France can do it for 90 days within a 180 day period for tourist or business proposes, without a visa.
Citizens of the U.S. and other foreign nationals are included in the visa-free countries able to enter France right now. However, keep in mind that by the end of 2022, it will be mandatory to apply for an ETIAS visa waiver to enter France. The France ETIAS allows eligible passport holders to travel to France and Europe without a visa.
Most visitors not part of the European Union or Schengen zone need a Schengen visa to travel to France as a tourist. This allows you to be there for 90 days in a 180-day period.
If you are not eligible to apply for an ETIAS and cannot currently enter the Schengen zone visa-free, you may need to apply for a France Schengen Visa.
The France ETIAS visa waiver is a European Travel Information and Authentication System. This is a system that will be applied at the end of 2022 or by mid 2023. The France ETIAS allows eligible passport holders to travel to France and Europe without a visa.
With ETIAS Visa, you are allowed multiple entries to France for tourism, business, family visits, transit, or medical treatment, and you can stay up to 90 days each time.
Typical costs and budget for France
These are the typical costs of travel in France. So you will know how much you should budget for.
Daily spending – Around 65- €186 per person per day on vacation
- Meals – €32 per day
- Transport – €23 per day on local transportation.
- Hotel – €121 and for a couple €243.
A trip to France for 2 people for one week can cost an average of €2,603
Transport and best ways to travel around France
One of the best ways to travel within France is to take the train, which is very economical. The TGV train is a fast train line, slightly more expensive than the others. However, if you want to save money, you can take the Eurail pass.
You must book ahead as far as possible for the best fares; check SNCF Connect site for fares, train times, and online booking. And if you want to explore France by bus, FlixBus is a great, reliable and cheaper option.
Safety in France
Generally speaking, France is a safe country, but Paris, the capital, is the most chaotic city, and you must be more attentive to your safety here. As always, take care of yourself and your belongings. If you are always one step ahead, it will be a fantastic trip for you!
Weather in France
The weather in France varies according to the four seasons. However, it would be best to consider the regions as the climate can change throughout the country. For example, the weather is oceanic in the western regions of France. Temperature differences are moderate, and winters are mild but humid. In the southern Mediterranean climate, summers are sweltering and can reach up to 100 degrees F, and winters are mild and dry.
So, according to the seasons, the climate can vary according to the regions. Check before your trip what is the best time for your vacation according to the plans you have and the activities you want to do.
Popular cities and towns in France
Here are some beautiful cities you need to visit on your trip to France:
Paris – Climb the Eiffel Tower or take a boat ride along the Seine, and finish the day off walking through the Parisian streets with its small and colorful restaurants.
Strasbourg– The best Christmas market in the world can be found in this city, besides enjoying good hot wine and delicious German and French food.
Bordeaux– Its beauty will impact you; also, if you are a wine lover, you can visit vineyards and wineries around the city.
Lyon– The center of Lyon has a very sophisticated air, thanks to the Renaissance buildings and majestic squares.
Nice– A coastal town on the Mediterranean Sea, a wonderful place to enjoy splendid beaches. A perfect place to spend the summer.
Must do and see in France
Here are fantastic things to see on your trip to France:
Take a Seine River Cruise. You can have brunch, lunch, and even romantic dinners on a boat. At night, the monuments are illuminated, which makes Paris a dream.
Walk around the old quarters in Paris. The Quartier Latin, the Île Saint-Louis, and Le Marais are charming neighborhoods where visitors can experience a medieval Paris.
Eiffel Tower by night. Enjoy the Eiffel Tower at night from another perspective. Its dazzling lights will make your heart vibrate. It's flashing lights come on for 5 minutes every hour.
Bike around Bordeaux. Take the bike route from Bordeaux to Saint Émilion, a colorful medieval village that is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
See the Mona Lisa in the Louvre Museum. A must-see, one of the most famous pieces by Leonardo da Vinci.
Typical French food to try
Boeuf Bourguignon - Bœuf bourguignon is a stew made from beef braised in red wine, beef broth, and seasoned vegetables, including pearl onions, mushrooms, and bacon. A unique experience to enjoy typical French cuisine.
Mousse au Chocolat - One of the classic desserts is the Mousse au Chocolat. A sophisticated, intense flavor will close your meal with a gold star. Are you ready to try it? For sure, you will love it!
Soupe à l'oignon - This is a traditional French soup made of onions and beef stock, usually served with croutons and melted cheese. This dish is a classic, and the first version dates from the 18th century.
Vaccine information for France
It's important to know what routine vaccines and COVID-19 measures are required to enter France. We recommend you check the CDC website for all vaccine requirements and updated information.
An interesting topic about France
France has left a legacy to the humanity of French culture and civilization in the motto of the French Republic: Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité «Freedom, Equality, Fraternity.» This was originally written for the French struggle, revolution, and the defense of human rights.
Fun facts about France
These fun facts will inspire you and help you learn much more about France.
France is the world's most popular holiday destination for international visitors. For the country's cultural diversity, art, and fashion it's the most visited destination in the world.
The Tour de France cycle race is more than 100 years old. Since 1903, it has brought joy, strength, and sweat to passionate athletes. Today it's the most famous cycling tour in the world.
Another fun fact about France is that a French king holds a record for having the shortest reign in the world. Louis XIX was king only for 20 minutes after the abdication of his father during the July Revolution of 1830.
France has won the most Nobel Prizes in literature. The winner of the first Nobel Prize for Literature in 1901 was Sully Prudhomme, after which the country received fourteen times the literature prize.
The French are the largest consumers of cheese in the world. In addition, they produce it and have a wide variety of cheeses, more than 400. It would be best if you tried it for yourself, making a wine and cheese tasting tour from Bordeaux.
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