The first thing that often comes to mind when you think of France is Paris, the capital of this stunning country and one of the hottest tourist destinations in the entire world. Symbols such as the Louvre, the Catheral of Notre Dame, the Latin Quarter, Montemartre, and the Georges Pompidou Center all make Paris one of the most visited places in the world. However, France is a large country in Europe and there are so many other destinations and attractions that it is known for. The country is famous for its cheeses (Camembert, Brie, Roquefort), wines (Bordeaux, Burgundy, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, etc.), perfumes (Chanel, Dior, Givenchy) and cars (Renault, Citroen, Peugeot). The country is also famous for the Tour de France and the Eiffel Tower.
France has surprises stored for you at every corner, be it French food, the culture, their language, and their natural beauty. It has amazing artists, memorable monuments and so much more! It is the most visited country in the world and you really need to come see it for yourself to see what all the fuss is about.
The French lovingly call their beloved homeland `l`Hexagone` because of its distinct six-sided shape. Each region of France has its own unique character: the rugged and outdoorsy Alpilles, sun-drenched and relaxed Provence, the alluring and stunning Provencal Coast, and Alsace Lorraine with picture-perfect hamlets nestled in vine-covered hills. You also won`t want to miss the Nice and the beaches of the French Riviera.
Paris and Versailles are must-see destinations for a first trip to France. Other classic travel itineraries include stops at chic seaside resorts, fairy-tale castles, and magnificent Gothic cathedrals. More authentic and off-the-beaten-track experiences are found in the countryside, such as at farmhouses in Burgundy, fishing villages in Brittany, and in the forests of the Pyrenees Mountains.
France, particularly the cities, can be enjoyed all year round, but the country is at its best in the spring (April–May), summer (June–August) and autumn (September–October). Overall, France enjoys mild temperatures, but regional variations include a Mediterranean climate in the south and wetter weather in the north near the English Channel. In August most of the country closes down to chase the sunshine in the south. Winter is one of our preferred times to explore Paris, as the crowds are fewer yet the restaurants are still lively with locals. For more information, check out: Best time to Visit.
We recommend 7-10 days based on what you want to see and do. We offer flexible vacation packages so you can select your number of nights in each city, desired hotel and activities. We suggest a minimum of 3 nights in larger cities.
Traveling around France is easy, whether you get there by plane, train, automobile - or even boat, in the case of Corsica. So getting out and exploring the countryside, wine regions and other sights is accessible and easy. A fast two-hour train ride from Paris will get you to Lyon, France`s gastronomic center. A 90-minute drive puts you in Champagne, where you can sip Champagne in the town where Dom Perignon perfected it. A train to Marseilles lets you soak up the Mediterranean sun while visiting classic Provencal towns like Aix, St. Remy, Arles and Nimes.
By Car: If you`re sticking to major cities during your trip, there`s no need to rent a car. You`re much better off transferring by train - and driving in urban areas can be a hair-raising experience.
But if you`re looking to explore the little towns and villages France is famous for, renting a car will give you the freedom you need. All the major rental agencies serve France. For more information, check out check out: Driving in France.
By Train: France created one of the earliest high-speed train systems, and continues to add destinations. The TGV (Train a Grande Vitesse) serves 150 cities in France and neighboring countries, at speeds up to 200 miles per hour. It`s operated by SNCF, the state-owned railway company, which also offers regular inter-city services on its 20,000 miles of rails.
The currency of France is the Euro. US dollars are not accepted. Please be sure to have the correct currency on hand or be prepared to exchange your dollars for euros upon arrival. Currency exchange desks can be found at the airport and many locations throughout the city. For more detailed information, consult our guide by clicking here Tipping in France.
French is the official language in France. English may be spoken at your hotel and in the tourist areas, but not everywhere. You may face instances that are confusing, but don't stress and you'll do fine. Lots of people speak English and at the very least are used to dealing with tourists who do not speak French. We suggest you get a good English-French guidebook and familiarize yourself with common phrases such as hello, goodbye, excuse me and numbers 1-10.