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flag France France: Practical information

In this page: Accommodation | Eating Out | Getting Around | Time and Time Difference | Climate | Electrical Standards and Measurement Systems | Paying | Speaking | Emergency Numbers | Communications



Hotel reservation websites

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Eating Out

Rules For Eating Out
The prices displayed in restaurants and cafés are shown with taxes and service included. A tip is not compulsory, but people often leave change on the table after paying the bill (about 5% of the bill).
Food Specialties
France has a rich culinary culture, and its cuisine is diverse. With dishes such as: tournedos; rib steak with béarnaise sauce served with green kidney beans or pommes dauphines; meat on skewers; blanquette of veal; etc. Near the sea, fish and seafood, such as mussels, cockles and shrimp are abundant. Alsace and Lorraine are the regions where you find sauerkraut, kugelhof, quiche Lorraine and tarte flambée. Lyon, the biggest city in the Rhône valley, is the heart of French cuisine. One of the region's specialties is pike quenelles. France produces 365 types of cheeses; for example, Camembert, Brie, Roquefort, Reblochon and the blues of Auvergne and Bresse.
In France, wine is the most common alcoholic beverage: Champagne, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Côtes de Provence, Côtes du Rhône and wines from the Loire Valley region, etc. Aperitifs and liqueurs are also common: Pastis, Pineau, Muscat, Chartreuse, fruit liqueurs, brandies, etc.
Dietary Restrictions
There are no dietary restrictions in the country.
Table Manners
Table manners are Continental. Before starting, you wish everyone "bon appétit" ("enjoy your meal"). If you are invited to dinner with a French family, wait to be shown your place before sitting down.

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Getting Around


Transportation From Airport to City Centre:






Car Rental
Paris - Charles de Gaulle/Roissy (CDG) 24km / 15 miles EUR 50-60 / 45 min EUR 14 - EUR 6.15 / 35-60 min EUR 8.10 / 50 min Available
Paris - Orly (ORY) 14km / 9 miles EUR 35-55 / 20-35 min EUR 9 / 20-30 min EUR 7.20, EUR 9.30 + RER ticket / 40-50 min Available

Means of Transport Recommended in the Rest of the Country

Train reservation services
The SNCF (French National Railway Company)
Rail Europe

Major airlines

Name Type Domestic Flights International Flights
Air France flag carrier of France Yes Yes
Transavia low cost No Yes
Easy jet low cost No Yes
Ryanair low cost No Yes
Corsair long-haul and charter fllights Yes Yes

You Can Consult The EU Air Safety List. Look Also at the rating of the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).


Travelling By Yourself

Car rental agencies
Real-time traffic conditions
Bison Futé
Autoroute Info
Michelin Traffic

Rules of the Road

National Roads Organizations
Road safety department

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Time and Time Difference

Current Local Time
It is %T:%M %A In Paris
Summer Time
Summer time from March to October.

Map of the Time Zone

Time zone

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Type of Climate
In France, the climate varies according to the region: temperate, oceanic, with mild winters and summers in the West and North West; continental in the East; Mediterranean, with hot, very dry summers, and mild, wet winters and sometimes very windy in the South East.
Hotel reservation websites
Météo France

Average Annual Temperatures and Rainfall



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Electrical Standards and Measurement Systems

System of Measurement Used
Metric system
Unit of Measurement of Temperature
Degree Celsius (°C)

Use our service Measurement Converter.

  • Voltage
  • Frequency
Type of Electric Socket
Type E, Type C, Type F
Type of Telephone Socket
DVD Zoning
Zone 2

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Domestic Currency
ISO Code
To Obtain Domestic Currency
The most practical way is to withdraw money directly from ATMs. They are numerous and easily accessible in airports, city centres and all over the country.
Possible Means of Payment
The commonly accepted means of payment in France include:
1. Cash (Euros): Cash is widely accepted in most establishments, including shops, restaurants, and smaller businesses. It is advisable to carry smaller denominations for convenience.
2. Credit and Debit Cards: Credit and debit cards are widely used and accepted in France. Visa and Mastercard are the most commonly accepted cards, followed by American Express and other major card networks. Chip-and-PIN technology (EMV) is prevalent, and contactless payments (payWave or payPass) are widely supported.
3. Mobile Payments: Mobile payment methods such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay are increasingly accepted in many establishments, particularly in larger cities and popular tourist areas. These platforms allow you to make payments using your compatible smartphone or smartwatch.
4. Contactless Cards: Many establishments in France have contactless card terminals, allowing for quick and convenient payments by simply tapping your contactless-enabled card on the terminal.
5. Cheques: While less common than in the past, some establishments may still accept payment by cheque, particularly for larger purchases or in specific circumstances. However, it's worth noting that cheques are used less frequently compared to other payment methods.
6. Online Payments: For e-commerce and online purchases, various online payment methods such as PayPal, Stripe, and other secure payment gateways are commonly accepted by French businesses.

It's always a good idea to have a variety of payment options available when visiting France, including cash and at least one internationally accepted credit or debit card, to ensure smooth transactions in different situations.

To Find a Cash Machine Where You Need, Use the ATM locator


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Official Language
Other Languages Spoken
The regional languages (Breton, Occitan, Corsican, Catalan, Basque, Alsation, Picard, etc.) are only spoken locally and by a minority of French people.
Business Language
Although French is the official language in France, many businesspeople speak English. However, depending on the type, geographical location and sector of activity of the company, it may be difficult to find someone who speaks English. Being able to communicate and negotiate in French provides a distinct advantage.

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Emergency Numbers

Police 17
Firemen 18
SAMU (emergency medical services) 15
Emergency assistance in all European languages 112

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Telephone Codes
To Make a Call From France, Dial 00
To Make a Call to in France, Dial +33
Mobile Telephone Standards
GSM, EDGE, GPRS, Radiocom 2000, UMTS, WCDMA.
National Mobile Phone Operators
Free, Orange, SFR Altice, Bouygues Télécom

Availability of Internet

Internet Suffix
National Internet Access Providers
Free, Orange, SFR Altice, Bouygues Télécom

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Latest Update: July 2024