Before travelling to France

Things to know before traveling to France

France has a large number of visitors annually, and rightly so, with so much to see and do. Paris is the capital city of France and is the centre for the arts with the Louvre being the most visited art gallery in the world. If you love Disney and theme parks then visiting the popular Disneyland Paris is a must. France also has many beaches, seaside resorts, ski resorts, and wine regions.

When to travel

France is quite versatile for travel, winters are perfect for skiing and snowboarding in the Alps, yet busy. The best time to travel to the rest of the country is in the spring or autumn months, the weather is cooler, and tourists groups are smaller. The summer months will be the busiest time to travel, but the climates are warm or hot.

We travelled in October to Paris and the weather was perfect, it wasn’t too hot, but neither was it really cold. We took our jackets and gratefully so. The climate was warm during the day and only really needed a T-shirt and a jumper but did become cooler in the evening and required the jacket to keep warm.

Notre Dame in Paris France

Booking the tickets

The first thing you need to think about is when you will be looking to visit France, once this has been agreed then you need to book the tickets to get to France. There are a number of routes to get to France and it all depends on where you are looking to visit in France and where you are travelling from.

Fly

There are many budget airlines travelling all over Europe including France, such as Ryanair, EasyJet, Jet2, British Airways, Lufthansa etc. For our honest review of Ryanair, then please click here.

Drive

Depending on where you are travelling from then driving might be the ideal way to get to France. As we are from the UK, then getting to France via car would be relatively easy and wouldn’t take too long, but coming from other areas of Europe and the world this could take a little longer.

Dunkirk Beach in France

Eurostar

The Eurostar departs from many countries and we used the Eurostar from London St Pancras to Paris Gard Du Nord. It was very quick, easy and a smooth journey, with it, only takes approximately 2 hours. We have written a review on the Eurostar so please click here for more information.

Euro tunnel

If you are looking to drive to France from the UK, then taking the car on the Eurotunnel will be one of the best ways. The Eurotunnel service is from the UK to France.

Ferry

This is another great way to drive in France if you are coming from the UK or Scandinavia to get across the waters by using a ferry.

Bus

Depending on where you are travelling from, it may be possible to get public buses, this may mean many bus changes and could be longer. Alternatively, there are many tour buses that will often offer a package deal to France.

Health

There are no specific health requirements to visit France, however, it might be worth visiting your local doctor/nurse 6 weeks before you travel to make sure you are all topped up on the standard vaccinations such as tetanus, measles, mumps, rubella etc.

Visas
Depending on what passport you hold, you may require a visa to enter France. Many countries such as the EU, Australia, New Zealand, USA etc passport holds will not require a visa to visit for a short stay. If you are planning to stay longer, you will require a visa. For more information on visa’s then please visit their website or embassy.

Money

The currency in France is the Euro. It is advisable to take some cash and debit and credit cards to France with you. By using a debit or credit card, there is often a fee when travelling abroad. We personally took cash out there with us and took approximately 300 Euros with us for 1 night. This sounds like a lot for one night but felt it was safer to take more than we needed as a precaution. We didn’t fancy having no money and being stranded. We found it is expensive in Paris, so although we didn’t use all of the money, we did use quite a bit on food and drinks, so we would suggest bringing enough with you to cover your trip. You may not need as much cash if you intend to use debit or credit cards whilst there.

Packing

Depending on when you travel will depend on the clothing and accessories required to bring with you. The winter will require warm clothing such as trousers, jumpers, jackets and a hat and gloves. During the spring and autumn months, the jacket will only be required in the afternoon/evening when it starts to get cooler. In the summer months we would advising taking clothing such as shorts, t-shirt, dress, skirt etc would suffice. You may require an umbrella for any rainy days but also protect you from the sun in the summer. Shoes are best in the winter, spring and autumn, yet flip flops or sandals would be more practical in the summer.  Travelling in the summer will also require sun protection, I take the sun protection everywhere, as I am light skinned I don’t want to burn and suffer.

When we visited Paris in France, we took t-shirts, and jeans, a jumper and a jacket. During the day the jumper was enough, we left our jacket at our hotel when we arrived and needed to return back to the hotel for the jacket as it got a lot colder. We would rather take warmer clothing and not need it than need it and not have it. We are also a couple who feel the cold, so as soon as it gets below 20 degrees Celsius its cold weather.

Should you need any further help and assistance with visiting France, then please do not hesitate to contact us. 

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