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What You Should Know More About France

  • Travel Advice


    • Make sure you have at least one proof of your identity.

    • Do not let anyone deceive you. It is always a good idea to gather sufficient information whenever you are traveling to any new destination or location.

    • When getting involved in any adventure sport or water activity, make sure you hire a professional to help you.

    • Never neglect your safety when trying any adventure activity.

    • Do not get involved in any form of drugs.

    • Educate yourself about some of the instances of local culture and traditions.

    • Learn some of the words from the local cultures and traditions that are prevalent in the region.

    • Do not get involved in any fight or brawl with any of the locals here.

    • Do not travel alone in the night hours.

  • Drinking Law

    The legal age for drinking wine and beer in France is 16 years and for spirits is 18 years.


  • Our Recommendations: What You Can't Afford to Miss?

    Eiffel Tower


    Eiffel Tower is the symbol of Paris. It is indeed one of the iconic landmarks of the world.  Fondly known as the "Iron Lady" , it awes visitors by its breath-taking panoramas at all the 3 levels of this huge tower. To best enjoy the view, tourists can dine in at the restaurant on the first level. You can also enjoy a meal at the Michelin-starred Jules Vernes restaurant.    


    Louvre Museum


    Situated in the erstwhile palace of the French kings, the museum ranks amongst the top collections of fine arts in Europe. A number of most prominent works of the Western Civilization are housed here. This also includes the 1st-century-BC Venus de Milo sculpture, Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci and the Wedding Feast at Cana by Veronese. The collection deeply owes all its wealth to the different kings who resided in the Museum. Surprisingly for many, the museum has a huge collection of 30,000 artworks that includes countless masterpieces.   


    Côte d'Azur


    Côte d'Azur is the most beautiful stretch of France’s coastline. During the summer months, the different seaside resorts are jam packed with sun worshipers and beach lovers. Different celebrities come here for a vacation. The breathtaking town of Nice is known for its stellar art museums and panorama sea views. Cannes is popular for its legendary hotels and the celebrity film festival. Saint-Tropez is a home to abundant lavish beaches. Monaco seduces the visitors with its exquisite scenery.  


    Mont Saint-Michel


    Mont Saint-Michel is one of the most remarkable tourist attractions of France. Rising dramatically off the sea on the coast of Normandy, the place is also known as the "Pyramid of the Seas". It is a mystical sight nestled on the rocky island that is enveloped by valleys and walls. During the high tide, Mont-Saint-Michel becomes an island. On the other hand, in the low tide, it is possible for you to take a stroll across the sand. The best place to see here is the Abbaye de Saint-Michel that has been in existence ever since 708 and is still a prominent pilgrimage spot and for this very reason it isrevered as the "The Heavenly Jerusalem.".


    Loire Valley


    When you pass through the Loire Valley, it will more so give you a vibe of turning a page of the children’s storybook. All through the mesmerizing countryside of the river valleys and the woodlands lie the fair tale caste that is complete with the turreted towers and moats. It is a lush area which is also known as the "Garden of France". The valley is listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Site and is indeed a prominent place to see.  


  • What You Will Like There?

    Food


    All the delightful things that you have possibly heard about the French cuisine are all true. Bread, champagne, sauces, pastries and cheeses, there is simply no end to what you can eat here and relish. Start your day beautifully at one of those French cuisine serving café and you’ll recognize by the rows of chairs and tables that are clustered outside the doors. A village in France may only have a café or two however the large cities here will have only post every few meters.  You can also find an epitome of French cuisines in its restaurants, bistros and brasseries. For those unable to reach the French menu, order for the plate of the day and savour on the French specialties at the best prices.  


    Art


    One art form that widely blossomed in France is Impressionism. You can pay your homage of the Giverny house and gardens that were the subject of several of Claude Monet’s paintings. For art lovers who love the modern work, head to the cities of the Riviera which boast of such collection. You can even try the Museum of Contemporary and Modern art in Nice which is seen as the best place to see for the art lovers. Louvre, the best art museum of the art celebrates sculptures, paintings and art from all across Europe. You can buy a piece of art or two and cherish it forever.    


    Versailles


    The countryside of France is littered with several castles. Many of these come with similar towers, crenellations as well as ancestral portraits. However, there is just one i.e. the Palace of Versailles that exists. It is covered by the Museum Pass. This monument gained immense popularity under the rule of Louis XVI and his wife Marie-Antoinette. A great sightseeing attraction, you definitely must plan a visit to the place. You can even trek towards the Marie's Norman village which lies on the other end of the ground.


    Wine Tasting


    Wine lovers have proudly confessed that some of the best wines that they have ever tasted belonged to France. It is a country which produces anything between 50 to 60 million hectolitres of wine on annual basis. Besides the clichéd, Chardonnay and Champagne, there is an array of home made wines that you must try in France.


    Cities


    Instead of an individual how about falling in love with a city when you visit France? For every poet, art lover or architect lover, there is so much to love in France that you’ll never wish to part from the country. Do plan a visit to some of the best cities of France – Toulouse, Bordeaux, Avignon, Marseille, Lyon, Cannes, Nice, etc.     


    Winter Sports


    Are you an adventure enthusiast? There is a lot of things to do for you when in France. You can enjoy the most exciting and varied skiing here. The trainers here are very well trained and through professionals. For others who come here for adventure activities can consider mountain climbing to the highest mountain in Alps, biking and hiking.


    The fashion and shopping in France


    There is no secret in the fact that Paris is regarded as the fashion capital of the world. This also makes it one of the most preferred shopping destination. How could you not shop in a country which is the birth place of legends like Yves Saint-Laurent, Christian Dior, Coco Chanel and Christian Lacroix.


    Beaches


    The southern end of France is the place where you’ll encounter the never ending coastline. It has pleasant sun, sandy beaches and never ending coastline. Saint Tropez, Monte-Carlo and Normandy are the top most loved beaches of France.  


    Cinema in France


    France has given the world movies such as Les Diaboliques and Amelie. Directors such as Francois Truffaut and Luc Besson are also the French legends. Given all this, how can the cinema of France might not be lovable? More so, don’t forget the much talked about Cannes Film Festival.


    Convenient Location of France


    France shares its borders with 8 other countries, making it geographically very convenient. More so, it is only a short ferry ride away from the UK. So, when you are done with your holiday, in France you can visit the other nearby destinations too.


  • Recommended Reads For Destination (Govt. Websites, Travel Forum Articles)?

    Website: Visit France


  • When is the best time to visit France?

    • Spring

    April to June is the best time to visit Paris. The temperatures are ambient and there are long days of sunshine.

     

    • Fall/Winters

    September to November is also a good season for a French vacation. This is the time for vibrant exhibits and shows. Also, travel during this time is cheaper.

     

    • July and August are too crowded. In even-numbered years, avoid the first fortnight of October due to the Auto Show which attracts heavy tourist traffic.

  • How to reach France?

    France can be reached via below mentioned options:

     

    By Air

    If you are travelling from India, flying is the best option. France has two airports. Orly and Charles de Gaulle. You can book tickets via Air France or British Airways. However, if you are in the UK or other European countries, you can access other travel routes. Of course, airplanes are an option for intra-European travel as well.

     

    By Train

    However, most prefer to take the train. This is a more budget-friendly option than renting a car. Eurostar, links London and Paris at the Paris Gare du Nord Station. It is sensible to book Eurostar tickets three months in advance, when the bookings open.

     

    Under The Tunnel

    There’s an Under the Tunnel track for reaching France. Eurostar Express, is Britain’s original link to Europe. Alternatively, there is Eurotunnel as well.

     

    By Bus

    Eurolines, is a bus service that gets you to France. Its buses are equipped with loos and they stop for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

     

    By Car

    Alternatively you may visit France by car. A1 and A6 highways are favourable for inter-country travel.

     

    Water Transport

    Ferries and Hydrofoils from England, are another alternative. Brittany Ferries and DFDS Seaways operate between England and Cherbourg and Le Havre, respectively.

     

  • Do I need a visa for France? How does one get a France visa?

    Yes, Indians need to apply for a 3-month Schengen Visa to visit France. However, if you are planning to stay for a longer period of time, apply for a long-time visa.

     

    First you need to specifically suggest what kind of visa one needs, for example Student Visa or Tourist Visa or Business Visa. Next, check out the list of required documents at http://www.vfs-france.co.in/requisitedcument.html. For most tourist visa applications, you will need: Your passport, 2 recent photographs, signed letter of introduction stating purpose, copy of travel insurance not less than 30,000 Euro, copy of confirmed round-trip air tickets, documents of personal income and detailed itinerary. The Schengen Visa allows tourists to be mobile in the Schengen area.

     

  • What is the currency of France and where can I get my money exchanged?

    France uses the currency Euro.

    The best way to get your money, is by using an international credit or debit card. Inform your bank before you leave for your trip. Alternatively, you may obtain Travellers’ Cheques from your bank or have money Wired to you while you are in the country.

     

  • Which are the major tourist attractions in France?

    The major tourist attractions in France include:

    1. The Eiffel Tower,
    2. The Louvre,
    3. Disneyland Paris,
    4. Arc de Triomphe,
    5. Notre-Dame de Paris,
    6. Musee Rodin,
    7. Moulin Rouge Cabaret and
    8. Champs Elysees in Paris.
    9. The French Riviera,
    10. The lovely Camargue region in France,
    11. Puy du Fou Park in Les Epesses,
    12. Champagne,
    13. Val Thorens in The French Alps and
    14. Bastille, Grenoble.

  • What are the things to do in France?

    1. Walk around the fashion capital of the world, Paris.
    2. Visit The Eiffel Tower, Palace of Versailles and The Louvre.
    3. Stroll through the Palais Royale Gardens while you are here.
    4. Also go sailing on River Seine.
    5. Make a trip to the port city of Bordeaux, acknowledged by UNESCO for its marvellous architecture, churches, cathedrals and vintage mansions.
    6. Sip on some fine wine and visit the Cathedrale Saint Andre, Place de la Bourse, Basilique Saint Michel and Le Grand Theatre in Bordeaux.
    7. The French Riviera is known the world over for its perfumeries and for hosting The Cannes Film Festival.
    8. Roam around La Colline du Chateau, also called Castle Hill, famous for its lush greenery and for offering a stunning view of the surrounding area.
    9. Immerse yourself in the old world charm of Arles. Marvel at its colossal Amphitheatre and the stunning archaeological curation of Musee de l’Arles et de la Provence Antiques.
    10. Appreciate the intricacy of Gothic architecture at the Strasbourg Cathedral in the scenic city of Strasbourg.
    11. When here, go for a daily show about astronomical clock and panoramic views of River Rhine.
    12. Go trekking and rock climbing on the terrains of Fontainebleau and make a trip to the majestic Chateau here, renowned for its plush gardens.
    13. Enjoy the Anse Vata beach in Noumea and delve into its local Kanak heritage at the Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre.
    14. The City Museum of Annecy, a river town smothered by two rivers, is home to alpine furniture, medieval art and sculptures.
    15. Lose yourself in the luxurious meadows and vineyards of Burgundy, while you enjoy some locally produced wine here.
    16. Alternatively, play and party like there’s no tomorrow in Biarritz, a town teeming with luxurious golf courses, nightclubs and casinos. Try your luck at Barriere, a popular casino here.
    17. What is the local food of France? Which are the best places to taste this food?

     

    The French always include a baguette as an accompaniment. However, French food varies in different places.

    • In Brittany, expect lots of crepe and cider.
    • Loire Valley cuisine is dominated by a special kind of fish which is obtained from River Loire.
    • The French also enjoy rabbit, escargots, oysters, mussels and scallops.

     

    The restaurants of Le Meurice, L’Astrance, Maceo, Spring and Les Tablettes

    are some of the most highly acclaimed in Paris.  Enjoy gourmet soup made of crayfish and artichoke at Guy Savoy, Charles de Gaulle-Etoile or a dessert platter of French pastries at Pierre Gagnaire.

  • What is the local food of France? Which are the best places to taste this food?

    The French always include a baguette as an accompaniment. However, French food varies in different places.

    • In Brittany, expect lots of crepe and cider.
    • Loire Valley cuisine is dominated by a special kind of fish which is obtained from River Loire.
    • The French also enjoy rabbit, escargots, oysters, mussels and scallops.

     

    The restaurants of Le Meurice, L’Astrance, Maceo, Spring and Les Tablettes

    are some of the most highly acclaimed in Paris.  Enjoy gourmet soup made of crayfish and artichoke at Guy Savoy, Charles de Gaulle-Etoile or a dessert platter of French pastries at Pierre Gagnaire.

  • What is the best public transport to commute around France?

    "

    The best public transport to commute around France is listed below:

     

    By Rail

    France has an excellent railway sentiment. A pass journal can be very useful in helping you move around.

     

    Metros

    There are metros in Paris, Lyon, Marseille and Toulouse.

     

    Trams

    You can board trams in Bordeaux, Lille, Grenoble, Nice, Nantes and Strasbourg.

     

    By Bus

    Many cities in France also have buses running.

     

    Waterways

    Occasionally, tourists use the Batobus, which is a boatline along River Seine.

     

    On Bicycle

    However, Paris is a city to be discovered on bicycle. It’s almost idyllic to cycle your way through the charming streets of this charismatic city. VELIB is an almost-free public transport system of cycles that works on a very easy membership system.

    "

  • What is the local language in France and which are the most commonly used greetings? (mention at least 4) (Hello, Thank you, Good morning/night, What is the price of ____?, How far is _____?)

    The local language is French. Some common greetings translate as:

    Hello-Bonjour.

    Thank you-Merci.

    Good morning-Bonjour.

    Good night-Bonne nuit.

    What is the price of _______? – Quel est le prix de _________?

    How far is_______? – A quelle distance est ___________?  

  • Which are the best shopping places in France and what are they famous for?

     

    Paris is, undoubtedly, the sartorial capital of the world.

    1. The Louvre and Tuileries Districts are famous for their elite shopping, as these are home to the poshest clothing and cosmetic brands in the world.
    2. For jewellery and gourmet foods, check out Boulevard Haussmann and the Grand Boulevard, done up in the most resplendent interiors.
    3. For handcrafted accessories, eclectic fashion and vintage stores, make a trip to The Marais.
    4. Champs de Elysees is famous for its luxury brands interlaced with more reasonable stores like Zara.
    5. Hit Les Halles for some chic boutiques.
    6. Apart from Paris, saunter down the Boulevard de la Croisette in Cannes and discover top-notch designer houses nestled in its quaint corridors.
    7. Rue Sainte Catherine in Bordeaux is known for its French chains of fashion brands.
    8. La Braderie de Strasbourg, is an antique fair organised in a flea market ambience, where you can find the most delicious period furniture, curios and chests and junk buys. The market is set up over the last weekend of July.

  • Which are the famous museums in France?

    First of all, buy a Museum Card, which will give you access to almost every important museum in the country.

    1. Marvel at the Mona Lisa, in addition to its celebration of Greek, Egyptian, Eastern and Islamic art at the Louvre.
    2. For 19th Century French art, visit Musee d’Orsay, which is famous for housing hallmark works of Impressionism.
    3. To delve further into history, make a trip to Musée de la Tapisserie de Bayeux known for its Saxon, Viking and Norman depictions.
    4. To view the personal art and archaeological collections of Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, check out Musee Ingres.
    5. For a more modern and real approach to art, visit the Pompidou Metz Centre, which studies the evolution of art from the year 1917.
    6. Walk into a 17th and 18th Century Dutch kitchen, at The Musee de l’Hospice Comtesse, Lille, which houses an old-age home converted into a museum.
    7. As a study of the layered Mediterranean culture, travel to Marseille for its Museum of The Civilisations of Europe and The Mediterranean.
    8. In addition, there are Musee Rodin, Musee Picasso and The Palace of Versailles which are worth a trip.
  • Which are the famous theatres in France to watch classic plays and musicals?

    France is famous for its opulent opera houses.

    1. See a play or watch a ballet performance at Palais Garnier in Paris.
    2. Listen to symphonic orchestras at Theatre des Champs-Elysees.
    3. Opera Bastille is a more modern theatre located here.
    4. The Comedie Francaise is considered the oldest theatre in the world.
    5. Watch a cabaret at the Moulin Rouge in Paris.
    6. Opera de Lille was destroyed in a fire, yet continues to be a beautiful monument in Lille.
    7. The Corinthian columns and intricate interiors of Grand Theatre de Bordeaux, make the place an architectural delight, besides artistic.
  • Which are the best castles to visit in France?

    The best castles to visit in France are listed below:

     

    1. The Palace of Versailles in Paris is world-famous and a visit here should tick a box on your bucket list.
    2. Chateau de Chantilly is known for accommodating important pieces of 17th Century history, besides being an architectural paradise.
    3. Visit Chateau de Foix, a centre of the Cathars in the area of Ariege.
    4. Avoid the overrated Chateau d'Amboise and instead, go to Chateau du Clos Luce, which houses a museum and park filled with da Vinci’s creations.
    5. Channel your inner feminist and visit the only castle in France to inhabit all women during the Renaissance, Château de Chenonceau.
    6. Visit the fort that was supposed to have inspired the fairy tale Sleeping Beauty, Chateau d’Usse, which includes a tour through the princess’ attic overflowing with toys and dolls.

  • What is special about Mont Saint-Michel in France? How do I visit it?

    Mont Saint-Michel is a unique island in France, whose entire expanse is a UNESCO heritage site! It is a colonial delight, flooded with museums, cobbled alleys, villages and stone stairways across town.

     

    You can arrive on foot, on bicycle, by car, by bus or on a train. Trains are the most convenient option. The nearest station is Pontorson.

  • Which are the famous wildlife sanctuaries in France?

    • The Vanoise National Parkin the French Alps, abounds in wolves, lynx, chamois and ibex and offers spectacular views of the encircling glaciers.
    • Catch a flying golden eagle, a bearded vulture and mink and bears inPyrenees National Park.
    • Go hiking in the rocky terrain of the Mercantour National Park, Provence Alps Cote d’Azur, home to wild boars and nutcracker birds.
    • Additionally, there are Le Perche Natural Regional Park, Normandy, which is majorly a stud-farm and
    • Armorique National Park of Brittany, known for its moors and eerie environs.

  • Which are the best places for a wine tour in France?

     

    First of all, the best time for a wine tour is March-June or October-November.

    • The Rhone Valley;
    • Champagne Ardenne;
    • Bordeaux and Gascony, Aquitaine;
    • Saumur in Loire Valley and
    • Alsace, are the best areas for pottering around with a glass of wine.

  • Which are the most romantic things to do in France on your Honeymoon?

    France is the personification of romance.

    1. Take a panoramic view of the love-filled city of Paris, from the Eiffel Tower.
    2. Later enjoy the gastronomy of the 58 Tour Eiffel Restaurant, located inside the tower.
    3. Amble through the picturesque gardens of Musee de Montmartre and let your legs fall listlessly as you sit on the rope-swing here(which is hung from the branch of a tree) while your partner gives you a gentle push.
    4. Admire works of Romanticism in the Musee de la Romantique, known for its flashback to the Romantic-era in Paris.
    5. Go for an idyllic boat-ride down the Seine or the serene Lac Inferieur.
    6. Finally, enjoy a decadent cup of coffee and a relaxed brunch, on a pretty balcony in Paris.
  • Where can I do skydiving in France?

    France may be known for its fairytale castles and passionate romances, but there are many areas here conducive to skydiving.

    1. Oleron Island

    2. Soulac-Sur-Mer

    3. Gap, Gau, Gard, Niort and Jura all offer tandem skydiving experiences.

  • What are the famous Canyoning destinations in France?

    The famous canyoning destinations in France are:

     

    1. Verdon Gorge in the South East of France, is an ideal canyoning destination.
    2. The Maglia Canyon, known for its beauty and Bollene Canyons, which are close to Nice offer excellent canyoning packages.
    3. The Valbelle Canyon, close to Sisteron, is a nice spring canyon.
    4. The Saint Aubin Canyon offers an adrenalizing zipline.
  • What are the best places to Cliff Jump in France?

    South of France is ideal for cliff jumping or cliff diving.

    Some of the best places for the activity are:

    • Cascades du Sautadet near the village La Roque;
    • Calanque du Sugiton in Luminy;
    • Calanque d’En-Vau, Cassis and
    • Gorge du Verdon.
  • Here are the best tips Thrillophilia has to offer for your trip to France

    • Use maps, don’t use GPS, because France has many secret and hidden treasures along its ways. Infact, getting lost in Paris is a thing of delight, not of panic.
    • Have a basic understanding of French, because it is the official language spoken here. Try to learn a few fundamental phrases and sentences before you embark on your voyage.
    • Don’t overeat, but enjoy all the courses of a layered French meal.
    • Walk or cycle your way through, to discover the beauty of France.
    • Stay in smaller towns and villages for an authentic flavour of the country.
    • Be open to falling in love! With the place, with the people and with the Parisian way of life in general.

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