France

Officially French Republic, French France or République Française, country of northwestern Europe.

France

France, in Western Europe, encompasses medieval cities, alpine villages and Mediterranean beaches. Paris, its capital, is famed for its fashion houses, classical art museums including the Louvre and monuments like the Eiffel Tower. The country is also renowned for its wines and sophisticated cuisine. Lascaux’s ancient cave drawings, Lyon’s Roman theater and the vast Palace of Versailles attest to its rich history.

Foreign & Commonwealth Office
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London
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0044 207 008 1500

Details


Before visiting any country make sure you know the basics. General details and important information.

  • Emergency Services: 112
  • Language: French
  • Currency: Euro
  • Capital City: Paris
  • Country Code: FR
  • Travel Visa: None required
  • Population: 65,436,552
  • Driving: Right hand side

Risk Level


Researching various official sources, we perceive the risk to holiday makers and travellers are as follows;

Overall Risk 34%
Pickpickets 73%
Mugging 16%
Common Crimes 36%

Travellers Tips


Top travel advice and interesting tip bits of information from experienced travellers.

France

  • What are the most common crimes in France?

    House theft is a problem in France, when in accommodation keep your door locked and always keep your belongings in a secure location.

    Mugging is on the increase throughout France, although it’s still relatively rare in most cities.

    Pick pocketing can be an issue in crowded areas, keep your bags closed and secure at all times, when eating in restaurants and cafes outside make sure your bag is securely fastened around a chair or table leg.

  • What are the top safety tips for France?

    If you find that hard or do not understand the dialects at least learn to recognise them when written down. Knowing what the sign is for a bus stop, cafe, phone, police or hostel could be very helpful, particularly when arriving somewhere at night.

    Try not to wear highly visible expensive jewellery this could make you a target for opportunists. Be aware when going out on a night out, always travel with someone or take a taxi.

    Politics can be a delicate subject in France, when walking around the city try not to wear clothing that makes a specific statement, for example from a political movement and avoid the subject in general conversation.

    Hiring a car or driving in France can be a challenging experience, be aware that you have to drive on the right hand side of the road. This can often be harder if you are using a right hand drive car. Speeding can results in on-the-spot fines. Make sure you have enough euros to cover the charges.

  • What’s the best time to travel to France?

    Summer and Autumn are the best seasons for weather, the tourist season runs from May to September.

    Spring: 16ºC

    Summer: 26ºC

    Autumn: 18ºC

    Winter: 12ºC

  • Are there any customs & traditions in the UK?

    Introductions

    When you’re introduced to a French person, you should say ‘good day, Sir/Madam – bonjour madame/ monsieur and shake hands. Salut (hi or hello) is used only among close friends and young people. When saying goodbye, it’s a formal custom to shake hands again.

    Kissing and greeting

    It is customary amongst French people to kiss on both cheeks when meeting, a delicate brushing of the cheeks usually the left side first accompanied by a kissing noise.

Improve Your Safety

Knowledge The more you have the better equipped you are.

Research is always number one. Any place you choose to visit usually has something about it that makes us want to find out more, ultimately the more you know the better your experience.

Awareness The more you see the safer you become.

Armed with the knowledge of the possible risks, common crimes and safety advice, your raised awareness and enables you to spot possible hazardous situations before they unfold.

Response The right reaction can change a situation.

How you handle a situation is very important and can dramatically change the outcome. If you have recognised the potential dangers early enough it will give you time to process and decide on the best course of action… Find Out More

For more country specific travel & safety information, please visit the Travel Aware website by the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office.

Towns & Cities

  • Strasbourg

    Strasbourg is the capital city of the Grand Est region, formerly Alsace, in northeastern France. It’s also the formal seat of the European Parliament and sits near the German border, with culture and architecture blending German and French influences.

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  • Toulouse

    Toulouse, capital of France’s southern Occitanie region, is bisected by the Garonne River and sits near the Spanish border. It’s known as La Ville Rose (‘The Pink City’) due to the terra-cotta bricks used in many of its buildings

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  • Lyon

    Lyon, the capital city in France’s Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, sits at the junction of the Rhône and Saône rivers. Its centre reflects 2,000 years of history from the Roman Amphithéâtre des Trois Gaules, medieval and Renaissance architecture in Vieux (Old) Lyon, to the modern Confluence district on Presqu’île peninsula.

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  • Bordeaux

    Bordeaux, hub of the famed wine-growing region, is a port city on the Garonne River in southwestern France. The neighbourhood between Cours de l’Intendance and Rue Peyronnet is the heart of Vieux Bordeaux, and is famed as a city rich in art and history.

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  • Chamonix

    Chamonix-Mont-Blanc (usually shortened to Chamonix) is a resort area near the junction of France, Switzerland and Italy. At the base of Mont Blanc, the highest summit in the Alps, it’s renowned for its skiing.

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