France

Travel guide

France – home to the Eiffel tower, froggie-legged treats, French berets, and of course French-speaking folks. Delve in further and you'll find hidden treasures like the chic boulevards of Paris, a quirky underground music scene, the sparkling ski slopes of the Alps, sunlit vineyards and sun-baked beaches, the glamorous jet-set lifestyle of the Mediterranean and coffee with croissants in an undiscovered village.

France Fast Facts

language in france

Languages Spoken

The official language spoken in France is French.

france currency

Currency

Name: Euro
Code: EU
Symbol: €
€25 is approx £22

time zone in france

Time Zone

The time zone in France is Central European Standard Time (CET) and therefore is 1 hour ahead of London.

Some of our fav cities in France

paris
Paris
Paris is said to be one of the most romantic cities in the world and is arguably one of the most beautiful.  There is so much to see and do here but your visit wouldn’t be complete without admiring the views from the Eiffel Tower, checking out the Mona Lisa and other famous artworks at the Louvre, beholding the French gothic architecture of the Notre Dame or visiting the Sacre Coeur.
avignon
Avignon
Avignon, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a great place for history buffs, or travellers who just appreciate historic architecture. The walled city has museums, a historic bridge, the massive medieval fortress Pont St- Bénéze and a palace to explore. The countryside is very easy-on-the-eye in this region and its performing arts festival in July is a big draw card for visitors.
bordeaux
Bordeaux
Bordeaux is one of France’s key wine regions, and therefore a hot destination for wine lovers (the region is especially famous for its red wine), but there is plenty more on offer if you’re not into it. Beautiful mountains in the Pyrenees, great beaches such as Biarritz and many medieval towns and castles, to name just a few highlights. The ever-popular Dordogne valley is also only a stones throw away!
visit marseille
Marseille
Cosmopolitan Marseille lies on the Mediterranean coast and has a reputation for great weather all year round, awesome shopping, and yummy restaurants. It has a rich history dating back over 2,500 years so there are plenty of buildings and museums to lose yourself in. Get along to cours Julien (known as the ‘cours Ju’), the city’s most youthful area and home to a bunch of fashion boutiques, bookshops, cafes and music venues.

When's the best time to visit France?

The weather in France is the nicest during the spring months of May and June or at the beginning of autumn in September and October (there are also less people during this time). The hoards of tourists pour in for summer vacation during July and August, so if you're looking for a quieter getaway, or just lower prices, it might be best to avoid this time of year.

France costs

cost of beer in france

Beers

A pint in a pub/bar in France is around €5 (approx £4.44), or if you're looking to sip a glass of vino at a chic wine bar, look to pay between €3-€5 (approx £2.66-£4.44).

cost of food in france

Meals

A basic meal in a French restaurant is around €12 (approx £10.66) but if you want to sample a croissant or a pastry, they can be as little as €1 (approx 89p).

Transport

One-way tickets on public transport in France costs around €1.60 (approx £1.42), or do as the locals do and hop on a bike!

Taxi

Taxi tariffs start at around €4.50 (approx £4) and they add about €1.80 (approx £1.60) for every km.

hostels in france

Hostels

Travelling on a budget, or just want to meet some more like-minded travellers? Grab a dorm bed in France from €18-€30 (approx £15.99-£26.64).

hotels in france

Hotels

Looking for something a little nicer? A double room in a mid-range hotel in France can vary between €90-€190 (approx £79-£168).

Flights to France

The country's close proximity to Britain means you have total travel flexibility! There are frequent flights which make the one hour journey from London to Paris easy, or you can take the high speed Eurostar and be in Paris in about 2 hours 15 minutes. There is also the option to go via water on one of the cross channel services connecting England with France.
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France

Adventure Tours

normandy france
Explore Normandy and Burgundy | 17 days
From our once-in-a-lifetime Burgundy river barge voyage to a deep dive into the rich history of Paris and the WWII legacy of northern France, embark on more than two weeks of unforgettable adventures in culture and gastronomy. Float by canal to medieval towns and pastoral vineyards, and enjoy plenty of free time to roam gorgeous centuries-old cities, gardens, and grounds. 
From £3,399
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france tour
Highlights of France | 8 days
Check out the highlights of Paris, like the Louvre, Sacré-Coeur Basilica, and the Eiffel Tower. Then visit the famed wine region of Burgundy, where medieval villages and rolling countryside show a different side of French living. Head to Provence to relax seaside on the French Riviera. Live like the French, and enjoy every minute of it.
From £1,239
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cycling france
Loire Valley Cycling | 8 days
Each summer, the Tour de France races across the country, giving a select group of very talented cyclists a chance to see the country from a blurry perspective. Hop on a bike and experience ornate châteaux, rustic markets, vineyards, and rural Gallic charm. Think of this as the perfect combination of slow food, fine wines, and remote country tracks – ideal for seeing the inspiring scenery.
From £999
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France weather

France's climate varies from region to region. Northern coastal regions experience a temperate climate much like England. The winters are mild with temperatures averaging around 5‎°C, while the warm summer temperatures are in the 20s and 30s. 

Southwest France also experiences mild winters but the summers are much warmer.  There is less rainfall in this region than in the northern part of France, however thunderstorms are common in the summer.

Central and inland France have more extreme weather and a greater variation between the seasons.  The winter is harsher with snow and frost likely, whereas the summers are warmer.  Rain fall is low but tends to fall in summer when the region can often experience thunderstorms.

The Mediterranean coast and Corsica have a typical Mediterranean climate of hot summer days and short mild winters.  This region of France has the most sunshine hours each year. Periods of cold windy weather can occur in late spring, brought about by the famous northerly ‘mistral’ wind.

Mountain regions especially the Alps, but also the Massif Central and the Pyrenees at high altitudes experience long and cold winters with substantial snowfall.

What are the main airports in France?

Paris airport - Charles de Gaulle
Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris is located 23 km northeast of the city.  A taxi is probably the most convenient way to get to the city but also the most expensive – you might pay about €60.  You can jump on the metro; the ride is about 35 minutes to Gard du Nord station and costs about €8.10.

Paris airport - Orly
Orly airport, 14 km south of the city, primarily serves domestic flights and international destinations in Southern Europe and around the Mediterranean.  Buses and coaches leave regularly and take only 25 minutes to get to the city.  Taxis are also available and will cost €35-45, or you could hop on the metro for a cheap ride (around €10 depending on destination).

Lyon airport
Lyon airport is 25 km east of the city.  You can jump in a taxi at a cost of €50 to the city centre or the bus will cost €8.40.

Marseille airport
Marseille airport is 30 km northwest of the city.  A taxi will cost about €45 to the city centre or take a bus to Provence at a cost of €7, or Cavaillon/Avignonand for €12.

France visa: do you need one?

If you hold a valid British passport then you don’t need a holiday or tourist visa to enter France for the first three months of stay. If you really want to live like a local and soak up the culture, then head out and work there - UK nationals don't need a working holiday visa either!

Looking for some French inspiration? Check out our blogs...

STA Travel Blog

A Parisian foodie agenda

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STA Travel Blog

10 tips for Interrailing around Europe

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STA Travel Blog

The best European music festivals

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