A valid passport is required for all foreign nationals entering France and it is..Travel Health
France, like most of Western Europe is a fairly safe country to visit from a medical..Local Currency
In France the currency used is the euro (symbol: €), and it is not common for other..Weather
France has a diverse climate. Overall, most of the country, including Paris, enjoys..Local Customs
The French are generally regarded as being patriotic, peaceful, and polite, with a..Languages
The predominant language spoken in France is (as one might expect) French, although there..Transport Options
Like most developed western European countries, France is well served by an excellent..Travel Tips
Like most countries, France has its own idiosyncrasies and customs which visitors should..Local Food
France is famous around the world for its food and wine, with top restaurants around the..Local Timezones
France is slightly to the east of the Greenwich meridian and is in the Central European..Dutyfree Limits
It is important to check with your travel agent for up to date information regarding duty..
In France the currency used is the euro (symbol: €), and it is not common for other currencies, like the UK pound or the US dollar to be accepted when making purchases.
The euro is available as bills (500€, 200€, 100€, 50€, 20€, 10€, 5€), and coins (2€, 1€, 50 cents, 20 cents, 10 cents, 5 cents 2 cents and 1 cent). One euro = 100 cents
Exchange rates are unpredictable and can fluctuate over time. Over the 2008 – 2009 period for example, one US$ could buy between 0.62€ and 0.80€. As exchange rate can often be a determining factor with international travel, it is advisable to check the exchange rates frequently.
Almost all stores, restaurants and hotels take the CB French debit card, and its foreign affiliations, Visa and Mastercard, whilst American Express tends to be accepted only in high-end shops. Typically, banks apply the wholesale inter-bank exchange rate, which is the best available, but may impose a proportional and/or a fixed fee for these transactions.
French CB cards (and CB/Visa and CB/Mastercard cards) have a "smart chip" on them allowing PIN authentication of transactions. This system, initiated in France, has now evolved to an international standard and newer cards from other countries are sometimes compatible.
Some cashiers may be unaccustomed to foreign cards and do not know that foreign Visa or Mastercard cards have to be swiped and a signature obtained, while French customers systematically use PIN and don't sign the transactions.
It is very difficult to get a cash advance from a credit card without a PIN in France but
Automatic teller machines (ATM) all take CB, Visa, Mastercard, Cirrus and Plus and are plentiful throughout France. Be sure to check for the logos on the ATM and on your card. Travellers cheques are difficult to cash in France, and since the introduction of the euro, even exchanging foreign currency outside of busy tourist areas has become a chore. As a rule, the best way to handle your money requirements is make sure you have the money you need in your cheque account (as many ATMs default to this with foreign cards). Use ATMs to get cash, and with larger amounts such as tours, hotels and restaurants, use a credit card. Before you travel, it’s advisable to ask how your bank charges for the transaction , as some charge a flat rate rather than a proportional amount. If they charge a flat rate per transaction, you will save money by making fewer withdrawals, and larger amounts.
During their stay in France, visitors are usually asked to pay a tourism tax or a flat-rate tourism tax which is fixed by the local authority and varies from € 0.15 to € 1.07 per person per day, according to the quality and standard of the accommodation.
Where the tourism tax is not flat rate, children under 4 years of age are exempt and children under 10 are charged half the rate. This tax is collected by the owner of the accommodation and will be included in your hotel bill, rent, etc…
Like most other western countries, France has a Value Added Tax (VAT) which is added to almost all goods and services. Currently (July 2009) this tax is 19.6% and is generally included in the advertised price of goods and services. Once recent and most welcome concession to this is that the rate for restaurants has been reduced to 5.5%.
Paris, arguably the most famous city on earth, is the capital of France and is located on the river Seine in the..Nice Information
Located in the French Riviera on Frances southern Mediterranean coast, Nice is one of the most popular holiday..Carcassonne Information
Carcassonne has twice been included in UNESCO's World Heritage List – once in 1996 for the Canal du Midi and again in..Arc de Triomphe Information
The Arc de Triomphe today stands at the centre of a the worlds largest traffic roundabout at the intersection of 12..Eiffel Tower Information
The tallest building in Paris is also one of the worlds most recognised monuments and has become a symbol of all things..Louvre Information
The Musée du Louvre is a landmark building in the centre of Paris, it is located at one end of of the Champs-Elysées..Notre Dame Information
Translated from the French and meaning 'Our Lady of Paris', Notre Dame de Paris is a classic example of French Gothic..Fontaine-de-Vaucluse Information
Fontaine-de-Vaucluse is an intriguing location in the south of France 25 kilometres to the east Avignon. It is built..INDEX OF ALL LOCATIONS