Discover France travel guide 

France is one of the most geographically diverse countries in Europe, with medieval and port cities, relaxing villages, mountains and beaches spread out across the country.

Known for its cheese and wine along with history, culture and fashion, France is the most visited country in the world with more than 80 million arrivals every year.

France shares a land border with Andorra, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Monaco, Spain & Switzerland. France is on Central European Time (CET) UTC+1 but also participates in daylight savings UTC+2 which runs from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October.

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Emergency Numbers

European emergency mumber dial 112
Fire dial 18
Police dial 17
Ambulance dial 15

Main Ethnic Groups

Caucasian 85%
North African 10%
Asian 1.5%

Main Religion

51% Christianity
5.1% Islam
3.3% Others
39.6% Not religious 

Geographic Facts Capital and largest city: Paris (2 million)  
  • The French take a lot of pride in their country and culture and, while some customs can be quite formal, if you attempt to engage yourself with the culture you will be warmly welcomed.

  • Greetings are essential. Say Bonjour madame/ monsieur (Good day madam/sir) whenever you go into a store, restaurant, market or public place.
  • The French take great pride in their language, so learning a few words will show respect and give you status as a polite person.
  • If you meet a new French friend, a conversation about what they do for a living before getting to know them is considered rude. It’s safer to stick to talking about food and drink.
  • Bonjour = Hello
  • Merci = Thank you
  • S’il vous plaît  = Please 
  • Au revoir = Goodbye
  • Excusez-moi = Excuse me
France is a great place to visit all year round. However, if possible avoid the July to August period as this is when locals take school holidays and favourite tourist spots can be even busier — filled with local and international tourists alike.
Temperatures can vary from town to town across France but most enjoy a temperate climate. This is especially true along the Mediterranean coast where the sun shines almost year round. In the north, however, it can get cooler during winter months. The below temperatures are the averages in Paris:
Jul to Sep
14° / 23°
Oct to Dec
5° / 12°
Jan to Mar
2° / 5°
Apr to Jun
8° / 19°
The public transport system across France is world-class. With some of the fastest trains around, it’s easy to travel across the country. In the cities, public transport like metros, trams and buses are commonly available. Rental cars are also plentiful, but driving in busy major cities like Paris can be an overwhelming experience.
Dialing code +33

Visas - Canadian travellers don’t need a visa to stay as a tourist for up to 90 days.
Electrical / device: 220/240V - Type C or E plug. 
Tipping In casual  eateries, you can tip your server 1 to 2 euros. At fancier restaurants, 5-10% tip is appreciated. At airports and hotels, 1 to 2 euros per bags is sufficient. For hotel room service waiters and tax drivers €1 to €3 is appropriate.
Language is French.
Currency Euro
(CAD$1 = €0.66)
*average rate, 2017-2021.
Drive on the right side of the road.
The drinking age in France is 18, or 16 if the person is in the presence of family adults.
  • Alain Dorotte from France is the world’s fastest wine bottle opener, opening 13 bottles of wine in one minute using a T-handled cork screw.
  • The Moulin Rouge can-can dancers hold the record for the most simultaneous high kicks in 30 seconds by a chorus line.
  • National icons are the French Tricolour (blue, white & red) and the Eiffel Tower.
DISCLAIMER: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of all information as of the date of publishing, Allianz Global Assistance does not accept liability for any errors or omissions. Allianz Global Assistance strongly recommends seeking the guidance of a professional travel agent/agency for further information on a specific destination. On your next trip, whether to another province or country, ensure you have travel insurance as it may assist you in cases of unforeseen medical emergencies and other types of mishaps that can happen while you travel. Travel insurance does not cover everything, please always refer to the policy document for full terms and conditions, including limitations and exclusions. Allianz Global Assistance is a registered business name of AZGA Service Canada Inc. and AZGA Insurance Agency Canada Ltd.
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