Parisian charm: essential tips for visiting France

With so many transport links from the UK, France is one of the most popular destinations for British travellers. If you’re planning on crossing the Channel to France this summer, here are some top tips to help you make the most of your holiday.

eiffel tower at night

Learn the language

Despite Paris being the city of love Brits often have the misconception that the French can be quite rude. In reality, it’s probably that we usually expect everyone to understand us and our language.

If you want to explore France, particularly the more rural areas, it’s a good idea to learn some basic French. Whether it’s just ‘hello’, ‘excuse me’, ‘I don’t speak French’ and ‘thank you’ or a full beginner’s course that you study, speaking the language is a good way to break the ice.

If you’re not confident, carry a pocket dictionary in case of emergencies.

Hit the shows

From the Moulin Rouge, so street performers in Paris France is the home of performance. Make sure to grab yourself some Paris Cabaret tickets and really indulge in some of the arts while you’re here.

Doing the shopping

While the French don’t take a siesta for the entire afternoon like the Spanish, they do usually have an extended lunch. This means most small shops will be closed for at least two hours in the middle of the day but large supermarkets tend to stay open.

One thing most areas of the UK haven’t caught onto yet is reusing carrier bags. Instead of a healthy supply of plastic bags at the end of the checkout, you’ll be expected to supply your own or pay for reusable ones.

Queuing may well be a British tradition but due to the relaxed lifestyle and slow pace in France, queues can often take much longer than you’d anticipate. If you don’t want to be lynched by a French mob, don’t make a fuss and just wait patiently.


Getting around

If you’re hiring a car or driving through the tunnel, you’ll soon find that the roads are very different. Not only are the speed limits higher – around 130km (80mph) on most autoroutes – but you’ll notice that most locals drive much faster. Travelling by road can be very expensive for most British tourists as all major roads are toll roads so it may be better to stick to public transport.


Getting there

If you’re looking to visit our French neighbours this summer, visit for great deals on Eurostar breaks. Whether you’re staying in Paris, venturing further out to Nice and Lyon or even relaxing on the south coast, these top tips will help you make the most of your summer holiday.