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 What is this?
The Hospitality Club is the world's largest hospitality exchange organization. We are thousands of friendly members world wide who offer each other free accommodation when traveling. Membership is free and joining just takes a minute - we would love to have you onboard!

Travel Guide for France

Here you will find travel information and insider tips about France that has been cooperatively contributed by other friendly Hospitality Club members. Please become active as well, and share your vast budget travel and backpacking knowledge with other members and the internet community - it is very easy to edit any information here (more info in the Help File). We hope that these Travel Guides will quickly become a great and fun resource. If you want to print this guide out to take with you, we have prepared this Printer Friendly Travel Guide for you. Enjoy!
For Introduction, Top Things to See and Do, Neighboring Countries, Who is coming?, Want more guests!, Hospitality Club Meetings and the geographic navigation please see the main France Page.

Basic Facts

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France on Wikipedia
Official Country Name: France
Capital: Paris
Population: 61 387 038
Telephone Code: 33
Time Zone: UTC +1 (hiver) UTC +2 (été)
Area: 543 964 sq km
Language(s): french
Ethnic Groups:
Highest Mountain: Mont-Blanc 4810m
President/Head of State: Nicolas Sarkozy
Currency: Euro
Exchange Rate: US$1=
Health Risks:
Electricity: 220v / 50Hzmore

Attractions and Things to See and Do

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Map & Itinerary

Off the Beaten Path and Insider Tips

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Suggested Itineraries

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1 Day, 1 Week, 2 Weeks, 1 Month ...


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National train company
International French Air company
Inside French air company
Hitchhinking/Ridesharing Organisation
Paris Airport (CDG & Orly)


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If you do not want to stay with other HC members, or noone is available, here is what other members suggest. Hostels Hotels Camping Other Options
cheap hotel

Food and Drinks and Local Specialties

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In France, you don't have to give a tip normaly, I give a tip when services are much than I think it should be. Prices start about 10 euros, one dinner with wine in a basic restaurant is about 15 euros, You can find lots differents, prefer traditionnal food with locals speciality it will be more quality for the same price. Small Budget should try restaurant in places that aren't Touristics, every region have speciality which can be very different from one place to anothe ... more

Money and Costs

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Currency, Exchanging Money, Credit Cards, Tipping, Bargaining, Costs...

Visa and Documents and Embassies

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Who needs a visa? How to get it? Embassies & Consulates, of the country abroad and in the country
Visa info

Borders and Customs

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Post and Communications and Internet

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Post, Telephone, Fax, Internet Access ...

Questions and Answers or Forum

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Here anything goes, you can post questions you have, and other members will answer you. If you do answer, please send the reply directly to the asking member as well, and try to integrate the information into the categories above. If too difficult to do, just answer right here and a volunteer will integrate in the future. Also, you can put thanks notes in here. Add new questions on top so they show up on the Travel Guide page. Please post messages not related to traveling or the aim of the Hospi ... more

Hospitality Club Meetings

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Use this section to add more info if you organize meetings and events (you can add a short note on the main country page). You can also invite other members to parties, sports events, whenever you would like to meet up with someone.


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Have you written a story about a trip to this country? Just paste your text in here and share your experience with other members.


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Here you can include photos that are hosted somewhere on the internet. As with maps, you have to make sure that it is ok for us to use the photos here (so they should be either your photos, or you should ask the owner), and that it is allright to call them up from here.

Activities and Sports

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Nightlife and Entertainment

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Bars, Cafes, Discos, Cinemas...

Population and People

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Culture and Conduct or Local Customs

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Language and Useful Phrases

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English/French(France) Pronunciation The French pronunciation can be pretty hard, especially the “nasales”. Another problem for people trying to learn French is that a same sound can be written by several ways. Here you’ll find some bases to be understood when reading French names to locals. A = like the “a” in “Father” AI or AY = like the È (see Bellow) AIL or AILLE = AIM or AIN = like the IN AM or AN = AU = like the “o” in “no” B = like in English C = ... more

Events and Holidays

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Festivals: Le printemps de Bourges
Public Holidays:
1er janvier
Jour de l'an Sainte Marie, mère de Dieu (Circoncision de Jésus-Christ, avant le Concile Vatican II)
Lundi suivant le dimanche de Pâques.
Lundi de Pâques Pâques est le premier dimanche qui suit la première pleine Lune de printemps.
1er mai
Fête du travail Traditionnellement le jour de nombreuses manifestations ... more

Climate and When to Go

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You can visit France every seasons. Best time to visit France is april / may / june / september, if you don't like when there is too much people. Like France is visited by millions of tourist every years, sometimes french peoples are not really nice with travellers during july and august, particulary on the coast. If you want to visit Paris, I think august is the best time, less people and less speed as usually.

If you like warm you should travel from may to september, generall ... more


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Environment and Flora and Fauna

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Dangers and Warnings

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Tourist Traps

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Government and Politics

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GDP, GDP per head, Annual growth, inflation, Major Industries, Major trading partners...


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Music, Literature, Theater, Movies ...


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Newspapers, Radio and TV, Magazines ...


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Religions In France

Historicaly, France is a christian cultural country. Since 1901, the government and the church are separate. Peoples can freely choose their religions. The 3 main religions in France by number are Catholiscism, Islamic religion, Protestant religion.
During centuries the church has build a lot of building, church, cathedral, cloister most of time it is free and nice to see. You have some in every town and village.

Volunteer Opportunities and Work

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Organized Tours

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What to Bring or Packing List

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Books and Further Reading

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Please enter Amazon links to the books - we will put info on how to do this here shortly. This way we hope to get a bit of funding for the running of the club, if someone buys the books you recommend.


Culture Shock! France by Sally Adamson Taylor. This book is an excellent guide for exchange students, businessmen, and anyone else that will be in France for a longer period of time. It explains the history and modern day France, its culture and how ... more

Other Information

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Could not fit it into any of the categories above? Put it here...:-)

External Links

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Official Country Website:

Hitchhiking France:

Only add really valuable resources here. Also, please ask the webmaster of the site you link here to add a link back to the Hospitality Club. If the link exists, please add (L) behind the URL of the link. France Travel Guide (L) 

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