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France: FAQs

Our frequently asked questions about travel to France. If you have any other questions, please contact your travel designer or concierge.

Do I need to get a visa?

A valid passport for 6 months beyond your return date is required to enter France and at least one page for stamps. We recommend you check whether you require a visa for the countries you are visiting AND flying through (in-transit).

US, Canadian, Hong Kongese, Singaporean Australian and New Zealand are among those who may enter France as tourists without a visa and stay up to 90 days. EU passport holders can come and go as they please. Those travelling with passports from Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia will require a visa and should contact their closest French Embassy or Consulate.

A useful website for checking whether you require a visa is visahq.com however we strongly advise you consult the details with the relevant embassies which will be able to give you the exact detail, and that you do this at least 2 months prior to your trip.

Will I need travel insurance?

All travellers should check to be certain they are covered by their own medical insurance including a travel policy. We highly recommend that you take out trip cancellation insurance and medical evacuation. This will cover you if you must cancel for medical or family emergency reasons, and provides additional coverage should you need medical attention while on the trip.

Clients have previously booked through Allianz, CSA Travel Insurance or Travel Guard, however we do not recommend a specific insurance broker and we do not sell travel insurance.

Remember to first check with your credit card provider who often offer travel insurance as part of their package.

What currency should I bring?

The official currency in France is the Euro (€). If you haven’t exchanged money back home or you aren’t pulling funds out of an ATM machine in France, exchanging money is more streamlined at the big banks in city centres. The exchange rates also tend to be better, however most banks close early in the afternoon. Private exchange bureaus are located in the city centres, and most stay open until later. This service is also available in most deluxe hotels.

The use of major credit cards is widespread among French shops. You may be asked to show an ID with picture in order to pay with a credit card. ATMs are located in all cities and most small towns, usually in or outside banks. We strongly recommend you also have cash with you, in order to purchase small drinks and bites to eat in local places where credit card payments aren’t possible.

Please ensure you let your bank know that you will be travelling to avoid any block on your card while you’re abroad.

What electrical plugs are used?

Electricity supply in France is AC 220 volts, 50 Hertz. Sockets meet European regulations and use the round pin system. However, most hotels have adaptors for different plugs.

What is transport like in France?

Walking around the colourful streets of French cities and towns is the best way to get to know France and its inhabitants. Public transport is safe, reliable and available from 5:30 AM to 0:30 AM. Taxis also are readily available in all major cities of French. You should know that most taxis do not accept credit cards yet, they only accept cash in the form of the Euro.

What is the weather like in France?

France is a large country, extending to around 1,000km (621 miles) from north to south and from east to west. The climate varies from region to region. Northern coastal regions experience a temperate climate, the winters are mild with temperatures averaging around 5°C, (41°F) while the warm summer temperatures are in the 20s and 30s (60-86°F). The weather can be unpredictable and rain can occur at any time of year.

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.  Rainfall is low but tends to fall in summer when the region can often experience thunderstorms.

The Mediterranean coast has a typical Mediterranean climate of hot summer days and short mild winters. This region of France has the most sunshine hours each year – eleven or twelve during the summer. Rain is scarce during the summer but when it does rain it pours, often with thunder. 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.

Local restaurants

We highly recommend that you make restaurant reservations in advance of your trip. Once you receive your Jacada travel pack, you should begin thinking about restaurants that you would like to visit. Jacada offers a concierge service which can assist you with these reservations. If you are looking to reserve Michelin star restaurants, we advise you do this as soon as possible as some may even take reservations more than one year in advance.

Tipping

Gratuities are not included in your trip. We advise the following although tipping is at your discretion and depends on the level of service you have received.

  • Taxis: Round up to the next figure
  • Restaurants: 10% of the total bill
  • Luggage: €2 per piece
  • Private transfers: €10 to the driver total
  • Private car & driver: €20 Euros to the driver half day / €30 full day total
  • Guided tour: €25 to the guide half day / €40 full day total
  • Full time driver: €50 per day to the driver total
  • Hands on experience: €20 total