Planning a trip to where you are going for the first time can be a challenge, and planning a trip to France can be particularly difficult as there are so many things to consider and so many places to see! Don’t fret, however; We are here to help. Check out our tips and advice for planning the best tours in France if you’re traveling for the first time!
Know the basics
First, make sure you know the most important typical things about France!
- language: the French speak French! Although they speak English quite well, we recommend that you learn at least the most important phrases to navigate the trip. Also, they really appreciate tourists who respect their native language and try to converse in their language. If anything, take a small dictionary with you!
- currency: They use euros.
- Best time to visit: It basically works like any other target. The best time to travel is spring and summer because of the nice weather. But remember that this time of year is also the busiest. So if you want to avoid rubbing your shoulders as much as possible, we recommend traveling in the fall! The atmosphere is still a bit summery, but there are far fewer people out and about.
Plan your budget
Of course, the quality of your experience depends on how much money you are willing to spend. France is by no means cheap, but it’s still possible to travel on a budget. Well, let’s review the approximate prices you should expect.
- accommodations: If you are looking for a comfortable hotel room or an apartment close to the city center in, for example, Paris, you have to calculate about 150 euros per night. There are obviously cheaper options on Airbnbs and Booking, but not much. On the other hand, if you want to travel generously and are looking for maximum comfort, the prices can be up to 400 euros per night.
- meal: It may surprise you, but eating out in France is a bit cheaper than you might expect. For example, a fast food menu only costs around 9 euros and a lunch costs around 25 euros per plate. Of course, the closer you get to the city center, the higher the prices, but it’s possible to stay on a budget.
- transport: well, you have to get around somehow, right? Luckily, ticket prices here are very reasonable, so don’t expect to pay more than €2 for a bus ticket and up to €15 for a train (if you don’t travel that far, of course)! Taxis are a bit more expensive, of course, but buses should be manageable if you manage your time.
France is a big country with many cities and regions, each more beautiful than the next. Therefore, if you don’t want to spend your vacation cooped up in one area, you’ll need to learn how to get around. Luckily, it’s quite easy as the systems here are very well developed!
- rental car: The options are huge and there are many rental cars in France. This is the perfect choice if you want to be the master of your journey and travel wherever you want, whenever you want. However, remember that this luxury comes at a high price!
- buses: Most French cities have a state-of-the-art bus route system that operates within, between and in the suburbs. As we mentioned earlier, the ride is pretty cheap, so take advantage!
- railroad: Trains in France are probably the number one mode of transport if you want to travel between different regions and enjoy the scenic sights along the way. The trains are comfortable and fast. Also cheap!
After all, the key to a good trip is the perfect itinerary. Of course, it requires some research, but it can be fun too! Let’s look at a few examples.
First of all, you should check the most visited places in the country. Although they will be crowded and you are probably already familiar with them, they are important for a reason. The Eiffel Tower and the Louvre Museum, for example, are always packed, but they are an extremely important part of France’s historical and cultural development.
That being said, we recommend looking a little further than the most well-known cities and most famous landmarks. Your trip would be most fulfilling if you combined the popular attractions and the off-the-beaten-track areas. Let’s say you have a week. To make the most of it, you could spend half of that exploring Paris, Bordeaux and Marseille and the other half traveling to Provence or the French countryside full of vineyards, natural beauty and small authentic villages.
Be creative and get out of your comfort zone!
Here we go! Hopefully you have everything you need to start planning. Remember to double check when you’re done and feel confident in your choice – all French is divine. Au revoir and good luck!