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France

What can I expect from France?

Wine, cheese, the Eiffel Tower, castles, beautiful beaches, snooty waiters – France is famous for a lot of things. It’s beautiful with stunning coastlines, valleys, wine country, forests, and beaches; has some of the best food and wine in the world; historic towns and chateaux, and a long and rich history. There’s nothing like a picnic along the Seine or a day through the French countryside to make life seem beautiful. France is everything that people make it out to be and then some. Its long history lends itself to beautiful ruins, castles, architecture, and culture.

From the bustling streets of Paris with its sprawling streets and stunning views from the Eiffel tower to luxury retreats on the Cote d’Azur or the French Alps, there is so much to see and explore. Feel the romance whilst treating your taste buds to a foray of French cheese and wine and relish the culture and history on offer in the fantastic selection of the museums including the Louvre. Bon Voyage!

Things to See and Do in France

Visit Lyon
Visit Paris
Explore the Loire Valley
Drink wine in Burgundy
Eat cheese in every region
Go skiing in Les Alpes
Explore the French Riviera
Explore the Basque Country

“French Riviera”

“Chillin in small streets”

Typical Costs When Travelling

Accommodation – Budget hotels begin around €60 EUR ($68 USD) per night for a double room with free WiFi and air-conditioning. Accommodations are cheaper outside Paris, Bordeaux, and the French Riviera. Also look into renting rooms or apartments, through services like Airbnb. In an expensive city like Paris, this will be the best value. Airbnb rates start around €15 EUR ($17 USD) for a shared room and €45 EUR ($50 USD) for an entire apartment.

Food – Buying your own food in France can be very cheap and the best way to experience the country’s cuisine. The market is your friend! There are many bread, cheese, and meat shops around – and it’s how the French eat. They go to their local markets, buy food, and cook. You can make your own lunch for around €10 EUR ($11 USD) for two people (including wine if you’re savvy enough). Pre-made sandwiches at cheap local shops will cost about €4-7 EUR ($5-8 USD). Conversely, eating at a restaurant will cost between €15-35 EUR ($16-40 USD) for a meal including a glass of wine. If you shop for all your food, you can expect to spend around €45-65 EUR ($50-75 USD) for a week’s worth of groceries, but if you find a discount grocer like Aldi or Lidl, you’ll pay way less.

Transportation – Local transit systems are reliable and cost between €1-3 EUR ($1.15-3.50 USD) per trip. Most cities and towns have extensive train, bus, and tram systems! Taxis will be tough on the budget, so avoid when you can. Also use transport Apps like Uber when you can not take public transports.

Suggested daily budget – 40-160 EUR / 44-179 USD (Note: This is a suggested budget. Using the budget tips below, you can always lower this number.)

Money Saving Tips

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Get the menu of the day ``le menu du jour`` It’s a set menu that offers you a deal on a 2-3 course meal for about €20 EUR ($23 USD). To save even more money, consider lunch instead of dinner (which, in France, is still typically 2 courses), which costs about half the price.
2
Have a Picnic Eating out in France, especially in Paris, is an expensive affair. Restaurants can break a day’s budget quickly. Thankfully, there’s nothing more French than a picnic. Head to the local market; buy some wonderful cheese, bread, fruits, and meats, and have a picnic and watch people go by. You can have a great meal for less than €10 EUR ($11 USD).
3
Share your ride If you’re flexible in your schedule, use the ridesharing service BlaBlaCar and catch rides with locals between cities (or countries). Drivers are verified and it’s perfectly safe (though sometimes rides don’t show up, which is why you need to be flexible).
4
Cook instead of eating out Want great French cuisine? Do what the locals do, and head to the outdoor markets. Visit the cheese guy, the fish guy, the bread guy, and everyone else to get the best local ingredients to make yourself a perfect French meal. It will save you a lot of money as an alternative to eating out.

OUR TRAVEL ESSENTIALS

Here are a selection of our travel essentials !

What can I expect from France?

Peak season is summer time when France gets crazy crowded. Prices increase during this time as well. But the overall atmosphere and weather is great during this time, so it’s still worth visiting during peak season. Temperatures average between 61-75° F (16-24°C). Shoulder season is spring and fall (March to May and September to October, respectively). It’s still warm during this time but there aren’t as many crowds and prices are cheaper. Winter is from November to February. It gets cold, even in the south. Average winter temperatures range from 32-46° F (0-8°C). On the other hand, the Christmas season is fantastic – you’ll find Christmas markets and festivals galore!

Due to a high-profile terrorist attacks and riots across Europe and ongoing media coverage, we often get asked if it’s safe to travel to Europe. Europe is no more dangerous (probably even less so) than any other place in the world. France is very safe for backpacking and solo traveling but there are scams and petty crime you should watch out for. Guard your stuff in crowded places and watch out for people offering you stuff. And, remember, if you wouldn’t do it at home, don’t do it here.

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We are Elsa & Cyril, a French couple who left behind the French Art de Vivre to travel the world and chase our own dreams. Find out the rest of our story here !