National information on France

Comparison of temperatures

 JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Paris67131518222625241584
London68911152021201915107

Location:

The largest European country by area is located in West Europe. France is very varied in terms of its scenery; from the mountain ranges of the Alps and Pyrenees, to the river valleys of the Loire, Rhône and Dordogne to the Côte d’Azur and the regions around Normandy and the Atlantic coast.

Form of government:

Parliamentary democracy with a two chamber system; state president Emmanuel Macron (since March 2017)

Capital:

Paris (approx. 2.2 million residents)

Religion:

predominantly Roman-Catholic

Language:

French

Climate:

Four main regions: Atlantic region – temperate maritime climate; continental region – pronounced temperature differences (particularly in the east); Mediterranean region – moderate, warm maritime climate; alpine region – harsh mountain climate

Local time:

France is part of the Central European Time zone where GMT+1 applies, along with daylight saving time.

Making telephone calls:

The country code for France is 0033 with the zero cancelled before the area code. If you are calling the UK from France, please dial 0044 and the area code without the zero.

Entry requirements for British citizens:

France is a contracting party to the European convention on the free movement of people between the member states of the Council of Europe from 13/12/1957.
British nationals do not need a visa to enter France. Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay. Nationals of other countries are advised to inquire at the French Embassy about the entry requirements applicable to them.
Whilst we endeavour to provide guidance where necessary, we can not be responsible for any problems encountered (whether at any point of entry or elsewhere) in the event that passport and visa requirements are not satisfied.

Tour guides:

Your expert tour guides will be able to provide you with detailed information about the country, people, history, culture, etc., and offer advice and assistance for organising your trip. They can also help with room allocation and look forward to welcoming you with initial information. Here you will find out all you need to know and useful information about the trip. We have put together a varied programme including numerous highlights, enabling you to experience the culture and diversity of landscape that France has to offer, and learn all about the country and its people. Although your trip already includes a comprehensive package, you also have the option of choosing added extras. We recommend booking the following packages:

Discovery package: The package includes a boat trip on the River Seine in Paris, a visit to Arcachon with boat trip, a city tour around Toulouse and a trip to the Camargue, including evening meal: only £ 159 per person.
Gourmet package: The package includes 7x evening meals (3 course menu): only £ 149 per person.

Currency/Banks/Credit cards:

France is a member of the EU and of the European Monetary Union. This means that the Euro is the official currency. Exchange rate (as at November 2018): 1 GBP = 1.12 EUR; 1 EUR = 0.89 GBP.
Purchases can be made in cash and also with the most common credit cards and sometimes also with an EC card. Cash withdrawals can be made using either a credit card or EC card. In some circumstances a fee may be charged by the relevant bank. You can find out more on this from your bank.

Customs regulations:

Private individuals who are travelling within the EU can purchase and take with them an unrestricted quantity of goods, provided these are intended for personal use and are not being sold on. Any currency taken with you above 10,000.00 € (or equivalent value in another currency) must be reported to the French customs at least five days before the start of your trip. Information on customs regulations for importing products into the UK is found on the British Customs Web site: www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk.

Country-specific safety and security:

Particularly in larger tourist centres, it is recommended that you take precautions to protect yourself from pickpockets and against petty crime. It is recommended that you securely deposit money, ID cards, driver’s license, air tickets and other important documents (for instance in the hotel safe) and only take with you as much cash as you will require for that particular day (and your EC or credit card). Travellers should keep an eye on their valuables in crowded locations and at tourist hotspots, in airports (including in the security area), train stations, on the underground, bus etc.
On 1 November 2017 new anti-terror legislation was introduced in France which allows the French security authorities to take different measures with the aim of combating terrorism. In this context, in certain areas such as underground and mainline train stations, and in the areas near the border, there may be increased checks on individuals and their baggage. At entrances to certain institutions (e.g. museums) checks may be performed on hand luggage.

Medical information:

Vaccinations: The standard vaccinations for children and adults in accordance with the information provided by the National Travel Health Network and Centre should be checked before undertaking any travel and updated if necessary (see https://nathnac.net/).

Medical care: If you are a UK citizen and are in possession of an EHIC card, you are entitled to treatment (provided this is urgent in nature) at doctors, dentists, hospitals etc. in France. Proof of cover must be provided in the form of the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or cover note (which is obtained from your medical insurance company if you have separate medical insurance). Irrespective of this, it is strongly recommended that you acquire travel health insurance for the duration of your stay abroad, to cover any risks which would not be covered by the EHIC or your standard medical insurance policy (e.g. return transport home in the event of illness, treatment by a private doctor or in a private clinic).
Customers should ensure that they are physically and psychologically fit for undertaking the selected trip and make the necessary queries concerning the level of physical and psychological fitness required. Please observe that the excursions are accessible by foot only and that the buses used for the roundtrip are not customised to transport wheelchairs or similar devices.

All information is subject to change/Last updated: November 2018


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