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France

Travel guide

France is known for its rich cultural heritage in art, architecture, music, language, cuisine, and of course fashion. It’s no wonder it’s one of the most popular countries to visit – drawing in around 89 million curious travellers each year, and that’s not just because they go for the tasty pastries (although we guess that’s definitely one of the reasons). The population has diverse origins, and has been an important cultural centre of the world for many centuries. Fall in love with the French lifestyle in just one trip.

France fast facts

language in france

Languages Spoken

The official language spoken in France is French.

france currency

Currency

Name: Euro
Code: EU
Symbol: €
€25 is approx $39.22

time zone in france

Time Zone

The time zone in France is Central European Standard Time (CET)

Some of our favourite cities in France

paris
Paris
Ooh la la, Paris continues to be one of the most visited cities in the world. Whether that’s couples going for a romantic break, travellers wanting to be seduced by the underworld of the Moulin Rouge, foodies wanting to gorge themselves on pastries and wine, or art conoisseurs chasing after a glimpse of the Mona Lisa and other famous artworks at the Louvre and many more art galleries dotted around the city. Not only that, but Paris houses some of the most impressive and iconic landmarks in the world – you can take in the cities views from the top of the Eiffel Tower, imagine yourself in a Disney film at the Notre Dame, or standing in awe at the Sacre Coueur.
avignon
Avignon
Avignon, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and therefore at the top of the agenda’s of many history buffs. The walled medieval city has museums, a historic bridge, and the massive fortress-cum-palace Palais de Papes. Not just a draw for the history buffs, Avignon also plays host to international art lovers as it holds the largest annual arts festival in France, in July. Looking to get out of the city? Then take to the beautiful rolling countryside for a taste of rural Provence.
bordeaux
Bordeaux
Bordeaux is the wine capital of France, with the UNESCO World Heritage town surrounded by sun-drenched, picture-perfect vineyards. If you enjoy a few glasses of wine, then you have come to the right place – with a top-notch dining scene, and a fair amount of chic wine bars, you could easily spend your time just eating and drinking the fresh produce. Wander the streets looking at world-class architecture, from palaces to mansions, go for a stroll along the River Garonne, or soak up the hipster scene by partying in a WW2 submarine bunker. Bordeaux really does blend the old with the new in a seamless fashion.
corsica
Corsica
If you’re more of a sun baby, and looking for a relaxing break in France, then take yourself to Corsica. Kick back on the beautiful beaches, lazing in the Mediterranean sunshine, go snorkelling or diving in the warm waters, and taste fresh local cuisine on a beachfront – making for a perfect, relaxed retreat. Due to Corsica’s closeness with Italy, you can even gorge on seriously tasty Italian food. Sunshine, fresh food, beaches and water sports – is there a more ideal vacation?!

Flights to France

There are heaps of airlines that fly to various cities around France, from all main cities in Australia - Paris, Bordeaux, Lyon and Toulouse to name a few. Flights usually have one connecting stop, and take on average between 22 and 25 hours in total. Don't forget you can layby your flights to secure your seat & pick up exclusive student/youth airfares!
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France costs

cost of beer in france

Beers

A glass of wine is good wherever you go in France, and you'll spend around €3-€5 (approx $4.71-$7.84) for a glass. More of a beer drinker? A pint in a pub/bar in France is about €5 (approx $7.84) sometimes less.

cost of food in france

Meals

Oui, oui - this is the time to gorge on crossaints and pastries for as little as €1 (approx $1.57). Need more sustenance? A basic meal in a French restaurant is around €12 (approx $18.82).

cost of transport in france

Transport

One-way tickets on public transport in France costs around €1.60 (approx $2.51), or do as the locals do and hop on a bike, which you can usually arrange at your hostel!

Taxi

Not feeling the bicycle life? Taxi tariffs start at around €4.50 (approx $7.06) and they add about €1.80 (approx $2.82) for every km.

hostels in france

Hostels

Sharing a dorm room is the perfect way to cut back the costs! In France you can snap one up from anywhere between €18-€30 (approx $28-$47).

hotels in france

Hotels

Looking for something a little nicer? A double room in a mid-range hotel in France can vary between €90-€190 (approx $141-$298).

France

Adventure Tours

normandy france
Explore Normandy and Burgundy | 17 days
From our once-in-a-lifetime Burgundy river barge voyage to a deep dive into the rich history of Paris and the WWII legacy of northern France, embark on more than two weeks of unforgettable adventures in culture and gastronomy. Float by canal to medieval towns and pastoral vineyards, and enjoy plenty of free time to roam gorgeous centuries-old cities, gardens, and grounds. 
From $6,199
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france tour
Highlights of France | 8 days
Check out the highlights of Paris, like the Louvre, Sacré-Coeur Basilica, and the Eiffel Tower. Then visit the famed wine region of Burgundy, where medieval villages and rolling countryside show a different side of French living. Head to Provence to relax seaside on the French Riviera. Live like the French, and enjoy every minute of it.
Now from $1,665 | Was $1,959 - up to 15% off
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cycling france
Loire Valley Cycling | 8 days
Each summer, the Tour de France races across the country, giving a select group of very talented cyclists a chance to see the country from a blurry perspective. Hop on a bike and experience ornate châteaux, rustic markets, vineyards, and rural Gallic charm. Think of this as the perfect combination of slow food, fine wines, and remote country tracks – ideal for seeing the inspiring scenery.
Now from $1,244 | Was $1,659 - up to 25% off
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France weather: best time to visit

The northern coastal regions of France, the southwest, and the Mediterranean coast all have similar seasons: mild winters and warm summers, in the 20s and 30s. The best time to visit these areas is between spring (May and June) or autumn (September and October) - the weather is great in the summer, but that's when the tourists flock to France, whereas you'll avoid the busier crowds if you visit in these months. 

Central and inland France have a greater variation between the seasons - with cold winters and warm summers. 

And finally, the mountain regions, especially the Alps, Massif Central and the Pyrenees have long and cold winters - but this is perfect for those who want to visit France for skiing. 

How can you travel around France?

Air
You can travel easily around the country by air and there are a number of France airlines that service the domestic airports.

Water
State-run car ferries connect the larger islands on the Atlantic coast with the mainland; they also sail regularly across the mouth of the Gironde. The island of Corsica is served by ferries which run from Marseille, Toulon and Nice to Ajaccio, Propriano, Porto Vecchio and Bastia on the island. Boats can also be chartered.

Rail
With a network of over 34,200 km rail lines (and over 12,000 km of that electrified), you’ll find the trains a great way to get around France.  If you have a need for speed, the TGV will get you from Paris to Brittany and southwest France at 300kph, to Lyon and the southeast at 270kph and to Strasbourg and the east at 320kph.  Of course the Paris Metro is super efficient as well.

A rail pass is the best way to see the country and there are some great discounts if you’re under 26.  Find out about rail passes for travel through France.

Road
The first thing to remember if you’re hiring a vehicle is that the traffic drives on the right.  Also be aware of the sometimes-observed rule on certain roundabouts where priority is given to traffic joining the roundabout (ie give way to the left).  There is no definitive guide for when you should or shouldn’t observe this rule, so approach French roundabouts with caution!

Do Australians need a visa for France?

France Holiday Visa

France is a party to the Schengen Convention, along with 24 other European countries, which allows Australians to enter France without a visa in some circumstances. Australian tourists can enter France visa-free under the 90-day visa waiver program within the Schengen Zone. Some conditions do apply, so make sure you are eligible. Click here for more info.

France Working Holiday Visa

Oui oui - strapping young Aussies aged 18-29 years can work in France with a working holiday visa for up to 12 months!

Looking for some French inspiration? Check out our blogs...

STA Travel Blog

A Parisian foodie agenda

read blog
STA Travel Blog

Where should I visit in the South of France?

read blog
STA Travel Blog

10 ways to embrace Europe

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