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France Travel Guide

France – home to the Eiffel tower, froggie-legged treats, French berets, and of course French-speaking folks. Delve in further and you'll find hidden treasures like the chic boulevards of Paris, a quirky underground music scene, the sparkling ski slopes of the Alps, sunlit vineyards and sun-baked beaches, the glamorous jet-set lifestyle of the Mediterranean and coffee with croissants in an undiscovered village.
languages icon LANGUAGES
The official language spoken in France is French
currency icon CURRENCY
Euro (EU)
Symbol: €
time zone icon TIME ZONE
Central European Standard Time (CET)

Top places to visit in France

The iconic Eiffel Tower spiral standing tall amongst the Paris cityscape

Paris

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. 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 or stand in awe at the Sacre Coueur.
an ancient bridge connecting to the province of 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.
A traditional bridge over a river in Bordeaux lined up with street lamps

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.
a woman wearing a bathing suit and looking out at the Mediterranean sea

French Riviera

Nice, Cannes, St Tropez, Marseille, do they ring a bell? If you’re more of a sun baby, and looking for a relaxing break in France, then take yourself to the famous sights of France's South. 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.

France tour deals

a grand palace sitting on an expansive garden covered in green grass

Explore Normandy and Burgundy

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. 
17 days
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upclose shot of the iconic glass pyramid ceiling at The Louvre museum in Paris

Highlights of France

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.
8 days
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a bike riding down a narrow trail in the vast rural landscape of the Loire Valley

Loire Valley Cycling

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.
8 days
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What we love about France

wine icon Wine time
They love their wine in France, and so do we at STA Travel. The country is rammed with wine bars and scenic vineyards to explore. 
eiffel tower icon Petite ceinture
Walk along the abandoned railway that's wrapped around Paris to see urban views, graffiti and eclectic flowers in the City of Love. 
bikini icon It's oh so Nice to be here
The boardwalk-lined shores of the Mediterranean are saturated with glamorous boutiques and cafes across the South of France. 

FAQ - Travel in France

How long does it take to travel 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.

When is the best time to travel to France?

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. 

Do I need a visa to visit France?

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. Our Travel Experts can help you find out more information - contact us here.

What's the best way to 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.

Cruise and Ferries 
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. Find out more about our France rail passes here. 

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!

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