Before leaving


Visa applications for France no longer require a mandatory hotel reservation for certain countries.

Since 12 November 2014, France no longer requires a hotel reservation as mandatory proof of accommodation (OJEU n° C 224/31 of 15 July 2014). This reservation can now be replaced by a minimum amount of money per day of 120 euros. This means that travellers can replace a hotel reservation, in their short-stay visa applications, by proof of their means of subsistence. In this case, the reference minimum amount of money per day is set at 120 euros. Foreign visitors will be able to justify their resources, both to French Consular services and Air and Border Police when entering France, by showing cash, travellers cheques, international payment cards or any other means attesting to sufficient financial resources in France.

As of 12 November 2014 , this visa facilitation covers the following countries.


No vaccinations are required to enter the country.
You are however advised to make sure all your boosters are up to date: Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) and diphtheria-tetanus-poliomyelitis (DTP).
A flu vaccination is recommended between November and April.
A yellow fever vaccination is required for travellers coming from countries that have experienced epidemics.
The pneumococcal vaccination is recommended for people over 65 and other people at risk.

It is advisable for nationals of the European Union to obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) online. For travellers who are not from the EU, check the overseas coverage you have with your insurance.
If you are bringing your medicines into the country, bring your prescription with you.
In order to protect yourself from the Zika, dengue and chikungunya viruses, protect yourself from mosquito bites by wearing appropriate clothing and using repellents.


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The French currency is the euro (EUR).
1 EUR = 0.90 GBP*
1 EUR = 1.1 USD*
* Exchange rate provided as a guideline only

Where can you change your money?
You can change your currency in bureaux de change. You can also change money in banks and airports. It is advisable to change large sums of money to avoid paying high commission.

Tipping is optional in France. It is customary to tip when the service has been satisfactory.



You can travel around France by car. To hire a car, you need a valid driver's licence from your own country or a valid international driving licence. The minimum driving age is 18 years old. Driving is on the right.
The very well developed rail network offers the most convenient way to travel. Flights provide quick connections between the major cities. Buses, with several different companies, allow you yo travel in France very cheaply.
Many French cities have a bus, underground or tram network. You can get passes for unlimited travel over several days.
Taxis are also very popular in France. Some cities also have self-service bicycles or electric cars.

Key numbersKEY NUMBERS

In Europe, 112 is the number to call for emergencies of any type.
SAMU (ambulance): 15
Police: 17
Fire service: 18


French is the official language of France.

A few phrases to remember :

Hello: Bonjour
Good-bye: Au revoir
Thank you: Merci
Please: S’il vous plaît
I don't understand: Je ne comprends pas
Doctor: Médecin
The bill: L’addition
How much is this?: Combien ça coûte ?
Bathrooms: Toilettes
I would like to go to…: Je voudrais aller…
Where could I find?: Où puis-je trouver ?
Left: Gauche
Right: Droite
Could you repeat please?: Pouvez-vous répéter s’il vous plaît ?

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As of 12 November 2014, this visa facilitation covers the following countries

Afghanistan ; Albania ; Argentina ; Bahrain ; Bangladesh ; Benin ; Botswana ; Brazil ; Brunei ; Burkina Faso ; Burma (Myanmar) ; Chad ; Cambodia ; China ; Colombia ; Comoros ; Congo ; Cuba ; Djibouti ; Dominican Republic ; Ecuador ; Egypt ; Equatorial Guinea ; El Salvador ; Ethiopia ; Fiji ; Gabon ; Guinea ; Haiti ; Hong Kong ; Iran ; Iraq ; India ; Ivory Coast ; Jamaica ; Kuwait ; Laos ; Lebanon ; Libya ; Macedonia ; Madagascar ; Malaysia ; Mali ; Mauritania ; Mauritius ; Mexico ; Mongolia ; Morocco ; Nepal ; New Zealand ; Niger ; Oman ; Pakistan ; Panama ; Papua New Guinea ; Paraguay ; Peru ; Qatar ; Saint Lucia ; Salvador ; Senegal ; Serbia ; Seychelles ; Singapore ; South Africa ; South Korea ; Sudan ; Surinam ; Taiwan ; Tanzania ; Thailand ; Togo ; Tunisia ; Turkmenistan ; Uganda ; Uruguay ; Vanuatu ; Venezuela ; Yemen ; Zimbabwe