What to do and how to behave in France?

You will enjoy our unique baguette, our sweet, diverse and finger licking good pastries as well as the uncountable types of cheese just to name a few.

After reading this article, you will know how to make the best out of your stay in France. And for those whose minds are not made up yet, let’s start by showing why France is the best choice you’ll make. The country is rich in so many ways. At the end I will let you know how to interact with French people :-).

1. Over 3 thousand museums

France is very proud of its history, art, architecture and culture. You will feel it as you step out of the plane. Right from the airport, your attention is drawn to works of art of various form. As you enter the city, you will be struck by the variety of architectural designs. Especially if you visit Paris. There are more than 3 thousand museums in France; and the number can rise to 10 thousand if all the exhibition centers are counted. The tumultuous history of the country is therefore something you will not miss.

2. The famous French cuisine and wine

You will love French Cuisine and wine. The French people boast of their cooking skills and the diversity of their wine offer. Either you decide to eat at a guest house or at a gastronomic restaurant, your buds will be flattered by the delicate flavors of the meals. If you are wine lover, there is no better place to be; you will have more wine to try than the number of hairs on your head.

3. Various landscapes

Ray Pic Waterfall, Ardèche, France
Should we talk about the landscapes and countryside? Sure. There is room for everyone, mountains for the hikers, beaches for the sun and sea lovers like me, pilgrimage sites for those who prefer meditation, vast fields of flowers for the nature lovers, you will also find religious sites and stunning churches if that’s your preference.

Is your mind set on making France your next trip’s destination? If yes, then that’s beautiful. Just follow me as I dive into the things you don’t want to miss when you visit France.

4. Must do in France

Visit a castle

Le Château de Versailles

There are 45 thousand castles for 36 thousand towns in France. There will be always one where ever you are. However, the most famous castles “Le Château de Versailles” not far from Paris, famous for its amazing gardens, is a must see. Here you can jump back into the life of Marie Antoinette and Louis XIV.

Château de Fontainebleau

Outside Paris, there is “Le Château de Fontainebleau” with over 1500 rooms. Other famous castles include Chateau de Chambord, Chateau de Vaux le Vicomte and Chateau d’Amboise.

Visit a museum

As aforementioned, there are more than 3 thousand museums in France, the most famous one is le Musée du Louvre, house of the renowned Mona Lisa. If you happen to be in Paris, don’t miss the Louvre. Decide before what you would like to see, because the museum is very large.

Attend a festival 

The French people like to party, and festivals are one of the greatest ways to do so while meeting new people. If you are looking for such an experience, then a festival is one of the best ways. With over 1.5 thousand of festivals in 2018 attended by more than 7 million people, you can be sure to find a great festival at whatever period of the year you choose to visit France. Do not miss the opportunity to meet people with who can share the joy of attending a festival. Check the Avignon Festival. It is founded in 1947 en is today one of the most important contemporary performing arts events in the world. Every year in July, Avignon becomes a city-theater, transforming its architectural heritage into various performance venues, majestic or surprising, welcoming tens of thousands of theater-lovers (over 130,000 admissions) of all ages.

Attend a wine or champagne tasting

Wine is the most consumed alcoholic drink in France. With more than 835,805 hectares of vineyards classified in different categories from AOP to table wine, you don’t want to leave France without experiencing the typical day of a winegrower. The visit usually includes a tour of the vineyard and the caves before the proper tasting. Treat yourself with this unique experience.

Cruise on a river or spend a quiet evening on its banks 

Do as the French do: Grab a bottle of wine, a baguette, some snacks and a bunch of friends and enjoy a quiet evening on the banks of la Seine if you are in Paris (and you will easily meet new people), or the banks of the Rhône if you are in the south of France. And if you don’t have a bunch of friends to take along, don’t worry you’ll meet some there.

5. What not to do in France: Adapt your behavior to the French

Now that you know the things you want to do when you visit France, it is very important to know the cultural faux pas to avoid when you will interact with French people.

Silence is the default mode of people 

Unlike people from other cultures, French people will not voluntarily talk to you if they don’t know you. And depending on the level of your “friendship”, they will offer you a rather passive ear while you are talking and not ask as many questions. An occasional nod through your speech means the person is following. French people are less enthusiastic than Americans for example. This can be perceived as being cold or unfriendly, but that is just how they are. However, when visiting you can start a conversation with someone and see how it goes it will be perceived as surprising, but then could lead to a good conversation.

French people don’t give too much information about themselves too soon 

Don’t walk up to a French and tell him all at once your name, surname, age, nationality and/or purpose of visit in France; that would scare them away and you don’t want that. Give the basic information if you meet someone new, like “Hi, my name is Nathalie”. That will be enough for a start.

Don't talk about God, Money and Politics

There are 3 touchy topics you might better not want to bring up if you meet a person for the first time: God, Money and politics. Talking about God or how much you earn will make people uncomfortable and can lead to awkward moments in your discussion. These are things they deem private and will therefore be reluctant to expatiate on. About politics, it’s better not to discuss about that if your only source of information is the newspaper. You will sound intrusive and ignorant because French people are not always on strike and it is safe to travel to Paris.

FOOD IS SACRED

Eating in France goes beyond the necessity of feeding yourself. It’s a time dedicated to sharing and enjoy a good meal. Don’t eat too fast; it will be a disrespect to the food. If you rush through your meal, it means it was not worth your time. The person offering the meal or the person with who you are sharing it might be offended.

Forget all the clichés about French’s sexual life

In fact, don’t ask anything related to anyone’s sexual life and worse never say the famous “voulez-vous coucher avec moi” made popular by a Moulin Rouge song. Also, French people will not kiss you good morning or good evening if they don’t know you. That takes a certain amount of acquaintance.

Well I hope you choose France and make the best out of your stay.

Written by Ria from France