Eat the street food
France is world-renowned for its haute cuisine. However, some of the best
food is what you’ll be able to take away and enjoy in a sunny courtyard or
perfectly-regimented garden. The most iconic French street food must be the
crepe: delicious, cheap and filling as a main or a dessert. Start your mornings
with un pain au chocolat or un escargot from a bakery, try a
baguette sandwich or a falafel for lunch and end your evening with a succulent
Soak up the sunshine
Sure, Paris is the capital of
fashion, culture, sophistication. But what do you do when you just some
sunshine and a laidback attitude?
Head south to the French Riveria. While Cannes and Monaco attract the
jet-set and star-studded crowd, Nice is a fabulous place to experience the true
flavors of the Cote d’Azur without breaking the bank. If you can avoid it,
don’t go in August: that’s when Paris shuts down and overcrowds the south.
is not France
Don’t get me wrong, I adore Paris.
But there is so much more to the world’s most-visited country. Hop a ferry to
Corsica for unspoiled beaches, rugged mountains and spirited residents. Be awed
by legendary Versailles, and continue on to explore the castles that dot the
Loire Valley. Enjoy the scenic Normandy countryside, dotted with idyllic
black-and-white cows—and resulting melt-in-your-mouth butter. Go wine tasting in Bordeaux and sip
some bubbly in the only authentic Champagne region, Sample the
African-influenced dishes in Marseilles, and try cliff jumping in Cassis for a
bit of an adrenaline rush.
a table and take a seat
In France, restaurants
aren’t trying to turn tables: good food is much more serious business than
that. Settle in by ordering un carafe
d’eau (tap water) and a glass of house wine before choosing un entrée, un
plat principal, un dessert, a cheese plate and un espresso. Keep your bread on
the table, not your plate: it’s simply another utensil, used to push meat onto
your fork or sop up delicious sauces. At the end of your dining experience—and
don’t feel rushed—ask for l’addition
(the bill) and don’t feel obligated to tip.
not being rude, they’re just being French
the most common refrains of disappointed first-time tourists in France: the
French are rude. Let me break it to you now: they’re not just being rude to you
because you’re English-speaking, or American, or loud. Pessimism is practically
a national sport in France, but that certainly doesn’t need to ruin your trip.
A few cross-cultural tips: smiling and eye contact with complete strangers is
taken as a come-on, thus is generally avoided. They appreciate exact change and
a bit of politesse—always start a
transaction with bonjour. Take your
conversation volume down a notch, particularly when in restaurants or on public
transportation. Most of all—don’t take it personally!
5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Going to France
Women's Travel in France
About the Author
Christine’s first trip to France was at age
11, where she fell in love with pains aux chocolat, modern art and Galeries
Lafayette. She spent summers in
Provence and Paris in high school and university, and moved to Nice after
graduation. Even though Christine is currently living in Melbourne, Australia,
she’s still a Francophile at heart. Follow her adventures at C’est Christine or on Twitter.
WorldNomads.com keeps our members travelling safely by offering a range of travel services such as Travel Insurance to residents from over 140 countries, the latest travel safety advice, free travel blogs and language guides for your iPhone/ Ipods.
We also offer a range of exciting travel scholarships.
you’re heading off for a long weekend, seeking the ultimate adventure
or travelling around the world, we’re there with you, helping to keep
you safe, covered and getting the most from your travel experience.