General information

FORMALITIES

France is a member of the European Union. A valid passport is required to enter the country.
For some countries a Schengen visa is necessary.
Please contact the French Embassy in your country .

MONEY

Currency
France's currency is the Euro (€)

Most hotels and shops in France accept credit cards, though may not always accept swipe cards without a microchip.
By far the easiest way to pay for things in France is simply to use an international credit card or debit card. But obviously there are situations in which paying with plastic is not an option. Visitors to France therefore need to have some Euros to hand, to pay for small or larger items and in cases where the trader does not accept cards.
Again, the simplest solution is to use your international credit card or debit card. You can withdraw money from cash-dispensers (ATMs) in France in exactly the same way as you would at home - except that you will be asked to select a sum in Euros. Your Card Company or bank will automatically debit your account in your usual currency, having converted the sum at the day's exchange rate.

Other means of obtaining your Euros
If you do not want to, or cannot use a credit card or debit card in France, you will need to make other arrangements. The best proposal is usually to obtain your Euros in cash or in the form of travellers' cheques from your bank, prior to your departure.
   You can also exchange foreign cash in virtually any French bank.
Travellers cheques
These can be cashed at virtually any bank and urban post office in France; they can also be used in some hotels. However, outside of major tourist regions (such as certain parts of Paris or the Riviera), very few shops or hotels accept travellers checks as payment.  If you do wish to come to France with travellers cheques, it is advisable to get them in Euros.
Wire services.
It is often possible to have money wired to you while in France, using the services of companies such as Western Union. In this case, you can arrange to have money delivered to an agency (such as a specific post office) in France, and pick up the money in cash. For full details, consult your bank or any currency transfer operator.
 

ELECTRICITY

 

The current is displayed at 220 V-230 V. You may carry a voltage transformer. 

 

 

MAIL BOXES

French post is called La poste. Mail boxes are in the streets, colored in yellow 

 

STAMPS

Stamps can be bought at Post Office and tobacconist's. 

SHOPS

Most shops are open from 10 AM to 19 PM from Monday to Saturday.
On Sundays, public holidays and holiday periods in general, shops, museums, businesses and public services may be closed. Many tourist attractions remain open during Spring and Summer public holidays.
 

PUBLIC HOLIDAYS

On Sundays, public holidays and holiday periods in general, shops, museums, businesses and public services may be closed. Many tourist attractions remain open during Spring and Summer public holidays.
January 1st, New year’s day
Easter Monday (in 2011: 25th April) (though not Good Friday except in Alsace), 
May 1st - Labour day
May 8th – Rememberance Day, Armistice of World War II
Ascension Thursday
July 14th, French National day, Bastille day
August 15th, Assomption, Mary's day
November 1st, All souls' day
November 11th, Remembrance Day, Armistice of World War I
December 25th, Christmas day

"Le pont" - the bridge - is a popular French institution, and when a public holiday falls on a Tuesday or a Thursday, many workplaces remain closed for the Monday or Friday too, meaning that certain services will be closed for four days. However, shops and banks and post offices tend to open normally when there is a "pont".
Note also that most public museums are closed on TUESDAYS.
 
 

HEALTH

We strongly advised to make sure that you have a health insurance cover before travelling to France or any other European country in order to benefit from France's excellent state health service.