In winterThe time zone in France is GMT + 1: Ex: 12pm GMT when it is 1pm in France.
The switch to winter time occurs on the last Sunday in October at 3am. Backing up your watches an hour means that it is 2am.
In summerThe time in France is GMT + 2. Ex: 12pm GMT when it is 2pm in France.
The switch to summer time occurs on the last Sunday in March at 2 am. You advance your watches an hour, so it is 3am
Weather and Climate
France is in the rhythm of the four seasons with varying temperatures according the visited regions.
Spring (March 21 to June 21) – Minimum temperature 4 to 10 ° C – Maximum temperature 12-20 ° C.
Summer (June 21 to September 21) – Minimum temperature 13 to 15 ° C – Maximum temperature 23-35 ° C
Fall (September 21-December 21) – Minimum temperature 5 to 12 ° C – Maximum temperature 10-21 ° C.
Winter (December 21-March 21) – Minimum Temperature 0 to 10 ° C – Maximum temperature 10 to 15 ° C.
Our country has the specificity of possessing a variety of climate, and great contrasts can be seen between the different regions of France:
The oceanic climate on the west facade is with mild winters and relatively cool summers. Frequent rainfall throughout the year.
The gradient oceanic climate in the center of the country. The oceanic influence is still noticeable, but due to the distance from the coast, it is degraded. There is less rain in the summer.
The continental climate or semi continental with mild oceanic influence. It is harsh in winter and hot in summer.
The Mediterranean climate: Rainfall is irregular and scarce, and drought sets in summer. The vegetation has an arid appearance.
The high mountain climate: There is more raining and temperatures varies with altitude.
– How to get around in France? By train: France has the second european rail infrastructure network, and it takes a few hours by train coming from other french countries to paris (TGV High Speed Train) and to other large cities of Europe. Do not forget to validate your ticket in the orange machines placed in the halls and in the entrance of the platform.
The stations are well connected to the public transport network (bus, metro, trams).
– By public transport:depending on destination, you will have access to the bus, train, tram, metro. Also opportunity in the big cities (Paris, Lyon, …) to rent bikes. For more informations, please contact local tourist office.
– By car: several car rental companies are at the airport or train station.
Possible to rent a car and a driver.
Mobile Phone and Internet
Mobile Phone GSM coverage in France is good, and we advise you to check with your operator (reception depends on it) for the opening of an international online as well as the price charged for calls you receive from your country / or you issue (local or international).
To use your mobile in France, it must be compatible with GSM 900 or GSM 1800 standard If your mobile is not compatible with these standards, or if it does not work, it is possible to rent a laptop in the many specialty shops.
There are also phone cards whose prices range from € 8 to € 15 depending on the number of units.
Two types of calling cards are available: smart cards, you enter directly without further manipulation, and code card, it needs to follow the instructions on the back of the card. You can get them from France Telecom, the Post Office, at the principal office of the Tourist Office, in the offices of tobacco or newsstand.
If you wish to call abroad, international phone cards code will offer you a very competitive rates. These cards are also valid for calls to France.
To call France from abroad: dial 00 + country code for France is 33 + the number you want (without the first 0).
To call abroad from France: dial 00 + country code + the number you want (without the first 0).
Internet Access to the Internet is free in hotels 4 and 5 stars, besides, in some cafes, restaurants, McDonald’s and other fast food restaurants , there is free Wi-Fi
Exchange rates and currencies
Since 2002, France adopted the euro as its national currency. In 2011, the Euro were used in the 17 countries of the Eurozone: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Greece, Spain, Estonia, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Nether- Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia and Slovakia.
Depending on your nationality, a visa may be required upon your arrival. According to the time spent in France, you could apply for short-term visa of up to 3 months. Please go to France embassy or France Consulate situated in your country to going through relevant procedures of visa.
During your stay in France, if you need help or support in a difficult situation, embassy or Consulate of your country in France is the first choice for you.
It is worth noting that the embassies and consulates will often be open in the morning. Always take a call before your visit.
Post French Post Office (la Poste) logo is a blue letterhead inside a yellow circle. Hours: Monday to Friday 9: 30-12: 30,13: 30-17: 00, Sat 9: 30-12: 00. You could see details in the door of every post office.
ShoppingMost shops are open from 9am to 7pm from Monday to Saturday. Some smaller shops may close for lunch between 12pm and 2pm. Monday. Sunday are the days of the most common closure, but there are exceptions … Saturday is a busy day reserved for shopping.
MuseumsMuseums are open at 9am or 10 am and close during 5pm and 6pm. They are usually closed on Mondays or Tuesdays except in special circumstances. Many museums will be opened in one evening per week to 9pm or 10pm. Public holidays, especially on January 1, May 1, December 25, all museums and attractions are closed off.
RestaurantFrench lunch time is generally 12:00 to 13:30 and dinner from 20:00 to 22:00. In addition, you can find cold snacks in a number of cafes and small bars. At designation «Service continu» restaurants, you can find hot meals for lunch or dinner at any time.
Voltage and Standard220V (50Hz). Standard European Double orifice plug. It is strongly suggested to bring an adapter with you for in case.
TipIn France, the service charge is usually already included in your consumption (about 15% of the bill amount). If you are particularly satisfied with the service, you can also leave a tip for the waiter, about 5-10% of the bill.
Drawback French VAT is 20%, but generally only refund 12%. When you receive tax rebates, please double-check your names, passport numbers, details and amount of goods.
Your passport is necessary for tax refund.
Refund Conditions: If the purchaser is not a long-term residents of EU countries and spends 175 Euro at the same store at one time, the goods purchased have to be taken out of the EU countries within 3 months. Attention: Always ask for invoices and tax refund forms when doing shopping. When leaving the EU countries, custom will stamp on the tax refund form. When leaving the EU, exit from the France.
Credit card Refund: generally 12%. Funds will go back to your credit card in two months.
Cash Refund:10% handling fee.
Note: For tax refund at the airport, please do not consignment of goods before the customs inspection.