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France

Destination Guide

When I think of holidays as a child, I think of France. I reminisce about ski trips with school in the French alps, long summers with the family in the Dordogne and poignant visits to battlefields in Normandy. Holidays to France shaped my experience of travel and to date it remains one of my favourite places to visit in the world. In fact, if I won the lottery tomorrow, I’d buy a place in Antibes on the Cote d’Azur as soon as the money had cleared.

France has so much to offer the curious traveller. From beautiful cities and rustic landscapes to fascinating history and wonderful cuisine. I can guarantee that you will never get bored no matter how many times you return. In this destination guide we have given you some of our top tips on how to make the most of your trip to France but as always make sure to check out our related articles for more in depth advice.

Things to See and Do in France

Discover why Paris is the most visited city in Europe
Take in the view from the top of the Arc de Triomphe
Discover the beautiful coastline of the Cote D'Azur
Find a small bar with a view for a glass of wine
Learn to make croissants at La Cuisine Paris
See Da Vinci's masterpieces in the Louvre
Get lost in the beautiful Dordogne countryside
Eat everything in sight!
France arc de triomphe

Arc de Triomphe

Antiques Market in Nice

What to Expect in France

Currency – Euro.

Best time to visit – one of the best things about France is that it is truly a wonderful country to visit at any time of year. From the beautiful Parisian spring, summers on the Côte d’Azur and winters in an alpine wonderland – France is the country for all seasons. As a general rule, the warmest weather can be found between June and September whilst the ski season runs from December through to April (in the highest resorts).

Accommodation – you are spoiled for choice when it comes to accommodation in France – especially if you like a rustic vibe. Book to stay in remote cottages and gites for the most authentic stay or opt for grand hotels in the city. One word of caution – some of the cheaper accommodation can be incredibly basis so it is worth paying a little extra for a nicer stay.

Food – French cuisine is world renowned and for good reason. My childhood holidays were spent visiting French food markets and popping to the bakers first thing in the morning for fresh croissants and baguettes. If you are vegetarian or vegan you may find it more difficult to find a variety of options, especially in the more rural areas of France.

Transport – public transport throughout France is generally great  – unless there is a strike. France does tend to have more strike action than many other European cities which can really impact your travel plans if you are travelling by public transport. We had to queue for 5 hours to get on our Eurostar back to London last year. That said, when it is running at full capacity the public transport system is very efficient and the train line between Monaco and Cannes is simply stunning!

France

How much will it cost me – France is an expensive destination when compared with other parts of Europe. If you are travelling in the high season expect to pay top dollar for accommodation and travel. Living costs once you are in France can be inexpensive depending on whether you choose to eat out for every meal or whether you shop in the local markets. Beer tends to be more expensive than wine so our top tipple in France would always be un verre de vin.

Clock Out Check In’s Top Tips

1
Take the train to Antibes The small town of Antibes on the Cote d'Azur is one of our favourite places on the planet. While you can easily drive to Antibes from Nice airport, we think that the train journey (all the way along the coast from Monaco to Cannes) is stunning and worth the trip on its own. Train tickets are also incredibly cheap so ditch the car hire on your next trip to the South of France and take the train instead.
2
Learn to bake croissants The morning we spent learning to bake croissants at La Cusine Paris cookery school is easily one of the best activities we have done on a city break. We spent a whole morning learning how to make these wonderful pastries and got to enjoy them over coffee at the end of the course. We made so many we had enough to take home the next day as well! One not to miss.
3
Book ahead in Paris They say you should learn from your mistakes - well on our last trip to Paris we made a big one. If you are staying in Paris for a long weekend, make sure to reserve a table in advance if you want to eat in one of Paris' many fantastic restaurants. We didn't and had to go door to door looking for a empty table - it was a struggle!
4
Venture into the countryside France has so much to offer outside the traditional tourist areas. The countryside in France especially in Brittany and the Dordogne is breathtaking and well worth the visit. If you are looking for a rustic, rural French holiday then hire a remote gite in the Dordogne and tour the local vineyards and food markets. If it sounds like heaven, it's because it probably is.

He who contemplates the depths of Paris is seized with vertigo. Nothing is more fantastic. Nothing is more tragic. Nothing is more sublime.

Victor Hugo

Ready to start planning?

After lockdown, France will be one of the easiest destinations to visit from the UK. Start planning your trip today with all of Clock Out Check In’s top tips on visiting France.

  • Finding a hotel in Paris is like trying to choose a favourite film. There are some terrible ones, many good ones but only a couple of absolute favourites.

  • One of our favourite things to eat are croissants! Freshly baked, buttery goodness. On our trip to Paris we learned how to make them at La Cuisine Paris. 

  • I am slowly trying to convince Vicky that travelling by train is fun so we decided to try out the Eurostar on our recent trip to Paris. Read to see how we got on.

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Alex is a solicitor at an international law firm based in London. He has always loved travelling and loves to eat like a local. His favourite destination is Peru where he spent a month travelling in 2009 with World Challenge.

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