There are so many reasons I do love France that explaining it into words it doesn’t seem enough. After moving around, living abroad and visiting more than 50 countries, I can’t chose another country to live in, apart from France. And if you don’t believe me, this is one more reason to come and visit France.
I did felt in love with this country even before visiting it, since my childhood. I always heard about Paris, the city of love and I always dreamed about being proposed here. What can I say, the romanticism of Paris go straight into the heart of the ones who wants to see it. I always knew this is the place I dream about. A place that would make me happier and complete, and I was’t wrong.
I had the possibility to move to France, more precisely to Paris, three years ago for work. After all this time, I still think it was one of the best decisions I could ever take. England was beautiful, Romania too, but France it has that “je ne sais quoi”. It is something you will fell in love with and you’ll never be cured again.
There are thousands of good reasons to chose France to be your home or for a visit. From the country’s history, art, cuisine or fashion, to the time you can spend by reading a book near la Seine with a glass of wine in your hand, a good “pain au chocolat” – there is always something magic about it.
If you’ll visit France you will have many choices for your trip. Apart from the fact is the biggest country in West Europe and the 42nd in the World, it has a wide diversity to offer even for the picky ones.
If you want to stay close to the water, you should know France is surrounded by water. There are the English Channel, the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediteranian Sea around it. On top of this it is has several important rivers crossing the country like the Seine, the Rhon, Loire, Garonne and Saone. My recommandation would be to add Cote D’Azure on your list. Located on the South East of France it has endless places to explore near the Mediteranian Sea. From Marseille to Nice and the border with Italy, the good weather during the summer, will make it a top holiday destination for locals and tourists.
If you love mountains you should explore the French Alpes, Jura, Vosgi or the Pirinei. Don’t miss the famous view with the Mont Blanc with its 4810 metre height, from Chamonix or around. Its beauty, seen in a clear day, it will be an image to remember – maybe your next wallpaper.
If you want to explore the nature there are plenty of choises too. The Ardeche and the Tarn quai, the multitude of the national parks and the forests in the country, will give you hard times to chose only one place in the detriment of the other.
Apart from a visit to France mainland, you can extend your trip acoss the globe as the country has several islands too. So, if you want to use your French or European Union passport to go outside the main continent without a visa, it is possible.
You can chose between going in the Indian Ocean to Reunion and Mayotte, to South America in French Guyana or to the Caribbean in Martinique or Guadaloupe. If you’re thinking about something closer to the mainland, you can chose Corsica.
For the castles lovers, this is the place to go crazy. You can start with the ones closer to Paris, like Versailles or Fontainbleu for a first visit. If you’re into it, make an entire holiday among the castles of the Loire Valley. By car or even by bycicles, there are well known routes for the castles lovers.
There are so many museums in Paris and in France that you need a life to visit them. Only inside Paris are more than 50, so if you’d like to see something you really need to decide what should it be. From the famous Louvre with Mona Lisa, Musee D’Orsay built in an old station, to Les Invalides and Musee de l’Armee where Napoleon is buried, is something for everybody’s taste. And to not forget, the iconic Eiffel Tower, the image of the city!
Maybe you should think about French people in general and the Parisians, as two different categories.
The French people in general are nice and breaking the barieres from the start even with new people. Don’t be surprised when they will kiss you on the cheeks two, three or even four times – depending on the region.
The Parisians are perceived as arogant and ignorant. And this including by the other French people! That being said, don’t try to judge a nation only by visiting its beautiful capital. If you do live in Paris you may understand why the situation is like this. The streets are crowded, full of tourists, so living your local busy life is also a challange.
In general, French people don’t actually like speaking English. Maybe is because they don’t like each other in general and this is just a consequence. However, young people are more open to speak English and have a conversation with you, comparing with the older population. So if you visit France but don’t speak the language, try to approach younger people to ask information. Of course, this is not a rule as are always exceptions.
Even if France had colonized Morocco, Algeria, a part of West Africa and Indochina, some of the people are still rasist. Some comments won’t find their purpose especially among the tourists. For example, it happen many times to see Chinease tourists in the metro pushing the others as they do at home. That’s the moment when normally French people will start be bothered on the tourists and make some bad comments around the cultural differences.
If you’re coming only to visit France, it may not be your top priority to socialize and make friends here. On the other hand, living in France or even in Paris won’t ensure you’re making it eighter. What me and my foreign friends observed is that French people do have their own circle of friends since they were little. So, they are more restrictiv by letting other people inside their circle of friends, especially foreigners.
Also, you won’t see people coming and start a conversation with you if you’re a complete stranger to them – this can happen to other countries, just not here. Overall, each one is living its own life and if you’re thinking to move here, expect to have your own foreign circle of friends rather than French friends.
We all love to eat well, but in France, food is more than eating and keeping you alive – it is true art. Expect to gain a few kilograms after a visit to France as your days will be delicious. You will start with a “light” breakfast consisting in a good coffee and a croissant or pain au chocholat, continue with a three course lunch plus a good wine and ending with a dinner in the same style.
France is well known for its variety of wines and some of them are known wordwide like the Bordeaux, Cote du Rhon, Chardonay or Merlot. If you are not into wine you can chose to drink a cidre, which is a combination of beer with juice, a lighter version of the beer. And if you’re not into alcohol at all, a good coffee did’t killed anyone but on contrary. Grab a sit facing the streets and look at the people walking around while enjoying your coffee, this is the Parisian style.
If you’re hungry between the meals, enter a boulangerie to buy one of the endless choises of sweets: eclaire, tarte au citron, meringuee, etc. Don’t forget to try the famous French baguette too. Just remember, you need to eat it in the same day or the next day it is so hard, that you can use it as a baseball bat! Last but not least, this baguette should come with a good cheese near, so choose from the few hundreds sorts of cheese France has.
Welcome to France and Bon appetit!
Who doesn’t know about the Haute Couture or the famous Champs Elyesee with its famous expensive shops? If you love fashion, you will be able to see it at every corner. More than this, if you want to do some shopping and define your own style, check for the sophisticated shops of Printemps, Galeries Lafayette, rue Saint-Honore and of course, Champs Elyesee.
If you want to extend your shopping list to cosmetics and perfumes, there are many French brands worldwide known for their quality. If you’re in Paris, on Champs Elysee is a big Sephora or branded shops where you can find your favourite products from Vichy, Avene, La Roche-Possay, Loreal, Klorane, Melvita, Caudalie, Yves Rocher and hundreds more. You can also find them in many pharmacies or online.
If you love festivals, there are many taking places across France, especially during the summer. For the ones into sports you should know already about the famous 3 weeks La Tour du France, if you are a movie lover about the Cannes Movie Festival, for music lovers there are jazz, rock, pop festivals, theather festivals, art festivals and so on.
If you are in France on 14th of July, France national day, you don’t have to miss the splendid fireworks at the Eiffel Tower with its music and projections.
I was extremely surprised when I noticed all the movies have French subtitle. Hearing Angelina Jolie speaking French was shocking to me. However, French people do like it this way and I do respect that. Is just that without a local subtitle people could learn English or a foreign language easier.
More or less part of the daily life, French people do protest. And this is something I do appreciate about them, they do want to be listen They are also known for always complaining and being unsatisfied, but in the end if they do get what they want, there is nothing more to say.
There are not many countries in the world offering what France does, a decent number of annual holiday, bank holidays and RTTs. For example, in my case I get 25 days of annual holiday, the bank holidays – about 12 per year and some extra 12 days of RTT – what we call ” réduction du temps de travail” from the government. If I arrange well my holiday, I get around 9 weeks off each year, like 2 months out of 12! Vive la France!
For the people living here, the medical system is very well organized. You do pay the contribution through the payslip, you need to pay a second medical insurance, but after that you pay almost nothing.
For example, I had a friend who had an appendicitis surgery. He spent like two weeks in the hospital and the didn’t pay a cent. We are also covered for the dentist to do almost every procedure including implants, while being reimbursed. We do make our glasses for free too, which includs a branded frame. With so many advantages, how to not think about the security this country is giving to you?
This is a very specfic case but it reflects the way France protects the citizens. During the covid-19 situation I had to stay home for two months, not working, but I did received a full salary. All this thanks to the government paying like 86% of my salary and my company adding the rest to 100%. Thank you, France!
I hope I did convinced you to visit France and explore its beauty. If you want to read more about this country and its amazing places to visit, check for more articles here.