Mistakes to Avoid When Travelling to France for the First Time

Traveling to France can be such an exhilarating experience. Some people save up their whole lives just to get the chance to visit this amazing country. It is among the most visited countries in the world even though it is not always renowned for offering the warmest of welcomes.

Because of this, being a first timer in France can be challenging in more ways than one, especially if you are not from Europe. Here are some tips to take note of to make that trip more enjoyable and less stressful.

Not Studying Up on French Culture before Visiting

Let us face it, English is the world language as it is spoken almost everywhere and by almost everyone. However, that is not the case in France. Yes, most French people speak English, but some are quite taciturn when it comes to communicating in another language.   

It is highly recommended to learn a few essential words or phrases or bring a French-English dictionary. Basic knowledge of the French language can greatly help you along your shopping, dining, and your overall travel experience. Plus, the locals will love you for it.

Know when to shake hands or greet with a kiss. Friends are expected to greet each other with a double kiss on both cheeks. You may think this is the norm, but it is not. A handshake is enough or better yet, a simple “Bonjour!” will do.

You will rarely see French people wearing gym outfits on the streets, nor do they wear overly extravagant attires when uncalled for. They love being stylish and donning sensible clothes and shoes. This means you have to take your fashion sense a notch higher, especially when dining out.

Rick Steves France Travel Guide is a great resource to learn more about France before visiting.

Visiting Paris and Only Paris

Visiting Paris is a must for everyone traveling to France, after all, you have never been to France if you have not visited the Eiffel Tower. That would somehow be a bit dismal as there are a lot of beautiful and breathtaking cities the country has to offer. However majestic the City of Lights can be, it is a huge mistake not to visit the other cities as well.

Not Travelling by Public Transport

Taxis are expensive in France, so going by bus or train would be the way to go. They can take you anywhere, are reliable, and much cheaper. Makes for an even greater adventure, too.

Spending More Money than You Should

You can enjoy a marvelous vacation in France without breaking the bank. You just need to know how to do it. For example, try the smaller hotels that would provide you with more warmth than the international ones.

There are a lot more you need to know, so it is a very good idea to stock up on these tips. Think of your trip to France as going to any other country, even your own. Be polite, curious, open, and courteous. These are not harsh rules, just reminders on how to make that trip to France more memorable and enjoyable without looking like a rookie.



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Museums and Galleries in France

France is brimming with museums and galleries that have attracted artists from all over the world for centuries. From Cezanne to Degas, from prehistoric cave paintings to contemporary art, tourists flock to this country that is rich in art and have produced the best artists in history. Here are a few tourist favorites:

The Louvre

The world’s most visited art museum in the world, The Louvre contains a wealth of art treasures ranging from ancient civilizations to the 19th century. No trip to Paris is complete if you have not visited this museum that boasts of around 35,000 exquisite treasures from all around the world. Masterpieces such as Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, the Hellenistic sculpture known as The Winged Victory of Samothrace, and the Ancient Greek statue of Venus de Milo are on display and is open for public viewing.

Musée d’Orsay

Renowned for its prestigious collection of Impressionist art, the Musée d’Orsay is a national museum devoted to painting, architecture, sculpture, decorative arts, and photography from 1848 until 1914. It houses a wide variety of artistic movements that include Realism, Academism, Symbolism, and Impressionism among others. You can find the works of some of the best artists in history such as Renoir, Manet, Bonnard, Cézanne, van Gogh and many others.

The Centre Pompidou

The Centre Pompidou is one of the best-known sites in Paris because of its exterior escalators and immense colored tubing. It houses the National Museum of Modern Art and is the only museum that displays a comprehensive view of 20th and 21st-century art collections. It is divided into two sections: the modern period from 1905 to 1960 which includes the works of Matisse, Picasso, and others, and the contemporary period from 1960 to the present day (Andy Warhol, Niki de Saint Phalle, Anish Kapoor among others).

Musée du Petit Palais

Elegantly featuring the architecture of “La Belle Epoque,” the Musée du Petit Palais has an impressive collection of Renaissance paintings of the Avignon school. It contains precious art objects from the French and Italian Renaissance, ancient and medieval collections, and Flemish and Dutch paintings among the 1,300 works of art from the Antiquity throughout the early 20th century. Best of all, it is open to the public absolutely free of charge!

Musée Rodin

Built by the French sculptor Auguste Rodin in 1916 and opened in 1919, the Musée Rodin is a museum solely dedicated to his sculpture as well as the works of his muse and mistress Camille Claudel. Also a painter, sketcher, engraver, and collector, Rodin created such masterpieces as The Thinker, The Burghers of Calais and The Gates of Hell. This majestic mansion is surrounded by 3 hectares of serene and romantic French-style gardens that are abundantly planted with trees and shrubs and has the master’s sculpture spread all over.

France is home to thousands of museums and art galleries that welcome millions of tourists annually. Whether collections of the old masters or modern art, France has the top quality galleries, and are all worth a visit.



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