General Information


There is visa-free entry for citizens of most European countries. If necessary, visas are issued by diplomatic missions of the France in a given country. France is a member of the Schengen area. Inhabitants of contractual states are allowed to cross borders between states within this area without undergoing border controls. Still, inhabitants of these states have the obligation to carry a passport or identity card with them.

Exempt from visa requirement for France's territory in Europe are:

  • Citizens of the European Union, European Economic Area and Switzerland.
  • Nationals of the following countries, whatever the reason for their stay: Albania*, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Barbados, Bosnia*, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Holy See, Honduras, Israel, Macedonia*, Malaysia, Mauritius, Monaco, Montenegro*, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, San Marino, Serbia*, Seychelles, Taiwan (passport bearing identity card number), Uruguay.

* bearers of biometric passports only

More information:


The official language is French. The majority of inhabitants have a basic or possibly higher level of fluency in English. In hotels, restaurants, travel agencies, places of historical interest and many shops and services it is possible to make oneself understood in English and Italian.


Even though you do not speak French, everyone is pleased when they hear a foreigner trying to communicate in the language of the country they are visiting.

In English French
Yes Oui
No Non
Hello Bonjour
Hi! Salut !
Good morning Bonjour
Good afternoon Bonne après-midi
Good evening Bonne soirée
Good night Bonne nuit
Nice to meet you! Enchanté(e)
You are welcome Bienvenue
Please S'il vous plaît
Excuse-me Excusez-moi
Thank you Merci
Thank-you very much Merci beaucoup
Bye / Good-bye Au revoir
See you soon! A bientôt !
See you tomorrow! A demain !
Of course! Bien sûr !
I'm hungry J'ai faim
I'm thirsty J'ai soif
A glass of wine Un verre de vin
One beer Une bière
A coffee Un café
A glass of water Un verre d'eau
Cheers! Santé !
Help! Au secours !
I' m sorry Je suis désolé(e)
Entrance Entrée
Exit Sortie
Open Ouvert
Closed Fermé
Shop Magasin
Garden Jardin
Mediterranean Sea Mer Méditerranée
French Riviera La Côte d’Azur

Some useful expressions...

In English French
Where is...? Où est... ?
How much is this? Combien ça coûte ?
I'm lost, can you help me? Je suis perdu(e), pourriez-vous m'aider ?
Excuse-me, could you tell me how to go to the train station / the airport / the city center? Excusez-moi, pouvez-vous m'indiquer comment aller à la gare / à l'aéroport / au métro / au centre-ville?
At what time is the bus/the plane/the train to Nice, please? A quelle heure part l'autobus/l'avion/le train pour Nice, s'il vous plaît ?
Where can I buy the bus tickets? Où est ce que je peux acheter des billets de bus ?
Excuse-me, where are the toilets? Excusez-moi, où se trouvent les toilettes ?