Tours in General

Experiences in General

A 17-day National Geographic tour of Burgundy, Paris, and Normandy includes canal and river cruises and biking to vineyards and castles, offered by G Adventures (Photo courtesy of G Adventures)

Guided tours let you sit back and enjoy yourself while someone else does the driving and an expert guides you around the top sights

 
The Tour du Mont Blanc hiking path (Photo by akunamatata)

Guided walks, hikes, and treks in France

 
A Paris walking tour from Context Travel (Photo Ainsley DS Photography, www.ainsleydsphotography.com,  @ainsleyabouttheworld, courtesy of Context Travel)

Guided walks are a fabulous way to bring a city to life and learn its secrets and its history

 
View of Lac du Bourget and Mont du Chat from part way up Grand Colombier (Photo by will cyclist)

Biking in France and cycling tours of the countryside

 
A classic open-air tour bus (Photo by Jebulon)

How to find short city sightseeing tours by bus in Paris and other major French cities

 
The Louvre Italian Masters walk from Context Travel (Photo courtesy of Context Travel)

Guided visits to France's sights—museums, cathedrals, castles, palaces, ruins—can help make them come alive, deepen your understanding, and enrich your experience

 
Barging along the Saone River in Burgundy (Photo courtesy of Locaboat.com)

Barge cruises and barge rentals to cruise the rivers, canals, and inland waterways of France

 
A hot-air balloon ride over Fontainebleau (Photo courtesy of Viator.com)

Weird, random, oddball, and just plain fun tours and activities you can sign up for in France

 
The The Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles is just a light-rail ride away from Paris (Photo by Dennis Jarvis)

Get out of the big city to see nearby sights and add breadth to your trip without adding too many days to your schedule

 
Sailing the Gulf of St. Tropez in the French Riviera (Photo by mhobl)

Sailing the coast and islands of France

 
A private guide can bring the art, history, and city alive (Photo courtesy of Context Travel)

How to hire a private tour guide in France

 

Dining in General

 (Photo Public Domain)

Food and wine tours, cooking classes, and other culinary experiences in France

 

Planning a trip to General

Sailing the Gulf of St. Tropez in the French Riviera (Photo by mhobl)

Guided, escorted, specialty, and packaged tours to France

 
View of Lac du Bourget and Mont du Chat from part way up Grand Colombier (Photo by will cyclist)

Hiking, biking, kayaking, ballooning, horseback and other active tours of France

 
Riding along a bridle path (Photo by Terry Kearney)

Tour France in a saddle

 
 (Photo courtesy of STA Travel)

Tours for women, gays, the disabled, seniors, pilgrims, families, and students in France

 
 (Photo courtesy of Contactohoy,com)

LGBT tours of France

 
 (Photo courtesy of Women-traveling.com)

Tours and advice for women traveling in France

 
 (Photo by SOZIALHELDE)

Accessible tours for the handicapped in France

 
Religious and spiritual tours (Photo © Reid Bramblett)

Spiritual journeys to France

 
 (Photo courtesy of STA Travel)

Student and youth tours of France

 
This Provençal home in the countryside just outside of Avignon sleeps six amid olive groves, a pool, and rows of lavender—and its owners would love to visit California (Photo courtesy of Homeexchange)

France tours aimed at families

 
 (Photo by Unknown)

France tours for mature travelers

 
 (Photo by Roberto Trombetta)

Singles tours and other options and tips for solo travelers in France

 

Experiences in France

★★★
An art historian leading a walk through Paris from Context Travel (Photo courtesy of Context Travel)

Guided walks and docent-led tours of Paris

 
★★★
A classic open-air tour bus (Photo by Jebulon)

Walking tours and other specialty tours of Paris

 
★★☆
A Monet Seminar from Context Travel (Photo courtesy of Context Travel)

From cookery classes to language lessons in Paris

 
★★☆
A classic open-air tour bus (Photo by Jebulon)

Take a hop-on/hop-off sightseeing bus tour of Paris

 
★☆☆
Learning the story of La Basilique du Sacré Coeur on a scholar-led tour from Context Travel (Photo by Ainsley DS Photography, courtesy of Context Travel)

Hiring a private tour guide in Paris

 
★☆☆
Bicycle tours are fun for all ages (Photo by Susan Smith)

Guided bicycle tours of Paris

 
★☆☆
A scene from the Notre Dame and Gothic Paris seminar from Context Travel (Photo by Ainsley DS Photography, courtesy of Context Travel)

Tours offering insight to the history and culture of Paris

 

Experiences in France

★★★
The Château de Chenonceau (Photo by Luiyo)
Tour the châteaux
Loire Valley

Take an escorted tour of the Loire châteaux

 
★★☆
Dusk falls over the vines at Vergisson in the Loire valley's eastern Pouilly-Fuissé wine region (Photo by Benjamin PREYRE)

From Chenin Blanc to Muscadet: the wines of France's Loire River Valley

 

Tours to the Loire Valley from Paris start from €159

 
★★☆
The bike path alongside the confluence where the Loiret meets the Loire River (Photo by Joël AUBRY)
Bike the Loire
Loire Valley

The Loire Valley has a lovely 800km (500 mile) bike route

 

Experiences in France

Tours to Chartres from Paris start from €70

 
Tours links
Useful French phrases

Useful French for rail travel

English (anglais) French (français)  Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
Where is? Où est? ou eh
...train station la gare lah gar
train train traah
ticket un billet uhn bee-YAY
ticket counter les guichet lay ghee-SHAY
departures within the hour départs dans l'heure day-PAR dohn luhr
local departures départs banlieue day-PAR bahn-LYOO
long-distance departures départs grandes lignes day-PAR grahnd leenyh
departure time heure de départ uhr de day-PAR
arrival time heure d'arrivée urh dar-ree-YAV
first class première classe pruh-mee-YAIR klahs
second class seconde classe say-COHN-duh klahs
one way ticket un billet simple uhn bee-YAY SAHM-pluh
round trip (return) ticket un billet aller-retour uhn bee-YAY ah-LAY RAY-tour
I would like to reserve a seat Je voudrais réserver une place dzuh voo-DRAY RAY-sair-vay ooun plahs
I have a Eurailpass J'ai Eurailpass dzay ao-rail-PAHS
sleeping couchette une couchette ooun koo-SHET
berth in a sleeping car une place en voiture-lit ooune plahs uhn vwa-TOUR-lee
track voie
or
quai
vwa
or
kay
car / carriage voiture vwa-TOUR
punch your ticket composter de billet cohm-poh-STAY de bee-YAY
departures le départ luh day-PAR
arrivals l’arrivée lah-ree-VAY
connection correspondance ko-ray-spon-DOHNZ
coming from en provenance de un pro-veh-NONS de
going to a destination de ah des-tee-nah-tzee-YOWN de
Is this the right platform for the Paris train? Est-ce que c’est le quai pour le train de Paris? es kuh say le kay poo-rh leh traah de pah-REE
delayed en retard hn ruh-TAR
information information een-for-mah-tzee-YOHN
left luggage consigne cone-sah-NYEH
exit sortie sohr-TEE

Useful French for air travel

English (anglais) French (français)   Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
Where is... Où est? ou eh
...the airport l'aéroport lair-oh-POR
the airplane l'avion lah-vee-YOHn
terminal terminal tehr-me-NAHL
flight vol vohl
gate porte pohrt
customs douane do-AHN
to the right à droite ah dwa-t
to the left à gauche ah go-sh
straight ahead tout droit too dwa
departures hall Hall de départ ahl de day-PAR
arrivals hall Hall d’arrivée ahl da-ree-VAY
exit sortie sohr-TEE
delayed en retard hn ruh-TAR
on time à l’heure ah LOUR
early en avance hn ah-VAHNS
check-in l’enregistrement lun-rej-ee-stray-MUN
immigration l'immigration lim-ee-grah-SYON
security check le contrôle de sécurité luh kon-TROLL de say-cure-ee-TAY
shuttle la navette lah na-VET
boarding pass une carte d’embarquement ooun kart dem-bark-eh-MUHn
baggage claim la livraison des bagages la lee-vray-SOHn day bah-GA-j
carry-on luggage les bagages à main lay bah-GA-j ah meh
checked luggage les bagages enregistrés lay bah-GA-j on-ray-jee-STRAY

Useful French for car travel

English (anglais) French (français)  Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
car une voiture
or
une auto
ouhn vwa-TOUR
or
ouhn ow-TOH
scooter/motorboke une moto ouhn mo-TOH
gas station station-service stah-see-YOHN sair-VEES
gas de l'essence deh lay-SAWNS
diesel le gasolio
or
le gazole
leh gah-SOL-lyo
or
luh gag-ZOHL
Fill it up, please faire le plein, s'il vous plaît fair le plahn seel voo play
Where is... Où est? ou eh
...the highway l'autoroute lao-toh-ROOT
...the road la route lah root
...the street la rue lah roo
...the road for Paris
la route de Paris
lah root de pah-REE
to the right à droite ah dwa-t
to the left à gauche ah go-sh
keep going straight tout droit too dwa
to cross traverser trah-vair-SAY
toll un péage uhn PAY-ahj
parking stationner stah-see-yo-NAIR
road map carte routière kahrt roo-tee-YAIR
roundabout rond point rohn pwea
junction carrefour cah-ruh-FOUr


Typical road signs

English (anglais) French (français) 
Speed limit Limit de vitesse
Slow down Ralentissez
Stop Arrêt
Exit  Sortie
Give way Cedez le passage
Give way to traffic coming from the left/right Priorité à gauche / à droit
No passing Interdiction de doubler/dépasser
One-way Sens-unique
No entry Sens interdit
Road closed Route barrée
Detour Déviation
Risk of ice Verglas
Dead-end Impasse
Speed camera Radar de vitesse
Pedestrian crossing Passage piéton
Parking prohibited Stationnement interdit
Pedestrian zone Zone piétonnne

Basic phrases in French

English (anglais) French (français) pro-nun-see-YAY-shun
thank you merci mair-SEE
please s'il vous plaît seel-vou-PLAY
yes oui wee
no non no
Do you speak English? Parlez-vous anglais? par-lay-VOU on-GLAY
I don't understand Je ne comprende pas zhuh nuh COHM-prohnd pah
I'm sorry Je suis desolée zhuh swee day-zoh-LAY
How much does it cost? Combien coute? coam-bee-YEHN koot
That's too much C'est trop say troh
     
Good day Bonjour bohn-SZOURH
Good evening Bon soir bohn SWAH
Good night Bon nuit  bohn NWEE
Goodbye Au revoir oh-ruh-VWAH
Excuse me (to get attention) Excusez-moi eh-skooze-ay-MWA
Excuse me (to get past someone) Pardon pah-rRDOHN
Where is? Où est? ou eh
...the bathroom la toilette lah twah-LET
...train station la gare lah gahr

Days, months, and other calendar items in French

English (anglais) French (français) Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
When is it open? Quand est-il ouvert? coan eh-TEEL oo-VAIR
When does it close? Quand est l'heure de fermeture?   coan eh lure duh fair-mah-TOUR
At what time... à quelle heure... ah kell uhre
     
Yesterday hier ee-AIR
Today aujoud'hui ow-zhuhr-DWEE
Tomorrow demain duh-MEHN
Day after tomorrow après demain ah-PRAY duh-MEHN
     
a day un jour ooun zhuhr
Monday Lundí luhn-DEE
Tuesday Maredí mar-DEE
Wednesday Mercredi mair-cray-DEE
Thursday Jeudi zhuh-DEE
Friday Vendredi vawn-druh-DEE
Saturday Samedi saam-DEE
Sunday Dimanche DEE-maansh
     
a month un mois ooun mwa
January janvier zhan-vee-YAIR
February février feh-vree-YAIR
March mars mahr
April avril ah-VREEL
May mai may
June juin zhuh-WAH
July juillet zhuh-LYAY
August août ah-WOOT
September septembre sep-TUHM-bruh
October octobre ok-TOE-bruh
November novembre noh-VAUM-bruh
December décembre day-SAHM-bruh

Numbers in French

English (anglais) French (français) Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
1 un ehn
2 deux douh
3 trois twa
4 quatre KAH-truh
5 cinq sank
6 six sees
7 sept sehp
8 huit hwhee
9 neuf nuhf
10 dix dees
11 onze ownz
12 douze dooz
13 treize trehz
14 quatorze kah-TOHRZ
15 quinze cans
16 seize sez
17 dix-sept dee-SEP
18 dix-huit dee-SWEE
19 dix-neuf dee-SNEUHF
20 vingt vahn
21* vingt et un * vahnt eh UHN
22* vingt deux * vahn douh
23* vingt trois * vahn twa
30 trente truhnt
40 quarante kah-RAHNT
50 cinquante sahn-KAHNT
60 soixante swaa-SAHNT
70 soixante-dix swa-sahnt-DEES
80 quatre-vents  kat-tra-VAHN
90 quatre-vents-dix  kat-tra-vanht-DEES
100 cent sant
1,000 mille meel
5,000 cinq mille sank meel
10,000 dix mille dees meel


* You can form any number between 20 and 99 just like the examples for 21, 22, and 23. For x2–x9, just say the tens-place number (trente for 30, quarante for 40, etc.), then the ones-place number (35 is trente cinq; 66 is soixsante six). The only excpetion is for 21, 31, 41, etc. For x1, say the tens-place number followed by "...et un" (trente et un, quarante et un, etc.).

‡ Yes, the French count very strangely once they get past 69. Rather than some version of "seventy,' they instead say "sixy-ten" (followed by "sixty-eleven," "sixty-twelve,' etc. up to "sixty-nineteen.") And then, just to keep things interesting, they chenge it up again and, for 80, say 'four twenties"—which always make me thinks of blackbirds baked in a pie for some reason. Ninety becomes "four-twenties-ten" and so on up to "four-nineties-ninteen" for 99, which is quite a mouthful: quartre-vingts-dix-neuf.