Going To France? Read These 20 Tips Before Traveling!

March 26 , 2021 by: Annie Tran

Have you ever dreamed of standing on top of the Eiffel Tower or sipping the finest of wines? France continues to be one of the top countries to visit. But making a social blunder might make the French say tut-tut, so be sure to read these tips to blend in!


1. Greet people when entering and leaving stores. It is good custom to say hello “bonjour” when entering the store and say goodbye “au revoir” when leaving.

2. Keep both hands on the table. It is good etiquette to keep your hands visible, but elbows hidden.

3. Understand the fact that public toilets are not free. In France, you have to pay a fee to use public restrooms.

4. Cut cheese with a specific knife. Each type of cheese has their own knife designed for the perfect cut. For starters, hard cheese requires a  tear-shaped knife, while with soft cheese you would usually use a soft, blunt-edged knife.

By Adrian on Pexels

5. Keep your ticket stub when riding the train; you could be checked by police officers for ticket stub so make sure you have it with you!

6. Dress appropriately. People will notice if you wear your basketball jersey and flip flops; jeans are okay.

7. Bring presents and gifts when visiting French people; flowers and sweets will be your best choice! Be careful about giving wine though, as French tend to be picky about wine.

By Dirk Wohlrabe on Pixabay

8. Sip slowly; wine is meant to be savored, not to quench thirst. So enjoy your wine slowly!

9. Greet everyone, especially when meeting with a group of friends. Give a collective hello or greet everyone individually, even the ones you are not close to.

10. Know when to greet with a kiss or a handshake. Friends usually greet each other with a kiss on the cheek while strangers shake hands.


1. Avoid using “Tu” (you), unless you are close with someone, use the more formal “Vous” (you) instead.

2. Don’t drink while walking down the street. If you are carrying coffee or anther type of beverage, drink it while standing or sitting.

3. Don’t expect ice in your drinks. French people are not fond of adding ice, so when you order juice or soda, expect it without.

By Dan Novac on Pixabay

4. Don’t miss out on lunch! Restaurants will only serve lunch from 12pm to 2pm, so make sure to eat during those times!

5. Don’t drink before everyone has been served. Make sure to drink only when everyone’s glasses have already been filled.

6. Do not touch produce in outdoor markets. Don’t try to inspect produce yourself; instead, simply indicate to the vendor which produce you want to buy.

7. Don’t be angry when you meet up with French friends and they’re late. There is no point in being angry about the French 15 minutes, and instead take advantage of it!

8. Don’t contact anyone between 12pm – 2pm. French people eat their lunch between those times so don’t expect to make business transactions during this timeframe.

By Nicolas J leclercq on Unsplash

9. Don’t cut the bread. In France, you are allowed to use your hands to break the bread, so dig in!

10. Don’t make slurping noises, it is considered improper to make slurping noises no matter how much you are enjoying the food!



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