Summer is the busiest travel season around most of the globe, and that includes France – and since it remains one of the most-visited countries, that means even more people flooding through its cities. We have published all kinds of great France travel tips throughout WhyGo France, but since summer is only a couple short months away we wanted to make sure you had our useful information right at your fingertips.
Traveling through France in the summer does come at a price – both literal and figurative. Things like airfare and accommodation tends to cost more in the summer, and bigger crowds can make for a less wonderful experience. It doesn’t have to be a bad trip, however, and with these tips we’ll help you save money and have a smoother journey.
Getting to France
As mentioned above, airfare is one of the things where the price rises in the summer – it’s the most popular time to travel, so it only makes sense from a business perspective that the airlines would do that. So going into a summer trip to France you need to recognize that chances are good you’re going to pay much more for your flight than you would if you were traveling in the fall or the spring (and especially if you were going to France in the winter). Your best bet to find deals on summer flights is to do your research as early as you can, and be prepared to pounce on a ticket if you see prices start to creep upward.
>> Find cheap flights to France
Still, France is lucky enough to be home to one of Europe’s major hub cities – Paris – which, in turn, has two big international airports. And if your trip doesn’t include Paris, the country has several other big airports that (depending on where you’re coming from) you may be able to fly straight to without stopping in Paris first. In the end, it may be cheapest to fly on a major carrier to Paris and then switch to one of Europe’s budget airlines, but it never hurts to look at all your options.
>> More information about airports in France
Where to Stay in France
Choosing your accommodation in France can be as simple as booking a hotel or finding a hostel with a good location, but France offers more than those two standard options. If you’re staying for an extended period of time, you might consider a vacation rental. And if you want more of an opportunity to interact with people who live there, a chambre d’hotes might be right up your alley. You can read about all your choices in the articles below.
>> More information about hotels in France
>> More information about hostels in France
>> More information about B&B-style chambres d’hotes and gites in France
>> More information about vacation rentals in France
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What to Do in France
France is a big country, so there’s no shortage of things to do no matter what your travel tastes. In the summer in particular, however, here are a few things to get you started thinking about how you might fill up your itinerary in France.
>> More information about what to do in Paris
>> More information about the best beaches in France
>> More information about the Tour de France, which takes place every July
>> More information about wine tasting in France
>> More information about visiting the castles in the Loire Valley
>> More information about the French Riviera
>> More information about celebrating Bastille Day, every July 14th
>> More information about barge cruises in France
>> Top 10 Things to Do in Provence
>> Top 10 Things to Do in Normandy
Summer Weather in France
Summer temperatures in France are going to depend a bit on where you are in the country, but it can get quite hot and humid in some areas – especially the inland cities. In less dense places, it’ll still be hot but not as humid. There’s a reason, you see, that French people abandon the cities if at all possible in August and lie on the beach for a month.
French Language Travel Tips
You certainly don’t need to master the French language to take a summer trip to France, but learning a few phrases and carrying a good phrasebook is a good idea. You’ll find pronunciation tips for French words you’ll probably use often in the first article listed below, along with recommended books you should bring, and then (for fun) you’ll also find a list of some favorite French swear words – but don’t use them in mixed company!
Getting Around France
France is, as you’ll notice when you look at a map of Europe, a big country. But even if you’re only planning to explore a region or two on your trip, you’ll need a way to get from Point A to Point B. Luckily, you don’t need to worry about renting a car or driving in France if you don’t want to – the country has an intricate network of rail lines and an efficient train system, not to mention buses and all the budget airlines in Europe these days.
>> More information about trains in France
>> More information about driving in France
>> More information about renting a car in France
>> More information about buses in France
>> More information about getting from Paris to the South of France
>> More information about getting from Paris to Normandy
>> More information about getting from Nice to Barcelona
>> More information about getting from Lyon to Milan
Eating in France
Whether you’re a hard-core foodie or not, eating in France can be one of the great pleasures of a trip to the country. Some of the dishes at France’s most famous restaurants may be out of your price range, but remember that there are plenty of French people who eat on a budget just like you do – there are fantastic French specialties that won’t cost a fortune.
There are several articles on WhyGo France about French food, so dig in (and don’t be surprised if your stomach is growling by the time you’re done reading).
>> More information about French food
>> A Guide to French Wines
>> More information about French pastries
>> More information about food markets in France
>> More information about the different kinds of food shops in France
>> More information about ordering the perfect French cappuccino
>> More information about pate