Welcome to France!

France remains the world’s number one tourist destination with over 83 million plus visitors every year!

By and large it remains one of the safer places in the world to visit. France has something for everyone, which is one of the reasons why it remains the world’s number one tourist destination. It has magnificent holiday opportunities for everything from a short weekend city break, in places such as Paris, Nice or Bordeaux, to a relaxed family holiday in the countryside, a week or two’s relaxation by the seaside, or an energetic break hiking, climbing, kayaking or cycling in France’s great outdoors.

France is globally considered a great power in the world being one of the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and is an official nuclear-weapon state.

QUICK FACTS

Official Name:French Republic
Capital:Paris
Location:Country is situated in Western Europe surrounded by Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Belgium, Luxembourg, Italy and Andorra and has several overseas regions and territories.
Goverment:Unitary semi-presidential constitutional republic
Dialing Code:+33
Time Zone:GMT +1
Climate Weather:Four distinct seasons with generally warm to hot summers and cool to cold winters.
Population:67 million
Land Area:640,679 km2
Official Language:French
Currency:Euro (€)
Foreign Currency Accepted:Mainly Euros and traveller’s cheques (limited in using)
Entry requirement:Indonesian citizens require a valid visa to enter France. You will need a passport with at least two blank pages valid for at least six months beyond the date of your arrival in New Zealand. If your passport does not meet these requirements, you will be denied entry into France

All visitors must hold a passport with at least two blank pages valid for at least 06 months beyond the date of your arrival. If your passport does not meet these requirements, you will be denied entry.

Valuable Tips:
  • French people love when you talk their language. Do learn some basic French words and phrases.
  • Always use “bonjour” before you start a conversation.

General information

France, or officially known as the French Republic, is an independent country located in Western Europe. France is bounded on the north by the North Sea and Belgium, on the north east by Luxembourg and Germany, on the east by Switzerland and Italy, on the south by the Mediterranean Sea, on the south west by Andorra and Spain, on the west by the Bay of Biscay and the Atlantic Ocean, and on the north west by the English Channel.

France’s capital city, Paris, is located in the north central part of the country. Paris is surely the most interesting city in the world. With its museums and monuments, fine boulevards and river Seine, culture, restaurants and unique atmosphere, Paris is a city that you can visit for a week or a month or a year, and never tire of.

France is the second-largest country on the continent, with an area (including the island of Corsica) of 547,030 sq km.
France topographically is one of the most varied countries of Europe, with elevations ranging from 02 metres below sea level at Rhône River delta to the highest peak of the continent, Mont Blanc 4,807 metres.

France has it all! It has tourist sights for all tastes; it has some of the greatest beaches in Europe, as well as the highest mountains and the finest historic monuments, the most beautiful cities, the most idyllic countryside, the most magnificent castles, the finest rivers, and plenty more, not to mention some of the best restaurants and the finest wines and more hotels than any other country in Europe. So why you wait for?

Time defference

GMT +01:00

Compare to Indonesia, France is 6:0 hours behind of Indonesia.
When it is 06:00am in Paris it is 12:00 noon in Jakarta.

Please note that Daylight Saving Time (DST) / Summer Time is taken into account for the calculation of hour difference.

When to visit

France weather ranges from region to region even from town to town. Paris never gets very cold and snow is rare (unless due to unrealistic weather patterns).

You can find 3 types climates within France – Oceanic, Continental, and Mediterranean.
The Oceanic climate, prevailing in the Western parts of the country, is one of small temperature range, ample rainfall, cool summers.
The Continental (transition) type of climate, found over much of Eastern and Central France, characterised by warmer summers and colder winters than areas further West. Rainfall is ample, and winters tend to be snowy, especially in the higher areas.
The Mediterranean climate, widespread throughout the south of France (except in the mountainous southwest), is one of cool winters, hot summers, and limited rainfall. This means temperature is about 11°c at Paris and 15°c at Nice.

The best time to visit Paris is in the spring (April – Nov) or summer during Aug – Oct where Paris is deserted and crowded with tourists.

Money and currency

US$1 = Euro 0.81 (currency rate can be varied depending the day you search)
Euro 01 = IDR 16,970

The Euro is the official currency of France and most European member states, excluding the UK and Czech Republic among others. The euro symbalised by “€” has been in public circulation since 2002.

The Euro is one of the biggest currencies in the world, with 337 million Europeans using Euros every day. As a result it is very widely available to buy anywhere in the world. Whether you buy your Euros before you travel or wait until you get to France is a matter of personal preference. By shopping around you can find good deals wherever you are.

There are 8 different Euro coin denominations and 7 different Euro bill denominations in circulation.

Coins are denominated in 2 & 1 Euro, then 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 & & cents.
Bills are denominated in 500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5 and vary in colour and size.

US dollars are not accepted in most establishments, though some hotels, shops and restaurants may accept US dollars on agreed upon exchange rate.

Banking in France
The banking system in France is sophisticated, with extensive coverage throughout the country. You’re never far from a national or regional bank – even the post offices operate as banks offering basic services in rural areas.
It’s worth letting your bank or card provider know you’ll be travelling. Otherwise a sudden spike in overseas transactions might result in your card being blocked until your bank is able to contact you.

Banking hours in Paris are usually from 10.00am to 05.00pm Monday to Friday. Through out of the rest of France, banks are usually open from 10.00am to 01.00pm, and 03.00pm to 05.00pm, Tuesday through Saturday. Banks often close earlier the day before a public holiday.

Currency exchange can be made in most of banks as well in exchange offices near major tourist sites.

Traveller’ s cheques
Traveller’s cheques in US dollars should be exchanged in banks or exchange offices because very few will accept them. Traveller’s cheques can be difficult to exchange in France. They cannot be used as a direct means of payment.

ATMs in France
You will have no problem finding an ATM in any city or larger town in France.
All ATMs in France take MasterCard and Visa and most are linked to the Cirrus and Plus systems. Amex has ATMs in major cities. Credit cards are accepted in a large number of shops, restaurants and hotels.

Electricity

The electricity sector in France is dominated by nuclear power, which accounted for about 75%. France has the largest share of nuclear electricity in the world. About 17% of France’s electricity is from recycled nuclear fuel.

Electrical outlets in France usually deliver power at 220-240 volts. It is much stronger than most North American sockets, which usually deliver 110-120 V. Most European sockets are compatible with the French ones. But if your power plugs do not match this shape, you may need an adapter. However, an adapter only solves the shape issue; it does not change the voltage.

Telephone and how to call

France country code +33 and Paris code is 1
Emergency Numbers: Police 17, Ambulance 15, European Emergency call 112

Paris counts hundreds of free Wi-Fi hotspots, thanks to cafes, restaurants and bars increasingly offering the service and the Paris municipal government setting up free Wi-Fi zones in many of the city’s parks, squares, public libraries, city-run museums and other spots.

Mobile & cell phone operators

  • SFR
  • Bouyge
  • Orange
  • Free

Visa requirement

Indonesian citizens are required a valid visa to enter France.
Many countries require passports to be valid for at least 6 months upon arrival
Many countries require a minimum number of blank pages in the passport being presented, generally one or two pages

Vaccines and Travel insurance

France is a fully developed nation. Travellers should take the same precautions they would at home, with an understanding that the food may be different from what they are used to.
It’s best to be prepared to prevent and treat common illnesses and injuries. Some supplies and medicines may be difficult to find at your destination, may have different names, or may have different ingredients than what you normally use.

France has a lower crime rate. But, precautions should still be taken to avoid pickpockets and other petty crime.

How to go to Indonesia

Distance between Indonesia and Paris is 11,625 Kilo Metres.
One stop flight from Jakarta to Paris is around 16 hours and 50 minutes, but may exceed depending on airline you choose and the destination you stops over.

Airlines operated from Indonesia to Paris
Garuda Indonesia, Etihad, Emirates, Qatar, Thai, Singapore Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Air France, British Airways, KLM, Saudia, China Eastern and Lufthansa

Transportation in France

France has one of the best and complex transport systems in the world.
Transport is free for children under 4 and half price for children between 4 and 11 years old.

Paris Metro or Metropolitain System

This is a rapid transit system in the Paris Metropolitan Area. It is designed in such a way where passengers can reach any area in Paris metropolitan within 20 – 30 minutes of duration. It is mostly underground. There are 16 lines, numbered 1 to 14 with two lines, 3bis and 7bis, which are named because they started out as branches of lines 3 and 7. Lines are identified on maps by number and colour, and direction of travel is indicated by the terminus. It is the second busiest subway system in Europe, after the Moscow Metro and the tenth-busiest in the world.

Chatelet – Les Halles with 5 Métro lines and three RER commuter rail lines, is the world’s largest metro (subway) station.
In 2016, it has been ranked as the best public transport system in the world by the ITDP with 100 percent of people in the city of Paris having an easy access to rapid transportation, ahead of 26 other international cities (including London, New York City and Tokyo).

Fares & Tickets in Paris (These rates are subject to change)
A single ticket T+ costs €1.90, but it’s more economical to buy a carnet of ten for €14.50.
A one-day Mobilis pass costs from €7.30 for zones 1 and 2 to €17.30 for zones 1-5 (not including airports).
A one-day Paris Visite pass for zones 1-3 is €11.65; a five-day pass is €37.25, with discounts on some attractions.
One-week or one-month Navigo pass (passport photo needed) offer unlimited travel in the relevant zones and is delivered as a Navigo swipe card. A forfait mensuel (valid from the first day of the month) for all zones costs €73; a weekly forfait hebdomadaire (weekly Carte Orange valid Mon-Sun inclusive) for all zones costs €22.15 and is better value than Paris Visite passes.

RER lines

The five RER lines (A, B, C, D and E) run 5.30am-1am daily through Paris and out into the suburbs. Within Paris, the RER is useful for faster journeys – Châtelet-Les-Halles to Gare du
Nord is one stop on the RER, and six on the métro. Métro tickets are valid for RER journeys within zones 1 and 2.

In the RER, as long as you remain within the city limits, tickets and prices are identical to the metro (RER stations also have their own ticket offices and machines). If you are travelling beyond the city limits, you need to ensure that you are in possession of a ticket or a pass, which covers your whole journey up to your destination in the Ile-de-France region. If not, you will not be able to go through the automatic barriers on arrival and you may be liable to a fine.

Buses

On the buses, you use the same tickets as in the metro, with no limit of distance.
Your ticket is only valid for a single journey, with no connections. You will need another ticket if you change on to a different bus route or connect with another form of public transport. If you plan to travel around a lot, it would be better value to buy a pack of ten tickets (“carnet”) or a travel pass.

TGV – Le Train à Grande Vitesse

TGV trains are high-speed bullet trains operating in France.
The TGV is the flagship of modern trains in France and Europe. It can travel at a speed of up to 320 km/h. The TGV is the fastest way to reach hundreds of destinations in France, in a short travel period. Operated by the SNCF, the French national railway company, the TGV also goes beyond the borders of France. More than 130 million passengers take the TGV every year.

As you might expect, TGV trains are more expensive than “regular” speed trains in France. The network, centred on Paris, has expanded to connect main cities across France (Marseille, Lille, Bordeaux, Strasbourg, Rennes) and the international TGV services connect France with Belgium, Luxemburg, Germany, Italy and Spin. There is also a service between France and Switzerland operated by TGV Lyria.

TGV tickets are open for booking 90 days ahead.

  • Get the lowest prices by booking early and don’t wait until the last minute as cheaper seats sell the fastest.
  • Opt for off-peak trains when you have to travel short notice. They are more affordable than morning and evening trains along with those running on holiday eves, Friday and Sunday afternoon.

Special food and drinks

French cuisine is respected beyond its borders and continues to influence chefs worldwide. Food is an integral part of the French culture and holiday traditions typically revolve around food.

France is renowned for its wine and cheese. The country produces nearly 1,000 types of cheese, from cow, sheep and goat milk. Textures range from creamy “Chevre,” or goat cheese, to Camembert, which has a creamy centre and a firmer white rind, and hard cheeses such as Cantal.
Nothing goes with French cheese and a glass of wine like a fresh crusty baguette. Often a busy Frenchman will grab a simple baguette filled with ham and cheese for a quick lunch in the park. During more leisurely meals, cheese comes as its own course, which is always accompanied by wine. France also prides itself on its flaky pastries such as croissants and pain au chocolat, a breakfast staple.

Fresh Baguette
A fresh baguette is possibly the most iconic French food. The bread is just as delicious by itself as it is with a traditional French cheese such as gruyère or brie.

Croissant
Like the baguette, the croissant is another French bread classic. Light, buttery, and flaky, this staple can be found in pretty much any of the country’s numerous boulangerie (bakeries).

Pain au chocolat
Pain au chocolat translates literally to chocolate bread, a genius combination that French bakers have mastered. Biting into one of these pastries provides the perfect combination of flaky crust and rich chocolate.

Bouillabaisse
Bouillabaisse originally comes from the southern port city of Marseille, and one of the best places to try it there is Le Miramar. It’s a fish stew featuring shellfish, vegetables, and potatoes.

Foie gras
Fois gras is from France’s southwestern region — mainly the towns of Alsace and Perigord. It’s considered a luxury food, made from the liver of a duck or goose that has been fed in a specific (and controversial) way.

Croque-monsieur
The French version of a grilled cheese sandwich, the croque-monsieur features jambon (ham) and melted gruyère cheese on the inside, with rich béchamel sauce oozing out all over the sandwich.

Soufflé
The name soufflé comes from the French verb “to blow;” the dessert is made with beaten egg whites and served directly from the oven while the puffy crust is still spilling over the dish. Prepared with an orange flavored cognac liqueur, the Grand Marnier soufflé is common in France.

Crêpe
Crepe stands line the streets of Paris, and you’d really be missing out if you didn’t stop at least once to try one. Crêpes in France can be savory, but they’re often sweet. A classic is beurre et sucre (butter and sugar).

Macarons
There’s an ongoing debate over whether Pierre Hermé macarons or Maison Ladurée macarons are Paris’s best. Basically, you can’t go wrong with either.

Profiteroles
Profiteroles are little puff pastries filled with vanilla ice cream and topped with velvety chocolate sauce.

Crème brûlée
Crème brûlée is a favourite French dessert. Once you crack the thin hard caramel shell and dip your spoon into the creamy custard below, there’s no going back.

Tarte Tatin
Tarte Tatin is not your average fruit pie: It’s an upside down dessert featuring fruit (commonly apples) that have been caramelized in butter and sugar before being baked in the tarte.

Places to go and things to do

France is home to some of the most beautiful cities, towns and country sides on the globe. It has long drawn lovers, dreamers, artists, and intellectuals from across the globe to experience all the spectacular history and beauty it has to offer. The entire country is bathed in natural beauty and dotted with stunning historic architecture!

Paris

Paris is one of the world’s best places to visit, so it’s no surprise it is the third most visited city in the world in 2017. France’s capital city attracts visitors year-round with iconic attractions, unparalleled dining and shopping scenes, and incredible architecture.

The Eiffel Tower

This is one of the most visited and most photographed places in the world and arguably the most famous tower in the world. It is 325 metres high and was built for the Paris World Exhibition of 1889 by Gustave Eiffel.
You will have spectacular views of Paris and Champ de Mars once you climb to the top of the tower.
The Eiffel Tower owns several restaurants, so you can enjoy a meal with a spectacular view, though you will have to book your table a few months in advance to be able to eat there.

Arc de Triomphe & Champs Elysees

Another symbol of the French power, the Arc de Triomphe was ordered by Napoleon Bonaparte to commemorate the victory of the Battle of Austerlitz in 1806. Today it commemorates the First World War and holds the flame of the Unknown Soldier. The Arc de Triomphe also overlooks Paris, the Avenue des Champs-Elysées in particular, known to be the most beautiful avenue in the world. The Champs-Elysées are also great for shopping, because they gather the biggest French and international brands!

Château de Varsailles

An absolute masterpiece, the Château de Versailles is the symbol of the French monarchy and used to be the home of the Sun King Louis XIV as well as his descendants Louis XV and Louis XVI. Originally a simple hunting pavilion for King Louis XIII, it was transformed into the marvel it is today under Louis XIV’s orders as a means to establish dominance over the nobles and to leave his trace upon the world. Spend a day out of time by visiting the Château de Versailles, but also its gardens, the Petit Trianon, the Grand Trianon and the Hameau de la Reine.

Louvre Museum

Royal residence for 300 years, the Palais du Louvre has been hosting the Louvre Museum since 1793. Gathering thousands of pieces of artwork from Ancient Egypt to the Romantic Period, the Louvre is the symbol of the History of France. You will find there some classic works including world famous Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.

Notre-Dame-de-Paris

Located on the Ile de la Cité, the Notre-Dame-de-Paris cathedral was for a long time the main symbol of Paris, before the Eiffel Tower was built. It is by the way at the center of Victor Hugo’s novel Notre-Dame de Paris. Among other things, it was the location of Napoleon Bonaparte’s coronation in 1804.

Sacré-Coeur

Built after the Franco-German war of 1870, the Sacré-Coeur basilica was to be dedicated to the Heart of the Christ. Indeed, it was supposed to expiate the sins committed by the French people during the war. Located at the top of the Montmartre Hill, the Sacré-Coeur is the second most visited religious monument, right behind the Notre-Dame cathedral. Not only is the inside absolutely stunning, with its white stones and the painting of the Christ inside the Heart, but the view from the top of Montmartre is breathtaking!

Place de la Concorde

This is the largest square in France built in honour of King Louis XV’s recovery. This is considered as one of popular points of interest in Paris. Initially there was a statue of the king. But later the statute was replaced by a statute of freedom known as Liberté. Presently the square surrounding the statue of the king is a busy and bustling one decorated with fountains and other figures.

Musee d’Orsay

This is one of the most popular museums of Paris, displaying some magnificent artwork and sculptures.

Disneyland Paris

Fans of Mickey can visit Disneyland Paris which is located 32 km from central Paris, with a connection to the suburban RER A. Disneyland Paris has two theme parks: Disneyland (with Sleeping Beauty’s castle) and Walt Disney Studios. Top attractions are Space Mountain; it’s a Small World and Big Thunder Mountain.

Cruise on the river Seine

Seeing the romantic city of Paris by boat is on the must-do list of most visitors to Paris and a Seine cruise is a very popular way to see Paris. These short river cruises allow you to take in many of the highlights of the city—the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, the Musée d’Orsay, Notre Dame, etc.—as you float along the famous Seine River.
Bateaux Mouches is the oldest company operating cruise boats on the Seine River, starting service after World War II, and these boats have become somewhat of a symbol of Paris. Bateaux Mouches has some of the biggest boats, which are easy to spot because they are big, double-decker open-top boats with orange seats.

Quartier Latin and Luxumbourg Park

Located on the bank of Seine, Quartier Latin is a must see tourist attractions in Paris. It houses many renowned educational institutions like Ecole des Mines de Paris, Schola Cantorum, Ecole Polytechnique and Ecole Normale Superieure. Luxembourg Park is the private landscape garden surrounding the Senate House known as Palais du Luxembourg, known for picturesque fountains. The garden also hosts many sports championships including championship of France Tennis.

Sanctuary of our Lady of Lourdes

This is an area of ground surrounding the Catholic shrine to “Our Lady of Lourdes in the town of Lourdes in France. There are six official languages of the Sanctuary: French, English, Italian, Spanish, Dutch and German. Lourdes is 829Km from Paris and take around 8 hours to reach via A10.
The Sanctuary is a destination for pilgrimage, sick pilgrims are reputed to be miraculously healed by Lourdes water. This ground is owned and administrated by the Roman Catholic Church, and has several functions, including devotional activities, offices, and accommodation for sick pilgrims and their helpers

Mont Saint-Michel

This is one of France’s most recognisable landmarks visited by millions of people each year. Mont Saint Michel and its bay is a UNESCO world heritage site.