"France", its name makes people dream: History, Gastronomy, beautiful landscapes, romance and many other treasures...With full of surprises and full of charm, France is the perfect destination to travel as a couple, with friends or family.

Some information:
• France, officially The French Republic, is a country with territory in western Europe. It borders Belgium and Luxembourg in the northeast, Germany and Switzerland in the east, Italy and Monaco in the southeast, and Spain and Andorra in the south and southwest.
• France is divided into 13 regions and 5 located overseas.
• The national flag is a tricolour flag: blue, white, red.
• The national motto: "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity".
• The national anthem "La Marseillaise" was a revolutionary song during the French Revolution.
• Area: Around 675 000 square kilometer
• Population (2017.01.01): 66,9 millions inhabitants
• Capital: Paris

 

French local hour: Paris UTC/GMT +1 hour.

For saving reasons, France changes local hour twice a year during summer and winter.

Summer Time, also called Spring Forward, and Daylight Savings Time (UTC/GMT +2 hours), starts:
• Sunday 26th of March 2017 at 2:00 am.
• Sunday 25th of March 2018 at 2:00 am.
• Sunday 31th of March 2019 at 2:00 am.
At 2:00 am, clocks are turned forward 1 hour to 3:00 am local daylight time instead.
The time difference between France and China is +6 hours.
When it is 12:00 pm in Paris, it is 6:00 pm in Beijing.
The time difference between France and New York City is -6 hours.
When it is 12:00 pm in Paris, it is 6:00 am in New York City.

Winter Time, also called Fall Back (UTC/GMT +1 hour), starts:
• Sunday 29th of October 2017 at 3:00 am.
• Sunday 28th of October 2018 at 3:00 am.
• Sunday 27th of October 2019 at 3:00 am.
At 3:00 am, clocks are turned backward 1 hour to 2:00 am local standard time instead.
The time difference between France and China is +7 hours.
When it is 12:00 pm in Paris, it is 7:00 pm in Beijing.
The time difference between France and New York City is -6 hours.
When it is 12:00 pm in Paris, it is 6:00 am in New York City.

A popular year-round destination, France has a kind climate with long hot summers and cool winters. 


• June-August: Summer is the peak season, when it is warm and sunny across much of the country.


• March-May (Spring) and September-October (Autumn): Southern France remains pleasant, and it is quieter times to visit. Prices are also considerably cheaper.


• December-March (Winter): People goes during the ski season, in the Alps and Pyrenees, which offers excellent conditions for skiing. 

The currency in France is Euro and is written as € or EUR.

The exchange rate (09.01.2017) is valued at:
1 € = 7,3 CNY
1 € = 1,05 USD

Money:
• Notes are available in 5 euros, 10 euros, 20 euros, 50 euros, 100 euros, 200 euros,  500 euros denominations,
• Coins are issued in 1 euro cent, 2 euro cents, 5 euro cents, 10 euro cents, 20 euro cents, 50 euro cents, 1 euro, 2 euros denominations.

Foreign currencies can be exchanged at banks and money changers. 

Credit cards: 
American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa are widely accepted across the country. 
Please check Union Pay will be an acceptable form of payment.

ATM: 
Cashpoints compatible with international banking networks are located in all towns and cities, as well as airports, major train stations and other spots.

Banking hours: 
Banking hours in Paris are usually from 10:00 am-5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Throughout the rest of France, banks are usually open from 10:00 am-1:00 pm and 3:00 pm-5:00 pm, Tuesday to Saturday.

• All Chinese nationals must have a valid visa to enter the Schengen Area, regardless of the duration of their stay and no matter what kind of travel document they have, except if they have a valid residence permit which enables them to stay in the Schengen Area.
You are a Chinese national, your application shoud be sent to the appropriate TLScontact center where you live.
Please contact your center for further information and application process.

• All foreign nationals wanting to come to France must be able to submit statutory documentary evidence at the border for the reasons for their stay, their means of support and accommodation arrangements.
As a rule, unless you are exempt, you are required to have a visa. It must be applied for from the relevant French embassy or consulate in the applicant’s country of residence.

The European version of electricity is generally supplied at 220 volts and a frequency of 50 Hz.

Officially it is 230 volts plus or minus 10%.

Any device rated between 200 volts and 250 volts works fine.

A frequency of 50 cycles is the standard frequency regardless of the voltage throughout France.

 

If needed, bring an AC adapter.

Steps for the tax refund:
• Get it: Look for stores displaying Global Blue Tax Free Shopping signage in the window. When paying for your purchases ask the shop staff for a Tax Free Form.  Fill in all the required fields in block letters, using the Latin alphabet.

• Stamp it: At the airport please allow enough time for the refund process before your flight departs. Before you check in for your flight, go to the Customs desk and present your completed Tax Free Form, passport and purchases to get an export validation on your form.

• Cash it: To get your refund it is necessary to submit Tax Free Form (ink stamped or Pablo validated) to Global Blue. Go to a Refund office displaying the Global Blue logo. Present completed Tax Free Forms to receive the refund in cash or to a credit card.

 

Shoppers eligible for Tax Free Shopping:
• If you have a permanent residence in a non-EU country

• If you are older than 16 years

• If you spend more than 175.01 EUR

• If you buy less than 15 items (per Tax Free Form)

 

VAT Rate:
• Standard rate: 20 %

• Pharmacy goods: 10 %

• Food, books: 5,5 %

• Reduced rate for certain products and services: 2,1 %

 

Minimum purchase amount:
175.01 EUR

 

For further information, please ask the shop staff or a Refund office.

Source: http://www.globalblue.com

• BE VIGILANT IN THE STREET:
- Preferably carry a small shoulder bag or a pouch-style backpack;
- Carry as little cash as possible;
- Do not put your wallet in your back pocket;
- If someone tries to grab your bag, do not resist in case you are injured;
- Do not trust people who try to distract your attention to steal your belongings, particularly on café terraces, when you are withdrawing money from a cash machine or when signing petitions.

• BE VIGILANT IN PUBLIC TRANSPORT:
- Do not leave your bags unattended;
- Never let anyone go through the ticket barriers right behind you;
- Never buy tickets from anyone in the street, as they will make you pay more (up to 10 times the normal price). Use the ticket  offices and ticket machines in the stations.

• BE VIGILANT IN PUBLIC PLACES:
- Do not handle cash in public and never change currency in the street; use a Bureau de change;
- Pay for purchases in small banknotes, by bank card or cheque (if accepted in France of course);
- Never leave your payment cards or money in cloakrooms or in your coat left on a chair (in a restaurant or café for example), a pickpocket could easily sit behind you and rob your belongings;
- Never put your bag at your feet and do not leave your mobile telephone or wallet on a café or restaurant table;
- Do not put your telephone in an external pocket of your bag or clothes, do not lend it to someone you don't know;
- In restaurants and bars, don't hesitate to ask to see the food and drinks menus, so that you don't get a surprise when the bill comes.

• PROTECT YOUR VEHICLE AGAINST THEFT:
- Lock the doors and boot (trunk), and make sure all the windows are closed;
- Do not leave valuable items on show (mobile telephone, camera, clothes, bag etc.).

• LOSS OR THEFT OF YOUR IDENTITY PAPERS:
- Consider photocopying all your identity papers (passport etc.) and keeping them at your hotel or place of temporary residence;
- If you lose them, contact the consulate, and if they are stolen, report this to the police as well.

Source : http://www.prefecturedepolice.interieur.gouv.fr

In case of emergencies, emergencies number can be dialled to contact emergency services from fixed and mobile phones free of charge anywhere in France:

• 15: Medical emergencies, SAMU (As "Service d'Aide Médicale Urgente"),
• 17: Police,
• 18: Firefighter: Fire and Rescue,
• 112: Number for emergencies, rescue of people or medical reasons, dialled free of charge anywhere in EU,
• 114: Emergencies number for deaf and hearing impaired people,
• 116: Report a child is missing.

• No vaccinations are required to travel to France but the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that all travellers be covered for diphtheria, tetanus, measles, mumps, rubella and polio.

• Full travel insurance is advised for all travellers.

• If you take regular medication, it is better to bring it with you in its original container. If you have a serious medical condition, meanwhile, it is worth also bringing a signed and dated letter from your physician, detailing your condition and medication. 

• The level of healthcare is a very high and professional standard. Staff at local pharmacies are able to advise you on minor complaints. Pharmacies are recognisable in towns by a green-cross sign outside the door (the sign flashes when the pharmacy is open).

• Health insurance is highly recommended. Because you will have to pay at the time for any healthcare you receive, having an insurance policy in place brings real peace of mind.

• If an ambulance is needed, 112 is the EU-wide phone number for the emergency services.   

French public holidays change according to zones (3 zones) in which departments belong to.

For information, the following periods are approximatively:
• Winter holidays: From the beginning of February to the beginning of March
• Spring holidays: From the beginning of April to the beginning of May
• Summer holidays: From the beginning of July to the beginning of September
• Holidays of All Saints' Day: From the end of October to the beginning of November
• Christmas holidays: From the end of December to the beginning of January

2017 days-off in France:
• New Year's Day: 1st of January
• Easter Monday: 17th of April
• Labour Day: 1st of May
• Victory in Europe Day (8th of May 1945): 8th of May
• Ascension Day: 25th of May
• Whit Monday: 5th of June
• National Day (Bastille Day): 14th of July
• Assumption Day: 15th of August
• All Saints' Day: 1st of November
• Armistice Day: 11th of November
• Christmas Day: 25th of December

Français   English   中文

Salutations / Greetings / 问候 : 
Bonjour / Hello / 你好
Au revoir / Good bye / 再见
Enchanté / Nice to meet you / 很高兴认识你
Bienvenue / Welcome / 欢迎 
Comment allez-vous ? / How are you ? / 你好吗 ?
Je vais bien / I'm good / 很好
Merci / Thank you / 谢谢
Oui / Yes / 是
Non / No / 不是

Mots et expressions utiles / Useful words / 有用的词句 :
Comment vous appelez-vous ? / What's your name ? / 你叫什么名字?
Je m'appelle... / My name is ... / 我叫...
S'il vous plaît... / Please... / 请...
Désolé / Sorry / 对不起
Je ne comprends pas / I don't understand / 我不明白
Je ne sais pas / I don't know / 我不知道
Je ne parle pas français / I don't speak french / 我不说法语
Parlez-vous anglais ? / Do you speak english ? / 你说英语吗?
Qu'est ce que c'est ? / What is it ? / 这是什么?
Pouvez-vous m'aider s'il vous plaît ? / Can you help me, please ? / 你能帮我吗?
Je voudrais aller à ... / I want to go to... / 我想去...
Hôtel / Hotel / 酒店
Restaurant / Restaurant / 饭店
Où sont les toilettes ? / Where is the toilet ? /洗手间在哪里 ?
Droite / Right / 右
Gauche / Left / 左
Santé ! / Cheers ! / 干杯
Manger / To eat / 吃
Boire / To drink / 喝
Boeuf / Beef / 牛肉
Porc / Pork / 猪肉
Poulet / Chicken / 鸡
Poisson / Fish /鱼
Eau / Water / 水
Vin / Wine / 酒
Thé / Tea / 茶
Café / Coffee / 咖啡
Lait / Milk / 牛奶
Jus d'orange / Orange juice / 橙汁
Matin / Morning / 早上
Après midi / Afternoon / 下午
Soir / Evening / 晚上
Voiture / Car / 汽车
Bus / Bus / 公车
Train / Train / 火车 
Avion / Plane / 飞机
Métro / Subway / 地铁

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