Tommy Lloyd
Author: Tommy Lloyd, Managing Director

Tommy has over 15 years experience within the insurance industry, and his primary focus is helping travellers find the right cover for their medical conditions.

11 min read

Embarking on a trip to France is like stepping into a realm of rich history, exquisite cuisine, and breathtaking landscapes. From the iconic Eiffel Tower to the medieval marvel of Mont Saint-Michel, the enchanting French Riviera to the historic Loire Valley, planning your trip to this European gem requires careful consideration to ensure you make the most of your trip.

In this comprehensive guide, we aim to address frequently asked questions about travelling to France, covering locations, practical tips, and more.

Two British Passports Overlapping On A Map Of The World

What documents do I need to travel to France?

As a general guideline for travelling to France, you typically need:

  • Passport: Ensure your passport is valid for the duration of your stay as well as valid for at least three months after the day you plan to leave.

  • Visa (if applicable): Depending on the purpose and duration of your visit, you might need a visa.

  • European Health Insurance Card (GHIC ): This card gives you access to state-provided healthcare during your visit.

  • Travel Insurance: It is highly recommended to have comprehensive travel insurance that covers health, travel disruptions, and other unforeseen events.

  • Proof of Accommodation: It's advisable to have proof of your accommodation arrangements, such as hotel reservations.

  • Proof of Funds: Be prepared to show that you have sufficient funds to cover your stay, either through bank statements or other means.

  • Return Ticket: You may be asked to provide evidence of your return journey to the UK.

  • Customs Declaration Form: Depending on the items you're bringing with you, you may need to fill out a customs declaration form.

Remember, entry requirements can change, and it's crucial to check the latest information from official government sources or consult with the relevant authorities closer to your travel date.

Read More: A guide to the cost of medical treatment abroad

Asphalt Road With Cars Passing Through The Forest In The Region Of Normandy

What do I need to do to travel to France by car?

Travelling to France by car offers a convenient and scenic experience, but careful planning ensures a hassle-free journey. Firstly, begin by checking your passport for validity and any necessary visas for entry into France; if you plan to go to France for a stay of 90 days or less in a 180-day period, you do not need a visa.

Here are some points to note and things to make sure you have if you are taking your car to France:

  • You will, of course, need a full, valid UK driving license is required; a paper counterpart is no longer needed.

  • The age requirement to drive in France is 18 or over.

  • Essential items to carry:
    • UK sticker for the rear windscreen.
    • Motor insurance certificate.

  • Safety gear required:
    • A warning triangle and reflective hi-vis jacket are used for breakdown situations, as non-compliance may result in fines of up to €135 for each missing item.
    • Compulsory use of headlamp converters when driving on the right to prevent dazzling oncoming drivers.

Can you travel to France without a vaccine?

At the time of publishing this article, no vaccine is required to travel to France.

However, it is important that you have the right travel insurance, which can cover any healthcare needed when abroad. It is advised that you look for cheap travel insurance for pre-existing conditions, as you will need to find the right policy which is suitable for your health needs.

Read More: 10 Essentials for your holiday medical kit

Disneyland Paris Castle

What are the top attractions in France?

With the country being so steeped in iconic history, it comes as no surprise that there are plenty of incredible places to see and explore, as well as more modern, family-friendly sights.

The Eiffel Tower

Undoubtedly one of the most recognised landmarks globally, the Eiffel Tower is a must-visit attraction in Paris. Whether you take the elevator or climb the stairs, reaching the top rewards you with stunning views of the city, including landmarks like the Sacré-Cœur Basilica and the Louvre.

Mont Saint-Michel

This medieval marvel, perched on a rocky island, offers visitors a journey through time. Whether you navigate the narrow streets during the day, marvel at the historic architecture and panoramic views, or witness the island's magical transformation as the tide rises in the evening, Mont Saint-Michel provides an unforgettable adventure.

French Riviera

Discovering the French Riviera is an extraordinary adventure filled with sun-soaked delights. From the glamorous beaches to charming coastal towns, the French Riviera is a haven for those seeking both relaxation and sophistication.

Cities like Nice, Cannes, and Saint-Tropez offer vibrant markets, stunning promenades, and a rich cultural scene. Whether you're indulging in the glamorous atmosphere of Cannes, strolling along the iconic Promenade des Anglais in Nice, or embracing the laid-back charm of Saint-Tropez, each destination along the French Riviera presents a unique blend of luxury and Mediterranean allure.

With its azure waters and picturesque landscapes, the French Riviera promises an unforgettable escape along the enchanting shores of the Mediterranean.

Loire Valley

Exploring the Loire Valley is a journey into a fairytale landscape rich with history and charm. Known as the "Garden of France," the Loire Valley invites travellers to meander through vineyards, discover historic castles, and wander through charming villages.

The region is famous for its magnificent châteaux, each with its unique story and architectural splendour. Whether you're savouring local wines, exploring the enchanting gardens of Château de Villandry, or taking a leisurely drive through the scenic countryside, the Loire Valley captivates you with its picturesque beauty and cultural treasures.

Disneyland Paris

Embarking on an adventure to Disneyland Paris promises a magical experience for visitors of all ages. As you step into the enchanting world of fairy tales and beloved characters, the air is filled with excitement and wonder.

From iconic attractions like the Sleeping Beauty Castle to thrilling rides like Space Mountain, Disneyland Paris brings the magic of Disney to the heart of Europe.

Notre Dame Cathedral

A visit to the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris is a journey into the soul of Gothic architecture and French history. Majestically standing on the Île de la Cité, this iconic cathedral is a masterpiece that has withstood the test of time. Admire the intricate details of its façade, including the mesmerising sculptures and stunning rose windows.

Once inside, the grandeur of the nave, the beauty of the stained glass, and the spiritual ambience create a profound sense of awe. While the tragic fire in 2019 brought challenges, ongoing restoration efforts ensure that this cultural gem remains a symbol of resilience.

Whether you're appreciating the panoramic views of Paris from the towers or contemplating the serene interior, a visit to Notre Dame Cathedral is a poignant and enriching experience, connecting you to centuries of art, faith, and history.

The City Of Lyons In France

What are the major cities in France?

There are some incredible cities located throughout France, each with its own unique selling point; whether you want to immerse yourself in traditional Parisian culture or be right on the water, there is something for everyone.


The capital city, known as the "City of Lights," is a treasure trove of art, culture, and gastronomy. Don't miss iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the bustling Latin Quarter.


Located on the French Riviera, Nice is a vibrant city with a stunning waterfront promenade, vibrant markets, and a rich cultural scene. Nice boasts a stunning coastline adorned with pebbled beaches and the iconic Promenade des Anglais.

The city's historic Old Town, or Vieux Nice, is a maze of narrow streets filled with colourful buildings, bustling markets, and charming cafes.


Renowned for its culinary delights, Lyon is a UNESCO-listed city with a historic old town and a vibrant food culture. Sample local delicacies in traditional bouchons and explore the traboules, hidden passageways weaving through the city.


As France's second-largest city, Marseille offers a unique blend of history and modernity. Explore the historic Vieux-Port, visit the Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde for panoramic views, and savour fresh seafood at the local markets.


Bordeaux, a city nestled in the heart of southwestern France, is a captivating destination renowned for its rich history, exquisite architecture, and world-class wine.

As the capital of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, Bordeaux seamlessly blends its historic charm with a modern vibrancy. Stroll along the picturesque quays of the Garonne River, where 18th-century facades line the waterfront, creating a postcard-perfect scene.

Female Taking Out Euro Money From Her Pocket Wallet.

What are some practical tips for travelling to France?

Even though France isn’t too far away from the UK, there are still some differences you may face when visiting here.

  • Credit Cards: Most establishments in major cities accept credit cards, but carrying some cash for smaller shops and local markets is advisable. Notify your bank of your travel dates to avoid any issues with card transactions.

  • Visa Requirements: For stays of up to 90 days or less in a 180-day period, you do not need a visa.

  • Language: While many locals speak English, especially in tourist areas, learning a few basic French phrases can enhance your travel experience and interactions with locals.

  • Transportation: France has an extensive and efficient public transportation system, including high-speed trains, buses, and the Paris Métro. Consider purchasing a rail pass for convenient travel between cities.

Read more: The Ultimate Travel Health Checklist

When is the best time of year to visit France?

The best time to visit France largely depends on your preferences and the experience you seek. Spring (April to June) and autumn (September to October) are generally considered ideal times, as the weather is mild, and popular tourist destinations are less crowded.

Spring brings blooming flowers and pleasant temperatures, while fall offers beautiful autumn foliage. Summer (June to August) attracts the most tourists due to warm weather and various events, but popular attractions can be crowded.

Winter (December to February) is an excellent time for winter sports enthusiasts in the French Alps, and festive atmospheres prevail in cities like Paris during the holiday season.

Ultimately, the best time to visit France depends on your interests, whether it be cultural events, outdoor activities, or enjoying the country's diverse landscapes.

Young Woman Drink Rose Wine In The Sunset Lavender Field

Do I need travel insurance if travelling to France?

While travel insurance is not a legal requirement for travelling to France, it is highly recommended. Travel insurance provides coverage for unforeseen events that may disrupt or impact your trip, such as medical emergencies, trip cancellations, lost luggage, or other unexpected incidents.

France has an excellent healthcare system, but medical expenses can be high for travellers without insurance. Travel insurance can also offer assistance in case of travel delays, missed connections, or other issues that might arise during your journey.

If you’re travelling to France in the near future, compare medical travel insurance and find the policy for you today.

If you’re looking for more information and articles, be sure to check out our blog. Or, for more information on insurance, take a look at our guides.

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