Do’s and Don’ts in France

Helpful Tips To Follow in France

Every country has its own history, culture and proper etiquette.Traveling to a neighboring country or one halfway around the world requires a little knowledge and insight into that countries way of life. France is no different! The language, laws and manners are different than you are used to. For example, there are two words meaning you: tu and vous. Using the wrong one may inadvertently insult someone. Here are a few do’s and don’ts to keep in mind while biking in France. But don’t worry, French are usually kind with tourists and strangers, even if you speak very little French !


  • Do learn some key French phrases before travelling, it can be useful, especially if you are planning to visit the countryside and small villages
  • Do dress well as the French are very fashionable people
  • Do bring a present to your friends and relatives when you visit them or if you are invited to lunch or dinner
  • Do get ready to pay for everything in Paris, even using the toilettes in the bar will cost you
  • Do place your napkin in your lap immediately after being seated and do keep your hands on the table
  • Do respect the French lunch break, it is sacred to them !
  • Do break your bread into tiny pieces instead of biting into the whole piece of bread
  • Do take the metro or walk when exploring the city, that’s the best way to discover Paris and other French cities !

metro Paris vintage


  • Do not shake hands if you should exchange a kiss on the cheek, this can be seem strange to tourists but in France you are supposed to exchange a kiss on the cheek when you meet someone ! The number of kisses you exchange is different in every region : in Paris is 2, but in the south of France sometimes it’s 3… There is no rule about that, so just do as other people around you do !
  • Do not address anyone using ‘tu’ if you should have used ‘vous’ : remember you use “tu” for friends and relatives, you have to use “vous” when you speak to someone you have just met or if you want to be polite
  • Do not try to impress others with your wealth; instead discuss subjects like culture, food, vacation, politics, family, office gossip, etc… French people don’t speak about money very often !
  • Do not present red carnations to your friends as this flower is believed to symbolize bad will in France
  • Do not complain about how long it takes for your order in Cafés, waiting is a part of the experience !
  • Do not start your eating in France until the hostess says “bon appétit” and never ask for a “doggy bag”
  • Do not expect ice when order a drink, if you want some ice you should ask the waiter when you order

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