France Travel Guide, News and Information – TravelPulse

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With its combination of ancient cities, architectural masterpieces, patchwork Winelands, and the pristine beaches of Cote d’Azur, France, the largest country in Western Europe, is one of the world’s most alluring destinations.
This country of contrasts offers snow-covered mountains, dramatic coastlines, and achingly picturesque villages – all blended with the gastronomical traditions of the regions.
Whether looking for history-rich cosmopolitan cities infused with exceptional cuisine and museum culture or calm, contemplative lavender fields and vineyards, France effortlessly delivers.
Most visitors to France decide to travel by car. Still, there are better options than this, especially when you must negotiate parking, traffic, and motorway tolls. 
Traveling by train is quick, reliable, and cost-effective. The French rail network is extensive, and when traffic is considered, it is often faster than driving. We loved the TGV (train à Grande Vitesse). Booking tickets was a breeze – you can book them three months in advance. The train ride was smooth and got us from Paris to Lyon in only two hours. 
In our opinion, France has one of the best rail networks in Europe and buses are widely available where rail travel is impossible. Public transport is less reliable in rural areas, so if you are exploring outlying regions, it may be worthwhile to hire a car. 
France is set to ban short-haul domestic flights as part of the effort to fight climate change. Although the ban currently only affects three routes, be sure that the flight ban does not impact your travel.
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The euro is the currency used in France, having replaced the French Franc in 2002. It is no longer possible to exchange foreign currency notes in banks in France. However, you can withdraw money from a cash-dispensing ATM in France. 
Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted in France.
French is the only official language in France. It is the language most commonly used in public life, education, business, and media outlets.

Sanary-sur-Mer, France (photo courtesy Windstar Cruises) (Photo Credit: Windstar)

Metropolitan France uses Central European Time (UTC+01:00) as its standard time. France practices daylight saving, setting their clocks forward one hour at the end of March and set back an hour at the end of October. 
Overall, France enjoys a temperate climate with cool winters and mild summers. But there are big differences between the seasons and regions, especially along the Mediterranean where summers are hot and winters are mild. 
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We love France as an all-year-round destination, but again, when you visit depends on the experience you want to have.
July and August are peak tourist seasons. Include holiday time with several major festivals; you can expect large crowds and high prices.
The shoulder seasons of late spring and fall will offer you lighter crowds and generally good weather. While summer brings festivals and extended opening hours at tourist sites, autumn brings grape harvest and wine festivals. 
The low season runs from November to March. Large cities like Paris and Nice are still lively but tourist sites in smaller towns may restrict opening hours and we discovered that some close altogether.
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