5 Things you should know Before Going to France

this post answers the following questions
1. Why France is one of the most European destination for Americans?
2. Is there a good destinations in France?
3. Does France speak English?
4. Are there many museums to visit in France?
5. Why pack light when going to France?

France is one of the most obvious European destinations for Americans looking to travel.  Filled with art, culture, and haute cuisine, it’s no wonder why it draws tourists.  There are a few things that any savvy traveler should know before deciding to visit over there.  One should learn a bit about the country, be prepared to travel light with rolling luggage, and know what to shop for.

1) There’s more to France than Paris

Blame it on Hollywood or on America’s geographically-impaired education system, whatever the case, most Americans couldn’t name another location in France to save their lives.  That’s ok though.  With the internet at your fingertips, take the time to explore a few places other than the popular “city of lights.”

There are several small towns that are far more rural and also far less expensive than Paris that are worth your time!  One of the most popular destinations outside of Paris is the Palace of Versailles.  Similar to the Louvre in that you could spend a whole day there, this attraction is filled with art, culture, and history.  Montpellier is a cozy town, filled with scenic landscapes and quaint cafes.  If metropolitan is more your style, Lyon is also quite nice, with restaurants, live theater, and French cinema.

2) Language Barrier

Another American misconception is that the people in France don’t speak English, or that they won’t.  Far from true, most people in France are bilingual and quite friendly to American tourists.  Take the time to study some of their language beforehand, as it will earn you good will.  Also, bring along a pocket dictionary for popular phrases.  When in doubt “Parlez-vous anglasis?”

3) Museums, Museums, Museums

There are so many more museums to visit in France than just the Louvre.  Art lovers will rejoice when they visit the Musée National d’Art Moderne, Musée Fabre, and the Picasso Museum.  There is no shortage of artwork to inspire and awe in these museums. To take full advantage of them on a budget, definitely buy the museum pass.  It will get you into over 60 museums and monuments for either 2, 4, or 6 days.

France is also rich in history, which is evident in the Cluny Museum.  Located in Paris, this museum houses a plethora of medieval marvels.  Another amazing site is the Catacombs.  Not for the faint of heart, this underground monument is filled with human skulls!

4) Pack Light

Whether you opt to rent a car or take public transportation during your stay, it is best to pack light.  Grab some rolling luggage so you won’t tire yourself out carrying your belongings.  Minimize your wardrobe for the trip.  Be sure to leave room for some delectable chocolates and other purchases you make in your suitcase!

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Chuck Stevens is a part of an elite team of writers who have contributed to hundreds of blogs and news sites. Follow him on Twitter @chuckstevens12.

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