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travelling quotes in french

10 Inspirational French Travel Quotes Translated To English

Who doesn’t like to feel inspired by travel quotes? French is the “langue d’amour”, and as such, it does not fail to provide passionate voyage quotes. Besides, everything sounds better in French, as the famous quote says: “ If you can’t say something nice , say it in French “.

France is indeed one of the main countries that sparked my wanderlust . When I was an exchange student living in France, I traveled as much as I could in France and other countries in Europe. Certainly, that’s what really sparked my love for traveling. Therefore, French is language that I will always relate to traveling.

So, without further due…

HERE ARE 1O INSPIRATIONAL FRENCH TRAVEL QUOTES:

Translation: “To be, is to exist, but to travel, is to live.” By Gustave Nadaud

Translation: “We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.”

Translation: “There is no man who is more complete than the one  who travels a lot. He changed twenty times the way he thinks and his outlook on life.”

Translation: “Live to travel and travel to live.”

Translation: “The world is a book and those who don’t travel only read one page.” By Saint Augustin d’Hippone

Translation: “The most beautiful trip, is the one you didn’t do yet.”

Translation: “We travel to change, not to change a place, but to change ideas.”

Translation: “Out of all the books, the one I prefer to read is my passport, unique in octavo that opens the borders. ” By Alain Borer

Translation: “The truth exists beyond the mountains. To find it, one must travel.”

Translation: “The best trip is the one we haven’t taken yet.”

(See also: 6 Effective Tips to Learn a New Language )

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  • My 21 French Quotes About Travel

travelling quotes in french

Looking for French quotes about travel ?

Don’t move, you will be served !

My name is Louise, I’m French and I offer you a list of +21French quotes about travel.

These quotes are translated from French to English and vice versa.

Enjoy them and use them in the right circumstances ! 😉

— Louise

Read Also : My 15 French Quotes About Paris (Instagram Ideas)

21 French Quotes About Travel (with English translation)

I have manually selected the most beautiful French quotes about travel :

Work in progress 🙂

“Le voyage est le seul remède qui ne nuise pas à la sagesse”

Ninon de Lenclos

Translation: “Travel is the only remedy that does not harm wisdom”

“L’aventure est partout, il suffit de la voir.”

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Translation: “Adventure is everywhere, you just have to see it”

“Le voyage est une seconde naissance.”

Ibn Battuta

Translation: “Travel is a second birth.”

“La meilleure façon de voyager est de fermer les yeux et de rêver.”

Translation: “The best way to travel is to close your eyes and dream.”

“La seule façon de voyager est de rêver.”

Guy de Maupassant

Translation: “The only way to travel is to dream”

“La seule façon de voyager loin est de lire.”

Translation: “The only way to travel far is to read.”

“Le voyage est une fuite hors de soi-même, qui se retrouve à l’arrivée.”

Paul Morand

Translation: “Travel is a flight from oneself, which is found upon arrival.”

“Le voyage est un retour à la maison”

Martin Buber

Translation: “Travel is a return to home.”

“On voyage pour changer, non pas de lieu, mais d’idées.”

Marcel Proust

Translation: “We travel to change, not of place, but of ideas.”

“Dans le voyage, il n’y a pas de certitude, seulement de l’aventure…”

Auteur Inconnu

Translation: When you are travelling, there is no certainty, only the adventure…

“Un des grands malheurs de la vie moderne, c’est le manque d’imprévu, l’absence d’aventures.”

Théophile Gauthier

Translation: “One of the worst misfortunes of modern life is the lack of mishaps, the absence of adventures.”

“Le voyage pour moi, ce n’est pas arriver, c’est partir. C’est l’imprévu de la prochaine escale, c’est le désir jamais comblé de connaître sans cesse autre chose, c’est demain, éternellement demain.”

Roland Dorgelès

Translation: “For me, travelling is not about arriving. It’s about leaving. It’s the uncertainty in what’s coming next. It’s the never-fulfilled desire of discovering something else. It’s tomorrow, forever tomorrow.”

“Rester c’est exister. Mais voyager c’est vivre.”

Gustave Nadaud

Translation : “To stay is to exist. To travel is to live.”

“Rien ne développe l’intelligence comme les voyages.”

Translation : “Travel broadens the mind.”

Translation : “We do not travel to escape life but so that life does not escape us.”

“Il n’y a pas d’homme plus complet que celui qui a beaucoup voyagé, qui a changé vingt fois la forme de sa pensée et de sa vie.”

Translation : “There is no man more complete than the one who has traveled a lot, who has changed the shape of his thought and his life twenty times.”

“Vis pour voyager et voyage pour vivre.”

Translation : “Live to travel and travel to live.”

“Le monde est un livre et ceux qui ne voyagent pas n’en lisent qu’une page.”

Translation : “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page.”

“Le plus beau des voyages, c’est celui que l’on n’a pas encore fait.”

Loïck Peyron

Translation : “The most beautiful journey is the one we have not yet made.”

“On voyage non pour changer de lieux, mais d’idées.”

Hippolyte Taine

Translation : “We travel not to change places, but ideas.”

“La vérité existe au-delà des montagnes. Pour la trouver, il faut voyager.”

Translation : “Truth exists beyond the mountains. To find it, one must travel.”

Please share in the comments your best french quotes about travel ! 🙂

Other Popular French Quotes :

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  • My 23 Most Popular Vincent Van Gogh Quotes
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  • My 41 French Quotes About Eiffel Tower (Instagram Captions)
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  • My 49 French Quotes About Art (Instagram Bio)
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About Culture In France :

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21 French Captions for Your Travel Photos

Need caption ideas for your travel photos in France, or another French-speaking country? Or you just want to change things up and infuse a little je ne sais quoi in your posts?

Do you also want a suggestion for a French caption that isn’t je ne sais quoi , c’est la vie, or la vie est belle ? Then look no further. Here you’ll find 21 French captions you can use for all your best travel photos.

Sharing your travel photos is also sending warm wishes to friends and family back home. Simple greetings come in handy when you don’t have any other caption ideas!

Bonne Dimanche! Happy Sunday!

Sunday can be replaced by any day of the week obviously. Similarly, bon matin is good morning and bon soirée is good night.

Gros bisou de Paris! Lots of love from Paris!

If you like to think of your posts as postcards to your followers.

À bientôt, Paris! See you soon, Paris!

Substitute Paris for wherever you’re leaving behind. À bientôt is “see you soon.”

French expressions

Some of the captions on this list don’t translate literally, but they still encapsulate the same ideas about travel.

Paris et moi, c’était le coup de foudre. Paris and me, it was love at first sight.

Again, substitute for wherever you’re visiting. If you want to go even simpler with just “love at first sight” then only put le coup de foudre – and a heart emoji or two!

À couper le souffle. Breathtaking.

This one might come in handy once or twice along your adventures.

Je t’aime à la folie. I love you like crazy.

A reference to the French version of “(s)he loves me; (s)he loves me not” when picking off flower petals. Direct it toward a sight, a city, or even a whole country!

Quotes are longer, which means you run a higher risk of grammatical or spelling errors. You could also have less comprehension from your followers.

But if you really want to take your French captions to the next level, don’t be afraid to throw in a quote every now and then. These three are short and credited to famous French people.

Rester c’est exister mais voyager c’est vivre. To stay is to exist; to travel is to live.

A famous travel quote from French songwriter Gustave Nadaud.

Rien ne développe l’intelligence comme les voyages. Travel broadens the mind.

This one was made famous by French novelist Émile Zola.

Je ne regrette rien. I have no regrets.

A reference to classic French singer Edith Piaf and a great travel motto all in one.

General Travel

The rest of the list features short and sweet travel captions that are relatable in French or English.

Voyager égale vie. Travel is life.

Il est interdit d’interdire. Forbidding forbidden.

Paix, amour, voyage. Peace, love, travel.

Les clés du bonheur. The keys to happiness.

Tout est possible. Anything is possible.

Pays de merveilles . Wonderland.

Allo depuis l’autre côte. Hello from the other side.

Envole-toi. Fly away.

Amour sans fin. Endless love.

Paradis. Paradise.

L’adventure nous appelle. Adventure is calling us.

Explorer le monde. Exploring the world.

Try out some of these captions on your next trip! Use them to immerse yourself in another language and culture or show your followers just how travel-savvy you are.

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The Intrepid Guide

60+ French Phrases for Travel You Need to Know [PLUS Printable]

Essential French Phrases for Travel and Printable Guide

Order your petit-déjeuner (breakfast) or buy your billets (tickets) to the Louvre all in French! Here are the most useful French phrases for travel you need to know.

Learning some French will offer you further insight into the French culture, mentality, and way of life. The ability to speak even un peu français (a little bit of French) and avoid making these French faux pas will enhance your travel experience and open the doors to unique connections with the locals.

France is the world’s top tourist destination, attracting more than 79,5 million visitors a year! That’s why French is the next language in my travel phrase guide series.

Not only that, but speaking French also comes in handy when travelling to Africa, Switzerland, Canada , Monaco, French Polynesia, the Seychelles amongst other places.

Why else should you learn French? Well, it makes learning other languages, especially Romance languages like Spanish , Italian , Portuguese and Romanian much easier.

Top French Phrases for Travel - Louvre Museum

Want to have fun whilst learning French? Struggling to find decent French language resources? I recommend getting uTalk . Available as a desktop site and app, uTalk is awesome for learning key words and phrases in French especially if you want to use it for travel purposes.  It’s great for beginners getting started in a language and invaluable for intermediates looking to fill in gaps in their vocabulary and pronunciation. 

What I love most about uTalk is that you can jump around their extensive library of topics and choose what you want to learn, when you want, and at your own pace.  Because I believe in uTalk so much, I reached out to them and we’ve teamed up to offer you an exclusive 30% OFF reader discount across all of uTalk’s 140 languages! This offer isn’t available anywhere else! Click here to claim your exclusive 30% discount.

Let’s take a quick look at the French language so you’re a bit more clued up on its origin, use, and vocabulary.

I hope you enjoy this post as much as I enjoyed bringing it together. If you have any requests for other languages, let me know in the comments section!

Where is French spoken?

Top French Phrases for Travel - Arc de Triomphe at sunset

That’s a lot of Bonjour -ing!

French is the third most spoken language in Europe, after German and English and has official-language status in 29 countries, including: Belgium , Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada , Chad, the Ivory Coast, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, France , Haiti, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Mali, Monaco, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Switzerland , Togo and Vanuatu. French is even one of six official languages of the United Nations.

It seems like nearly everyone wants to learn French, it’s the only language, alongside English, that is taught in every country in the world!

And the best way to learn it? Well, France operates the biggest international network of cultural institutes, which run French-language courses close to a million learners. My two favourite ways to learn French is by attending language classes – so I’m not only held accountable but also for the social aspect –  and going on language holiday too!

A Brief History of the French Language

Top French Phrases for Travel - Pont Alexandre III

The French and English languages have a pretty mixed-up history. Following the Norman Conquest of 1066, Norman French was adopted as the language of power on the British Isles.

For the next 400 years, French was the language of the nobility and of most official documents. King Henry V put a stop to that when he went to war with France, but because the two languages existed in parallel for so long, the English language is peppered with words of French origin, many of which can be traced back to French roots. This means that you actually already know a lot of French, even if you don’t think you do.

Now for the tricky stuff!

French Pronunciation Tips

Top French Phrases for Travel - Montparnasse Tower at sunset

There is a total of 26 letters in the French alphabet. Standard French contains 13 oral vowels and up to 4 nasal vowels, but there are 5 additional accented letters that can be applied to change the sound of a letter.

Here are some helpful pronunciation tips:

Using Liaisons

One of the fundamental rules of pronouncing French (and many other Latin-based languages) is that everything has to flow. That’s one of the reasons why French sounds so beautiful.

If you’re speaking French correctly, everything should sound like a continuous melody.

That’s where liaisons come in.

Liaisons are a phonetic link between two words that may sound awkward if left unconnected.

Let’s take a look at some examples where they are used  when speaking:

  • After pronouns e.g. vous avez sounds like vooz-ah-vey not  voo ah-vey
  • Numbers and nouns e.g. deux amis sounds like derz-ah-mee not der ah-me
  • One syllable prepositions e.g chez eux sounds like shez-uur not sheh uur

And liaisons that are forbidden when speaking:

  • When using full names e.g.
  • After et (and)

Liaisons may seem complicated at first, but they will become easier the more you listen to spoken French. After a while, you’ll automatically be able to notice where a liaison is needed (and where it isn’t) and how to make it sound natural when speaking.

What Not to Pronounce in French

Much like English, the French language isn’t written phonetically. The same sound can be represented by several different combinations of letters, and there are many cases of silent French letters. Two of the most well known are the silent “e” and the silent “h.”

The Silent “e”

The letter “e” is often silent in French, especially at the end of a word. Here are some examples:

Rue (road/street) is pronounced  roo not roo-ee and inacceptable (unacceptable) is pronounced an-ah-sep-tah-bil not an-ah-sep-tah-ble

Of course, there are exceptions when it comes to masculine and feminine adjectives and nouns.

In the case of feminine adjectives and nouns, this typically means that the final consonant of the masculine form will now be pronounced. So, the masculine ouvert , meaning open in the masculine form and pronounced oo-ver , will become ouverte  in the feminine form and pronounced oo-vert . The ‘ e ’ makes the final letter sounded.

The Final Consonant

As you’ve probably already noticed, there are a tonne of French letters that simply aren’t pronounced at the end of words. Don’t worry, you’ll get used to it!

In French, silent letters, or lettres muettes , have rules and exceptions just like many other linguistic concepts.

In general, the final consonants of a word are usually silent in French except in some cases of the letters c, f, l or r .

Just remember this simple rule, the consonants in the word ‘ careful ’ are always pronounced.

For example,

Avec (with) is pronounced  ah-ve k

Cinq (five) is pronounced saan k

Hiver (winter) is pronounced ee-ve r

The general rule regarding French word endings is that when in doubt, you probably don’t pronounce it. But, French is full of exceptions!

The Infamous “r”

For many English speakers, the French “r” can be a source of frustration. To pronounce it, you’ll need to use your throat and imagine you’re trying to gargle. The French “r” is pronounced in the same place as the English “k”, but with your throat closed.

The Silent “h”

As you’ve probably noticed from every French speaker’s failed attempt to say the word “hamburger” in English, the “h” in French is a silent letter no matter where it’s located in a word.

The only exception to this is when the preceding letter is “c,” in which case the “ch” combination makes a “sh” sound or “k” sound.

Here are a few examples of the silent “h”:

Le haricot vert (French bean) is pronounced leh ah-ree-coh ver

Huit (eight) is pronounced weet

Hiver (winter) is pronounced ee-ver

Top French Phrases for Travel - Cruise down the Seine River

Admittedly there are a few finicky grammar rules to learn, but generally speaking, English grammar corresponds relatively closely to French grammar.

Consider words in English that end with – ible  and -able , these are the same in French, only the pronunciation changes. So, the French word ‘possible’ sounds like poss-ee-bleh and ‘comfortable’ becomes kom-for-tah-bleh .

Then we have English words ending in -ent and -ant which also come from French and have the same spelling and the same meaning. So, the word, différent sounds like diff-er-ohnt  and important  sounds like ahm-poor-tahnt . The ‘t’ at the end is just slightly sounded.

Had enough? Ok, one more! Words in English ending in -ary l ike contrary become -aire in French. So, ‘contrary’ becomes contraire  and sounds like kon-trair .

There are so many rules like this, so you can see just how easy learning French can be.

Here are top 10 French Italian Phrases for Travel You SHOULD Know [& How to Use Them]

Top french phrases for travellers.

Top French Phrases for Travel Downloadable Guide with Pronunciation Tips

Want the infographic to take with you? Scroll to the bottom of the page.

Greetings Essentials Questions Eating Out Getting Around Numbers Days Emergencies

**There are a few places that use unique words for the numbers 70 ( septante ) and 90 ( nonante ), such as Belgium and Switzerland. With the numbers 80 to 89, combine the number 4, the number 20, and the ones.

For example, in French 80 is four 20s, 81 is four 20s plus 1, and so forth. (Unlike most French-speaking countries, Switzerland actually has a word for the number 80. It’s huitante .)

Want more? Learn French with me, with Intrepid French!

How to Master French for Travel FAST

Travelling to France? Don’t be treated like a tourist! Live your best travel experiences and learn France for less than the cost of eating at a tourist trap restaurant or a taxi driver who has “taken you for a ride”.  In addition to my free French travel phrase guide , I’ve made it even easier for you to master the French language so you can create lifelong memories as you mingle with locals , get local tips , avoid tourist traps , and make new friends . Join my popular French course here.

Here’s what my students are saying: 

Testimonial - How to Learn Italian for Travel FAST! - Basil P

Loved it, loved it, loved it. I’ve been trying to learn languages using various language learning apps for years now and although I know random words I feel no more confident in actually speaking the language than I was when I started.” – Basil Pereira

Click here more details and get instant access!

Have a laugh with these funny French expressions

Like it? Pin or download this French travel phrase guide

Top French Phrases for Travel Downloadable Guide with Pronunciation Tips

Like it? Pin it for later!

Essential French Phrases for Travel and Printable Guide

Learning French? Check out these French language guides

  • Top 10 French Phrases You Should NEVER Say [& What to Use Instead]
  • How to Sound More French: Top 10 French Phrases the French Love Saying
  • How a ‘potato’ improved my French pronunciation
  • 25 Funny French Idioms Translated Literally
  • 22 Most Common French Grammar Mistakes [& How to Avoid Them]

Want to know more about learning languages? Start here!

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  • What Type of Language Learner Are You? Your 4-Step Personalised Learning Plan
  • 15 Top Language Learning Resources You Should Use
  • 44 Best Movies on Disney Plus for Learning Languages
  • 13 Ways to Seamlessly Integrate Language Learning into Your Daily Life
  • 10 Pro Tips: How to Learn a Language with a Full-Time Job
  • 7 Reasons Why You Should Go on a Language Holiday
  • Essential Travel Phrases: How to be Travel Fluent in 10 Simple Steps
  • 23 Cool Gift for Language Learners They Will Actually Use and Love
  • How to Learn Your First Foreign Language in 8 Simple Steps: A Beginner’s Guide
  • 11 Life-Changing Reasons Why You Should Learn a Language
  • 42 beautiful Inspirational Quotes for Language Learners
  • Language learning tips: 11 Polyglots Reveal The Secrets of Their Success
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Don’t miss my France Travel Guides

  • How to Spend 4 Days in Paris: Ultimate First Timer’s Guide to Paris
  • Where to Stay in Paris: A Fairytale Stay at Hotel Trianon Rive Gauche [Hotel Review]
  • Where to Stay in Paris: A Decadent Stay at Hôtel Thérèse [Hotel Review]

Over to you!

Which of these French phrases are the most useful? What other languages would you like a travel phrase guide for? Have you been to a French-speaking country? Let me know using the comments section below or join me on social media to start a conversation.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this post.

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travelling quotes in french

Michele creates language learning guides and courses for travel. What separates her from other instructors is her ability to explain complex grammar in a no-nonsense, straightforward manner using her unique 80/20 method. Get her free guide 9 reasons you’re not fluent…YET & how to fix it! Planning a trip? Learn the local language with her 80/20 method for less than the cost of eating at a tourist trap restaurant Start learning today!

Blond or Blonde: Why Does Grammatical Gender in English Still Exist?

How to sound more french: top 10 french phrases you should use.

travelling quotes in french

This is great. I took years of French when in school, 40-years ago and now want to re-learn and be able to get by when traveling. Merci

travelling quotes in french

Hi! (Sorry for the Failures, I don’t speak english very well because I am french) My Name is Salomé and I am from France. I felt random on your Website and I watched you tables and the picture called ” French travel Cheat sheet “. What you’re doing is awesome because you help people open us to the World. I am proud of what you do. I want to help because I am a native speaker of French not of all the French (Canada, Belgium..) but from France. Salomé

travelling quotes in french

Hey Michele, love the article, love the guide. I think there are some mistakes on the French spelling and pronuciation for the word Right.

Right =droite drrrwa (with the funny r for the French). Apart from that, what a precious website!! Well done!

Hi Monique, thank you for correcting this typo, I’ve just fixed it now :)

travelling quotes in french

Hey Michele

This is so cool. Thanks for sharing it. I was I Paris about a month ago and these would have come in very handy. Keep up the good work.

Merci Au revour

Thanks Basil, I’m so glad you enjoyed this post. I hope you’ll find it useful for future travels in Francophone countries :)

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travelling quotes in french

Survival French: 120 Must-know Phrases for visitors to France

You are currently viewing Survival French: 120 Must-know Phrases for visitors to France

  • Post category: French Language / Travel to France
  • Post author: Nassie Angadi

If you are planning a trip in France, you may want to learn a few french travel phrases to make the most of your visit. Travel can be stressful, so there’s no better way to calm your nerves than by understanding the local language .

The French are notoriously shy about speaking English, so a few phrases in French is bound to put everyone at ease. In this article, I will cover some useful phrases in various instances, from asking directions, ordering at a restaurant, going somewhere in a taxi, etc.

So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the top useful French travel phrases for your big trip to France. Allons-y!

Greetings and general phrases

There is quite a lot of different French greetings but the most basic is the Bonjour . If there is only one word to remember on your trip, this is the one.

View of the Seine in Paris

Asking for help

You can find more information on calling emergency numbers in France here.

At the airport

restaurant terrasse in paris

Food, restaurants and dining out

You can find more French food culinary terms here and top foods to eat in France here.

Pedestrianized street in Paris

At a train station

For more numbers in French , you can find my printable here.

In a museum

You can find the top museums in Paris here.

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If you enjoyed that article, you may like to download the list in printable format below. You can also read more about traveling to Paris here. A bientôt!

free printable

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Home » Articles » 60+ Essential French Phrases for Beginners to Start Speaking Now

travelling quotes in french

Full disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. ?

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written by Benny Lewis

Language: French

Reading time: 17 minutes

Published: Jan 11, 2021

Updated: Sep 17, 2021

60+ Essential French Phrases for Beginners to Start Speaking Now

What are some French sayings? What are the most common phrases in French? And can learning a few powerful French phrases really help you start speaking right away?

Absolutely!

Even if you'll only be spending a short time in the country, learning a few basic French phrases can be very rewarding and make a big difference to your trip.

Let’s start by mastering some of the most common French phrases you need to know as a beginner:

I've long advocated that set phrases are the best thing for beginners to learn when starting out.

After all, isn't the goal of language learning to communicate?

How do you expect to communicate with anybody if the only thing you've learned so far is a verb table?

So whether you're planning to travel to Paris for a week or move to Saint-Louis-du-Ha! Ha! for the rest of your life, here are the most important and useful French phrases that you should learn A.S.A.P.

Listen to the French Phrases:

Here's a quick “French phrases” video I made that will help you with pronunciation for most of the phrases in this article:

Before we get started, if you’re looking for an online French course, here’s the course I recommend: French Uncovered – Learn French Through the Power of Story, a course with a fascinating new method by my friend Olly.

French Greetings and Polite Phrases

Bonjour – “hello”.

There are many ways in French to say “hello” , but bonjour is undoubtedly the most well-known. It's universally polite and friendly, whether the situation is formal or informal.

Bonjour is a combination of the words bon (“good”) and jour (“day”).

In the evening, you could also say bonsoir (“good evening”). A more casual way to greet people is salut , which can mean either “hi!” or “bye!”.

S'il vous plaît / s'il te plaît – “Please”

As a tourist, the last thing you want to be is rude. So when in France, remember what your mother taught you, and say s'il vous plaît (“please”) when making a request.

You can also say s'il te plaît. What's the difference? It's all about “you”:

In French there are two ways of saying “you”.

Tu is what you'd use when addressing a friend. Vous is a more polite and formal version, best used when talking to a stranger or older person.

( Vous is also what you should use when addressing a group of people in any situation, similar to saying “you guys” or “you all” in English).

So s'il vous plaît and s'il te plaît both mean “please” (literally, “if it pleases you”), but s'il vous plait is the more polite version. If in doubt, use s'il vous plaît .

(Why is it s'il te plait and not s'il tu plait ? It's a grammatical thing that you don't need to worry about as a beginner. Just learn the phrase as a whole for now, and things will become clear later.)

In fact, when asking for something in French – e.g. asking a stranger for directions or asking to see a menu in a restaurant, you should start with “ Bonjour. S'il vous plaît… ” It literally means “Hello, please…”, which would sound a bit strange in English, but it's the normal way to start a polite request in French.

Comment vous appelez-vous? / Comment t'appelles-tu? – “What’s your name?”

When meeting anyone, one of the first things you'll want to know is their name.

In French, you can find it out by asking “ Comment vous appelez-vous? ” (formal) or “ Comment t'appelles-tu? ” (informal).

Literally, these questions mean “what do you call yourself?”. You could also ask “ c'est quoi ton nom? ” – which is a more literal translation of “what's your name?”

If you're on the receiving end of this question, answer with “ Je m'appelle… ” (“my name is”, literally “I call myself”) or a simple “ Je suis… ” (“I am…”).

Oui/Non/Si – “Yes/No”

Two essential words to learn in any language are “yes” and “no”. In French, “yes” is oui and “no” is non .

Informally, it's also common to say ouais or ouaip instead of oui – like saying “yeah” or “yep” in English.

Then you have si . This is a handy little word that has no direct equivalent in English. Use it to say “yes” when someone asks you a negatively phrased question.

To illustrate what I mean, imagine that someone asks you, in English, “haven't you been to Paris?”

If you reply “yes”, it's not exactly clear what you're saying. Do you mean “yes, I have been to Paris – contrary to your assertion” or “yes, you're correct: I haven't been to Paris”?

French avoids this confusion with the word si . It means “yes”, but more specifically it contradicts the assertion in the question. In the above example, if you say si , it clearly conveys that you have, in fact, been to Paris.

Si is one of many linguistic features that I sorely miss when I speak English.

Comment allez-vous? – “How are you?”

This is the polite way of saying “how are you?” in French. Note the use of the polite vous rather than the informal tu .

Another, more informal way to say “how are you?” is ça va ? This phrase is extremely common – when in France you'll likely hear it several times per day.

If someone asks you “ ça va? ”, you can respond with a simple “ ça va bien ” – “it's going well”.

Excusez-moi – “Excuse me”

To get someone's attention, whether they're a waiter in a restaurant or a stranger on the street, say “ excusez-moi ”, “excuse me”.

This is also the polite way to ask someone to get out of your way. For example, if you're trying to exit a crowded train, a soft “ excusez-moi ” should (hopefully) be enough to make people step aside.

Pardon – “Sorry”

Picture getting off a crowded train, being careful you don't bump into anyone as you walk through the crowded metro station. But if a collision does occur, it's fine. Just say pardon , “sorry”, and all will be forgiven.

“ Pardon? ” is also how you'd ask someone to repeat themselves if you didn't hear or understand what they said. In this case, you should say it with a rising tone to indicate that it's a question.

Another way to say this is “ pourriez-vous répéter, s’il vous plaît ?” – “Could you repeat, please?”

Merci beaucoup – “Thanks a lot”

And of course, don't forget to say thank you!

The French word for “thank you” is merci . Or you can make it stronger by saying merci beaucoup – “thanks very much”.

Use merci in all the same situations you'd say “thank you” in English.

Other Must-Know French Greetings and Polite Phrases:

  • Nice to meet you – Enchanté
  • How’s it going? – Comment ça va?
  • And you? – Et toi?
  • Are you well? – Vous allez bien?
  • What’s new? / What’s up? – Quoi de neuf?
  • Good, thanks! – Bien, merci!
  • So-so / It’s okay – Comme ci, comme ça (Literally: “like this, like that”)
  • Same as always – Comme d’hab
  • It could be worse – Ça pourrait être pire
  • You’re welcome – Je t'en prie
  • Don’t mention it / You’re welcome – De rien
  • Goodbye – Au revoir
  • See you soon – À bientôt!

French Phrases for Maintaining a Conversation

Je voudrais parler français – “i would like to speak french”.

The French are famously protective of their language. Sometimes they can be a bit impatient with us anglophones, and reply in English to your imperfect French questions.

It's frustrating when this happens, but if you ever want to make progress in a foreign language, you absolutely must stop speaking English !

Be polite but firm when someone tries to speak English with you – tell them “ Je voudrais parler français ” – “I'd like to speak French.”

Note that, unlike in English, names of languages are not written with a capital letter in French.

Je ne comprends pas – “I don’t understand”

Sometimes pardon doesn't quite cut it. If you really can't figure out what the other person is saying, try telling them “ je ne comprends pas ” – “I don't understand.”

There's no shame in being a beginner! Just remember not to fall back to English when the going gets tough. If you don't understand something, persevere in French anyway – it's the only way you'll learn.

Que veut dire ça? – “What does that mean?”

Maybe the reason you didn't understand is because there was a specific word you didn't recognise. If that's the case, say “ que veut dire X? ” – “What does X mean?”

You can also phrase this as “ ça veut dire quoi? ” – “What does that mean?”

Plus lentement – “More slowly”

Sometimes, vocabulary isn’t the problem. You’d know the words if you could make them out, but you can't because the other person is talking too fast!

In this case, try saying plus lentement – “more slowly”.

Better yet, say a full sentence: “ Pourriez-vous parler plus lentement, s’il vous plaît? ” – “Can you speak more slowly, please?”

Comment dit-on __ en français? – “How do you say __ in French?”

What if you need to say something in French, but the exact word escapes you?

Just fill in the blank in the above sentence: “ Comment dit-on X en français? ” means “How do you say X in French”?

A side note: the pronoun on , seen above, is an interesting one. It’s a colloquial alternative to nous (“we”). However, on is also used to refer to an unspecified person or people in general, like the word “one” is sometimes used in formal English. (If you speak German, note that on in this sense is like the German word man .)

One doesn't use the word “one” very much in modern English – one finds it rather old-timey and stuffy. These days you normally use “you” when you're talking about people in general.

Comment ça s'écrit? – “How do you spell that?”

If you learn a new French word using the phrase above, you might want to write it down before you forget it.

Unfortunately, French spelling isn't the easiest.

The relationship between spelling and French pronunciation can be complicated. Generally, it's easier to figure out a word's pronunciation from its spelling than it is to know its spelling from its pronunciation. I wrote a guide to help you with French pronunciation here .

So if you're not sure, ask someone “ comment ça s'ecrit? ” – “How do you spell that?” Literally: “How does that write itself?”

Or if you don't trust your own transcription abilities, try asking them to write it for you: say “ Est-ce que vous pouvez l'écrire? ” – “Can you write it (down)?”

Other Helpful Phrases for Maintaining a French Conversation:

  • Can you speak more slowly please? – Pouvez-vous parler plus lentement s'il vous plaît?
  • Can you say it one more time? – Pouvez-vous le dire une fois de plus?
  • Do you speak French? – Parlez-vous français?
  • Do you understand? – Comprenez vous?
  • What do you do for a living? – Qu’est-ce que tu fais dans la vie?
  • How old are you? – Quel âge as-tu?
  • I’m _ years old – J’ai _ ans
  • Where are you from? – D'où êtes-vous?
  • I’m from… – Je viens…
  • Are you married? – Es-tu marié?
  • Are you single? – Es-tu célibataire?
  • When can we meet? – Quand pouvons-nous nous rencontrer?
  • What’s your phone number? – Quel est ton numéro de téléphone?

French Phrases for Getting Around

Où est… – “where is…”.

Struggling to find your way around? Not to worry. Just get a stranger's attention (remember what phrase would you use to do this?) and ask “ où est X ” – “Where is X?”

“X” could be many things: la Tour Eiffel, le Louvre, Notre Dame … or perhaps something less exotic, like le metro or un restaurant .

Où se trouve la station de métro la plus proche? – “Where is the closest metro station?”

Another way of saying “where is it?” is où se trouve , literally “where is (it) found”.

Here's an example of où se trouve combined with another handy phrase to know: la station de métro la plus proche means “the closest metro station”.

One more piece of useful vocabulary: once you're in the metro station, you might want to ask someone “ où est le guichet? ” – “Where is the ticket window?”

Je voudrais acheter un billet – “I would like to buy a ticket”

Now that you've found the guichet , you probably want to buy a billet – a ticket. But what type of ticket do you want?

  • un billet aller simple – a one-way ticket
  • un billet aller retour – a round-trip ticket

Make your decision, and tell the assistant “ je voudrais un billet aller simple/retour pour X ” – “I would like to buy a one-way/round-trip ticket to X”, where X is your destination.

C'est combien? – “How much is it?”

France isn't the cheapest of countries – so whether you're at the guichet or elsewhere, it doesn't hurt to be price-conscious.

To ask how much something costs, say “ c'est combien? ” – “how much is it?” You can also say “ Combien ça coûte? ” – literally, “how much does it cost?”

Où sont les toilettes? – “Where are the toilets?”

It's worth learning this phrase, because you might need it in a hurry! Où sont les toilettes means “where are the toilets?”

Although if you want to use a public toilet, you could be searching for a long time.

They aren't very common in France – and if you do find one, you'll probably have to pay to use it. You're probably better off buying something in a café and using their toilets instead.

(Why is it “ où sont “, when previously we used “ où est “? Easy: sont means “are” while est means “is”. Since toilettes is plural, you must use sont , not est – “where are the toilets?”, rather than “where is the toilets”, which wouldn’t make sense.)

À quelle heure est-ce qu’il faut régler la note? – “What time is check out?”

If you're checking into a hotel in a French-speaking country, one useful thing to know the checkout time.

One way to find this out is to ask “ à quelle heure est-ce qu’il faut régler la note? ” – “What time must we check out?”

Another similar expression is: “ quelle est l'heure limite d'occupation? ” (Lit: “What is the occupancy cut-off time?”

La carte/le menu, s’il vous plaît. – “The menu, please.”

France is famous for its food, so while you're there, you'll probably want to dine in a restaurant or two!

When dining out in any language, there are usually a few subtleties around how to order. Here I'll explain one of the more important things to know in French: the words for “menu”.

I say “words” because there are two main ways to say “menu” in French.

The general word is carte , which you may recognise from the expression à la carte .

A carte is what you typically think of when you hear the word “menu”. It's a list of individually-priced options; you pick and choose what you want, then add up the prices to get your total bill.

But you can also ask for a menu , which is usually called a “fixed-price menu” in English. When ordering from a menu , you pick an option for each course (starter, main course, etc.) and pay the same, fixed price no matter what you selected.

Whichever option you choose, inform the serveur/serveuse (“waiter/waitress”) by saying “ la carte/le menu, s’il vous plaît ” – “the menu/fixed-price menu, please.”

Je ne peux pas manger… – “I can’t eat…”

This doesn't apply to everybody, but for those to whom it does apply, it's very important: informing the waiter about your dietary restrictions.

The simplest way to do this is to say “ je ne peux pas manger de X ” – “I can't eat X”. Here are some of the more common ways to fill in the blank:

  • cacahuètes – peanuts
  • noix – nuts
  • gluten – gluten
  • fruits de mer – shell fish
  • œufs – eggs
  • poisson – fish
  • produits laitiers – dairy products
  • viande – meat

If you're vegetarian, say so with “ je suis végétarien ” (for men) or “ végétarienne ” (for women.)

A vegan is a “ végétalien(ne) “, although végan/végane is sometimes used too.

You could also explain “ je ne consomme pas de produits animaux .” – “I don't consume animal products”

Nous voudrions commander maintenant. – “We would like to place an order now.”

To “order” in French is commander , when you're talking about ordering something in a restaurant.

Don't confuse this with ordonner , which is used in the sense of “to order a person to do something”, such as in the military.

After receiving the carte or the menu , and perhaps informing the waiter of your dietary restrictions, you may be given some time to make a decision. When you're ready, say “ nous voudrions commander maintenant ” – “we'd like to order now.”

It’s also acceptable in nearly any restaurant to use on instead of nous for we, as I mentioned earlier: On voudrait commander maintenant.

Or if you're by yourself, say je voudrais (I'd like) instead of nous voudrions (we'd like). Bon appétit!

L’addition, s’il vous plaît. – “The bill, please”

One final bit of restaurant-related vocabulary – the bill (or “check” if you're American) is l'addition .

So when you're ready to leave, say l’addition, s’il vous plaît – “the bill, please”.

You’ll often hear la facture used in Quebec instead of l’addition – however both are perfectly understandable to waitstaff.

Other French Phrases for Out and About in France:

  • Can you help me please? – Pouvez-vous m'aider s'il vous plaît?
  • I would like… – Je voudrais…
  • I’d like one of those please – J'en voudrais un s'il vous plait
  • Three: Trois
  • Four: Quatre
  • Five: *Cinq

Learn more: French Numbers: Counting in French from 1 – 100+

Romantic French Phrases

Je t'aime – “i love you”.

Finally, let’s talk about love.

They say that French is a romantic language, so maybe in your travels you'll find love on the road? Or maybe after you get home, you'll want to use your newfound French skills to woo that special someone.

So how do you say “I love you” in French?

The French word for “to love” is adorer – but you generally only use this word when talking about things rather than people, for example to say that you love a place, book, or song.

When talking to a person, say je t'aime . Aimer usually means “like”, but in this context it means “love” in the most romantic of senses. Use it wisely!

Here are some other romantic French phrases:

  • My heart – Mon cœur
  • My love – Mon amour
  • You’re beautiful – Tu es belle (to a woman); Tu es beau (to a man)
  • You’re too cute – Tu es trop mignon
  • I like you (Lit: “You please me”) – Tu me plais

Bonus: French Slang

Wondering what a famous French saying is that you could use in everyday life? Or how do you say “cool” in French slang?

Here are some bonus French sayings and slang to level up your French:

  • Cool – Cool (yes, really! Just say it with a French accent 😉)
  • Awesome – Génial
  • That sucks – C’est nul
  • That’s great – C’est top
  • Don’t worry – T'inquiète
  • Losing my mind – Perdre la tête

Over to You

Can you think of any other useful French phrases for tourists? What are the most important words and phrases for beginners to know? Let us know in the comments.

And if you’re ready to learn more French, check out the 111 core French words that are commonly used. Or learn some more fun French slang !

Benny Lewis

Founder, Fluent in 3 Months

Fun-loving Irish guy, full-time globe trotter and international bestselling author. Benny believes the best approach to language learning is to speak from day one .

Speaks: Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Esperanto, Mandarin Chinese, American Sign Language, Dutch, Irish

Have a 15-minute conversation in your new language after 90 days

Jones Around The World

The 91 Best Quotes About France To Inspire A French Vacation

Searching for the best quotes about France? I’ve compiled the ultimate list of the greatest quotes ever spoken about the European country that are guaranteed to inspire and enchant.

Timeless, elegant and endlessly delighting, France continues to be a world class destination tens of millions of visitors each year flock to. 

There’s endless inspiration to be found in the cobblestone streets of Paris, the lavender fields of Provence, the stylish seafront locales of the French Riviera and the mountain peaks of the Alps – and everywhere in between. 

travelling quotes in french

As a result, we have been gifted with some of the most memorable quotes about France to enjoy. 

These 91 quotes are some of the best France quotes that stir the senses and convey the beauty of the European destination to the reader.

Famous Quotes About France

The Best Quotes About France 

Some quotes about France really just sum up this incredible European country and transport you right there. These are the best of the best quotes about France from some of the greatest wordsmiths in history. 

1) “If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.” – Ernest Hemingway

2) “i wanted to get far away from those who believed in cruelty, so then i went to france, a land of true freedom, democracy, equality and fraternity.” – josephine baker, 3) “other countries drink to get drunk, and this is accepted by everyone; in france, drunkenness is a consequence, never an intention. a drink is felt as the spinning out of a pleasure, not as the necessary cause of an effect which is sought: wine is not only a philtre, it is also the leisurely act of drinking.” – roland barthes.

The Best France Quotes

4) “In France you cannot not have lunch. If you stopped the French from having lunch, you will have a second revolution, I can tell you this. Not going to work – it is part of the French privilege.” Christian Louboutin

5) “i do not believe there is another city on earth so beautiful as paris nor another people with such an appreciation of the beautiful as the french…” – edward hopper, 6) “you can’t escape the past in paris, and yet what’s so wonderful about it is that the past and present intermingle so intangibly that it doesn’t seem to burden.” – allen ginsberg, 7) “i think paris smells not just sweet but melancholy and curious, sometimes sad but always enticing and seductive. she’s a city for the all senses, for artists and writers and musicians and dreamers, for fantasies, for long walks and wine and lovers and, yes, for mysteries.” – m.j. rose.

The Best Quotes About France

8) “I just love France, I love French people, I love the French language, I love French food. I love their mentality. I just feel like it’s me. I’m very French.” – Olga Kurylenko

9) “i had come to the conclusion that i must really be french, only no one had ever informed me of this fact. i loved the people, the food, the lay of the land, the civilized atmosphere, and the generous pace of life.” – julia child, 10) “what an immense impression paris made upon me. it is the most extraordinary place in the world” – charles dicken.

Funny France Quotes

11) “Paris was a universe whole and entire unto herself, hollowed and fashioned by history.” – Anne Rice

12) “france is like a maddening, moody lover who inspires emotional highs and lows. one minute it fills you with a rush of passion, the next you’re full of fury, itching to smack the mouth of some sneering shopkeeper or smug civil servant. yes, it’s a love-hate relationship.” – sarah turnbull , 13) “paris is the only city in the world where starving to death is still considered an art.” – carlos ruiz zafón.

Funny Quotes About France

Short Quotes About France 

Short, sweet and oh so chic – these short quotes about France say so much about the beautiful country without saying much at all. 

14) “Whoever does not visit Paris regularly will never really be elegant.” – Honoré de Balzac

15) “to know paris is to know a great deal.” – henry miller, 16) “france is the most civilized country in the world and doesn’t care who knows it.” – john gunther, 17) “america is my country and paris is my hometown.” – gertrude stein.

Inspiring France Quotes

18) “Paris is the greatest temple ever built to material joys and the lust of the eyes.” – Henry James

19) “france has the only two things towards which we drift as we grow older – intelligence and manners.” – f. scott fitzgerald, 20) “the french air cleans up the brain and does good – a world of good.” – vincent van gogh, 21) “as an artist, a man has no home in europe save in paris.” – friedrich nietzsche.

Inspiring Quotes About France

22) “Every man has two countries: his own and France.” – John F. Kennedy 

23) “paris is not a city, it’s a world.” – king francois i, 24) “in france, history is paralyzing.” – jean paul gaultier, 25) “but of paris it can be said that the right bank of the seine belongs to the world, and the left bank to france.” – mary butts.

Short Quotes About France

26) “They have a very low rate for attempted murder and a high rate for successfully concluded murder. It seems that when a French person sets out to kill someone, they make a good job of it.” – Nick Yapp

27) “france has a clear and defined policy… the french know what they want.” – anton chekov, 28) “it is not what france gave you but what it did not take from you that was important.” – gertrude stein, 29) “when good americans die, they go to paris.” – oscar wilde.

Short France Quotes

Funny Quotes About France 

The most hilarious minds in the world have provided a lot of funny quotes about France – as have those who didn’t mean to be intentionally funny. These funny France quotes poke fun at the country in the best possible way. 

30) “You should definitely visit the Louvre, a world-famous art museum where you can view, at close range, the backs of thousands of other tourists trying to see the Mona Lisa.” – Dave Barry

31) “how can you govern a country which has 246 varieties of cheese” – charles de gaulle.

Celebrity France Quotes

32) “It’s true that the French have a certain obsession with sex, but it’s a particularly adult obsession. France is the thriftiest of all nations; to a Frenchman sex provides the most economical way to have fun. The French are a logical race.” – Anita Loos

33) “every year there’s a jury at the cannes film festival. getting on the jury is very competitive in france. not because the french love cinema, but because they love to judge.” – craig ferguson, 34) “i like frenchmen very much, because even when they insult you they do it so nicely.” – josephine baker.

Celebrity Quotes About France

35) “In Paris they simply stared when I spoke to them in French; I never did succeed in making those idiots understand their language.” – Mark Twain

36) “boy, those french. they have a different word for everything.” – steve martin, 37) “france is the only country where the money falls apart and you can’t tear the toilet paper.” – billy wilder.

France Quotes

Celebrity Quotes About France 

Paris has served up inspiration for famous faces for generations, and the classy country has influenced so much creativity and art. These are the best celebrity quotes about France. 

38) “You were never told that Saint-Tropez is paradise?” – Karl Lagerfeld

39) “france, and the whole of europe have a great culture and an amazing history. most important thing though is that people there know how to live in america they’ve forgotten all about it. i’m afraid that the american culture is a disaster.” – johnny depp, 40) “paris is a place where, for me, just walking down a street that i’ve never been down before is like going to a movie or something. just wandering the city is entertainment.” – wes anderson.

Quotes About France

41) “I wanted to play piano in restaurants in the south of France. I went there on holiday once and I saw this guy playing in an old tuxedo. He was all disheveled, with a whisky glass on the piano. I thought that was the coolest thing. So what’s happened to me with ‘Twilight’ isn’t really what I’d planned.” – Robert Pattinson

42) “if you love food and you love red wine and they put you in france, you’re in a good place and you’re in a bad place at the same time. you have to weigh yourself every day, and you have to have an alarm number. when you get to that number, you have to start putting it in reverse.” – salma hayek, 43) “there’s something about the air and the sky and the atmosphere in the south of france that must be very conducive to work, to being creative, because i have written several of my books there. i find it so much easier because you’re cut off. if you don’t want to speak to anybody, basically they don’t know where you are. and it’s so beautiful.” – joan collins, 44) “i love france. it’s got the sun down at the bottom, the alps for skiing, and all that wine and food. ( klonopin ) ” – paul hollywood.

Movie Quotes About France

Inspirational Quotes About France 

Wandering the cities of France is one of the most inspirational things you can do as a traveler, and these inspiring quotes about France explain exactly why. 

45) “People wonder why so many writers come to live in Paris. I’ve been living ten years in Paris and the answer seems simple to me: because it’s the best place to pick ideas. Just like Italy, Spain.. or Iran are the best places to pick saffron. If you want to pick opium poppies you go to Burma or South-East Asia. And if you want to pick novel ideas, you go to Paris.” – Roman Payne

46) “it’s true, you never forget your first love, and, for me, that will always be paris.” – caitriona belfe, 47) “the french believe that kids feel confident when they’re able to do things for themselves, and do those things well. after children have learned to talk, adults don’t praise them for saying just anything. they praise them for saying interesting things, and for speaking well.” – pamela druckerman, 48) “i’d love to be a tabletop in paris, where food is art and life combined in one, where people gather and talk for hours. i want lovers to meet over me. i’d want to be covered in drops of candle wax and breadcrumbs and rings from the bottom of wine glasses. i would never be lonely, and i would always serve a good purpose.” – maureen johnson, 49) “paris… is a world meant for the walker alone, for only the pace of strolling can take in all the rich (if muted) detail.” – edmund white, 50) “you stumble, and you soar. and, if you’re lucky, you make it to paris for a while.” – amy howard, 51) “a walk about paris will provide lessons in history, beauty, and in the point of life.” – thomas jefferson, 52) “there is an atmosphere of spiritual effort here. no other city is quite like it. i wake early, often at 5 o’clock, and start writing at once.” – james joyce.

Song Lyrics About France

53) “We have the sort of beautiful older woman here in Paris. People like Loulou de la Falaise and Betty Catroux, all these beautiful looking women over 60… So there is culture here in France that even if you are older, you can stay beautiful.” – Carine Roitfeld

54) “paris is the only city where you can step out of a railway station —and see, the seine with its bridges and bookstalls, the louvre, notre dame, the tuileries gardens, the place de la concorde, the beginning of the champs elysees—what other city offers as much as you leave a train“ – margaret anderson, 55) “i had forgotten how gently time passes in paris. as lively as the city is, there’s a stillness to it, a peace that lures in you. in paris, with a glass of wine in your hand, you can just be.” – kristin hannah.

France Song Lyrics

France Instagram Captions & Quotes 

Searching for the perfect France Instagram caption to accompany that beautiful shot of a great Parisian landmarks or just the vibe of France as a whole? This is the best collection of France Instagram captions and quotes.  

56) “Paris, je t’aime.” 

57) “breathe paris in, it nourishes the soul.” – victor hugo, 58) “paris, eiffel in love with you the second i saw you.”, 59) “i’m in love with the city of love.” .

Top Quotes About France

60) “Pardon my French.”

61) “paris, i lourve you.”, 62) “feelin’ france-y.”, 63) “to brie or not to brie, that is the question.”.

Paris Quotes

64) “And now for something a oui bit different.”

65) “la vie est belle” (life is beautiful), 66) “paris is calling and i must go.”, 67) “isn’t it nice in nice”.

Quotes About Paris

TV & Movie Quotes About France 

Many television shows and movies have either used France as inspiration for their scripts, or have jetted to the European country to film in its stunning major cities and small towns. These are the best TV and movie quotes about France. 

68) “That Paris exists and anyone could choose to live anywhere else in the world will always be a mystery to me.” – Midnight in Paris 

69) “we’ll always have paris” – casablanca, 70) “if you’re going to be sad, you might as well be sad in paris.” – gossip girl.

Short Paris Quotes

71) “Sitting there, alone in a foreign country, far from my job and everyone I know, a feeling came over me. It was like remembering something I’d never known before or had always been waiting for, but I didn’t know what. Maybe it was something I’d forgotten or something I’ve been missing all my life. All I can say is that I felt, at the same time, joy and sadness. But not too much sadness, because I felt alive. Yes, alive. That was the moment I fell in love with Paris. And I felt Paris fall in love with me.” – Paris, I Love You 

72) “lise: paris has ways of making people forget. jerry: paris no, not this city. it’s too real and too beautiful. it never lets you forget anything. it reaches in and opens you wide, and you stay that way.” – an american in paris, 73) “paris is always a good idea.” – audrey hepburn, sabrina  .

Inspirational France Quotes

74) “Once upon a time, there was a quiet little village in the French countryside, whose people believed in Tranquilité – Tranquility. If you lived in this village, you understood what was expected of you. You knew your place in the scheme of things. And if you happened to forget, someone would help remind you. In this village, if you saw something you weren’t supposed to see, you learned to look the other way. If perchance your hopes had been disappointed, you learned never to ask for more. So through good times and bad, famine and feast, the villagers held fast to their traditions. Until, one winter day, a sly wind blew in from the North…” – Chocolat

75) “i don’t know what they taught you in france, but rude and interesting are not the same things.” – french kiss , 76) “i never understood why everyone was so crazy about paris, but now… it’s. so. beautiful.” – the devil wears prada, 77) “as the french say, that certain “i don’t know what.” – austin powers: the spy who shagged me, 78) “the french are glad to die for love. they delight in fighting duels. but i prefer a man who lives… and gives expensive jewels.” – moulin rouge , 79) “americans want beauties, not me. i’m not the parisian bombshell they expected. can you see me as a chorus girl where’s my feather up the ass they think i’m sad, they’re dumb. i don’t connect to them.” – la vie en rose, 80) “this isn’t paris. this is hell.” – 2 days in paris .

Songs About France

81) “To be with another woman, that is French. To be caught, that is American.” – Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

82) “i know better than to argue romance with a french woman.” – big fish , 83) “i heard this story once about when the germans were occupying paris and they had to retreat back. they wired notre dame to blow, but they had to leave one guy in charge of hitting the switch. and the guy, the soldier, he couldn’t do it. you know, he just sat there, knocked out by how beautiful the place was. and then when the allied troops came in, they found all the explosives just lying there and the switch unturned, and they found the same thing at sacre coeur, eiffel tower. couple other places i think…” – before sunset .

French Movie Quotes

Song Lyrics About France 

From modern artists like Jay Z to vintage superstars like Ella Fitzgerald, France has served as inspiration for some seriously memorable tunes. These song lyrics about France pay homage to this incredible country through song. 

84) “Let’s go to Paris/Take me there and never look back” – Lana Del Rey, Paris  

85) “i was lost in france / in the fields the birds were singing / i was lost in france / and the day was just beginning / as i stood there in the morning.” – bonnie tyler, lost in france  , 86) “if you escaped what i’ve escaped / you’d be in paris getting fucked up too / let’s get faded, le meurice for like five days.” – jay z & kanye west, niggas in paris, 87) “the left bank is crying / for color to crown it / like the roof of a palace / we’ll drink in the amber / when i get to paris.” – elton john, paris .

France Quotes From Famous People

88) “Well if you’ve been to cities but you’ve had enough / Have you been to Paris, France? / And if you doubt that Paris was made for love / Give Paris one more chance.” – Jonathan Richman, Give Paris One More Chance

89) “i love paris in the springtime / i love paris in the fall / i love paris in the winter when it drizzles / i love paris in the summer when it sizzles.” ella fitzgerald, i love paris  , 90) “the echo of footsteps on a cobbled street / dim alleyways where the shadows meet / down the avenue lined with trees / paris bells ring on the breezn / paris bells ring on the breeze.” – marianne faithful, paris bells  , 91) “voulez-vous couchez avec moi ce soir” – lady marmalade .

Fun France Quotes

Did I miss any of the best quotes about France off my list?

There are so many fantastic quotes about France, if I listed them all you’d be reading forever! However, if I’ve missed out on a seriously great quote about France that you think deserves to be on my list, feel free to reach out to me via email or social media and I’ll see if I can add it onto the list!

Famous France Quotes

Planning a trip to France? 

They say Paris is always a good idea, but I think that France in general is always a good idea! I have a bunch of France guides, lists and itineraries on my site, and I’ve linked them below for you so be sure to check them out. I’m sure they will inspire you to book your own ticket to France. 

  • 10 Awesome Things To Do In Paris, France
  • The Ultimate 4 Days in Paris Itinerary & Travel Guide
  • The 20 Best Paris Hotels with Eiffel Tower View
  • 70+ Fascinating & Fun Facts About Paris That’ll Blow Your Mind
  • 2 Days in Paris Itinerary | The Best Way to Explore Paris in 48 Hours
  • Top 19 Music Festivals in Paris That’ll Keep You Dancing All Summer Long

Romantic France Quotes

Thanks for reading my list of the best France quotes.

Share these french quotes with your euro crew .

I highly reccomend to visit Cathedrale Ste-Croix in Orleans. A beautiful cathedral , lots of history and there are information boards in English , which is a bonus Stained glass windows tell the story of Joan of Arc Takes about 30 mins to see it all

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108 French Travel Phrases for a Smooth Trip to France

Having essential French travel phrases on hand can totally transform your trip.

If you meet people, get lost or just need to ask a local some questions , these expressions and sayings will help you out in most tourist scenarios and make your time in France truly memorable!

In this post, I’ll introduce you to 108 basic French phrases for travelers, as well as tips and cultural context so they’re easier to memorize ahead of time.

Oui ! Non ! Common French Words and Phrases

Basic french phrases to introduce yourself, questions you’ll ask while traveling in france, french for travelers to get around town, what was that clarifying french phrases, basic french phrases for shopping, phrases for dining out in french, going hard(ish) in the club, how to prepare for traveling to france, and one more thing....

Download: This blog post is available as a convenient and portable PDF that you can take anywhere. Click here to get a copy. (Download)

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Let’s start with the absolute basics.

Bonjour (Hello) Add a monsieur (sir) or madame (ma’am) to be polite.

Salut ! (Hi/Hey!) This is a more casual version of “hello.” You’ll hear the young folks throwing this one around.

Au revoir (Goodbye)

À plus / À plus tard ! (See you/See you later!)

À la prochaine ! (See you next time!)

Bisous / Bises ! (Kisses!) This is a casual way to say goodbye.

Bonsoir (Good evening)

Bonne journée ! ([Have a] good day!)

Bonne soirée ! ([Have a] good evening!)

Vous me manquez déjà ! (I miss you already!)

Pardon (Excuse me)

Merci (Thank you)

S’il vous plaît (Please)

Excusez-moi monsieur / madame (Excuse me sir/ma’am)

Parlez-vous anglais ? (Do you speak English?)

Comment dit-on … en français ? (How do you say … in French?)

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These phrases will help you out when meeting locals and trying to make French-speaking friends.

Je m’appelle… (My name is…)

Moi, c’est… (Me, I’m…) This is a more casual way of introducing yourself.

Comment vous appelez-vous ? (What is your name?)

Tu t’appelles comment ? (What’s your name?) Use this one for when you want to keep things casual, with the  tu  form .

Comment allez-vous ? (How are you?)

Ça va ? En forme ? (How are you? You good?)

Nous sommes arrivés / arrivées…  (We arrived…) Use this phrase to let someone know when you got into town.

Nous restons… (We’re staying…) Use this phrase to explain to your new friends where you’re staying, as well as how long you’re staying.

Je vous présente… (lit. “I present you…”) This is another way of saying “This is [my]…” when you want to introduce two people to each other.

Enchanté/Enchantée. (Pleased to meet you.)

Je suis ravi / ravie de faire votre connaissance.  (I am glad/delighted to meet you.) You’ll raise some impressed eyebrows if you bust out this fancy French “nice to meet ya.”

Je parle un peu français. (I speak a little French.)

If you’re learning French, chances are you’ll want to practice your language skills when you go out there. However, it can be intimidating approaching a native—letting them know that you’re not fluent will really put your mind to rest!

Saying je parle un peu français  will enable you to continue practicing your speaking skills, while at the same time alleviating any pressure you might feel to talk fluently . Use this phrase when you’re first starting a conversation, or want to continue talking to someone in French.

J’apprends le français depuis… (I’ve been learning French for…)

People are sure to notice your French accent and they’ll probably want to know how long you’ve been learning the language of love.

Je suis là pour les vacances / le travail.  (I’m here for vacation/work.)

After you’ve made your initial introductions, it’s likely that a person with whom you’re speaking will ask about the time you’re spending in France. While many people travel to the country for vacation, this isn’t always the case, so informing the other person of your reasons for traveling can help fuel the conversation you have.

It’s likely that the other person will want to expand on the topic, so having a few words ready about your future itinerary or your job wouldn’t go amiss.

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Où est… ? (Where is…?)

This is a phrase that you’ll need to use a lot in France, and it pays to memorize the names of a few places so you can get by if you’re stuck.

Here are some French phrases for travelers to build off of  “où est.”

Où est…

l’hôtel ? (the hotel?)

la banque ? (the bank?)

l’aéroport ? (the airport?)

le guichet ? (the ticket window?)

la plage ? (the beach?)

Quel temps va-t-il faire aujourd’hui ? (What will the weather be like today?)

Don’t forget that much of the time, the weather in France is described using the verb faire .

Learning some French vocabulary for weather is a great idea before you venture out—being able to understand what sun and rain are in French will help you to listen out for all the right words.

Il fait beau aujourd’hui (It’s beautiful weather today)

Il pleut (It’s raining)

Il fait chaud (It’s hot)

Il fait froid (It’s cold)

Il fait soleil / Il y a du soleil (It’s sunny)

Il fait venteux / Il y a du vent (It’s windy)

Est-ce que vous pourriez prendre ma photo, s’il vous plaît ? (Could you take my photo, please?)

Everyone loves a souvenir, and it’s likely that you’ll take your camera along with you to capture precious memories. In touristy zones, natives are used to being asked to take photos, but if you’re going to do it, it’s especially nice to be able to inquire in French.

If there are a group of you, replace ma photo (my photo) with notre photo (our photo). And to be polite, start your request with excusez-moi monsieur/madame .

Addressing someone by the equivalent of “sir” or “madam” in French is generally expected, so if in doubt, err on the side of being over-polite—the person taking your photo is much more likely to accept your request!

Pouvez-vous m’appeler un taxi, s’il vous plaît ? (Can you call me a taxi, please ?)

Getting home in France when public transport has stopped running can be a real worry, and unless you’re right next to a taxi stand, it can be very difficult to find a cab. If you’re at a venue late, ask this question to one of the staff.

Staff are likely to have all the information about local transport and taxis and normally will be able to supply you with one in no time at all! As usual, address the person in the most polite way you can and thank them for their help.

Learning about other forms of transport will also help you to no end, especially when you’re searching for a way to get home.

Le bus (The bus)

Le train (The train)

Le bateau (The boat)

Le car (The coach)

La voiture (The car)

Pouvez-vous m’aider ? (Can you help me?)

In the unlikely scenario that you get into trouble when in France, it’s really important to have armed yourself with the right words to get out of a bind. Even just knowing this phrase is incredibly handy.

Of course, just because you need help doesn’t mean you’re in trouble—you might just need directions . The above phrase can be used in those scenarios, too, and is a great way to identify people who are able to speak French and who know their way around town.

Où est l’ambassade américaine ? (Where is the American Embassy?)

Again, travel French isn’t just about getting around, eating well and having fun. There are also French phrases to know in case of emergency.

If you run into trouble in France, one good address to have on hand is that of the American embassy .  A stolen U.S. passport or ID card can be replaced at the embassy, and you might need their help if there is ever a political problem in France and you need to exit the country quickly.

That’s a rarity to be sure, but it’s better to be prepared while traveling!

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You’ll likely benefit from some further directional guidance while traveling around France. These phrases will come in handy.

Où est le métro ? (Where is the metro?)

Où sont les taxis ? (Where are the taxis?)

Où est la sortie ? (Where is the exit?)

C’est près d’ici ? (Is it close by?)

C’est loin ? (Is it far?)

Est-ce que ce bus passe par… (Does this bus pass by…)

Emmenez-moi à cette adresse, s’il vous plaît. (Take me to this address, please.)

Use this polite phrase with your taxi driver before you hand over that crumpled sticky note with François’ address on it.

Je vous dois combien ? (How much do I owe you?)

After your chauffeur de taxi (taxi driver) has so graciously driven you to François’ place, you’ll have to pay up.

Puis-je avoir un plan de la ville, s’il vous plaît ? (Can I have a map of the city, please?)

Use this phrase when you roll up to the  office de tourisme  (tourist office). You can also ask for a public transit map specifically:

Puis-je avoir un plan du métro, s’il vous plaît ? (Can I have a metro map, please?)

Je cherche… (I am looking for…)

Je cherche is another handy French travel phrase, especially if you’re traveling for the first time in a French city.

Unlike in English, where we say “I am looking for …” the French don’t use a preposition (“for”) after the verb, and simply follow this phrase with what they’re searching for.

Je cherche…

le bus (the bus)

un taxi (a taxi)

les toilettes (the toilets)

l’hôpital (the hospital)

Je ne comprends pas. (I don’t understand.)

A necessity if you’re trying to make conversation with a native, je ne comprends pas will serve you well if you ever get stuck.

Often, French people are so pleased to find a foreigner who’s able to speak their language that they’ll get a little carried away and enthusiastically try to start a complex conversation. While situations like these are incredible if you’re a learner, they can also be very intimidating.

Don’t worry if you don’t understand. Simply excuse yourself, say that you don’t understand and if you would like to continue the conversation, try the following French phrase:

Pouvez-vous répéter, s’il vous plaît ? (Could you repeat that, please?)

Parlez plus lentement, s’il vous plaît. (Speak a little slower, please.)

For French learners, the coveted native speed of speaking can seem unattainable, and while you can learn to understand it over time, it does take a little adjusting to. If you’re speaking to a local and would like them to speak a little more slowly, it’s better to just ask them, rather than suffering in silence.

Saying parlez plus lentement, s’il vous plaît  will let your speaking partner realize they might be going a little too fast for you, but that you would still like to continue.

If you’d like them to go back over something they’ve been talking about, you can again ask them to repeat themselves to have them re-cover a topic that might have gone over your head.

Don’t worry about seeming rude—French people are often willing to help learners with their language skills, and will likely have no problem adjusting their speed.

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If you’re traveling in France, you’ll probably be doing some shopping while you’re there!

Je suis à la recherche d’un… (I’m looking for a…) A great line for engaging the chipper shop girl, practicing your French and finding gifts for the folks back home.

Non, je regarde pour l’instant. (No, I’m [just] looking for the moment.)

C’est pour… (It’s for…)

Combien ça coûte ? (How much does this cost?)

Puis-je commander cela sur l’Internet ? (Can I order this on the internet?)

Je voudrais payer en liquide / espèces. (I would like to pay in cash.)

Est-ce que vous acceptez les cartes étrangères ? (Do you accept foreign cards?)

Be aware that paying for items when abroad may not work the same way as at home.

If you’re in a smaller town in France especially, it’s always worth checking with hotels or shop owners if they accept foreign modes of transaction. Asking est-ce que vous acceptez les cartes étrangères ?  will ensure that you don’t find yourself in any sticky payment situations down the line.

If you’re from North America, asking acceptez-vous les cartes sans puce ? (do you accept non-chip cards?) might be more to the point. Many North American cards don’t have chip-and-pin security, and some stores in France don’t have magnetic strip readers.

Generally, most tourist destinations will be equipped to deal with foreign credit cards, but if you’re ever not sure, it always pays to double check!

À quelle heure est-ce que cela ferme ? (What time does it close?)

Across France, especially in the summer months, it’s worth checking out closing times. To ask when a shop or attraction is closing, use this question.

On the other hand, to inquire when a place will be opening, ask à quelle heure est-ce que cela ouvre ? (what time does it open?). Both of these phrases are really essential when traveling, so make sure you learn them ahead of time!

And remember, French time works a little differently and is often given on a 24-hour cycle, so if someone responds with dix-sept heures   (literally, “17 hours”), they mean 5 p.m.

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French cuisine is famous around the world, so what better place to try it than in its country of origin? These French phrases will help you make the most of dining in France.

Une table pour 4, s’il vous plaît. (A table for 4, please.

Le menu, s’il vous plaît. (The menu, please.)

La carte des vins, s’il vous plaît. (The wine menu, please.)

Est-ce que le service est compris ? (Is the tip included?)

C’est trop bon ! (This is so good!)

J’ai bien mangé.   (I ate well/I’m full.)

Je suis répu / repue.  (I’m satisfied/I’m full.) This one will really impress people. This is some real français   soutenu  (formal French) , and you’ll rarely hear a young French person say this.

On prend l’apéro ensemble ? (Let’s have an apéritif together?)

An apéritif is a beverage one drinks before eating—typically something alcoholic like whiskey, vodka or  pastis , for example.

Je voudrais… (I would like…)

Je voudrais is likely to be a phrase that you’ll need to use very frequently—when ordering food , attending new places or just trying to buy something in a shop.

While most phrasebooks will contain the names of most foods and items that you would need to order, it’s worth remembering a few so that you don’t get stuck in a sticky situation! Here are a few you may want to commit to memory.

Je voudrais…

un café (a coffee)

une bière (a beer)

une baguette (a baguette)

de l’eau (some water)

l’addition (the bill)

À votre santé ! (To your health!)

Say this right before you clink glasses with your new French pals. Be sure to make eye contact while doing so .

You can also just say santé !  (health!). À  la vôtre !   (to yours!) is also a good option when you’re with more than one person or having a tête-à-tête  (one-on-one discussion) with a distinguished gentleperson.

À la tienne !   (to yours!) works for casual one-on-one scenarios. Tchin tchin !   (clink clink!)   has the benefit of being pretty cute and onomatopoeic.

You’re sure to exude a certain  je ne sais quoi  (“I don’t know what”) as well as an ease with pronouns .

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You’ve done the museums, the galleries, the restaurants, the cafés… time to party!

Ça te dit d’aller boire un verre ce soir ? (Want to go get a drink tonight?)

J’ai envie de faire la fête ! (I want to party!)

On s’installe là-bas ? (Let’s sit over there?)

Je voudrais une pinte de blonde / un verre de vin.  (I would like a pint of light ale/glass of wine.)

On va prendre la bouteille. (We’ll take the bottle.)

On prend des shooters ! (We’re taking shots!)

Est-ce qu’il y a un after ? (Is there an after party?)

Je suis crevé / crevée, j’y vais.  (I’m spent, I’m leaving.)

Rentrez-bien ! (Get home safely!) A good phrase to keep in your pocket when you’re leaving your party animal friends in the club.

Je me suis vraiment bien amusé / amusée.  (I really enjoyed myself.) Did your new French pals take you on an exhilarating tour of the coins et  recoins (nooks and crannies) of a charming neighborhood? Then let them know that you had fun!

Find a French phrasebook for travelers

Collins French Phrasebook and Dictionary (Collins Gem)

Before you travel, you’re going to want to arm yourself with a few essentials, and at the top of your list should be a really great French phrasebook . Although I’ve just given you lots of helpful, common French travel phrases, it’s always good to be ready for any eventuality, and a phrasebook will act as a great backup.

One great phrasebooks for French learners are the “Collins French Phrasebook,” which contains a French dictionary for your convenience.

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For more options, you’ll want to explore Lonely Planet   to see what’s available. There are French phrasebooks for every corner of the French-speaking world, and some have additional features like accompanying audio files, travel guides or apps.

Research local customs

Wherever you go in France, you’ll find a whole host of things that make the area unique. Whether it’s local French cooking , events or linguistic differences, it pays to research the place you’re going and, if necessary, learn a few basic French phrases relating to whatever may be going on around you.

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In Paris, for example, some museums and galleries are free to all on the first Sunday of the month—a deal worth taking full advantage of! If you want to check out the region to which you’re traveling, France.fr is a great place to do so.

And of course, your French phrasebooks or regional travel guides can offer you insight into customs, culture, etiquette and holidays.

Make a list of activities

Just getting to France may seem like a dream come true, but unless you have some idea of how you want to spend your time, it can pass you by in a haze.

Before you leave for your trip, try making a list of things you’d like to do. This way, you can adjust the phrases you learn accordingly and be ready to ask about certain exhibitions in the area or how to find a place to eat that serves a certain local dish you’d like to try.

Spontaneity is wonderful, but a little planning doesn’t hurt, either!

Use an immersion program

You can get used to hearing the French language before you leave your house with immersion programs. Using an immersion program at home is a good way to get used to the sounds and natural speed of the language. It’s also a way to hear turns of phrases , filler words and slang —basically, parts of the language that are rarely taught in textbooks. Learn these, and your French will sound much more natural.

Learn polite French terms of address

The French take manners very seriously, and if you’re meeting someone for the first time, or talking to a stranger, it’s important that you address them in the right way.

If you’re trying to attract the attention of someone who might be able to help you, say either “hello sir/madam” or “excuse me sir/madam” in French, as given above. Similarly, when you enter a shop, it’s always nice to greet the shopkeeper by saying hello or good morning, also as you learned above.

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You can get a head start on polite conversation for practical, everyday matters with ed2go’s Beginning Conversational French course. This is a short online course that prepares you for communication in places like restaurants, hotels and other typical scenarios you may encounter on your travels.

There are also different terms of address in French, and depending on how well you know someone, you’ll have to address them in a certain way. For people you know, you can say tu (you) when talking to them. This can also be used for children and animals.

For strangers, figures of authority or your elders, you must use  vous (you). This is a much more polite term of address, and expected when you haven’t gotten to know someone well yet.

If you’re struggling to know which one to use, always veer on the side of caution and use  vous. The other person will tell you if they want you to say tu to them instead!

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Traveling to France is a thrilling and eye-opening experience.

In order to get the most out of the trip, it’s a great idea for tourists and travelers to learn some basic French phrases and words ahead of time.

These French travel phrases will have your back throughout your trip!

FluentU has a wide variety of great content, like interviews, documentary excerpts and web series, as you can see here:

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FluentU brings native French videos with reach. With interactive captions, you can tap on any word to see an image, definition and useful examples.

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For example, if you tap on the word "crois," you'll see this:

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Practice and reinforce all the vocabulary you've learned in a given video with learn mode. Swipe left or right to see more examples for the word you’re learning, and play the mini-games found in our dynamic flashcards, like "fill in the blank."

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All throughout, FluentU tracks the vocabulary that you’re learning and uses this information to give you a totally personalized experience. It gives you extra practice with difficult words—and reminds you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned.

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30 French Phrases You Absolutely Need When Visiting France

Steffen Schönherr

  • Read time 16 mins

30 French Phrases You Absolutely Need When Visiting France

Today I’ve gathered up 30 of the most important French phrases when visiting France to share with you.

France is a dream destination for many and one of the most popular places to travel.

Traveling is a fascinating experience unlike anything else. If you want to get the most out of your journey, try engaging local people in their own language. Maybe your French sounds more like Pepe le Pew and you’re afraid that you’ll be laughed at.

The American stereotype of the French and native French speakers is not necessarily flattering and if you believe that, it might discourage you from trying.

The truth is that Franco-phones are very proud of their native tongue, and as such, they insist that it be spoken properly.

So if a French person corrects your French, take it as a compliment that they want to help you become better at their beloved language.

Try one of these French phrases out on your waitress, hotel clerk, or a passerby and see how much more interested they become! (here’s a pronunciation guide if you need it).

There are also some great online French courses , podcasts and apps that will take you beyond a few simple phrases.

Essential French phrases:

1. bonjour monsieur / madame (hello sir / madam).

If you only learn one of these French phrases well, let it be this polite greeting.

Bonjour means “hello” in French or more literally good (bon) day (jour).

It’s more than just a polite phrase; greeting a shop owner or employee with “bonjour monsieur/madame” – “hello sir/ma’am”, is not only a cultural norm, but it changes the tone of your visit drastically.

Just greeting the shopkeeper shows that you respect them and that you want to communicate with them, and no one can help you find exactly what you’re looking for like the owner.

Skip the bonjour and all you’re likely to get is a cold and unimpressive visit.

Some other ways to greet people is “Bonsoir” (bon swah) or good evening, and “salut” (sa loo): hi.

2. Comment allez-vous? (How are you?)

“How are you doing” or more literally “how are you going”.

It’s a formal way of initiating polite conversation.

If you were talking to a friend, you might say ça va (sa va)? meaning “it goes?” To respond, you answer in the same manner, changing your intonation to match your mood. Ça va with a sigh means something very different than ça va said with an exclamation point.

3. S’il vous plaît (Please)

Every traveler should know how to say “please” in the local language.

S’il vous plaît is “if it pleases you”.

Another version you might hear is “s’il te plaît” – the difference is which form of “you” you use. In French, “vous” is you in the plural, and also a formal address.

Te (or tu, but let’s leave pronoun troubles for another day) is for someone you know well, a friend, a family member, or a child.

4. Merci / merci beaucoup (Thanks / Thanks a lot)

Practically everyone knows how to say “thank you” in French.

If you want to make it a big thank you, add on “beaucoup” – many, making the phrase into “many thanks”.

5. De rien (You’re welcome)

“De rien” is the most familiar way to say “you’re welcome”, but not the only way.

“De rien” translates directly to “of nothing”, or in effect, “it was nothing.”

You’ll be safe using this phrase in most cases, but if you want more options, try “pas de quoi” (pah duh kwah) meaning “no need (to mention it)” or “avec plaîtir” (ah vehk plah zeeyuh) – with pleasure.

The latter is more common in the south of France.

6. Oui, s’il vous plaît / non, merci (Yes please / No thanks)

Oui and non are essential words to get you around Paris.

Oui means yes, and you may hear the more casual “ouais” or “ouaip” – the equivalent of “yeah” or “yep” in English. Non means just what it sounds like – no.

Another way to say yes is “si”, though it’s not used the same way as in Spanish.

“Si” is when you want to contradict someone’s statement or question by saying “yes”. For example, a French person asks, “vous n’aimez pas le chocolat – you don’t like chocolate?” to which, if you do in fact like chocolate, you would say, “Si, j’aime le chocolat – yes, I like chocolate.” (duh)!

7. Je m’appelle… (My name is…)

Now we’re getting into some harder French phrases.

Do you want to tell someone what your name is? Use “je m’appelle” or in English, “I call myself.” This is the most ordinary phrase, but if you want to say “my name is” that would be “mon nom est”.

It’s not very common, however, to use that particular wording.

If you want to ask someone else’s name, say “comment vous appelez-vous?” (KOmon vooz AH play voo).

If you were to be asking in a less formal setting, say to a child, you would use the “tu” form of the question: “Comment t’appelles-tu” (KOmon TAPleh too).

The grammar here is called a reflexive verb, where the object of the verb reflects back to the subject. I call myself, you call yourself, they call themselves, all use this reflexive form.

Several verbs use this form, but for the average traveler, they’re not very useful.

8. À bientôt (Goodbye)

You’ve made a friend in your travels and you’ve made plans to meet up again later.

When you say goodbye to them for the day you can say “à bientôt” meaning “see you soon”.

For more formal or long term goodbyes you can use “au revoir” (oh ruh vwah) or “adieu” (ah dyoo).

9. Pouvez-vous m’aider? (Can you help me?)

To ask someone if they can help you, start with “pouvez-vous” which means “can you” or more exactly “are you able to”, then fill in the blank with what you’re asking of them.

Pouvez-vous m’aider is “can you help me”, another handy phrase is “pouvez-vous prendre ma/notre photo? Can you take my/our picture?”

Another handy phrase is “pouvez-vous me dire les directions?” – “Can you tell me directions?” if you’ve lost your way.

Phrases for asking questions in French:

10. combien ça coute (how much does this cost).

Not all prices are labeled in shops, so before you get yourself into some major sticker shock, ask the shopkeeper “combien ça coute” How much does this cost? (You would ask for the price after greeting the owner with “bonjour” and maybe a question like Qu’est-ce que c’est? (what is it?))

11. Je voudrais cela (I would like this one)

You’ve been shopping at the chocolaterie (chocolate shop – an essential word in Paris!) and you’re ready to indulge in some edible heaven.

To ask for a specific bonbon (or pastry or cheese or perfume or purse or whatever) you tell the owner “je voudrais cela” – “I would like this one”.

12. Comment dit-on _____ en Français? (How do you say… in French?)

You want to say “I’m looking for my wallet”, but you don’t know how to say “wallet” in French.

To ask how you would say a word in French, ask “comment dit-on “wallet” en Français?” (P.S. It’s portefeuille).

Since most French people speak English, sometimes better than you, they’ll be able to understand what you want to know.

A word on the pronoun “on” (pronounced with the nose and without the “n”): Most folks who’ve studied at least a little French know the pronoun “nous” for the collective “we” in English.

In fact, French has two pronouns that work for “we”, and it also means “a person/people in general”.

English used to use a form of this, but one doesn’t use it much anymore, as one might confuse one’s listeners. (See what I did there?)

13. Où sont les toilettes? (Where are the toilets?)

A very important question to ask – where are the toilets?

You might have learned this question as “où est la salle de bain” but people might point you to the nearest bathtub; “salle de bain” is literally the room where you take a bath.

If you’re looking for free public restrooms, good luck – most of the public toilets in Paris are pay-to-use.

Best to just order a croissant at a café and use their restroom.

Food phrases in French:

14. excuse moi (excuse me).

Use this self-explanatory phrase to get someone’s attention, like to move out of the way when you need to exit the metro, or when you want to get a waiter’s attention.

A soft “excuse moi” is usually enough to get someone’s attention.

And for the love of French stereotypes of Americans, don’t use “garçon” to call your waiter, it’s demeaning and will mark you as one of “ces Americians” (those Americans).

On the same note as the word “garçon”, another often confused word we use in English that we borrowed from French is “chef”.

In French this doesn’t mean the cook – that would be “cuisinier” – “chef” actually means “boss”.

So if you call the head cuisinier “chef” then technically you’re right – he’s the boss of the restaurant.

But you would also call the head of the bank “le chef”, whether or not he can cook.

15. Je ne peux pas manger… (I can’t eat…)

If you’re concerned that you’ll be served a dish containing foods that you’re allergic to, you can tell your server “Je ne peux pas manger” – “I am not able to eat” or “I can’t eat.”

Some common food allergies in French are:

Les produit laitiers – dairy products (lay prod oohee lay tee ah)

Le gluten – gluten (luh gluten)

Les noix – nuts (lay nwah)

Les cacahuètes – peanuts (lay cah cah oowet)

La viande – meat (lah VEE yand)

Les fruits de mer – shellfish (lay fwee duh meh)

Le soja – soy (luh sojza)

Les œufs – eggs (lays oofs)

Notice the different article forms; like Spanish and Italian French nouns have an associated “gender” and articles and adjectives agree in gender and number with the subject, the assignment of gender doesn’t always follow sensible patterns. There’s little help but to memorize that soy is masculine and meat is feminine.

16. Je suis vegetarien / ne or vegan / e (I am a vegetarian / vegan)

I’m vegetarian or vegan.

The different endings indicated by the slash are masculine and feminine forms, and they have a slightly different pronunciation.

You might get a quizzical look if you as a man said that you were “vegetarienne”.

Another solid choice if you’re uncertain is to say “je ne mange pas la viande/les produits des animeux.” – “I don’t eat meat/animal products.”

17. Le menu / la carte, s’il vous plaît (The menu, please)

Welcome to the wonderful world of French cuisine.

Eating at a Parisian restaurant can be quite the cultural experience. When you ask for “le menu” you surprisingly won’t get the kind of comprehensive list of choices and their prices.

Le menu in a French restaurant is a fixed price and lists a few different choices for each course.

Think of those wedding rehearsal dinners or company Christmas parties where you’re given a short menu to choose from.

La carte, on the other hand, is what you’d expect at a restaurant in America.

This is where you order whatever you want off the list – a la carte, as it were.

18. Je voudrais un verre du vin (I would like a glass of wine)

To say and taste “vin” correctly, you have to use your nose.

Vin is a very nasal sound, similar to the French “on”.

To tell your server that you want a glass of wine to start your meal, say “Je voudrais un verre du vin”.

19. Délicieux! (Delicious!)

Paris is famous for its cuisine scene, with hundreds of restaurants, cafes, and bistros that make you want to become an expat.

If you want to let your waiter know just how good you think your meal is, tell him “C’est délicieux!” – “It’s delicious!”

However, unless you want to sound like a tourist don’t say “tres délicieux”.

It’s redundant since “very” is implied in the “délicieux”.

You could use “c’est vraiment bien”, which translates to “it’s truely good”.

Using French phrases to get around:

20. ou est la gare / le métro / l’aeroport (where is the train station / metro / airport).

Sometimes the most stressful part of travel is getting from point A to point B.

Getting lost and trying to get unlost is also a memorable way to connect with the local people.

To ask where something is, say “ou est la gare/le métro/l’aeroport” Where is the train station/métro/airport? “Ou est _____” is a handy little phrase to ask “where is _____”.

Adding any location to the end of it will have you pointed in the right direction in no time.

For example, “ou est le musee du Louvre?” is “where is the Louvre”.

Parisians call this famous landmark by its full name – the Louvre Museum.

21. C’est à droite / gauche / tout droite (It’s to the right / left / straight ahead)

In response to asking direction, if you’re fortunate enough to find a Parisian kind enough to reply in French to your less than perfect French, you might here “C’est a droite (right)/gauche (left)/tout droite (straight)” It is to the right/left/straight ahead.

To remember that “toute droite” is “straight”, think of the literal translation, which is “all right”.

If something is all right, then you don’t need to change your direction.

22. C’est loin d’ici / près d’ici? (Is it far from here / near here?)

It’s far from/near to here.

If you’re unsure how to phrase a question, you can always use the statement form such as “c’est loin d’/près d’ici” which means “it is far from/near to here”, and raise your intonation to indicate you’re asking a question.

You can change the meaning of what you’re asking by replacing “c’est” with what you’re asking about – la gare, le métro, l’aeroport, etc.

The preposition “de” doesn’t translate neatly into English; unless you want to go down the rabbit hole of prepositions now, just know that it can mean both “from” and “to”.

You may be asking “what’s with the apostrophe doing in loin d’ici, and in l’aeroport?” It’s used in French to avoid awkward diphthongs, or two vowel sounds together. This is part of what makes French sound so musical.

So instead of saying de ici, you contract the two words into d’ici.

The same works for the articles “le” and “la” in front of a noun that starts with a vowel sound – including words like “l’hôpital” and “l’hôtel” – both pronounced without the “h” sound.

23. Je cherche un bon restaurant (I’m looking for a good restaurant)

It’s dinner time and you want to know where the locals go for a good meal.

Tell someone “Je cherche un bon restaurant” and you’ve said, “I’m looking for a good restaurant”.

Resist the temptation to put “pour” after “cherche”, the verb “chercher” literally translates to “to search for” something.

Some other handy things to look for in Paris:

une fromagerie – cheese shop (oon frohm ah jzeh ree)

une chocolaterie – chocolate shop (oon shoh coh lah teh ree)

un parc – a park (ohn pahk)

le centre-ville – the town center (luh sehnt reh vee)

la plage (lah plahzj)

24. Au secours (Help)

If you get into trouble on your trip, say “au secours” to ask for help.

I can’t understand you!

25. Plus lentement / parlez plus lentement s’il vous plaît (Slower / Speak slower, please)

Sometimes it’s not what you don’t know, it’s how fast it’s said.

Parisians are notoriously fast speakers and no matter how many words you know, you just can’t understand because someone’s speaking too quickly.

There’s no shame in asking someone to slow down – “Plus lentement” or “parlez plus lentement, s’il vous plaît” will tell someone more slowly or speak more slowly, please.

26. Je ne comprende pas (I don’t understand)

Another essential phrase, when you just don’t understand someone and you need clarification, say, “Je ne comprende pas”.

At this point, the person speaking may just switch to English to help you.

27. Pardon? (Pardon)

Pardon is a handy word that has many uses.

It’s usually translated as “sorry”.

A common use is “I beg your pardon” if you accidentally run into someone or commit a Parisian faux pas.

28. Parlez-vous anglais (Do you speak English?)

Sometimes you just need to communicate in a familiar language and you don’t want to try using the few French Phrases you know.

When that happens, it still shows respect if you initiate communication in French with “parlez-vous anglais?” or “do you speak English?”

29. Je ne parle pas [beaucoup de] francais (I don’t speak [good] French)

In the event that you’re mistaken for a Parisian and another traveler or even a local (it’s been known to happen on occasion) will start speaking to you in French.

To politely say “I don’t speak French”, say “je ne parle pas francais” or “je ne parle pas beaucoup de francais” to indicate that you don’t speak much French.

You could also stammer in confused English or stare in confusion and shock, but just saying you don’t speak French is preferable.

30. Je t’aime (I love you)

And to end our fly-over of basic French phrases here’s one of the most loved phrases for travelers to use.

Tell someone “je t’aime” and you’re telling them that you love them.

Use it at your own discretion!

There’s a difference between the words “aime” and “adore” in French.

They mean the same thing, but “adore” is used for objects and things, like “j’adore Paris”, but for people, use “aime”.

To emphasise how much you love someone, say “je t’aime bien” – I like you VERY WELL.

French phrases will make your trip to France so much better

One quick word on the pronunciation of these French phrases: they are written to help the average English speaker, but the sounds are gentler than we would use in English, especially the vowel sounds.

Moving your sound slightly forward in your mouth will soften those American tendencies to flatten vowels and over-articulate consonants.

Speaking a foreign language in front of a native speaker is intimidating , especially with a culture that loves their language the way Parisians do.

But just give it a try – chances are even if your pronunciation is less than parfait (perfect), most people will appreciate that you’ve at least tried to meet them where they are.

The few that don’t appreciate it, well, too bad for them.

There are plenty more who will appreciate it and those encounters are what makes travel so rewarding.

Bon voyage! 🙂

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Loretta HOgg

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This was awesome, merci beaucoup - c’etais une de plus mieux qui j’ai vu pendant ma dix ans. d’apprendre le français. j;’enverrai mon fils de 32 and qui best enthusiast d’apprendre français, merci Loretta,

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Jérôme Paul

Jérôme Paul

Bonjour, Very useful sentences if you have to stay in France or in a French-speaking country. The basic, I would say. But I saw some small (typing) errors. It would be great if you could fix them. 10. Combien ça coûte ? 14. Excusez-moi (‘excuse-moi’ is too familiar) 16. végétarien 18. un verre de vin 20. Où est la gare, l’aéroport ? 21. tout droit 26. Je ne comprends pas. 29. Je ne parle pas [bien] français. Voilà, thanks for all the content on the site. Jérôme

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60 Important French Travel Phrases For Your Next Trip To France

Essential french words and travel phrases.

The most essential French travel phrases are Bonjour (hello), au revoir (goodbye), Où est? (Where is), C’est combien (How much is it?) and l’addition s’il vous plaît (the check, please). This page covers over 100 useful words and phrases which you can use on a trip to France.

French travel phrases: Essential words and phrases for trip to France.

French Greetings

If you are going to France it is very important to learn the basic greetings. While you might not speak French fluently just yet, the French people will really appreciate your trying to make an effort.

  • Bonjour Hello, good morning, good day
  • Au revoir Goodbye
  • Salut Hi/bye (informal)
  • Merci! Thank you!
  • Merci beaucoup! Thank you very much!
  • Ça va? How are you? How’s it going? (informal)
  • Bien, merci! Fine, thank you!
  • S’il vous plaît Please
  • De rien You’re welcome
  • Enchanté! Nice to meet you!

This page on our site covers French greetings in detail.

travelling quotes in french

Asking directions

When asking directions in France, it’s very important that you know a few basic words. This page on our site covers asking directions in detail.

  • Où est…? Where is…?
  • Où est la gare? Where’s the train station?
  • Où est la gare routière? Where’s the bus station?
  • Où sont les toilettes? Where’s the restroom?
  • Où est la banque? Where’ the bank?
  • Où est un bureau de change? Where’s a exchange counter?
  • Je suis perdu I’m lost
  • Le plan city map

Asking for things

On your trip you’ll inevitably need to ask for things. This short list of words is a very good start. Learning the verb vouloir is a good idea as it means “to want”.

  • Je veux (slightly informal)
  • Je voudrais I would like
  • Donnez-moi Give me
  • Avez-vous? Do you have?
  • Auriez-vous Would you happen to have?
  • Qu’est-ce que c’est? What is it?
  • Nous avons We have
  • Nous n’avons pas We don’t have
  • C’est disponible It’s available

Restaurant phrases

One of the best places to try practicing speaking French is a restaurant. Here’s a short list of words in phrases you may use. This page on our site offers a very comprehensive list of restaurant vocabulary . In addition, this page on our site covers food vocabulary and this page covers beverage vocabulary.

  • Une table pour deux, s’il vous plaît A table for two, please
  • Je prends I’ll have (from the verb prendre , to take)
  • La carte menu
  • La soupe soup
  • La salade salad
  • L’entrée appetizer
  • Le dessert dessert
  • La boisson beverage
  • Le vin rouge red wine
  • Le vin blanc white wine
  • La a bière beer
  • Le café coffee

Taxi/Uber phrases

If you find yourself in a taxi or Uber, some of the the following phrases should come in very handy.

  • Je vais à I’m going to
  • Je descends ici I’ll get off here
  • Voici l’adresse Here’s the address
  • Allez tout droit Keep going straight
  • Tournez à gauche Take a left
  • Tournez à droite Take a right

Hotel phrases

The following is a short list of words and phrases that you can use in your hotel. While most hotel staff speak basic English, it’s still nice to know these words in French.

  • L’hôtel hotel
  • Une chambre à deux double room
  • Un grand lit Double bed
  • La réception Check-in desk
  • Quitter la chambre To check out
  • La piscine swimming pool
  • Le petit déjeuner compris Breakfast included
  • Réserver une chambre To reserve a room

Miscellaneous words and phrases

The following is a list of miscellaneous French words and phrases which we feel are essential for a trip to France and belong on this list.

  • Je voudrais louer une voiture. I’d like rent a car.
  • Je voudrais acheter un billet. I’d like to buy a ticket.
  • Un billet aller-retour Round-trip ticket
  • L’aller simple One-way ticket
  • Le passeport passport
  • Les vacances vacation
  • Je voudrais annuler. I’d like to cancel.
  • Un voyage A trip
  • Bon voyage! Enjoy your trip!
  • Bon séjour! Enjoy your stay!

Further your learning We feel that it’s a great idea to carry a French phrase book while traveling in France. Overall, we have used and like the Lonely Planet French Phrasebook & Dictionary . Another great companion for a trip to France is the Rick Steves French Phrase Book & Dictionary .

Discover more:

  • Ways to say “thank you” in French
  • How to say “hello” in French
  • Ways to say “you’re welcome” in French
  • Guide to French verbs
  • Guide to French vocabulary

travelling quotes in french

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David Issokson

David Issokson is a lifelong language enthusiast. His head is swimming with words and sounds as he speaks over six languages. Of all the languages he speaks, he's the most passionate about French! David has helped hundreds of students to improve their French in his private online lessons. When procrastinating working on his site, FrenchLearner.com, David enjoys his time skiing and hiking in Teton Valley, Idaho.

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Love at First Adventure

France Travel Quotes: 55 Dreamy Quotes That Will Inspire You

Disclaimer: This article may contain affiliate links. For full information, please see our disclaimer here.

Are you looking for the best quotes about France ? Having been to France several times, I’ve realized that traveling there is a dream come true. From the high fashion and romance in Paris, to the lavender fields of Provence, and the vineyards of Bordeaux, France has a little bit of something for everyone.

In this article, I’ll share some of the best travel quotes about France. I hope you’ll be so inspired, you’ll book a trip to France—one of the most romantic countries in the world.

If you’re planning a trip to France , I hope these quotes on France — one of the most romantic countries in the world — inspire you.

Let’s get started!

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

France Travel Quotes

A country filled with history and secrets awaiting explorers around every corner, France has inspired various writers, artists, and travelers to enjoy life and follow their dreams. You can easily travel in the country either independently or on tour and make your mark. That’s why millions of visitors flock to France each year —there’s just a magic about France that makes you feel like you can do anything.

Keep scrolling to read some of the best quotes about traveling in France. You’ll quickly learn why it’s a fabulous place to visit and why so many people around the world adore it.

1. “I love France. It’s got the sun down at the bottom, the Alps for skiing, and all that wine and food.” — Paul Hollywood

quote on slow travel with woman at market in France

2. “We love to slow down, and France requires us to do so. In France, we find what we are missing.” — Marcia DeSanctis

3. “France is beautiful. I stood at the bottom of the Eiffel Tower today and looked up at it. There are very few times in my life I’ve felt so small.” — Leisa Rayven

4. “The French air cleans up the brain and does good-a world of good.” — Vincent Van Gogh

5. “I wanted to get far away from those who believed in cruelty, so then I went to France, a land of true freedom, democracy, equality, and fraternity.” — Josephine Baker

travelling quotes in french

6. “I want to take as the canvas for my next picture the entire surface of France.” — Yves Klein

7. “It’s really a drag to sit around when you’re old, and think, ‘Ah, gee, I never went to France.’ Go to France. Life is very short; you’ve got to pack it all in there.” — Grace Slick

8. “You should definitely visit the Louvre, a world-famous art museum where you can view, at close range, the backs of thousands of other tourists trying to see the Mona Lisa.” — Dave Barry

French Food Quotes

It’s no doubt that food and cuisine bring people together. This truth is a very important aspect of French culture. Playing a larger role in life in France than in many other cultures, it’s a tradition and part of the greater French mentality. In fact, the French style of cooking has led the way for other cuisine around the world. French food specializes in simple flavors, formal techniques, and fresh ingredients. It is always cooked rich in pride, with guarantees you will never go hungry.

Read on for our favorite quotes about French food. Bon Appetit!

9. “In France, cooking is a serious art form and a national sport.” — Julia Child

10. “True, you can sit outside in Paris and drink little cups of coffee. But why this is more stylish than sitting inside and drinking large glasses of whiskey I don’t know.” — P.J O’Rourke

travelling quotes in french

11. “Soup of the day: Champagne.” — Unknown

12. “The flavors melted in my mouth- warm chocolate and melted butter and the flaky sweet crust. This was what I loved about France. A keen appreciation for the simplicity and sweetness of life. The French seemed to savor their minutes along with their food.” — Melanie Dobson

13. “Food: Part of the spiritual expression of the French, and I do not believe that they have ever heard of calories.” — Beverly Baxter

travelling quotes in french

14. “How can you govern a country which has 246 varieties of cheeses?” — Charles de Gaulle

15. “In France, you can’t not have lunch. If you stopped the French from having lunch, you will have a second revolution, I can tell you this. Not going to work- it is part of the French privilege.” — Christian Louboutin

16. “Everything ends this way in France- everything. Weddings, christenings, duels, burials, swindlings, diplomatic affairs- everything is a pretext for a good dinner.” — Jean Anouilh

Foodie Tip: Headed to France? Book an authentic cooking class through Cookly and experience food culture in France like never before! Honestly, what other tour can compete with Cookly ? Yum!

Quotes about French culture

As Paris is famous for being the fashion capital of the world, it’s no secret that French culture takes pride in beauty, artistry, sophistication, and style. However, life in France can be a lot different outside the city. But no matter where you are, family, tradition, and language are some of the most valued things in France. In addition to its values, the country’s culture has influenced a lot of things around the world including wine, food, cheese, romance, fashion, and tourism.

In this section, let’s review the best quotes that personify French culture.

17. “France is the most civilized country in the world and doesn’t care who knows it.” — John Gunther

travelling quotes in french

18. “The French are never serious. They juggle with principles, make fun of difficulties and have been walking the tightrope of virtuosity for ten centuries. A singular nation, you know.” — Dekobra

19. “ In England, football is a religion. In France, football is not a religion. It’s wine and food.” — Robert Pires

20. “In France, we have a saying, “Joie de vivre,’ which actually doesn’t exist in the English language. It means looking at your life as something that is to be taken with great pleasure and enjoy it.” — Mireille Guiliano

travelling quotes in french

21. “France has a clear and defined policy, The French know what they want.” — Anton Chekov

22. “France has the only two things toward which we drift as we grew older- intelligence and good manners.” — F. Scott Fitzgerald

23. “People wonder why so many writers come to live in Paris. I’ve been living for ten years in Paris and the answer seems simple to me: because it’s the best place to pick ideas. Just like Italy, Spain, or Iran are the best places to pick saffron. If you want to pick Opium poppies you go to Burma or South-East Asia. And if you want to pick novel ideas, you go to Paris.” — Roman Payne

24. “Every year there’s a jury at the Cannes Film Festival. Getting on the jury is very competitive in France. Not because the French love cinema, but because they love to judge.” — Craig Ferguson

Quotes about Paris

Paris, France, sometimes called “The city of Love,” is known to be one of the most romantic places in the world. It is also the location and inspiration for various works of history, authors, artists, and anyone who loves a good glass of French wine. Paris is filled with so much je ne sais quoi , I’m sure it will continue to inspire aspiring dreamers and travelers.

Here are some famous quotes about Paris to spark wanderlust in all of us.

25. “Paris is always a good idea.” — Audrey Hepburn

26. “Secrets travel fast in Paris.” — Napoleon Bonaparte

travelling quotes in french

27. “Like many other tourists, I’m afraid I fell in love with Paris at first sight.” — Yvette Mimieux

28. “We’ll always have Paris.” — Howard Koch, Casablanca

29. “There are only two places in the world where we can live happy- at home and in Paris.” — Ernest Hemingway

30. “A walk about Paris will provide lessons in history, beauty, and in the point of life.” — Thomas Jefferson

travelling quotes in french

31. “If you’re going to be sad, you might as well be sad in Paris.” — Gossip Girl

32. “A bad day in Paris is still better than a good day anywhere else.” — Unknown

Editor’s Note: Are you traveling in France soon? Don’t forget to get travel insurance . Whether it’s an unforeseen injury, a cancelled flight, or theft, I highly recommend you check out World Nomads . It’s perfect for all your adventures! Get a quote .

Romantic France Quotes

France is inarguably the most romantic country on earth. The aesthetic of the landscape and scenery is filled with passion, the people are passionate, and history is abundant. Really, France is a country that celebrates being expressive and confident, especially when it comes to love.

This section is all about romantic France quotes about love and romance. Keep reading!

33. “Quarrels in France strengthen a love affair, in America, they end it.” — Ned Rorem

34. “Paris, I believe, is a man in his twenties in love with an older woman.” — John Berger

35. “I know better than to argue romance with a French woman.” — Big Fish

36. “I like Frenchmen very much, because even when they insult you they do it so nicely.” — Josephine Baker

travelling quotes in french

37. “France is to me the heroine in the romance of all the nations of all time.” — Lt. William Arthur Sirmon

38. “I’d love to be a tabletop in Paris, where food is art and life combined in one, where people gather and talk for hours. I want lovers to meet over me. I’d want to be covered in drops of candle wax and breadcrumbs and rings from the bottom of wine glasses. I would never be lonely, and I would always serve a good purpose.” — Maureen Johnson

39. “The French are romantics, but they’re also realists.” — Emily in Paris

40. “In French, you don’t say ‘I miss you.’ You say, ‘tu me manques,’ which means, ‘you are missing from me.’ I love that.” — Unknown

South of France Quotes

The region of the South of France is known for having some of the most beautiful natural landscapes and charming villages in all of Europe. Highly favored for decades, it’s a hotspot for the bling lifestyle, luxurious architecture, and long summer vacations.

Here are a few of my favorite picks on the South of France.

41. “No matter what their background, the southern French are fascinated by food.” — Peter Mayle

42. “When the good lord begins to doubt the world, he remembers that he created Provence.” — Frederic Mistral

43. “I think you get better at staring into space. Especially living in the South of France.” — Adrian Lyne

travelling quotes in french

44. “The whole future of art is to be found in the South of France.” — Vincent Van Gogh

45. “You were never told that Saint-Tropez in Paradise?” — Karl Lagerfeld

46. “We have a saying in Marseilles: a man in no hurry gets nowhere fast. I have been in no hurry for eight years.” — Gregory David Roberts

Planning a trip to France? Be sure to check out our essential France travel guide for all the information you need to get started.

France Captions for Instagram

Instagram has become an outlet for travelers and adventurers to share memories from their travels. We think a great photo needs a meaningful and catchy quote to go with it.

Here is some inspirational quotes and captions for your next Instagram post while traveling throughout France.

47. “Paris, Eiffel in love with you the second I saw you.” — Unknown

48. “Paris, Je T’aime.” — Unknown

49. “And now for something a oui bit different.” — Unknown

50. “Pardon my French.” — Unknown

travelling quotes in french

51. “To brie or not to brie, that is the question.” — Unknown

52. “A little ‘bonjour’ goes a long way.” — Emily, Emily in Paris

53. “Provence is a country to which I am always returning, next week, next year, any day now, as soon as I can get on a train.” — Elizabeth David

54. “I love Paris in the summer, when it sizzles.” — Cole Porter

If you were on the fence about taking a trip to the fabulous country of France, we hope this collection of inspirational France quotes helped you decide. Without a doubt, everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime. Whether you like to explore it’s cities, natural wonders, historical sites, or simply experience a night of food and wine, all of that is possible in France.

Share these quotes on your favorite network or with friends to inspire others to visit to one of the most beloved places in the world.

More travel quotes

If you’re looking for more travel inspiration, check out our lists of other quotes:

  • Best Spain Travel Quotes
  • Favorite Camino de Santiago Quotes
  • Cruising Quotes

travelling quotes in french

Blogger & Ex-Spanish Teacher

Tristina Oppliger has traveled to 35+ countries on five continents. Having previously lived in Spain, she loves studying foreign languages and cultures. In fact, she has a Master's in Foreign Language Education and is a former Spanish Teacher! Tristina is passionate about living free—remote work, exploring the world, and finding adventure wherever she goes.

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77 most inspirational travel quotes ever penned

Our favourite inspirational travel quotes have encouraged us to travel with abandon over the years. Perhaps they will do the same for you…

For us, there is no such thing as luxury travel; travel is, by default, a luxury. It is a privilege provided by the country of our birth, a privilege that many are not as fortunate to enjoy.

Sometimes, we have to pinch ourselves at just how ridiculous our lives have become: an ex-teacher and jobbing writer travelling the world for a living. It is absurd, it is astonishing, it is a luxury.

When I first went travelling at 21 years old, my father gave me this quote scrawled on a piece of card.

inspirational travel quotes

It encouraged me to get out, make the most of my privilege, see the world and enjoy the benefits of travelling – it remains one of the most inspirational travel quotes I’ve read (even if Twain did not actually say it).

Today, nearly 20 years and 90 countries later, it’s still in my wallet. Despite its tattered and dishevelled appearance, it’s every bit as important to me now as it was then.

With that in mind, we’ve collated our most beloved inspirational travel quotes to encourage readers to “explore, dream and discover” for themselves.

inspirational travel quotes

1. “To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.” – Bill Bryson

2. “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine

inspirational travel quotes

3. “Travel is never a matter of money, but of courage.” – Paulo Coelho

4. “With age, comes wisdom. With travel, comes understanding.” – Sandra Lake

travelling quotes in french

5. “When overseas you learn more about your own country, than you do the place you’re visiting.” – Clint Borgen

6. “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” – Mark Twain

inspirational travel quotes

7. “Don’t tell me the sky’s the limit when there are footprints on the moon.” – Paul Brandt

8. “The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready.” – Henry David Thoreau

travelling quotes in french

9. “The first condition of understanding a foreign country is to smell it.” – Rudyard Kipling

10. “A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” – Lao Tzu

A journey of a thousand miles... inspirational travel quotes

11. “When preparing to travel, lay out all your clothes and all your money. Then take half the clothes and twice the money.” – Susan Heller Anderson

12. “No place is ever as bad as they tell you it’s going to be.” – Chuck Thompson

travelling quotes in french

13. “We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” – Jawaharlal Nehru

14. “A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.” – Lao Tzu

A good traveler... inspirational travel quotes

15. “There is no moment of delight in any pilgrimage like the beginning of it.” – Charles Dudley Warner

16. “A ship in harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships were built for.” – John A. Shedd

travelling quotes in french

17. “Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travelers don’t know where they’re going.” – Paul Theroux

18. “Not all those who wander are lost.” – J. R. R. Tolkien

Not all those who wander are lost... inspirational travel quotes

19. “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

20. “Like all great travelers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen.” – Benjamin Disraeli

travelling quotes in french

21. “Once a year, go somewhere you’ve never been before.” – The Dalai Lama

22. “No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.” – Lin Yutang

How beautiful it is to travel... inspirational travel quotes

23. “What you’ve done becomes the judge of what you’re going to do – especially in other people’s minds. When you’re traveling, you are what you are right there and then. People don’t have your past to hold against you. No yesterdays on the road.” – William Least Heat Moon

24. “There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

travelling quotes in french

25. “Travel is glamorous only in retrospect.” – Paul Theroux

26. “A traveler without observation is a bird without wings.” – Moslih Eddin Saadi

Moslih Eddin Saadi inspirational travel quotes

27. “Your true traveler finds boredom rather agreeable than painful. It is the symbol of his liberty-his excessive freedom. He accepts his boredom, when it comes, not merely philosophically, but almost with pleasure.” – Aldous Huxley

28. “One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller

travelling quotes in french

29. “All travel has its advantages. If the passenger visits better countries, he may learn to improve his own. And if fortune carries him to worse, he may learn to enjoy it.” – Samuel Johnson

30. “Wandering re-establishes the original harmony which once existed between man and the universe.” – Anatole France

Wandering... travel quotes

31. “I can’t control the wind but I can adjust the sail.” – Ricky Skaggs

32. “We wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfilment.” – Hilaire Belloc

Travel for fulfilment quote

33. “People travel to faraway places to watch, in fascination, the kind of people they ignore at home.” – Dagobert D. Runes

34. “If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay at home.” – James Michener

James Michener inspirational travel quotes

35. “The use of traveling is to regulate imagination by reality, and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are.” – Samuel Johnson

36. “You don’t have to be rich to travel well.” – Eugene Fodor

Money isn't everything quote

37. “Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.” – Maya Angelou

38. “All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” – Martin Buber

All journeys have secret destinations...

39. “Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by.” – Robert Frost

40. “Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind.” – Seneca

inspirational travel quotes

41. “Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things – air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky – all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.” – Cesare Pavese

42. “Once the travel bug bites, there is no known antidote, and I know that I shall be happily infected until the end of my life.” ― Michael Palin

Once the travel bug bites inspirational travel quote

43. “A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.” – Tim Cahill

44. “A journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.” – John Steinbeck

A journey is like marriage... inspirational travel quotes

45. “When you travel, remember that a foreign country is not designed to make you comfortable. It is designed to make its own people comfortable.” – Clifton Fadiman

46. “There are far, far better things ahead than we leave behind.” – C.S. Lewis

There are better things ahead...

47. “Travel does what good novelists also do to the life of everyday, placing it like a picture in a frame or a gem in its setting, so that the intrinsic qualities are made more clear. Travel does this with the very stuff that everyday life is made of, giving to it the sharp contour and meaning of art.” – Freya Stark

48. “To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.” – Aldous Huxley

To travel is to discover...

49. “All the pathos and irony of leaving one’s youth behind is thus implicit in every joyous moment of travel: one knows that the first joy can never be recovered, and the wise traveler learns not to repeat successes but tries new places all the time.” – Paul Fussell

50. “I have found out that there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.” – Mark Twain

Mark Twain Quote about travelling with friends

51. “The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

52. “Too often travel, instead of broadening the mind, merely lengthens the conversation.” – Elizabeth Drew

Travel broadens the mind inspirational travel quotes

53. “People don’t take trips, trips take people.” – John Steinbeck

54. “Stuff your eyes with wonder, live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.” – Ray Bradbury

See the world quote by Ray Bradbury

55. “Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” – Gustave Flaubert

56. “The journey not the arrival matters.” – T. S. Eliot

The journey not the arrival matters

57. “Time flies. It’s up to you to be the navigator.” – Robert Orben

58. “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” – Marcel Proust

Marcel Proust quote

59. “I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.” – Oscar Wilde

60. “For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

I travel for travel’s sake... inspirational travel quotes

61. “If an ass goes travelling, he’ll not come home a horse.” – Thomas Fuller

62. “Travelling tends to magnify all human emotions.” – Peter Hoeg

“Travelling tends to magnify all human emotions.”

63. “To move, to breathe, to fly, to float, To gain all while you give, To roam the roads of lands remote: To travel is to live.” – Hans Christian Andersen

64. “To awaken quite alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world.” – Freya Stark

A strange town... inspirational travel quotes

65. “I am not the same having seen the moon shine from the other side of the world.” – Mary Anne Radmacher

66. “I always wonder why birds stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on earth. Then I ask myself the same question.” – Harun Yahya

Puffins rest on a rock

67. “I dislike feeling at home when I am abroad.” – George Bernard Shaw

68. “A wise traveler never despises his own country.” – Carlo Goldoni

A wise traveler... inspirational travel quotes

69. “Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” – Andre Gide

70 “Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta

Travelling can leave you speechless

71. “We travel, some of us forever, to seek other places, other lives, other souls.” – Anais Nin

72. “Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” – Miriam Beard

Travel is deep and permanent inspirational travel quotes

73. “The gladdest moment in human life, methinks, is a departure into unknown lands.” – Richard Burton

74. “A man of ordinary talent will always be ordinary, whether he travels or not; but a man of superior talent will go to pieces if he remains forever in the same place.” – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

A tent beneath the stars

75. “He who would travel happily must travel light.” – Antoine de St. Exupery

76. “Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.” – Jack Kerouac

inspirational travel quotes

77. “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain ( or possibly H Jackson Brown Jr )

Enjoyed this post? pin it for later…

inspirational travel quotes Pinterest pin 2023

The Lonely Planet Ultimate Travel List is the definitive wish list of the best places to visit on earth – the perfect accompaniment to our selection of inspirational travel quotes.

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The German-Czech border crossing of Zinnwald, Germany, closed due to Covid-19 precautions in February 2021

Heavy goods, autobahns and no borders: Europe is always on the move – for now

Olivier Guez

Born next to a frontier, I criss-cross the continent all the time. Our borderless network is a privilege we can’t take for granted

I ’m a French writer based nominally in Italy, but Europe is my homeland. My mobile-phone provider makes me pay dearly for this fact. In any given year, I spend nearly nine months on the road, travelling the length and breadth of the continent: doing research, speaking at conferences, or just because I want to. Contrary to the spirit of the age, my life is mobile and cosmopolitan.

In 2023, I visited 18 European countries; five more than I did the year before. I’m a European citizen of no fixed abode, a hybrid supranational nomad, a kind of Homo europaeus , as Friedrich Nietzsche imagined in Human, All Too Human . Like Charles Baudelaire’s flâneur , I take great pleasure in choosing a life of change, escape and endless movement across the European continent.

There is something that makes my imaginary homeland tangible, irresistible and extraordinary, something that no other continent can boast: freedom of movement . If you’re a citizen of any of the 27 European countries (23 EU countries and four non-EU) covered by the Schengen agreement , or even a legal resident or tourist, you can move freely between them without encountering passport checks. For nearly 30 years, Europe has done without the “dotted lines of territorial confines”, in the words of the French writer Paul Morand.

Whenever possible I avoid air travel. It is environmentally harmful, and in any case I find the absurd and gruelling theatrics of airports intolerable. I love trains, but if your destination is off the beaten track the connections get tricky and you’re in for long waits.

So I take the car. For better or worse, like rivers down the millennia, or railways in the 19th century, roads and motorways are what connect the continent – at least while we wait for better rail infrastructure and cheaper tickets . It may be a sad commentary on our age, but a long car journey can also feel like a refuge from the ceaseless din and tumult of the world that surrounds us. Ensconced in the driver’s seat, my phone in the door pocket, I can flee our gloomy, anxiety-inducing age. I plead guilty: the engine runs on petrol. There are simply not yet enough charging stations to reliably cover very long distances in an electric vehicle, or to climb the green hills of Transylvania, where I travelled last year.

Wandering alone by road produces a sense of freedom that is increasingly rare. Travelling across the continent is also an opportunity to reflect on Europe’s history: the northern aristocrats’ grand tours of the southern classical treasures; Mozart, Dürer and Goethe making their way to Italy; the armies of Rome, Napoleon and Hitler marching to the wars and tragedies that once defined the continent’s borders.

Heavy goods vehicles waiting to cross the Polish-German border during the coronavirus pandemic, near Bautzen, Germany, 19 March 2020

Now it is heavy goods trucks, tourist coaches, Alpine tunnels, Ruhr interchanges; service stations, toll booths, mobile customs units, toll stickers, Kraftwerk, Autobahn . It may not sound very poetic, but this peaceful transport has been the essence of the European project since it was founded in the 1950s: commerce, trading goods, buying and selling, moving freight from one region of Europe to another. It is also at the heart of the project’s identity. In the past, borders meant passions, hatred, tension, blood and tears. The removal of these borders and bottlenecks means flux: a continuous river of people andgoods. It is the fin-de-siècle European dream, brought to life from the rubble of the Berlin Wall by the 1968 generation at what they thought was the beginning of the end of history.

Yet ever since the 2015 migration crisis , and even more so the Covid pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, I have been overcome by a sense of urgency about the potential loss of the freedom to roam. The closure of Europe’s borders in 2020, when the virus was spreading at an uncontrollable rate, remains etched in my mind like a trauma. I was launching a novel in Germany and had to leave in a hurry and take refuge in France, as if the two countries were about to go to war. Europe was bristling with new barriers and restrictions on movement, new symbols of closure. EU member states were self-isolating, and people and families were turning inwards.

I’ve always travelled. Born in Strasbourg, a short distance from the city’s European institutions , crossing borders has defined me. Going to the other side, over the Rhine from France to neighbouring Germany, is simply a reflex, the most natural thing in the world, as it is for anyone who lives near a national border or crosses one routinely to get to work.

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Perhaps this trauma of seeing the barriers go back up goes back even further, to a night in the autumn of 1984. I was jolted awake by the sound of barking. I slid open the curtain and saw big boots through the fogged-up window. Grey-green uniforms were patrolling the platform, with dogs on leads. Torches searched the darkened train. Some were crouched, scanning the axles, while others inspected the spaces between the carriages. My train had just entered the GDR, en route to West Berlin. Europe was still divided by an iron curtain. I was 10 years old.

Today we have war in Ukraine and the eastern Mediterranean. Many Europeans fear a massive new wave of refugees and migrants. They are nervous, and I’m uneasy. It’s as if we’re on the eve of some new calamity, worse than ever; as if the days of open Europe and free movement may be numbered. So for the time being I’m driving around, stocking up on an experience that may soon be consigned to memory or history. Like Ulysses , I’m “seeing many places, learning the minds of many”, amazed by the extraordinary variety of climates, languages, terrains, cuisines and landscapes that this modestly sized stretch of land has to offer. There is, as Milan Kundera wrote of European cultures, “ a maximum of diversity in a minimum of space ”.

If it were to disappear or be suspended once again, it would be a catastrophe for the European that I am. The continental project would lose its soul and its purpose. This freedom is precious and enviable. It is a utopia we can’t take for granted. Let’s hit the road.

Olivier Guez is a French writer and essayist. He is the author of The Disappearance of Josef Mengele and editor of Le Grand Tour, an anthology of short stories and essays about Europe

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French tourist unearths 7.46-carat diamond at Arkansas state park

The lucky digger said he’ll turn his discovery into a wedding ring for his future wife.

travelling quotes in french

When Julien Navas left Paris for a vacation in United States, he knew that he needed to buy a diamond for his future wife’s wedding ring. He could have picked one up at Zales or Tiffany. Instead, he found the perfect sparkler earlier this month in the mud at Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas. The 7.46-carat chocolate-colored gem cost him only $15.

“I was so happy,” the 42-year-old entrepreneur said by email. “Since it’s a big diamond, they asked me to name it. I gave it my fiancée’s first name, ‘the Carine Diamond.’”

Navas’s find ranks as the eighth-largest diamond discovered at the 37½-acre field since 1972, the year it became a state park. A Texas visitor on a family vacation holds the title for the 16.37-carat bauble he extracted in 1975. The record whopper for the Murfreesboro, Ark., site and the country is the Uncle Sam Diamond, a 40-carat dazzler dating to 1924.

According to a 2016 Census Bureau report , more than 75,000 diamonds have been unearthed on the land once owned by farmer John Huddleston, who discovered diamonds in 1906. Between 1972 and last year , the state park has recorded 35,250 diamonds weighing a total 7,032 carats. For nearly two decades, more than 100,000 people have visited annually.

Sarah Reap, a park interpreter with Arkansas State Parks , said the attraction averages one to two finds a day, depending on the number of visitors. The figure dips during the slower winter months and increases during busier periods.

“On a March day, we could have 10 diamonds turned in,” she said, “but we could also have a thousand people here.”

Regulars obviously pocket more diamonds, such as a frequent visitor who last year amassed about 100 diamonds. However, Navas was only looking for one for his One.

“In France, there are a lot of articles about the Crater of Diamonds,” he said. “I always had the idea [of visiting] in the back of my mind. I often come to the United States, but this time, being engaged, I needed to find a wedding ring with a beautiful diamond for my partner.”

Navas’s primary reason for coming to the States was to watch United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan Centaur rocket zoom to the moon from Cape Canaveral, Fla., on Jan. 8. Unfortunately, the mission flamed out. The Peregrine, a lunar lander, missed the moon because of a fuel incident and burned in the sky. An experienced hunter of precious metals and minerals, Navas decided to spend the latter half of his trip trying his luck closer to Earth.

“Since I was little, I have been looking for treasures — gold, gems — with shovels, gold-panning pans and metal detectors,” he said. “For my engagement ring, I collected 10 kilos of computer processors to extract the gold and make a geeky ring for my future wife. For the gem, I went to an old emerald mine in Austria. I searched for more than a week to find one and finish the engagement ring.”

Before setting off on his search, Navas consulted with park staff about the different techniques for finding diamonds. Reap said the three methods are surface searching, dry sifting and wet sifting. The ideal weather is a sunny day on the heels of a ground-soaking rain. Before Navas’s visit, the park had received more than an inch of rain.

“We plow rows in the field, and the rain will kind of hit those top layers of topsoil and wash away heavier materials,” she said. The sun, meanwhile, will pick up the glint of the gemstones.

Navas rented a basic diamond-hunting kit — shovel, sieves, buckets — and set to work. He spent four hours digging in the mud and rinsing the gravel he collected in bins with cold water. Nothing sparkled. After a lunch break, he roamed the crater, observing the regulars. A pro hunter “with only his head sticking out of the hole” advised Navas to stop digging and start scanning the surface. He walked around for another three hours before he noticed a brown crystal that resembled a smoky quartz. He consoled himself with the idea of a consolation prize.

At the park’s identification lab, the experts took his crystal and returned with broad smiles. They informed him that he had found one of the largest diamonds in the country. Reap said most people’s discoveries average a quarter-carat. She described Navas’s diamond as “very abnormally large.”

“It was one of the most amazing surprises, after the birth of my daughter,” he said.

Navas kept the diamond a surprise until he returned to France. He said his partner had been wondering what he had been up to in Arkansas. He presented her with the answer. He said the diamond is so large, he may be able to use the stone for two wedding rings, one for his fiancée and one for the distant nuptials of his 3-year-old daughter.

A previous version of this article incorrectly said that 7 million carats of diamonds had been found at the park since 1972. It is 7,032 carats. The article has been corrected.

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French Farmers Lay ‘Siege’ to Paris in Growing Standoff

The authorities warned residents to brace for disruptions as farmers converged on the capital to press a wide range of grievances.

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By Aurelien Breeden and Catherine Porter

Aurelien Breeden reported from Paris and Catherine Porter from Agen, France.

Irate farmers deployed tractors to block the main roads in and out of Paris on Monday, in an intensifying standoff that has left the capital girding for disruptions and has become the first major test for France’s newly appointed prime minister, Gabriel Attal .

Last week Mr. Attal rushed to farming regions in the south of France and offered a series of rapid concessions as he tried to head off widening demonstrations on roadways from farmers nationwide. But the steps failed to appease many of them.

Many farmers complain that imports are undercutting their livelihood, that wages are too low, and that regulation from both the government and the European Union has become suffocating.

But their concrete demands are so varied that the protests present an increasingly precarious moment for the government, one that defies easy solutions.

“I am determined to move forward,” Mr. Attal said on Sunday after visiting farmers in the Indre-et-Loire area of central France. But he also warned that “there are things that cannot change overnight.”

Hundreds of farmers have now converged on the French capital for what they termed a “siege” of undetermined length, a major escalation after a week of protests and roadblocks that have gripped the country .

Mr. Attal, who met with the main farmer unions on Monday evening, is expected to make new announcements on Tuesday in a policy speech.

But it was unclear whether he would convince farmers to pack up the makeshift camps that they had just set up at highway ramps, gas stations and rest areas around the capital, with rolling shifts to last at least several days.

The protesters have erected barricades on eight major roads within five to 25 miles around Paris, using hulking tractors and bales of hay to block traffic, setting up tents, electric generators and portable toilets, and lighting fires to stay warm.

A line of tractors bearing flags drives on a highway in France.

Miles of traffic jams built up on some roads around the capital, but disruptions to Paris have otherwise been limited so far. The main unions said that they did not want to completely blockade the city.

“Our goal isn’t to bother the French or ruin their life,” Arnaud Rousseau, the head of the FNSEA, France’s largest farmers union, told RTL radio . “Our goal is to put pressure on the government.”

The authorities deployed 15,000 police officers and gendarmes across France to secure the protests, which also disrupted traffic near cities like Lyon and on other highways. President Emmanuel Macron’s government has tread carefully so far in its response to the movement, which enjoys support from over 80 percent of the public, according to opinion polls.

“We’re not here for a test of strength,” Gérald Darmanin, France’s interior minister, said on Sunday .

Mr. Darmanin said security forces would adopt a “defensive position” to prevent farmers from entering large cities, blocking airports or disrupting Rungis, one of the world’s largest wholesale food markets , just south of Paris.

Mr. Attal has already promised to simplify bureaucratic regulations, rapidly deliver emergency aid, and enforce laws meant to guarantee a living wage for farmers in price negotiations with retailers and distributors. The government also scrapped plans to reduce subsidies on the diesel fuel used in trucks and other machinery.

But that has failed so far to quell a deep and varied fury. Winegrowers, cattle breeders, grain farmers and other producers have broad complaints over complex administrative hassles, environmental regulations, unfair foreign competition, as well as skyrocketing energy and fertilizer prices caused by the war in Ukraine .

Other problems are more specific — ranging from water access to cattle epidemics — and farmers have issued a long, patchwork list of demands to the government, though some can only be addressed at the European Union level.

In Agen, a town in southwestern France where protests have been particularly intense, farmers leaving for a lumbering 370-mile trip to Paris said they didn’t trust Mr. Attal, who has vowed to put agriculture above everything else.

“It’s only words,” said Théophane de Flaujac, 28, who joined the protest from his family’s vegetable and cereal farm, which he says is under pressure as distributors opt for cheaper imports from Spain and elsewhere without the same strict environmental rules as France. Last week, some protesters angrily emptied trucks carrying foreign produce.

“Before, he said he would put education at the center of everything,” Mr. de Flaujac said of Mr. Attal. “Now, he says it’s farming. After he will say it’s transportation, then health care.”

The few dozen farmers leaving Agen on tractors adorned with protest signs and French flags were members of Rural Coordination, a radical, right-wing and anti-E.U. group that split off from the FNSEA in 1991.

Last week, those farmers laid siege to Agen, dumping debris before buildings like the train station and banks and social service offices that cater to farmers. They also barricaded the gate of the prefecture building with giant tractor tires, wooden pallets and hay bales, and sprayed it liberally with liquid manure.

Now they have set their sights on Paris.

“We did everything we could here,” said Karine Duc, 38, an organic grape grower and the co-president of Rural Coordination’s local branch. “We are going to Paris because we need responses and real measures.”

“This is our last battle,” she added, wearing her union’s mustard yellow hat . “Farmers feel if we don’t succeed in this, we will be crushed.”

It is unclear how long the unions can maintain a united front.

Rural Coordination wants to disrupt Rungis , the wholesale food market that Paris depends on for much of its food, while FNSEA and other mainstream unions have ruled that out. Taking no chances, the authorities have already stationed armored police vehicles at the market.

Édouard Lynch, a historian specializing in agriculture, said the protests were influenced by union jockeying ahead of Chamber of Agriculture elections, which are critical in rural areas because they offer training and distribute farming subsidies. The rivalry adds an unpredictable spur to the protests.

“Clearly, you can see them competing,” said Mr. Lynch, a professor of contemporary French history at Lyon 2 University. “Rural Coordination has been very effective, which is why the FNSEA needs to keep pushing.”

Farmers were also turning up the heat ahead of a European Union summit in Brussels starting Thursday that Mr. Macron is scheduled to attend. The E.U.’s Green Deal , which aims to ensure the bloc meets its climate goals, has left some farmers feeling unfairly targeted by new environmental obligations.

Marc Fesneau, France’s agriculture minister, said that he would push to preserve an exemption from an E.U. rule that is meant to preserve biodiversity and that forces larger farms to leave 4 percent of arable land fallow or devoted to other “nonproductive” features, like groves, if they want to receive crucial farming subsidies .

Aurelien Breeden is a reporter for The Times in Paris, covering news from France. More about Aurelien Breeden

Catherine Porter is an international reporter for The Times, covering France. She is based in Paris. More about Catherine Porter

French farmers block roads, dump produce as protest edges closer to Paris

  • Prime Minister says will make announcements this week
  • Traffic disruptions expected in Paris on Friday
  • Unions say 'urgent' response needed to tame outrage

Nationwide farmer protests continue in France

Reporting by Nacho Doce in Agen, Tassilo Hummel in Paris, Sudip Kar-Gupta in Brussels and Charlotte van Campenhout in Amsterdam; Writing by Richard Lough; Editing by Nick Macfie and Ros Russell

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Another Super Bowl bet emerges: Can Taylor Swift make it from her Tokyo show in time?

Rachel Treisman

travelling quotes in french

Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift celebrate after the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship Game at M&T Bank Stadium in Maryland on Sunday. Patrick Smith/Getty Images hide caption

Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift celebrate after the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship Game at M&T Bank Stadium in Maryland on Sunday.

The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday night, winning the AFC championship and securing a spot in the Super Bowl . They'll battle the San Francisco 49ers next month, hoping for a repeat of their 2020 victory .

The game is, as always, a big deal for fans of football, memorable TV commercials and elaborate halftime shows. And this year, another fandom is joining in full force: Swifties.

As has been well established, history-making global superstar Taylor Swift is dating history-making Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce. Her attendance at his games throughout the season has sent NFL ticket sales, TV ratings and Kelce jersey demand soaring , converted scores of new football fans and rankled some rivals along the way.

The Kansas City Chiefs will play the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl

The Kansas City Chiefs will play the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl

Swift has been a visible presence on TV screens and social media memes all season, whether she's cheering Kelce on from his VIP box with an array of family members and celebrity friends, leaving Arrowhead Stadium hand-in-hand with him or simply enjoying a snack .

Travis and Taylor ❤️ pic.twitter.com/9FlGKczWd4 — NFL (@NFL) January 28, 2024

She was on the field to celebrate the Chiefs' win on Sunday, where her embrace of Kelce and interaction with coach Andy Reid made headlines of their own.

"Taylor Swift still managed to be one of the biggest storylines from that game despite not being on the field," Nora Princiotti, a staff writer at The Ringer (and a Swiftie) told NPR's All Things Considered .

Naturally, Swift fans were quick to wonder: Will she be in the stands at the Super Bowl too?

The answer is surprisingly complicated because Swift has stadiums of her own to fill.

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A thanksgiving guest's guide to taylor swift and travis kelce.

Swift resumes the international leg of her record-breaking Eras Tour just days before the big game. She is scheduled to wrap up the last of four performances at the Tokyo Dome on Saturday, Feb. 10 — the night before the Super Bowl kicks off in Las Vegas, at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 pm PT.

Experts say the answer is theoretically yes. And it won't take a time machine, just a private jet. Luckily, Swift reportedly owns two .

"This is a typical international flight and the turnaround is not very tight," says Kevin O'Leary, the president and CEO of Jet Advisors , a Massachusetts-based aircraft acquisition, brokerage and research firm.

Warning: Things are about to get nerdy.

How exactly Swift can "Come Back ... Be Here"

Swift's show is scheduled to open at 6 p.m. local time and generally runs about three hours and 15 minutes. O'Leary — who is not a Swiftie but holds a PhD in aviation operations — predicts a punctual start.

He says Swift could feasibly fly out of either of Tokyo's main airports: Haneda, which is roughly a 30-minute drive from the Tokyo Dome but requires special permission, and Narita, which is about an hour's drive.

"There will be some logistics [and] clearances before the flight will be allowed to depart," O'Leary wrote. "With either airport the flight should be able to depart Japan within 2 hours of the end of [the] concert."

Deepfakes exploiting Taylor Swift images exemplify a scourge with little oversight

Deepfakes exploiting Taylor Swift images exemplify a scourge with little oversight

That puts her potential departure time around 11:30 Saturday night local time, or 6:30 Saturday morning Vegas time.

O'Leary's calculations also assume Swift would be flying in her Dassault Falcon 7X (which has a slightly longer range than her Dassault Falcon 900, according to The Athletic ). He says the jet should be able to fly the 4,821 nautical miles to Harry Reid International Airport (KLAS) in 10 to 12 hours.

There are always possible complications, from weather disruptions to the expected challenge of securing a landing slot at the airport, due to enhanced safety procedures in anticipation of high traffic that weekend.

Real relationship aside, Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce are 100% in a PR relationship

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Real relationship aside, taylor swift and travis kelce are 100% in a pr relationship.

But if all goes according to plan, Swift would arrive in Vegas sometime between 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. PT on Saturday, Feb. 10, thanks to the time change (see this decades-old West Wing clip for an eerily timely — no pun intended — explanation).

That would leave Swift with plenty of time to rest before the game, though O'Leary says she could do so on the plane.

"The aircraft would typically have berthing seats for 4-5 passengers, so the passengers would be able to lay flat, similar to an international business class seat," he explains.

Swift knows private jet travel "All Too Well"

The journey would cost around $45,000, O'Leary estimates. It would generate more than 87,000 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2), according to a calculator from Paramount Business Jets .

But O'Leary says the Falcon 7X is one of the most fuel-efficient jets in the industry, burning 23% less fuel than the category average.

Swift is no stranger to private jet travel: She has logged days' worth of flights crisscrossing the globe for her Eras Tour shows and Kelce's games in recent months and repeatedly faced criticism for the emissions those flights generate.

Private jet travel is one of the most carbon-intensive things a person can do

"Taylor Swift's Jets," a since-deleted Instagram account that monitors her flights, posted in December that her trips generated 138 tons of CO2 emissions in just the prior three months. A spokesperson for Swift has said that she purchased "more than double the carbon credits needed to offset all tour travel" before the Eras tour started in March 2023.

Fans flying commercial may also notice a subtle nod to Swift (and Kelce) on some of the domestic flights headed to the Super Bowl.

Both American and United Airlines have added flights between Kansas City and Las Vegas in advance of the Super Bowl, with fitting flight numbers: 1989 (Swift's birth year and the title of one of her albums) and 87 (Kelce's jersey number).

Yes way! We also have flights UA 2287 and UA 1587 😉 https://t.co/cGEPrIiRFQ — United Airlines (@united) January 29, 2024

Swift will be rooting for "Red (Taylor's Version)"

The question of Swift's travel timelines has caused a bit of a frenzy, albeit for different reasons.

Former Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy fanned a conspiracy theory about the Super Bowl being rigged to potentially give Swift — who drove a surge in voter registration with a single Instagram post last year — an even better platform to endorse President Biden, hypothetically.

Other reactions were more celebratory. People flooded social media with time travel jokes and jubilant "Traylor" (or Tayvis, or Swelce) videos. Late-night hosts speculated enthusiastically on air about Swift's plans.

Several fans treated for hypothermia at the fourth-coldest game in NFL history

Several fans treated for hypothermia at the fourth-coldest game in NFL history

Fans were quick to draw comparisons to High School Musical , in which the romantic leads' championship basketball game, academic decathlon and theater audition are all scheduled at the same time. (Vanessa Hudgens, who starred in the movie, endorsed the theory as "hilarious.")

Some of the Swift-related questions will likely translate into Super Bowl bets , not only about whether she'll make it to Allegiant Stadium but what she might do there: appear on screen, be accompanied by other celebrities, get engaged, etc.

Sportsbook Review notes that most legal, regulated U.S. sportsbooks "don't generally offer these types of markets, but it's likely they'll try to capitalize on the extra attention Swift brings to the 2024 Super Bowl."

A match made in fandom: Travis, Taylor and the weirdness of celebrity relationships

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A match made in fandom: travis, taylor and the weirdness of celebrity relationships.

Swift isn't just bringing the NFL more viewers, but a whole new — and decidedly more feminine — demographic of fans, Princiotti noted.

"The NFL for years and years has been trying to court women and court more women fans, and to be frank, they haven't always been very good at it," she added. "And they have sort of stumbled into this hyper-influencer who's doing a lot of that work for them really well."

A Swift Super Bowl appearance would all but guarantee a huge boost in ratings, with Poynter reporting that it has the chance to become the most-viewed U.S.-based telecast of all time (even if she's only seen in brief glimpses, which a recent New York Times analysis confirmed has so far been the case).

The star-studded event will also feature pregame performances by Reba McEntire, Post Malone and Andra Day, Tiesto as the first-ever " in-game DJ " and a halftime show headlined by Usher. Swift has reportedly turned that gig down twice.

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