France Business Travel Guide

France Flag

The France Business Travel Guide provides business travellers with a wide array of resources to assist them. Included within the guide are facts on France, business customs and tips, visa information and more. A better understanding of other cultures, languages, customs and protocols can be a definite advantage for business visitors helping to avoid any cross cultural misunderstandings, resulting in successful business trips.

France has an advanced and developed economy with a number of business opportunities. It is the largest country in western Europe and a founding member of the EU, OECD, G7, G20 and is one of the five permanent members on the UN security council. Major trading partners include EU neighbours Germany, Italy, Belgium, Spain and the UK. France is a multicultural, multiracial country and home to a number of ethic groups. France shares borders with Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, Italy, Switzerland, Monaco and Andorra.

The country has a variety of landscapes including the Alps, the beaches in the south of France, the chalk white cliffs in Normandy, plateaus and valleys. Famous attractions include the Eiffel Tower, The Louvre, Notre Dame de Paris, Arc de Triomphe , Champs-Élysées and Disneyland Paris in the capital Paris, the French Riviera, Palais des Papes, Chateau de Chambord, Gorge du Verdon and the Palace of Versailles .

France Guide

Quick Facts on France
France Travel Advice
Visa Requirements
Business Customs and Etiquette
Travel Advice and Tips
Public Holidays
France Map
France Weather & Climate

Quick Facts on France

Country: France

Capital: Paris

Currency: Euro (1 Euro = 100 cents)

Population: 63.5 Million (UN, 2012)

Area total: 550,000 sq km

Languages: French

Time Zone: GMT +1

Daylight Saving Details: Starts in late March until late October

Electricity: 230V 50Hz

Dialling Code: 33

GDP: USD 2.735 trillion (World Bank, 2013)

Religion: Predominately Christian (Catholic) with Muslim and Jewish minorities.

Political System: Republic

Internet Domain: .fr

France Travel Advice

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office offers travellers useful advice when travelling to France. There is information on entry requirements for France, advice on local laws and customs, tips on safety and security and the address and contact details of the British Embassy in France. The information posted is usually up to date making it a useful resource for both business and leisure travellers to check before beginning their trips. For more information please see: France Travel Advice

Visa Requirements

No visa requirement for national of EU member states. No visa need for US and Canadian nationals for visits less than six months. Visa requirements are subject to change with changes in requirements and rules for further information please see: France Embassy UK

Business Customs and Etiquette

Business dress is conservative but elegant and stylish. Meetings should be arranged in advance; speaking French is viewed as an advantage in business; however translators are available if needed. Colleagues should be addressed with the appropriate monsieur, madam followed by the surname followed by a handshake is used to greet. At the end of events it is customary to say goodbye to each of your colleagues.

During discussions maintain eye contact and note there is usually strict adherence to protocol, rules and regulations so may need to be patient to wait for decisions after several meetings. Discussions in meetings can be on the intense side with the proposal scrutinised in detail, be well prepared for this. High pressure methods tend not to work well in France.

Business meetings may be held in restaurants; in Paris breakfast meetings, working lunches and dinners are common. Small talk is intertwined in to the way to do business in France therefore it helps to have a working knowledge of French politics and culture.

Travel Advice and Tips

Most trips to France by business travellers and tourists go without incident. There are things to we aware of though, beware of pick pocketing particularly in crowded tourist and public areas. It is sensible to keep valuables well out of public view. Car crime is a problem in certain areas no valuables should be kept in parked cars and nothing on show for thieves to see. You should always remain alert to your surroundings and environment to help stay away from potential trouble.

Travel Checklist: See our Packing Checklist & Tips containing useful tips and reminders to ensure you have everything you will need on your trip.

Travel Vaccinations: Check with your GP to get the latest advice on whether you require any travel vaccinations up to eight weeks before you travel. For more information and advice on travel vaccinations please see the NHS Fit for Travel website.

Tipping: If service charge is not included usually around 10%

Hours of Business:

For Businesses:
9.00 to 12.00 then 13.00 to 18.00 Monday to Friday

Note: Some banks remain closed on Mondays.

Public Holidays

Public Holidays (2015):

January 1: New Year's Day
April 6: Easter Monday
May 1: Labour Day
May 8: Victory Day 1945 (VE Day)
May 14: Ascension Day
May 25: Whit Monday
July 14: Bastille Day
August 15: Assumption
November 1: All Saint's Day (Toussaint)
November 11: Armistice Day 1918
December 25: Christmas Day

France Map

Map of Paris, France

View Larger Map

France Weather & Climate

France has a number of climatic zones across the country, the north of France has a temperate climate, the north east has a continental climate characterised with colder winters and warm summers. The mountains have an alpine climate whilst the south of France enjoys a Mediterranean climate. France's climate ensuring it is a destination that can be visited throughout the year.

The French Riviera enjoys a warm Mediterranean climate attracting many visitors during the summer months. France's ski resorts in the Alps and the Pyrenees attract plenty of skiing enthusiasts from November to February.

Lightweight cotton and linen clothing can be warn in the summer months; water proof clothing is required in the mountain regions throughout the year. Additional layers and warmer clothing is required during the autumn and winter months.

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Disclaimer: The information given in on this website is given in good faith and to the best of our knowledge. If there are any discrepancies in no way do we intend to mislead. Important travel details and arrangements should be confirmed and verified with the relevant authorities.
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