France Local Customs

  • Interesting Building!
    Interesting Building!
    by johngayton
  • Local Customs
    by johngayton
  • Local Customs
    by johngayton

France Local Customs

  • Parlez vous francais?

    Paris Local Customs

    The fact that there is for Paris, most popular destination in EU, a tip group "Parlez-vous français? on local customs with about 100 reviews mostly by Anglophones, shows that many visitors in Paris feel, maybe in their subconscious, somewhat uneasy not speaking French. They see the splendors of Paris and would like to know a bit more about the...

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  • Local Food

    Nice Local Customs

    If you like pancakes, crêpes, you HAVE TO EAT SOCCA (Note: this is salty). Socca is a sort of pancake made from chick-pea flour and on a large round (50-70 cm diameter) copper "pie tin" (plaque) and cooked in a very hot wood-fired oven for about six minutes, until the top is golden. The copper is important for spreading the heat evenly. Note: You...

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  • Guignol

    Lyon Local Customs

    There are three troupes presenting puppet shows daily in Lyon. One is located in a small theater in Old Lyon and the others are in other parts of the city. We attended an afternoon show at the Daniel Streble troupe. After the show we went backstage and were shown the workings and looked at an enormous number of puppets of ages from ancient to new....

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  • Festivals

    Avignon Local Customs

    Since the late 1940s, for three weeks in July, Avignon hosts le Festival d'Avignon, during which numerous theatrical plays, both large productions as well as low budget, are shown. The city's numerous theatres show the major plays, while many churches and local palace courtyards are turned into stages for smaller productions. Le Festival d'Avignon...

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  • JOAN OF ARC

    Rouen Local Customs

    Jeanne d'Arc, patron saint of France, was tried and burned at the stake in Rouen. The English and French fought each other in the Hundred Years War until Jeanne d'Arc helped put Charles VII on the throne. He was crowned in Reims. Then in 1430 the English threatened the French with economic sanctions and so Jeanne d'Arc was handed over for...

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  • Prices Cafe/Bar/Restaurant

    Yvoire Local Customs

    This board show you that you will pay different prices depending on your location : - at the bar (the cheapest), - in the restaurant (the most expensive) - on the terrace (the best place to be of course ;-)

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  • Stereotypes

    Paris Local Customs

    even if at heart not living here or if here this is it, its fairly true having lived nearby and worked for almost 10 years. 1. Had dinner at Tokyo Eat (16éme) and not needing to open the door to the Palais de Tokyo 2. Taken a breakfast in the terrace of Café Marly (1 éme) 3. Be seated at a table in l’Abtrance (16 éme) 4. Had organise a goodbye...

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  • Topless Sunbathing

    Nice Local Customs

    Topless sunbathing is permitted on the beaches of the Cote d'Azur. You'll see a mix of women with their tops on or off as you enjoy the beaches. The lesson to be learned is not to stare like a schoolboy. Enjoy the sun and let others enjoy it too.

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  • Money

    Lyon Local Customs

    Leaving a pourboire (tipping) is at your discretion. Service charges are included on all restaurant bills at a cost of between 10 and 15 percent. Extra tips are accepted of course if you have received above good service. s fair to add a little more if the meal and service has been exceptional. Taxi drivers expect tips of about 10 percent of the...

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  • Money/Tipping

    Avignon Local Customs

    Service charges are included on all restaurant bills at a cost of between 10 and 15 percent. Extra tips are accepted of course if you have received above good service. s fair to add a little more if the meal and service has been exceptional. Taxi drivers expect tips of about 10 percent of the fare. Hairdressers will expect about 10% also. Porters,...

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  • Fashion

    Paris Local Customs

    If you want to look like a local, make sure you are wearing a nice scarf, matched with your coat, artfully knotted around your neck. Even on a rather warm September day when we were sweating, people were wearing scarves with their short sleeve shirts. There is apparently an art to it, Fodor's 2011 guide has a scarf tying 101 guide. Personally, just...

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  • Siesta

    Nice Local Customs

    The French love protesting. The tradition goes back to the French Revolution - when the monarchy was overthrown and a lot of people had their heads separated from the rest of them. If its American to sue, then its French to protest. "En greve, toujours en greve".Hardly a week goes by without a "greve" "(strike action) or a protest march. Everyone...

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  • Food & Drink

    Lyon Local Customs

    300 g. sausage 2 big onions 2 cloves garlic salt thyme parsley breadcrumbs soaked in a bowl of milk 3 eggs 12 tomatoes Put a bit of oil in a pan. Cook sausage together with finely chopped onions. Salt and flavour with thyme. Add crushed garlic, finely chopped parsley, and breacrumbs soaked in the milk bowl. Remove pan from heat and mix with 3...

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  • Dining & Drinking

    Paris Local Customs

    It is easy to confuse menu (in English) with menu (in French). They are two different words. What is referred to as a menu in English is called a "carte" in French. In French the menu is a prix fixe choice of set menu items for a specific price. (The one price is for all the items listed for that particular prix fixe menu.) Sometimes the "menu" is...

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  • Local Music

    Nice Local Customs

    This musician has become part and parcel of Nice and its Massena square, always draped in a cloak, with a Venetian mask covering his face, his guitar filling the night with quiet musique, a good interaction with the classic architcture. I was really worried to hear last year amplified hip-hop, heavy metal / hard rock, and what not instead of the...

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  • Festival des Lumières

    Lyon Local Customs

    The Festival of Lights is probably the most popular as well as the most established event in Lyon occurs on December 8th. Lanterns adorn balconies and windows and streets a full of performers making the event quite a visionary display. Different events are organised in the different quarters. The Festival of Lights began around 150 years ago at the...

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  • Toilets

    Paris Local Customs

    This odd-looking pod is a Sanisette or, what I affectionately call, a RoboLoo. They scare the hell out of me here in the states and they scared the hell out of me in Paris but they're awfully nice when you have to go NOW: anyone sightseeing a very small child knows exactly what I mean. They're also great for people who use wheelchairs or can't...

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  • Pétanque

    Nice Local Customs

    Stroll down the Prom as far as the eye can see - shortly before the airport, and at the furthest end of the bay locals from the poorer end of Nice will be out playing petanque, or "boules". Its a peculiar passion, and the French take it very seriously. Unlike golf or jet-ski racing, it's a very cheap sport. Running costs zero, play anywhere flat,...

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  • Weather

    Lyon Local Customs

    Lyon is warm and sunny between the months of June and October. In June there is plenty of daylight to get things done and it is also fairly light on the summer crowds. September is usually consistently warm and temperatures can reach 25C. In winter with the changeable Mediterranean climate, temperatures can get very cold.

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  • Tipping

    Paris Local Customs

    Service charges are included on all restaurant bills at a cost of between 10 and 15 percent. Extra tips are accepted of course if you have received above good service. s fair to add a little more if the meal and service has been exceptional. Taxi drivers expect tips of about 10 percent of the fare. Hairdressers will expect about 10% also. Porters,...

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  • Nudity

    Paris Local Customs

    It's not every day that you get to write a tip on VT which allows you (quite legitmately) to talk about fishnet tights, topless women, black twangy suspender belts,and not to mention tight basques and rivers of sweat. Still, enough about last night, I am course talking about the can-can. It actually began back in the 1830's as a rather risque...

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  • Religion

    Paris Local Customs

    Be careful when giving your opinion about religions in Paris or France! These last years the subject became very delicate. It is not yet the Saint Barthélémy, when under King Charles IX the Huguenots (French Calvinist Protestants) in 1572 were slaughtered, but today the tensions between the "Laïcité Républicaine" and the Muslim activists are...

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  • Street Artists

    Paris Local Customs

    We have always encountered musicians of various kinds in the Metro stations, but this trip we saw more than usual on the trains themselves and several were accordion players. I know they are there for the tourists, but still think they add something and I understand they have to audition for a permit, so are usually pretty good. The guy in the...

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  • Bastille Day

    Paris Local Customs

    Bastille day as it is called here on VT is called "Fête Nationale Française" or "Quatorze Juillet" by the French referring to the 14 juillet 1789 "prise de la Bastille" but also the "Fête de la Fédération du 14 juillet 1790". The military parade is the "Défilé du quatorze juillet". It's a quite important military parade going from the Arc de...

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  • Architecture

    Paris Local Customs

    The first thing we noticed on our second trip to Paris was that the scaffolding covering part of Notre Dame Cathedral had been moved. On the third trip it had been moved again. On each trip the scaffolding was in a different place until that wonderful day in 2014 when we arrived to see the Cathedral with no scaffolding at all. Of course this was...

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  • Romance

    Paris Local Customs

    this is a phenomenon that has increase over the years, started slowly now there is more than one bridge which is loaded with locks of love. The city is trying to minimize this and there are groups propups against it The promise of eternal love in the city of Love , Paris. the love locks or cadenas d'amour in French is a happening for sure. In...

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  • Smoking

    Paris Local Customs

    I shall go to Paris and hope the fear of cigarette smoke is less than in the west. There is no reason why both nonsmokers and smokers can't have a place to go. Unless of course the nonsmokers have a problem with this??? Dispite the smoking and drinking of wine that Parisians enjoy the longevity of the french proves that the smoking issue is no...

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  • Etiquette

    Paris Local Customs

    Anytime you enter an establishment, whether it be a restaurant or retail store it is customary to say "Bon Jour". It doesn't have to be loud but try to make eye contact as you say it. Also, upon leaving the establishment, you would say "Merci, Au Revoir".

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  • La Musique

    Paris Local Customs

    It's not exactly a local custom, more an universal custom in a local flavour. In all the Metro lines in the world it is common to see someone playing guitar or accordion or any other light instrument. But a full camera orchestra... only in Paris!

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  • Holidays

    Paris Local Customs

    its a local custom to celebrate Christmas, with the best decoration,and ambiance in Europe. The cityof Paris becomes even bigger, and the excitement of been part of it its inmense. I was there just for the beginning of the Christmas market, and lighting will be by Nov 23rd. The thrills of been in Paris at Christmas...

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  • Eiffel Tower

    Paris Local Customs

    There is a pleasant little ritual the French engage in when you walk into their store. You are always greeted (Bonjour) and you are expected to greet in return. If you ignore their greeting you are not likely to be treated well. Once the greeting was done they seemed to wait for you to give them an idea of what you were looking for. They were...

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  • Driving

    Paris Local Customs

    if you like to drive a car, and come from a place where driving a car is a normal way of life, then driving in Paris will be heaven. I have a driving tip on Paris here, so will be brief. I started driving Inside Paris in 2004,and never look back. I go on every weekend I can, and drove to business meetings even thus here they rembourse business...

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  • Dogs

    Paris Local Customs

    Before we went to Paris, we were told "watch out for all the Dog poo, you know they don't pick it up like we do here!" I think that must have been a while back, as we found the streets to be fairly clean of Dog poo. A Dog in Paris leads quite a high life. They are able to visit bakeries, cafes, shops and bars, small dogs can be even be taken on...

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  • Paris Plage

    Paris Local Customs

    Well, at least the mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoë, is hoping it will become a local custom. The banks of the Seine are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so they have removed the highway along the river on the Left Bank from Port Solferino (or Léopold-Sédar-Senghor) to the Port Du Gros Caillou and has been pedestrianized and set up with all sorts of...

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  • People Watching

    Paris Local Customs

    I read in the National Geographic that the City of Paris and its citizens really believe that green patches/areas are essential for the emotional well-being of the people. I totally agree and this policy has added more beauty to this already eye-pleasing place. My favorite is the Jardin du Luxembourg, where we were met by a very quick downpour...

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  • Money

    Paris Local Customs

    I used to use Nationwide debit card. I loaded the account with money, safe in the knowledge that I withdraw cash around the world without charges. The robbingtheivingbastids started to charge not only a handling fee of £1 a transaction, but a conversion fee for my CASH. I closed the account and logged a complaint plus wrote to all the newspapers....

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  • Shopping

    Paris Local Customs

    France is firmly in Euroland, the new currency accepted right across Europe (except for the UK and Switzerland). Some French however hanker back for the days when the French Franc was the only currency in town. Hence a few relics remain, as in the picture. It will however only accept the new-fangled Euro's in it's tills. This shop (if you really...

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  • Les Bouquinistes

    Paris Local Customs

    I always find time to visit the book stalls lining the Left Bank of the Seine River. There always seems to be items if interest, from funny names on books, to historical maps. They have been there a long time, but I don't know how much business they really do.

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  • Bird Feeding

    Paris Local Customs

    Honestly we expected to see much more pigeons in Paris. We had stereotype "Paris, the city of love, lights, cafes, and… pigeons"... Later we found out that "Paris is installing pigeon lofts throughout the city in its latest attempt to control the population of the birds that leave their droppings on the French capital's monuments." Sounds like...

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  • Louvre

    Paris Local Customs

    Did you ever wonder how they keep the Pei Pyramid at the Louvre clean? We were taking a coffee break in Café Richelieu one afternoon recently and my husband, who was facing the courtyard, noticed a robot crawling down the pyramid. I turned and we watched as the robot slowly moved up and down the pyramid on the diagonal carefully cleaning the entire...

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  • Museum Tips

    Paris Local Customs

    I booked this trip just a couple of weeks short of my niece's 18 birthday and it ended up saving me quite a bit of money, everything we did except the boat ride on the Seine was free for children under 18 including Versailles! It doesn't matter what your nationality is for the under 18 benefit but if you are under 26 years old and a resident of the...

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  • French & US Relations

    Paris Local Customs

    well not a local custom but one that is getting popular every year. When I first came to live in France back in 2003 (versailles) , I wanted to continue the traditions of my adopted country the USA. One of these is Thanksgiving. Done on the FOURTH thursday of November of each year. Coming from the old tradition of the first pilgrims immigrants...

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  • Montmartre & Sacre Coeur

    Paris Local Customs

    In many areas of Paris you will find "street artists", but especially in Montmartre! Monmartre is known as an artists' community and you'll have plenty of opportunities to have a painting done of you or buy some artwork. Monmartre is well worth visiting as it has a unique atmosphere compared to the rest of Paris.

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  • Grafitti

    Paris Local Customs

    We thought there was a lot of this stuff on the Metro and on the railway sides coming into Gare du Nord. It seems there is a challenge amongst the individuals who spray it to try to reach the most inaccessible points imaginable. In doing so I suppose they gain a certain level of respect from their mates. Anyway I captured this bit of graffitti...

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  • Boules - Petanque

    Paris Local Customs

    I think this is basically a French game but with obvious variations in other places. It is like a form of bowling except you can toss the ball a long way if you want. I think the guy on the right (in the main photo) is disappointed in this point. Looks like the guy on the right in the second photo is on his cell phone. Either that or he has an ear...

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