- By John
- On Nov 1, 2018
- Travel Tips
France is everything that people make it out to be and then some. Its long history lends itself to beautiful ruins, castles, architecture, and culture. Traveling France is a very expensive affair, second only to traveling through Italy in mainland Europe.
Travel as a local in France
Do not talk in English right away when speaking with a Frenchman
One thing you should know about French people is that many speak English but they are not very good at it. When you speak with a Frenchman in English, don’t be surprised if you’re not getting any response. That’s not them being rude but them preferring not to look like a fool.
When speaking with a Frenchman for the first time, try using some of the French phrases and words you’ve packed with you. You can start with saying “bonjour!” to break the ice then add some more French words. Even if you mess up the pronunciation, that’s perfectly fine. They’d still appreciate the effort and if they sense that you’re in trouble finding the right word in French, some will come to the rescue by talking to you in English albeit bad.
Do not order only one dish at restaurants
Because French cuisine is in a league of its own, you should avoid ordering just one dish when dining in restaurants. Since you’re in a land where gastronomic pleasure is at the heart of its culture, you should go all out and indulge in a full meal which usually includes multiple courses.
Make sure to put aside enough time to enjoy and savor every course. The classic dining experience would typically last two to three hours and consist of a three or four course menu including a starter (une entrée), main course (le plat principal), cheese course and dessert. For evening dining, it may take even longer as it may include five or six courses.
You should know that dining out in France is not just about eating to satisfy your hunger. It is an event in itself which many restaurants in France adhere to.