The key is to understand the cultural differences. The food in France is among the finest in the world, and it is the largest wine-producing nation in the world.

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How To Get In

All foreign visitors must have a passport. (If you don't have a current passport, start this process as early as possible. Glitches, like a missing birth certificate, can drag this out.) Americans planning to visit for 90 days or longer, or those who plan to study in France, must get a long-stay visa.

Where To Go

Think of France, and most people automatically think of Paris. But there is much more to this country, whether it be the robust stews and beer of the Alsace or the laid-back attitude and sunny beaches of the Riviera.

There are many other underrated but wonderful cities, as well as unique spa resorts and villages and lovely beaches all around the coastline from the north to the border with Italy.

France is divided into regions, and I would recommend you read up about the distinct personalities of each before deciding on a destination.

In addition, many cities also have their own transportation system (such as Paris' metro). Even many smaller villages have a bus system. France's transportation system is much more extensive than that of the U.S. Check with the city or region's tourism office.