ETIAS - Traveling to France

U.S. citizens can travel to France using an ETIAS visa waiver

France

Country of France

  • Paris
  • Euro (€)
  • UTC+1 (Central European Time)
  • Right
  • +33
  • French

U.S. Embassy France

Emergency France Telephone Numbers

  • 17
  • 15
  • 15
  • 112 (112 is the equivalent to 911 in the US)
Introduction

Magnetic and magical France, officially The French Republic (République Française), is a country beloved in the eyes of sojourners, wanderers and daydreamers for its profound geographic beauty, replete cultural diversity, and the joie de vivre (zest for life) of its people. Americans have been flocking to its cosmopolitan cities and rustic countryside hoping to be infused with the country’s enigmatic verve, and to feel just a little bit French. A mélange of world-renowned attractions and lesser known pearls await. From the city sights of Paris to the sun-drenched French Riviera to the snow-dusted French Alps to the heady vineyards of Provence and other premier wine regions, to the gently sloping farmlands, France is perhaps the most diverse country in Europe. A vibrant medley of art, culture, history, haute couture, and renowned cuisine, France is a delicious country to explore with boundless adventures and experiences to captivate even the worldliest traveler.

France is one of the five founders of the Schengen Agreement which was signed in March of 1995. The population of France is more than 65 million and the country is one of the most beloved destinations for Americans in the world. France welcomes more than 90 million visitors each year. With authorization for the ETIAS Visa Waiver for visa-free travel of up to 90 days to France and other Schengen Area countries, you can begin to imagine all the European explorations that await. The ETIAS program is slated to be in effect in 2021.

Primary Languages: French, Spanish, German, Italian, and English which is widely spoken.

Where to Go

  • Arc de Triomphe

    The City

    Paris, La Ville Lumière (the City of Light), is an exhilarating medley of high culture and lofty history. Don’t miss: The most iconic symbol of Paris, the Eiffel Tower, dominates the city skyline and from its three observation levels proffers unimaginably romantic views, especially after dark. And a Michelin-rated restaurant seals the romantic deal. The Musée du Louvre (Louvre Museum), once a Kings’ palace, hosts a collection of some of the greatest masterpieces anywhere, and is joined in the city by impressive museums including the Picasso Museum, Orangerie Museum home to Monet's water lilies and pieces by Cézanne, Renoir, and Matisse, and the Rodin Museum which features Michelangelo’s treasured sculptures. The Arc de Triomphe which begins the grand boulevard Champ Elysée, and the gorgeous Baroque Palais Garnier Opera House are awing and inspiring. Tourists wander the riverbanks―both the Left and Right Banks to uncover hidden gems including floating restaurants, cafés, and the pedestrian bridge, Pont Des Arts, where lovers lock padlocks inscribed with their names and toss the keys into the river to immortalize their love. Though tours are not possible since the 2019 fire, Le Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris (Notre Dame Cathedral), tucked along the River Seine can be viewed from the street. Some of the most desired hotels and guest apartments are those with a view of the winding river. Trains or river cruises along the River Seine are a delightful way to travel and sightsee. Just 10 miles outside the city is the gilded Palace of Versailles. Constructed to demonstrate the unrivalled glory of the French Monarchy, Versailles was home to monarchs of France for a century. It was transformed by the "Sun King," Louis XIV into a palace of wild levels of opulence. Tours include the chateaux and its magnificent gardens which are both wondrous and breathtaking.

  • Mont Blanc

    The Mountains

    Awing and heavenly, Mont Blanc (The White Mountain) in The French Alps is the highest peak in Europe, at more than 15,700 feet. The alpine resort of Chamonix tucked into a high mountain valley boasts incredible glaciers, soaring peaks and in summer, blooming alpine meadows. Chamonix is an ideal base for alpine activities including skiing, hiking, rock climbing, and sightseeing. The Brévent - Flégère Ski Resort is the largest ski area. And Chamonix with its picturesque village of ancient churches, chalets restaurants serving savory and hearty French mountain fare, and walkways festooned with flower boxes bursting with the colors of alpine blossoms is most inviting. Hotels are luxe, or for those seeking an authentic experience, rustic auberges offer quaint accommodations. For those who want to soak up scenery, the Tramway du Mont Blanc offers the easy pleasure of a Chamonix sightseeing experience with a 6,000-foot ascent to Bellevue which has easy trails to walk, sweeping vistas for pretty views, and brasseries for sustenance. A cable-car ride with views that defy description to the 12,600-foot Aiguille du Midi Gondola may be the piece du resistance of the mighty mountain range.

     

    • Provence lavender field

      Provence

      One of the most treasured regions of France, Provence encompasses a southeastern area bordering Italy and the Mediterranean Sea and reaching up to Southern Alps. Provence is lavender fields, flourishing olive groves, a dramatic coastline, world-class vineyards, and welcoming people. Visitors easily discover the appeal of Rhône valley vineyards which rise from both sides of the River Rhone. Tours are delightful and include Rhone Valley adventures, winery visits and tastings, wine and chocolate workshops, and scenic tours of the contrastive landscape. Highlights of the region include Avignon, rich in a savvy city vibe mixed with its medieval roots. The 14th century Place of the Popes, museums displaying masterpieces by Cézanne, Van Gogh, Degas, and Picasso, and enchanting villages square with shops and eateries are interspersed throughout the area.  The fishing port town Cassis is a pretty alternative to glitzy beach towns like St. Tropez. Cassis is rife with sweet beaches with unbelievable crystalline water, and The Calanques; Mediterranean fjords with cozy beaches and dramatic cliffs that drop to the sea. Cassis wine tastings are held nearby in the hills that back the colorful harbor village and sidewalk cafes offer wonderful local fare. And the nature of France can be uncovered in Camargue. Horseback riding on Camargue’s unique white horses, birdwatching in the salt marshes, hiking, beaching, and even flamingo watching are popular activities in the wild and captivating delta region.

Neighboring Countries

France is bordered by the countries of Belgium, Luxemburg, Switzerland, Italy, and Spain, as well as the principality of Monaco. All including France are members of the Schengen Area, will require ETIAS authorization for the Visa Waiver Program being launched by the European Union in 2021