Time: Local time in France is GMT + 1 hour (GMT + 2 hours from the end of March to the end of October).
Currency: The euro (EUR, €) is the official currency of France. It is divided into 100 cents. You can check the latest exchange rates here.
Electricity: 220 volts, 50Hz. Standard plugs used in France are European two-pins.
Language: The official language is French, but English is spoken and understood.
Safety Information: France is generally a very safe country although expats are advised to take precautions against petty theft and to ensure their personal safety. There are thieves and pickpockets on the metro and around airports, and car theft is also common.
The crime rate in France is low. The only places that may be dangerous are the poorer areas of Paris and areas with large amounts of tourists where pick-pocketing is a common crime.
Communications: The international access code for France is +33, and the Paris area code is (0)1. International calls are made by dialling the network code (eg 00 for France Telecom) and then the relevant country code (eg 44 for the United Kingdom). Phone cards can be used on most public phones and purchased at local newsagents, probably the cheapest way for expats to call home. French mobile phone operators use GSM networks and most have roaming agreements with international mobile companies. There are internet cafés in cities and towns throughout France.
Emergencies: 112 is the emergency number used in France.
Climate: France is a large country and the climate varies regionally. The south of France has a warm Mediterranean climate with hot summers and mild winters. Strong winds, known as 'le Mistral', blow through the Cote d'Azur, Provence and the Rhone valley during winter and spring. Northern France, including Paris, has a temperate climate with warm summers, cold winters and rainfall throughout the year. On the west coast, from the Loire valley to the Pyrenees, the weather is milder but summers can be very hot.
Embassy contact details
French Embassy, Washington DC, United States: +1 202 944 6000.
French Embassy, London, United Kingdom: +44 (0)20 7073 1000.
French Embassy, Ottawa, Canada: +1 613 789 1795.
French Embassy, Canberra, Australia: +61 (0)2 6216 0100.
French Embassy, Pretoria, South Africa: +27 (0)12 425 1600.
French Embassy, Dublin, Ireland: +353 (0)1 277 5000.
French Embassy, Wellington, New Zealand: +64 (0)4 384 2555.
Foreign Embassies in France
US Embassy, Paris: +33 (0)1 4312 2222.
British Embassy, Paris: +33 (0)1 4451 3100.
Canadian Embassy, Paris: +33 (0)1 4443 2900.
Australian Embassy, Paris: +33 (0)1 4059 3300.
South African Embassy, Paris: +33 (0)1 5359 2323.
Irish Embassy, Paris: +33 (0)1 4417 6700.
New Zealand Embassy, Paris: +33 (0)1 4501 4343.
Banking, Money and Taxes in France:
Working in France:
Agency for professionals Employment in France: www.apec.fr
Visa and Work Permits for France:
Shipping and Removals to France: