Phrases You Should Know Before Visiting France

With winter around the corner, it’s time to start planning that dream summer vacation. For many, France is the ideal destination, with historical sites like the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre. For others, it’s all about the wine!

Regardless of your reasons for going, there are a few words and phrases you should know before heading out to Paris!


Everyone knows that the best way to greet someone, in English or French, is a simple “hello!” If you didn’t learn it from Beauty and the Beast’s opening song, the French greet each other with bonjour.

No matter where you decide to vacation, it is always nice to be polite. This includes using the words our parents always taught us to use, like “please” and “thank you.” Wouldn’t Mom and Dad be so proud to hear you say s'il vous plaît and merci when ordering a delectable croissant.

Even when you have to say “no,” it’s nice to be polite and say non, merci.

Sometimes, though we’d hate to admit it, we just drink too much espresso and can’t hold it. If that’s the case, and it really is an ‘emergency’, just say les toilettes, and you should be pointed in the right direction.

We all get that feeling when we’re walking through a marketplace or by beautiful storefronts that we just have to buy something. But what happens when you have no cash? You could go to a bank, banque, or you could look for an ATM, and AU M. 


Unfortunately, one-word answers or questions don’t always cut it, especially in a country where you don’t know the language. That’s why we have a few important and helpful French phrases for you!

For example, when you need directions or to be pointed towards a place, just ask oú est [name of place]? Or, if you need to find a place to eat, ask: où est le restaurant le plus proche? Either question will prompt the response that you need to get to a specific place or to a restaurant.

When you have your cash with you and are ready to buy that mini Notre Dame, but it doesn’t have a price tag, a helpful phrase is, combien ça coûte? 

Finally, no trip to Paris is complete without a picture in front of the Eiffel Tower. If you aren’t feeling a selfie, have no fear. To ask for someone to take your picture, just ask voudriez-vous s'il vous plaît prendre notre photo?

There you have it! Now you can fly over to France and experience it in all its beauty, no matter the season. Just remember the words and phrases you learned here and you’ll be good to go.

Au revoir!

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