A Guide to French for Travellers
Blog post by: @iureyy
Planning an adventure through France and want to be able to speak a bit with the locals? Learn some basics, or brush up on your skills with our Guide to French for Travellers!
Learning a bit of the local language while travelling can certainly make your adventures easier, and it’s a cool skill you can bring home! France is Europe’s most popular tourist destination, and while tons of people can speak English and other languages, there’s also tons who can’t. And in order to avoid any confusion or stressful situations, it wouldn’t hurt to pick up a bit of French. Spoken throughout many parts of the world, French can be a challenging one if you don’t have any experience with other romantic languages (Spanish, Portuguese, or Italian), but don’t let that stop you from giving this beautiful language a shot! To make the most of your adventures in France, read on to discover some helpful words and phrases in our Guide to French for Travellers.
Our guide to French for travellers starts with all the basics you’ll need to get by. Whether you’re spending a romantic weekend in Paris, or exploring the amazing towns around Nice, these are the basic French words and phrases.
Oui / Non
Yes / No
Comment allez-vous (formal) / Comment ça va?
Ca va bien. Et vous (formal) / toi?
I am well. And you?
Je vous remercie
Do you speak English?
Pleased to meet you.
Je ne parle pas français.
I don’t speak French.
Où est la salle de bain ?
Where is the bathroom?
Travel & Direction
Getting around anywhere in France is relatively easy and well connected. But there’s nothing worse than getting lost on your way to catch a train or bus and not having the language skills to ask for help.
Aéroport le plus pratique
Où est-ce que je peux trouver un taxi?
Where can I find a taxi?
Où est-ce que je peux acheter un ticket de transport en commun?
Where can I buy a public transport ticket?
Nous voulons nous rendre à ….
We want to go to …
Où est le métro?
Where is the subway?
Où est la station de bus?
Where is the bus station?
Où est l’arrêt de bus?
Where is the bus stop?
Quand est-ce que le prochain bus arrive?
When is the next bus coming?
Quel est le prochain arrêt?
What is the next stop?
Are you going to…?
Quel bus va à l’aéroport?
Which bus goes to the airport? /
Of course you’re going to need some of these phrases if you’re adventuring around the country. From checking in to your hostel, to requesting certain services, this category is certainly useful!
Auberge de jeunesse
J’ai une réservation.
I have a booking
Nous avons une réservation.
We have a booking.
La réservation est au nom de …
The name of the booking is …
Il me manque une serviette.
I am missing a towel
Puis-je avoir une serviette de bain?
Can I have a towel?
Est-ce que vous servez à manger?
Do you serve food?
Est-ce que vous avez une machine à laver?
Do you have a washing machine?
Est-ce que je peux avoir un jeton pour la machine à laver?
Can I get a token for the washing machine?
Food and Drink
French food has an international reputation, but the best part of it is that it truly varies depending on the region you’re in! From world class bistros in Paris, to charming waterfront cafes in Marseille, you’ll love the food options in France!
Est-il possible de manger ici?
Is it possible to eat here?
Où est-ce que je peux trouver un restaurant?
Where can I find a restaurant?
Nous avons une réservation au nom de…
We have a reservation by the name of…
Nous sommes prêts à commander.
We are ready to order.
Est-ce que je peux commander un verre?
Can I order a drink?
Est-ce que je peux avoir une bière s’il vous plaît?
Can I get a beer please?
Est-ce que je peux avoir un verre d’eau s’il-vous-plaît?
Can I have a glass of water please?
Quelles sont vos recommandations?
What are your recommendations?
L’addition s’il vous plaît.
Can I get the check please.
Puis-je avoir du pain?
Can I have bread?
Quand est-ce que le restaurant ferme?
When does the restaurant close?
A quelle heure ferme le bar?
When is the bar closing?
À quel endroit & Quand
Here’s a few helpful phrases about where certain things are in your destination! Whether you need directions to a market, a beach, or wondering when the shop opens, this will come in handy.
Où est le supermarché le plus proche?
Where is the closest supermarket?
Où est la plage le plus proche?
Where is the closest beach
Où est le bureau de poste le plus proche?
Where is the closest post office?
Quand est-ce que le magasin ouvre?
When does the store open?
Where to Stay in France
Naturally if you’re going to be travelling, you’ll need a place to stay! Europe’s Famous Hostels currently has 4 locations in France, all offering something unique to their guests. Whether you’re looking to explore the French capital, spend some time on the famous beaches in the south, or have an easy weekend in Lille, you’ll surely find something of interest in one of these destinations.
Our top recommendation in Paris is St. Christopher’s Inn. With two fully equipped locations, they’re the perfect guests in the City of Lights! Enjoy exclusive discounts at their restaurants and bar, and participate in a range of their free activities where you’re bound to meet tons of other cool guests and locals. Choose from a range of rooms, including dorms, private rooms, and apartments, and sleep soundly at St. Christopher’s!
Our top recommendation in Lille is The People Hostel, located in the Old Town. This hostel has a reputation for clean and modern rooms, and as well as their incredible amenities. Choose from spacious dorms or private rooms, and relax in their cozy bar and courtyard in the evening where you can mingle with guests and locals!
Our top recommendation for in Nice is Villa St. Exupery Beach Hostel. Famous for being one of the most social and friendliest hostels in Nice, you’ll love being their guest. You can choose from dorms and private rooms, and can participate in a variety of activities hosted by the hostel. They also have one of the cheapest bars in Nice, and are only 20m from the city’s main square. And if you want to get a work out in, take advantage of their fully equipped fitness centre!
Vertigo Vieux-Port auberge de jeunesse is our top recommendation in Marseille. Located in the Old Port area, it’s walking distance from beaches, bars, clubs, and other notable landmarks. Offering both dorms and private rooms, you’ll love their charming decor and comfy atmosphere. They also offer a range of activities and excursions, and have cosy common areas for you to chill in after a long day in the sun. The staff at Vertigo will make you feel at home!
A Guide to French for Travellers
Now that you know a bit of French for travellers, you can start planning your adventure in France with confidence! If you need more information to help you plan your adventure, click ici for a range of helpful tips, city guides, food guides, and more. For all the latest news at Famous Hostels, follow us or subscribe on Instagram, Facebook, and Youtube.