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France Travel Guide

France — Visas and Vaccinations

Nationals of EU and EFTA countries may enter France visa-free with just an ID card or passport, but nationals of other countries should check with their nearest French embassy or consulate as to visa requirements. Nationals of Australia, the United States, Canada and New Zealand, as well as a number of other countries, do not need a visa for a stay of up to 90 days. In general, no specific vaccinations are needed, although it’s recommended that tetanus/diphtheria, measles/mumps and other routine inoculations are up to date.

Health and Safety

France is as safe to visit as any European country, provided common sense is used in regards to keeping valuables safe and taking care late at night in certain city districts. Pickpockets operate in crowded places and on public transport, especially on trains linking the city with its main airport, Charles de Gaulle. In Paris, visitors should watch out for tourist scams such as the three-card trick, and the impoverished district of Seine-Saint-Denis should be avoided. Awareness is the best defense in any large city.

In the French countryside, there’s little trouble for visitors, although trekkers, walkers, hikers, and bikers should watch out for ticks in the warm months, as they may carry disease. Wildlife and fauna are generally more scared of humans than humans are of them, although in forested regions wild boars can be aggressive, especially in the mating season. If you’re visiting the Alpine region in winter and are renting a car, make sure you have winter tires and snow chains, and be aware that the weather can change very quickly in the high peaks. Driving on narrow, snow-bound roads in the mountains are best avoided unless you have previous experience in these conditions.

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