Here are a few things you might want to know about French Riviera before planning your trip.
Jet lag GMT / UTC + 1h (+ 2h in summer)
Entry formalities EU citizens do not need a visa to enter France. An identity card is enough. For non EU citizens a valid passport is needed. For further inquiries consult French government site
Electricity 220 V, 50 Hz
Phone + 33 then phone number without 0.
Health No particular risks
Money Currency: Euro €
VAT (Value Added Tax) is 20% on most products. It is between 5.5% and 10% on food.
Prices are usually inclusive of VAT and indicates “T.T.C.” (all taxes included).
Hotel and restaurant prices include 10% to 15% service. Tipping is not necessary, but it is customary to leave some coins in a restaurant, unless you are dissatisfied with the service.
Bargaining is generally only practiced on flea markets.
French Riviera is located on the south east of France, by the Mediterranean sea.It extends from Saint-Tropez to Menton which represents 140 km of coastline.
In one hand, you have the seaside with the well-known resorts of Saint-Tropez, Cannes, and Nice with their old town and white sandy beaches except for Nice with its famous pebbled beach .
In the other hand, you have the hinterland which offers so many different landscapes and unmissable sights « Route of painters » or « Vallée des Merveilles », small ports or high places, national parks or floral cultures, jet ski or snowboard, classified sites or unsuspected views …
Between sea and mountains, you will soon discover that the surroundings of French Riviera is a destination in itself. It is very easy to navigate on the French Riviera thanks to an excellent highway system and the beachfront road. Moreover, many different hiking trails will enable nature lovers to discover the pine forest and the Mercantour park.
The population and the culture are the result of a beautiful blending of European and African origins. French Riviera is in France, so the official language is French. Only a few people speak English, and most of them are concentrated in hotel and tourist areas. However, it is still easy for non-English speakers to communicate, thanks to small dictionaries, mini-phrase books, or online translation websites. Locals are very communicative and will appreciate any effort you do to be understood. The most important is of course to treat others with kindness and respect. Finally, it is important to remember that the culture in France is different, and everything generally moves at a slower pace, you should therefore not expect or demand speedy service.
History and Culture
If you want to come and visit the region, it can be interesting to know more about French Riviera and its history. Originally, in 1887, a sub-prefect from the Côte-d’Or invented a term that made a career: he renamed the « French Riviera » then in the “Côte d’Azur”. 1860 is an important date for the history of the Côte d’Azur: the County of Nice is attached to France by referendum. Follows the creation of the Alpes-Maritimes department.
The end of the 19th century is a period of expansion: it sees the arrival of the railway which favors the development of tourism. It was also during this period that many painters and artists fell in love with the region and settled there, as in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, Saint-Tropez, Nice or Antibes.
During the Second World War, the Italians occupied Menton in June 1940, then Nice from November 1942, while the Germans invaded the South.
To avoid falling into the hands of the enemy, the French fleet is scuttled at Toulon on November 27th 1942.
In August 1944, the Allied forces landed at Saint-Raphael and released Toulon and Nice.
In the 1930s, Americans discovered the station of Juan-les-Pins. Hemingway and Fitzgerald are launching jazz in Europe with the advent of Armstrong, Errol Garner, Sidney Bechet or Count Basie.