By Gemma King
For a thousand different reasons, France is the world’s top tourism country. From its glittering capital to its many quaint smaller cities, its unbeatable food and wine scene and its charming landscapes, France is a traveler’s dream. Whether you’re visiting Paris, the Riviera, the Loire Valley, the wine and mustard capital of Bourgogne or the rolling hills of Normandy (or all of them!) there are countless joys to experience in France. It can be difficult to know where to search to find the true gems when traveling to France, but you need look no further than your own phone or tablet to start planning your trip.
1. Learn French
There are many French dictionaries out there, and several apps that translate words simply and quickly to and from a wide range of languages. But the beauty of Learn French is it’s specifically aimed at English-speaking travelers with little-to-no French language skills. Basically, this little app is a cross between a dictionary and a phrasebook, and will help you battle that pesky language barrier.
Trains are one of the most affordable and efficient transport systems in France, for both long and short rides. When in Paris, you’ll want to use the RATP app, but for travel between cities, SNCF is what you need. You can even use it to book trains from within France to other nearby countries, like Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands (with the Thalys train, you can be in Amsterdam in three and a half hours!)
3. Map of France
As simple as its name suggests, Map of France provides a detailed set of offline French maps. In a perfect world, our smart phones would have seamless access to the internet throughout our travels. Sadly, even the strongest data plan can let us down when we need a connection the most, standing in an unknown street, unsure where to turn. This app will help you navigate your way around France, in those desperate moments when Google Maps can’t.
4. Tripbox Paris
Filled with restaurant, shopping, nightlife, museum, walking and other travel suggestions, Tripbox is a one-stop app for Paris tips. Sleek and simple, this app is great for introducing you to the basics of Paris travel, with helpful images and descriptions of Paris icons from the Champs Elysées to the Louvre. However, this is only one of many Paris travel apps, so be sure to shop around for the ones most useful to you.
5. My Airports- Aéroports de Paris
Even if Paris isn’t the main focus of your French trip, the odds are that if you’re flying home, you’ll be flying through one of the capital city’s airports. These are some of the busiest and best-connected airports in the world, but they’re not necessarily the most user-friendly (Charles de Gaulle is a particular pet hate of Parisians). Download My Airports-Aéroports de Paris to streamline your French airport experience.
6. Provence and French Riviera
One of the most stunning areas in France, Provence appeals to visitors who love food, wine, history, relaxation and picturesque countryside views (not to mention the nearby seaside delights of the French Riviera). With so many places to stay and highlights to soak up in the South of France, the handy app Provence and French Riviera will help you decide which charming village to spend the night in, which Marseille seafood restaurant to dine in and which ritzy Cannes hotel to wind down in.
What are your favorite apps when traveling to France? Please share in the comments below.
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