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South African citizens require a visa to enter the Schengen territory, i.e. Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
At which Embassy/Consulate/ Visa Issuing Authority should you apply? Read More
– If you intend to visit only one Schengen country, you must apply at the Embassy / Consulate / Visa Issuing Authority of that country.
– If you intend to visit several Schengen countries, you must apply for a visa at the Embassy / Consulate / Visa Issuing Authority that is your main destination (i.e. your longest stay).
– If you intend to visit several countries but do not have a main destination, you should apply for a visa at the Embassy / Consulate / Visa Issuing Authority of the country of your first point of entry.
France’s climate is temperate, but divided into four distinct climatic areas. The oceanic climate of western France brings average rainfall spread over many days, and modest annual temperature variations (Brittany, Normandy, Atlantic Loire, Loire Valley). Central and eastern France’s continental climate harbours cold winters and hot summers (the Champagne region, Burgundy, Alsace). The Mediterranean climate of south-eastern France is responsible for hot, dry summers, with rainfall from October to April (when the weather is damp but mild) and ample sunshine all year round (Provence, Côte d’Azur and Corsica). Above 600-800m altitudes, France’s mountain climate brings heavy rainfall, and snow three to six months per year.
The best time to travel is from April to mid June and September to October.
|International Airports:||Paris Charles de Gaulle & Orly in Paris; Nice Côte d’Azur (French Riviera and Monaco); Lyon Saint Exupéry for Lyon & Alps Region; Marseille Airport for Marseille & Provence region; Bordeaux airport for Bordeaux & Aquitaine region|
|Area:||643 801 km²|
|Time Zone:||One hour ahead of GMT; the UK and France change their clocks at the same time each year.|
|Language:||French is the official Language, more and more often complemented with English in the principal tourist centres and in the hotels.|
|Exchange Rate:||Please consult your local bank as exchange rates fluctuate.|
|Credit Card Payment Availability:||MasterCard, American Express and Diner’s Club credit cards are widely accepted at shops and restaurants. Please make sure your credit card is accepted before making a purchase or a restaurant reservation.|
|ATM Accessibility:||Easily accessible.|
|Electricity:||220 V, with two pin plugs|
|Water:||Tap water is safe to drink.|
|Business Hours:||Shops are open continuously from 09:00 – 18:30 or 19:00 – Monday to Saturday with late night shopping in the department stores. Museums and monuments can be visited between 09:00 / 10:00 – 17:00 / 18:00 , except Tuesdays (or more rarely on Monday or week-ends)|
|Banking Hours:||Mon – Fri 09:00 – 16:30.|
|Tipping:||It is customary to leave a tip.|
|Vaccination Requirements:||No vaccinations required, however always consult with your medical practitioner or travel clinic.|
|Dress Code Restrictions:||Casual dress is acceptable in inexpensive restaurants, a jacket and tie is however recommended in all smart venues.|
|Peculiar Customs to Observe:||N/A|
- Le Corso Fleuri – traditional flower parade – February
- Nice Carnival -Mardi Gras, parades and fireworks – February / March
- Lemon Festival – February / March
- International garden festival – April – October
- Cannes Film Festival – May
- Great Roman Games – May
- Night of Museums (museums stay open late and for free) – 18 May
- Monaco Grand Prix – May
- Joan of Arc Festival – May
- D-day Festival – May / June
- Nuits Sonores – May / June
- Versailles Festival – May – July
- Fête de la Musiqueay – 21 June
- Bastille Day – 14 July
- Festival d’Avignon – July
- Tour De France – July
- Paris Plages – July to August
- Paris Quartier d’été – July / August
- Rock en Seine – August
- Les Chorégies d’Orange – August
“Paris is always a good idea.”
– Audrey Hepburn