France

France

Etymology

Late Old English, from Old French France, from Medieval Latin Francia, from Francus “a Frank” (see Frank). Old English had Franc-rice “kingdom of the Franks,” more commonly Franc-land. [online etymology dictionary]

Places to Meet People

Places to Meet People

2016 Paris SW Business Meetup – Hi everyone! This is Maxine from Daegu Digital Industry Promotion Agency, one of the leading Government Agency specialized in IT/SW/Accelerating industry in Korea. [meetup]

20s 30s Girls Group in Bordeaux – This group is for 20 and 30 something girls in Bordeaux to meet up and have fun! Whether you’re new in town or you’ve been around for a while and looking to expand your social circle, there are other girls out there who’d love to meet you. Please only join this group if you intend to come to the meet ups. [meetup]

Adrian Leeds Group Networking, Conferences and Workshops – Join us every month at Parler Paris Après Midi, the second Tuesday of every month (except August) for networking and informative guest speakers on a variety of interesting topics. [meetup]

Affordable Yoga in Paris – This group is for everyone who would like to make yoga part of their lives but finds the prices of yoga classes in Paris a bit.. pricey. [meetup]

French Riviera Hiking Meetup – This is a group for anyone interested in hiking through the Alpes Maritimes. There is plenty of very nice hiking circuits in the Alpes Maritimes (06) or near this area where there is some lovely sea and mountains viewpoints. [meetup]

Hangout in Nice – Let’s get together for events in and around Nice like picnics on the beach, movie nights, pub meals, apéros in some of Nice’s best bars, nights out on the town, dinners, bowling nights, socca in the Vieux Nice, hiking in the Mercantour, pétanque on the chateau, days at the beach, ski trips, rock-climbing, day trips to Italy…whatever takes your fancy!  [meetup]

Mastermind- Meet the best of ourselves – You have dreams and objectives in your life? You wish to make all of them come true strategically and graudually with the help and supervision of a group of friends? [meetup]

Paris TechMeetups – TechMeetups has been setup to create a global network of Tech communities from San Francisco to Sydney. We believe that Tech communities are isolated and great things can be achieved if we connect within our cities and outside our borders. [meetup]

ParokiiParis – Are you new to Paris and want to meet people?With the group of Parokii, be kept informed of my diverse and varied outings. [meetup]

Yoga in Cannes – Let’s have a regular outdoor practice for those of us wanting to start the day off with an invigorating vinyasa flow in beautiful Cannes! There’s nothing better than starting the day with sun salutations steps away from the sea, so this season, after great demand, I will be offering a wonderful vinyasa flow 2 mornings a week on the pier off Rue Mace just off the Croisette in Cannes, and SUP yoga beginning mid May at Palm Beach! [meetup]

How to Find a Date

How to Find a Date

EDarling.fr – EDarling.fr is perfect for people between the ages of 30 and 40. The site uses a sophisticated algorithm in order to find your “perfect match.” While EDarling.fr is a solid dating site in France, it also made the list for the best online dating sites in Italy and Germany due to its quality and because it has a lot of members (thanks to a huge television advertising push the site did when they launched). [visa hunter]

EliteRencontre.fr – EliteRencontre is a French dating site designed for serious seekers of a committed, long-term partnership. It was launched in 2013 by the Germany-based online dating network Affinitas, which also runs EliteSingles and eDarling. [visa hunter]

Meetic.fr – Founded in 2001 and based in Boulogne-Billancourt, France, Meetic.fr is the best online dating site in France. From its humble beginnings, it has grown into the largest online dating site in Europe. Following the acquisition of Match.com’s European operations, the site exploded in popularity and has millions of members all across the EU. [visa hunter]

MeeticAffinity.fr – MeeticAffinity.fr is an off-shoot of Meetic.fr, with many of the same features as Meetic, as well as a similarly classy and eye-catching design. What sets MeeticAffinity apart is its target audience: older members looking more seriously for a long-term partnership. [visa hunter]

Walking Tours

Walking Tours

Belle France – Belle France’s self-guided walking holidays introduce you to the stunning scenery of the French countryside, its quiet villages, imposing châteaux and dramatic coastline. [belle france]

Discover Walks – We started Discover Walks in Paris, in 2010, to give visitors a couple of special hours walking around Paris with a real native – the Paris a tourist would never be able to find alone, the kind of experience you would have only in the company of a good and knowledgeable friend – fun, informative and most of all, personal to you and your guide. [discover walks]

The Enlightened Traveller – The Enlightened Traveller’s mission is to continually delight our enlightened clientele via an original and innovative range of self-guided walking holidays in France. We walk mainly in Auvergne, Cevennes, Haute Savoire [the Alps], Languedoc, Midi-Pyrenees, Provence and along the Loire Valley. [walking-holidays-france]

Free Things to Do

Free Things to Do

Alpes-de-Haute-Provence: Gorge du Verdon – For those with a predisposition towards the world of water sports, the Gorge du Verdon in south eastern France ought to be on your list of venues to visit. The canyon, which stretches some 15 miles (25 km) in length, rises up in spectacular fashion from the Verdon River situated some 2,300 ft. (700 m) below. [the crazy tourist]

Alsace: Route des vins d’Alsace – Extending from Marlenheim to Thann, the Alsace Wine Route is an experience not to be missed. As it winds its way seemingly endlessly through flower-decked villages, passing vineyard after vineyard and a plethora of medieval castles, the wine route may not be situated in such spotlight regions as Burgundy or Bordeaux. But nevertheless, it still boasts of two millennia of vinification history, and serves to continually enchant its visitors with both the wonderful setting in which it resides as well as the sheer quality of the flag product. [the crazy tourist]

Carcassonne: Carcassonne Medieval City – There are in fact two Carcassonnes: One is the famed walled city, and the other being the adjacent town which spreads out at its base (ville basse). A stopover to the fortified settlement makes for a real step back in time. The medieval buildings, narrow cobbled streets, and little squares which are packed with atmospheric restaurants, provide for an altogether unique experience for everyone. [the crazy tourist]

Chamonix, Mont-Blanc: La Valle de Chamonix (Chamonix Valley) – With its backdrop being the monumental wall of Mt. Blanc, you’ll understand exactly why La Valle de Chamonix is a year-round paradise for outdoor sports enthusiasts as well as anyone who marvels at heart-melting vistas. [the crazy tourist]

Champagne-Ardenne: Champagne Route (Route Touristique du Champagne) – The Champagne region in France although celebrated globally for their sparkling wines, has more to offer than merely the fizzy beverage. It is an oasis of pristine beauty, tranquility, and offers a fine historical heritage that encompasses five wine producing districts together with its commercial centers in the towns of Épernay and Reims. [the crazy tourist]

Chartres: Cathedrale de Chartres – The beautiful soaring spires, the porches which are elaborately adorned with detailed sculpture works, and the stained-glass windows from the 12th and 13th centuries, conjure up the realization that the Cathedrale de Chatres symbolizes the front runner of the echelon in French Gothic art. [the crazy tourist]

Languedoc-Roussillon: Pont du Gard – Over 2,000 years ago, Pont du Gard, which is an amazing compilation anthology of stones weighing as much as 6 tons, was constructed over a period of more than 5 years. The structure makes up a sizable part of an aqueduct which is almost 31 miles (50 km) in length, manufactured to convey water from the Gardon River valley over to Nemausus in Nîmes. [the crazy tourist]

Limoges: Old Town of Oradour-sur-Glane – Oradour-sur-Glane, an idyllic village at the time, was razed to the ground in June 1944 in retaliation towards the French Resistance for sabotage attacks on the marauding German forces. In the post-war era, a new settlement was established, though the ruins of the martyred village were preserved as by way of commemorating the dead and serving as a stark reminder of the barbarity inflicted by the Waffen-SS. [the crazy tourist]

Lourdes: Pèlerinage de Lourdes (The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes) – Year on year, millions of Christians ensemble in the sanctuary – Pèlerinage de Lourdes – where the most sacred site is that of the Cave of Apparitions. Irrespective you are devout or otherwise, you will likely be moved as you witness people absorbed in reverence, and then immersing themselves in one of the grotto’s 17 pools, where the waters are said to be healing and righteous. [the crazy tourist]

Marne-la-Vallée, Paris: Disneyland Resort – Though every Disneyland Resort represents a paradise for the kids, it also provides the opportunity for adults to make a return to those bygone years. As you and the family make an entrance to the “Happiest Place on Earth”, there’s an immediate sense of being possessed with the kind of magic you’ve likely never experienced since your younger years. [the crazy tourist]

Mont Saint-Michelle: Abbaye du Mont Saint-Michel – On the border between Brittany and Normandy lies the Abbaye du Mont Saint-Michel, a legendary abbey that brings the artistry of medieval architecture and the forces of nature together. Sitting atop a tidal island, the abbey was given the accolade of a UNESCO World Heritage listing in 1979, and marks the symbol of French heroic resistance to the English during the Hundred Years’ War. [the crazy tourist]

Montignac: Lascaux II – During 1940, around the time the Germans invaded France, in a little forest to the south of Montignac, four boys attempted to rescue their dog from a cave. As they ventured into the darkness, little did they realize they were about to make a breathtaking discovery. [the crazy tourist]

Nîmes: Arenes de Nîmes – Arguably the best preserved Roman amphitheater there is to be seen, this arena has been a dominant factor in the city of Nîmes for almost 2,000 years. [the crazy tourist]

Orange: Theatre Antique d’Orange – Although Orange is a significant town in the Vaucluse department, it is a rather ordinary place that is almost entirely devoid of the touristy luster you’d perhaps expect to find there. Nevertheless, the town is the home of a Romanesque theater – one of the best (if not the best) preserved and most complete in the world. [the crazy tourist]

Paris: Arc de Triomphe – Today, the Arc de Triomphe, which is the largest monument of this kind in the world, links both old and new Paris together, thereby forming a spectacular backdrop for the urban ensemble. It was Napoleon I who commissioned Jean Chalgrin to conceptualize and design the triumphal archway, which was then dedicated to the imperialism and glory of his armies. [the crazy tourist]

Paris: Centre George Pompidou – Given its name after a former President of France, Centre George Pompidou, which was completed in 1977, represents a rather unusual construction, with its skeletal high-tech architecture of tubes, boxes, and cables, all in various shapes and colors. [the crazy tourist]

Paris: Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel) – As a way to commemorate the French Revolution’s centennial celebration, the Eiffel Tower, which is the world’s most visited paid monument, was constructed in 1889 by a company owned by Gustave Eiffel the acclaimed bridge builder. [the crazy tourist]

Paris: Moulin Rouge – Just like the movie, Moulin Rouge in Paris, which has its locale in the vicinity of Montmartre within the red light district of Pigalle, offers its patrons regular evening performances of cancan. The music, which is lively and seductive, represents a pageant of sexy lingerie, slender legs, whirling costumes, together with outstanding technique. [the crazy tourist]

Paris: Musee d’Orsay – Though the Louvre is considered to be the most impressive museum in France, the Musee d’Orsay, also located in Paris, is a very close second. Situated on the left bank of the Seine, and housed in a bygone railway station, the museum plays host to paintings and sculptures that belong to a host of French artists. [the crazy tourist]

Paris: Musee de Louvre – Even the main entrance way to the Musee de Louvre is an artistic dream, as is befitting to the world’s most visited museum. But there’s not much time to linger gazing up at the glassy pyramid. For inside awaits the fantasy of the most ethereal collection of art the world has seen, with everything from the Code of Hammurabi, to Egyptian mummies, to Leonardo’s Mona Lisa, and the Venus de Milo. [the crazy tourist]

Paris: Notre Dame Cathedral (Cathedrale de Notre Dame de Paris) – Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris became ever-more popular on the publication of Victor Hugo’s novel in 1831, The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Nevertheless, the church reflects the capital city’s prestige all too well with its sizable lofty archways, ornate spires, rose-colored stained glass windows, flying buttresses, ribbed vaults, and not least, the indispensable Gargoyles, all of which emanate the essence of Gothicism at its finest. [the crazy tourist]

Reims: Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Reims – Although acting as a runner-up to the Cathedral in Chartres in terms of sculpting and ornamentation, Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Reims still represents a wonderful display or architectural artistry and royal history. Here you will witness the synthesis of Gothic elements in harmony, unity, and remarkable balance. [the crazy tourist]

Saint-Tropez: St. Tropez Beaches – Famed for the clumsy gendarme and, not least, for the actress Brigitte Bardot, this shimmering pearl of the Cote d’Azur will cast a spell on everyone from cinema aficionados to history buffs. Nevertheless, it’s the beach bums and the crème de la crème of the red carpet that will truly have the time of their lives. [the crazy tourist]

The Loire Valley (Le Val de Loire) – The River Loire twists and turns as it makes its way throughout the rolling hills of the valley, offering a naturally soothing spectacle, and setting the stage for something akin to heaven on Earth. This beautiful area of blooming flowers and grandiose vineyards is dotted on both sides with over 1,000 charmingly elaborate chateaus. [the crazy tourist]

Versailles: Versailles Palace (Chateau de Versailles) – When Louis XIV relocated to the court of Versailles back in 1682, he certainly made a good choice. These days, the amazing Hall of Mirrors, the gilded royal apartments, the glittering enfilade throughout the bedrooms, and the intimacy of the works on the furnishings, are all masterpieces fit for a king. [the crazy tourist]

Festivals

Festivals

Bastille Day in Paris – July 14 – July 14 is the biggest and most important festival in France. It celebrates the storming of the Bastille and the beginning of the French Revolution with a massive parade, fireman’s balls, free concerts and, at the Eiffel Tower, some of the best fireworks you’ll ever see. For the best view of the fireworks (and atmosphere) go early to the Trocadéro gardens, the Parc de Belleville, the Champ de Mars or for a bird’s eye view, the Sacré Cœur or Montparnasse Tower. [expatica]

Berck Sur Mer Kite Festival – Giant pigs (and crabs, whales, lizards and assorted cartoon figures) really might fly in the skies high above the vast expanses of sand at the Berck-Sur-Mer International Kite Festival. Wrap up warm and get yourself a good place on the sand dunes to watch experts from all over the world compete against the wind and each other. [expatica]

Cannes Film Festival – Film buffs will want to head down to the world’s most famous film festival where actors and directors show their newest films and compete for the prestigious award the Palme d’Or. Most screenings are invitation only but don’t be too despondent as there are plenty of opportunities for red carpet star-spotting – and there’s the Cinéma de la Plage, a huge open-air cinema on the beach showing Out of Competition films and Cannes classics. Buy tickets from Cannes Tourist office. [expatica]

Chorégies d’Orange – This Roman theatre in the city of Orange, with its semi-circular tired stone seating and acoustic stone stage wall, must be one of the world’s best settings in which to enjoy al fresco opera. Every summer the festival puts on a programme of well and lesser-known productions starring international opera stars. Even if you’re not an opera fan, it’s an experience not to be missed. [expatica]

Festival Medieval de Sedan – The castle is known as the giant of Sedan for good reason – it’s the largest medieval castle in Europe, at 35,000sqm set over seven floors (expect lots of stairs) – and where the Sedan Medieval Festival takes place every May. Find out what life was like back in medieval times: think knights, archery, jousting, swords, banquets, wrestling and more. [expatica]

Festival of Lights – For four days at the beginning of December, the city of Lyon becomes the city of lights – a truly magical sight. There are thousands of flickering candles in windows and on balconies, the city’s buildings and bridges are lit up with multi-coloured lights and there are light installations by artists from all over the world. Come prepared for crowds; it’s said that the festival draws up to four million over the four days. [expatica]

Festival(s) of Avignon – Watch a French or world premiere of a new musical or theatrical production in the historic courtyard of the Pope’s Palace and elsewhere in the city of Avignon. The Festival of Avignon is known as the ‘IN’ because another Festival of Avignon, known as the ‘OFF’, which is an alternative festival of independent theatre companies runs alongside it. [expatica]

La Fête de la Musique – There’s music in the air throughout France on the day of the summer solstice June 21. La Fête de la Musique is a celebration of all genres of music, performed on the streets, in bars and restaurants, museums, concert halls and parks by professionals and amateurs alike – and it’s completely free. Take part if you play an instrument or sing, or just watch and enjoy. [expatica]

Menton Lemon Festival – For two weeks every spring, oranges and lemons take over the city of Menton, the Cité des Citrons (City of Lemons). There are parades of fruit-covered floats by day and by night, with 10-metre high statues and models made from citrus in the Biovès Gardens. You can buy locally made drinks, jams, soaps, perfumes – all made from lemons, of course. [expatica]

Nice carnival – The Carnival King will show fans ‘he has more than one string to his bow’ promises the event campaign, as this year’s theme of the spectacular French mardi gras is ‘King of Media’. Join 600,000 other revellers and party in the streets of Nice. [expatica]

Public Transit

Public Transit

By boat – You can cruise down one of the French canals on a river boat to see the sites of the local countryside and moor by a local town/village to try the local produce and visit the cafes and bars. One of the most popular rivers being the Canal Du Midi located in the south of France in the departments of Hérault, Aude, and Haute-Garonne. Many boat charter companies offer this service. [wikitravel]

By bus – Intercity bus service is a relatively new concept in France. Megabus and Ouibus all offer domestic French tickets as part of their international networks. [wikitravel]

By car – A French driver flashing headlights is asserting right of way and warning you of intentions and presence. Do not use it to mean thanks. Flashing headlights can also mean, “Watch out as there’s a police speed-check ahead of you!” Horns should be used only in legitimate emergencies; use of the horn in urban areas outside such circumstances might win you a traffic ticket. Parisian drivers were notorious for honking their horns at anything and everything, though increased enforcement has greatly reduced this practice. [wikitravel]

By taxi – In France, taxis carry up to 9 passengers and are clearly marked with a ‘TAXI’ panel on top of the vehicle. The ‘TAXI’ panel will be green if the taxi is available and red if occupied or enroute to pick up a passenger. [wikitravel]

By thumb – France is a dreadful country for hitchhiking – especially if you’re male. Be patient, prepare yourself for a long wait or walk and in the meantime enjoy the landscape. A ride will come along in a few days since a lot of foreigners are on French roads. People who stop are usually friendly and not dangerous. They will like you more if you speak a little French. They never expect any money for the ride. [wikitravel]

By train – Trains are a great way to get around in France. You can get pretty much from anywhere to anywhere else by train. For long distances, use the TGV (Train a Grande Vitesse – High-Speed Train) on which reservations are obligatory. But, if you have time, take the slow train and enjoy the scenery. The landscape is part of what makes France one of the top tourist destinations in the world. [wikitravel]

By VTC – The term ‘VTC’ (voiture de transport avec chauffeur) in France is the equivalent of a private hire taxi/minicab in English-speaking countries – you can only take a VTC if it has been pre-booked. (The term ‘taxi’ (see section above) in France is the equivalent of a public hire taxi/cab in English-speaking countries – you can take a taxi either by hailing one on the street, going to a taxi stand (station de taxi) or booking one through a taxi operator (central de radio taxi).) [wikitravel]

Professional Groups & Events

Professional Groups & Events

Algerian Diaspora in Paris – This group is created to have a real exchange between algerian professional people in Paris. Looking forward to meet everybody. [meetup]

Apéros Startups Founders Paris-Ouest – Meetup for entrepreneurs and startups. Our ambition is to help entrepreneurs strengthen their business and improve their chances for success. [meetup]

Black Entrepreneurs & Friends (Paris) – “Founders, entrepreneurs, business owners, owners of dreams and ideas, investors, makers, start-ups, friends …” [meetup]

Business Walks Paris – Walk in the city during the weekdays (Quai de Seine, Coulée Verte, …) or on a small hike on weekends, expand your professional network while exercising in a dynamic way. [meetup]

BordeauxJUG – The purpose of the BORDEAUX Java User Group is to enable Java language actors and users (professionals, open source communities, academics, students) to meet and exchange on Java technologies. [meetup]

Google Developer Group (GDG) Nice – The Google Developer Group (GDG) Nice is the developer group dedicated to Google technologies in the Nice region. [meetup]

Holistic Professionals Network – We decided to start this group as many ex-pats and Holistic people feel alone and overwhelmed with setting up a new business in a new country with no friends  and no help. We aim to offer support and connections to like minded people. We provide personal, business and networking events. [meetup]

International Professionals Network Meetup – We provide regular network gatherings at great venues for “speed networking”. Everyone meets the whole group and introduces themselves, to gain maximum exposure. It also provides an opportunity to practice an “elevator” introduction which maybe used at every other social and networking events. [meetup]

Language Exchange

Language Exchange

Expatries Paris – Expatries is the International Triathlon club of Paris,open to all nationalities. We offer a unique way to discover the world of multi-sports, with our focus on enjoying the sport and making friends. [meetup]

FRANGLISH French/English language exchange in Bordeaux – Franglish is a French/English language exchange event taking place every week from 7 to 9pm in some of the best venues across Bordeaux. Practicing is the best way to learn French and you’ll discover French culture with locals. [meetup]

French-English-Spanish,Language Exchange, TripMeeters.com – Improve your French, English or Spanish by TripMeeters.com – All level are welcome. [meetup]

Internationals in Paris – Meet up with other Expats in Paris, regardless of nationality, language, culture for get together evenings, events, activities & our famous “apero international”… [meetup]

Italian Meetup in Nice – This is a group for people who like Italian culture and language. This is a new group specially created for people living in Nice and around. [meetup]

Nice / Cannes/Antibes/Monaco- Expat, New In Town or Local? – You’ll meet a stimulating, friendly mix, in age, sex, backgrounds and motivation for being here. These global travellers remember well their first trepid steps in a new country, so know you’ll find a warm welcome and a source of ‘local knowledge’ and perhaps even make new lifetime friends. [meetup]

Parlez français! Sprechen wir Deutsch! Parla Italiano! – This is now a Meetup for people to practice their French, German, English & Italian language skills. See the separate meetings – hope to see you at one very soon!! [meetup]

Polyglot Club – Polyglot Club promotes foreign language and cultural exchanges in Paris during language exchange meetings, outings, picnics, trips… Come and join us! [meetup]

LGBT Groups

LGBT Groups

Bi GIRLZ Paris – A fun and friendly group for bisexual (pansexual, polyamourous or monogamous ) women  to meet and find friends. I organise friendly evenings & daytime events as well as themed speed dating events (for example). [meetup]

Bootcamps Paris Gay Outdoor Fitness – We launched the bootcamps in September 2010. This new form of sports coaching comes straight from the US and was originally a military training designed to prepare physically and harden US marines, special or other forces GI. [meetup]

GaYoga & Méditation – A space for gay people and our allies to come together, practice yoga, feel good, inspire themselves and others. A space where the meaning of the word Yoga as unity can be experienced. [meetup]

Outdoor Fitness Bootcamps Paris Gay – We launched the bootcamps in September 2010. This new form of sports coaching comes straight from the US and was originally a military training designed to prepare physically and harden US marines, special or other forces GI. [meetup]

Paris Gay Art & Culture – This group is addressed to all those men who love men as much as they love art and culture.
Just like the love that the ancient Greeks scholars used to have for each other, including Plato and Socrates in the fields of philosophy. [meetup]

Paris Gay Meetup – I would like to meet parisian guys who would be willing to show me what it’s like to live in paris chat about every days topics They have also perhaps show me parts of paris they go to e.g.favourite cafe. Market. Bar etc. [meetup]

Paris L Friend – This is a women-only group for lesbian, bisexual and trans women, single or in a relationship. It aims at contributing to widen our circles in a friendly environment. [meetup]

Parents LGBT+ Paris – This group is open to all LGBT+ parents, step-parents, single parents, blended families, or LGBT+ parents-to-be. If you want to share activities, with or without kids, playdates, hobbies, your experience or testimonials, join us! [meetup]

Queer Paris – This is a group for young Gay men. This group aims at meeting Gay men through many activities. Anyone can make his own proposals. [meetup]

Transgender Paris – This group is for those in the LGBT community that identify as gender variant; whether that is transgender, transsexual, gender-queer, etc. I’m starting this group as there doesn’t seem to be an equivalent at present. [meetup]

Resources

Resources

Places in France

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