Category Archives: Life in France

Paris Packing List, Episode 137

Paris Packing List

Fancy older woman wering a hat and jewelry
You may run into this person in Paris, but she’s the exception, not the rule.

Some people fret about what’s acceptable to wear in France, and it is true that there are some things you should NOT wear in France. Annie is in a good situation to talk about that because being someone who doesn’t worry much about clothing, she’s made every mistake in the book since moving home to France. But she’s working on it! Being an artist, Elyse worries a lot more about being stylish and has excellent tips to share. Click Continue reading to see our recommended Paris Packing List!

If you love our approach to travel and want to tour France with us, visit Addicted to France to look at upcoming tours.

Paris Packing List Episode Highlights

  • [4’11”] Americans tend to dress more casually than French people.
  • [6′] There is a Paris Style.
  • [7’50”] How to dress for Paris specifically.
  • [8’30”] No Bermuda shorts, sexy short shorts only for very young women.
  • [10’50”] Paris brings out the dressiness in people, but don’t get too dressy.
  • [11’30”] People don’t dress up to go out at night as much as they used to and you will not get turned away for not wearing a jacket and tie in Paris.
  • [13′] You can wear business casual even at the Symphony in France.
  • [14’10] Scarves will dress up any outfit as a decorative element for both men and women.
  • [15′] Practical tip: bring interchangeable items in dark solid colors and add colorful scarves or wraps. Women can bring summer dresses and capris.
  • [16’20”] Shoes: no sandals with socks, no clunky “nurse’s shoes”, but it’s OK to wear sandals and casual shoes.
  • [17’45] Men wear capris in France!
  • [18’20] Annie’s faux-pas at the Disneyland Hotel and at Louis Vuiton in Paris.
  • [22’44”] How to up your clothing game as a tourist in Paris: accessorize, wear a leather jacket (or a crochet jacket, or any sort of jacket), clothes that are cut closer to the body.
  • [24’20”] Change your outfit at the end of the day, women don’t wear t-shirts with words.
  • [26′] Some women in Paris wear dresses and high-heels, but they are not the majority. When walking a lot, wear closed shoes where your feet can’t move around too much.
  • [28’27”] No shorts for women over 30 in the city. Capris are fine. Sun-dresses and skirts are commonly worn in France.
  • [29’25”] Whatever you wear, you MUST have a bag that zips and goes across your torso. Men should not have their wallet in the back pocket of their pants.
  • [30′] Clean pants and a nice polo shirt works great for men, even if you are going to a nice restaurant.
  • [31′] A lot depends on who you hang out with. Fancy situations call for fancier clothes and accessories.
  • [32’44”] Layers are important in the winter.
  • [35′] French people wear fitting clothes, but don’t do it if you’re uncomfortable.
  • [38′] No baseball caps, berets are for old folks, Panama hats are stylish and can be worn by both men and women.
  • [40″] If you’re a “fluffy person” (aka fat) do what you want, wear what you want, don’t worry about what other people think. You don’t have to wear black.

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Seeing Doctors in France, Episode 133

Seeing Doctors in France, How Does It Work?


SAMU ambulance in France, doctors in FranceNobody wants to get sick on vacation, and folks who visit France certainly don’t want to be in an accident, but if it happens, you’ll find out first-hand what it’s like seeing doctors in France. I suggest you get acquainted with the way medicine works in France just in case. A lot of things are going to surprise you!

If you like this episode, you should also listen to Episode 131`

Would you like to tour France with Annie and Elyse? Visit Addicted to France to choose an upcoming tour.

Episode Highlights

  • What happens if you’re in an accident in France?
  • What if you’re unwell, but it’s not urgent?
  • How to find a doctor in France
  • 13 things you need to know about the French health care system
  • In France the insurance is socialized, doctors are in private practice
  • French doctors still make house calls
  • Answering service
  • You can choose any doctor you like
  • Most French doctors do not have staff
  • How the Carte Vitale works
  • How much will you pay?
  • French doctor’s office are plain-looking
  • French hospitals are plain-looking
  • Public hospitals vs. Clinics in France
  • Doctors who teach at medical schools
  • 50% of doctors in France are women
  • Medical tourism is not common in France

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At the Paris Christmas Market, Episode 132

The Paris Christmas Market on the Champs Elysées

At the Paris Christmas Market

Click here to support the show on Patreon and get access to Lunch-Break French, designed to help you sharpen your French skills before your visit to France.

Christmas markets have become a staple of French life, and some of them have become extremely well-known. Annie takes you along on her stroll of one such popular Christmas Market, on Champs Elysées in Paris, on a chilly Sunday night in December. As you will hear in the recording, the atmosphere is festive and visitors are enthralled by the food offerings!


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Moving to France, Episode 131

Moving to France


Moving to France Mike and husband

Annie and guest Mike August discuss their experiences moving to France and some of the complexities involved in that endeavor. We’re not immigration lawyers or relocation specialists, we’re just two people who went through the experience and want to discuss some of the gotchas you may encounter in your own road towards a move to France.

Would you like to tour France with Annie and Elyse? Visit Addicted to France to choose an upcoming tour.

Episode Highlights

  • Here are some things you need to consider if you’re thinking about moving to France
    • Is your French good enough?
    • You will need mountains of paperwork
    • Hurdles even if your French is great
  • Types of Visas You Can Apply for to Move to France
    • Long-stay tourist visa
    • Student visa
    • Work visa
    • Talents and abilities visa
  • France Has a High Unemployment Rate
    • CDI work contract
    • CDD work contract
    • Retirees
  • Work Culture in France
  • Work-Life Balance in France
  • Health Insurance in France
  • Health Care Is Inexpensive in France
  • Advice on the Logistics of Moving to France
  • Bringing Pets to France
  • Conclusion

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Will my Credit Card Work in France? Episode 99


will my credit card work in france?

Will My Credit Card Work in France?

This episode is my answer to a question sent in by listener Michael who asked: Will my credit card work in France? I’ve mentioned credit cards in various episodes (notably in episode 10 Store Hours and Credit Cards in France but also in episode 77 Paris Trip Report with Shari and Craig, I haven’t done a show yet all about the new types of credit cards that people are getting in North America and whether or not it changes anything for visitors. Today I delve into all of that, so you can be sure where you stand.

If you love our approach to travel and want to tour France with us, visit Addicted to France to look at upcoming tours.

Episode Highlights

  • Why Is There So Little Security on US Credit Cards?
  • French Credit Cards Have Been Protected with a Pin Code for a Long Time
  • Do You Have a Credit Card or a Debit Card?
  • Check on Your Card Limits Before You Travel
  • How In-Person Purchases Work in France
  • Paying for Gas in France
  • Paying for Tolls in France
  • Do You Need a Pin and Chip Card to Come to France?

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Art Nouveau in France, Episode 97

Art Nouveau in FranceArt Nouveau in France

Today Elyse explains the Art Nouveau movement in France, in particular, Hector Guimard and the specifics of how this art movement manifested itself in France.

Do you want to tour France with us? Visit our sister site, Addicted to France, to look at our upcoming tours.

Art Nouveau happened in many countries, but under different names and with different stylistic choices. In England for instance it was called “The Modern Style”. This movement began in Scotland but soon took off in many countries. It only lasted officially for 20 years, from 1890 until 1910. In France, Belgium and Catalonia gave shape to the idea that nature needed to be represented in all its organic forms, with curvy lines and pleasant shapes.

Episode Highlights

  • Art Nouveau in France
  • Daum, Gallé and Lalique in the city of Nancy
  • The Difference Between Art Nouveau and Art Déco
  • Where to See Art Nouveau in Paris
  • French Tip of the Week [1:05]

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