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Culture of France
Living a good life in France is certainly a dream for many expats. The country offers a great variety of landscapes: French Alps, miles of coastline from north to the sun-kissed French Riviera, and countryside.
In this section, useful tips and tricks will be provided in order to help you to quickly integrate into French culture. An important fact to know is the way a French person communicates. This is done often in a very direct way. A possible reason for this is that the French language is quite precise and determined by factors such as social status, level of education, age, and part of the country people were raised in. This style of communication is often misunderstood as rude by expatriates or tourists. However, French people consider it diplomatic and polite. The main language spoken is French, but some may use their regional dialect.
Public transportation in France is very well developed and efficient. Train, metro, or bus can be easily used to get anywhere in the country. Even countrywide transport to get you between cities runs efficiently.
The French are immensely proud of their nation and government and any negative comments about their country can offend them. Because of this, non-French people often interpret their attitude toward foreigners as rude.
The country’s motto is “Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité” (Freedom, Equality, Brotherhood). Despite these three ideals being considered the pillars of France, many agree upon the fact that French people place higher importance on equality than the other two.
An interesting fact about this country is that in addition to traditional marriage, French couples also can agree upon the so-called pacte civil de solidarité (PACS). This type of union has similar benefits to the traditional marriage procedure, like tax breaks. However, PACS can be dissolved with a notice or by marrying someone else instead of through a divorce.
The most popular sport in France is football. An interesting fact is that the national league in France is called the Ligue 1, and it is considered the fifth-best European league. The second most loved sport is tennis. France hosts one of the major world tennis tournaments in Paris, the Roland Garros tournament. Finally, when talking about sports in France it is worthy to mention the Tour de France, an international cycling road race that attracts a large number of spectators each year.
Public Transport in France
The transport system in France is one of the densest in the world, with more than one million kilometers of roads. Additionally, there is 32,000 km of railways, many leading to and from the capital. Paris, as well as other large cities, shows a very efficient transport network, while in rural areas there is a lack of regular bus services.
French national railway companies run an efficient system, with clean trains and comfortable seats. Most trains have a special family carriage where children can play loudly. Trains start running at approximately 6 a.m and stop running at 12.45 a.m every day. Train trips within France cost an average of € 17.59 ($ 20.32) per 100 kilometers.
“Le Métro” (“the Metro” or subway system) becomes really useful when visiting Paris. There are a total of 16 lines that can get you anywhere in the city. On weekdays, the metro operates from 5:30 a.m. to about 1:15 a.m. On Friday and Saturday evenings, as well as on the eve of bank holidays, trains run until about 2:15 a.m. A single metro ticket costs €1.90 ($ 2,19) and can be used for one journey, including all connections.
Taxis do not have a distinct color as it happens in other cities, but they can be recognized thanks to the taxi sign on top of the car. The usual way to call a taxi In Paris is to hail. A second option is to book a taxi through a taxi app but this might cause extra costs, between € 4 ($4,62) and € 7 ($8,09) in Paris, more in suburban areas. A 5 km journey, for example, costs around € 8 ($ 9,25) per day.