Travel Insurance for France

Last updated on 05/18/2023

Travel Insurance for France Trips

Do I Need Travel Insurance for France?

France is one of the most popular travel destinations among our customers, so we frequently get asked whether travel insurance is required for France. While travel insurance is not a requirement for U.S. citizens traveling to France, there are plenty of reasons you may want to consider coverage. Many travelers to France carry individual health insurance, which may cover some medical expenses depending on the details of the specific policy. However, there are a variety of scenarios that are not usually covered by standard health policies. These might include travel disruptions & delays, repatriation in the event of death or injury, baggage theft or loss, and more. Purchasing specific travel insurance for France will provide additional protection for common travel issues and give travelers peace of mind while on business trips or vacations.

Another common question we hear from our customers is "how much travel insurance is required for France?" The answer is similar in that travel insurance is not a requirement for U.S. citizens traveling to France, but if you do purchase coverage, the amount you need varies based on your specific needs. Policies range from basic to comprehensive and even plans that allow travelers to "cancel for any reason." Rates vary based on the provider, available coverages, and the details of the traveler including age, health, number of travelers, and other information. At InsureMyTrip, we provide free quotes that allow travelers to compare and purchase plans all in one convenient location.

How Do I Get Travel Insurance for a France Visa?

France is one of the Schengen area countries, which means specific travel insurance is required for some visitors. U.S. citizens are not required to get a Schengen Visa to travel to France, but citizens of many other countries are. Keep in mind that if you are a U.S. resident but not a U.S. citizen, the Schengen requirement may apply to you. Check out this full list to see which countries' citizens are required to get a Schengen Visa before traveling to France.

France Travel Tips & Safety

Currency & Exchange Rates

Like many countries in Europe, France uses the euro as its currency. The euro breaks down into 100 cents much like the U.S. dollar. Also, there is a variety of coins and paper notes in circulation. Coins include the one and two euro as well as the one, two, five, ten, twenty, and fifty cent pieces. Notes include the five, ten, twenty, fifty, and hundred euro denominations. Though rarely circulated, there are 200 and 500 notes as well.

Understanding France's currency and the various denominations is the first step. However, most travelers are much more concerned with the exchange rate and its effect on their money. Exchange rates change frequently, so it's important to keep an eye on the rates in the weeks and days leading up to your trip. You'll also want to research the best ways to exchange currency either before you leave or once you arrive.

Exchanging money at a bank is not ideal as most institutions will require having an account to do so. There are some additional ways to exchange currency, like using a money exchange bureau near a tourist destination. While these are conveniently located, it's important to pay attention to the fees that are assessed. Money exchange bureaus typically charge a commission for each exchange, which is usually disproportionately higher for smaller sums. For this reason, you'll want to minimize the number of exchanges you make.

Accessing Funds

Many tourists visiting France will rely on their credit or debit cards to withdraw euros in cash from ATMs. In general, Visa and Mastercard are the most widely accepted. American Express cards are accepted far fewer places, and Discover is rarely accepted if at all. Keep in mind when using an ATM, or "distributeur automatique de billets" (DAB) in French, fees may apply (especially for independent banks). It's best to contact your bank prior to leaving to find out what the international fees for your card are. Also, debit transactions may have lower fees than credit transactions.

So before you depart for France, check whether your card will work overseas, what fees will apply, make sure your card will not expire during the trip and bring backup cards issued from different banks in case of emergency. If you have a credit card that earns rewards for travel, consider using it in order to fund your next getaway. When accessing money, choose ATMs that are located inside rather than on the street to minimize the risk of theft. You may also consider a money belt rather than a traditional wallet or purse. In general, most businesses do not accept U.S. dollars. Those that do will typically charge additional fees, but you still may consider carrying some emergency cash in U.S. dollars as a last resort.

Crime Risk

While France is one of the safer countries in Europe to travel to, no country is crime-free. France has had a series of terrorist attacks over the years with many targeting major cities. For this reason, you'll want to exercise extra caution when in large crowds or visiting tourist hotspots. These locations are often more susceptible to not only terrorism but also general crime, including theft by pickpockets. Situational awareness is crucial when it comes to minimizing threats, so stay vigilant and try not to look too much like a tourist. Tourists can be easy targets, especially for scammers.

France's political unrest has dominated the international headlines in recent months, but it's important to keep news stories in perspective. You may have heard about "yellow vest" or "red scarf" protesters in the streets. Protests and counter-protests sometimes devolve into violence but the vast majority of activists are non-violent and even the total number of protesters makes up less than one percent of the country's population. In short, pay attention to the travel advisories especially for any destinations in France you'll be traveling to before you leave. That way you can adjust your plans accordingly. Of course, a trip insurance policy for France is a great way to prevent your visit from being derailed by unexpected events.

Speaking the Language

Unsurprisingly, French is the official language in France, so it's a great idea to brush up on common terms and phrases before your trip. While you might not have time to become fluent, various software and apps are available to help you learn some French and common phrases very quickly. There are even apps that will translate on the fly if you find that your limited knowledge just isn't cutting it. Breaking down the communication barrier is not only a great way to enjoy your trip more thoroughly but also serves as a good defense against common scams that target tourists. You might even consider a basic understanding of French as a kind of "insurance."

Popular Destinations & Tourist Attractions in France

Perhaps the most fun part about planning a trip to France is figuring out all the cool places you'll go and the things you'll do. French culture is steeped in art, fashion, and food, so it's no surprise that people travel from all over the world to see the sights and taste the cuisine. With so much to see and do, it can be a bit overwhelming to plan your trip. We've assembled a "best-of" list of some of the popular attractions and tourist destinations, which is perfect for those looking for ideas on where to visit in France. This way you can map your plan to ski the French Alps, "drink in" wine country, visit historical sites, and soak up the sun on the beaches all in one trip!

Top 15 Travel Destinations for France

  1. Bordeaux
  2. Marseille
  3. Paris
  4. Nice
  5. Normandy
  6. Cannes
  7. Aix-en-Provence
  8. Lyon
  9. Strasbourg
  10. Burgundy
  11. Carcassonne
  12. Chamonix
  13. Loire Valley
  14. Dordogne
  15. French Riviera

Check out these Hidden Gems in Paris

A Paris vacation is something on everyone’s bucket list. But after you’ve seen the Eiffel Tower, taken a tour of The Palace of Versailles, and gone to the Louvre, maybe you’re ready to experience a path less taken.

From interesting exhibitions of art to enchanting historic parks to small, charming restaurants and hidden neighborhoods, scattered all around this magical city are tons of things to see and do that will make your Paris vacation one-of-a-kind!

Here we will share three of the best-kept hidden gems in Paris:

The Wall of Love

This piece of art is one of the best-kept secrets in the city. Created by artists Frédéric Baron and Claire Kito, the Wall of Love is comprised of the words “I love you” written in 311 different languages across 612 lava tiles. Could there be a better artistic expression for the City of Love!? To collect each of these phrases, both artists asked friends and neighbors, all from different nationalities and countries of origin, until they collected enough pieces to complete the collection. This monument to love can be found in a small park in Montmartre that is rarely overtaken by tourists—so add this spot to your Paris vacation wish list to experience a beautiful piece of art that many never get to see!

La Petite Ceinture

This interesting destination is absolutely one of Paris’ best hidden historic spots. La Petite Ceinture (the Little Belt), was a nearly 20-mile-long railway line for a steam train that was in business from 1852 to 1934 until the Paris metro was built in the 1900s. Now it has been transformed into gardens, playgrounds, and walkable trails. Beautifully overgrown with greenery, this spot is a perfect place to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city while still staying close to the heart of the city. Nature and history lovers alike will thoroughly enjoy this unique outdoor experience on their Paris vacation.

Butte aux Cailles

Butte aux Cailles is a small neighborhood that is beloved by locals but commonly overlooked by tourists. With narrow cobblestone streets, stone walls, and hanging ivy, a visit here will feel like you’ve been transported to the romantic French countryside. Around every corner, travelers can find authentic French restaurants and so much to explore. This location is definitely one of the hidden gems in Paris familiar only to locals.

There are so many beautiful spots to discover and explore not just in Paris, but in all your favorite cities. With all that excitement at the forefront of your mind, it’s easy to forget the importance of travel insurance when booking a trip to Paris. But understanding how Paris travel insurance may help you in an unexpected situation is the best way to have a safe, worry-free adventure. From coverage for delayed trips to unforeseen medical expenses, it is always reassuring to know you have the right coverage if you need it. Finding the right travel insurance to Paris may help you find peace of mind so you can better enjoy your trip.

U.S. / France Embassy and Consulate Locations

U.S. Embassy and Consulates in France

  • Paris — U.S. Embassy Paris
    2 avenue Gabriel
    75008 Paris, France
    Phone: 33.1.4312.2222 / 33.1.4266.9783
  • Bordeaux — U.S. Consulate Bordeaux
    89 Quai des Chartrons
    33300 Bordeaux, France
  • Lyon — U.S. Consulate Lyon
    Espace Cordeliers
    2, rue Président Carnot
    69002 Lyon, France
  • Marseille — U.S. Consulate General Marseille
    Place Varian Fry
    13286 Marseille Cedex 6, France
  • Rennes — U.S. Consulate Rennes
    30, Quai Duguay-Trouin
    35000 Rennes, France
  • Strasbourg — U.S. Consulate General Strasbourg
    15, Avenue d'Alsace
    67082 Strasbourg Cedex, France

French Embassy and Consulate in USA

  • Washington DC — Embassy of France
    4101 Reservoir Rd NW
    Washington DC 20007 United States
    Phone: 1.202.944.6000
  • Los Angeles, California — Consulat Général de France à Los Angeles
    10390 Santa Monica Blvd, Suite 410
    Los Angeles, CA 90025 United States
    Phone: 1.310.235.3200
  • San Francisco, California — Consulat Général de France à San Francisco
    88 Kearny St, Suite 600
    San Francisco, CA 94108 United States
    Phone: 1.650.285.3223
  • Miami, Florida — Consulate General of France in Miami
    1395 Brickell Avenue, suite 1050 (10ème étage)
    Miami, FL 33131 United States
    Phone: 1.305.403.4150
  • Atlanta, Georgia — Consulat Général de France à Atlanta
    Buckhead Tower at Lenox Square
    3399 Peachtree Rd NE, Suite 567
    Atlanta, GA 30326 United States
    Phone: 1.404.495.1660
  • Chicago, Illinois — Consulate General of France in Chicago
    205 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 3700
    Chicago, IL, 60601 United States
    Phone: 1.312.327.5200
  • New Orleans, Louisiana — Consulate General of France in New Orleans
    909 Poydras Street, Suite 1450
    New Orleans, LA 70112 United States
    Phone: 1.504.569.2870
  • Boston, Massachusetts — Consulate General of France in Boston
    Park Square Building, Suite 750
    31 Saint James Avenue
    Boston, MA 02116 United States
    Phone: 1.617.832.4400
  • New York, New York — Consulate General of France in New York City
    934 Fifth Avenue
    New York, NY 10021 United States
    Phone: 1.212.606.3600
  • Houston, Texas — Consulate General of France in Houston
    777 Post Oak Boulevard, Suite 600
    Houston, TX 77056 United States
    Phone: 1.346.272.5363

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article serves as a general overview of benefits and should only be used for informational purposes. Refer to your individual certificate of insurance for specific coverages, exclusions and benefits. When in doubt, please contact one of our licensed agents for additional assistance.