Sometimes, everyone is just one baguette away from feeling French, right? Forget the cliché scenes from "Emily in Paris"-there's a whole universe of intriguing customs waiting beyond those picture-perfect cafés and fashionable streets. 

Here's where it gets real: France offers a collection of traditions, and I'm here to unveil seven fascinating facts about French culture that you should know before you jet off.

7 Interesting Facts About France’s Culture Every Visitor Should Know

(Photo : Margerretta on Pexels)

Greeting Protocol in France

When you step into a shop or restaurant in France, always start with a friendly "Bonjour." This simple word opens doors and smiles in France. 

Acknowledging the shopkeeper or host right away shows respect and sets a positive tone for your interaction. Remember, these greetings are not just polite but essential in French culture. End every encounter with a heartfelt "Merci" and "Au revoir" to keep up the good vibes.

Dining Etiquette

France takes dining seriously, and meals are an experience to be savored. Wanderers Compass explains that in non-touristy restaurants, menus arrive leisurely, and meals unfold slowly to highlight the enjoyment of each course. 

Do not rush or wave for the check; it is seen as rude. When you are ready to leave, a polite "L'addition s'il vous plait" will signal your request without offending. This respect for the dining process enriches your culinary adventure in France.

The Art of Living

Rick Steves describes the French approach to life as an art form, centered around leisure and pleasure. With ample vacation time and holidays, the French have perfected the art of enjoying life's finer moments. 

Whether lounging in a café or cruising on a barge, the French lifestyle is about embracing each moment fully. This might seem luxurious or indulgent, but in France, it is the standard way of life.

Related Article: These 5 Breathtaking Spots in the South of France Are Calling Your Name

Language Barriers

Even if you stumble with the French language, your efforts will not go unnoticed. Rick Steves shares that despite his own language challenges, the use of simple French phrases like "bonjour" and "merci" has always earned him kind treatment in France. 

The French appreciate the effort, even if it is not perfect. So, do not worry too much about fluency, focus on being polite and respectful.

Local Interactions

Connecting with locals can transform your stay in France. This one suggests staying with a French family or attending cooking classes and wine tastings to immerse yourself in the culture. 

These interactions provide knowledge about the everyday life of the French and offer a more personal and memorable travel experience. Engaging with locals is about making friends and enriching your understanding of French culture.

Understanding French Directness

The French can be straightforward in their opinions, which should not be mistaken for rudeness. Rick Steves recounts how a Parisian wine merchant meticulously corrected his wine pairing, which initially seemed picky. 

However, this attention to detail is common in France, where expertise in cuisine, wine, and art is highly respected. Appreciating this directness can deepen your appreciation for the meticulous French culture.

Love for Dogs

France is a nation of dog lovers, and you will find that dogs are welcome in many public places, from cafes to shops. Not only is it common to see dogs at their owners' feet in restaurants, but it's also culturally accepted. 

The French do not generally react well to any negative comments or actions directed at their pets. Instead, embracing the presence of dogs and even complimenting them can endear you to the locals. 

Remember, a simple "Vous avez un chien mignon" (You have a cute dog) can bring a smile to almost any French person's face.

Read Also: How Culinary Tourism Is Shaping New Dining Destinations in Urban Areas