Life in France can be pretty blissful – like when you’re sampling a local crémant and watching the sun set over the Promenade Anglais – but there are also some stressful and difficult parts.
Whether it’s language struggles, bureaucracy wrangles or just feeling like you don’t belong, it’s not always easy being foreign in France.
That’s why we have put together these quick and simple tips that can make life a bit easier with minimal effort.
France has brought in some changes to the health pass which has rapidly become essential for everyday activities like meeting friends for a drink or going to see a film.
From January 15th, all over 18s need to get a booster dose no later than seven months after receiving their last Covid vaccine – if they want to carry on using the health pass. Up to 800,000 people could have their health pass deactivated on Saturday when this rule comes into force. Tourists over the age of 18 will also need to have had a booster dose to use the French health pass.
Unless you’re a French politics expert, you might not have heard of parrainage.
We asked our regular columnist John Lichfield to explain this aspect of France’s electoral system, and why it could sink the presidential bid of far-right media pundit, Éric Zemmour.
“Village mayors are the forgotten heroes and heroines of French politics, hard-working, little paid and frequently ignored,” writes John.
“Once every five years, however, the micro-bosses of tiny places – there are at least 30,000 of them – become the most flattered and sought-after politicians in France.”
Read John’s piece on how these officials could take Zemmour down below:
If you enjoy following politics, France is certain to have plenty of drama over the next four months as the presidential election hots up.
So we’ve put together a guide to the French words and phrases you might need to follow the election campaign – from the technicalities of the process to why candidates might be talking about power-washers.
They say there are only two certainties in life – death and taxes. But both could be getting a revamp in France.
The French Economy Minister, Bruno Le Maire, has been flirting with the idea of reducing inheritance tax.
We have used the occasion to write a handy guide on how the complex system of inheritance tax and succession rights work in France:
And on a cheerier note, a new virtual reality exhibition opens this weekend, allowing visitors to travel back in time to discover the history of Notre-Dame cathedral – from the 12th century up until now. During this 45-minute experience, visitors will be given a VR headset and witness key events in the cathedral’s story, meeting a number of historical characters along the way.
The cathedral itself has remained largely closed to the public since being ravaged by a fire in 2019. You can read more about this project and watch a mind-blowing video in the story below.