French Tourist Authority on France Travel & Tourism

  Bonjour from the FRENCH TOURIST OFFICE & Welcome to FRANCE !


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Practical Information on France  general
   Summer Time, Winter Time

From the end of March until the end of October, French time goes from GMT+1 to GMT+2 (GMT = Greenwich Meridian Time).                   


According to the decree of 3 April 2001

In the Departments of Metropolitan France, from the year 2002 and for the following years, the period for Summer Time starts on the last Sunday in March at 2 o'clock in the morning. At this time, one hour is added to the current time.                              

The period for Summer Time ends on the last Sunday in October at 3 o'clock in the morning. At this time, one hour is taken away from the current time



Continental France is divided into four climatic zones:
  • Oceanic and humid climate with often cool summers to the west of a line from Bayonne to Lille;
  • Semi-continental climate with harsh winters and hot summers in Alsace, Lorraine, along the Rhône corridor and in the mountainous massifs (Alps, Pyrenees and Massif Central);
  • Intermediate climate with cold winters and hot summers in the north, and in the Paris and central regions;
  • Mediterranean climate with mild winters and very hot summers in the south of France.

Weather forecasts given out for each Department by local forecasters are available by calling 0 892 68 02 XX (XX = number of the Department 0,34€/min) or from the website

The forecasts are updated three times a day on average. The forecasts are for 7 days. They are more detailed as and when the actual day approaches


Public Holidays

There are 11 in France. These are the 1st January, the 1st and 8th May, Easter Monday, Ascension day, Whit Monday, the 14th July, the 15th August, the 1st and 11th November and the 25th December. On these days Government Departments, banks, shops … are, in the main, closed. Most stores and businesses close on public holidays, but a majority of museums monuments, and restaurants remain open, or only close on certain holidays. Ask your hotel concierge or local tourist office for information and recommendations, or before you go contact our public information hotline: "France-on-Call" at 410- 286-8310.

School Holidays

French schoolchildren and teachers have five holidays a year!

One week at the end of October, two weeks at Christmas, two more in February, two in spring, and the whole of the summer in July and August.

Please be aware that tourist sites as well as the roads are busier during these periods.