The Most Common French Phrases For Travel: The Basic French You’ll Need To Communicate In France

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So you’re traveling to France and are freaking out because you don’t want to be rude and look and sound like a total tourist. Good for you; knowing these common French phrases for travel will definitely help you when traveling, and it will give you some practice when using them in various french speaking countries.

We wanted to include the most commonly used phrases every tourist should know before hopping off that flight and landing in Paris. Trust us, Paris is exactly what you’ve heard: beautiful, fashionable, a little stinky, and some of the locals are a little cold to tourists. So do your best to be a good tourist and try to muster up some french practice before plaguing the lot of France with the stereotypical tourist vibe.

This post is all about the most common french phrases you’ll need when traveling to France or any other French-speaking country such as Belgium, Canada, Luxembourg, Haiti, Senegal, and others. We cover the most useful french phrases for tourists, french words for travelers, and also french etiquette ☺️

Table of Contents

Common French Phrases For Travel

common french phrases for travel: written on chalkboard: parlez vous francais? with french flag
© @ nito103 via

The Two French Phrases you need to know when Traveling to France

Y, knows a decent amount of French, and even she had a hard time getting us through France, which brings us to the most important two phrases to know! Trust us, you will have these two phrases memorized by the end of your trip lol for good or bad reasons ?

Also, don’t feel bad; honestly, learning another language is hard, and if you gave it your best shot and were instantly met with shock as soon as you landed because the various french accents are hard to keep track of. Then no worries, it’s actually what caught Y off guard when we landed, the french speak very fast, and their pronunciation of words is heavier and raspier. She constantly asked them to slow down and repeat what they were saying ?

French: Pouvez-vous répéter ça, s’il vous plait?

Which translates to English: Can you repeat that please?

Bon un de plus – good, one more

French: Pouvez-vous parler plus lentement s’il vous plaît?

English: Can you speak slower, please?

If all else fails just tell them in french: Je suis désolé, mon français est terrible, pouvons-nous parler en anglais s’il vous plaît?

This means in English: I’m sorry my French is terrible. Can we speak in English, please?

Make sure to ask if they speak English: Excusez moi, parlez vous anglais?

Which means in English: Excuse me, do you speak English?

A good majority of french people speak English, Spanish, or Italian, so if you’re really struggling or freezing up at the moment, just be very kind when asking them to converse in English, and of course, always ask if they speak English first.

arc de triomphe in paris france at night
© @ johny007pandp via

If you’re looking for different ways to say hello in various languages, then make sure to read our post that we linked below!

Basic French Vocab For Travel

You’ll need these basic words when traveling to paris or any french city on your next trip ☺️

Oui- yes

Non – no

cout- cost

Le Prix – price

cher- expensive

merci – thank you

s’il vous plaît – please

excuse moi- excuse me

demain- tomorrow

train station – gare

airport – aeroport

time- temps

breakfast- petit-dejeuner

lunch- dejeuner

dinner – diner

water – l’eau

hospital – hopital

medicine- medicament

store: boutique

grocery store- epicerie

hungry- faim

cold – froide (froid)

hot – chaude (chaud)

weather- meteo

rain- pluie

windy- venteux (venteuse)

french provence of lavender fields
© @ StevanZZ via

Days in French: Basic French Words

Sunday – Dimanche

Monday – Lundi

Tuesday- Mardi

Wednesday – Mercredi

Thursday – Jeudi

Friday – Vendredi

Saturday – samedi

Numbers in French: Basic French

  1. un
  2. deux
  3. toi
  4. quatre
  5. cinq
  6. six
  7. sept
  8. nuit
  9. neuf
  10. dix
  11. onze
  12. deuze
  13. treize
  14. quatorze
  15. quinze
  16. sieze
  17. dix-sept
  18. dix-nuit
  19. dix neuf
  20. vingt

50. cinquante

100. cent

1000 mille

french woman in front of eiffel tower with french flag
© @ ryanking999 via

Basic Everyday French Phrases and Conversation Basics

Also, looking for more basic french phases? Diana from Mondly has a list of french phrases to expand on*

French: Je suis fatigué

English: I’m tired

French: Quel temps fait ajourd’hui?

Egnlish: What’s the weather today?

French: Vous voulez déjeuner?

English: Want to have lunch?

French: Qu’est- ce qu’il y a de cool a fair par ici?

English: What’s cool to do around here?

French: Ou est la plage, Ou est

English: Where is the beach?

French: Je ne comprends pas

English: I dont understand

Exploring Paris but just can't seem to find the perfect photo spots and viewpoints? Read our guide on the Best Paris Views and how to how avoid the crowds!

Common Phrases In French For General Use

How to Say Hello in French: For Different Audiences?

When greeting people in french, it’s usually best to keep to formal versions of phrases and words because it can come off as rude if you use informal versions. If greeting a stranger for example, use formal, and later in the conversation, gauge the vibe and then lax into casual versions.



French: Bonjour

Pronounced: Bon-jour


French: Bonjour Madame

English: Hello, madam


French: Bonjour Monsieur

English: Hello, sir



French: Salut

Pronounced: Sa-lu


French: Salut

English: Hello


French: Salut

Egnlish: Hello

Special Note: Salut can also mean bye, so it’s common to use it at the beginning of a conversation and end by saying goodbye using the same word.

Tired of France and looking to explore its neighboring European country, Italy? Make sure to read our other popular Italian city guides for Florence, Venice, Milan, and Rome!

paris france eiffel tower
© @ Givaga via

How to say “my name is…” in french

French: Je m’appele

English: My name is

French: Mon nom est

English: My name is

How to ask someone what their name is in french

French: Salut comment tu t’appelles?

English: Hello what is your name?

How to say “How’s it going” in french?

French: Ça va?

English: How’s it going?

How to say “good morning” in french?

French: Bon Matin!

English: Good morning

How to say “good afternoon” in french?

French: Bon apres-midi!

English: Good afternoon

How to say “good evening” in french?


Good evening

How to say “Have a good night” in french?

Dont forget this popular phrase when traveling around Paris at night!

bonne nuit

have a good night

How To Say “See you later” in french

a plus tard

see you later

ou – or

A toute a l’heaure

see you soon

How to say excuse me in french?

Formal: Excusez Moi

excuse me

informal: pardon

excuse me

How to say nice to meet you in french?

Formal: C’est un plaisir de vous rencontrer

most used: Enchante

Feminine: Enchantee

Masculine: Enchante

How to say “how much does it cost” in french?

French: Combien ca coute –

English: how much does it cost

French: Combien-

English: how much

French: C’est Combien? –

English: how much is it?

How to say “thank you” in french?

French: merci

English: thank you

French: merci beaucoup

English: thank you so much

French: merci a tous –

English: thank you all

French: merci bien-

English: thank you kindly

How to say “You’re Welcome” in French?


French: Bienvenue

English: You’re welcome


French: Bienvenu

English: You’re welcome


French: Pas de qoui

English: You are welcome!

French: De rein

English: You are welcome, dont mention it

How to say Goodbye in French?

French: Au revoir

English: Goodbye

french phrases for travel: toutes directions
© Cimbat via

Direction and Time in French

Directions in French: Les Directions


  • à droite
  • à gauche
  • en bas
  • en haut
  • devant
  • derrière
  • au sud
  • au nord
  • à l’est
  • à l’ouest
  • loin
  • près
  • droit
  • à côté de


  • to the right
  • to the left
  • down
  • up
  • front of
  • back of
  • to the south
  • to the north
  • to the east
  • to the west
  • far
  • near
  • straight
  • next to

Time in French:

l’heure- Time

Midi- Noon

Minuit – Midnight

Du matin – In the morning

De l’après-midi – In the afternoon

map of france
© @ gvictoria via

To say the time in french just add “Il est” in the beginning, and “heures” after the number

Also, saying: and a quarter, a half, quarter to, it’s as follows:

French: Et quart:

English: And a quarter

French: Moins le quart

English: Quarter to

French: Et demie

English: And a half

Pour example:

French: Il est cinq heures

English: It is 5 o-clock

French: Il est cinq heures vengt

English: It is 5:20

French: Il est neuf heures du matin

English: It is 9 o clock in the morning

How to say “I’m searching for” in french?

French: Je Cherche

English: I’m searching for

How to say “where is the..” in french?

French: Où est le

English: Where is the

French: Où see trouve?

English: Where is?

Examples: Où est le toilette – this is not really correct you would rather say ” ou see trouvent les toilettes? or you could say où sont les toilettes

French: Ou est la gare

English: Where is the train station?

How to say “I need directions for…” in french

French: J’ai besoin d’itineraires pour

English: I need directions for

How to say what time is it? in french

French: Quelle heure est-il?

English: What time is it?

Help and Confusion: Common Phrases in French

How to say “I need help” or “can you help me” in french?

French: j’ai Besoin d’aide –

English: I need help

French: j’ai Besoin d’aide si vous plait

English: I need help please

French: Pourriez-vous m’aider?

English: Can you help me?

How to say “I don’t understand” in French?

French: Je ne comprends pas

English: I dont understand

How to say “I don’t know” in French?

French: Je ne sais pas

English: I dont know

How to ask someone to speak slower in french

French: Peux-tu dire ça plus lentement

English: Can you say that slower

How to say “Can you repeat that” or “repeat please” in french?

French: Peux-tu répéter cela

English: Can you repeat that?

French: Repetez, S’il vous plait

English: Repeat, please

How to tell someone you don’t speak french

French: Je ne parle pas français, désolé

English: I dont speak french, sorry

common french phrases for travel: Ordering food in french 

image of cheeses, jams, spoons ,grapes, bread
© @tan4ikk via

Basic French: Ordering Food in French

Ordering in French can seem intimidating, especially if you don’t know the language. However it’s super important that you know some key phrases for ordering and fire certain dietary restrictions. Like ordering vegan food would be hard to explain in English, so it’s best to know how to say vegan in French beforehand.

French: Je voudrais (un café) (un verre de vin) ( un verre de l’eu) (un thé) (June bière)

English: I would like a coffee, a glass of wine, a glass of water, a tea, a Beer

French: Puis-je voir la carte des vins

English: Can I see the wine list

French: Puis-je avoir le menu

English: Can I get the menu, please

French: L’addition, s’il vous plaît

English: The bill, please

French: J’ai des allergies alimentaires pour les (cacahuètes) (le Lait) (le gluten)

English: I have food allergies to (peanuts) (milk) (gluten)

French: Je ne peux rien avoir avec (des allergies alimentaires) (des produits d’origine animale) (de la viande) (du poison) (du sucre)

English: I can’t have anything with (allergies list here) (animal products) (meat) (fish) (sugar)

french woman sitting at outdoor cafe
© @OzerchukHannaBO via

How to shop in French: Common French Phrases for Travel

French: C’est tres cher! C’est trop cher!

English: It’s too/very expensive!

French: À quella heaure est-ce queue s’est ouvert (fermé)?

English: At what time does it open? (close)

French: Combien ça coûte?

English: How much does it cost?

French: Y a-t-il des premises spéciales aujourd’hui?

English: Are there any special discounts today?

French Phrases For Travel

That wraps up our post for the most common french phrases you’ll need to know eh traveling in France and other french speaking countries! We hope you enjoyed this post, and if you did, please share our post via any of your favorite social media ☺️ If you need packing tips, European travel guides, or United States travel tips, then make sure to check out our other posts ☺️.

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