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Practical Information

About the French Riviera

Border Formalities

Customs, visas, passports etc.

Business Hours

Grocery stores are usually open Sunday morning but close Monday. Large department stores open at about 9.30am and close around 7pm with no lunch break. Small boutiques and Mom-and-Pop stores usually work Monday or Tuesday to Saturday with a lunch break that runs from noon to about 2pm. Restaurants have eccentric opening hours but it's sure that you won't get lunch before noon or after 2pm and dinner runs from 7.30 to about 10pm. It's wise to call restaurants in advance to check on the hours.


The voltage is 220V, frequency 50HZ. Plugs are two round prongs.


The following numbers are valid throughout France:

Police 17

Ambulance 15

Fire 18

See phone numbers and addresses for emergency services in Nice.

Internet Access

There are cybercafes around train stations and in the centre of cities like Nice, Cannes and Monaco. In small  towns, the tourist office can point you in the right direction. See more on internet access in Nice.


Costs; Budget tips

National Holidays




Area codes, calling France, calling from France, special numbers, more.

Cellphones, prices, buying one in France, more.

Time zone

France is on Central European Time (GMT/UTC plus one hour standard time, plus two hours daylight saving time) and moves the clock ahead one hour in spring for daylight savings time and back one hour in the fall. (remember "Spring ahead, fall back"). Usually it's the last Sunday in March when clocks are set ahead and the last Sunday in October when they are set back.

Tourist Information

Each town has a tourist office and most have someone who speaks English. Hours are long in the summer but off-season, you'll be relegated to regular business hours.


Despite what you would think from the proliferation of plastic bottles everywhere, tap water is safe, drinkable and even tasty on the French Riviera.



Recommended Experiences




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