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50+ Basic French Travel Phrases To Use While Abroad

Bienvenue en France! While traveling through this beautiful country, knowing basic French travel phrases is essential to help you get around. Many French people do not speak English, so it’s actually quite necessary to know a bit of French to help make your travels as smooth as possible. 

It can be frustrating to travel to a place that does not speak your native language. Still, one part of exploring new places is navigating these difficulties. If you prepare yourself beforehand by learning a few French phrases, you can turn these frustrations into meaningful interactions with local people. 

Whether you need to order food from a restaurant, tell your cab driver where you’re headed, or ask French locals general questions, these 30+ travel phrases will help you navigate easily and cement memories to last a lifetime.

 

Essential French Phrases For Travelers

french travel phrases

Basic French Phrases For Conversations

These basic words and phrases are the first level of interactions while traveling and probably the words you will use the most in everyday conversations. So pay special attention to them! 

These basic words and phrases are the first level of interactions while traveling, and probably the words you will use the most in everyday conversations. So pay special attention to them! 

EnglishFrenchPronunciation
Hello / good morningBonjour
Good eveningBonsoir
Hi (informal)Salut
Nice to meet you.Enchanté
WelcomeBienvenue
Yes / NoOui / Non /
How are you?Ça va?
I’m well.Je vais bien.
How’s it going? (informal)Ça roule?
I am well, and you?Je vais bien, et vous?
Do you speak English?Parlez-vous anglais?
I do not speak French.Je ne parle peu français.
I don’t understand.Je ne comprends pas.
Where are you from?D’où venez-vous?
I am from …Je suis de …
What is your name?Quel est votre nom?
My name is …Je m’appelle …
Mrs. / Mr. / MissMadame / Monsieur / Mademoiselle / /
Cheers!Santé.
I don’t knowJe ne sais pas.
Thank you very much.Merci beaucoup.
You’re welcomeDe rien.
Excuse me / sorryExcusez-moi/pardon /
SorryJe suis désolé
See you later!À tout à l’heure!
GoodbyeAu revoir

Basic French Phrases For Directions

french travel phrases

Are you lost in a big city with no phone service? Whip out these basic phrases for directions to get someone to point you in the right direction and save yourself a headache. 

EnglishFrenchPronunciation
DirectionsLes directions
Where is … please?Où est… s’il vous plaît?
I’m lost.Je suis perdue.
Is it far?Est-ce que c’est loin?
Is it close?Est-ce que c’est proche?
Which way?Par où?
It’s to the right / left.C’est à droite / gauche. /
Turn right.Tournez à droite. 
Turn left.Tournez à gauche.
Straight ahead.Tout droit.
Over there.Là-bas.
Where are we?Où sommes-nous?
Can you help me?Pouvez-vous m’aider?

Basic French Phrases For Money & Shopping

french travel phrases

France is known for its opulent, high-end clothes and style. You’ll definitely be tempted to shop in all the beautiful boutiques, so learn basic phrases for money and shopping. Want to learn more about this topic? Check out Shopping Vocabulary In French: 20+ Useful Phrases & Expressions

EnglishFrenchPronunciation
How much is this?Combien ça coûte?
It’s too big / small.C’est trop grand / petit. /
I’m just looking around, thanks.Je regarde juste autour de moi, merci.
I would like … please. Je voudrais … s’il vous plaît.
Good quality!Bonne qualité!
I need …J’ai besoin …
I want …Je veux …
I’m looking for …Je cherche …
Can I try this on?Je peux l’essayer?
Is it on sale?C’est en solde?
No thanks, I’m only looking.Non merci, je ne fais que regarder.
It’s too expensive! C’est trop cher

Basic French Phrases For Transportation

french travel phrases

France has an excellent public transport system, so you’ll most likely be taking trains and buses while traveling through. These are some phrases to help you get by.

EnglishFrenchPronunciation
TransportationLe transport
EarlyEn avance
On timeÀ l’heure
DelayedEn retard.
CancelledSupprimé 
What is the price of a ticket?Quel est le prix d’un billet?
Where is the ticket window?Où est le guichet?
I would like to purchase a one-way ticket.Je voudrais acheter un billet aller simple.
I would like to purchase a return ticket.Je voudrais acheter un billet aller-retour.
Do not enter.Passage interdit.
ExitLa sortie.
Validate your ticket.Valider votre billet.
Train stationLa gare
Have a nice trip!Bon voyage!

Basic French Phrases For Instruction

french travel phrases

These French phrases will help you find the bathroom, the nearest grocery store, or wherever else you need to go. These are easy to pop out while walking or sightseeing, so keep them in mind!

EnglishFrenchPronunciation
Can you help me?Pouvez-vous m’aider ?
Can you take our photo?Pouvez-vous nous prendre en photo ?
I don’t understand.Je ne comprends pas.
Where is the bathroom?Où sont les toilettes ?
Where is …?Où est ___ ?
AirportL’aéroport
Grocery storeL’épicerie
Coffee shopLe café
Metro stationLa station de métro
Bus stationLa gare routière
ParkLe parc
BeachLa plage

Basic French Phrases For Dining

french travel phrases

Food is a huge part of French culture, so when you’re fine dining, you’ll definitely want to know some basic phrases to fit in and avoid any awkward situations.

EnglishFrenchPronunciation
MenuLe menu
I would like a coffee.Je voudrais un café. 
I would like a beer.Je voudrais un verre.
I would like some water. Je voudrais de l’eau.
Can I have the bill, please?L’addition, s’il vous plaît.
A glass of wine.Un verre de vin.
I would like …Je voudrais …
I’m full.Je suis repue
This is delicious! C’est délicieux!

 

Final Thoughts

Learn French with Ling App

Whew! I know that is a lot of information, but take it one category at a time to learn these basic French words and phrases for travelers. Trust me, when you’re in France you’ll want to speak French! Not only is it a beautiful language, but French speakers find it extra respectful when you speak French to them. 

Interested in learning more French but need specific, targeted resources? Download the Ling App! It is a user-friendly language-learning app with games, quizzes, and interactive features proven to help you learn a new language.

You can download it for free on the App Store and Play Store. What are you waiting for? If you start today, you’re one step closer to being prepared for your traverse through France. 

Want even more resources? Check out #1 Best Guide: French Vocabulary To Use At The Airport & French.

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