French travel phrases you must know before your trip

French is one of the most beautiful, romantic languages in the world, but yet it is quite a difficult and complex one.  29 countries around the world speak French, and over 220 million people can communicate in French. So if you’re a traveler by spirit or travel often for different reasons, these  French travel phrases are for you to know. 

Contact making  French travel phrases


1. Bonjour / Salut (Boh(n)-zhoor / Sah-loo) – Halo

French has different ways of greeting, but “Bonjour” is the general one. Always start your conversation with a greeting, it is as significant as the French culture.

2. S’il vous plaît (Seal voo play) – Please

One of the most important phrases in French. In translation, it is just “please,” but the more you use it in your speech, the more people like you. Moreover, the combination of  “Bonjour” and “S’il Vous plaît” is the most used combination in French. It will seem senseless but believe, “Bonjour, S’il Vous plaît” sound purely French.

3. Oui (Wee)/ Non (No) – Yes / No

Can you find a language, where you don’t need “Yes” and “No”? Impossible! Even if you say just a couple of sentence, you’ll probably need this two words.

4. Parlez-vous Anglais? (Parle vu-z Ongle) – Do you speak English?

After the greeting, try your luck and ask the stranger if he speaks English. Many French speakers do.  But even if they speak, start and finish your talk with French phrases. They will be touched.

5. J’ai besoin d’aide (Ze buzhuan ded) – I need help.

Nobody is fully ensured. If you are in trouble or scared for any reason, use this phrase, and there will be people, who will react.

6. Merci beaucoup! (Mare-see bo-koo) – Thank you very much.

This is probably the most used and well-known foreign phrase in the world. Say “Merci beaucoup” for the smallest help you get from a stranger; French speakers use it a lot.

7. Pardon (Par-doh(n))- Excuse me

Another important phrase for polite people. Don’t think that you’re a guest in the city and don’t need the politeness rules. Saying sorry changes a lot. Let the other enjoy your visit and enjoy it yourself by using universal civil words.  

8. Je ne parle pas français (Ze nu parle pa France)- I don’t speak French.

Knowing some phrases and words, unfortunately, doesn’t mean you’ll communicate in French. But some people will try speaking with you anyway. Just say them that you can’t speak French, and they’ll find another way.

9. Bien (biya’)– Good

This word is a nice conclusion for the conversation. Good, well, okay, etc.  All these words are grouped in one word: “Bien.”

10. Au revoir (Ah reh-vwarh) / Adieu (Ah-dyooh) – See you later / goodbye

Regardless the language, “goodbye” and “see you later” are the phrases everybody uses in the end.  Anytime you finish talking with a person, say one of these two phrases, depending on the context.

French travel phrases for getting information

 1. Où est…? (Oo ay…?) Where is…?

You’re a tourist in a new city, and surely will need this phrase to orientate. Add the word “Metro, bus, train, street, museum, hotel, toilette … ” to this question, and people will help you. In case you don’t understand the answer, try to concentrate on gestures, and it will also be helpful.

2. Où sommes-nous? (U sohm niu) – Where are we?

Sometimes you wander around the city and find yourself at a place; you have no idea about. Even if you have a map and know where to go, you can’t get there, without knowing where you are. Ask someone this question, and you’ll find the way to go back.

3. Je ne comprends pas (Zhuh nuh comp-rond pah)- I do not understand.

Very often French speakers forget, that you’re a tourist and speak slang or very quickly. By saying this phrase, you’ll make them paraphrase what they say, or slow down, so that you’ll get everything.

4. Pouvez vous me prendre en photo? (Pouve mua prondro(n) photo) – Can you take a photo?

Every traveler, no matter alone or with a group, needs someone to take a picture of him. You’ll find many tourists to ask for a picture, but if the one you asked is not a tourist, ask him in French, and you’ll have a photo.

5. Puis-je prendre une photo? (Puizh prondre ‘n photo) – Can I take a photo?

While traveling, you’ll discover many stunning places, where taking pictures is forbidden. Always ask whether you can take photos or not.


French travel phrases for meals

Dining out

Dining out

1. Une table pour deux / quatre personnes. (Un table pur diu / katre persohn )– One table for two/four

This is also a typical phrase for cafes and restaurants. Whether you book a table in advance or get it immediately, you’ll need this phrase. You can check all the French numbers here .

2. La carte/ le menu, s’il vous plaît. (la cart/ lu munu, Seal voo play ) – The menu, please.

In most cafes, they bring the menu without your request, but in case you don’t have the menu or need one more, ask the waiter in this way.

3. Avez-Vous l’Internet ? / Mot de passe, S’il Vous plaît (Ave vur l’ internet? Mo dy pas, Seal voo play) – Do you have internet? The password please.

You’ll need these phrases in cafes, restaurants, hotels or in public places, where you think you’ll find wifi. Most of the wifi have passwords, but you can get them if you ask.

4. Je voudrais  (Zhuh voo dray)… /un café , un thé , de l’eau / – I’d like a … /coffee, tea, water/.

If you’re in café, this phrase is super useful. Add anything from a menu list to the phrase “Je voudrais” and your order will be purely in French.

5. L’addition, s’il vous plaît. (L’adision, Seal voo play) – The bill, please.

In the end, you should somehow ask a bill for your meal. You can say it with hands, but this easy phrase will solve the problem. There’s no need for extra movements.


Learned the phrases? Now it’s time to chose the best itinerary for your trip. Check the best Paris Trip Planner and plan the best Paris trip for your next vacation.

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