50 Must-Know French Phrases for Traveling

If you would like to learn some French phrases for an upcoming trip to France, it is a good idea to learn some stock French phrases that you can use throughout your trip as well as some French phrases that are specific to situations that come about with travel. The French will appreciate your efforts to speak their language, so being able to speak even a little bit of French will get you very far.

Basic French Phrases

These French phrases are important at all times. You will say them a lot and will be seen as very polite for doing so!

French
English
1. Pardon. Pardon me. / Excuse me.
2. Merci. Thank you.
3. S’il vous plaît. Please.
4. Je vous en prie. / De rien. You’re welcome.

Arrivals

When you arrive in France, it is good to know these French phrases for making your way around. Of course, #5 is another that is useful all the time.

French
English
5. Bonjour ! /
Bonsoir !
Hello! / Good evening!
6. Où se trouve
un bureau de change ?
Where is there a bureau
de change / currency exchange desk?
7. J’aimerais changer
X dollars / livres
/ yen en euros.
I would like to change
X dollars / pounds / yen into Euros.
8. Il est X heures. It is X o’clock.
(Remember the 24-hr.
clock is used in France.)
9. Où sont les toilettes ? Where is the washroom?
10. J’aimerais un
/ une ... s’il vous plaît.
I would like a ... please.
(Note: when you are asking for something
, it never hurts to end it by saying
“please”)
11. Oui, j’ai mon passeport. Yes, I have my passport.

Hotel

When you get to your hotel, you can sort out your accommodations with these French phrases.

French English
12. Je m’appelle ... My name is ...
13. Quel est le mot
de passe pour le réseau sans fil ?
What’s the password
for [your] wireless connection?
14. Est-ce que je pourrais
avoir la clef / clé de ma chambre ?
Could I have the key to
my room?
15. J’aimerais une chambre
à un lit.
I’d like a room with one
bed.
16. Nous avons réservé une
chambre d’hôtel.
We’ve reserved a hotel room.
17. Nous avons x valises. We have [insert # here] suitcases.
18. Où est-ce que je peux
brancher mon portable ?
Where can I plug in /
connect my phone / mobile?
19. Ma batterie est à plat. My battery’s dead.
20. Le restaurant / café
/ bar est à quel étage ?
The restaurant / café /
bar is on which floor?

Métro

Although the Paris metro is relatively easy to navigate, being numbered and color-coded and more modern than the New York subway, for instance, figuring it out will be easier if you are able to ask directions. Of course, understanding the answers is also useful.

French English
21. Où se trouve le métro ? Where’s the subway / metro
/ underground?
22. J’aimerais un billet
simple / hebdomadaire / mensuel.
I’d like a single ride /
weekly pass / monthly pass.
23. Quelle station est la
station de correspondence
pour cette ligne ?
Which station is the transfer
station for this line?
24. Où est-ce qu’il faut
changer de train ?
Where should I change trains?

Dans la rue

While you are navigating the streets of France on foot, it is useful to be able to communicate with people you see on the street, rather than completely rely on your mobile device, which might lose battery power and go to gasp 0%, especially since the charger you’ve brought with you might need a converter in France.

French English
25. Est-ce que vous parlez
[insert name of language here] ?
Do you speak
[insert name of language here]?)
26. Pourriez-vous
parler plus lentement?
Could you speak
more slowly?
27. Je ne comprends pas. I don’t understand.
28. Pourriez-vous répéter ? Could you repeat [that]?

Sightseeing

Here are some French phrases that will help you when you are taking in the sights.

French English
29. On va prendre un taxi. We’ll take a taxi.
30. Le musée est à
droite/ à gauche / tout droit.
The museum is to the
right, to the left, straight ahead.
31. On prendra trois
places pour le concert.
We’ll take three seats
for the concert.
32. C’est au coin
de la rue.
It’s at the corner
[of the street].
33. Il faut traverser la rue. We need to cross the street.

Chance encounters

If you do happen to meet someone on your trip, or if you are into dating apps, these phrases might be useful. Let’s assume you’ve gotten to know the person in question enough to use the informal “you” form.

French English
34. Est-ce que je pourrais
avoir ton numéro de téléphone ?
Could I have your phone
number?
35. Tu aimerais regarder
un film ? sortir ce soir ?
aller au restaurant ?
Would you like to see a movie?
go out this evening? go to a restaurant?
36. Est-ce que tu aimes
danser ?
Do you like to dance?

Restaurant

... and if you end up at a restaurant ...

French English
37. Une table pour deux,
s’il vous plaît.
A table for two, please.
38. Je prendrais les escargots. I’ll take the escargots.
39. L’addition, s’il vous
plaît.
[Just] the check, please.
40. Est-ce qu’il y a de
la viande (dans ce plat) ?
Does this dish have any
meat?

Shopping

For the quintessential tourist activity – or when you’re scrambling to find gifts to bring back from your trip ...

French English
41. C’est combien ? How much [is this]?
42. Est-ce que je
pourrais l’essayer ?
Could I try it on?
43. Je prendrais ...
[insert name of item]
I’ll take ... [insert
name of item]
44. Je peux payer en espèces. I can pay cash.
45. J’ai de la monnaie. I have change.
46. Prenez-vous les cartes
de crédit? / cartes bleues?
Do you take credit cards?

Departures

And, finally, when it is time to leave ...

French English
47. Au revoir ! Goodbye!
48. Mon vol est
à x heures.
My flight is at
x o’clock.
49. Je suis en retard ! I’m late!
50. Non, je n’ai pas
de marchandises périssables.
No, I don’t have any
perishable items. (While
a simple “non” would suffice,
it is good to recognize what
you are being asked in this
situation, so we have here a
full sentence to study.)

Enjoy your time in France, don’t be afraid to use these French phrases, as they will be greatly appreciated, and have a great trip! 🛫


🇫🇷 Learn to Speak French Fluently and Effectively

If you are up for more challenges, train with Glossika before you leave for your trip. And have no problem holding conversations with the locals during your stay. Glossika uses sentence patterns to help you internalize grammatical structures. Our spaced repetition audio training also gets your mouth muscles familiar with speaking French. You'll learn to communicate in real-life situations, and achieve fluency by training your speaking and listening!

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