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Daily life in France

Tax stamps, 220 Volts plug adapters and other French specificities

Wondering about plugs and outlets in France? Where to buy tax stamps? Or which are the French national holidays? Find more useful information here.


In France, the standard power supply is 220 Volts. Therefore, you may need to buy an adapter to make sure your appliances will work fine.


You can buy stamps at a post office or a tobacconist’s. Here is the sign to identify a tobacconist’s.

Tax stamps

You can also buy tax stamps at a tobacconist’s.

Smoking in public places

In France, smoking is prohibited in all public places. In case of infringement, you will be fined €68.

National holidays

The French calendar includes 11 national holidays ("jours fériés") - either civil or religious. If you are planning to go to a museum, a restaurant or a hotel on a national holiday, we recommend that you would call in advance to make sure it will be open. The French law and/or corporate collective agreements apply in particular in terms of remuneration.

National holidays201320142015
New year’s day January 1st January 1st January 1st
Easter Monday April 1st April 21st April 6th
Labor Day May 1st May 1st May 1st
WWII Victory Day May 8th May 8th May 8th
Ascension May 9th May 29th May 14th
Pentecost May 20th June 9th May 25th
Bastille Day July 14th July 14th July 14th
Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary August 15th August 15th August 15th
All Saints Day November 1st November 1st November 1st
Armistice Day November 11th November 11th November 11th
Christmas Day December 25th December 25 December 25th

Time change

In France, clocks are manually changed twice a year, in the spring and in the fall. The changes always take place on a Sunday night at 2am.

The clocks are set forward by an hour. 2am becomes 3am.

YearTime change forward
2014 Sunday, March 30th
2015 Sunday, March 29th
2016 Sunday, March 27th

The clocks are turned backward one hour. 3am becomes 2am.

YearTime change backward
2014 Sunday, October 26th
2015 Sunday, October 25th
2016 Sunday, October 30th