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French Basic Phrases to Survive when Travelling

french basic phrases to survive when traveling

Learning basic French phrases is important for travelers who want to experience French culture and connect with locals.

In this article, we’ll cover the most common French phrases for greetings, directions, transportation, ordering food and drinks, shopping and souvenirs, emergencies and health, and cultural tips and etiquette.

Here are 100 essential French phrases for travelers to get you started.

French Greetings and Basic Phrases

Knowing basic phrases like “hello,” “goodbye,” “please,” “thank you,” and “excuse me” can help you navigate everyday interactions with French speakers. In addition to pronunciation tips, we’ll also cover basic conversation starters to help you get to know locals.

Bonjour, comment allez-vous?

Hello, how are you?

“Comment ça va?”

How are you?

Comment vous appelez-vous?

What is your name?

Je m’appelle [your name].

My name is [your name].

Enchanté(e) de faire votre connaissance.

Nice to meet you.

Parlez-vous français?

Do you speak French?

Je ne parle pas français.

I don’t speak French.

Je parle un peu français.

I speak a little French.

Je suis désolé(e), je ne comprends pas.

I’m sorry, I don’t understand.

Parlez lentement, s’il vous plaît.

Speak slowly, please.

Pouvez-vous répéter, s’il vous plaît.

Can you repeat that, please?

À bientôt!

See you soon!

Bonne journée!

Have a good day!



Asking for Directions and Transportation

Asking for directions and understanding basic transportation phrases can help you get around France more easily.

We’ll also cover how to ask for help when lost in France, as well as how to navigate public transportation.

Est-ce que vous pouvez m’aider?

Can you help me?

Je suis perdu(e).

I am lost.

Je cherche [destination].

I am looking for [destination].

Quel est le meilleur moyen de se rendre à [destination]?

What is the best way to get to [destination]?

Où se trouve [location]?”

Where is [location]?

Où sont des toilettes?

Where are the toilets?

Où sommes-nous?

Where are we?

C’est à gauche.

It’s to the left.

C’est à droite.

It’s to the right.

C’est tout droit.

It’s straight ahead.

Est-ce que c’est loin/proche?

Is it far/close?

  • In a Bus

Quand est-ce que le prochain train/bus/métro arrive?

When is the next train/bus/metro coming?

Combien coûte le billet?

How much is the ticket?

Où est la gare / la station de métro la plus proche ?

Where is the nearest train station / subway station?

À quelle heure part le train / le bus ?

What time does the train/bus leave?

“Je voudrais un ticket pour [destination].”

I would like a ticket for [destination].

Je voudrais un aller simple / un aller-retour pour … –

I would like a one-way ticket / a round-trip ticket to …

Le prochain arrêt, c’est … ?

The next stop is …?

Le train / bus est en retard.

The train / bus is late.

Je suis en retard / en avance pour mon train / bus.

I’m late / early for my train / bus.

Explore what 12 Travel experts say about the most important French word to survive.

Ordering Food and Drinks

Ordering food and drinks can be a daunting experience if you don’t speak the language.

We’ll cover menu vocabulary and how to order food and drinks, book a table, or make special requests.

Puis-je réserver une table pour deux ?

Can I reserve a table for two?

Je voudrais une table pour [number of people].

I would like a table for [number of people].

Où est un bon restaurant/un bon café?

Where is a good restaurant/a good café.

Je voudrais commander, s’il vous plaît.

I would like to order, please.

Je voudrais commander un café.

I would like to order coffee.

La carte/le menu, s’il vous plaît.

The menu/fixed-price menu, please.

Je voudrais un café.

I would like a coffee.)

Je voudrais un verre.

I would like a glass.

Avez-vous des croissants ?

Do you have croissants?

Qu’est-ce que vous me conseillez?

What do you recommend?

Je suis allergique à [allergen].

I am allergic to [allergen].

Je voudrais de l’eau, s’il vous plaît.

I would like water, please.

Je voudrais une bière/vin, s’il vous plaît.

I would like a beer/wine, please.

Est-ce que vous avez un menu en anglais?

Do you have an English menu?

Qu’est-ce que vous recommandez?

What do you recommend?

Je suis végétarien(ne)/végétarien(ne).

I am vegetarian/vegan.

L’addition, s’il vous plaît.

The check, please.

Learn more about French Food.

Shopping and Buying Souvenirs

Whether you’re looking for souvenirs or need to do some shopping, knowing common shopping phrases in French can help you get by with just a few French phrases under your belt.

We’ll also cover how to ask for help finding specific items.

Je cherche [item].

I am looking for [item].

Vous avez des … ?

Do you have any …?

Combien ça coûte ?

How much does it cost?

Je peux essayer ça ?

Can I try this on?

Vous acceptez les cartes de crédit ?

Do you accept credit cards?

Je voudrais payer en espèces.

I’d like to pay in cash.

Avez-vous d’autres tailles / couleurs ?

Do you have other sizes / colors?

C’est trop cher.

It’s too expensive.

Je prends ça.

I’ll take that.

Où est la caisse ?

Where is the checkout?

Est-ce que vous avez des souvenirs?

Do you have any souvenirs?

Avez-vous des cartes postales?

Do you have postcards?

Combien ça coûte?

How much does it cost?

C’est trop cher.

It’s too expensive.

Learn more vocabulary about Shopping in French.

Emergencies and Health

No one wants to think about emergencies or health issues while traveling, but it’s important to be prepared just in case.

We’ll cover basic emergency phrases and how to ask for help, as well as phrases related to health and medical issues.

Au secours!


Je suis blessé(e).

I am injured.

J’ai besoin d’aide.

I need help.

Appelez une ambulance!

Call an ambulance!

Où est l’hôpital?

Where is the hospital?

J’ai une allergie.

I have an allergy.

Je ne me sens pas bien.

I am not feeling well.

C’est une urgence.

It’s an emergency.

Où est l’hôpital/la pharmacie?

Where is the hospital/pharmacy?

Learn more about what to do in case of emergencies in French.

Learn French from Scratch!

Voilà! We have reached the end of our blog post on French common phrases to survive when traveling. We hope these basic French phrases will help you during your next trip to a French-speaking country.

Remember, it’s always a good idea to learn a few essential French words before you go. This will not only make your travels easier but will also show the locals that you are making an effort to communicate with them in their own language.

Learn more French words and phrases.

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