Top 7 Myths about the French

Discover the truth about the French before you travel abroad

Are the French really that different from Americans? Unless you’re planning a trip to France, it probably doesn’t make that much difference to you. But, if you’re interested in a trip abroad, you need to know what’s true and what’s myth about the French people.

Here are some common misunderstandings about France that most Americans seem to accept as truth. Find out for yourself whether your ideas about France are truth or myth.

All French Beaches are Topless

Not all French beaches are topless but many are. There are even some completely nude beaches. But they’re not all topless and you won’t be out of place if you keep your bathing suit on. The topless beaches tend to be those like Nice and Cannes but more women keep their tops on than those that don’t.

Your best bet to avoiding topless beaches is to ask at the hotel you are staying at. This way if you’re traveling as a family, you won’t have unpleasant or shocking surprises.

All French People Smoke

Thirty-four percent of the people in France smoke while just under 20% of Americans smoke. The smoking rate is very high in France, but not everyone smokes and their rate isn’t much higher than that in the United States. France is becoming more non-smoker friendly has many public places have non-smoking areas.

French Vacations are Only for Women

Not so. France has a lot to offer such as bullfighting, mountain climbing, skiing, ice climbing, kayaking, touring medieval villages, and hiking. Combine these things with a topless beach and most men will think France is heaven.

French People Don’t Like Americans

Most visitors to France happily report that the French people like Americans just fine. If anything, more Americans dislike the French since they opposed us in the Iraq war. You’ll find the people friendly and polite.

You Can’t Wear Jeans in France

Although France is regarded as the design capital of the world and you’ll occasionally see some extreme fashions on the street, jeans are certainly acceptable. Paris is a causal city and jeans are worn everywhere by just about everyone. The French style is much like ours.

France is Dangerous

Most European cities are safer than American cities. France doesn’t have problems with guns, gangs, and personal property robberies like the United States does. The most common crime, especially for tourists, is that of pickpockets. Professional pickpockets work the high-traffic tourist areas and are quite good at their jobs. Take precautions against pickpockets and you’ll be all right.

Food in France is Weird

France is the culinary capital of the world. You might order something you think is awful but the truth is it’s probably just something Americans aren’t accustomed to like Tripe or escargot. These types of foods aren’t normal to us so we think they are weird. Step outside your comfort zone and try some different and unusual foods of the French cuisine. You may surprise yourself and actually like them.

There you have it. France is different from the United States, but it should be. If it was the same, there would be no reason to travel and see other countries. Do a little research before you go, relax and enjoy yourself as you experience what the French have to offer.