So, you’re having a staycation instead of a French vacation… well, why not bring France to you? Follow these simple tips on how to be French and inject a little French culture into your day.

Pain chocolate, French croissant, and artisan cappuccinos. French breakfast in a cafe.

Start with an indulgent breakfast

Bacon, eggs, oats, yogurt: they’re all off the menu. There’s only one acceptable way to breakfast à la Français, and that’s by indulging in patisserie. From croissant to pain au chocolat, the options are endless… and endlessly delicious. Pick a pastry and, if you’re feeling extra-French, dunk it into a cup of café au lait before eating. 

French woman sitting at cafe with coffee and croissants.

Keep your eyes on the sidewalk

Have you ever wondered why French cafe patrons sit facing the sidewalk instead of each other? Well, people-watching is practically a national past-time in France. From Mont St. Michel to Marseille, the French love to spend days watching the world go by. So, make like les français. Turn off Netflix, turn your chair to the street, and get people-watching!

Female guide shows a young woman around Versailles explaining its history.

Parlez-vous Francais? 

There’s no doubt about it, French is one of the world’s most beautiful languages. But, let’s be honest: French pronunciation is a serious challenge for English-speakers. Mark yourself out as a francophile by brushing up on the language at home. Try a language app or, if you’re a little more advanced, laugh along to a French comic strip, like Asterix.

A photo of the entrance of the Louvre from afar

Skip the crowds and see the Louvre

The French are a famously cultured lot. Whether in rural Provence or buzzy Paris, museums, galleries, and opera houses are always packed with people. In France itself, it’s always a good idea to try and skip-the-line at famous spaces like the Louvre. But, when you’re staying at home, you don’t need to worry about waiting in line for hours — take a virtual tour of the museum, instead.

Woman cuts a very cheesy sandwich with a knife and fork in a cafe.

You can never have too much cheese

What’s the one thing that makes a meal at a fancy French bistro truly special? Hint: it’s not the crisp white tablecloths, atmospheric candlelight, or even the impeccable service. It’s the cheese trolley. That’s right, trolley. At the end of each meal, your waiter will wheel over a whole trolley groaning with delicious, ripe French cheese. You might not have a trolley at home, or even a French waiter, but you can still enjoy the French custom of a cheese plate after dinner.

French girl walking through a city

Soak up French culture

One of the best ways to bring France to you? Getting a taste of cutting-edge contemporary French culture. Dive into modern French music, by checking out edgy bands like Christine and the Queens, or hip hop artists like MC Solaar. Or, try tuning into the Shakespeare and Co. podcast, where you can listen in on the literary events held at the famed Left Bank bookstore.

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