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FRANCE EXPLAINED

Car hire, grocery shopping and being veggie: 6 essential articles for life in France

From the shortage of available cars for rent in France this summer, to gaining French citizenship through ancestry, new tests for motorbikes and being vegetarian in a carnivore country - here are six articles you need to read to understand modern life in France.

Car hire, grocery shopping and being veggie: 6 essential articles for life in France
How to find a 'vegetarian' meal in France that doesn't contain any meat or fish. Photo by JEFF PACHOUD / AFP

With life returning to near-normal, pre-Covid conditions, tourism is booming. France is set to be a popular holiday destination this summer – but renting a vehicle could cost you a lot of money because of a combination of very high demand and reduced stocks.

So, if you are coming to France over the summer, and plan to hire a car to get around, we have some advice for you.

‘Book now’ – rental cars set to be scarce and expensive in France this summer

Bikers probably won’t like it – they campaigned hard to get the government to delay these measures until 2023 when they were first supposed to be brought in – but France’s highest administrative court has ruled that, from October, older motorbikes must undertake regular roadworthiness tests.

We explain more.

Contrôle technique: Motorbikes in France now need roadworthy tests

News broke last week that the father of Britain’s Brexit Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been granted French citizenship by ancestry.

We explain how you could do the same thing. Spoiler: it’s not easy.

How to obtain French citizenship through ancestry

Historically, France and vegetarianism don’t really mix. The consensus seems to be the country’s getting better at it, but there’s a way to go, yet.

While this can be frustrating, it also leads to some pretty memorable and funny experiences as our readers attest to in their accounts here.

‘My vegetarian crêpe was covered in crab and lobster’: Stories of going meat-free in France

And we also have some practical tips for veggies.

‘Call the restaurant’ – your tips for beging vegetarian or vegan in France

Speaking of food, with rising inflation and cost of living, many people in France are desperate to keep their grocery bills low.

Here are a few tips for how to avoid paying too much for food, drink and other everyday items. It won’t solve everything, but it may make things a little bit easier.

7 tips to keep your grocery shopping in France affordable

And finally, you may have noticed that the air where you are in France has been filled with drifting balls of white fluff. Fortunately, it’s perfectly natural and normal – there’s just a bit more of it this year. We explain exactly what it is.

What’s all that white fluff drifting around France?

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