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Fun Travel French: 65+ Phrases for Dining, Clubbing, Shopping and More

You’ve booked your tickets.

You’ve researched the best cafés and nightclubs.

You’re gearing up to have some IRL interactions with French-speaking natives.

Whether it’s France or another Francophone land of your choosing, it’s always best to travel well-prepared.

You may have already picked up a phrasebook or two, which is a great move, but how do you actually prepare yourself for real-life interactions?

And with a chapter on each travel scenario, where do you even start?

Let’s start right here.

Below, we’ll take a look at some essential lingo you’ll need when you’re sur place (on site).

Then, we’ll immediately look at ways you might actually use some of these words and phrases in a real conversation.

So let’s get started!

65+ Cool French Travel Phrases with 5 Fun Sample Dialogues

For more travel phrases and sample conversations, you can always refer to FluentU.

FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.

You can try FluentU for free for 2 weeks. Click here to check out the website or download the iOS app or Android app.

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Because the FluentU library is packed with authentic French content, you learn how to use these expressions the same way that native speakers do. After all, it’s not just about adding more words into your vocabulary bank. You have to be able to understand how these words operate in various contexts.

To see all the features of FluentU, go ahead and check out their free trial.

But for now, let’s talk about these travel phrases.

Greetings, Peacing Out and Introductions

Phrases

In every interaction, regardless of how minor, you’ll need to greet and peace out properly.

Here’s how to do so.

  • Bonjour ! (Hello/good morning!) You know the drill: simple and straight to the point. Add a monsieur (sir) or madame (ma’am) to be polite.  
  • Salut ! (Hi/hey!) This is a more décontracté (relaxed) version of hello. You’ll hear the young folks throwing this one around.
  • Bonsoir ! (Hello/good evening!) When the sun begins to set, it’s time to leave behind bonjour and switch on over to bonsoir.
  • Salut ! (Bye!)
  • Bonne journée ! ([Have a] good day!)
  • Bonne soirée ! ([Have a] good evening!)
  • Au revoir ! (Goodbye!)
  • Vous me manquez déjà ! (I miss you already!)
  • À la prochaine ! (See you next time!)
  • Bisous/Bises ! (Kisses!)
  • À plus (tard) ! (See you later!)

Need to introduce yourself to someone? You’ve gotta start somewhere, right?

  • Je m’appelle… (My name is…)
  • Moi, c’est… (Me, I’m…) This is a more casual way of introducing yourself.
  • J’appends le français depuis (I’ve been learning French for…) People are sure to notice your bomb accent and they’ll surely want to know how long you’ve been learning the language of love.
  • Comment vous appelez-vous ? (What is your name?)
  • Tu t’appelles comment ? (What’s your name?) For when you wanna keep things cas’ (notice the tu form).
  • Comment allez-vous ? (How are you?)
  • Ça va ? En forme ? (How are you? You good?)
  • Nous sommes arrivé(e)s… (We arrived…) Again, your French is so good, the locals will want to know when you arrived. Only last week? You don’t live here? Incroyable (incredible)!
  • Nous restons… (We’re staying…) Use this phrase to explain to your new potes (slang for “friends”) where you’re staying as well as how long you’re staying.
  • Je vous présente… (Literally, “I present you…”) Introductions! Where friendship begins. This is another way of saying “This is [my]…”
  • Je suis ravi(e) de faire votre connaissance. (I am delighted to meet you.) You’ll raise some eyebrows (in approval, of course!) if you bust out this fancy French “nice to meet ya.”
  • Enchanté. (Pleased to meet you.)

Dialogue

Okay, let’s set the scene. You’re eagerly practicing your salutations. Most of the Parisian passersby ignore you because, you know, métro-boulot-dodo (metro-work-sleep), but behold: a real-life French person returns your “hello,” intrigued by your bright-eyed, bushy-tailed nature. You strike up a little conversation.

Toi (you): Bonjour ! (Hello!)

Le français (the Frenchman): Bonjour. On dirait que vous n’êtes pas d’ici. (Hello. One would say you’re not from here.)

Toi: Vous avez raison, je suis américain(e). J’apprends le français depuis deux ans. Je suis arrivé(e) hier soir. (You’re right, I’m American. I’ve been learning French for two years. I arrived last night).

Le français: Mais vous avez un super français dis-donc ! (But you have great French, I must say!)

Toi: Merci beaucoup. Je m’appelle Alex. Comment vous appelez-vous ? (Thank you very much. My name is Alex. What is your name?)

Le français: Moi, c’est François. (I’m François.)

Toi: Enchanté, François. (Pleased to meet you, François).

Le français: Tout le plaisir est à moi. Vous restez combien de temps à Paris ? (The pleasure is all mine. How long will you stay in Paris?)

Toi: Deux semaines. (Two weeks.)

Le français: Super ! Passez un bon séjour alors. Bonne journée à vous. (Great! Enjoy your stay, then. Have a nice day.)

Buying All the Breton Stripes

Phrases

Ready to hit the shops? Take these phrases along with your fabulous taste.

  • Je suis à la recherche d’un… (I’m looking for a…) A great line for engaging the chipper shop girl, practicing your French and finding gifts for the folks back home.
  • Non, je regarde pour l’instant. (No, I’m [just] looking for the moment.)
  • C’est pour… (It’s for…)
  • Combien ça coûte ? (How much does this cost?)
  • Puis-je commander cela sur l’Internet ? (Can I order this on the internet?) Because, you know, baggage allowance.
  • Je voudrais payer en liquide/espèces. (I would like to pay in cash.) Because, you know, bank fees.
  • À quelle heure ouvre/ferme le magasin ? (At what time does the store open/close?)

Dialogue

Scene: You’re in a clothing store full of berets and the like, and your euros are burning a hole in your pocket.

Vendeuse (saleswoman): Bonjour madame. (Hello, ma’am.)

Toi (you): Bonjour madame. (Hello, ma’am.)

Vendeuse: Est-ce-que vous recherchez quelque chose en particulier ? (Are you looking for something in particular?)

Toi: Non, je regarde pour l’instant. (No, I’m just looking for the moment.)

Vendeuse: D’accord. N’hésitez pas si vous avez des questions. (OK. Don’t hesitate if you have any questions.)

(After looking around for a bit, you decide you have no idea what to get for your neighbor who’s been watering your plants and feeding your cat back home.)

Vous: En fait, je suis à la recherche d’un cadeau pour mon voisin… (Actually, I’m looking for a gift for my neighbor…).

Vendeuse: Super ! On va trouver quelque chose. Suivez-moi madame. (Great! We will find something. Follow me, ma’am.)

Eating All the Escargots (and Drinking All the Wine)

Phrases

  • On prends l’apéro ensemble ? (Let’s have an apéritif together?) An apéritif is a (usually alcoholic) beverage one drinks before eating—whiskey, vodka or pastis, for example.
  • Une table pour (x), s’il vous plaît. (A table for x, please.)
  • Le menu, s’il vous plaît. (The menu, please.)
  • La carte des vins, s’il vous plaît. (The wine menu, please.)
  • Est-ce que le service est compris ? (Is the tip included?)
  • À vôtre santé ! (To your health!) Say this right before you clink glasses with your new French pals. Be sure to make eye contact while doing so.

You can also say santé (health!) tout court (full stop).  À la vôtre ! (to yours!) is a good option when you’re with more than one person or having a tête-à-tête (one-on-one discussion) with a distinguished gentleperson. You’re sure to exude a certain je ne sais quoi (I don’t know what) as well as an ease with pronounsÀ la tienne ! (to yours!) works for casual one-on-one scenarios. Tchin tchin ! (clink clink!) has the benefit of being pretty cute and onomatopoeic.

  • C’est trop bon ! (This is so good!)
  • J’ai bien mangé. (I ate well/I’m full.)

Dialogue

Scene: You run into your friend François at Monoprix.

François: Tiens, Alex ! Ça va ? En forme ? (Look who it is! Alex! How are you? Doing well?)

Toi: Je vais bien merci. Et vous ? (I’m doing well, thank you. And you?)

François: Moi ça va. On peut se tutoyer. On prends l’apéro ensemble ?  (I’m doing well. We can use tu with each other. Want to get a drink together before eating?)

Toi: Oui ! Bonne idée. (Yes! Good idea.)

François: Cool. Je connais un petit coin sympa. (Cool. I know a nice little place.)

(At the bistro)

François:  À la tienne ! (Cheers!)

Toi: Tchin ! Tchin ! (Cheers!)

François: C’est trop bon ce vin ! (This wine is so good!)

Going Places (and Getting Lost)

Phrases

  • Pouvez-vous m’aider, s’il vous plaît ? (Can you help me, please?) There are times when “getting lost in Paris” no longer seems cute or romantic. Pull out this phrase when all you wanna do is get home and take off your shoes. This phrase can also come in handy in an emergency.  
  • Où est le métro ? (Where is the metro?)
  • Où sont les taxis ? (Where are the taxis?)
  • Où est la sortie ? (Where is the exit?)
  • C’est près d’ici ? (Is it close by?)
  • C’est loin ? (Is it far?)
  • Emmenez-moi à cette adresse, s’il vous plaît. (Take me to this address, please.) Use this polite phrase with your taxi driver before you hand over that crumpled Post-it with François’ address on it.
  • Est-ce que ce bus passe par… (Does this bus pass by…)
  • Puis-je avoir un plan de la ville, s’il vous plaît ? (Can I have a map of the city, please?) Use this phrase when you roll up to the office de tourisme (tourist office).
  • Puis-je avoir un plan du métro, s’il vous plaît ? (Can I have a metro map, please?)
  • Je vous doit combien ? (How much do I owe you?) After your chauffeur de taxi (taxi driver) has so graciously driven you to François’ place, you’ll have to pay up.

Dialogue

Scene: You’re trying to get to le Centre Pompidou. You were planning to walk since the weather was great when you left the hotel this morning. Now it’s raining. You ask a passant (passerby) for advice.

Toi (you): Excusez-moi, monsieur. Pouvez-vous m’aider s’il vous plaît ? (Excuse me, sir. Can you help me please?)

Passant (passerby): Oui, je vous écoute. (Yes, I’m listening.)

Toi: Je voudrais aller au Centre Pompidou. C’est loin d’ici ? (I would like to go to the Pompidou Center. Is it far from here?)

Passant: Dans ce temps ? Oui, c’est loin ! Vaut mieux prendre le bus là-bas. Il va vous déposer juste devant. (In this weather? Yes, it’s far! You’re better off taking the bus over there. It’ll drop you off right in front.)

Toi: Oh ! Le bus passe par le Pompidou ? Parfait ! Merci, monsieur. (Oh! The bus passes by Pompidou? Perfect! Thank you, sir.)

Passant: Je vous en prie. Bonne journée, au revoir. (You’re welcome. Have a nice day, goodbye.)

Going Hard(ish) in the Club

Phrases

You’ve done the museums, the galleries, the restaurants, the cafés… time to party!

  • Ça te dit d’aller boire un verre ce soir ? (Want to go get a drink tonight?)
  • J’ai envie de faire la fête ! (I want to party!)
  • On s’installe là-bas ? (Let’s sit over there?)
  • Je voudrais une pinte de blonde/un verre de vin. (I would like a pint of light ale/glass of wine.)
  • On va prendre la bouteille. (We’ll take the bottle.)
  • On prend des shooters ! (We’re taking shots!)
  • Est-ce qu’il y a un after ? (Is there an after party?)
  • Je suis crevé(e), j’y vais. (I’m spent, I’m leaving.)
  • Rentrez-bien ! (Get home safely!) A good phrase to keep in your pocket when you’re leaving your party animal friends in the club.
  • Je me suis vraiment bien amusé(e). (I really enjoyed myself.) Did your new French pals take you on an exhilarating tour of the coins et recoins (nooks and crannies) of a charming neighborhood? Then let them know that you had fun!

Dialogue

Scene: You and that artsy couple at the hostel have hit it off. The three of you have bonded over the fact that you can’t sleep because of the dude who snores.

Toi (you): J’en ai marre des musées ! (I’m fed up with museums!)

Eux (them): Ça te dit d’aller boire un verre ce soir ? (Want to go get a drink tonight?)

Toi: Oui, carrément ! (Yes, totally!)

Eux: Cool. On connaît une boîte qui n’est pas mal. (Cool. We know a club that isn’t bad.)

(At the club, which is packed)

Eux: C’est blindé ! On s’installe là bas ? (It’s packed! Let’s sit over there?)

Toi: Ça marche. Je vous offre le premier coup. (That works. I’ll pay the first round.)

Eux: Cool.

Toi: On prend des shooters ! (We’re taking shots!)

(Several rounds later)

Toi: Je suis crevé(e), j’y vais. (I’m spent, I’m leaving.)

Eux: Ok. On va rester un peu plus. Rentre-bien toi ! (OK. We’re going to stay a bit more. Get home safely!)

Toi: Bisous ! À plus ! (Kisses! See you later!)

 

Now, à toi de jouer (it’s your turn to play).

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