British Embassy, Paris: 00 33 144 513100

Emergency services: Dial 112

Marseilles Tourist Office: (00 33 826 500500;, 4 La Canebière

Local laws and etiquette

French law requires that you always have personal ID about your person, so keep your passport on you.

If driving, you must have a fluorescent yellow bib in the car. It’s to be put on should you break down on a busy road and need to be visible to other motorists – and it’s a legal requirement.

When introduced to someone, shake him or her by the hand. All that cheek-kissing comes a little later.

Note that, when offered something (a fill-up of your wine glass, more bread, a minor treat), simply saying “Merci” indicates refusal. If you want more, say: “Oui, s’il vous plait.”

Round-the-clock snacking is far less common in France than in the UK – as is eating or drinking in the street. French practices are loosening, but you’re still unlikely to draw admiring glances if you’re walking along at 4pm with pizza in one hand, a can of beer in the other.

The basics

Currency: Euro

Telephone code: Dial 00 33 491 for Marseille numbers from abroad, 0491 from inside France

Time difference: +1 hour


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