France: Travel Health Information

Known for its art, food, and wine, France is a country with a lot to offer. Travellers can visit the Mona Lisa in the Louvre, take a stroll down the Champ-Élysées and take-in the Eiffel Tower, or explore France’s diverse landscapes - from the Alps in the east to its beaches in the south.


The standards for patient care and medical services in France may differ from your home country. France has public and private health sectors that both provide a high standard of care. It is common for doctors and nurses to speak at least some English, especially emergency healthcare workers. Healthcare is accessible in most regions of France, but an uneven distribution of physicians means that some areas are more well-serviced than others.

In the event of a medical emergency, contact your travel health insurance company immediately. Hospitals in France typically require upfront payment, regardless if you have travel health insurance. Ensure that you have accessible funds to cover upfront fees and adequate travel health insurance. Before you depart, check with your insurer about the extent of their coverage in France.

France has many well-stocked pharmacies and in most areas, there will be at least one pharmacy open on Sundays. Prescriptions for medications must be obtained from a doctor and prescription drugs cannot be purchased without one. Pharmacists are trained and licensed.

If you are travelling with medication, check with France’s embassy, consulate, or Ministry of Health for details on medication allowances and restrictions. If your medication is a psychotropic or narcotic, you can review France’s regulations on the International Narcotics Control Board. Note that these sources may provide incomplete or out-of-date information.

Road safety

Roads in France are well maintained. Seat belts must be worn by all passengers in vehicles at all times and is strictly enforced. Cycling is popular in France for locals and tourists alike. Helmets are not mandatory when cycling, but should be worn at all times for safety.

Travelling to France?

Before you go, check the list of vaccines and relevant health risks for France. For personalized advice, check out our Travel Health Planner to get health information that’s tailored to all the destinations on your itinerary:

Travel health planner

Need a doctor?

IAMAT-affiliated doctors are available in France.

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France At A Glance

Capital: Paris

Population: 67.12 million

Official language: French

Time zone: Central European Time (CET), Central European Summer Time (CEST)

Emergency #: 112

Vaccinations required: No

Risk of malaria: No

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