US to France Power Adapter: What Plug Do I Need in France? (2019)

Updated on May 28, 2019 by Asher Fergusson

Info on power adapter plugs for France

France is the most visited country in the world –from Paris and Normandy to the Riviera and the Alps, it’s not hard to see why. If you’re getting ready togo to France, don’t let poor planning ruin your vacation. Make sure you bring the right clothes for the season and all the essentials you’ll need. Don’t forget to put a US to France power adapter on your packing list, so you’ll be able to keep your devices charged while you’re traveling. That way, you’ll have no trouble taking pictures, using mapping apps, and staying in touch with people back home.

Power Outlets in France

France uses two different types of electrical sockets: C and E. Type C outlets are ungrounded and have two round holes. There’s just one difference between Type C and Type E: Type E also has a grounding prong that sticks out from the wall. This type is primarily found in countries that have historical ties to France. In Paris and throughout the country, Type E outlets are more common.

Both types are commonly set into a circular indentation in the wall, so plugs with a large head that isn’t round will require an adapter, even if they’re Type C or E. As is common throughout Europe, the French electrical grid operates on a frequency of 50 Hz and a voltage of 230V.

France Power Adapter

One of the questions all first-time travelers ask is, “What plug do I need in France?”

To be compatible with a French outlet, a plug must have a few characteristics: two round pins, a head that can fit into the round indentation, and either a round grounding hole or a head that’s small enough to avoid the grounding pin. While you can get away with an adapter that just has two pins and a small head, it’s safer to use one that can accommodate the grounding pin. When you buy your US to France power adapter, look for one with the round grounding hole.

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Electricity in France

Electrical infrastructure across France is generally of high quality. Power outages primarily occur during storms, particularly in rural areas. In some cases, electrical fluctuations have also been caused by employee strikes at French power plants. It’s unlikely you’ll experience a blackout during your trip, though, whether you’re in Paris or the countryside.

Do I need a voltage converter for France?

Unlike the U.S. (but like most other countries), France’s electrical grid uses a voltage of 230V, which means you’ll need a converter to use devices rated below 220V. Appliances that produce heat, like blow dryers and irons, are usually rated at 110V in the U.S. If you plug in one of these devices in France without a voltage converter, it will most likely destroy them and could cause a fire.

You have a few options for dealing with these devices. You can leave them at home and do without for your trip (or look for hotels that provide them). You can order special versions of those appliances that are either rated at 220V or are dual-voltage (meaning you can switch between 110/120V and 220/240V depending on where you are). Or, you can bring a US to France voltage converter to use during your trip.

Other France Packing List Items

  1. Neck Wallet
  2. Paris, unfortunately, has a bad problem with pickpocketing, especially in the more touristy neighborhoods. To make sure you don’t become a victim, store your valuables in a neck wallet while you’re out. Unlike a bag or pocket, it will be nearly impossible for someone to access your neck wallet without you noticing.

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  3. Packing Cubes
  4. If you want to stay more organized on the road, packing cubes will be a game changer. No more digging through your entire suitcase to find the tank top that fell to the bottom. Instead, you can just pull our your packing cube for tops and know it’ll be there.

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  5. Lipstick-Sized Charger
  6. If you’re constantly using your smartphone for the mapping app, camera, or flashlight, the battery will drain pretty quickly. Fortunately, a tiny charger that easily fits in your palm will allow you to recharge it throughout the day.

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  7. Extra Phone Charging Cables
  8. The other thing you’ll need to keep your phone charged while you’re traveling is a charging cable. These are easy to misplace, or leave behind in a hotel room, so it pays to bring an extra one.

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  9. Jet Lag Relief Pills
  10. France is six hours ahead of the East Coast of the U.S. – and that’s enough to cause serious jet lag in many people.To reduce its effect on you, pack some jet lag relief pills. They’ll help you adjust to your new time zone faster, so you don’t end up going to bed at 6:00pm.

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  11. A VPN
  12. You’re not going to encounter banned websites in France, but using a VPN is a good idea whenever you travel. It will protect your privacy and keep you safe from hackers, which is especially important when you’re using different public Wi-Fi networks all the time.

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  13. Travel Insurance for the France
  14. U.S. health insurance usually won’t cover anything in other countries, so you should always get travel insurance when you go abroad. Otherwise, if you fall ill, sprain your ankle, or get into a car accident, you’ll be stuck paying your medical bills out of pocket. Hopefully, none of those things will happen while you’re in France, but it’s better to have an insurance plan just in case.

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Other FAQs about traveling in France

1.When to travel to France?

Summertime is tourist season in France, thanks to the sunny weather between June and August. But that means places are more crowded, prices are higher, and things book up far in advance. Most Parisians go on vacation in August, making it the top month to avoid. The city is populated largely by tourists, and other destinations are crowded with French travelers.

The other busy tourist season in France is around the holidays, from mid-December to mid-January. In some places, the holiday season is even more crowded and expensive than the summer. If you can, visit France in the shoulder seasons of spring or fall instead. The weather will still be pleasant in most parts of the country, but you’ll be able to find better deals and also have fewer crowds to contend with.

2. What’s the weather like in France?

France is a fairly temperate country overall, although the weather varies considerably by region. Paris doesn’t generally experience extreme temperatures or get much snow, though rain is common. On France’s Atlantic coast, the winters are mild but rainy, and the summers are humid; Brittany, in the northwestern corner, is the wettest area of the country. Eastern France has warm summers and colder winters, as well as heavy snowfall in the mountains. Southern France, including the Mediterranean coast,is the warmest part of the country, experiencinghot summers and dry, mild winters.

What to do in Paris?

As one of the most beloved cities in the world, Paris could occupy you for weeks. There are the obvious things to do, of course, and they shouldn’t be missed – the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and the Arc de Triomphe, for starters.

Don’t overlook the Musee d’Orsay, the Basilique du Sacré-Coeur, or the Catacombs of Paris either. Most importantly, save plenty of time to just walk around the city. Not sure where to wander? Start with Montmartre, the Marais, or the Latin Quarter.

3. Where to go in France?

Every corner of France offers different things to do and see. All of France’s major cities – including Bordeaux, Nice, and Marseilles – have more than enough food, culture, and history to keep you busy for days.Visit the Loire Valley for the wine, the Riviera for the beaches, or Normandy for a sobering history lesson.

For an active vacation, you can ski or hike in the Alps, surf in Biarritz, or kayak theGorges du Verdon (France’s Grand Canyon). You can’t go to France without seeing some of its famous castles and palaces as well, like Chenonceau, the Château d’Angers, and Versailles, plus the iconic Mont Saint-Michel. If you visit in December, the Christmas markets in Strasbourg, Montpelier, and Bordeaux are some of the best.

4. How to Get Around in France?

Thanks to sophisticated public transportation systems, it’s very easy to get around in most of France. The country is famous for its long-distance trains, including the high-speed TGV. France’s rail system, known as the SNCF, connects much of the country,and is comfortable and efficient.

Long-distances buses go to some more remote areas that the train doesn’t serve, and are cheaper than the train (but also slower and less comfortable). The ride-sharing service BlaBlaCar is also quite popular in France, and renting a car is feasible as well.

Getting around within most cities in France is usually pretty straightforward as well. All the major cities have bus, train, and/or tram systems, and Uber is available nearly everywhere.