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US to France Power Adapter: What Plug Do I Need? (2024)

US to France Power Adapter: What Plug Do I Need? (2024)
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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 to go 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.

You also don’t want to risk the integrity of your electronics by packing low-quality equipment that could damage them, so use this quick guide as your packing protocol!

See our product selection criteria and guidelines here.

Which power outlets do they use in France?

France power outlet
Here is an actual photo of a
France power outlet

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.

What kind of power adapter do I need for France?

France power adapter
Recommended France power adapter available on ➜

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.

We recommend this Universal Adapter that will work throughout France and most of Europe in addition to 100+ countries around the world. It comes with a lifetime replacement guarantee and also a built-in fuse protector to safeguard your expensive electronics.

We love that it works for most of Europe so you won’t have to buy new adapters for every country!

We recommend this Universal Adapter that will work throughout France and most of Europe in addition to 100+ countries around the world.

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Other France Packing List Items

In addition to your US-to-France power adapter these items will help you on your travels. Also, check out our France packing list for more inspiration and ideas.

  • 1. Neck Wallet / Passport Holder

    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 back pocket, it will be nearly impossible for someone to access your neck wallet without you noticing. I use it to hold my cash, credit card, phones, passports, and travel documents during busy days when we can’t afford to lose any of these things. It also has RFID-blocking material so no thieves can scan your financial data without your knowledge.

    neck wallet

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  • 2. European SIM Phone Card

    Skip the price-gouging from your domestic phone provider, get a European SIM card that will grant you a local phone number for your time in France. It works in 30 countries but is supported by the #1 network in France, which means you won’t have to suffer through delays or gaps in your coverage. It gives you 1K text messages and enough data for a few weeks or a month if you consume less data. It’s way better than becoming a victim of outrageous roaming rates, and it easily activates once you arrive in Europe.

    European SIM Phone Card

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  • 3. Virtual Private Network (VPN)

    A VPN is a necessity for international travel. I learned this personally when my credit card number was stolen at our Airbnb in Paris. Unfortunately, these public networks (even the ones you think are safe and reliable) are not safe and hackers are always waiting to steal your private data like passwords, financial info, and social security numbers. This goes for the airport’s free network, cafes, coffee shops, hotels, or anywhere else that nosy neighbors could be monitoring your online activity.

    Not to mention, you’re not going to encounter banned websites in France, so a VPN is a good idea to maintain privacy and obtain full access to the internet, just like at home. You don’t want to struggle with streaming on Netflix, posting to Facebook, or accessing your PayPal – but a VPN will give you access to 6000+ servers in 60 countries, so you can surf basically any part of the internet. For a few dollars a month, we can’t recommend it enough.

    how a vpn works

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  • 4. Lipstick-Sized Portable Charger

    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. This allows you to utilize the GPS or call for a ride in an emergency (or look up your super French-sounding hotel address when you’re lost in a completely different arrondissement).

    Lipstick-Sized Portable Charger

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  • 5. Windproof Travel Umbrella

    There is so much to see in France, you don’t want the rain to slow down your plans. France is beautiful in the rain but bring a compact travel umbrella that allows you to continue on even if you get caught in a windy storm. We recommend a reliable, well-constructed travel umbrella with an automatic open/close function so you can enter/exit your destinations with ease. It weighs only 1-pound and covers 2 people.

    travel umbrella

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  • 6. Travel Insurance for France

    Some travelers don’t realize that their domestic provider does not extend overseas (this includes Medicare, Medicaid, and many other providers that only offer in-country coverage). When jet-setting, you can always expect the unexpected and no one plans to get sick. Our friend realized that when she broke her arm hiking in Europe. Thankfully, she had insurance and didn’t have to pay out-of-pocket for the nearly $35K transfer to a hospital and $8K treatment. Phew!

    We like to use Faye for their streamlined approach to travel insurance and the thoughtful add-ons like “cancel for any reason” and vacation rental coverage. They will cover you for anything from flight delays to being pickpocketed on the metro. International hospital bills would cost a fortune in France, and you don’t need to pay any of it on your own. Go with the first 100% digital provider (they’re the best we’ve ever worked with!) It’s sheer peace of mind and for a small cost, you won’t regret it.

    Faye Travel Insurance

    Get a quote in less than 60 seconds with Faye ➜

  • 7. Jet Lag Relief

    France is 6 hours ahead of the East Coast of the U.S. and 9 hours ahead of the West Coast. That’s enough to cause serious jet lag in many people, on top of a drastic time-zone change and long travel days. To reduce this cumulative 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 6:00 p.m.

    jet lag relief

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  • 8. Luggage Straps

    I wouldn’t fly to France without attaching these TSA-friendly luggage straps. They will ensure everything stays shut even if there is baggage mishandling, especially since zippers are notorious for popping open when overpacking is involved. Another major benefit is being able to find your bags quickly at arrivals since they stand out in a crowd. The bright colors are a great identifier and these have held up for us on some long, rough journeys!

    I should mention that baggage loss is fairly common in France, call it the c’est la vie lifestyle but the rates for misplaced luggage is pretty high at popular airports like Paris’s Charles De Gaulle (CDG), so you’ll be thankful for the built-in ID tag that ensures someone can easily contact you if your bags go temporarily missing. These are a small investment that will limit a lot of potential issues on your international flight.

    luggage straps

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  • 9. Quick-Dry Travel Towel

    We never leave the country without this compact travel towel. It’s light as a feather yet dries 10x faster than cotton, so it’s great for beach trips to the Southern Mediterranean coast or chilly days touring through Normandy. It’s super versatile since you can use it as a wrap for modest churches, a seat cover on less-than-sanitary metros, as a packing cushion, and more.

    Quick-Dry Travel Towel

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  • 10. Travel Clothesline

    Everyone loves this travel clothesline, it’s a gem that allows you to hang anything “the French way” to air dry. You never know if your accommodation will have a built-in washer or dryer, so this expandable line frees you up to hand-wash things and leave them in the fresh air to dry. You can hang this outside, across your patio, or even in the shower if you’re on an inside suite or cruise ship. It’s great for swimsuits and towels, and comes equipped with clothes pins.

    Travel Clothesline

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  • 11. Hanging Toiletry Bag

    Europe is notorious for small bathrooms (even the U.K. appropriately named them “water closets” because there’s only enough room to handle business and spin around once in the shower!) In case you are dealing with a nearly closet-sized room and don’t have any storage room or countertop space – this hanging toiletry bag creates a built-in shelf. Hang it on any door, pole, or hook and it will vertically optimize your products so you can easily find everything without sprawling them around the hotel room.

    Be sure you have TSA-approved toiletry bottles so you don’t have to throw your favorite products away at the security checkpoint. Everything will fit neatly in the 4 giant compartments of this bag, plus it has 3 smaller pockets on the outside. It’s one of our favorite discoveries because helps you maintain your self-care routine (and your sanity!) as you hop around Europe.

    hanging toiletry bag

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  • 12. Activated Charcoal

    My wife actually got sick at a Michelin-star restaurant in France. It goes to show that even the most gourmet meals can cause food poisoning. Anything from contaminated tap water (ice in your Coca-Cola), street food, or fine dining cuisine can lead to illness, so pack these activated charcoal supplements. These will stop any harmful bacteria from absorbing into your stomach and help you get back on your feet way faster.

    Activated Charcoal

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  • 13. Packing Cubes

    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 out your packing cube for tops and know it’ll be there. We reserve one for essential items that we would need on excursions, one for pants, one for socks, and so on. This set even comes with 2 bonus laundry bags and you can go for the 3-pack if you need a more modest starter kit. Regardless of the quantity, you will LOVE them!

    packing cubes

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  • 14. TSA-Approved Luggage Locks

    I would not advise flying internationally without luggage locks on your checked bags. We had an expensive pair of sunglasses stolen from our checked bag and you never know who can go through your items when they’re out-of-sight at the airport or when passed to a cruise-line attendant. These locks are highly secure and useful for your backpack in crowded areas prone to pickpocketing (like on the metro or at the Eiffel Tower), and we use them for things like city and hotel lockers.

    luggage locks

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  • 15. Packable “Just in Case” Bag

    The souvenirs and shopping in France are arguably second to none. You’ll definitely pick up a few trinkets and treats along the way, so pack a “just in case” bag. With a duffle material, it is virtually weightless for the flight over, but on the flight back, you can consider it your personal item bag to carry on the plane (full of goodies!) I’d fill it with European olive oil, balsamic vinegar, foie gras, French perfumes, native teas like lavendar, espresso beans, and more.

    Packable “Just in Case” Bag

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  • 16. Reusable Wine Bags (Leak-Proof)

    You’ll likely drink some wine in France between the famous Champagne region, Loire Valley, and Bordeaux. Take some of these varietals home with you in these triple-layered packing cushions. You can expand them or deflate them as needed, so they take up no space on your journey to France. But you’ll have peace of mind that the airline staff won’t throw your suitcase roughly – damaging the wine bottle and covering all of your clothes in inky, purple vino!

    For even the least delicate transits, these reusable, leak-proof sleeves will protect your glass items like food, perfume, oils, and alcohol.

    Wine wings

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What’s the electricity and power supply like in France?

France powerElectrical infrastructure across France is generally of high quality. Power outages primarily occur during storms, particularly in rural areas.

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?

Most devices are dual voltage (including laptops, mobile phones, tablets, and cameras) and do not require a converter.

There are a few exceptions, namely blow dryers, hair straighteners, and curling irons. These high-powered appliances are usually rated at 110V in the U.S., so they are not compatible with France’s 230V outlets. If you plug in one of these devices in France without a voltage converter, it will most likely destroy them and could cause some sparks to fly. If you want to use your American blow dryer in France, you will need a converter.

Other FAQs about traveling in France

  • 1. When to travel to France?

    France sunsetSummertime 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. Be sure to check current France travel advisories before you go.

  • 2. What’s the weather like in France?

    Paris, FranceFrance 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, experiencing hot summers and dry, mild winters.

  • 3. 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.

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  • 4. Where to go in France?

    France hillside cityEvery 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 the Gorges 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.

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  • 5. 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-distance 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 most cities in France is usually pretty straightforward as well. All the major cities have buses, trains, and/or tram systems, and Uber is available nearly everywhere.