There’s certainly no shortage of French blogs, written by natives, expats, travel gurus, foodies… And they cover all corners of the country, writing about France and every aspect of its culture. Many of them are niche, while others take a more general stance. The best count their followers in thousands and come with stratospheric figures in social media too.
In fact, we’ve made it an annual effort at this time of year to seek out the best of the best writing about France. You can see who made the list in 2017 and 2016 too or explore our favourite French food blogs too.
Choosing five is, therefore, no easy task. But we’ve taken a good look at what’s out there and come up with our list. This year, we’ve gone for expert travel tips, family-friendly fun, candid restaurant reviews, expat insight and lots of photos of France. Read on to discover our pick of the five best French blogs for 2018.
2018’s best blogs about France
Tip after tip after tip
Janice Chung describes herself as “an avid runner from Toronto” but she also turns out to be a real fan of France. She’s visited the country over 30 times and as a result is something of an expert. Jan’s big thing is saving time and money, and that’s the main objective of her blog, France Travel Tips. But the blog also makes a great guide to France and what to see and do there.
Jan’s take on France… She says it began as her escape from work but has since become her oasis and a place where she feels truly “bien dans sa peau” (good in her skin). Despite not living in the country, she knows the tourist trail like the back of her hand and takes you on a journey around the country (she’s covered a lot in 32 visits).
The site’s super easy to navigate and the handy “Start here” tab comes packed with advice, tips and information. We like the Google map locating all the places Jan has visited and covers in her blog, and the variety of information. This is a website that lists 10 dos and don’ts in France along with money saving tips, out-of-the-box experiences and practical advice.
There are even some downloadable pdfs covering some fun basics such as “how to get your meat cooked”. Her newsletter offers a weekly tip and would make a perfect addition to any France fan’s inbox.
Why take a look
A great site for newbies in France and veteran visitors too. Jan offers a gold mine of information as well as lots of tips to help you get the most out of your trip to France.
En famille in a van
Brit Richard and his family (wife and two daughters) got into a campervan in 2015 and set off for Europe. 3 years and 35 countries later, they’ve notched up 54,000 miles between them and discovered 450 adventures en famille. The Life in our Van blog documents these and gives you a unique insight into seeing France (and the other 34 countries) with kids in tow.
The very family friendly feel to the site. Lots of videos and photos showcase regions and experiences with France taking centre stage as obviously one of their favourite countries. Richard’s guides to French cities have a totally family stance, a perspective that tends to be relegated to a small section in guidebooks or not mentioned at all.
Life in our Van gets up to all sorts of things – the family go cycling round vineyards, whitewater rafting and discover hidden spots on the French coastline. Richard and his wife certainly do encourage their girls to “embrace a bit of adventure”. The blog covers it all comprehensively and you even get an insight into things to do when it’s raining in Strasbourg say.
Would-be campervan trippers will find lots of tips and campsite reviews – always useful when you’re on the road. And of course, each review tells it from a family perspective.
Why take a look
You’re looking for things to do with the kids in France and/or fancy a road trip of your own. And you’re also in search of some inspiration for that next adventure. Sea cliff jumping anyone?
Say yes to France
Oui in France began life in 2012 when New Jersey-born Diane arrived in the Loire Valley. The site has now become a giant source of information, practical advice and a tongue-in-cheek look at life in France for an expat.
Blogging about France from an expat’s point of view is hardly new, but Diane brings a fresh take to those newbie experiences. She firmly believes in “making the most of every moment” and so there’s a strong healthy lifestyle element to her blog. She also includes different perspectives to the whole expat experience.
Take learning French for example. Her articles are unusual – one piece looks at “what we can learn from Bradley Cooper speaking French”. And they all include videos and pictures to bring each article to life. She also goes behind the scenes to visit the ‘real’ France. For example, one of her latest posts documents her visit to a French bakery at 4 o’clock in the morning to video how they make their 1,000 daily baguettes and create the perfect macaron.
French husband Tom also features and answers blog visitors’ questions. The ‘Ask Tom Tuesday’ section gives Diane a great excuse to provide some insight into French culture and how it’s so very different to her native America.
Why take a look
You like your information about France to come with a good sprinkling of humour and enjoy articles with plenty of videos and tips. You’re also looking for some good advice on speaking French (check out the ‘Quick French Lesson’ section).
À table with the good, the bad and the ugly
La Table d’Ogre run by Alexandre Fünfrock, a foodie grad from Ferrandi Paris culinary school, tells French dining as it is. His blog reviews restaurants throughout France (the majority in Paris) and there’s also a smattering of hotel reviews.
Alexandre takes a practical approach to his reviews and is crystal clear in his intentions. You’ll find no hifalutin or flowery phrases. Nor a foodie writer trying to be clever. Instead, he goes for a more practical approach by dividing restaurants into three clear categories (gold, blue and red) and applying the same criteria to all.
Each review takes a lengthy look at the food with photos of lots of dishes plus the menus and wine lists so you know what to expect. Most of his maximum 20-point score goes on the food (15 points possible) and Alexandre recognises a good dish when he sees one even if it’s not his favourite taste.
The blog is bilingual, although we found the English translation a little convoluted at times, but you do get the idea.
Why take a look
You’re looking for good restaurants across the price range – Alexandre’s reviews go from wallet-splitting Michelin to budget-friendly under €40 per person. He has around 120 reviews for restaurants in Paris and they all come with the date he visited so you know if he’s been recently.
Snapping France city by city
Livia, originally from Australia, lived in France for several years before returning Down Under. Her blog Chamelle Photography showcases many places in France and reviews festivals, art exhibitions and films giving you a real flavour of La France.
The pictures for a start. The blog opens with Livia holding pink balloons against a backdrop of the Eiffel Tower and spring in Paris and this stunning image sets the scene for the whole site. Livia offers articles on some 20 French cities including the best known as well as a smattering of those you perhaps haven’t heard of. Each comes with lots of information on sights and things to do – including those off the beaten tourist trail – and, of course, plenty of lovely photos.
Livia also takes a look at four regions and typical French festivals – her photos of the Nice Carnival really cheer up a grey day – as well as art exhibitions and film reviews. She also provides lots of practical information such as when’s the best time to visit Aix-en-Provence and there are handy Google maps so you can place a particular city.
Why take a look
You love great photography and French cities. Livia’s blog is particularly strong on pictures of hidden corners (that secret fountain, concealed patio, stunning façade…) and unusual angles giving you the chance to discover a side to places in France that you never knew existed.
Take to the water with French Waterways
But no matter many French blogs you read, there’s simply no substitute for discovering the real thing yourself. France is famous for its waterways that crisscross the country and offer unique insights into French landscapes, cuisine and culture. Check out French Waterways for some true inspiration.
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