The French currency, costs, shopping and banks.
The French currency is the Euro and the Euro is divided into 100 centimes.
One Euro is worth around £0.75 but this can be checked here - http://www.xe.com/
The first thing to say is that when working out your holiday budget it's worth remembering that when you are away you are not spending money at home. A lot of people will say “oh I spent £1000 on holiday” when in fact they'd have spent £500 if they'd stayed at home. If you are camping and cooking-in or doing some other self-catering accommodation then for most people there's really no net cost at all. You'll be able to find food in supermarkets or town shops at much the same prices as at home. Wine and beer will of course be less expensive so that is worth considering. Of course it is possible to self-cater expensively – tins of foie-gras and champagne - as with anywhere else, but you have the option.
I can really only compare France with the UK, but in general you'll find supermarket prices similar, the quality of fruit and veg rather better (and generally in season) and the range excellent – often with a local slant. Shop opening times do vary throughout France but generally they are open all morning to midday, then take a long break of 2-4 hours, then re-open for the afternoon and early evening. Sundays you'll have bakers and some shops open in the morning (supermarkets especially) and Monday can see some shops shut as well. Markets are brilliant for fresh food – often produced by the seller and don't be frightened to try new things – if the French eat it it'll probably be good - Andouilles (tripe sausage) excepted..
Most small towns and larger villages will have a bank with a cash machine. Forget traveller’s cheques and the like as they are hard to cash. Bank hours are as with shops but always closed on Sunday.
A Small Favour
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