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Can I visit France from UK without having booked accommodation?

Brexit has impacted certain elements of travel to the EU for British visitors but it is still possible to visit and find a hotel when here

20 May 2021
Woman walking with a suitcase

For people who like to take spontaneous holidays, it is still possible to visit France from the UK without booking accommodation in advance Pic: Song_about_summer / Shutterstock

Reader question: I read your article about what to do if you are visiting France from the UK and planning to stay with friends or family. But what if you want to visit now without having any accommodation arranged in advance? 

It is still possible for people from the UK to visit France without pre-booking accommodation.

Officially, you would need to prove to border agents that you have the financial means to cover your stay. 

In practice however, people coming from countries that do not require a short-term Schengen visa – the UK falls into this category – have not in the past been asked to present extra documents such as proof of their finances.

The Connexion asked readers from the US, Australia, and other non-EU countries that do not require a short-term Schengen visa to visit France, and none reported needing to provide this to enter France.

You can read here our article on the attestations d’accueil – a document that provides proof that a non-EU visitor to the EU is planning to stay with a friend or family member and not in paid accommodation. 

Two French immigration lawyers told The Connexion that a formal attestation d’accueil from the host’s mairie is not required for UK nationals coming to visit friends and family in France.

However this document, and other items such as proof of finances, can be asked for at the border according to the letter of the law.

Official rules for entering France without pre-paid accommodation

The French government’s Brexit information website states the following:

“If a hotel booking is not produced as proof of accommodation, the minimum daily amount for staying in France will be €120.”

This means our reader would technically need to have the equivalent of €120 for every day they plan to stay in France. 

For a visitor with pre-paid accommodation, the amount is lowered to €65 for every day of their stay, officially.

If they have paid accommodation for only a part of their stay, they would need €65 for every day they have accommodation and €120 for every day they do not.

If they have proof of private accommodation (staying with a friend or family member), they need only €32.50 for each day of their stay.

The website does not state how visitors should prove their finances. 

The website Schengen Visa Info suggests various solutions, including bank statements from the previous three months, cash, or traveller’s cheques.

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