General Information >About Biarritz

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About Biarritz

Biarritz is a city in the southwestern of France on the Bay of Biscay, on the Atlantic coast. It is a luxurious seaside town and is popular with tourists and surfers. Biarritz is famous for its coast and the rocks in the sea. The town is only 18 km from the Spanish border.

Biarritz became famous in the 19th century when Napoleon III and Empress Eugénie built their own summer palace overlooking the sea, which is now the Hôtel du Palais.

To do
Popular tourist attractions include the church of Sainte Eugenie, a Russian Orthodox Church, and the Museum of the Sea with a lot of interesting animals like different kinds of fish, anemones, sharks, and seals in aquariums. It is also worthwile to pay a visit to the Museum of Asian Art, the lighthouse and the French market ‘Les Halles’ where you can obtain local specialties.

Biarritz belongs to Basque Country, which is a 1000 year-old country of which the origin remains mysterious. The Basque country is comprised of seven provinces, four situated in Spain and three in France. French is the official language. There are also a few people speaking the Basque language in Biarritz, however this is not considered an official language.

Biarritz has a mild, humid oceanic climate. The weather is mild throughout the year.
The average day temperature in Biarritz in September is about 20 – 25 degrees.

The international dialing code: +33
Area code for Biarritz: 0559
Emergency: 112

Electrical Current in France is 220 volts and most sockets are two pin.

No vaccinations are required to enter France.

Money & Banking facilities
The official currency is the Euro.
There are branches of a lot of major banks across the city. The banks are open 5 days a week. Most banks are closed between 12:30 – 13:45.

Passport and visa
Citizens of EU countries, EEA countries, Switzerland, the US, Canada, and New Zealand do not need a visa to enter France, and can stay for up to ninety days. Citizens of several other countries can also travel with a valid passport only. Please check with the Frech consulate or embassy. A list can also be found on the French Diplomacy site.

All other passport holders must obtain a visa before arrival in France from French Consulates in their country.

Time difference
France is in the Central-European time-zone, which means one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.

In France, all prices shown include tax and service (the latter is around 15% of the total price). However, if the service has been particularly good you may wish to leave a tip in order to show your appreciation. As a general rule, the amount is 5 to 10% of the total bill.