Directions in French

Ready to master directions in French? Today’s free audio lesson will give you the essential travel French you need to navigate your way around a French-speaking country.
 
I wish it were as simple as learning the word for 'where' in French and a few French road signs, but there’s a little more to it than that!
 
As you may have already guessed, asking for directions in French is relatively easy… but understanding the directions you are given may be a little more challenging.  But have no fear – just listen to the French pronunciation in the audio and practice saying the French words and phrases aloud, as you imagine yourself strolling around Paris or driving through Provence!

How to ask for directions in French

Où est-ce que je peux trouver la gare, s’il vous plaît ?

Where can I find the train station, please?

Comment est-ce que je fais pour aller à la gare ?

How do I get to the train station?

Est-ce que vous savez comment aller à la gare ?

Do you know where the train station is? (formal)

Est-ce que tu sais comment aller à la gare ?

Do you know where the train station is? (casual)

Another more complete way of asking for directions is by saying…

Excusez-moi, est-ce que vous pouvez me dire où est la gare de train ? S’il vous plaît.

Excuse me please! Could you please tell me where the train station is? (formal)

Excuse-moi, est-ce que tu peux me dire où est la gare de train ? S’il te plaît.

Excuse me please! Could you please tell me where the train station is? (casual)

Here’s a list of some places you might like to go to and places you may pass on the way to getting there.

L’agence de voyage

The travel agency

La rue

The street

La rue commerciale

The shopping centre

Le centre historique

The historic centre

Le poste de police

The police station

L’hôpital

The hospital

Le parc

The park

La mairie

The town hall

Les toilettes publiques

The public restrooms

Le centre ville

The town centre

La banlieue

The suburb

Le monument

The monument

Le bar

The bar

Common directions in French

Here are some words and phrases you might hear when asking for directions…

Gauche

Left

Droite

Right

A gauche

To the left

A droite

To the right

Tout droit

Straight

Au bout de

At the end of

Au début de

At the beginning of

En direction Ouest

To the west

En direction Nord

To the north

En direction Sud

To the south

En direction Est

To the east

Au coin de la rue

Around the corner

La prochaine rue à gauche

The next street to the left.

La prochaine rue à droite

The next street to the right.

La rue suivante

The street after the next.

Le coin

The corner

Le pont

The bridge

En face de

In front of

A coté de

Next to

When someone gives you directions, they’ll tell you that you need to take such-and-such street; turn left, and then follow another street…

Prendre…

Take…

Traverser...

Cross...

Suivre…

Follow

Aller...

Go

You'll want to be able to recognize these French words...

La zone piétone

Pedestrian zone

Arrêtez !

Stop!

Par autobus

By bus

Par voiture

By car

Par train

By train

À pied

On foot

Garer la voiture

To park the car

Où peut-on se garer par ici ?

Where can I park around here?

ESPECIALLY this one...

Attention !

Warning!

And my favorite, which is seen in many French towns, always manages to confuse foreigners (even more)… is Toutes directions (All directions)


It really means “anywhere other than town”!

You might want to ask whether it is far or not…

Est-ce que c’est loin ?

Is it very far?

C’est loin.

It’s far.

Ce n’est pas loin.

It’s not far.

Est-ce que c’est près ?

Is it close by?

C’est près d‘ici.

It’s close by.

Ce n’est pas près d’ici.

It’s not close by.

Well done, you have just finished today’s lesson. I hope you enjoyed it.

After you are done with learning directions try these French vocab lessons on going out in French and around the airport in French, both great lessons that complement this one!

À bientôt!
Marie-Claire Rivière and the Rocket French Team


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