What To Give A French Person As A Gift?

When we think of French people, we think (somewhat stereotypically!) of strings of onions, striped berets, garlic, and French bread. But what to give a French person as a gift, if you don’t want to buy into all these outdated ideas? Let’s have a look at some good options!

What To Give A French Person As A Gift?

what to give a french person as a gift

The first thing to think about when you are wondering what to give a French person as a gift is the same thing you need to consider when giving a gift to anyone – what do they like?

If the French person in question is a good friend, the gift giving will be easier, as presumably you know them and their likes and dislikes.

However, if they are not within your close friends’ circle it can be a little more tricky! We have a few solid ideas for you so that you’re not left scratching your head:


Wine is always a great gift, isn’t it? Bearing in mind that France is one of the homes of very nice wines, you should make sure it is a quality bottle.

Do a little homework, and bring them a bottle that is not just swiped from the bargain shelf – maybe even wine that comes from where they do?

If the French person you are giving the gift to is teetotal, you can still give wine as a gift – there are a great many non alcohol options out there that taste great.


Who doesn’t love receiving flowers as a gift? They are bright and cheery, and they can last for a long time, making the person think of you every time they look at them.

If you know what sort of flowers they like then so much the better! Just try to ensure that you get a really good bunch, such as a hand-tied bouquet from a florist – this shows much more thought than a cheap supermarket bunch.

Finally, try to establish if they suffer from hayfever or allergies before you present your posy! And if they have cats, definitely avoid giving lillies.


This gift is one that is sure to raise a smile! Chocolates are almost always gratefully received, and they can be incredibly fancy these days.

Choose a really nice box of chocolates, preferably something a bit unusual that they will not have seen during their weekly supermarket shop.

If the person has a dairy or nut allergy then chocolates can be a bit more of a problem – try to find out beforehand so that you don’t end up accidentally poisoning them.

What To Bring To A French Person’s House?

I was always brought up to never arrive to anyone’s house empty handed. If you are going for a meal then a bottle of wine, or for a daytime visit then maybe some nice biscuits.

But what do you bring to a French person’s house? Without trying to be too stereotypical, you should definitely bring something for your hosts.

  • A nice bottle of wine. Assuming your hosts are not teetotal, a fancy bottle of wine is always welcome as a gift.
  • Chocolates. Who doesn’t like a good box of chocolates? Again, you should check the dietary requirements first, but this is always a sensible gift idea.
  • A house plant. If you don’t fancy bringing food, how about an addition to their pot plant collection? Just ensure that it is easy to care for, so you aren’t adding extra stress to their life!
  • Flowers. If your hosts already have house plants, or you are not sure that they would like one, flowers are always a good bet.
  • Home made food. As long as you are sure that no one is allergic to any of your ingredients, a home cooked cake, dessert or even a full meal will always be a gift that is appreciated.

For a few more ideas, this video will give you some tips on giving a gift to a French person:


What Is Considered Rude In French Culture?

When you are giving a gift to anyone, regardless of where they’re from, you always want to avoid inadvertently offending them.

Giving a gift is always appreciated, but do try to avoid any pitfalls that might offend people.

Remember that everyone is different, regardless of what culture they come from, so it is important to get to know the person you are giving a gift to.

If you do not know them and you want to make sure your gift to a French person is well received, there are only a few loose rules to follow:

Make sure your gift is good quality. This stands whether the gift in question is food, wine, or anything else. If you wouldn’t like it in your house, don’t take it to theirs!

Don’t arrive empty handed. If you are invited to a French person’s home, the most important thing is to bring SOMETHING.

Leave your expectations at home. Many people like to politely wait to open their gifts, but this is not very common in French culture. It is seen as a compliment to have your gift admired as soon as you give it!

What Do French People Love The Most?

As always, this question should be thought about carefully and not based on cultural stereotypes – not every French person likes the same things!

This being said, there are some things that just about everyone will love to receive – whether this is food, drink, or pretty things.

A good rule of thumb when giving a gift is to decide whether you yourself would like it. Ok, if you are into tarantulas and your giftee is arachnophobic then this is not a good idea!

Something that is thoughtful, caring and quality is usually the best way to work out what to gift someone.

If you know them well then just get them something based on their tastes and interests; if you do not know them then go for something nice and innocuous.

Final Words

Working out what to give your French friend as a gift can be tricky, but with a little thought you can find the perfect gift that will make their day.

Always remember that you should base your gifts on what a person actually likes, not just what their culture may be!