France power adapters - what plugs are used in France?

French power outlet

Summary

The type of power adapter, converter or charger that you'll need to bring when visiting France will all depend on the voltage and type of device that you're trying to charge in a French power outlet. If you do not know which voltage your device can use then please read the section about how to tell the voltage of your device first.

  • If your device can run on 230 volts or is dual voltage and the plug can fit in a French power outlet then it should work in France without needing a plug adapter.
  • If your device can run on 230 volts or is dual voltage but the plug won't fit in a French power outlet you will need a suitable plug adapter for France such a Type E plug adapter [5]. A plug adapter for France (or power adapter) will only change the shape of the plug on your device to fit into a plug outlet found in France, but can't convert the voltage from 230 volts to a different voltage.
  • If your device doesn't run on 230 volts and isn't dual voltage you'll also need a power converter for France to convert the voltage from 230 volts to the correct voltage for your device. You will still need to pack a suitable plug adapter for France if your power converter doesn't use the correct Type E plug adapter.
  • If you only need to recharge your USB devices such as a mobile phone or tablet then a USB travel power adapter will be ideal and it will work with any voltage, but make sure that you bring one which has a Type E plug adapter otherwise you will also need to bring a suitable plug adapter for France.

Warning: If your device won't handle 230 volts used in France you run the risk of an electrical fire hazard, blowing a fuse or damage to your device. Prior to using your device in France please read the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

Background

When organizing a trip it's useful to know in advance if you'll be able to charge all your gadgets that you are bringing along. But by not knowing which wall socket is being used you are likely to bring the wrong adaptor, meaning having to purchase a potentially expensive adaptor on arrival that could be incompatible and cause damage to your device. Varying different standards and voltages can all be daunting when planning on visiting another country if you've never been there before. With only a handful of different types of standards being used in the world this article shows exactly what you'll need in advance to charge your device in France. This page contains links to instructions demonstrating which power adapters you'll need to power your devices when you're travelling to France by using their standard Type E or C 230 volt 50Hz wall outlets, Type E plug outlets will be used by a majority of French. You'll discover power adapters will vary depending on which region you are in therefore we suggest reading the power adapters page for a complete list of regions and countries. We recommend referring to the France Wikipedia page [1] for more details on visiting the location.

France power adapters

Do I need a plug adapter in France?

If the type of plug outlet in France isn't the same as the power plug that you are using then you will need a power adapter. If you are travelling from America then bring a power adapter for France because an American plug won't fit in a French power outlet, and because the voltage is different you will also need to use a power converter for France if your appliance or charger isn't dual voltage which prevents overheating or damage.

What is the best power adapter for France?

The best power adapter for France is a Type E plug adapter [5] which is suitable for powering any 230 volt device or appliance.

What is the best power adapter for France?

France power outlets

What plugs are used in France?

There are two types of power supply used in France, types E and C with the primary power supply being type E:

  • Plug Type C - The power supply (known as a Europlug) can be recognised by 2 circular holes next to each other.
  • Plug Type E - This recessed round plug supply can be recognised by two 4.8mm round holes 19mm adjacent to each other for live and neutral plus a metal earth pin protruding in the top forming a triangle pattern.
What plugs are used in France?

What voltage is used in France?

The standard voltage in France is 230 volts.

What electrical frequency is used in a French power outlet?

The frequency in a French power outlet is 50Hz.

Are plug sockets in France the same as US?

An American plug won't fit in a French power outlet so you will need to use a plug adapter for France. Both the voltage and frequency are different so if your charger or appliance isn't dual voltage you need to use a power converter for France and check that it works with 50hz.

Is the voltage in France the same as in the US?

The voltage from a French power outlet is 230 volts, but 120 volts is used in the US. If your US power charger or appliance doesn't support dual voltage then you will need to use a suitable power converter for a French power outlet which allows a 120 volt American device to work in a 220-240 volt outlet.

France USB chargers

What is a USB travel power charger?

A USB travel charger is a dual voltage charger with interchangeable plugs and multiple USB ports, suitable for travelling abroad.

What USB charger do I need for France?

When travelling with more than just one device then the best travel charger for France to buy is a multiple USB charger which includes compatible plugs like a 4 port USB travel charger [2]. French use two different types of power outlets (types E and C) and bringing this ensures that you are covered for type C.

Because these chargers come with interchangeable pins and can handle 100 volts to 240 volts will mean you can travel to multiple countries around the world simply by changing the heads. If your model of device is compatible with Fast Charge then you will benefit from much quicker recharging times with one of these USB power adapters and additional support for more power demanding devices like tablets. Unlike other adapters having a four port adapter will allow you to charge multiple devices at the same time without needing to pack multiple power chargers or occupying additional power sockets. Because you are only packing a single international travel charger will also keep the weight and size down, making it ideal to fold up and store in hand baggage. Because of their versatility these types of travel adapters can be used at home not just abroad so when you're not on holiday they can sit overnight charging multiple tablets, phones and e-readers with just a single power outlet.

We recommend buying a versatile power adapter like this at your preferred electronics retailer. The multipurpose travel charger illustrated below is the iKits 4 Port USB Wall Charger [2] which has been successfully tested with multiple USB devices in numerous foreign countries.

What USB charger do I need for France?

Why use a travel USB charger for France?

  • Typically travel USB chargers include 4 or more USB charger ports, meaning you should only need to bring one charger to charge all your devices. Instead of bringing 4 individual power chargers you only need to pack one 4 port USB wall charger and power up to 4 devices, thereby cutting down on the weight and size of your baggage.
  • Most travel USB power chargers include swappable plug heads for various regions. This is perfect when visiting multiple countries which will probably use different outlets to France.
  • A good USB power charger is lightweight, compact and rugged - perfect for rigors of travel instead of than risking packing a domestic charger which could be hard to repair or replace in France.
  • USB chargers can accept the 230 volt power outlets in France along with different voltage standards in other countries.
  • It's possible that accommodation or hotel rooms in France only have a single power outlet, by using a travel charger with multiple USB ports allows you to share the single power supply with all your devices rather than waiting to charge each device one by one.
  • Because of their versatile nature they take the uncertainty out of travelling to any unknown country as they are guaranteed to work practically anywhere around the world.
  • Power outlets in airports are often sparse and demand for charging multiple cell phones and tablets from other passengers before a flight can be high, therefore a USB charger with multiple ports and the capability to charge quickly is ideal.
  • Sometimes the power grid in a country can be unstable, a quality travel charger allows for unexpected spikes and prevents damage to any devices attached to it. Trying to repair an overloaded cell phone in France might prove to be problematic and costly.
  • Higher priced USB travel chargers should also feature a power outlet strip to use multiple low powered domestic appliances such as laptops, but note these are unsuitable for high powered appliances such as hair dryers or clothes irons. See our guide on using travel appliances in France for helpful guidelines on the best power adapter for a French power outlet for high wattage devices.
  • Certain cellphones and tablets could pull more than the usual 500 milliamps produced from a standard 5 volt USB adapter to charge or provide fast charge. Quality USB chargers will support fast charging should some of your devices need additional power.
  • On returning home travel USB chargers can also be used by recharging multiple mobile phones and tablets on an overnight basis using a single power outlet.

What is the best USB charger for France?

The is the most compact option for travellers from around the world who only have USB devices, but for visitors also wishing to use their domestic plugs these power adapters provide larger but more versatile solutions. All three power converters offer surge protection which can be crucial when visiting regions with unreliable or unstable power grids. These power converters are supplied with interchangeable type C, I and G plugs covering Continental Europe, America, Australia, United Kingdom, Japan, China and over 150 destinations:

  • BESTEK Portable International Travel Voltage Converter - The BESTEK travel converter has 4 USB charging ports with 3 AC power outlets and is the best selling compact power converter for travellers originating from North America visiting France using type B American plug sockets.
  • ORICO Traveling Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip - Also having 4 USB ports but only 2 AC power outlets the travel adapter from Orico is also aimed at travellers originating from the US using type B plugs. This is a much cheaper alternative to the BESTEK with just one less AC outlet at almost half the price.
  • BESTEK International USB Travel Power Strip - This power strip has just 2 AC outlets but offers a more flexible 5 USB charging ports. This versatile power strip is compatible with both American plugs and popular plug types A, D,E/F, G, H, I, L and N making it ideal for a majority of travellers from around the world visiting France.

Power converters for France

What is the difference between a power converter and a power adapter for France?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a power converter and a power adapter for France?

A small, cheap and lightweight power adapter [8] (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your appliance to slot into a power outlet found in France, however a heavy and bulkier power converter [9] will convert a 230 volt French power outlet to work with a non-230 volt device.

Do I need a voltage converter for France?

If you are visiting France from another country ensure your device can accept a 230 volt supply.

  • If charging a USB device which was purchased in a country which uses a lower voltage such as 110 volts double check the device is dual-voltage (marked with a 100-240 volt notation) else you may need to use an additional International travel voltage converter [11] to prevent the device from overloading when powering up.
  • When supplying power to larger appliances if you are visiting France from a lower 110 volt location you will need to use a much larger Step Down Voltage Converter [10] to convert the voltage from 110 volts to 230 volts.

See the WikiConnections world power outlets page to find out which voltage your country uses.

How can I tell if I have a dual voltage device?

Single voltage hair dryer

How can I tell if I have a dual voltage device?

The easiest way to see if your device is single voltage or dual voltage is to look for either a sticker or numbers printed on the power adapter, or on the device itself, typically on the rear or near to where the power cord sits. The location might vary depending on the make and model of your unit and should also state on the box or in the instruction manual.

  • Single voltage devices might have a specific number - such as 110V.
  • Single voltage devices could also say a small voltage range (20 volts diffence) with a dash to accomodate small voltage fluctuations - such as 220-240V.
  • Dual voltage devices will say a larger voltage range separated with a slash - such as 100/240V.

Travel appliances that can connect to a French power outlet

Clothes iron
clothes iron

Curling iron
curling iron

Hair dryer
hair dryer

Hair straighteners
hair straighteners

Beats Pill speakers which can connect to a French power outlet

Beats Pill
Beats Pill

Beats Pill 2
Beats Pill 2

Jabra Bluetooth speakers which are compatible with a French power outlet

Jabra Solemate
Jabra Solemate

Jabra Solemate Mini
Jabra Solemate Mini

Mobile phones which can be connected to the French power outlet

A mobile phone
mobile phone

Apple iPhones that can connect to the French power outlet

iPhone
iPhone

iPhone 3G
iPhone 3G

iPhone 3GS
iPhone 3GS

iPhone 4
iPhone 4

iPhone 4S
iPhone 4S

iPhone 5
iPhone 5

iPhone 5C
iPhone 5C

iPhone 5S
iPhone 5S

iPhone 6
iPhone 6

iPhone 6 Plus
iPhone 6 Plus

Samsung Galaxy phones that can connect to a French power outlet

Samsung Galaxy S4
Samsung Galaxy S4

A list of Amazon Kindle tablets which work with a French power outlet

Kindle Fire 1st generation
Kindle Fire 1st generation

Kindle Fire 2nd generation
Kindle Fire 2nd generation

Kindle Fire HD 3rd generation
Kindle Fire HD 3rd generation

Kindle Fire HD 6 4th generation
Kindle Fire HD 6 4th generation

Kindle Fire HD 7 2nd generation
Kindle Fire HD 7 2nd generation

Kindle Fire HD 7 4th generation
Kindle Fire HD 7 4th generation

Kindle Fire HD 8.9 2nd generation
Kindle Fire HD 8.9 2nd generation

Kindle Fire HD Kids Edition tablet 4th generation
Kindle Fire HD Kids Edition tablet 4th generation

Kindle Fire HDX 3rd generation
Kindle Fire HDX 3rd generation

Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 3rd generation
Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 3rd generation

Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 4th generation
Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 4th generation

A list of Apple iPads which are compatible with a French power outlet

iPad
iPad

iPad 2
iPad 2

iPad 3
iPad 3

iPad 4
iPad 4

iPad Air
iPad Air

iPad Air 2
iPad Air 2

iPad Mini
iPad Mini

iPad Mini 2
iPad Mini 2

iPad Mini 4
iPad Mini 4

See also

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/France - France Wikipedia page.
  2. IKits 4 Port USB Wall Charger - A universal USB charger capable of charging up to 4 USB devices with swappable international adapters.
  3. Dual voltage travel hair dryer - Folding handle hair dryer with dual voltage suitable for international travel.
  4. Dual voltage travel hair straighteners - Hair straighteners with adjustable temperature and dual voltage for 110 volts and 220 volts suitable for international travel.
  5. Type E plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type E power outlets without converting voltage.
  6. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/ - International Electrotechnical Commission World Plugs
  7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country
  8. https://www.amazon.com/Ceptics-GP-12PK-International-Worldwide-Universal/dp/B01DJEBLQU/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=CFDDSXZJ59CH648AVQ0H&linkCode=ll1&tag=wikiconnections-20&linkId=b865b6ca5e535d710bf1e1b3a790f622 - power adapter
  9. Power converter - A step up step down power converter transformer converts 110-120 volts up to 220-240 volts and 220-240 volts down to 110-120 Volts.
  10. https://www.amazon.com/mn/search/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&bbn=10967761&camp=1789&creative=390957&fst=as%3Aoff&linkCode=ur2&qid=1451321648&rh=n%3A172282%2Cn%3A!493964%2Cn%3A281407%2Cn%3A173541%2Cn%3A10967761%2Cp_n_feature_keywords_browse-bin%3A2888021011%5Cc2888054011&rnid=2887998011&tag=wikiconnections-20&linkId=A6EA2MIBWUPLQKJD - Step Down Voltage Converter
  11. International travel voltage converter - Travel voltage converters change the voltage of an electrical power supply by stepping up or stepping down the voltage and are often compact units which support both plug sockets and USB charging.