France power adapters - what plugs are used in France?

French power outlet

What adapter do I need for France?

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 you are from America travelling to France you will need to use a plug adapter to fit a US plug into a French power outlet. As the voltage is different in France bring a power converter if your device or appliance isn't dual voltage and ensure that your it is compatible with a 50hz power outlet.
  • 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 [6]. 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

What is the best power adapter for France?

The best power adapter for France is a Type E plug adapter [6] which is suitable for powering any 230 volt device or appliance.

What is the best power adapter for France?

What is a power adapter?

A power adapter is a small and cheap plastic adapter which allows an electic outlet in France to accept a different shaped power plug from an appliance from a foreign country.

What does a power adapter for a French power outlet do?

A power adapter enables visitors travelling from a different country to use their electronic and electrical appliances and devices in France by adapting the shape of the power plug from one type to another.

Do I need a power adapter for France?

If the type of French power outlet is different to the power outlet in your home country then you will need a power adapter.

Do I need a plug adapter for France if I'm from America?

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.

Can a European plug work in France?

As there are so many different types of power outlets in Europe there is a possibility that a power adapter that works in another territory in Europe doesn't fit in a French power outlet.

Does a power adapter change the voltage in France?

A power adapter only adapts the shape of a plug to fit into a 230 volt French power outlet and is unable to convert the power to a different voltage. Should you wish to safely use a 100-120 volt appliance then you also need to bring a step down power converter for France.

Where can I buy a power adapter for France?

Power adapters for sale in an airport

Where can I buy a power adapter for France?

Power adapters are typically available in most major airports prior to departure, however the range of adapters might be limited to popular destinations. It is recommended to research the exact type of adapter required prior to shopping at the airport. Look in the travel accessories section of airport newsagents, electronic stores and pharmacists but expect to pay 50% more than regular prices. Airports will be your last chance to buy a power adapter before departure, always check the returns policy to ensure you can easily exchange or refund a faulty or unsuitable product in an airside shop.

On arrival power adapters can be found in local electrical high street shops and drug stores, but always check the build quality first as safety standards might be different in a foreign country as this is important when dealing with electrical goods. Keep in mind that a shopping trip searching for power adapters in an unknown location might be impractical, especially as this needs to happen quickly before batteries run out.

Hotel receptions could have a power adapter for sale, hire or as a complimentary extra for guests; however, availability is normally limited and a hotel might not have the exact type required for your country. If in doubt, call ahead to the hotel first and request a reservation as it is unlikely that an adapter will be found in your room on arrival.

It will more convenient and cheaper to buy the correct power adapter in advance of your trip. High street stores normally sell popular types of travel adapters to popular locations and for widest choice it is recommended to buy a power adapter online.

France power outlets and plug sockets

What plug sockets are used in France?

Type C and E power outlets

What plug sockets are used in France?

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

  • Plug Type C - You can identify this plug outlet by the two round adjacent holes next to each other where the live and neutral pins slide into.
  • Plug Type E - The circular power outlet, technically called the type E power outlet or CEE 7/7 plug, can be identified by two circular adjacent holes next to each other for live and neutral along with one long metal grounding pin protruding in the top in a triangular configuration.

What voltage is used in a French power outlet?

The common residential voltage from a French power outlet is 230 volts.

Do US plugs work in France?

No - an American plug won't work in France because it doesn't fit into a French power outlet without the use of a power adapter. Also, the voltage is different so please use a power converter if your device isn't dual voltage and check that your appliance can work with a 50hz power outlet.

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.

Are electrical plugs in France different in Europe?

Tourists in Europe

Are electrical plugs in France different in Europe?

Various locations in Europe all use different voltages and power outlet types, with eight types of power outlets used in Europe (types C, D, E, F, G, J, K and L) you might find a plug which works with a French power outlet might not function correctly in an outlet in another country. If you intend on visiting more than one destination in Europe it is advised to either bring a multiple power adapter travel set [9] consisting of different types of power adapters, or a more convenient international travel plug adapter [10] as both these options ensure that you are covered for all different power outlet types which you might find. When preparing to travel check this list of power outlets used throughout Europe to understand which power converters and adapters you will require during your trip.

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.

How do I use a 110 volt appliance in France?

Use a step down power converter if you wish to use a 110 volt appliance in France.

France 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 charging multiple USB powered devices when 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 a power converter for France?

Power converters allow travellers to use a 100, 110 or 120 volt electrical device with a 230 volt French power outlet.

Also known as: electrical converter, electrical transformer, voltage converter, power transformer or voltage transformer.

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

A small, cheap and lightweight power adapter [11] (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 [12] will convert a 230 volt French power outlet to work with a non-230 volt device.

Do I need a power converter for France?

If you are visiting France from another country check that the device can be used with a 230 volt power supply.

  • You need a step down power converter [13] if you are travelling from a country that uses 100-120 volts and your device or appliance is incompatible with 230 volts. Read the list of world power outlets guide to see which voltage your country uses.
  • You shouldn't need a power converter if you already own either a 230 volt single voltage device or one that is dual voltage.
  • Typically, devices designed for a lower voltage (for example 110 volts) and then used with 230 volts run the risk of an electrical fire hazard, blowing a fuse or damage to your device.
  • You shouldn't need a converter if you are attempting to charge a smaller electrical device such as a tablet or mobile phone as these are typically support dual voltage and designed for international use, but you should always always check the device for dual voltage support prior to your journey.
  • For powering appliances which draw more power or generate heat (such as hair straighteners and clothes irons) then you will need to use a bulkier higher wattage heavy duty power converter [14].
  • It could be more cost effective to use a smaller robust dual voltage travel appliance than carrying a heavier high wattage power converter just to use your existing domestic appliance.
  • Read these comprehensive guides on how to use curling irons, clothes irons, hair dryers and hair straighteners in French power outlets , along with guides for affordable dual voltage alternatives.

Will I need a power converter if I'm travelling to France from America?

The 230 volts from a plug outlet in France is different to a US outlet, therefore bring a step down power converter if your charger or appliance doesn't support dual voltage.

What kind of converter do I need for France?

You need to use a step down power converter [13] to use any 100-120 volt appliance in a 230 volt French power outlet.

What is the difference between a power transformer and a converter?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a power transformer and a converter?

Converters and transformers are both used to change one voltage to another, but this ambiguity can cause confusion as their purposes are different:

  • Power converters are designed for simple electrical appliances which typically generate heat or use motors such as clothes irons, shavers or hair dryers. Transformers are designed for more complex electronic items such as televisions or games consoles.
  • Buying a power converter is cheaper than buying a power transformer.
  • Power transformers are larger and heavier making them more suited for permanent residential use; for example an expat wishing to use an imported television would need to use a transformer for this purpose.
  • Power converters are more suitable for travellers wishing to bring domestic appliances abroad such as hair dryers or flat irons. However, it is more practical and cost effective to purchase a dual voltage appliance designed for travel rather than a heavier power converter.
  • Power converters are suitable for 2 pin ungrounded appliances, it could be harder to find a converter if you want to use a grounded 3 pin appliance.
  • Transformers can be used constantly however it is recommended that converters are used for no longer than a couple of hours at a time.
  • Shops may sell transformers under the name of converters, for the purposes this guide we will be referring to both converters and transformers as converters.

What voltage does France use?

France uses 230 volts in their standard power outlets.

How to convert 230 volts to 110 volts

  1. Use a step down power converter [13] to allow you to use a 110 or 120 volt appliance with a 230 volt French power outlet.
  2. If the power converter doesn't include the correct shaped plug then it will also be necessary to plug in the power cord from the power converter into a power adapter for France before plugging that into a French power outlet.
  3. Some power converters include the ability to perform both step up and step down voltage conversions, therefore it may be necessary to manually switch the converter to output the voltage to the 110-120 volt range.
  4. Plug your appliance into the converter and turn the power on, your 110-120 volt appliance can now be used with a 230 volt French power outlet.
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 difference) 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.

What can I connect to a French power outlet?

Travel appliances that can connect to a French power outlet

Beats Pill speakers which can connect to a French power outlet

Jabra Bluetooth speakers which are compatible with a French power outlet

Mobile phones which can be connected to the French power outlet

Apple iPhones that can connect to the French power outlet

Samsung Galaxy phones that can connect to a French power outlet

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

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

Corrections

We endeavor to ensure all details on this page are correct and relevant to travelers visiting France, if you wish to contribute any useful information or feedback please email travel@wikiconnections.org. For more comprehensive technical details visit the Wikipedia page on AC power plugs and sockets [15].

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. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/ - International Electrotechnical Commission World Plugs
  6. Type E plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type E power outlets without converting voltage.
  7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adapter - power adaptor
  8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country
  9. Multiple power adapter travel set - 12 piece grounded international travel plug adapter set .
  10. Portable international travel plug adapter - AC Wall Charger with 2 USB sockets and outlets for US, UK, Australia and European power plugs which works in over 150 countries.
  11. 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
  12. Power converter - A step up step down power converter converts 110-120 volts up to 220-240 volts and 220-240 volts down to 110-120 Volts.
  13. Step down power converter - A step down power converter allows a 100-120 volt appliance to be used in a 220-240 volt power outlet.
  14. Heavy duty power converter - A 5000 watt heavy duty step up and step down power converter used to convert voltages for domestic appliances, power tools, televisions, heating appliances and motors.
  15. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AC_power_plugs_and_sockets - AC power plugs and sockets