Although France is a member of the EU, you still of course need a valid passport if you’re asked to present one.
The French Republic also has overseas territories including Guadeloupe and Martinique.
There are tourist information offices in practically every French city (more than 3,000 nationwide), which frequently offer information in German and English.
Highly detailed town maps with several photos of practically every road and street corner are available at http://photos.pagesjaunes.fr
If you plan to travel by car, you will have to allow for motorway tolls in your travel budget, as these are not always cheap and have to be paid nearly everywhere.