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Expat Travel to Paris

I am an expat with US/Irish citizenship. I live in Amsterdam.
I am contemplating a short trip to Paris. It is only a little over 3 hours by train from here. I am intrigued by the thought of a tourist free Paris. In the Summer, no less. The museums are open.
Of course I would maintain all precautions. I'm a retired nurse. I know the drill. I would travel on my Irish passport.

Thoughts?

Posted by
23547 posts

thoughts about what?

You seem to have decided based on what your history is.

What questions are you trying to answer?

Posted by
1079 posts

I really do not understand the question either. Schengen borders are open. You can travel freely from Amsterdam to Paris regardless of what passport you might hold.

Paris is not really tourist free. There are probably a lot of EU tourists. However, it might be a good time to avoid tourists from North America.

Posted by
321 posts

Is it responsible?
I don't need to go to Paris. I want to go.
My US friends are saying, "are you crazy? Stay home. You could spread it. You could catch it".
I figure that traveling to France is a lot safer than traveling around the US.

Posted by
1511 posts

We did a 2 week trip in Italy. If Other countries are doing what Italy is on trains, I felt safe. 50% of seats marked to keep open. On trains with reservations 50% of sears blocked. Doors are marked entrance and exit to keep traffic moving through train in one direction. Train bathrooms were spotless. Hand sanitizer in every vestibule. Masks required (and worn at stations and on trains). At train stations they have arrows directing foot traffic. Round stickers to mark where to stand to prevent congregating.

At Milan Centrale, they actually roped off the station and there was one way, counterclockwise direction for all foot traffic from one end to the other in the central hall. To enter the track area, they took temperature of everyone. Not all cafes and restaurants were open.

We frequented mostly outdoor restaurants and cafes. Tables socially distanced and spread out. All wait staff wore masks. Any indoor business required masks. Some shops took temperatures, some provided gloves if you wished to touch anything as you shopped. We also found lodging that had outdoor balcony or terrace so we could enjoy being outside mask free. Hotels gave implemented Covid cleaning protocol, everyone where’s masks and hand sanitizer always available.

I also followed the Covid 19 site for Italy that reports how many new cases per day in the Provinces we visited. With very few new cases reported daily at our destinations, we felt the risk was low to travel there. Italy’s positive cases are less than 1% of the daily tests conducted (50-70,000). So find the stats for Paris to assess risk.

Posted by
5435 posts

Kate - I think it is a good time to come. You are nearby and can arrive via train. From my experience this weekend going to Lille and back, Gare du Nord and the other stations have marked spaces in the station to remind people to stand further from each other. Masks are obligatory on trains and public transport. Restaurants in Paris have finally been allowed to re-open — as of last Monday — and any that have terraces have expanded their use of sidewalks and any other plazas etc with the Mayor’s blessing. Museums will be opening mostly next week — time slot reservations will be essential, as limited numbers of people will be allowed in.

Coronavirus is not raging here in the population. Yes it is still present but numbers are low. Most shops require masks, and you clean your hands with gel upon entering.

It’s never going to be 100% safe, but it feels pretty normal around here except for seeing everybody with masks on.

(As for wearing them outside — I vary depending on what kind of situation I am in — on a big broad plaza or huge sidewalk at a less busy time of day, I don’t bother. On a smaller crowded sidewalk with lots of people — I put it on.)

I think you would be fine coming. I wish I could go to Rome and see it this way.

Posted by
5435 posts

Ah yes — looking back to what Karen wrote, there are some places that have made only certain doorways entrances and certain ones exits. You won’t see that everywhere, but it’s part of businesses and public places trying to guide traffic.

Same — board at the back doors of buses and you don’t press the button for your stop as they make all stops to avoid people having to touch things.

So far on public transport there are still seats marked off to keep distance between passengers but that is becoming less prevalent. Our train to Lille on Sunday had people not in the same party sitting next to each other. My seat companion and I both wore our masks though and it was fine.

Posted by
5435 posts

What I am trying to say is - I think it is the perfect time to come for someone who can arrive here by rail, is conscientious about protecting themselves and others, and has the right to do so. You fit in all of those categories.

Posted by
6795 posts

Glad you asked here kate. The US situation and the French situations are night and day, so US friends are not the ones to ask. Our French friends and family are traveling as usual in July and August. Family that lives in Brittany are on vacation in Basque country right now. Everyone is in their 70s. The point is that they all feel safe at this moment.
The Louvre opens July 6th.
This is a wonderful opportunity.

Posted by
5435 posts

Speaking of which, one of the graphs in the Washington Post article mentioned by Kent in this thread shows how dramatically different the situation is in the U.S. and Europe currently. Your friends back home are clearly extrapolating what is happening there with the situation here — which absolutely isn’t applicable!

https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/general-europe/updated-stats-comparing-us-new-cases-to-eu-new-cases-as-of-yesterday

Posted by
78 posts

We live in France, and we're headed to Paris next week for several days. Interestingly, our preferred hotel in the Marais was sold out, so we went to our second choice spot in Saint-Germain. It's a bit more expensive, but it's a nicer spot.

It will be interesting to see how the city appears under current conditions.

Lyon, where we were last week for some appointments, wasn't that different, but then again, Lyon isn't typically overrun by tourists outside of Vieux Lyon (where we had no reason to go on that visit).

Sadly, le Musée Carnavalet is still on its seemingly endless quest for a reopening date. Its website hopefully still advertises sometime in 2020. I'm not going to hold my breath.

Posted by
674 posts

I think this is going to be the greatest year for those already there to explore Europe. I have several friends over there and they feel the same. I know if I was living there I'd be hitting all the normally crowded places I could.

Posted by
1445 posts

hey hey kateja
we were in france last year sept/oct. spent 6 days in annecy near geneva. absolutely gorgeous lake and it's villages. lots to see and do if you have a time to go, GO. any questions ask and i'll give you info of things and places we saw and did.
took train back to paris for 8 nights. we did a golf cart tour with julian, learning about important places and things to see. (withlocals.com, the best of paris on a unique ride) is you are short ask him to bring step stool
one of my favorite places to go to is montmarte, just to roam around, have a glass of wine and enjoy the area, ate crepes at breizh, walked ile st louis and a walk thru la cure gourmande bisquit cookie candy shop and of course ice cream stop, hot chocolate at angelinas, on a mission to find great eclairs, stopped at chef phiippe near luxenbourg gardens. (la cuisine de philippe) had passion fruit souffle and friend had grand marnier, was so so yummy, frenchie-ftg (9 rue de nil paris 75002) nina garten of food network place to go for homemade hot dogs/sausages (classic street food).
enjoy your fun trip.
aloha

Posted by
5435 posts

A new Forum poster, KingAlbert, posted last week about a visit to Versailles in late June without the crowds.

https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/trip-reports/once-in-a-lifetime-chateau-versailles-without-the-tourist-hordes

I did the same thing and went to Giverny this weekend. Taking advantage and going before the tour bus hordes return.

As for the “awesome nightlife” that one poster has enjoined Kateja to enjoy, they seem to have forgotten that discos and clubs are still closed under France's coronavirus rules.

Posted by
36 posts

Access is fine if you're Irish. Just forget museums and head to zoos, parks, take a horse ride, rent a boat on the lake, a bike or scooter and explore...lots to see in and around Paris in the summer.. also most restaurants in Paris have outdoor seating and many outdoor things so social distancing and all will be observed!

Some outdoor suggestions:

https://theparisshortlist.com/best-active-things-to-do-in-paris/

Posted by
321 posts

lafittejames, its very sweet of you to recommend activities like boating, horseback riding and rock climbing. Did you miss the part where I mentioned that I am 72? Also I am an American, living in Amsterdam, with dual (thank you Grandpa McKinney) citizenship. I've been traveling to Paris since the 1980s. In the last decade, I have avoided the museums more and more due to the crowds. So this was my chance.
I did not forsake the joys of the Paris sidewalk cafes for the museums. Balance. And a girl has to eat.