Helpful Information

June 9th – Foreign Tourists arrive!

FINALLY! France IS opening up to foreign tourists from 9th June!

VACCINATED Europeans, plus a few other countries, will be able to visit France WITHOUT taking a PCR Test or even an antigen test. ‘Vaccinated’ means ADULTS who have been fully vaccinated more than 14 days previously by the Pfizer, AZ or Moderna vaccines authorised by the Agence Européenne des Médicaments(AEM) or 30 days after their 1 dose J&J vaccine.

Green Zones

This rule is for residents in GREEN zones and as at June 2nd 2020 ‘GREEN’ is : The European Area including Switzerland, Australia, South Korea, Israel, Japan, Lebanon, New Zealand and Singapore. These countries are considered “safe” in terms of virus circulation.

Orange Zones

The ORANGE zone includes the vast majority of other countries in the world, including the UK, the US and Canada.

All Adult travellers VACCINATED by one of the AEM approved vaccines (listed above) from Orange Zone countries are allowed to visit France from 9th June so long as they also have a negative PCR test less than 72 hours old or a negative antigen test less than 48 hours old.

Minors (under 18) are classed as vaccinated IF their parents are vaccinated, whether they actually are or not. If minors are between 12-18 they need to take a PCR or antigen test before entering France. Under 12 years old children don’t currently need to take any tests but this is likely to change in July when the Europe-wide pass is accepted at which time any child over 6 will need a negative test.

Adults travelling who are not fully vaccinated will still need a ‘compelling reason’ to visit France and must self-isolate for 7 days on arrival. If they visit with their children they will also need to self-isolate.

Explanation or red, orange and green zones for travel to France

Red Zones

The RED zone includes South Africa, India and quite a few South American countries. To be allowed into France, foreign tourists from these countries will need a compelling reason to enter , even for vaccinated passengers. They will ALSO need a negative PCR or antigen test AND A MANDATORY 10 day quarantine is required for unvaccinated passengers. Vaccinated visitors will still have to SELF ISOLATE for 7 days.

Covid Map

Another positive thing for foreign tourists is that IF you’re required to take a PCR test to be allowed back into your own country, all PCR tests are FREE for locals and all foreign tourists. You can just bowl up to a local French pharmacy (you know there’s one on every street corner!!!) or I can organise an appointment with a local doctor or clinic because . That’s one less cost for you 🙂

As at today’s date the information from France is clear, it just needs to dovetail with the rules or guidelines for anyone leaving their respective country.

The US government has just changed their recommendations and have now agreed that vaccinated citizens can travel abroad to certain countries, including France, Spain and Italy but, for the moment, not the UK.

More information in French and this in English.

If you’re so excited you want to check out possible dates straight away LOL, click the big purple button anywhere on my website or these links for the B&B if you’re on your own or there are 2 of you or the Apartment if you are 2 – 4 wanting to stay.

Events Helpful Information

Anyone for Tennis?

I realise that tickets to watch the Grand Slam tennis tournament at Roland Garros are normally like Gold Dust. However this year Galeries Lafayette have decided to create their own socially distanced viewing point complete with deckchairs in front of a giant screen. You can watch the tennis games direct, via France Télévision without hacking out to the 16th arrondissement to watch this and it’s probably more fun than being at home!

It’s free, but obviously it’s first come first served for the deckchairs!

Buy your own deckchairs styled by the Roland Garros tennis tournament

You can watch every day until 13th June and if there is no play on the courts you can always turn your gaze to the Eiffel Tower. The tower has reopened to the public on the 20th of July after more than 260 days of closure!

Rendez-vous at Galeries Lafayette on their Rooftop Terrace which is on the top of the building with the beautiful glass coupole. Bring your own strawberries and cream 🙂

As tourists are meant to be able to vist France from 9th June, I might just see you there 🙂

By the way, click on the deckchair photo and buy your own deckchair!

A très bientôt,

Do join me on Facebook for more whitterings and general information on what’s going on in Paris 🙂

Eating Experience Great Touristy Things to do Helpful Information Holidays

Best local restaurants in Paris and lots more information

Even in Paris, a capital city famed for its gastronomy, it takes a little planning in order to have the most amazing culinary experiences. Here are some hints on how to avoid the tourist traps, navigate the ‘dining rules’,  and eat like a local in some of my favourite and best local restaurants in Paris.

Great Touristy Things to do Helpful Information Holidays Trips and Tours

Find the best guided tour of Paris for you

How do you choose the best guided tour of Paris for you? There are hundreds of ways of finding out all about Paris, some free and some not so free.  You can take a tour whilst walking, running, riding a bike, motorbike or a segway, taking a bus, a tuk tuk, a boat or whilst sitting down in a comfy seat watching a theatre performance to name but a few.

But if you only have an hour or three, here are my Top Choices for having fun and finding your best guided tour of Paris :

I love walking so for me this is the best : A great, and (technically) FREE choice is  Take one of 5 trips round the Marais, Montmartre, ‘Parisian Landmarks’ The Left Bank (the South side) or the Islands with a young, bilingual Frenchman or woman, vividly – dressed in pink waistcoats or shirts so you can’t lose them.  These are not history lessons, they are full of facts, very funny anecdotes and stories about current events.  Great fun. Your guides exist on tips.

If you are a lot more energetic you could sign up as for the FREE running tours on Wednesday mornings at 10am.  Your guide is Luke, an Australian, and you can meet him at the pointy end of Ile de La Cité opposite the Statue of Henri IV (right by one of my favourite restaurants, the Taverne Henri IV).   Just turn up or sign up to his Facebook page.   Please don’t think for one moment that I have done this, I have just got some mad friends!

Gorgeous guests Jeff and Laura suggested I tell all of you about the Left Bank Scooters who will take you on a 3 hour journey around Paris; one of you on the back of a motorcycle and the other in a sidecar, helmets etc provided. Both of them are tall but neither of them said they felt crushed and they came back raving, they loved it.  These tours are only offered in the Winter months, from November to the end of March and for the braver, they offer Vespa scooter hire too.

Finally, so many of you have watched and adored the Theatre show “How to become a Parisian in one hour”. It is not a guided tour but it does guide you through how to understand the Parisians, their foibles and how we need to behave to get along in Paris.  It was created and is performed by a Frenchman, Olivier Giraud, in English and has been a smash hit for years.  A laugh a minute tho a little on the blue side perhaps.  The theatre show is every Friday – Monday night and tickets cost from €24 – ask if you want me to book for you.  And it is not far, go to Galeries Lafayette at the bottom of the hill and turn right!

I hope this will give you food for thought as to how to find the best guided tour of Paris for you and your family, whether it is your first trip or not and I look forward to your comments.

If you found this interesting, please take a look at my Handy Guide to Living Like a Local or perhaps you want to know some of my great restaurant choices?

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Great Exhibitions Great Touristy Things to do Helpful Information Holidays Trips and Tours

Teens will love at the Louvre

I’m a fan of the Black Eyed Peas so when I heard last month that (founding member of the Black Eyed Peas for those over 30) was re-interpreting his “Mona Lisa Smile” video in association with the Louvre, my interest was piqued.

I love the new video which was entirely set in the Louvre.  Throughout the song super-imposes himself on numerous of the Louvre’s most famous paintings, half of which I should know but don’t. Nicole Scherzinger plays La Joconde / Mona Lisa – but as I am over 30 I haven’t heard of her ;-( at the Louvre

I think it would be a great wheeze to wander round the Louvre trying to spot the paintings used in the song !  One way to interest the teens, I think.

I might have to find them in the correct order sequence though just because I am waaayy too complicated for my own good…

Click on the photo to see the video.

How many can you name off the top of your head ?   If you need help this link shows the original painting, the video version and a bio !

Not content with this collaboration, has also produced a 12 minute documentary – at the Louvre – with the senior creator of the Department of Decorative Arts at the Louvre and the Editor of Wired UK discussing his passion for art and technology and his fascination with the Louvre, “the greatest museum in the World”.  Some contents that particularly inspired him included one of my favourite subjects, Marie-Antoinette, his view of the parallels between creativity in the 18th century and today and the piece de résistance in his mind, Claude-Simeon Passemant’s 18th Century silver and gold “Pendulum of the Creation of the World”, which not only tells the time but shows precisely how the Earth tilts on its axis.

Click here to see the documentary.

The Louvre has a lot of Visitor Trails, maps with detailed directions and explanations of what you are seeing which you follow at your leisure and they have created a 90 minute at the Louvre Trail based on the documentary incorporating everything he talks about including the sumptuous Napoleon III apartments, the monumental white stone Lefuel double staircase and ‘that clock’ which I also think is amazing (I recently saw a smaller version in the Kings private state rooms in Versailles Palace but it is not on public display).

If you are up to it, and your teens aren’t yet dragging their feet and demanding to be fed, there is 90 minute themed tour about the Da Vinci Code called ‘from Fiction to Fact’ and just one guided tour in English – an introduction to the ‘Masterpieces’ at 11.30am and 2pm each day.

Happy Louvring !