We made it! Our first official post from Europe.
Before coming to France and even on the flight over here I was very concerned about obtaining the French Health Pass as well as monitoring the constantly changing rules and rumors coming out about the EU removing the US from it’s “safe list”.
Additionally, It’s hard to find good, accurate info on the French Health Pass for American tourists. Currently the process is to apply online by scanning your identification, plane tickets and CDC vaccine card. There are horror stories of people being yelled at by the wait staff or turned away at major attractions for not having it.
The bad news is they still haven’t responded to my application which was submitted over two weeks ago now…
…The amazing news is that we are able to use our paper American CDC vaccine cards for entry into everything!
The Louvre, Saint-Chapelle, cafes and restaurants all have accepted it with no questions whatsoever. We even spoke to staff from Versailles and they will accept it as well.
[Edit: We have completed our trip and had no problems in Paris with our American CDC Card at all!]
In terms of hurdles to overcome to get here: almost none. There feels like almost no difference between post and pre pandemic travel (besides wearing masks and showing your Health Pass/CDC Card). There were no extensive customs check, no additional verification and nothing to delay or hold up our plans!
In fact another common misconception I’d like to discuss, the idea that Parisians are rude.
They are busy and they are surrounded by tourists who don’t know where they are going.
Plus most American tourists don’t bother learning any French.
Until now I considered my three years of high school French a waste (besides being able to talk to some people in Belgium) but now that we are in Paris I am truly finding that being able to say hello, order, then tell them I don’t speak too much French goes a long way.
Even our waiters have been pleasant!
They can all tell I don’t speak French well, but I’m trying and can at least greet them in their own language. Travel pro tip, learn some basic phrases before heading here. French is a beautiful language.
Paris is a big city. That’s a huge understatement. I’m still taking it all in and soaking up every moment. This is simply the first stop on a long journey
Our next pro tip: find a butcher, a wine store and a cheese shop. You can’t eat out every night if you plan on travelling as long as we do.
Get some duck, rabbit or chicken and pair it with some brie and wine. Eat at a park, public square or back in your room if you have a decent spot.
(specific food recommendations coming soon!)
You’ll easily save half the money you would have spent at a restaurant or café. Plus, public parks are actually in use here. You’ll find a lively crowd of students, families and tourists like yourself all having a pleasant afternoon in an open space. Public areas are generally more accessible, clean and safe compared to the US.
I’ve also very much enjoyed how wide the streets are and yet how little space is devoted to car travel. There is a specific bike lane physically separated from the road and then a separate walking area for pedestrians as well. It creates such a human scale, walkable safe feeling when exploring a massive city along a major thoroughfare
I want to thank you all for following along with us! You can expect a blog update every few days, for my immediate pics and impressions follow me on Instagram as well @AustinClink.
We have the rest of the week in Paris then are headed to Normandy to see some history followed by a wine and chateau trip through the Loire Valley to wrap up France.
Austin & Jamie