Is it Safe to Travel to Paris?

Is it Safe to Travel to Paris?

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Paris
Paris by Pug Girl/Flickr

In the wake of the atrocious terrorist attacks in Paris, citizens of the world are uniting in support of France. Many tourists—including overseas visitors who are contributors to Bonjour Paris and France Today magazine—have not canceled their trips, but are instead standing up in solidarity by visiting the city’s magnificent monuments, partaking in “Tous Au Bistrot”, and shopping the Christmas market on the Champs-Elysées which opened yesterday evening, thanks to a heavy police presence.

But many other travelers are wondering about upcoming travel plans, and if the city is indeed safe to visit. The website for the official Paris Tourist Office has extensive, up-to-the-minute information in the aftermath of recent events. As always, it’s advisable to monitor your government’s official travel advisories. Information for U.S. citizens traveling and living abroad can be found here. Paris is not (and has not been) on the list.

SNCF and Eurostar are operating trains normally, and flights are taking off and landing at Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports. (Aeroports de Paris advises that travelers allow extra time because of increased security.) The metro lines have been packed with commuters continuing their lives as normal, and only the Oberkampf station (lines 5 and 9) is closed.

The Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty in Paris
The Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty in Paris by cremona daniel/ Flickr

Be prepared to see lots of reinforced security throughout the city. Many Parisians and tourists have told us that they take comfort in the visible presence of French military in the city.

Mass mobilizations have been discouraged (in fact the demonstrations that had been planned around the World Climate Summit have been cancelled).

What are experts in the travel industry saying? Travel Agent magazine queried multiple travel agencies about the impact on tourism. Michelle Weller of Travel Leaders in Houston, Texas says that none of her clients have cancelled travel plans to Paris following the attacks. Wally Jones, a Travel Leaders agent in Phoenix, Arizona, is quoted as saying: “Paris is a highly desired destination and I also feel the traveling public will want to show its support to their citizens by traveling there.”

There may be a negative short-term effect on travel to France; Sandy Anderson of Travel Leaders in Coon Rapids, Minnesota reported a few trip cancellations. As quoted by Travel Weekly, a political scientist at the Rand Corporation agrees that some tourists may stay away from the city for the immediate future.

But in the long-term, many travel agents predict that it will bounce back, much as it did in New York post-9/11.

Photo credits: Paris by Pug Girl/Flickr; The Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty in Paris by cremona daniel/Flickr

 

10 COMMENTS

  1. I have a trip planned to Paris and a Sein River Cruise. I am standing with France and will not cancel my much anticipated journey. Je Suis Paris.

  2. We are coming to Paris to celebrate our 50th anniversary in the City of Lights and we will not cancel our plans. We stand with Paris, Je Suis Paris

  3. We went to Paris in May and have already booked a trip to go back next year. We stand with Paris, always. Je Suis Paris, aujourd’hui, nous sommes tous Français

  4. We cannot do much but watch in horror and feel for The French people but we can continue with our plans to visit Paris for Christmas this is our silent protest and the best way to support the French people.In our own way we stand with you.

  5. I live in Paris. Paris has been empty these past few days. I am not an expert but hear hotels are experiencing over 80 percent cancellations, don’t know from which country. It doesn’t matter. The truth is, Paris is safer than ever before and this is the time to come! Also, Parisians are standing strong. Lastly, while making a comment on a website that depends on travelers’ coming to Paris for their revenue, it’s not worth to give up Paris for fear. Fear is an emotion, it’s not based on reality.

  6. Our daughter, son in law and our only grandchild just landed in Paris. We know they will have a wonderful time thanks to the people of Paris. Sorry terrorist! It won’t work on us. We love you France.

  7. My husband and I traveled to Paris in the fall of 2014, and again in May 2015. We treasure our experience in the city of lights, and stand with the wonderful people of Paris. We would not hesitate to come back. May you find peace.

  8. We had just returned from dinner to our apartment near the Eiffle Tower and received emails from friends in the US asking about our safety. We walked all over Paris the next day and never felt nervous. Our flight home on Sunday was also uneventful. I think the U.S. news coverage conveyed chaos and panic which we never experienced. I would not hesitate to return to Paris. The French are strong and resilient.

  9. Cancel a trip to Paris??? Only if I am dead, then I’ll have my body shipped. I don’t need no stinkin terrorists taking over my favorite place.

    I am now fully booked for my Christmas stay in Paris with a plan to retrace Judith and Evan Jones’ Gourmet magazine story from1986. I want to buy some lovely things to enjoy for a picnic in my room on Christmas day….poached fish. foie gras, buche de noel etc. This is one of my rare visits to stay in a hotel as I usually stay longer in a flat. Would any readers please contribute ideas for the best sources of these treats. or Bon JOur,,,would you do so? Merci

    PS..I’ve been in Paris when the Algerians were bombing and in Belgrade when bombs were dropping. I will be in Paris to support the brave and spirited people of France during this tragic time.

  10. It is not safe to be alive, actually. Our lives are, as the phrase goes, “fraught with imminent peril.” This is a reality none of us like to think about (and most of the time don’t really believe, not deep in our heart of hearts). Acts of terrorism seek to make us afraid to live our lives and enjoy them, to focus on the possibility of “imminent peril” rather than to continue enjoying life as fully, happily, and productively as we can. And of course there is no better place to live life and enjoy it, than Paris. 🙂

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