Guidebook Updates for France

When we learn of critical changes to the information in our guidebooks on France, we post them here. (Of course, it’s still smart to reconfirm critical transportation and sightseeing details locally.) Armed with a Rick Steves guidebook and these late-breaking updates, you’re set for a great trip!

Across France

  • To buy advance train tickets with a credit card at the SNCF website, select "USA" as your ticket collection country (must use a credit-card enabled for "Verified by Visa" or "MasterCard SecureCode"). For more tips on buying French train tickets, see France Rail Passes and Train Tips.

For books printed before August 2014, the following may also apply:

Aix-en-Provence

  • Hotel le Manoir has closed.

For books printed before September 2014, the following may also apply:

  • Pasta Cosy restaurant has closed.

Albi

For books printed before January 2014, the following may apply:

  • Leader PC Internet café near Place Lapérouse has closed. Fortunately, the tourist information office can provide a list of Wi-Fi hotspots.

Alsace

For books printed before December 2014, the following may apply:

Colmar

  • Restaurant le Rapp is now closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
  • Flunch restaurant has closed.
  • ADA car rental has closed.
  • The Super U grocery near the train station has closed.

Beyond Colmar

  • Madame Dirringer, in Eguisheim, no longer rents rooms.
  • Boutique Coup de Coeur, in Kaysersberg, no longer rents bikes.

For books printed before January 2014, the following may also apply:

Annecy

  • L'Escargot restaurant has closed.

Arles

  • The bus station has moved next to the train station, a 10-minute walk from the town center.
  • The high-season bus to Les Baux is #57 (not #59).

For books printed before November 2013, the following may apply:

Avignon

For books printed before August 2014, the following may apply:

  • The Avignon TGV station is now connected to the Avignon Centre-Ville Station via TER local train (instead of shuttle bus).
  • The email address for the Jardin de Bacchus B&B has been changed to jardindebacchus@gmail.com.

Basque Country

For books printed before August 2015, the following may apply:

Bilbao (Spain)

  • Alhóndiga Bilbao culture and leisure center is now called "Azkuna Zentroa."
  • The Tryp Arenal Hotel has closed.
  • La Deliciosa restaurant on Jardines street has closed.

For books printed before November 2014, the following may also apply:

San Sebastián (Spain)

  • The phone number for San Sebastián Food is now 943-421-143.

For books printed before October 2014, the following may also apply:

St-Jean-de-Luz (France)

Bilbao (Spain)

  • The tourist information offices at Plaza del Ensanche and Plaza de Arriaga have closed, but there is a new tourist information branch next to the RENFE station at 1 Plaza Circular (daily 9:00–21:00).
  • The Iturrienea Ostatua hotel has closed.
  • Pensión Ladero will close by December 2014.

Lekeitio (Spain)

  • Emperatriz Zita Hotel is now called Hotel Aisia Lekeitio; its contact information has not changed.

San Sebastián (Spain)

Bayeux

For books printed before January 2014, the following may apply:

  • Le Bistro Bayeusain has closed, both as a café and pension.

Beaune

  • The Pass Beaune, which offered discounts at most key sights in Burgundy, no longer exists.
  • Palais des Gourmets’ Salon de Thé has closed.

For books printed before January 2014, the following may also apply:

  • Colette Barbier, who leads private tours that focus on vineyards and the region’s history, has new rates (€260/half-day and €420/day) and a new email address: cobatour@sfr.fr.
  • For Internet access, try the main tourist information office, Dix Carnot Café, or Bistrot Bourguignn — all have Wi-Fi.

Chamonix

For books printed before January 2014, the following may apply:

  • The télécabines on the Panoramic Mont Blanc lift to Helbronner (atop the Italian border) run only from about mid-June to mid-September, and even then only in good weather. The lift on the Italian side of the mountain, from Helbronner down to La Palud, remains closed through 2015.
  • The phone numbers listed for local taxis no longer work; try Alp Taxi at tel. 06 81 78 79 51, or Taxi Buton at tel. 06 07 19 70 36.

Chartres

  • Restaurant Le Cloître Gourmand has closed.

Collioure

For books printed before December 2014, the following may also apply:

  • National car rental no longer has an office in Collioure.

Dinan

For books printed before September 2014, the following may apply:

  • Le Cottage restaurant has closed.

For books printed before January 2014, the following may also apply:

  • Crêperie des Artisans has closed, as has the Vue de la Rance Chambres outside town.
  • The trail to Léhon, on the far side of the Rance River, may still be blocked by a landslide when you visit. Until this is cleared, it’s best not to cross the river from Dinan’s Old Port; instead, take the trail on the city side of the river to Léhon, and cross there.

Dordogne caves

  • Some of the Grotte de Font-de-Gaume cave tours can now be reserved in advance through their website, but space is limited. Some more slots can be reserved in advance by email (fontdegaume@monuments-nationaux.fr) or telephone (+33 05 53 06 86 00). Without reservations, aim to show up early (by 7:30). Sales for the entire year open on January 2.

Loire Valley

  • Chinon's tourist information office has moved to 1 Rue Rebelais, a block from the river.
  • In Chinon, Les Saveurs d'Italie restaurant has moved to 19 Place du Général de Gaulle, and Restaurant-Musée Animé du Vin et de la Tonnellerie is now closed in winter (Nov–mid-March).
  • Chaumont is no longer reachable by bus from Blois (though taxis at the Blois train station offer excursion rates for about €36 one way). It's also no longer served from the St-Pierre-des-Corps station outside of Tours.
  • The TLC excursion buses to Chambord, Cheverny, and Beauregard (line #18) from the Blois train station now run from April through October.
  • Château de la Chatonniere, including its gardens, is now closed to the public.
  • The château at Azay-le-Rideau is under renovation until 2018 but should remain open the whole time — just expect exterior scaffolding and some wings to be closed during your visit.

For books printed before December 2014, the following may apply:

  • La Bonne France restaurant in Chinon has closed.

Luberon

For books printed before January 2014, the following may apply:

  • Le Clos du Buis in Bonneiux (south of Roussillon) now charges €108–153 for double rooms (with bathrooms).

Lyon

For books printed before January 2014, the following may apply:

  • The restaurant called La Machonnerie has changed its name to “Daniel et Denise” (but contact info and great cuisine remain the same).
  • The Lyon-Perrache train station no longer offers baggage storage; you can still store bags at the Part-Dieu station.

Marseille

For books printed before January 2014, the following may apply:

  • The Marseille History Museum has reopened after a lengthy renovation with new prices, hours, and contact information: €5, Tue–Sun 10:00–18:00, closed Mon, 2 Rue Henri-Barbusse, tel. 04 91 55 36 00.

Monaco

  • The bus traveling between Monaco and La Turbie is now the #11 (previously #114).

Mont St-Michel

For books printed before January 2014, the following may apply:

  • Parking now costs €12, and the parking shuttle to the island stops at the parking lot next to the tourist-information office — visitors no longer have to walk half a mile to catch it. This shuttle is now available to everyone, including disabled visitors and those staying at a hotel on the island. Regional buses from Rennes and St-Malo now stop at this same parking lot; passengers who don’t want to walk the rest of the way can transfer here to the shuttle.

Nice

  • The city's municipal museums, which have long been free, began charging admission in 2015. They're now covered by a €20 seven-day pass (covers the Modern and Contemporary Art Museum, Fine Arts Museum, Archaeological Museum, and Masséna Museum). This pass is not worthwhile for most travelers.

For books printed before June 2015, the following may also apply:

  • Local bus #23 between Nice and the airport has been discontinued.

For books printed before December 2014, the following may apply:

For books printed before September 2014, the following may also apply:

  • The all-day bus and tram pass no longer covers express buses #98 or #99 to the airport. You must buy the €6 Aéro ticket if you are going to the airport.

Paris

For books printed before July 2015, the following may apply:

  • At the Montparnasse Tower, readers who show their Rick Steves books pay a discounted admission rate of €10.50.
  • In the Marais, The Studio restaurant has closed.
  • On Ile St. Louis, Le Tastevin restaurant has closed.
  • Guided, skip-the-line tours offered by Easy Pass Tours now include Sainte-Chapelle and the Picasso Museum.
  • The Salle Pleyel is no longer hosting classical concerts; those performances are now hosted by a new venue, the Philharmonie de Paris.
  • Direct night trains no longer run between Paris and Berlin, Hamburg, or Munich.

For books printed before April 2015, the following may also apply:

  • The Picasso Museum has reopened (at last!); admission for adults is €11 and is now covered by the Paris Museum Pass. The museum is open Tue–Fri 11:30–18:00, Sat–Sun 9:30–18:00; closed Mon. Last entry is 45 minutes before closing. You can avoid ticket lines with either a Paris Museum Pass or by reserving a timed-entry ticket through the museum's site.
  • Hôtel de l’Empereur is near the corner of Rue Chevert and Boulevard de La-Tour-Maubourg; if your book’s map of Rue Cler hotels has a second “21” dot between Rue Cler and the Ecole Militaire, ignore that lower one.
  • Hôtel du Champ de Mars’ new rates are significantly higher than what’s printed in our guidebooks; single rooms are now around €150, doubles are €170.
  • The correct URL for Café des Musées is www.lecafedesmusees.fr.

For books printed before September 2014, the following may also apply:

  • Le Bistrot des Compères has closed.

For books printed before August 2014, the following may also apply:

  • The Museum of the Order of Liberation, within the Army Museum’s Invalides complex, is closed for renovation until June 18, 2015.
  • The Virgin Megastore on the Champs-Elysées has closed.
  • The Musée de l’Homme anthropological museum is closed through 2015.
  • Hôtel Bastille has closed for renovations.
  • Smooth in the City has closed.
  • Comptoir des Abbayes is closing its Marais location at on Rue Flechier.

For books printed before June 2014, the following may also apply:

  • The Louvre no longer offers free admission on the first Sunday of the month in summer (first Sundays are now free only Oct–March). Also, be aware that a summer 2014 project to renovate the pyramid entry point may affect how you access the museum in as well as services inside, beneath the pyramid (including baggage check).
  • Advance tickets to the Eiffel Tower go on sale three months in advance, and can sell out within hours.
  • The Deportation Memorial (behind Notre Dame) is now closed at midday (12:00–13:30).
  • Montparnasse Tower no longer offers a discount for Rick Steves readers.
  • The Hôtel Concorde-Lafayette, known for its view bar, is now the Hôtel Hyatt-Regency.
  • Paris Webservices has a new phone number and hours: tel. 01 45 56 91 67, now open 8:00–18:00.
  • Fat Tire Bike Tours has new websites for its Classic Walks walking tours and for its skip-the-line Easy Pass tours.
  • The restaurant La Maison du Jardin is incorrectly located on maps in some editions. It is indeed on Rue Vaugirard, but between Rues Madame and Cassette, a 10-minute walk west of the spot it’s shown, and on the opposite side of the street.

For books printed before April 2014, the following may also apply:

  • Cook’n with Class cooking school has a new location at 6 Rue Baudelique (Métro: Jules Joffrin or Simplon).
  • Café Constant is now open daily.

For books printed before February 2014, the following may also apply:

  • Local guide Thierry Gauduchon has a new email address: tgauduchon@gmail.com.
  • St. Sulpice Church is no longer allowing visits to its massive pipe organ (because of space constraints). However, the church’s superb organ recitals continue as usual.
  • Hôtel du Cadran now offers a free, big breakfast and a discounted price to Rick Steves readers who book by email or through the hotel’s official website and use the code “RICK.”
  • Hôtel Lindbergh has reopened, after a period of renovation, as “Hôtel Signature St. Germain.”
  • The night trains from Gare d’Austerlitz to Barcelona and to Madrid are no longer running, nor is the night train from Gare de Lyon to Rome.

For books printed before September 2013, the following may also apply:

  • A few copies of the first printing of Rick Steves’ Paris 2013 were printed with a defect. Before you leave, make sure you have pages 383–478. If your book is defective, please return it to your place of purchase. If that’s not possible, contact Bobby Dunne at our publisher’s office. Email bobby.dunne@perseusbooks.com with your mailing address, the book title, the nature of the defect, and the original place of purchase.
  • A few copies of the first printing of Rick Steves’ France 2013 were printed with a defect. Before you leave, make sure you have pages 96–145 in the Paris chapter. If your book is defective, please return it to your place of purchase. If that’s not possible, please contact Bobby Dunne at our publisher’s office. Email bobby.dunne@perseusbooks.com with your mailing address, the book title, the nature of the defect, and the original place of purchase.
  • Bateaux Parisiens boats no longer offer a discount to rail-pass holders.
  • The last entry to the Arc de Triomphe is now 45 minutes before closing.
  • Hôtel de Turenne has raised its prices quite a bit: (Sb-€130, Db-€150–200, Tb-€190–230), and changed its name to "Hôtel Eiffel Turenne" (reservation@hoteleiffelturenne.com).
  • Hôtel Duquesne Eiffel has a new website: www.hde.fr.
  • La Gourmandise is now "The Pizzeria."
  • Un Chien dans le Marais has closed.

For books printed before August 2013, the following may also apply:

  • The tourist information office at Gare de Lyon has closed.
  • Americans can now rent a Vélib bicycle with an American (magnetic strip, not chip) credit card by booking a "short-term subscription" online.
  • At Notre-Dame, there are now free English tours on Sunday at 14:30. Admission to the treasury is now €4, and its new hours are Mon–Fri 9:30–17:40, Sat–Sun 9:30–18:10. The tower climb at Notre-Dame now costs €8.50 and in June closes daily at 18:30 — there are no longer later hours on weekends.
  • The Army Museum is no longer open half an hour later on Sundays.
  • The Montmartre Museum is no longer closed on Mondays; it’s now open daily 10:00–18:00.
  • At Versailles, a shuttle bus run by the local transit company now goes from the Versailles Château Rive Gauche train station to the Trianon Palaces and the Domaine de Marie-Antoinette. The shuttle does not stop at the main entrance to the Château, but it’s ideal for anyone going to the Trianon/Domaine first, or ready to return by train to Paris right from the Trianon/Domaine.
  • Hôtel Muguet and Hôtel de l’Empereur have strict cancellation policies; you must cancel seven days before your arrival or lose your deposit.
  • For Internet access in the Luxembourg area, try Cyber Cube at 5 Rue Mignon (Mon–Sat 10:00–10:00, closed Sun); Le Milk has closed.
  • Hôtel la Perle now charges extra for breakfast.
  • The correct address for Hôtel Relais Médicis is 5 Place de l’Odéon.

Strasbourg

For books printed before December 2014, the following may apply:

  • The restaurant Poêle de Carottes has closed.

Versailles

For books printed before June 2014, the following may apply:

  • Guided tours at the Palace of Versailles now cost €7, bringing the admission total to €22 with palace entry.

For books printed before April 2014, the following may also apply: