Guidebook Updates for ‘Rick Steves Scandinavian & Northern European Cruise Ports’

When we learn of critical changes to the information in our Scandinavian & Northern European Cruise Ports guidebook, 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!

Copenhagen & nearby

For books printed before July 2024, the following may apply:

  • The Carlsberg Brewery has reopened as the Home of Carlsberg, with triple the exhibit space — which now includes a visit with the brewer horses, bottle collection, restaurant, and of course, beer. Guided tours of the old cellars (about 40 minutes) and beer tastings (about 30 minutes, includes taste of three beers) are both always in English and cost extra.
  • As the Copenhagen Metro has completed its expansion project, it's once again the best way to get around town (it's generally better than the bus). Public transportation tickets and passes are now best purchased through the Copenhagen DOT app or at ticket machines in train and Metro stations.
  • Københavens Cyklebørs has closed, and Copenhagen Bicycles no longer rents bikes to individuals (just hotels). Meanwhile, the Bycyklen public bike-rental program has folded. (Fortunately, the recommended Cykelbasen is still in business.)
  • Stromma no longer does a hop-on, hop-off boat, but they now have a combo-ticket with the hop-on, hop-off bus (or Tivoli).
  • Netto-Bådene boats no longer stop at the Langebro bridge near Danhostel or from near Christiansborg Palace. Stromma boats also no longer stop near the Lanegbro bridge, nor in Christianshavn.
  • The Copenhagen Card now includes all Netto-Bådene cruises as well as Stromma tours that depart from Ved Stranden (near Gammel Strand).
  • Red Badge Guides' walking tour is now offered only on Fridays and Saturdays in the season (May–Sept), and only cash is accepted as payment.
  • Hans Christian Andersen tours led by Richard Karpen are also cash-only.
  • Copenhagen History tours now run only in July and August.
  • Tours of Christiania led by residents now leave from near the main entrance (look for the Rundviser sign) and are cash only.
  • We now recommend booking reservations for visiting Rosenborg Castle, where lines are often long. Even those with a Copenhagen Card need to book a timed-entry ticket. The castle is now open daily 10:00–17:00 in season, and Tue–Sun 10:00–16:00 in Nov–April (closed Mon in the off-season).
  • Except for mid-week (Tue–Thu) visits outside the summer season, advance tickets are now required for the tower climb at Our Savior's Church.
  • The National Museum no longer stays open until 20:00 on Thu. They now offer free one-hour tours in English on weekends from mid-Aug through Oct (reservations required).
  • English tours of the National Museum's Victorian Apartment are now offered on weekends between late June and early Aug at 12:30.
  • The Museum of Copenhagen and Thorvaldsen's Museum now offer a combo-ticket (good once per museum for 48 hours).
  • Thorvaldsen's Museum is no longer open until 21:00 on Thursdays.
  • Hotel Jørgensen has closed.
  • Several recommended restaurants in Copenhagen have closed: RizRaz Vegetatian (Kompagnistræde location), Café Norden, Royal Smushi Café, Spicy Kitchen, BioMio, and Bøf & Ost.
  • Roskilde's tourist information office has closed, but a "tourist inspiration center" at the Sankt Laurentius tower, near the cathedral, fills in as one.
  • Roskilde Cathedral is now open daily year-round; its organ concerts are no longer free (now 50 DKK) and held on the third Wednesday of every month at 17:00.
  • The tourism office in Helsingør (home of Kronborg Castle) has moved to The Culture Yard, at Allegade 2.

For books printed before July 2021, the following may also apply:

  • Copenhagen Jazz House is now called Alice.
  • Shuttle buses from the Oslo ferry terminal to the city are now marked Banegård or Nørreport. The Banegård bus drops you at Banegårdspladsen — in front of the main train station, near Tivoli, recommended hotels, and the start of Rick's "Copenhagen City Walk."
  • The overnight boat to Oslo now leaves at 14:00, usually arriving in Oslo at 9:00 (same schedule for return trip).
  • Because of changes to the bus system, buses #14, #1A and #6A are no longer useful.

Stockholm

For books printed before July 2024, the following may apply:

  • The Stockholm Pass has been replaced by the "Go City Pass," which has similar but not identical offerings (most notably it doesn't cover the Royal Palace or have a transit-covering option). Purchase the pass on the Go City app, then present the pass on your phone at each sight it covers.
  • Visit Stockholm, the downtown city-run information office, has closed.
  • The most efficient way to buy tickets for public transit (subway, tram, and bus) is now via the SL-Stockholm app, where it's easiest to pay with a credit card linked to your mobile wallet. Single-ride tickets can also be purchased by tapping a contactless credit card at subway turnstiles and bus/tram scanners, but drivers no longer sell tickets on board, and most T-bana stations no longer have ticket machines.
  • The Nobel Museum now stays open late (until 21:00) on Fridays, but otherwise now closes at 19:00.
  • The Royal Armory, National Museum, Museum of Modern Art, and Swedish History Museum — all of which used to be free to enter — now each charge 150 SEK (about $14).
  • Restaurang Volt in Östermalm has closed.

For books printed before July 2021, the following may also apply:

  • Kaknäs Tower has closed to the public.
  • To reach Thielska Galleriet from Odenplan, take bus #67 (not #69).
  • Stockholm no longer has a City Bikes program.
  • Sushi Yama Express at Nybrogatan 18 has closed.

Helsinki

For books printed before July 2024, the following may apply:

  • Helsinki's tourist information office has moved to a new location on Senate Square (Mon–Fri 9:30–17:00, Sat–Sun 10:00–16:00, shorter weekend hours off-season, Aleksanterinkatu 24 — at the corner with Sofiankatu street, +358 9 3101 3300). All other tourism office locations, including at the airport, have closed.
  • By late 2024, tickets for trams and buses will only be available via contactless payment, not cash. (Helsinki is now essentially cash-less across the board.)
  • The National Museum of Finland is closed for renovations, likely until spring 2027.
  • Uber now operates in Helsinki and is generally a better option than taxis, as their cars are cheaper and more plentiful than taxis.
  • The Mannerheim Museum is closed for renovations throughout 2024.
  • The Lutheran Cathedral, previously free, now charges €8 in summer (June–Aug).
  • In summer Kamppi Chapel also now charges visitors (€5).
  • Finlandia Hall is closed for renovations until late 2024.
  • Kulttuurisauna now requires advance reservations.
  • Stromma's Helsinki Panorama bus tour now only runs in winter. City Sightseeing's 1.5-hour hop-on, hop-off bus tour is the only bus tour running in summer.

For books printed before July 2021, the following may also apply:

  • Because of route changes, the Helsinki Tram Tour, which features a loop through Helsinki on public trams #2 and #3, now requires a transfer at the Auroran Sairaala stop (which is several stops past the original transfer point of Töölön halli).
  • Hotel Torni, home to the Ateljée Bar, with excellent city views, has reopened.
  • Academica Summer Hostel has closed.
  • Linda Line has ceased ferry service between Helsinki and Tallinn.

St. Petersburg

Tallinn

For books printed before July 2024, the following may apply:

For books printed before July 2021, the following may also apply:

  • Tickets for Tallinn's public transportation are now available as QR tickets for use on a mobile phone (€1.50 for any ride up to 1 hour, can purchase up to 10 rides per ticket, shareable with other riders, purchase at tallinn.pilet.ee or with the mobile app Pilet.ee). For travelers staying longer, the Ühiskaart smartcard can be purchased for €2, then loaded up with credit (€1.50 per ride, €4.50/24 hours, €7.50/72 hours).
  • Linda Line has ceased ferry service between Helsinki and Tallinn.
  • The Museum of Occupations is now the Vabamu Museum of Occupations and Freedom. The museum has been upgraded and expanded to include a new permanent exhibit exploring Estonia's occupations, resistance, and rise to freedom. The former audioguide has been replaced with an "etour guide" mobile device that brings the displays to life.
  • The KGB Prison Cells in Tallinn's former KGB headquarters are now open to the public, with a small exhibit presented, in part, in English.
  • Baltic Hotel Imperial has closed.
  • Rixwell Old Town Hotel is now, as part of the Rija chain, Rija Old Town Hotel.
  • Recommended restaurants Grillhaus Daub and Wadabus have closed.

Gdańsk

For books printed before December 2023, the following may apply:

  • A handy new train zips passengers from the airport to the main train station in about 30 minutes (1–2/hour).
  • Local guide Jacek Podhorski has a new email address: [email protected].
  • The Amber Museum has moved to the Great Mill, a short walk from the Main Town at Wielkie Młyny 16.
  • Hotels Królewski and Willa Litarion have closed.

Berlin & Potsdam

  • The Pergamon Museum is closed to accommodate a thorough renovation that's expected to last 14 years (!). Parts of the Pergamon Altar, however, should be back on display in 2027.
  • The EurAide train information office at the Hauptbahnhof has closed.
  • Private operator European Sleeper now runs overnight trains between Berlin and Brussels (3/week, 11 hours).

For books printed before January 2023, the following may also apply:

  • Tickets to visit the Reichstag are now often unavailable weeks in advance — book as soon as you can.
  • The German History Museum's main building (Zeughaus) and all permanent exhibits are closed and under renovation until 2025. Temporary exhibits, however, are on view in the Pei annex building.
  • The Neues Museum and Pergamon Museum are now closed on Mondays (as are all other Museum Island museums).
  • The Käthe Kollwitz Museum has moved to the Theaterbau wing of Charlottenburg Palace.
  • The Humboldt Forum, in the rebuilt shell of the former royal palace on Museum Island, is now open for visits to its various museums and other cultural attractions.
  • The Gemäldegalerie is undergoing a multiyear phased renovation that may see some areas closed during your visit (ticket prices may be reduced at these times).
  • There is no longer a €12 combo-ticket for Kulturforum sights, but they are still covered by the Museum Pass Berlin.
  • The tourist information offices at the Europa Center and the Park Inn on Alexanderplatz have closed, but new ones have opened in the Humboldt Forum and at Brandenburg Airport.
  • All stops of new U5 line of the U-Bahn are now open.
  • Bus #245 no longer runs between the Hauptbahnhof and Alexanderplatz.
  • Simple Rent a Bike bike sharing is not operating (consider using an app, such as Next Bike).
  • Hotel Augustinenhof and Hecker's Hotel have closed.
  • Hotel Jurine is now Hotel Birgit.
  • Hotel Alexander Plaza is now Classik Hotel Alexander Plaza.
  • Several recommended restaurants have closed: Die Schule, Vân Anh, Zuhause, and Zillemarkt, as well as Aufsturz pub.
  • Weltrestaurant Markthalle has been replaced by Marktlokal restaurant.
  • Hasir restaurant, in the Hackescher Markt area, is now called "Alay by Hasir."
  • Cocolo Ramen X-berg has moved from Oranienstrasse to Graefestrasse 11.
  • Bite Berlin food tours are no longer operating.
  • St. Hedwig's Cathedral is temporarily closed and no longer hosting free organ concerts on Wednesday afternoons.
  • The Hekticket ticket clearinghouse is no longer operating.

For books printed before January 2021, the following may also apply:

  • The Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) opened in late 2020. Schӧnefeld Airport became BER's Terminal 5, while Tegel Airport is no longer operating.
  • Insider Tour's groups meet outside the Friedrichstrasse train station, on the square beside the Palace of Tears.
  • Original Berlin Walks now meets in front of Starbucks across from the Hackescher Markt S-bahn station.
  • Local guide Bernhard Schlegelmilch has changed his email address to [email protected].
  • The James-Simon-Galerie's entrance pavilion is now open on the west side of Museum Island and connects to the Pergamon and Neues museums.
  • The Kennedys Museum has closed (to become a "touring museum").
  • It is no longer possible to purchase a timed-entry ticket in advance for the Neues Museum.

For books printed before September 2019, the following may also apply:

  • As of August 2019, many of Berlin's buses have undergone changes, including:
    • Line #200 now runs via Spittelmarkt and Berlin City Hall instead of via Unter den Linden (new line #300 — which goes from Tiergarten/Philharmonic to Warschauer Strasse — has replaced this portion).
    • Metro Bus M48 has been cut (lines #200 and N2 have replaced this bus between Potsdamer Platz and Alexanderplatz).
    • Line N2 has been rerouted to follow the U2 subway line.
  • The tourist information office on Rankstrasse (across from the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church) has closed.
  • Bassy Club has closed.

For books printed before December 2018, the following may also apply:

  • Passports are now required for entry to the Reichstag, and must be presented with the confirmation letter received after making the required online reservation.
  • The Pergamon Museum has a new combo-ticket that covers the "Pergamon. Das Panorama" exhibit with museum admission. The exhibit — a wraparound panorama painting of the city of Pergamon in AD 129 — is in a pavilion across from Museum Island while the Pergamon Altar is undergoing restoration.
  • The Museum Pass Berlin now includes the German History Museum.
  • We now recommend buying tickets online in advance to avoid lines at the DDR Museum.
  • Several recommended guides have updated their contact information: 
  • The Jewish Museum Berlin is no longer open late on Mondays.
  • The Deutsche Kinemathek Film and TV Museum is now open on Mondays and closed on Tuesdays.
  • The Silent Heroes Memorial Center has moved from the Hackescher Markt to the German Resistance Memorial location.
  • The famous Fassbender & Rausch chocolate shop on Gendarmenmarkt has dropped "Fassbender" – it's just the Rausch chocolate shop now.
  • Several recommended restaurants have closed: Die Zwölf Apostel (both the one near Museum Island and the one on Bleibtreustrasse), La Bodeguita del Medio (Lychener Strasse 6), Imbiss 204 (in the Kollwitzkiez area), and Café Sibylle (in eastern Berlin).
  • The Fat Tire Bikes location at Zoologischer Garten has closed.
  • In Potsdam, the #603 bus only leaves from the main train station on summer weekends. On summer weekdays and off-season, you can catch the #603 at Platz der Einheit, a 15-minute walk past the Alter Markt (reachable by multiple bus or tram lines from the station).

Oslo

For books printed before July 2024, the following may apply:

  • OsloGuideservice has gone out of business. But licensed guide Pål Johansen offers Oslo walking tours when not leading Rick Steves tour groups, and has helped considerably with the Rick Steves Scandinavia guidebook ($300/half-day tour, $550/full-day tour, [email protected]). If Pål's not available, the easy-to-work-with Oslo Guidebureau can tailor a tour to meet your interests (+47 22 42 28 18).
  • The Viking Ship Museum is closed while it undergoes a multiyear expansion. It's scheduled to reopen, as the Museum of the Viking Age, by 2027. In the interim, some exhibits may be on display in the University of Oslo's Historical Museum, and you can see a real Viking boat at the National Maritime Museum.
  • The Munch Museum has reopened at a new location on the harbor, facing the Opera House at Bjørvika.
  • The National Gallery has reopened as part of the National Museum.
  • The Nobel Peace Center now closes at 17:00 (mid-June–July open daily from 10:00, but otherwise open Tue–Sun 11:00–17:00, closed Mon).
  • A "Munch–Bygdøy" ferry now operates April–October between Bygdøy island (with the Kon-Tiki and Fram museums, and currently closed Viking Ship Museum) and the Bjørvika neighborhood (with the Munch Museum).
  • Comfort Hotel Karl Johan has a new email address: [email protected].
  • Perminalen Hotel is now in use by the military only.
  • Villa Marie has closed.

For books printed before July 2021, the following may also apply:

  • Viking Biking no longer offers walk-up rentals; you must reserve in advance (daily flat rate of 2,000 NOK for 1–10 bikes, includes helmet, lock, and map).
  • On Olaf Ryes Polass, dive bar Ryes has closed.
  • On Olaf Ryes Plass, Quesadilla (Mexican fare) is now Skaal Matbar (sophisticated small plates).
  • Ma Poule wine bar (in the Mathallen Oslo market) is now called Galopin.
  • Troy's Burger, on Torggata, has closed.
  • Pisco restaurant, on Badstugata, has closed.
  • Ellingson's Pensjonat is now Villa Marie.
  • Comfort Hotel Karl Johan's phone number is now +47 23 01 03 52.
  • Thon hotels have changed their email domain from "thonhotels.no" to "olavthon.no" For example, the new email for the Rosenkrantz location is now [email protected].
  • The House of Oslo shopping mall has closed.
  • Open Top Sightseeing no longer runs hop-on, hop-off buses in Oslo.
  • Båtservice no longer operates bus tours of Oslo.

Stavanger

For books printed before July 2024, the following may apply:

  • Parts of the Stavanger cathedral may close to visitors for restoration as the church gears up to celebrate its 900th (!) birthday in 2025.
  • The Maritime Museum is closed for renovation, likely until summer 2026.
  • Sjøhuset Skagen restaurant has closed.
  • Several recommended restaurants have changed names: Vågen Spiseri (in the fish market) is now Fisketorget, Renaa Xpress (inside the cultural center) is now Sirkus Renaa, and the Skagen Bageri lunch spot is now called "No. 18."
  • There is now a high-speed option for touring the Lysefjord: Stavanger RIB, which operates an inflatable Zodiac-style boat that runs from the harbor three times a day in the summer.

For books printed before July 2021, the following may also apply:

  • Rødne Clipper Fjord Sightseeing is now Rødne Fjord Cruise and runs daily bus trips and cruise-plus-bus combo trips to Pulpit Rock. Bus tours from Stavanger to the Rock are now operated by Go Fjords and Pulpit Rock Tours; Tide Reiser and Boreal no longer run these buses.
  • The underwater Ryfast Tunnel is now open. Bus tours to Pulpit Rock and travelers with cars use the nine-mile tunnel, which burrows under the sea at Stavanger and emerges near Solbakk on the other side (140-NOK toll). From there it's a short drive on highway 13 to the parking lot and trailhead at Pulpit Rock.
  • There is no longer a viable bus connection between Bergen and the ferry that departs from Kristiansand, Norway, to Hirtschals, Denmark. The ferry is still running.

Bergen

For books printed before July 2024, the following may apply:

  • The Bryggen Walking Tour now runs daily mid-May–mid-Sept at 11:00 and 13:00.
  • Bus and tram tickets can now be purchased with the Skyss app, but are no longer available at convenience stores. You can also now pay on board with a card (and buses still also accept cash).
  • The Beffen — the ferry that chugs across the midpoint of the harbor — no longer runs on Saturdays (just Mon–Fri).
  • There are currently no guided tours of Håkon's Hall and Rosenkrantz Tower, but they may return later in 2024.
  • Troldhaugen (Edvard Grieg's home) is now closed on Mondays (new hours: Tue–Fri 11:00–16:00, Sat–Sun until 17:00). The home no longer hosts evening concerts.
  • KODE Art Museums have renamed their buildings: KODE 4 is now "Lysverket" (contemporary art), KODE 3 is now "Rasmus Meyer" (international and Norwegian artists, including Munch), KODE 2 is now "Stenersen" (contemporary art), and KODE 1 is now "Permanenten" (decorative arts). Major renovations are planned for Permanenten and Lysverket that could involve closures in coming years.
  • The Ulriken643 Cable Car is now open later in high season (until 23:00). It is now closed Mondays in the off-season.
  • The Hanseatic Museum on the Bryggen harborfront is closed for renovation until 2028. However, the newly redone Hanseatic Assembly Rooms (Schøtstuene) are open to visitors (guided tours are offered daily at 11:00 and 16:00).
  • Buses running to the Gamle Bergen Museum are now #3, #4, #12, #16E, or #19. Guided tours of Gamle Bergen are now only offered on weekdays (ask at the museum).
  • Enhjørningen Restaurant is now closed on Sundays.
  • Guest House Skiven has closed.

For books printed before July 2021, the following may also apply:

  • The shuttle bus between the Hanseatic Museum to the Fisheries Museum has stopped running. To link the two, it's an easy 15–20-minute walk or a 20-minute ferry ride. Buses also connect the two museums in 5 minutes.
  • The Bergen Card now covers the Norwegian Fisheries Museum and gives you 20 percent off the admission price at the Schøtstuene (Hanseatic Assembly Rooms).
  • Several recommended restaurants have closed: Anne Madam, Lido, and Dickens.
  • Bergen YMCA Hostel has permanently closed.
  • The correct email address for Thon Hotel Rosenkrantz is [email protected].
  • The correct email address for Thon Hotel Orion is [email protected].
  • The correct email address for Citybox Bergen City is [email protected].
  • Bergen's tourist train is no longer running.

Sognefjord

For books printed before July 2021, the following may apply:

  • In Balestrand, the Pilgrim restaurant in the Golden House Gallery building has closed.
  • Sjøtun Camping (in Balestrand) has closed for good.

Norway in a Nutshell (Flåm, Aurland, Undredal)

For books printed before July 2024, the following may apply:

  • It's no longer possible to do the Nutshell trip as a same-day loop from Oslo — the transit connections don't work. (It does still work to do the Nutshell as a day trip from Bergen.)
  • The boat company formerly called "The Fjords" is now Norway's Best (though the boats are still labeled "The Fjords"). They now run just one boat (rather than different "classic" and "premium" boats), and it now takes two hours to get between Flåm and Gudvangen.
  • The twisty road called Stalheimskleiva, which had led to the Stalheim Hotel between Gudvangen and Voss, is permanently closed following a landslide.
  • The Torget Café in Flåm has closed.
  • The Aurland Fjordhotel is now Hotel Aurlandsfjord, and is part of the Norway's Best group, with new contact information: +47 94 86 21 00, [email protected].
  • The Vangsgården Guest House in Aurland no longer rents rooms in the Aabelheim Pension.
  • Duehuset Pub in Aurland is now the Vangsgården Gastropub.
  • Undredal Overnatting is no longer bookable at the Undredal Bryggje Café.

Amsterdam

  • Tickets for the Anne Frank House now go on sale six weeks in advance (released every Tuesday).
  • After cutting ties with the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg in 2022, the Hermitage Amsterdam has rebranded itself as the H'ART Museum and now features rotating exhibits from the Pompidou in Paris, the British Museum in London, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum of Washington, DC.
  • Amsterdam Museum is closed at least until 2027 while it undergoes renovation. In the meantime, highlights from its collection are on display at the H'ART Museum.
  • The modern, new National Holocaust Museum is open in the Jewish Cultural Quarter, across the street from the Dutch Theater.
  • Netherlands Maritime Museum is now free for kids 12 and under and is no longer closed Mondays off-season.
  • Rembrandt's House is now open daily 10:00–18:00.
  • The Museum of Canals is now open Mon 12:00–17:00, Tue-Sun 10:00–17:00.
  • The Houseboat Museum has a new owner and some changes: The new price is €7.50 and includes an audioguide, there's no closure off-season, and the new phone number is +31 6 4289 3868.
  • The Tropical Museum has changed its name to World Museum Amsterdam (Wereldmuseum Amsterdam). The museum café has closed.
  • Restoration of the Westerkerk tower should be completed at the end of 2024, when the tower is expected to reopen to visitors.
  • The Noordermarkt (the end of Westerstraat) takes place on Saturdays as well as Mondays.
  • High-speed Thalys trains — which connect Amsterdam and Rotterdam with Brussels (and beyond to Paris) — have been rebranded as, and are now operated by, Eurostar. (Prices have not changed significantly; see our Netherlands Rail Passes and Train Tips page.)
  • For the latter half of 2024 (starting in late June), the Amsterdam-to-London Eurostar route, which is usually a direct train, will require a connection via Brussels, where passengers will undergo border formalities before boarding the cross-channel train. (This is to accommodate renovations at Amsterdam Centraal that require closure of the station's international terminal.) The London-to-Amsterdam service, however, will continue to be direct.
  • Amsterdam has moved the departure points for most long-distance buses away from Centraal station to outlying Metro stops. The EBS buses for Edam/Volendam and Marken leave from the Noord Metro station; Connexxion bus #357 to the Aalsmeer Flower Auction leaves from the Amstelveenseweg Metro station or Elandsgracht in the Jordaan, and bus #391 for Zaanse Schans leaves from the Nooderpark Metro station.
  • The tourist information office at Schiphol Airport has closed.
  • Cannabis College has closed its study center on Oudezijds Achterburgwal street in the Red Light District (though it still exists as an online resource).
  • The Mouse Mansion has moved to Muntplein 8.
  • The discount code for the Toren Hotel is "RSTEVES" (not RSSTEVES).
  • Bed & Breakfast Amsterdam has a new phone number: +31 6 5109 7663.
  • Max Brown Hotel has a new phone number: +31 20 710 7288.
  • Hotel Hegra has a new phone number: +31 6 2447 1242.

For books printed before April 2023, the following may also apply:

  • Amsterdam's three most popular museums now sell only timed-entry tickets. You'll need to book a timed entry even if you're buying a sightseeing pass (which you can do before you have your pass):
    • We recommend booking tickets for the Van Gogh Museum at least a week in advance. This museum is no longer covered by the I Amsterdam City Card.
    • If the Anne Frank House has sold out of basic admission tickets for time slots that work for you, consider the ticket that includes a 30-minute introductory talk (while about €7 more, these tickets don't tend to sell out as quickly as the basic admission tickets).
    • Though same-day tickets for the Rijksmuseum are often available, it's wise to buy your timed tickets ahead of your visit.
    • In peak season, it's also smart to buy tickets online in advance for the Stedelijk Museum.
  • Guides offering free city tours must now collect a city entertainment tax.
  • Tram #11 is no longer running. (The best way to reach Vondelpark is now via tram #17.)
  • The city now has just two tourist information offices: one inside the Centraal train station, and the other at Schiphol Airport.
  • The Amstelkring Museum is now (once again) called the Our Lord in the Attic Museum (Museum Ons' Lieve Heer op Solder).
  • Amsterdam's city government has banned tours of the Red Light District. But the Prostitution Information Center still offers self-guided tours bookended by an informative talk and Q&A session.
  • Randy Roy's Redlight Tours are no longer in operation.
  • The Westerkerk's free organ concerts are now held on Wednesdays (not Fridays; no concerts in winter). Its tower is temporarily closed for renovation.
  • The EYE Film Institute is now the EYE Filmmuseum.
  • The Canal House Museum is now the Museum of the Canals (Grachtenmuseum).
  • The Museum of Bags and Purses has closed, as have the Biblical Museum and the Reypenaer Tasting Rooms.
  • The 4:20 Coffeeshop is now Strain Hunters Coffeeshop.
  • Rembrandtplein has gotten grittier since our last edition, and its sculptures are gone — we no longer recommend it as a good park for kids.
  • Miniportworld has closed.
  • Café Villa Zeezicht has closed, as have the Atrium University Cafeteria and Ristorante Hostaria.
  • There is no longer a Connexxion shuttle bus that goes to most hotels. A public bus, Connexxion #397, does, however, go to the Leidseplein district.
  • The correct address for La Perla restaurant is Tweede Tuindwarsstraat 14 and 53.
  • B&B Helmers has closed.
  • The Connexxion shuttle bus between Amsterdam and Schiphol Airport now only allows payment by credit card.
  • The bus route to the Aalsmeer Flower Auction from Amsterdam's Centraal Station has been renumbered to #357.
  • Direct Amsterdam to London Eurostar trains are now running.

For books printed before May 2019, the following may also apply:

For books printed before October 2018, the following may also apply:

  • The entrance to the Anne Frank House has moved: Facing the museum, the entrance is now around the right side, in the new modern annex. See its site for new opening hours.
  • The I Amsterdam City Card now covers the Rijksmuseum and the Stedelijk Museum, as well as public transport and a canal cruise.
  • The rules governing tourists' use of the Museumkaart sightseeing pass have changed. The €60 pass, which is bought at participating museums, is now good for just five museum visits over 31 days (instead of unlimited admissions). But, this temporary card can be upgraded to a one-year card offering unlimited admissions to nearly 400 museums. To do so, register your temporary card online. A few days later, a one-year card is mailed to you at the address you give (your hotel in the Netherlands, for example). The temporary card may still be worthwhile for those on a short stay; the one-year card can be a very good deal for those staying longer.
  • The Van Gogh Museum's hours have changed (check their site).
  • All Amsterdam trams are now "cashless." To buy a ticket or pass onboard, you'll have to use a credit card and PIN. Ticket machines at stops accept both coins and credit cards. You can purchase tickets with cash from many points of sale within the city; see the public transport website for details.
  • Many of the city's tram lines have been renumbered and/or rerouted — check the new route map, and double-check local signage in person.
  • A new Amsterdam Metro line (#52) has begun operation from Noord (across the IJ River) to Centraal Station, then through Rokin to the Zuid train station in the south. We recommend getting around by tram instead of underground metro, but this line can be helpful for reaching sights in Rokin and in the Museumplein area.
  • From Schiphol Airport, bus route #197 into town is now bus #397 (it still departs from platform B9 in front of the airport).
  • The Civic Guards Gallery at the Amsterdam Museum is now called the Amsterdam Gallery.
  • The Rijksmuseum at Schiphol Airport has reopened.
  • Maes B&B has closed.
  • Hotel van Onna is no longer a standalone hotel, but is now an annex of Mr. Jordaan Hotel.
  • The following eateries have closed: La Place Cafeteria, Dwars Restaurant, Los Pilones Mexican, and the Marks & Spencer mini-grocery.

Bruges

  • The Arentshuis Museum has permanently closed (but its ground floor will continue to host events and a summer pop-up bar).
  • The Sint-Janshospitaal Memling Collection has reopened.
  • The ruins at the Crowne Plaza Hotel are now only viewable to hotel guests and those who have hired a local guide.
  • BbyB chocolate shop has closed.

For books printed before April 2023, the following may also apply:

  • Free shuttle buses are now the easiest way to get to the town center from the train station's kiss-and-ride area (no ticket required, run every 20 minutes 7:30–17:00 daily).
  • The Museumpas is now called the "Musea Brugge Card" (€32, valid for 3 days at 13 locations, available online and at museum ticket offices). While it covers fewer sights than the previous version, it's still a good value, as it covers admission to the Groeninge and Sint-Janshospitaal museums.
  • The Beguine House museum in the Begijnhof has closed.
  • Hotel Cordoeanier is now Hotel Rose Red.
  • The Bruges Beer Museum is now called the "Bruges Beer Experience."

 

Brussels

  • The Fin-de-Siècle Museum at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium is closed while the museum undergoes renovation (likely until 2027).
  • To avoid lines at the main entrance to the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, we recommend booking tickets online in advance and using the entrance to the Magritte Museum. A passageway on the lowest level connects the Magritte to the Old Masters Museum.
  • The Old Masters Museum and the Magritte Museum are now open Tues–Fri 10:00–17:00, Sat–Sun 11:00–18:00.
  • BELvue Museum is open Mon–Fri 9:30–17:00; Sat–Sun and July–Aug 11:00–19:00.
  • At the European Parliament, visitors no longer need to show up on the hour for tours; instead, they can use a one-hour multimedia guide at their own pace.
  • English tours at Town Hall are now offered every afternoon except Tuesdays and Thursdays, and some evenings as well. Tickets are €15.
  • St. Michael and Ste. Gudula Cathedral is now open daily 8:00–18:00.
  • The Museum of Original Figurines is now closed Tue–Thu except during July–Aug.
  • Local guide Roger van Buynder has a new email address: [email protected] and a new website.
  • Private operator European Sleeper now runs overnight trains between Brussels Midi and Berlin (3/week, 11 hours).
  • The privately run train between Brussels Airport and the city center is not covered by rail passes.
  • Bus route #27 has changed and doesn't go to the Royal Museums.
  • The Marc Sleen Museum has closed.
  • The following restaurants have closed: Inzia; Le Greenwich; and Publico.

For books printed before April 2023, the following may also apply:

  • The tourist information office at Rue du Marché aux Herbes 63 has closed, but a new Visit Brussels office has opened at Rue Royale 2. The USE-IT information center at Rue Ravenstein has also closed.
  • The City Sightseeing Brussels bus is not currently running. Tootbus, however, offers a two-hour express tour and a full-day hop-on, hop-off pass.
  • The Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium's entry tickets have changed: a €15 combo-ticket covers the Old Masters museum (and Fin-de-Siècle museum, when open), a different €15 ticket gets you the Magritte Museum, and a €20 ticket covers all three. All museums (including Magritte) are now closed on Mondays.
  • The Museum of Cocoa and Chocolate has moved to Rue de l'Etuve 41, and is now called "Choco-Story: The Chocolate Museum."
  • The Cinquantenaire Museum is now called the "Museum of Art & History."
  • The Royal Museum for Central Africa is now called "AfricaMuseum."
  • The Musical Instruments Museum's café is closed for a years-long renovation.
  • Cap Africa restaurant is now Hope House African.
  • Several hotels have closed: La Madeleine (for renovation), Les Clarisses and La Petite Eclipse, Hotel Welcome, Be in Brussels, Hotel Noga, and Hotel Opera (a SafeStay Hostel has opened in place of Hotel Opera).

For books printed before October 2018, the following may also apply:

  • The Eurail Global Pass now covers Eurostar trains between Brussels and London — but passholders must still book paid seat reservations. The Benelux-only Eurail pass does not cover Eurostar trains.
  • Costumes that have decorated the famous Manneken-Pis statue for three centuries are no longer on display at the City Museum. They now have their own museum, the GardeRobe Manneken-Pis, just down the block from the statue.
  • The following restaurants have closed: C'Est Bon, C'Est Belge; Aux Armes de Bruxelles; and La Marie Joseph.

 

Ghent

For books printed before April 2023, the following may apply:

  • The Gothic nave of St. Bavo's Cathedral is once again viewable, as is the Ghent Altarpiece, aside from some upper panels that are expected to remain under restoration until 2026 (replica panels are in place till then). While most of the church is still free to enter it now costs €12.50 to view the Ghent Altarpiece (ticket also covers the rest of the choir and the Rubens painting), or €16 to also visit the crypt. Since lines for the altarpiece can be long, it's smart to book a timed-entry ticket ahead of your visit, especially for weekends and any day in July and August.
  • The Ghent Design Museum is closed for renovation and expansion, with plans to reopen in 2026.
  • Simon Says Hotel has closed.
  • Several recommended restaurants have closed: Marco Polo Trattoria, Lkkr, Ramen (on Oudburg Street), and Belga Queen.
  • Wascenter Netezon laundromat has closed.

For books printed before October 2018, the following may also apply:

  • Avalon restaurant has closed.

Canterbury

For books printed before February 2023, the following may apply:

  • The Canterbury Tales attraction has closed.
  • Canterbury Cathedral offers several new tour options, both guided and self-guided, via a multimedia guide or phone app. 

For books printed before March 2020, the following may also apply:

  • Saturday tour times at Canterbury Cathedral now run at 10:30, 12:00, and 13:00; tours are also offered Mon–Fri at 10:30, 12:00, and 14:30 (14:00 in winter); no tours Sun.
  • The White House has closed.
  • The Tudor House has closed.
  • St. John's Court Guest House has closed.
  • The Canterbury Heritage Museum has closed.
  • Beaney House of Art and Knowledge is now closed on Mondays.

Portsmouth

For books printed before September 2024, the following may apply:

  • While the HMS Victory remains under restoration, an exhibit called "Victory Live: The Big Repair" lets visitors walk through the scaffolding to see conservationists at work.
  • Local Haunts city bus tours is no longer operating, but the city has a new hop-on, hop-off bus: the Southsea Coaster.

For books printed before February 2023, the following may also apply:

For books printed before March 2020, the following may also apply:

  • The D-Day Museum is now called The D-Day Story and has a new phone number: +44 23 9288 255.

London

  • Per new requirements set by the UK government, all passengers on Eurostar trains from (and to) the UK must now enter their passport details online before boarding. Once you've bought a ticket, enter your ticket's reference number at Eurostar's Manage Your Booking page to reach the page for entering your passport info. If you don't have a reference number issued by Eurostar, head to the manual check-in desk at the Eurostar terminal. Given the UK's new procedures for border checks, it's especially important to allow plenty of time for check-in (Eurostar recommends that standard-class passengers departing from London St. Pancras arrive 90 minutes ahead of their departure time; gates close 30 minutes before departure).

For books printed before September 2024, the following may also apply:

  • The Luton DART light rail has opened, connecting the Luton Airport Parkway Station with the airport in about 3 minutes (£4.90, runs every 4–7 minutes). This replaces the shuttle bus that previously connected the Parkway Station to the airport. DART tickets can be purchased on their site; printed tickets for Thameslink or Luton Airport Express trains to/from the airport will also get you through DART ticket barriers (select "Luton Airport" when purchasing your ticket).
  • The US Embassy has moved to 33 Nine Elms Lane (Tube: Vauxhall).
  • Elizabeth Tower, home to Big Ben, has reopened to visitors.
  • For the latter half of 2024 (starting in late June), the Amsterdam-to-London Eurostar route, which is usually a direct train, will require a connection via Brussels, where passengers will undergo border formalities before boarding the cross-channel train. (This is to accommodate renovations at Amsterdam Centraal that require closure of the station's international terminal.) The London-to-Amsterdam service, however, will continue to be direct.
  • The Loch Fyne restaurant chain has closed.
  • Moti Mahal has closed.

For books printed before February 2024, the following may also apply:

  • The Elizabeth transit/railway line is now fully operational, connecting central London (Paddington, Bond, Tottenham Court Road, Farrington and Liverpool Street Tube stations) with outlying neighborhoods to the east and with Heathrow Airport and Reading to the west. Within the city center it's part of the Tube network, and uses the same tickets. It's a faster (and more expensive) option from Heathrow into the city than the Tube (£12.80–14.30 depending on payment method and destination; contactless credit card and Oyster card accepted).
  • The National Portrait Gallery has reopened (daily 10:30–18:00, Fri–Sat until 21:00).
  • The Sainsbury Wing of the National Gallery is closed for renovation until spring 2025, and artwork may be moved around while it's underway. Long entry lines, however, remain a problem. To avoid the longest ones, book your visit ahead and enter through the less-crowded Getty entrance. Also, the museum's free one-hour overview tours now leave from the central hall, and are no longer offered every day (usually Tue–Thu at 15:00).
  • Bus #11 no longer runs between Westminster Abbey and Liverpool Street (via Trafalgar Square and St. Paul's) — it now goes across Westminster Bridge and ends at Waterloo Station.
  • Bus #23 no longer runs from Marble Arch to Hyde Park Corner, Knightsbridge, High Street Kensington, and on to Hammersmith; it now goes to Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, and Aldwych.
  • The British Museum's 1.5-hour tours need to be booked at least two weeks in advance.
  • At the Tate Modern floors 5–10 of the Blavatnik Building are currently closed, meaning the 10th-floor viewpoint is off limits. The museum now stays open until 22:00 on the last Friday of every month. Pre-booked visits are now only possible for special exhibits and events; this is also the case at the Tate Britain (which no longer maintains an app — but its website has a well-maintained guide to what's currently on display). The Tate Britain now stays open until 22:00 on the first Friday of every month.
  • The Victoria and Albert Museum is once again open late (until 22:00) on Fridays.
  • The Tower of London's last entry time is now two hours before closing time (which has been pushed back to 17:30).
  • The London Eye has resumed selling tickets on-site, but tickets are cheaper online (and even cheaper the farther in advance you book), and its new family ticket that is only available online.
  • The Museum of London location near the Barbican has closed. (The Museum of London Docklands remains open.) Its exhibits will be back on display as "The London Museum" in West Smithfield in 2026.
  • Sights at Buckingham Palace are now pricier than ever (£45 for the State Rooms; £58.50 for the "Royal Day Out" combo-ticket), and opening hours have changed:
    • The State Rooms are open mid-July–Sept Thu–Mon 9:45–14:45, closed Tue–Wed and Oct–mid-July. (Some winter and spring tours may be available; check online.)
    • The Queen's Gallery is open May–Feb Thu–Mon 10:00–17:30, closed Tue–Wed and March–April.
    • The Royal Mews are open mid-May–Sept Thu–Mon 10:00–16:00, closed Tue–Wed, usually closed off-season (but check online before your visit).
  • St. Paul's Cathedral is now open Mon–Sat 8:30–16:30 (dome opens at 9:30), except that on Wednesdays the church and dome don't open until 10:00. Its Whispering Gallery remains closed for the time being.
  • Shakespeare's Globe now offers a two-hour tour instead of its previous 50-minute tour. Half of the tour spots are bookable in advance; the other spots are reserved for same-day sales. Tours generally run daily 10:00–16:00, but may stop earlier on performance days. The theater's box office is now open Mon–Fri 11:00–18:00, Sat 10:00–18:00, Sun 10:00–17:00.
  • The Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields has changed its opening hours, with much shorter hours on Wednesdays (12:00–19:30), and somewhat later opening times and earlier closing times the rest of the week (9:00–17:00). Free tours are now offered daily at 14:30, and afternoon concerts are now performed only on Fridays at 13:00.
  • In the off-season (Sept–April), evensong at Westminster Abbey is now on Sat at 15:00.
  • Hampton Court Palace is now open daily 10:00–17:30, Feb–March until 16:00.
  • Pollock's Toy Museum is currently closed while it moves locations.
  • Greenwich's Clocktower Market, recently renamed as the "Greenwich Vintage Market," has moved to a spot just opposite the St. Alfege Church and is now held on weekends (Fri–Sun) and bank holidays, 8:00–17:00.
  • The vintage market housed in the former Truman Brewery on Brick Lane is now open daily 11:00–18:30 (until 18:00 Sat–Sun).
  • The City of London Information Centre is now closed Sun–Mon.
  • Congestion charges for driving in the city center are now levied weekdays 7:00–18:00 and weekends 12:00–18:00; the minimum charge remains £15.
  • Recommended driver guide Mike Dickson has retired.
  • A portion of The Strand (between the Courtauld Gallery at Waterloo Bridge and King's College at Surrey Street) has been pedestrianized. This change has affected some bus routes, including:
    • Bus #11, which no longer runs between Westminster Abbey and Liverpool Street via Trafalgar Square and St. Paul's; it now goes across the Westminster Bridge and ends at Waterloo.
    • Bus #23, which no longer runs from Marble Arch to Hyde Park Corner, Knightsbridge, High Street Kensington, and on to Hammersmith; it now goes to Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, and Aldwych.
  • There is no longer an EasyBus running between Gatwick and the Earl's Court Tube stop.
  • 7-day Travelcards are no longer sold as paper passes; they must now be loaded on to Oyster cards.
  • The Oyster transit card deposit is now £7 and nonrefundable. Cards purchased before February 23, 2020 (a year later than what's printed in some Rick Steves guidebooks) can still have any amount less than £10 refunded from Tube station ticket machines. Oyster card credits never expire.
  • The Emirates Air Line gondola has been rebranded as the IFS Cloud Cable Car.
  • Bus #242 no longer runs to Shoreditch or Liverpool Street Station (but bus #26 does).
  • St Katharine Pier, a stop near Tower Bridge used by many Thames cruises, is now known as Tower Bridge Quay.
  • Fernandez & Wells restaurant has closed.
  • Jen Café has closed.
  • The NH London Kensington hotel has closed.

For books printed before September 2022, the following may also apply:

  • Most of London's major sights, including many that don't charge admission, now primarily offer admission via online bookings, which generate a QR code that's scanned upon entry. This means that the "Fast Track" tickets are being phased out (as they're now redundant given each sight's on online-booking system).
  • Many sights have been slow to resume weekly evening openings following the pandemic; check ahead before assuming a sight is (or isn't) open late at least once a week.
  • Many museums — especially smaller ones — have done away with audio-/multimedia guides, as well as printed brochures, and now free apps in their stead. The free Bloomberg Connects app is worth downloading, as it provides in-depth audio commentary for several good museums, including the Churchill War Rooms, Sir John Soane's Museum, and Courtauld Gallery.
  • Most payment in London is now credit-card (or mobile-device) based. In many situations, such as transit, cash is often not accepted.
  • The very cool heritage "Routemaster" double-decker buses are no longer running. :(
  • Uber is once again cleared to operate within London.
  • We strongly recommend booking ahead for the London Eye and Greenwich's Cutty Sark and Royal Observatory Greenwich (which has reopened following a renovation).
  • The Courtauld Gallery has reopened following a long renovation.
  • The Victoria and Albert Museum's Cast Courts — galleries displaying plaster-cast replicas of famous statues, such as Trajan's Column and Michelangelo's David — have reopened after a lengthy renovation.
  • To avoid the long security line at the main entrance to British Museum, try using the north Montague Place entrance.
  • Borough Market is now open on Sundays (10:00–15:00), though it is much less lively then than it is the rest of the week.
  • TKTS now sells same-day theater tickets online (as well as from its booth).
  • The former Queens Theatre is now the Sondheim Theatre.
  • Recommended driver guide Janine Barton has retired.
  • Quite a few recommended restaurants have closed: Eat, Princi, Nordic Bakery, XU Teahouse, Y Ming Chinese Restaurant, Beirut Express, Geales, Andina Picanteria & Pisco Bar, Terroirs Wine Bar, and La Bottega.
  • Afternoon tea is no longer served at the Restaurant at Sotheby's or in the National Dining Rooms within the National Gallery.
  • The 22 York Street B&B has permanently closed, as have the Princes Square Guest Accommodation and St. Paul's Youth Hostel.

For books printed before June 2020, the following may also apply:

For books printed before March 2020, the following may also apply:

  • The Victorian afternoon tea is served Fri 13:00–19:00 (no longer on Sun).
  • Bus route #RV1 has been canceled.
  • Savini at the Criterion has closed.

For books printed before October 2019, the following may also apply:

For books printed before December 2019, the following may also apply:

  • Several recommended eateries have closed: Potato Project, Melt Room, and the Gay Hussar.

For books printed before September 2018, the following may also apply:

  • The Heathrow Connect train is no longer running.
  • Sir John Soane's Museum is open Wednesday–Sunday (not Tuesday–Saturday).
  • Inigo Jones' masterpiece of Neoclassical architecture, the Queen's House in Greenwich, has reopened.

 

Across France

  • Per new requirements set by the UK government, all passengers on Eurostar trains to/from the UK must now enter their passport details online before boarding. Once you've bought a ticket, enter your ticket's reference number at Eurostar's Manage Your Booking page to reach the page for entering your passport info. If you don't have a reference number issued by Eurostar, head to the manual check-in desk at the Eurostar terminal. Given the UK's new procedures for border checks, it's especially important to allow plenty of time for check-in (Eurostar recommends that standard-class passengers departing from Paris Gare du Nord arrive 90–120 minutes ahead of their departure time; gates close 30 minutes before departure).

For books printed before April 2024, the following may also apply:

  • In Provence and the French Riviera, buses are now run by the Zou bus network, and bus numbers have changed (timetables at Rome2Rio are easier to use than those on Zou's own site).
  • High-speed Thalys trains — which run the only direct trains between Paris and Brussels — have been rebranded as, and are now operated by, Eurostar. (Prices have not changed significantly; see our France Rail Passes and Train Tips page.)

For books printed before October 2022, the following may also apply:

For books printed before November 2019, the following may also apply:

  • Eurail Select Passes are no longer being sold (but similarly priced Global Passes still are) — see our 2019 rail-travel update.

For books printed before January 2019, the following may also apply:

  • French hotels recently won the legal right to undercut Booking.com and Hotels.com prices on their own hotel websites; virtually all hotels can offer lower rates than a site like Booking.com if you book directly. If you find a cheaper offer on a third-party site, let the hotel know, and they'll likely be willing to adjust their direct booking rate.
  • Baggage check services near train stations are becoming more common throughout France (through hotels, tourist information offices, and small shops). Day-trippers should always ask about available baggage check services at the tourist information office.
  • The speed limit for two-lane D and N routes is now 80 km/hour unless the road has a divider separating the lanes, in which case it's 90 km/hour.

Paris

For books printed before April 2024, the following may apply:

  • Expect changes leading up to, during, and even after the Paris 2024 Olympic Games (July 26–August 11).
  • If you plan to use a Paris Museum Pass for to visit the Louvre, you'll need to book much farther in advance — at least six weeks ahead in high season — than needed for standalone Louvre tickets, as passholder spaces are limited. That said, we now recommend booking even Louvre-only tickets as far ahead as possible. The museum is (once again) open late on Fridays (until 21:45), and may also stay open later on Wednesdays as well — check its site for current hours.
  • The Paris Museum Pass is going digital only; paper passes will be sold at participating museums, monuments, and TIs until the stock is depleted.
  • A two-part visitor experience is now open at Notre-Dame Cathedral (in the underground parking garage behind the Archeological Crypt). The "In the Heart of the Restoration" exhibit uses video monitors to explain the monumental task of rebuilding the cathedral following the catastrophic 2019 fire. And the breathtaking "Eternelle Notre-Dame" virtual-reality experience lets visitors travel through time from the cathedral's 12th-century construction up to the fire. Highlights include gazing into the nave from above; watching the assembly of rose windows; "meeting" the cathedral's architect, craftsmen, and first bishop; and gazing at views over Paris from the Middle Ages through today. The first exhibit is free, but the virtual-reality experience is fairly pricey (€35, €25 for kids under 18, cheaper online — choose the Notre-Dame square location, not the other location at La Défense; both parts open Tue–Sun 10:00–20:00, closed Mon).
  • The Delacroix Museum has reopened.
  • When approaching the Orsay Museum, use the entry that accords with your ticket: When facing the entrance, head to the left if you have a pre-booked Orsay ticket; those using a Paris Museum Pass and those purchasing tickets on-site enter on the right (where there's a separate line for each). The Orsay now requires pre-booked tickets for free-ticket days on the first Sunday of the month.
  • Discounted tickets at the Opéra Garnier for those with a ticket to the Orsay Museum are only granted within five days of your Orsay visit.
  • The Grand Palais is now expected to remain closed until at least 2025.
  • The Orangerie Museum now requires pre-booked tickets only for free-entry days on the first Sunday of the month — but we still strongly recommend booking in advance for any Orangerie visit.
  • If you're planning to get a combo-ticket that covers either the Orangerie or Rodin Museum in addition to the Orsay, it's smart to visit the Orsay after buying your combo-ticket at either of those less-crowded museums. (You can book a timed-entry spot before you've purchased a ticket.) There is no longer a combo-ticket that covers both the Orangerie and Monet's gardens in Giverny.
  • Rooms 16–21 at the Cluny Museum are often closed; if this is the case during your visit, you'll need to backtrack to the entrance and climb the stairs to see the museum's final rooms.
  • The escalator to the Centre Pompidou's sixth-floor view terrace is now free. Nearby, the studio of sculptor Constantin Brancusi has closed.
  • The Architecture and Monuments Museum has intriguing exhibits on the Notre-Dame fire (through June 2, 2024).
  • At Les Invalides, a dazzling sounds-and-light show runs after dark from mid-July to early September.
  • At the Eiffel Tower, the Madame Brasserie restaurant has opened on the tower's first level, with two lunch and two dinner seatings. Reserve far in advance, particularly for a view table.
  • Train and bus service from Paris to Château Vaux-le-Vicomte is unpredictable; check transportation websites before going. Likely the best approach is to take a train from Gare de Lyon to Melun and then a taxi to the château.
  • After 75 years in operation, Paris' largest cabaret, the Lido, has shut down. Its building, directly on the Champs-Élysées, now houses a UGC multiplex cinema.
  • The correct email address for Hôtel Eiffel Kensington is [email protected].
  • Hôtel Bonaparte and Hôtel Basss are closing for renovations at some point in 2024.

For books printed before September 2022, the following may also apply:

  • We no longer recommend waiting to buy the Paris Museum Pass once you get to Paris — since some covered sights need to be booked ahead (such as the Louvre), it's best to purchase your pass online in advance of your trip.
  • Timed-entry tickets are now required at the Louvre. Visitors can enter at the pyramid up to 30 minutes before their assigned time. Its Post-Impressionist works are now on Level 5 (not Level 2), near the Impressionist rooms.
  • The Cluny Museum has reopened after a major renovation (€12, Tue–Sun 9:30–18:15, closed Mon).
  • The Paris Sewer Museum has reopened (now €9, covered by Museum Pass, Tue–Sun 10:00–17:00, closed Mon, last entry one hour before closing).
  • Post-Impressionist works at the Orsay Museum are now in new galleries on level 5, near the Impressionist rooms.
  • The National Maritime Museum has reopened.
  • The tourist-information office in the underground Carrousel du Louvre mall has closed.
  • The hop-on, hop-off bus company L'Open Tour has rebranded as "TootBus" and now runs the "Paris by Night" tour (not Paris City Vision).
  • The 58 Tour Eiffel restaurant has reopened. Reserve long in advance, especially if you want a view (+33 1 72 76 18 46, toll tel. +33 8 25 56 66 62).
  • The Place Gambetta bus stop for Père Lachaise Cemetery is no longer the last stop of the #69 bus route.
  • Disneyland Paris has retired its free Fastpass program. Its new "Premier Access" system allows parkgoers to skip the lines for the most popular rides by paying a fee (which varies by date and attraction).
  • Hotel de la Paix's correct street address is 19 Rue du Gros Caillou.
  • Young & Happy Hostel has closed.
  • Restaurants Les Fables de la Fontaine, Cuillier Coffee, L'Epicerie-Rotisserie Jeanne B, and Le Jardin d'en Face have closed.
  • The Hédiard gourmet shops have closed, as have Fauchon's Traiteur Pâtisserie and its Cave, Chocolat, Épicerie shop.
  • A Paris–Nice night train is now running again (12 hours, does not run daily).
  • Overnight Paris–Italy trains are no longer operating; direct trains between France and Italy are now limited to daytime TGV and Frecciarossa trains on the Paris–Lyon–Turin–Milan route.
  • A new Paris–Vienna night train now runs three times a week (14 hours; keep in mind that flying may be cheaper).
  • Le Bus Direct (formerly just known as the Air France bus) has gone out of business. Good alternatives for reaching the city center from Paris' airports include the Roissybus and RER/Train-B.
  • The correct phone number for airport-transfer service Inter Service Prestige is +37 7 62 23 23 31.

For books printed before January 2021, the following may also apply:

  • The Paris Archaeological Crypt has reopened after the Notre-Dame fire closure.
  • The Fragonard Perfume Museum has moved to 3 Square Louis Jouvet.
  • The Carnavalet Museum has reopened after a major multiyear renovation.
  • If you plan to visit the Louvre with a Museum Pass, we recommend making a reservation in advance, even for an off-season visit. You can book a reservation online as late as the day of your visit, even in high season — but you do need to get your Museum Pass first, as the site will ask you to enter your pass's number. While the Museum Pass now carries a one-visit-per-museum restriction, the Louvre's three wings count as different museums for the sake of the pass — so you can visit the Louvre three times on one pass, provided you enter through a different wing each time.
  • The Puces St. Ouen tourist information office has new telephone number: +33 1 55 87 67 50.
  • Bistrot Chez France's phone number is now +33 1 40 67 96 54.
  • Café Delmas on Place de la Contrescarpe has closed.
  • The Poilâne bakery is now closed Sunday.
  • Hotel Bosquet is now Hotel Relais Bosquet. Rick Steves readers can get a discount by booking online with code "RSDEAL."
  • Hôtel Eber-Mars is now Hôtel le Cercle-Tour Eiffel, and has new contact info: +33 1 47 05 42 30, [email protected].
  • Port-Royal Hotel's correct email address is [email protected].
  • The local bus connecting Beauvais airport and the Beauvais train station is now #6 (not #12).
  • SoGymnase Comedy Club no longer offers shows in English.

For books printed before November 2019, the following may also apply:

  • Following the 2019 fire, Notre-Dame Cathedral will likely be closed for several years. Access to the Ile de la Cité may also change while reconstruction is underway; check the tourist information office's updates page for the latest.
  • The Sacré-Cœur's dome is now open 8:30–20:00 (May–Sept) and 9:00–17:00 (Oct–April).
  • The Arc de Triomphe is no longer free the first Sunday of the month in October (now November–March). Museum Pass holders with kids no longer have to wait in line for tickets at the Arc.
  • The Louvre Wine Museum now closes at 18:00, and the phone number is +33 1 40 28 13 11.
  • The Rodin Museum now stays open until 18:30. There is no longer a separate entry time and cost for the gardens.
  • The Louvre is no longer free on first Sundays.
  • Online reservations for the Eiffel Tower are now available 60 days in advance. From September until mid-June, the last ascent by stairs is at 18:30. For any trip up the tower that includes stairs — any time of year — tickets must be purchased on-site.
  • The Paris Museum Pass is now activated at the time of first use and is time-based (not days-based). For example, a two-day pass gives you 48 hours of use from the time you first use it (e.g. if your first entry is at 13:00, you get 48 hours from 13:00). While prices have increased, it's still the best value of all the passes offered in Paris, and pays for itself with four key admissions in two days (for example, the Louvre, Orsay, Sainte-Chapelle, and Versailles).
  • Paper Métro tickets are being phased out in favor of plastic Navigo travel cards, which cover transit on the Métro, public buses, and the RER/suburban train. Single-use tickets for buses and the RER/suburban train will likely remain available. There are two Navigo options:
    • Navigo Easy Card: Load euros onto your €2 Navigo Easy card and pay as you ride (€1.90/ride), or load the card with a 10-ride pass (€14.90) or day pass (€7.50 for Zones 1-2).
    • Navigo Decouverte Pass: This chip-embedded card costs a one-time €5 fee. When you buy, select from a weekly (€23) or monthly pass and ride unlimited during that time.
    You can buy your Navigo Easy or Découverte card at any staffed Métro station and at most tabacs.
  • The tourist information office at Gare de l'Est has closed.
  • Local guide Arnaud Servignat's correct email address is [email protected].
  • At the Orangerie Museum, the Walter-Guillaume Collection on the bottom floor has been renovated and reorganized. The collection no longer presents the art chronologically, but now groups paintings by confronting artists.
  • The Paris Webservices has a new email address: [email protected].
  • Bike About Tours' 3.5-hour tour meeting point has changed to Le Peloton Café, located in the Marais at 17 Rue du Pont Louis Philippe. Their additional May–Sept afternoon tour now runs at 14:30.
  • Opéra Garnier's morning guided tours in English that run July–Aug are now at 11:00 daily. Their updated contact information is +33 1 42 46 72 40 or 1 71 25 24 23, [email protected].
  • The Thanksgiving store has closed.
  • The Marché de Saxe street market is only open Thursday and Saturday now (not Tuesday).
  • Stéphane Secco at 20 Rue Jean Nicot has closed.
  • Le Pré Verre has closed.
  • Café de Mars is now closed Sunday–Monday.
  • The Gérard Mulot pâtisserie at 76 Rue de Seine is now called Maison Mulot and is no longer closed Wednesdays.
  • Cave à Jojo has closed.
  • La Poule au Pot is now closed Sat–Sun and has a new phone number: +33 1 47 05 16 36.
  • Autour de Midi et Minuit has closed.
  • Hôtel Prince has closed.
  • The Parler Parlor conversation group has closed.

For books printed before April 2019, the following may also apply:

For books printed before October 2018, the following may also apply:

  • The tourist information offices in the Opéra neighborhood (25 Rue des Pyramides) and in Montmartre (21 Place du Tertre) have closed.
  • ADP information desks at Paris airports have closed.
  • Cobblestone Paris, an apartment rental company, now offers a 10 percent discount for Rick Steves readers in addition to two free river cruises (no minimum night requirement) — use code RSPARIS. They also have a new email address: [email protected].
  • The Canadian Consulate and Embassy has moved to 130 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré (+33 1 44 43 29 02).
  • Brasserie Aux PTT in the Rue Cler no longer offers Rick Steves readers a breakfast special.
  • The Vélib' Bikes system is being overhauled to offer lighter bikes, electric bikes, and an easier booking process; see their new website for updates.
  • City Sightseeing Tours has a new website.
  • The Peugeot dealership on the Champs-Élysées (at #136) has closed.
  • Street parking can now be paid with a credit card — it's no longer necessary to buy a parking card at a tabac.

Normandy

  • The Bayeux Tapestry will not be on display between fall 2025 (when the museum currently housing it closes) and early 2027 (when a new museum, adjacent to the current one, is planned to open).

For books printed before June 2024, the following may also apply:

  • Rouen's tourist information office has moved to Esplanade Marcel Duchamp, in the same building that houses the Museum of Fine Arts, a few blocks south of the train station.
  • Rouen's train station no longer offers baggage storage; try Nannybag.com for storage at businesses near the station or the Museum of Fine Arts, which has storage lockers (available only when museum is open).
  • In Rouen, La Maison Sublime, an ancient crypt inside the Palais de Justice holding the remains of the oldest Jewish settlement in France, offers hourlong tours on Saturdays at 10:30 and 14:30. Tours are in French only; request an English booklet when booking. Bring your passport for entry.
  • La Lieutenance, the old port gatehouse in Honfleur, is now open to the public.
  • The website for the D-Day Landing Museum in Arromanches is now at www.musee-arromanches.fr.

For books printed before April 2024, the following may also apply:

For books printed before October 2022, the following may also apply:

  • Monsieur Augy has closed his faience earthenware studio and shop in Rouen; it's now a bookstore (but in his honor the new owners have retained the original storefront).
  • Café Les Impressionistes in Honfleur is now the Bistrot de l'Hôtel de Ville.
  • In Arromanches, there is no longer free parking in the lot between the grocery store and L'Hôtel Ideal de Mountbatten.
  • Restaurant Le Pappagall in Arromanches has closed, as has L'Hôtel d'Arromanches.
  • We now recommend getting around the D-Day beaches by bike (or ebike), as the area now has good bike paths and routes along quiet roads that keep you off the busy highway. LocvélO in Bayeux offers well-crafted self-guided tours.

For books printed before September 2022, the following may also apply:

For books printed before January 2021, the following may also apply:

For books printed before November 2019, the following may also apply:

For books printed before January 2019, the following may also apply:

  • Bayeux offers two choices for car rental. Hertz is the only one that allows you to drop off in a different city and is open daily, but it's not very central (Mon–Fri 8:00–20:00, Sat–Sun 8:00–12:00 & 14:00–17:00, Route de Cherbourg, +33 2 31 92 03 26). Renault Rent is better for local rentals and is just below the train station on the ring road at the Renault dealership (Mon–Sat 7:30–19:30, closed Sun, 16 Boulevard Sadi Carnot, +33 2 31 51 18 51).

For books printed before October 2018, the following may also apply:

  • L'Arrivée de Giverny café in Giverny no longer offers bag storage.