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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

  • Daily City Walks by Red Badge Guides now runs May–Sept at 10:00. The price has increased to 150 DKK.
  • The Museum of Copenhagen has reopened (90 DKK, Wednesday is free — expect crowds; daily 9:00–18:00, Thursday until 21:00, 18 Stormgade).
  • Richard Karpen no longer leads scheduled Monday and Thursday Rosenborg Castle group tours (though you can still book him for Rosenborg Castle tours by reservation, copenhagenwalks@yahoo.com). His Hans Christian Andersen Tours also still run mid-May–mid-Sept Mon–Sat at 9:30.
  • The National Museum now charges 95 DKK for admission.
  • The Carlsberg brewery visitors center is closed for renovation until 2020, as the entire former brewery complex is being transformed into a new neighborhood called Carlsberg City (Carlsberg Byen), with a hotel, restaurants, shops, housing, and public spaces, while preserving and repurposing some of the historic Carlsberg structures.
  • The Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde is now covered by the Copenhagen Card sightseeing pass.

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

  • Bus #11A is no longer running, and bus #5C (not #5A) connects the station to Nørreport. Pick up the Bus, Train & Metro Guide map at the tourist information office or check www.rejseplanen.dk for options.
  • The two-zone klippekort transit ticket is no longer available, and it is no longer necessary to stamp tickets at yellow boxes; instead passengers should be prepared to show tickets to bus drivers and train personnel.
  • Noma restaurant has reopened in its new location, and no longer accepts phone reservations — but be sure to reserve online (open for lunch and dinner Wed–Sat, northeast of Opera House at Nefshalevej 96).
  • The Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek art gallery is now free on Tuesdays (not Sundays), and is open until 22:00 on Thursdays.
  • Sankt Annæ B&B has closed.
  • Café Sommersko has closed.
  • Bastionen & Løven restaurant has closed.
  • Kødbyens Deli has closed.
  • Jensen’s Bøfhus restaurant has closed.
  • Skildpadden restaurant has closed.
  • Andersen Bakery has closed.
  • City Public Hostel has closed.
  • Carlton Hotel has changed its name to 66 Guldsmeden.

For books printed before April 2017, the following may also apply:

  • All Bike Copenhagen with Mike tours must be booked in advance at http://bikecopenhagenwithmike.dk/bookings.
  • Cruise-ship passengers arriving at the Oceankaj terminal who wish to take the public bus into town now must first ride bus #27 from the terminal to the Østerport train station, and then transfer to bus #26 for the ride into central Copenhagen.

Stockholm

  • The National Museum of Fine Arts has reopened after a five-year renovation. Aside from special exhibits, admission is free. Audio guide devices are available to rent, or you can access the audio guides for free by downloading the museum's Visitor Guide app in the AppStore or Google Play. Hours: Tue—Sun 11:00—17:00, Fri until 21:00, closed Mon.
  • The Stockholm City Museum has reopened, and the Saluhall market is now slated to reopen in winter 2020.
  • The Swedish History Museum's viking exhibit is currently closed, with its reopening set for May 2020 (the rest of the museum remains open).

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

  • The Royal Coin Cabinet is closed while it moves locations (reopening date TBD).
  • The military parade now starts running daily earlier in the year (late April) but no longer takes place daily in September (Wed, Sat–Sun only).
  • The English Bookshop has moved to the Södermalm district at Södermannag 22.
  • Royal Sightseeing is now called Red Buses and offers hop-on, hop-off bus and boat tours.
  • Strömma's 1.25-hour Old Town walking tour now leaves from Gustav Adolfs torg.
  • Mat and Bar café has closed.
  • The City Hall has a new website: www.stockholm.se/stadshuset.
  • Buses #3 and #50 stop at City Hall.
  • The route for bus #71 has changed and no longer works for travelers arriving by cruise ship.
  • Ferries to Turku, Helsinki, Tallinn, and Rīga now depart from Värtahamnen port.
  • The Scandic Kungsgatan hotel has closed.
  • HTL Kungsgatan is now called "Scandic No. 53" and has new contact info: +46 8 5173 6500, www.scandichotels.com, no53@scandichotels.com.
  • Columbus Hotel is now called NOFO Hotel/NOFO Loft and is a hybrid hotel/hostel. There is a new website and email address: www.nofohotel.se, info@nofo.se.

Helsinki

  • Linda Line has ceased ferry service between Helsinki and Tallinn, Estonia.

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

  • Helsinki's tram lines have been reorganized. New route maps are available on the transport network's website.
  • Temppeliaukio Church now charges admission (€3).
  • Sundmans Krog Bistro has closed.
  • The Erottajanpuisto hostel is now called Hostel Diana Park and has a new website (www.dianapark.fi).

For books printed before April 2017, the following may also apply:

  • The Helsinki City Museum is now located at Aleksanterinkatu 16 and is open Mon–Fri 11:00–19:00, Sat–Sun 11:00–17:00.

St. Petersburg

  • The departure point for Peterswalk bike tours has changed. They now leave from the courtyard of the Berthold Centre at Grazhdanskaya 13.

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

  • The U.S. consulate in St. Petersburg has closed. For passport and other services, contact the U.S. embassy in Moscow: +7 495 728 5577, emergency +7 495/728 5000, https://ru.usembassy.gov.

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

  • The cost for a Russian visa has increased significantly: Plan on at least $400 per person to cover the visa, service fee, and secure shipping.
  • The Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works belonging to the Hermitage Museum are no longer displayed in the main museum building but are now installed in the General Staff Building (across the square from the Hermitage).
  • Private guide Natalya German-Tsarkova has a new website: www.tzar-travel.com.

Tallinn

  • Linda Line has ceased ferry service between Helsinki and Tallinn, Estonia.
  • The Museum of Occupations is now called the "Vabamu Museum of Occupations and Freedom." The museum was recently 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.

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

  • Budget eateries Road Food, Eat, and Balti Jaama Kohvik (at the outdoor market) have closed.

Gdańsk

For books printed before August 2018, the following may apply:

  • The European Solidarity Center is now closed on Tuesdays in winter (open May–Sept Mon–Fri 10:00–19:00, Sat–Sun 10:00–20:00; Oct–April Mon and Wed–Fri 10:00–17:00, Sat–Sun 10:00–18:00, closed Tue). Regular admission now costs 20 zł.

Across Germany

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

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

Berlin & Potsdam

  • Clärchens Ballhaus is temporarily closed. Check their website for updates: www.ballhaus.de.
  • The new James-Simon-Galerie entrance pavilion is now open. Visitors will now enter the museum on the west bank of the island.
  • The Kennedys Museum has closed. It will now be 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:
    • 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).
    • The TXL has been shortened and is now a true airport bus, going between Tegel Airport and the Hauptbahnhof every six minutes. Bus #245 has taken over the stops between Hauptbahnhof and Alexanderplatz that the TXL previously made.
    • 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. See https://www.bvg.de/berlinsmitte for more info. 
  • The tourist information office on Rankstrasse (across from the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church) has closed, but a new office has opened across town on Alexanderplatz, in the lobby of the Park Inn hotel (Mon–Sat 7:00–21:00, Sun 8:00–18:00).
  • 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 €19 combo-ticket that covers the new "Pergamon. Das Panorama" exhibit with museum admission; visitors with Museum Island Pass or Museum Pass Berlin pay €6. The exhibit — a wraparound panorama painting of the city of Pergamon in AD 129 — will be in a pavilion across from Museum Island while the Pergamon Altar is undergoing restoration.
  • The Museum Pass Berlin now includes the German History Museum.
  • Buying tickets online in advance is now recommended to avoid lines at the DDR Museum.
  • Several local guides have updated their contact information: 
  • The Jewish Museum Berlin is no longer staying open late on Mondays. The museum's permanent exhibit is under construction through early 2020. You can still visit the Memorial spaces: Axis of Exile; Axis of Holocaust; Axis of Continuity; Memory Void; garden and tower.
  • 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.
  • Adina Apartment Hotel Berlin Hackescher Markt has a new website.
  • NH Berlin Mitte Leipziger Strasse hotel is now called NH Collection Berlin Mitte Am Checkpoint Charlie and has a new email address: nhcollectionberlinmitte@nh-hotels.com.
  • The famous Fassbender & Rausch chocolate shop on Gendarmenmarkt has dropped "Fassbender" – it's just the Rausch chocolate shop now.
  • The following 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

  • The opening of the new Munch Museum has been postponed until fall 2020. It is uncertain whether The Scream will be on display during summer 2020; check online for the latest.
  • The National Gallery is closed; it's slated to reopen as part of the New National Museum in 2021.

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

  • The telephone number for train information for Norway in a Nutshell, Oslo, and Bergen routes is +47 61 05 19 10 — press 9 for English.
  • Royal Marine Seafood Grill has closed.

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

  • Guided tours of the richly decorated City Hall are now offered only in summer (June–Aug daily at 10:00, 12:00, and 14:00).
  • The outlying Rygge Airport in the town of Moss is closed. Discount airlines now primarily use Sandefjord Airport Torp, 70 miles south of the city.
  • Construction on the speedy X 2000 train line from Oslo to Stockholm will likely interrupt service through 2020. Slower SJ InterCity trains will still be available (35 kr reservations still required for InterCity trains in all classes).
  • Alibaba Restaurant has closed.

For books printed before November 2017, the following may also apply:

  • The Munch Museum is now reachable by bus #20 to the Munchmuseet stop (rather than bus #60); the T-bane to Tøyen still works fine as well.
  • The venerable Grand Café, the haunt of many noted Norwegian artists and authors, has reopened (and now includes a wine cellar).

For books printed before April 2017, the following may also apply:

Stavanger

For books printed before June 2018, the following may apply:

  • Nye La Piazza restaurant has closed.
  • The Printing Museum was slated to reopen by 2016, but remains closed for the foreseeable future.

Bergen

  • The Bergen Card now covers the Norwegian Fisheries Museum and gives you 20 percent off the admission price at the Schøtstuene (Hanseatic Assembly Rooms).
  • Bergen YMCA Hostel has permanently closed.
  • Anne Madam Restaurant has closed.
  • The Bryggens Museum reopens on June 18 with a new exhibition and new hours through August — daily 10:00–16:00 — with shorter hours in the off-season; admission is now 100 kr.
  • Most of the Hanseatic Museum on the Bryggen harborfront is closed for restoration until at least spring 2024. The Schøtstuene (Hanseatic Assembly Rooms) part of the exhibit, however, has reopened with new exhibits covering Hanseatic life and the history of Bryggen, as well as a medieval ruin visible through a newly installed glass floor (daily 10:00–18:00, until 17:00 May and Sept; 11:00–15:00 Oct–Dec).
  • The correct email address for Thon Hotel Orion is orion@olavthon.no.

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

  • The telephone number for train information for Norway in a Nutshell, Oslo, and Bergen routes is +47 61 05 19 10 – press 9 for English.

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

  • Travelers arriving at or departing from the newly remodeled Flesland Airport have the option of taking the Bybanen tram to/from the city center. Ticket machines will work with a US credit card plus PIN (45 minutes, 37 kr).
  • The White Lady harbor tour boat is no longer running.
  • Thon Hotel Bergen Brygge has been renamed Thon Hotel Orion.
  • Skansen Pensjonat near the Fløibanen funicular station has closed.
  • Peppes Pizza has closed its restaurants near the Fish Market and Hanseatic Museum and moved to Olav Kyrres Gate 11.
  • The Kjøttbasaren food hall has closed.
  • Söstrene Hagelin Fast Fish Joint has moved to Strandgaten 3.
  • Kafe Magdalena has changed its name to Krohnhagen Café and moved to Kong Oscars Gate 54.

For books printed before November 2017, the following may also apply:

  • St. Mary's Church (Mariakirken) has reopened for services and sightseeing (50 kr) after an extensive restoration.

For books printed before April 2017, the following may also apply:

Sognefjord

  • Sjøtun Camping (in Balestrand) has closed for good.

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

  • In summer, there is now an extra run of the Glacier Bus from Sogndal to the Nigard Glacier, making a half-day visit possible.
  • In Sogndal on the Lustrafjord, Loftesnes Pensjonat has closed.

Norway in a Nutshell

For books printed before June 2018, the following may apply:

  • The telephone number for train information for Norway in a Nutshell, Oslo, and Bergen routes is +47 61 05 19 10 — press 9 for English.
  • The tourist information office in Flåm no longer sells tickets for the Lustrabaatane ferry to Gudvangen. Tickets are available online, from a vendor at the dock (in summer), and onboard.
  • The Fjords Tours' "Norway in a Nutshell" package is now sold at tourist information offices and train stations in Oslo and Bergen.

For books published before February 2018, the following may also apply:

  • Two ferry companies now run boats on the fjord between Flåm and Gudvangen: The Fjords Tours and Lustrabaatane. If you're buying your own Nutshell tickets, Lustrabaatane is the cheapest option. The Fjords replaces Sognefjorden Sightseeing & Tours.

For books published before November 2017, the following may also apply:

  • Near Flåm: Otternes Farms is closed to visitors.

Amsterdam

  • Randy Roy's Redlight Tours is no longer in operation.
  • Direct Amsterdam to London Eurostar trains will begin service on April 30, 2020, and tickets are on sale now. On about 3 departures per day, travelers won't need to connect in Brussels in the London-bound direction. There should be four direct departures per day by mid-year and five by December. These Eurostar trains also serve Rotterdam, with return boarding from Rotterdam expected to be available in late May.
  • Amsterdam city government may ban guided tours of the Red Light District in 2020.
  • The Amstelkring Museum is now (once again) called the Our Lord in the Attic Museum (Museum Ons' Lieve Heer op Solder).
  • The Connexxion shuttle bus between Amsterdam and Schiphol Airport now only allows payment by credit card.
  • Hotel Brouwer is closed for renovation for several months, with plans to reopen in June 2019.
  • The bus route to the Aalsmeer Flower Auction from Amsterdam's Centraal Station has been renumbered to #357.
  • Café Villa Zeezicht has closed, as have the Atrium University Cafeteria and Ristorante Hostaria.
  • The correct address for La Perla restaurant is Tweede Tuindwarsstraat 14 and 53.
  • B&B Helmers has closed.

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

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

  • Tickets to the Anne Frank House go on sale two months in advance, and are released gradually over the two-month period between the on-sale date and visit date. If no tickets for your preferred date are available initially, keep checking back. The entrance to the museum has moved. Facing the museum, the entrance is now around the right side, in the new modern annex. Hours are April–Oct daily 9:00–22:00; Nov–March Mon–Fri 9:00–20:00, Sat until 22:00, Sun until 19:00.
  • The I Amsterdam City Card now covers the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, and Stedelijk Museum, as well as public transport and a canal cruise. With this card, travelers who've booked a (required) time slot at the Van Gogh Museum won't need to stand in line, but will still have to queue at the Rijksmuseum.
  • 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 is only admitting visitors who've booked a timed-entry slot online before arriving, even those using a Museumkaart or I Amsterdam CIty Card in lieu of a ticket (and the museum isn't selling any in-person tickets); it's unclear whether this new rule is temporary or not, so check the museum's website for updates well before your visit. The museum also has new (permanent) hours: daily April–Aug 9:00–19:00, Fri until 21:00, and Sat until 18:00 (April–June) and 21:00 (July–Aug); Sept–Oct 9:00–18:00, Fri until 21:00; Nov–March 9:00–17:00, Fri until 21:00.
  • 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.

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

  • TripKey transit cards can no longer be picked up at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel at Centraal station, but can now be picked up at Amsterdam Ticket Shop at Kerkstraat 155a.

For books printed before May 2017, the following may also apply:

  • The Stedelijk Museum now closes at 18:00 on Thursdays, and is open until 22:00 on Fridays.
  • Starbikes Rental has moved down the way to De Ruijterkade 143.
  • Hotel Filosoof has been thoroughly renovated and reopened as the Pillows Anna van den Vondel.
  • Sunhead of 1617 Canal House Inn has closed.
  • Frederic Rent-a-Bike no longer rents guestrooms. Frederic will still honor the printed Rick Steves reader discount on bike rentals (50 percent discount on 24-hour rentals).

Bruges

For books printed before June 2018, the following may apply:

  • It is faster and more direct to take a train from Ghent to Flanders Fields (Ypres/Ieper) than from Bruges.
  • The Beguine's House museum is no longer open on Sundays.
  • Hamiltons B&B has closed.
  • Absoluut Verhulst B&B has closed.
  • Hotel Cavalier has closed.
  • 't Opkikkertje bar has closed.

For books printed before May 2017, the following may also apply:

  • The Walwyck Hotel is closed indefinitely for renovations.

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

  • The Church of Our Lady is undergoing a major, years-long renovation, during which different parts of the interior will be closed to visitors.
  • The Lace Center is now located across from the Folklore Museum, at Balstraat 16.

Brussels

  • The Royal Museum for Central Africa, in the nearby town of Tervuren, has reopened after a five-year renovation (€12, Tue–Fri 11:00–17:00, Sat–Sun 10:00–18:00, closed Mon).

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

For books printed before May 2017, the following may also apply:

  • Maison Noble and Lit de Senne B&B have closed.
  • The Museum of Letters and Manuscripts has closed.
  • The Parlamentarium's Info Point Visitors Center has closed.
  • A one-way ticket on the Eurostar train between Brussels and London now runs about $225 for standard fare, $130 for "standard premier" fare, and about $380 for "business premier" fare.

Ghent

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

  • The exterior panels of the Ghent Altarpiece are closed 12:00–13:00 Monday–Saturday, offering visitors a better look at the recently restored exterior panels.
  • Avalon restaurant has closed.

For books printed before May 2017, the following may also apply:

  • Brooderie B&B is no longer renting rooms (but the café is still open).
  • Guided history tours now depart daily in season from the tourist information office at 14:00 (not 14:30).
  • Ghent City Museum (Stadsmuseum Gent, a.k.a. STAM) and House of Alijn are now open Mon–Tue and Thu–Fri 9:00–17:00, Sat–Sun 10:00–18:00 (closed Wed).
  • Ghent Design Museum is now open Mon–Tue and Thu–Fri 9:30–17:30, Sat–Sun 10:00–18:00 (closed Wed).
  • Stedelijk Contemporary Art Museum (Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, a.k.a. SMAK) and Fine Arts Museum (Museum voor Schone Kunsten) are now open Tue–Fri 9:30–17:30, Sat–Sun 10:00-18:00 (closed Mon).
  • 'T Stropke brasserie has closed.
  • The Gentse Gruut brewpub has moved away from the Walpoortstraat area (to Rembert Dodoensdreef).

Canterbury

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

  • Saturday tour times at Canterbury Cathedral have changed and 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.

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

  • Sunday service at St. Martin's Church now takes place at 9:00.
  • Deeson's British Restaurant has closed.
  • Morelli's Restaurant has closed.
  • The Canterbury Cycle Centre no longer rents bikes.

Portsmouth

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

  • Fortitude Cottage has closed.
  • The D-Day Museum is now called The D-Day Story and has a new phone number: +44 23 9288 255.
  • Broad Street 35 B&B is closing at end of October 2019.

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

  • Most printings of Rick Steves England, Seventh Edition include a version of the Portsmouth map (pp 296–297) with a key showing the incorrect labels for dots 12–16; here's a downloadable PDF of the corrected Portsmouth map.
  • The Royal Marines Museum has closed. Its collections will eventually move to the Georgian Boathouse building in the Historic Dockyard (slated to open in 2020).
  • The tourist information office is now located in the Portsmouth Museum. It no longer offers Sunday guided walks and has new hours (daily 10:00–17:00, Oct–March until 16:30). A more convenient tourist information point is at The Hard Interchange bus station next to the Harbour train station (daily 9:30–17:15).
  • The Spinnaker Tower has a new phone number for booking tickets: +44 23 9285 7520.
  • Oyster Cottage B&B has closed.
  • The Georgian Tearooms at the Historic Dockyard have closed.

London

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

  • LondonConnection.com is no longer in business.
  • The City of London Information Centre phone number is +44 (0)20 7606 3030.
  • La Bottega in Belgravia has closed.
  • The Nadler Kensington is now The Resident Kensington. Their contact information is: www.residenthotels.com/the-resident-kensington/, kensington.reception@residenthotels.com.
  • The Cutty Sark and Royal Observatory Greenwich have implemented tiered pricing, with higher prices on weekends and Bank Holidays. Online prices are still cheaper than walk-up prices on any day.
  • At the Tate Modern, free 45-minute guided tours are offered at 12:00 and 13:00 (Natalie Bell Building) and 14:00 (Blavatnik Building).
  • Shakespeare's Globe's off-season last tours are Mon–Sat at 12:30, Sun at 17:00. The box office is open Mon–Sat 10:00-18:00, Sun until 17:00.
  • At the British Library, two £10 one-hour tours are offered daily — a Treasures tour (generally at 11:00) and a Building tour (generally at 14:00). You can book online or call +44 (0)19 3754 6546.
  • Bus route #23 no longer runs the route described in the book, and buses #6 and #12 no longer run. Visit the Transport For London website for current bus routes: tfl.gov.uk.
  • The Whispering Gallery in St. Paul's Cathedral is closed at least until summer 2020. The Stone and Golden galleries above remain open.
  • The Courtauld Gallery is currently closed for renovations, with a reopening tentatively planned for fall 2021.
  • The Royal Mews is closed to visitors on Sunday in February, March, and November. It is closed completely in December–January.
  • The £5 Oyster transit card price is no longer refundable on return of the card, but the price is now added to the card balance one year after purchase (so travelers should just keep the card). Cards purchased before February 23, 2019, can still be returned in exchange for the £5 deposit.
  • Scaffolding now covers the entirety of the Elizabeth Tower (Big Ben) and much of the exterior of the Houses of Parliament. Inside the Houses of Parliament, St. Stephen's Porch and St. Stephen's Hall are under renovation; the statues and stained glass inside St. Stephen's Hall are not viewable. You still walk through St. Stephen’s Hall on Houses of Parliament tours (both guided and audio-tour versions).
  • Direct Amsterdam to London Eurostar trains will begin service on April 30, 2020, and tickets are on sale now. On about 3 departures per day, travelers won't need to connect in Brussels in the London-bound direction. (There should be four direct departures per day by mid-year and five by December. These Eurostar trains also serve Rotterdam, with return boarding from Rotterdam expected to be available in late May.)

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

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

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

  • Fernandez & Wells restaurant in Soho has closed, as have 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.

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

  • Advance tickets for the Tower of London purchased on the Tower's website are now valid only for the date selected. (Vouchers that previously gave travelers seven days after the date selected are no longer available on the website.)
  • The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Galleries, a new museum within Westminster Abbey that has been closed for the past 700 years, has opened. (You'll see rare objects from royal coronations, funerals, and much more from the Abbey's 1,000-year history.) Space is limited and a timed-entry ticket is required, available in 15-minute intervals; purchase on the Abbey's website. Westminster Abbey is open until 16:00 May–August (last entry one hour before closing). Tickets for the galleries cost an additional £5 on top the Abbey entrance fee. Visitors with a London Pass can make a same-day reservation at the Abbey if space is available for £5.

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

  • Afternoon tea at the V&A Café is now Sunday 15:00–17:00, and requires a reservation.

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

  • From August through April, the Changing of the Guard in front of Buckingham Palace takes place on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
  • The Churchill War Rooms now offers timed reservations, which are recommended because of increased crowds.
  • The Golden Hinde replica has reopened, and has new hours (daily 10:00–17:00), a new website, and a new phone number (+44 20 7403 0123).
  • The National Portrait Gallery will no longer stay open late on Thursdays. The gallery will close at 18:00 on Thursdays, but will remain open late on Fridays until 21:00.
  • Eurostar now offers direct train service from London to Amsterdam (and Rotterdam). Trains run twice daily, taking 3 hours 41 minutes.
  • The budget airline Monarch is no longer in business.
  • The budget airline Thomson Airways is now called TUI Airways.
  • The Orangery at Kensington Palace is now closed for restoration work until 2020.
  • Evan Evans tour company's US phone number has changed: 800-422-9022.
  • The family discount for the London Zoo is only available online, not at the entrance.

For books printed before December 2017, the following may also apply:

  • The Banqueting House is now closed to the public on Thursdays.
  • The Geffrye Museum is closed for a two-year refurbishment, and will reopen in summer 2020 as the "Museum of Home."
  • The National Army Museum has a new website: www.nam.ac.uk.
  • London Duck Tours has ceased operations.
  • The bus from Southampton's cruise port to Southampton Central Station is now called QuayConnect.
  • BritainShrinkers (a company selling "unescorted tours" from London via Eurostar trains) is no longer in business.
  • Big Ben will only ring for special holidays and occasions while the four-year restoration to the Elizabeth Tower and clock is underway.
  • Ebury Wine Bar has closed.

For books printed before July 2017, the following may also apply:

  • The time of the Changing of the Guard in front of Buckingham Palace has changed to 11 a.m. To see it up close from one location, we recommend getting there at 10 a.m (or earlier in high season).

Across France

For books printed before November 2019, the following may 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 usually 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.

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

  • Parking meters now require your car's license plate number, and more tickets are being written for those who overstay their paid parking time.
  • The website for the United States embassy in France is now https://fr.usembassy.gov.

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

  • Now that the one-country France rail pass is a Eurail-brand pass, France pass options no longer include a senior discount or consecutive-day version. It may also mean that travelers with this pass no longer have priority for TGV fast-train seat reservations over travelers with multicountry passes…but the details are yet to be finalized.
  • Tickets for high-speed TGV trains in France are now often available as far as four months out (instead of three months). As always, advance-purchase discounts for TGV tickets can get snapped up weeks ahead.

For books printed before January 2017, the following may also apply:

  • Baggage check may be unavailable across France (in compliance with heightened security measures).
  • The US Consulate in Nice has closed.

Paris

  • SoGymnase Comedy Club no longer offers shows in English.
  • The Paris by Night bus tour offered by Paris City Vision no longer uses the name GoBe.
  • Poilâne is now closed Sunday.
  • The Gérard Mulot pâtisserie at 76 Rue de Seine is now called Maison Mulot and is no longer closed Wednesday.
  • Dale Booth Normandy Tours email is now: dboothholidays@aol.com. Their new phone number is +33 2 14 16 66 14.
  • There is a new tourist information office at the Louvre, in by the Carrousel du Louvre shopping mall — just before the museum's security entrance. It is open daily 10:00–20:00.
  • There is a new tourist information office near the base of Montmartre’s funicular at 7 Rue Drevet. Its hours are Tue–Sat 10:00–13:00 and 14:00–17:00, closed Sun–Mon. The phone number is +33 1 42 62 21 21.
  • Puces St. Ouen tourist information office has new telephone number: +33 1 55 87 67 50.
  • Hôtel Eber-Mars is now Hôtel le Cercle-Tour Eiffel. Their contact information is now: tel. +33 1 47 05 42 30, www.hotelcercleeiffelparis.com, contact@hotelcercleeiffelparis.com.
  • SNCF Boutiques in the Luxembourg neighborhood have closed: 79 Rue de Rennes and 54 Boulevard St. Michel.
  • Grand Palais closed for renovation until 2023.
  • Fragonard Perfume Museum has a new address: 3 Square Louis Jouvet.
  • The Carnavalet Museum will reopen in early 2021 after a major multiyear renovation.
  • Cluny Museum is closed until at least fall 2021.
  • Bistrot Chez France's phone number is now +33 1 40 67 96 54.
  • For those visiting the Louvre with a Museum Pass, it's advisable to make a reservation in advance year-round. When making an online reservation, you must enter your Museum Pass number, however buying your Museum Pass before arriving in Paris is not necessary. Once a Museum Pass has been purchased in Paris, a reservation can be made online as late as the day of your visit, even in high-season (there does not appear to be a limit on reserved spots). While the new Museum Pass carries a one-visit-per-museum restriction (unlike the old pass), you can enter the Louvre three times, at the three different wings.
    Note that the Louvre is hosting a special Leonardo da Vinci exhibit this fall, which may impact their policies for all entries to the museum.
  • Café Delmas on Place de la Contrescarpe has closed.
  • Hotel Bosquet is now Hotel Relais Bosquet. Rick Steves readers can get a discount by booking online with code "RSDEAL."

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

  • 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. Rather, it now groups paintings by confronting artists.
  • 58 Tour Eiffel restaurant is reopening in 2021 after a renovation. They will offer breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a lounge bar for drinks and a light menu. The dining room is reserved for more serious eating (though lunches are more casual). Reserve long in advance, especially if you want a view (+33 1 72 76 18 46, toll tel. +33 8 25 56 66 62, www.restaurants-toureiffel.com). No jeans or tennis shoes at dinner.
  • Pompidou is under renovation until early 2021. During renovation the entrance has been moved to the back of the building (on Rue Beaubourg), and the escalators are likely closed.
  • Prices for the Paris Museum Pass have increased to €52 for a two-day pass, €66 for a four-day pass, and €78 for a six-day pass. The pass is still the best value of all the passes offered in Paris as most major sights will increase individual ticket prices accordingly. The pass still pays for itself with four key admissions in two days (for example, the Louvre, Orsay, Sainte-Chapelle, and Versailles). 
  • At the Arc de Triomphe, it is no longer required for Museum Pass holders with kids to wait in line for tickets.
  • The Sacré-Cœur's dome hours are now 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).
  • 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 free the first Saturday of every month after 18:00, with extended hours until 21:45. The museum is no longer free the first Sunday of the month from October–March.
  • Online reservations for the Eiffel Tower are now available 60 days in advance.
  • From September until mid-June, the last ascent up the Eiffel Tower 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 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).
  • The Paris Webservices has a new email address: reservation@pariswebservices.fr.
  • 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, contact@cultival.fr.
  • The following SNCF Boutiques have closed:
    • 18 Rue du Pont Neuf
    • Musée d'Orsay RER station
    • 32/34 Rue Joubert (near Gare St. Lazare)
    • 19 Rue de Passy
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Following the 2019 fire, Notre-Dame Cathedral, as well as the Paris Archaeological Crypt, 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.
  • By 2021, paper tickets used on the Métro will be replaced with 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.
  • The Paris Sewer Museum is closed for renovation until January 2020.
  • Victor Hugo's House is closed for renovations through 2019.
  • Local guide Arnaud Servignat's correct email address is arnotour@icloud.com.
  • Paul Woodadge of D-Day Historian Tours is no longer leading tours.
  • Allan Bryson of First Normandy Battlefield Tours is no longer leading tours.
  • 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:

  • Street parking can now be paid with a credit card – it's no longer necessary to buy a parking card at a tabac.
  • The tourist information offices in the Opéra neighborhood (25 Rue des Pyramides) and in Montmartre (21 Place du Tertre) have closed.
  • The SNCF Boutique stores at 78 Rue Saint Dominique and 229 Rue du Faubourg St. Honoré 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: bookings@cobblestoneparis.com.
  • The Canadian Consulate and Embassy has moved to 130 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. The phone number is +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.

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

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

  • Eiffel Tower prices have increased following recent renovations.
  • It is no longer possible to purchase summit tickets from the second level of the Eiffel Tower. Visitors must now decide in advance the highest floor they want to visit. This is especially important for those choosing a second-level tour with Fat Tire Tours as they will no longer be able to go any higher with the ticket they provide.
  • "RER" trains are now just labeled…"train" in the Paris transit system. The rail network is consolidating its old terms ("RER," "suburban train," "subway," "tram express," "tramway," "TZen," "bus") and will use just four: train, subway, tram, and bus. However, travelers may still see "RER" on some maps and signage.

For books printed before November 2017, the following may also apply:

  • Musée en Herbe has moved to 23 Rue de L'Arbre-Sec.
  • The Picasso Museum is open Tue–Fri 10:30–18:00, Sat–Sun 9:30–18:00, closed Mon.
  • Sainte-Chapelle is open daily April–Sept 9:00–19:00, Oct–March until 17:00 (no longer open late on Wednesdays).
  • The SNCF has officially renamed the high-speed TGV trains "InOui," though currently both terms are in use.
  • The EasyBus has stopped running from Charles de Gaule Airport.
  • The tourist information kiosk at the Anvers Métro stop (near Sacré-Cœur) has closed.
  • Bike About Tours bike rental is open Thu–Tue 9:30–17:30, and is closed Wed and Dec–mid-Feb.
  • The National Maritime Museum is closed through 2021.
  • The Hôtel Valadon in the Rue Cler neighborhood is now called the Hôtel Cadran Coleur and has a new website and email address (www.cadranhotel.com, resa@cadranhotel.com).
  • Hôtel Saint-Louis has a new website and email address (www.saintlouisenlisle.com, info@saintlouisenlisle.com).
  • The Good Morning Paris B&B booking agency has closed.
  • The Pariscope events guide has ceased publication.

Normandy

For books printed before November 2019, the following may 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.

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

  • Le Parvis restaurant in Rouen has closed.
  • Travel Coffee Shop in Honfleur has closed.