Guidebook Updates for ‘Rick Steves Northern European Cruise Ports’

When we learn of critical changes to the information in our 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

For books printed before June 2018, the following may 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.
  • The Museum of Copenhagen, which has been closed since 2015, is slated to reopen in late 2018 in a new location (Stormgade 18).
  • 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.
  • The National Museum is no longer free; adult admission is now 75 kr.
  • 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

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

  • Several museums/sights are temporarily closed:
  • 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 (0)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.

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

  • A number of the city's museums have just switched to free admissions, including these recommended sights:
  • Ånedin Hostel, aka the M/S Birger Jarl, is no longer moored right by the Royal Palace, but south of Gamla Stan, on the northeast shore of Södermalm, at Stadsgårdskajen 156 (10-minute walk from Slussen T-bana station).
  • Urban Hostel Old Town has closed.

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

  • The Stockholm Card has been discontinued. In its place is the Stockholm Pass, which covers entry to 60 Stockholm sights (including Skansen and the Royal Palace) as well as unlimited City Sightseeing hop-on, hop-off bus/boat tours. It’s available in one-day and multiday versions, with an optional Travelcard transit add-on.
  • The reopening of the National Museum of Fine Arts is now slated for 2018.

Helsinki

For books printed before June 2018, the following may 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 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

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

  • Budget eateries Road Food, Eat, and Balti Jaama Kohvik (at the outdoor market) have closed.
  • The Kalev Spa water park and fitness center are closed for renovation until late 2018.

Gdańsk

  • 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 January 2016, the following may apply:

  • The Deutsche Bahn's information line is now +49 (0)180-699-6633. This is a toll number, for which callers are charged a flat fee of 20 cents (€0.20) if calling from a landline, or 60 cents (€0.60) from a mobile phone.
  • Lately, many restaurants — especially those in well-touristed areas — have added a "Tip is not included" line, in English, to the bottom of the bill. This is misleading, as the prices on any menu in Germany do include service. We don't advise tipping any more at all at a restaurant that includes this note on the bill. (Many Germans, incensed at this trend, are rebelling by tipping far less generously at eateries using this approach.)

Berlin

For books printed before September 2017, the following may apply:

  • The Pergamon Museum hall containing the Pergamon Altar will remain closed until at least 2025 (the south wing of the museum, with the Ishtar Gate, the Market Gate of Miletus, and the Museum of Islamic Art, remains open for now). A nearby pavilion (on Am Kupfergraben, directly across from Museum Island), opening in 2018, will house a temporary exhibit about the altar. While a new riverside entrance pavilion is being built, the entrances to the Pergamon, Neues Museum, and Old National Gallery may shift around, but visitors can expect these reroutings to be well-signed.
  • The Berlin Story bookstore on Unter den Linden has closed.
  • There is no longer an overnight train option between Berlin and Budapest.

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

  • Hotel Jurine doesn't have air-conditioning in any of its rooms (including the top floor).
  • The Hekticket booth on Alexanderplatz is temporarily located at Alexanderstrasse 1, across from Hotel Park Inn (it'll move back to its normal spot once construction has wrapped up in the square).

For books printed before January 2016, the following may also apply:

  • Hotel Askanischer Hof has closed.
  • The tourist information office that had been in western Berlin's Neues Kranzler Eck building has moved to a spot on the ground floor of the Europa Center shopping mall (open Mon–Sat 10:00–20:00, closed Sun). A nearby "info box" kiosk on Rankestrasse, across the street from the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, is open Sundays (as well as the rest of the week) 10:00–18:00.
  • The Hauptbahnhof (main train station) no longer has a left-luggage service — the Gepäckcenter under track 14 is now filled with lockers.
  • The Stasi Museum on Zimmerstrasse has closed. A second Stasi museum, in Friedrichshain, remains open.
  • The New Synagogue now closes a little earlier in the evenings. New hours: April–Oct Mon–Fri 10:00–18:00, Sun 10:00–19:00; Oct–March exhibit only (not dome) Sun–Thu 10:00–18:00, Fri 10:00–15:00; closed Sat year-round. Admission is now €5 for the main exhibit, and €3 for the dome (or €6 for a combo-ticket covering both).
  • The Berlin Story Museum has relocated from Unter den Linden to the Anhalter bunker. The Story of Berlin museum, a completely different sight, remains on Ku'damm.
  • The Berlin Wall Memorial's documentation center and visitor center now close at 18:00 year-round. The recently overhauled exhibit at the documentation center is geared to a new generation of Berliners who can hardly imagine their hometown split so brutally in two. The ground floor details the logistics of the city's division, and its effects on Berliners. The next floor up gives the historical and political context behind the Wall's construction and eventual destruction.
  • The Luigi Zuckerman deli, between Hachesher Markt and Rosenthaler Platz, is now called "My Smart Break," but still serves delicious and freshly made sandwiches and snacks.
  • The Erotic Museum near the Bahnhof Zoo has closed.

Oslo

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 (0) 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

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 (0) 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.
  • The cathedral is closed for renovation but should reopen by 2019.
  • 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

For books printed before June 2018, the following may 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 (0) 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 offerings in the Nærøyfjord from Flåm are changing in 2018. Their popular ferry ride to Gudvangen and bus back to Flåm will continue, as will the bus ride to the Stegastein viewpoint, but the World Heritage Cruise and Undredal village trip may not run; check at the Flåm Visitors Center or online for details. Their "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

  • 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.
  • Through the end of 2018, while the building is under renovation, entry to the Anne Frank House is by reservation only. Tickets 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 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.
  • Registration for the TripKey transit pass is temporarily closed while its new system is under construction, but should be available again soon — check its site for updates.
  • 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.
  •  As of July 22, 2018, many of the city's tram lines are scheduled to be renumbered and/or rerouted — check the new route map, and double-check local signage in person.
  • Also as of July 22, 2018, a new Amsterdam Metro line (#52) will start 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 could get readers close to sights in Rokin and fairly close to sights in the Museumplein area.
  • Two key bus routes have been renumbered already. From Schiphol Airport, bus route #197 into town is now bus #397 (it still departs from platform B9 in front of the airport). The bus route to the Aalsmeer Flower Auction from Amsterdam's Centraal Station has been renumbered to #357.
  • Eurostar now offers direct train service from London to Amsterdam (and Rotterdam). Trains run twice daily, taking 3 hours 41 minutes. Direct service from Amsterdam to London should be running by late 2019; until then passengers will need to change trains in Brussels and go through passport control.
  • 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 Brouwer is closing for renovation for several months, beginning in May 2018.
  • 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, Café Villa Zeezicht, 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

For books printed before May 2017, the following may 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

  • 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 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 April 2018, the following may 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 April 2018, the following may 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 (0)23/9285-7520.
  • Oyster Cottage B&B has closed.
  • The Georgian Tearooms at the Historic Dockyard have closed.

For books printed before May 2016, the following may also apply:

  • Cecil Cottage B&B has closed.

Dover & nearby

For books printed before September 2017, the following may apply:

  • The Dover White Cliffs tour company that offered boat tours to the cliffs has closed. Rick recommends Dover Sea Safari instead.
  • The Amanda Guest House on Harold Street has closed.
  • Bus #15 no longer links the town center with the ferry terminal or Dover Castle.

For books printed before May 2016, the following may also apply:

  • The shuttle between the Eastern Docks ferry terminal and the train station is no longer running; take bus #15 instead.
  • While the tourist information office in Rye has closed, the Rye Heritage Centre now provides tourist information.

London

  • 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 7 days after the date selected are no longer available on the website.  
  • The Heathrow Connect train is no longer running. Travelers can still use the Heathrow Express, which now accepts Oyster Cards.
  • The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Galleries, a new museum within Westminster Abbey that has been closed for the past 700 years, will open June 11. Visitors in June and July can purchase timed-entry tickets at the Abbey for same-day visits only. Space is limited so arrive early (open Monday–Fri 10:00–16:00, Saturday 9:30–15:30, closed Sunday, last entry one hour before closing, ticket includes entry to Abbey). Timed-entry tickets will eventually be available on the Abbey's website. Westminster Abbey will be open until 16:00 May–August (last entry one hour before closing).
  • The Courtauld Gallery will be closed for renovations for at least two years, starting in September 2018.

For books printed before April 2018, the following may 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 (0)20-7403-0123).
  • Starting in June 2018, 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 between London and Amsterdam (and Rotterdam). Trains will run twice daily, taking 3 hours 41 minutes. Initially trains will only run direct from London to Amsterdam – those traveling from Amsterdam will need to change trains in Brussels and go through passport control. Direct service from Amsterdam may be running by late 2019.
  • The budget airline Monarch is no longer in business.
  • The budget airline Thomson Airways is now called TUI Airways.
  • In 2018 Trooping the Colour is taking place on June 9 (not June 17).
  • Afternoon tea at the V&A Café is now Sunday 15:00–17:00, and requires a reservation.
  • The Orangery at Kensington Palace is now closed for restoration work until 2020.
  • Evan Evans tour company's US phone number has changed: (+1) 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, with plans to reopen by 2020.
  • 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.

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

  • Teapod, near Tower Bridge, is no longer a tea shop.

For books printed before October 2016, the following may also apply:

  • A one-way ticket on the Eurostar train between London and Paris or Brussels now runs about $225 for standard fare, $130 for "standard premier" fare, and about $380 for "business premier" fare.

Across France

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

  • Rail passes that cover France now also cover Eurostar trains between Paris and London.
  • 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 multi-country 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.

For books printed before April 2016, the following may also apply:

For books printed before January 2016, the following may also apply:

  • To buy advance train tickets with a credit card at the SNCF website, select "USA" as your ticket collection country (must use a credit card enabled for "Verified by Visa" or "MasterCard SecureCode"). For more advice on buying French train tickets, see France Rail Passes and Train Tips.
  • The phone number for the US Consulate in Marseille is +33 (0)1 43 12 47 54; after business hours call their Paris office at +33 (0)1 43 12 22 22.

Paris and nearby

  • Timed-entry reservations are required for the Notre-Dame tower climb, even with a Museum Pass. These can be secured same-day only starting at 7:30, either from the JeFile app or at ticket machines on site.
  • 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.
  • Brasserie Aux PTT in the Rue Cler no longer offers Rick Steves readers a breakfast special.
  • L’Arrivée de Giverny café in Giverny no longer offers bag storage.
  • 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.

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

  • Certain rail passes that cover France now also cover Eurostar trains between Paris and London: the Eurail Global Pass, and three- and four-country Eurail Select Passes — but passholders must still book paid seat reservations. The single-country France Pass, and two-country Select Passes, do not cover Eurostar trains.
  • The last daily ascent of the Eiffel Tower is now the same time year-round (22:30 to the top and 23:00 to the lower levels, elevator or stairs).
  • You can now buy advance tickets for Sainte-Chapelle at either FNAC department stores or online.
  • You can now buy advance tickets for special exhibits at the Marmottan Museum (which are frequent) at either FNAC department stores or online.
  • You can now buy timed-entry tickets for the Catacombs online.
  • The Cluny Museum will be closed for renovation through mid-July 2018. This is a multiyear renovation, and you should expect changes and some room closures when you visit.
  • The Army Museum and Napoleon's Tomb is open daily – it no longer closes on the first Monday of the month. However, the Charles de Gaulle exhibit continues to be closed on Mondays.
  • The Architecture and Monuments Museum is now open on Mondays from 11:00–19:00.
  • The Grande Mosquée is closed to visitors on Fridays.
  • St. Sulpice Church has a new website.

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

  • Eiffel Tower prices have increased following recent renovations. It's now €25 to ride all the way to the top, €16 for just the two lower levels, and €10 to climb the stairs to the first or second level.
  • 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 telephone number to book the Notre Dame Cathedral tower climb is +33 (0)1 53 40 60 80.
  • Sacré-Cœur's dome is open daily May–Sept 9:30–19:00, Oct–April 9:30–17:00, and a modest dress code is now being enforced).
  • 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 until 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.
  • Fauchon's Traiteur-Pâtisserie on Place de la Madeleine is closed through 2017.
  • The Pariscope events guide has ceased publication.
  • The sidebar cited in the fourth paragraph on page 558 of Rick Steves Paris 2017 can be found on page 555.

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

  • Because of legal challenges, Uber now operates only UberX and UberBlack in Paris, which means Uber is no longer much cheaper than taxis, and may be more at peak times of day.
  • The Rodin Museum is no longer open late on Wednesdays, but closes at 17:45.

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

  • A one-way ticket on the Eurostar train between Paris and London now runs about $225 for standard fare, $130 for "standard premier" fare, and about $380 for "business premier" fare.
  • Paris taxis have new flat rates to and from the airports:
    • Between Charles de Gaulle Airport and Paris' Right Bank: €50
    • Between Charles de Gaulle Airport and Paris' Left Bank: €55
    • Between Orly Airport and Paris' Right Bank: €35
    • Between Orly Airport and Paris' Left Bank: €30
      The fixed rate for booking a cab in advance is €7; €4 for immediate booking. Supplements for luggage have been discontinued; one additional surcharge for a fifth occupant can be applied to the fare.
  • The Air France buses that run between the airport and different points around the city are now called Le Bus Direct.
  • Tourists can now rent Vélib' bikes directly at the racks using a debit card, in addition to the chip-and-PIN and American Express credit cards that were already accepted.
  • Café Carlu, within the Architecture and Monuments Museum — once recommended as an ideal place to view the Eiffel Tower — is now closed.
  • In addition to its high-speed Paris–Brussels route, Thalys now operates a slower, cheaper train along the same route called IZY (2–3/day, 2.5 hours, tickets available online only, from €10 for standing room to €29 full fare, rail passes not accepted, luggage limits).

For books printed before April 2016, the following may also apply:

  • The Carnavalet Museum is closed for renovations through 2019.
  • The €22.80 Passe Navigo weekly card now covers all transit zones in the Paris region, which means that you can travel anywhere within the city center, out to the châteaux of Versailles, Vaux-le-Vicomte, and Fontainebleau, and to Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports. This all-zones Navigo now covers a far greater area than carnet tickets, but cannot be shared, and is most worthwhile for visitors who use it for regional trips, stay at least a full week, and start their trip early in the week for the weekly pass (or near the beginning of the month for the monthly pass). For comparison, two 10-packs of carnets — enough for most travelers staying a week — cost €29.80, are shareable, don't expire, but are only valid in the center of Paris.

For books printed before January 2016, the following may also apply:

  • The Richelieu entrance at the Louvre is no longer available to Paris Museum Pass holders.
  • Free street parking is no longer available in August (sacre bleu!).

Normandy

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

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

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

  • Contrary to what's stated in some editions of our books, the museum holding the Bayeux Tapestry is closed in January.

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

  • The path from the American Cemetery to Omaha Beach has been closed for security reasons, and is unlikely to reopen. To get to the beach after viewing the cemetery, drivers should follow signs to Vierville-sur-Mer. At the waterfront roundabout, park your car and take a stroll on the beach.
  • All municipal museums in Rouen are now free.