Given the terrorist attacks in Paris Friday night, Nov. 13, the U.S. Embassy there is urging Americans to be extremely cautious abroad and when travelling to France.
The Embassy stated on its website yesterday, Nov. 14:
We strongly urge U.S. citizens to maintain a high level of vigilance, be aware of local events, and take the appropriate steps to bolster their personal security, including limiting their movements to essential activity. U.S. citizens are encouraged to monitor media and local information sources and factor updated information into personal travel plans and activities.
While travel into Paris is still possible, Americans should know that many of the landmarks they’d like to visit – such as the Eiffel Tower – are currently closed. The lights have been darkened out of respect for the victims of the attacks as France observes three days of national mourning.
La Tour Eiffel Paris states:
Eiffel Tower is currently closed until further notice. At the request of Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, the Eiffel Tower will remain in the dark tonight in mourning. Thank you all for understanding.
Visitors already in Paris are urged, along with Parisiens, to stay indoors as much as possible; but of course, many people aren’t heeding that warning, as the world seeks to show the terrorists that life and liberty will go on.
If you have plans to visit Paris, be sure to stay in touch with the U.S. Embassy and State Department for any news; if you can reschedule travel plans, that would be wise, given that events in France are still unfolding.
Should you be in Paris now, remember there are many other wonderful things to do outside the normal touristy destinations including walks along the Seine, sharing a baguette and coffee in an outdoor café, enjoying a futbol (soccer) game on TV (it’s an obsession there), rollerskating, art gallery hopping, sketching, chatting with fellow tourists or world travellers and Parisiens.
However some touristy spots such as the Louvre, at least as of today, remain open – a wonderful respite from the horrors of Friday night. Check the websites for other museums for more information. An informal visit to the cinema, or if your nerves are frayed, just watching movies back in your hotel will also be excellent choices. When in Paris I always love to see the local TV shows, which are highly amusing (ditto the commercials!)
If you are planning to visit Paris, don’t give up those plans. Life goes on. Paris is one of the world’s most beautiful cities, and one of its most enlightened. That’s what “the City of Light” means.
Paris, nous vous aimons. J’espère voir vous bientôt.
For further information: See the State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and France Country Specific Information. Contact the U.S. Embassy in Paris, located at 2 Avenue Gabriel 75008 Paris, at +(33)(1) 43-12-22-22 or by email at Citizeninfo@state.gov. After-hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is +(33)(1) 43-12-22-22. Follow the State Dept. on Twitter and Facebook.