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Before You Go
Comprehensive travel insurance to cover any medical problems is strongly recommended.
Citizens of the EU, Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein receive free or reduced-cost, state-provided health-care cover with the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). If you qualify, make sure you arrange it in your home country prior to travelling to France.
Worldwide travel insurance is available at www.lonelyplanet.com/travel-insurance. You can buy, extend and claim online any time – even if you’re already on the road.
No vaccinations are required when travelling to France, but the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that all travellers be covered for diphtheria, tetanus, measles, mumps, rubella and polio, regardless of their destination.
Tap water in Paris is safe to drink, although many Parisians prefer to buy bottled water.
- For minor health concerns and to fill prescriptions, see a local pharmacie (chemist).
- For more serious problems, go to urgences (emergencies) wards at Paris' hôpitaux (hospitals).
Pharmacies (chemists) are marked by a large illuminated green cross outside. At least one in each neighbourhood is open for extended hours; find a complete night-owl listing on the Paris Convention & Visitors Bureau website (www.parisinfo.com).