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Before You Go

Health Insurance

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 You can buy, extend and claim online any time – even if you’re already on the road.

Recommended Vaccinations

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.

In Paris

Tap Water

Tap water in Paris is safe to drink, although many Parisians prefer to buy bottled water.

Medical Services

  • 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).


Paris has some 50 hospitals, including the following:

Hôpital Hôtel Dieu One of the city’s main government-run public hospitals; after 8pm use the emergency entrance on rue de la Cité.

L'Institut Hospitalier Franco-Britannique Private, English-speaking option.


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 (

Pharmacie Bader

Pharmacie de la Mairie

Pharmacie Les Champs