The café-terraces are buzzing. Restaurants across the French capital are now allowed to fully reopen. And as lockdown continues to lift, Paris’s greatest landmarks are – one by one – welcoming the public again.
The Palace of Versailles and Jacques Chirac’s Quai Branly Museum of indigenous art have been allowing visitors in for a good fortnight or so now. Earlier this week, the Musée d’Orsay joined them. And today (June 25), the Eiffel Tower has also officially reopened after three months of lockdown – its longest period of closure since World War II.
To start with, however, visitors will only be able to climb to the second level, which is 115 metres of the way up the 324-metre-high landmark. And you’ll have to be fit: elevators will remain out of service as they present too high a risk of transmission – meaning you’ll have to climb the 674 steps up to the viewing platform.
The elevators will be closed until at least the beginning of July, while staff say they hope to reopen the third level later this summer. Currently, all visitors over the age of 11 must wear a face covering, there are strict capacity limits and a one-way traffic system is in place on the stairs. You’re also advised to book tickets in advance via the Eiffel Tower website.
Paris’s staged reopening will continue over the coming weeks. On July 1, the Grand Palais will launch a new exhibition on Pompeii, and modern art temple the Centre Pompidou will also reopen its galleries. From July 6, the Louvre will welcome visitors again too.
As much of the world tentatively comes out of lockdown, it’s a relief to see so many major cultural institutions bringing the City of Light back to life. So... who’s up for a post-lockdown mini-break?