HEALTH INFORMATION - There are no vaccination requirements for travelling to France.
If you need to see a doctor, your hotel or nearby pharmacy should be able to direct you to a generalist in the neighborhood. The fee to see a doctor is generally €20-€40. Any medications are paid separately at the pharmacy.
If you are too ill to go to a doctor's office or it's the middle of the night, you can have a doctor come to you by calling SOS Médecins (Tel 01 47 07 77 77), but this costs more (€75 approx). For dental emergencies call SOS Dentistes (Tel 01 43 37 51 00).
Not Insured? It’s not necessary to have insurance to see French doctors, but you will have to pay the full bill on the spot. They usually only take cash, sometimes credit card. Keep the receipts if your health care provider at home covers treatment abroad.
A Typical Visit to the Doctor Office
Most French doctors have a private practice rather than a clinic. Their offices are inside residential apartments; usually a sign outside says which floor the doctor is on (you may have to buzz to get in). Often there is a waiting room, but there may be no office assistant, so just let yourself in and wait until the doctor comes out of his examining room.
The doctor's desk and examining table are in the same room. There are no paper robes or curtains to change behind, even at the gynecologist's (Europeans don't have issues with nudity in front of health professionals). Any x-rays, blood tests, or scans are done at neighborhood clinics (always separate from doctor's offices) with your prescription. Medications are only filled at pharmacies.
Chemists are usually open all day from 8am to 8pm. They close on a rota basis on Sunday and sometimes on Monday. But when one chemist is closed, the addresses of the nearest open chemists are listed on the door.
Plus, many chemists in Paris stay open late or even all night, such as:
- Pharmacie Internationale de Paris - 17 bis boulevard de Rochechouart, Paris, 75009 - Located between Barbès and the Butte Montmartre, the Pharmacie Internationale de Paris is open every day from 9am to 9pm
- Pharmacie Européenne - 6 place de Clichy, Paris, 75009 - On Place de Clichy, a lively place day and night, the Pharmacie Européene is open 24/7.
- Pharmacie Internationale - 5 place Pigalle, Paris, 75009 - Located in Pigalle, lively district for night life, the Pharmacie Internationale is open 24/7.
- Pharmacie de l'Opéra - 1 rue Auber, Paris, 75009 - Close to the Garnier opera house and famous department stores, the pharmacie de l'Opéra is open 7 days a week from 8am to 9pm.
- Grande Pharmacie de la Nation - 13 place de la Nation, Paris, 75011 - In the east of Paris, on Place de la Nation, the Grande Pharmacie de la Nation is open every day from 8am to 9pm.
- Pharmacie J. Rico - 6 place Félix Eboué, Paris, 75012 - In the heart of the 12th arrondissement, at the exit of the Daumesnil metro station (lines 6 and 8).
- Pharmacie Italie Tolbiac - 61 avenue d'Italie, Paris, 75013 - A stone's throw from Place d'Italie, in the 13th arrondissement, this pharmacy Italie Tolbiac is open every day from 8am to 9pm.
- Pharmacie des Arts - 106 boulevard Montparnasse, Paris, 75014 - On one of the liveliest boulevards in the city (night and day), the Pharmacie des Arts is open from 9am to 9pm,
- Pharmacie Centrale - Paris Pharma - 52 rue du Commerce, Paris, 75015 - Located in the 15th arrondissement of Paris (between the Eiffel Tower, Invalides and Paris Expo Porte de Versailles)
- Pharmacie Basire - 143 rue de la Pompe - 118 bis avenue Victor Hugo, Paris, 75016 - The Pharmacie Basire is located in the 16th arrondissement of Paris, between Place Victor Hugo, Trocadéro and Porte Dauphine.
- Pharmacie Exelmans - 77 boulevard Exelmans, Paris, 75016 - Located close to the Parc des Princes, is open from 8am to 9.30pm
- Pharmacie Espace Conseil - 64 boulevard Barbès, Paris, 75018 - located between La Chapelle and Montmartre, in the centre of the 18th arrondissement.
- Pharmacie du Village - 26 rue du Temple, Paris, 75004 - Located in the Marais district and gay-friendly, the Pharmacie du Village is open 7 days a week, from 8.30am to 9.30pm
- La pharma de Répu - 5 place de la République, Paris, 75003 - Place de la République, one of the busiest squares in the city, has a pharmacy open 24/7.
The 39 hospitals of the Assistance Publique – Hôpitaux de Paris, located in various parts of Paris and the Île-de-France, provide a service for all the public, 24 hours/24 and 7 days/7. They account for 25 general emergency departments.
Each hospital also has its own specialist consultations. A doctor will direct you to the one that is most appropriate to your needs. During the hospitalization of a child or loved one, some hospitals may also offer you accommodation or give you information about a specialist agency.
If you need urgent care, you can go to any hospital emergency room in Paris such as the Hôpital Hôtel Dieu (next to Notre Dame Cathedral, Rue de la Cité, M° Cité, 4th, Tel 01 42 34 82 32). Other major Parisian hospitals are: La Pitié Salpêtrière, Lariboisière, Necker and Bichat.
There are two private hospitals in the suburbs with fully bilingual staff (although the prices are much higher than public hospitals):
63 Boulevard Victor Hugo, Neuillly-sur-Seine
Tel 01 46 41 25 25
3 Rue Barbès, Levallois-Perret
Tel 01 46 39 22 09
SOS Médecins (doctors) 01 47 07 77 77
SOS Dentaire (dentists) 01 43 37 51 00
SOS burns (Hôpital Cochin ) 01 58 41 41 41
Drug Info Service 0 800 23 13 13
AIDS/HIV Info Service 0 800 840 800
Poison treatment center 01 40 05 48 48
Sexually-transmitted diseases 01 40 78 26 00
Some Important Vocabulary
Night Pharmacy/Doctor pharmacie/médecin de garde
Emergency Room Urgences
It hurts here. Ca fait mal ici.
Allergic to allergique à
Sting (or insect bite) piqûre
Sunburn coup de soleil
Diarrhea/Constipation diarrhée /constipation
Headache mal à la tête
Sore throat mal à la gorge
Cough (dry) toux (sec)
Runny nose nez qui coule
Motion sickness mal de la route
Head cold rhume de cerveau
Upset stomach maux de ventre
Heart attack crise cardiaque
Tooth ache mal aux dents