What to Do if You Get Sick in Paris

How To Get the Healthcare You Need When in France
Green cross outside Paris pharmacy
February 7, 2020
Getting healthcare while in a foreign country can be both complicated and intimidating, so we’re letting you know your options if you’re not feeling well while in Paris.
Portrait of Urbansider Paris writer Karina
by Karina

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Falling ill while traveling is undoubtedly an inconvenience, however, if you do get sick during your trip to Paris, in some ways you can consider yourself lucky. France’s healthcare system is consistently rated among the top 10 in the world and it’s also one of the most cost-effective.

While a doctor’s visit in the United States can easily cost you more than $150, in France, the typical consultation costs just 25€. The prices for medicines and hospitalization are much lower than in the United States as well, so don’t worry about seeking out the care you need. Here’s what you can do if you’re feeling under the weather while you’re in Paris.

Go to the pharmacy

If you have a migraine or the common cold, head to the pharmacie. In Paris, there’s one on almost every other block with a green neon cross-shaped sign outside so you can’t miss it! Here, you can get over-the-counter medication, and the pharmacists can actually advise you on what to buy as they are trained specialists.

Pharmacies in Paris for French beauty products.
Photo by Landen Kerr

If you’re sick on a Sunday, you’ll find many pharmacies are closed, but a few pharmacies de garde are open on Sundays:

Pharmacie République, Place de la République, 75003
Pharmacie Lafayette Des Halles, 10 Boulevard de Sébastopol, 75004
Pharmacie Monge – Notre Dame, 1 Place Monge, 75005
Pharmacie du Drugstore des Champs-Elysées, 133 Avenue des Champs-Élysées, 75008 (English spoken by all the staff)
Pharmacies Les Champs, 84 Avenue des Champs-Élysées, 75008
Pharmacie Internationale Place Pigalle, 5 Place Pigalle, 75009

See a doctor

If you have a Carte Vitale (the French insurance card), you can see a doctor and you will be reimbursed by your insurance. If you don’t have one and don’t have traveler’s insurance, you will simply pay the same fee to see a doctor (about 25​€​), but out of pocket. If you’d like a doctor to make a house visit, you can call the hotline +33 1 47 07 77 77. House calls are usually 70​€.

Head to the hospital

If it’s an emergency and you need to go to the hospital, you can call for an ambulance at the emergency number 112 and they will send one. Otherwise, simply walk into any hospital’s Urgences (emergency department) and they will see you.

Here are a few public hospitals in Paris with emergency departments:
Hôpital Hôtel-Dieu, 1 Place du Parvis de Notre-Dame, 75004
Paris Hôpital Saint-Louis, 1 Avenue Claude Vellefaux, 75010
Paris Hôpital Saint-Antoine, 184 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine, 75012
Hôpital de la Pitié-Salpetrière, 47-83 Boulevard de l’Hôpital, 75013
Paris Hôpital Necker-Enfants Malades, 149 Rue de Sèvres, 75015


Still a little unsure? This complete guide to the healthcare system in France should help!

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