Terror in Paris: Should I cancel my trip?

Story highlights

  • Many Paris cultural attractions reopening doors in wake of attacks
  • City remains on high alert with tightened security at transport hubs
  • Travel personality Rick Steves urges travelers "not to let the terrorists win by being terrorized"

(CNN)In the wake of deadly attacks that left 129 people dead, Paris and other parts of France were placed under immediate lockdown, raising concerns for travelers.

Many prominent Paris institutions, including the Louvre gallery and the Eiffel Tower were immediately closed, while toughened border controls were put in place.
As one of the world's leading tourism destinations, Paris welcomes millions of visitors every year and the events of the past few days will put many vacation plans in doubt.
    French travel and tourism companies took an early hit when the country's stock market opened on Monday, indicating industry fears that Paris will feel a longer-term impact from the attacks.
    The city was already recovering from the deadly attack in January that targeted the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
    Yet now, as then, officials have been quick to stress that it's business as usual -- albeit under a blanket of heavier-than-ever security.

    Symbolic importance

    The Louvre art museum reopened Monday after being closed in the wake of the attacks.
    Despite an initial shutdown of borders when French President Francois Hollande declared an state of national emergency, most transport links to Paris have continued largely unaffected.
    Airports and train stations -- including the Eurostar terminal at the city's Gare du Nord -- remain open, although officials are warning travelers to allow more time for security checks.
    And while major cultural landmarks were closed in the wake of Friday's attacks, some were re-opening their doors Monday.
    Culture Minister Fleur Pellerin announced that leading attractions, including the Louvre gallery and the Musee d'Orsay were to open from midday following a minute's silence.
    She stressed the symbolic importance of Paris's cultural institutions at a time when the city was facing a crisis.
    Current openings and closures are listed on the website of the Paris Visitors Bureau.
    Several prominent destinations are to remain closed, however.
    Disneyland Paris has said it will re-open Wednesday, following three days of national mourning that began Sunday.
    "We mourn those lost to the horrific attacks in Paris. We pray for the injured and we hold them all in our hearts," said Tom Wolber, President of Euro Disney S.A.S, in a statement.
    The Eiffel Tower is to remain closed indefinitely.

    'High vigilance'

    The Eiffel Tower is closed until further notice.
    Over the weekend, several music events -- including gigs by Motorhead and U2 -- were canceled in a show of respect to victims who included staff and audience at a heavy metal concert in the city.
    Cinemas have also reportedly been closed.
    Authorities have listed an emergency number for tourists in Paris: +33 1 45 50 34 60.
    Meanwhile, despite Friday's attacks, official advice from some nations on travel to Paris remains largely unchanged, with no active discouragement to citizens planning to visit the city.
    However, the U.S. Embassy in Paris has urged those already there to take care.
    "We strongly urge U.S. citizens to maintain a high level of vigilance, be aware of local events, and take the appropriate steps to bolster their personal security, including limiting their movements to essential activity," it said on its website.
    "U.S. citizens are encouraged to monitor media and local information sources and factor updated information into personal travel plans and activities."
    Under similar advice, the UK Foreign Office adds: "Around 17 million British nationals visit France every year. Most visits are trouble free."
    For those planning to alter pre-exisiting plans, some airlines -- including U.S. operator United -- were offering to waive change fees for passengers whose travel is affected by the attacks.
    Travelers are advised to check with their airlines for the latest on any fee waiver information.

    'Isolated incident'

    Airbnb was encouraging its hosts to extend travelers' stays free of charge and offering to waive some fees.
    "If you are able, we hope you will strongly consider helping those who are in need by making your listing available at little or no cost," the accommodation-sharing service said to its hosts and their guests.
    "Also, if you're an Airbnb host in Paris and your Airbnb guest is experiencing travel delays as they try to leave Paris, you can allow your guest to extend their stay for free."
    It's unclear whether travelers with trips booked further down the line will be able to take advantage of similar discounts and refunds.
    Travel personality Rick Steves posted a message on his blog and Facebook encouraging travelers not to avoid Paris.
    Steves called the shootings and bomb attacks on Friday night an "isolated incident."
    "There's an important difference between fear and risk ... I believe we owe it to the victims of this act not to let the terrorists win by being terrorized," he wrote.
    Steves recalled past attacks in popular tourist destinations, including the 2004 train bombing in Madrid that killed 191 and injured more than 1,800 and the 2005 train and bus bombings in London that killed 52 and injured more than 700.
    "These societies tightened their security, got the bad guys, and carried on. Paris will, too," Steves wrote.