Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Colosseum: a guide reopening the wonders of the world
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Countries around the world are beginning to lift some of their coronavirus restrictions. Tourism – vital for many countries – has become a possibility once again as guidelines have been released for domestic and international tourism.
From Zambia’s Victoria Falls to Mount Rushmore, some of the most sought-after attractions are opening their doors to the public this summer. Strict rules can be expected as some of those countries have been greatly affected by the spread of coronavirus.
Unfortunately for Americans, the popular European landmarks will be off limits to us for some time.
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The Louvre is reopening its doors July 6 but visitors will first have to reserve a time slot online. Everyone over the age of 11 will have to wear a mask while inside.
Hours of operation have been amended from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day except for Tuesday when the museum is closed. The museum will only be taking card payments for the time being.
If you’re in need of an audio guide make sure to book a ticket after July 15. The cafes and bookstore will open alongside the museum on July 6. The cloakroom will be closed for the time being so no helmets or luggage will be permitted into the museum.
As of June 25, visitors were allowed back to the Eiffel Tower. This marks the longest closure since World War II. From June 25 to June 30, visitors can only take the 674 stairs to reach the second level. July 1 will see the elevator reopen with limited passengers. The top floor is not yet open but may become available as the coronavirus conditions change over the summer.
Visitors are encouraged to buy tickets online for contactless payment, While attending the Tower everyone over the age over 11 will have to wear a mask and follow the social distancing requirements. To maintain distance, sightseers will go up the east pillar stairs and go down the west pillar stairs.
The entire Colosseum Archaeological Park which includes the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, Roman Forum and Domus Aurea opened on June 1. Hours have been shortened from 10:30 a.m. to 7:15 p.m.
Usually, Stonehenge is filled with visitors waiting to witness the summer solstice on June 21. This year, English Heritage, the group that manages the landmark, live-streamed the event instead.
The landmark will officially reopen on July 4 with social distancing measures such as one-way foot traffic.
Mont Saint Michel
Mont Saint Michel, which has more than three million visitors each year, has reopened as the French government began to ease restrictions.
Foot traffic is one way only to limit contact between visitors. The hours will be 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. from June 15 to August 31 with accessibility to the Mont limited by the capacity of a shuttle service,
St. Basil’s Cathedral
The museum is open but all visitors will have to wear a mask and take a contactless temperature check when they arrive. The museum is encouraging all tickets to be purchased online as visitors will only be allowed in during a selected a time slot.
Elevators in the building will only be accessible for disabled visitors. Cafe’s and restrooms will be open with regular sanitation.
Greece opened many of its archaeological sites in May, including the Acropolis in Athens. It won’t be unusual to see workers wearing masks, face shields and gloves while moving around the landmark. Visitors will be required to social distance and are strongly recommended to wear face masks as well.
Greece has had 3,500 cases of coronavirus which is significantly less than some neighboring countries.
“Greece has won credibility from the way it handled the coronavirus crisis. It is a valuable achievement that will allow us a dynamic opening of the tourism season,” said Cultural Minister Lina Mendoni
Related: 6 Tips for visiting the Acropolis
Although the Acropolis is open, large tour groups will not be permitted and general tourism will be limited.
If you’re looking to visit Neuschwanstein Castle make sure to check out the regulations in place. All visitors will have to be part of a guided tour and space is limited as only 10% of the usual capacity is allowed per day. Tickets can only be bought online except if you receive free entry, then you should visit the ticket center.
The Marienbrucke is open to a limited number of visitors. The inner courtyard is open only if visitors are taking part in the castle tour. Audio guides, the lift and the multivision room are not available.
Leaning Tower of Pisa
On May 30, the Leaning Tower of Pisa reopened to the public. The landmark is taking safety seriously as visitors have to wear face masks and devices that will make a sound if people get to close to one another.
Only 15 tourists will be allowed in the Leaning Tower at a time.
“Our budget will suffer heavy losses but we wanted to send a signal of confidence and hope,” said Pierfrancesco Pacini, the president of the board of directors.
Italy was one of the countries most affected by coronavirus with over 240,000 cases.
You can once again visit Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland beginning July 3. Tickets will become available every Friday and will have to be booked by 3 p.m. the day before your visit.
Some areas will have one direction of traffic flow to maintain social distancing. The shuttle bus services will not be running this summer.
Visitors will be able to have the full experience as the visitors center, audio tours, guided tours, cafes and bathrooms will all be open
Unfortunately, Buckingham Palace will not open for tourists this summer. Since Queen Elizabeth opened the palace to the public 27 years ago it has opened over a 10-week period each summer and certain days during the Winter and Spring.
If you’re still looking to see inside, there is now a virtual tour available. It allows you to travel through the Grand Staircase, White Drawing Room, the Throne Room and the Blue Drawing Room.
La Sagrada Familia
The Barcelona tourist attraction that closed in March due to coronavirus has revealed a plan to reopen this summer. The city of Barcelona is honoring front line workers by allowing them into the Sagrada Familia first and free of charge during the first two weeks of July. Barcelona residents will be welcomed back on July 18 however the date for other travelers is still unknown.
Statue of Liberty
New York is one of The United States worst-hit cities with close to 400,00 cases of coronavirus. The state has started a phased reopening allowing for parks to reopen. Tickets can be purchased for the Statue of Liberty on July 20 however a date for reopening is still up in the air as the situation in New York is monitored.
Golden Gate Bridge
The Bridge has seen a significant drop in visitors since the appearance of coronavirus. As of June, the bridge parking lots are closed on weekends and holidays. The Welcome Center remains closed for the time being.
The Golden Gate Ferry and bus services will have reduced service and limited capacity. All methods of transportation will be regularly disinfected and barriers have been added between drivers and passengers.
The U.S landmark reopened for Memorial Day and has had more of its amenities open since then. Memorial Team Ice Cream, Shops and parking lots are among what’s open. The Lincoln Borglum Visitor Center and Sculptor’s Studio remain closed.
The park will remain open from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily but some paths are still closed. Social distancing and face coverings are required at all times.
All flights were canceled in and out of the remote island back in March, leaving roughly 1000 tourists stranded for a short time. Tourism has not resumed on the small island and it is unclear when tourists will be welcomed back. There was only one hospital and three ventilators on the island when coronavirus first began to spread.
Machu Picchu was set to reopen to domestic tourists on July 1 at a reduced capacity of 25%, which is significantly less than the 2000-3000 people per day it saw this time last year. However due to coronavirus concerns the reopening has been pushed back. A new date has yet to be set.
Ha Long Bay
The Vietnam landmark was allowed to welcome tourists on May 1 after a seven-week closure. All visitors will be required to wear face masks and practice social distancing.
The Halong Bay management board has planned a series of events to welcome visitors back to the landmark. Tourist boats will also be operational for day and night tours.
The Western Wall
Israel reopened the holy site, The Western Wall in early May as cases of coronavirus lessened. The plaza in front of the wall has been split into socially distant prayer areas and visitors are required to have temperature checks.
The number of visitors have been limited but slowly the occupancy rate is increasing. Once capacity is reached, those wishing to visit will have to wait outside. For the time being the Western Wall tunnels will remain closed.
The Grand Palace
The Grand Palace reopened in early June for visitors as restrictions in Bangkok were lifted. The complex, built in 1782 used to serve as the king’s residence and home to various government offices.
As it reopens, hours will be from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily. The Grand Palace falls under the government’s second phase of reopening. Visitors are still strongly advised to practice sanitary measures, follow social distancing and wear face coverings.
Dubai’s Burj Khalifa has reopened to the public with new safety protocols. Temperature checks, face masks and social distancing will be among the new requirements. Anyone who wants to visit will have to buy tickets online and use contactless payments once inside Burj Khalifa. Age limits imposed by the country will be followed and IDs will be needed to confirm your age.
The observation decks will be open and all touchpoints will be regularly sanitized.
The Great Wall of China
The Badaling section of the Great Wall of China reopened on March 24. The section is from Bei Liu Lou to Nan Wu and is the most popular section of the Great Wall. It will now have reduced capacity and limited hours of 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Visitors will have to book all tickets in advance, wear a mask while on the property, follow social distancing and will have temperature checks upon arrival. They will also have to have a registered Health QR code that identifies them as healthy.
Related: 8 Tips for your first trip to China
For the time being the other sections of the Great Wall of China will remain closed. The China Great Wall Museum and cable cars are also closed.
New disciplinary measures including a blacklist were added in April after people were caught vandalizing the Great Wall on reopening day.
After two months of closure, Victoria Falls reopened in May. The decision to reopen comes after the city of Livingstone had no reported coronavirus cases said Zambia’s president. The falls serve as a major source of tourism for the area.
Victoria Falls reported high volumes of water this summer.
Zambia has reopened its borders to tourism, but it is unclear if Americans or Europeans are welcome.
The Great Pyramids of Giza
Egypt says it will begin to reopen some tourist destinations beginning July 1, the Pyramids of Giza are said to be included in this plan. The duration and number of tours will be limited based on the size of the museum.
The Great Pyramids were extensively sanitized back in April. This included walkways, ticket offices, and visitor centers around the structures. The structures themselves were not sanitized as they require special care for preservation.
Egypt reopened its borders and restarted commercial air travel on July 1, but it’s unclear if Americans are allowed.
Sydney Opera House
The Sydney Opera House is not currently open for the public, though they are working on a plan to get the public back as soon as it’s safe. In the meantime, the Sydney Opera House is providing live programs weekly, podcasts, videos, articles, and new behind the scenes footage.
Performances have been canceled through December.
Australia has closed its borders to visitors except for those from New Zealand. Australia is also restricting its own citizens from travel internationally, but is now allowing internal tourism. Australia tourism says it hopes to restart international travel sometime in September.
Related: What are travel bubbles?
- Guide to traveling during the coronavirus outbreak
- Country by country guide to coronavirus recovery
- How coronavirus has left the travel industry reeling
Featured image of Victoria Falls by prasit_chansareekorn / Getty Images
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