This post may contain affiliate links. Read the full disclosure here.

On March 17, 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the residents of Paris were plunged into total confinement, allowed to leave the house only for necessities but restricted to a 1 km radius and a time limit. The slow process of deconfinement began on May 11. Rules and expectations have constantly evolved since then, and even someone attentively following along would have a hard time keeping up with the latest developments.

Like most Parisians, I rushed out of my small apartment as soon as I could, ready for freedom and direct sunlight. This summer, I’ve been spending a lot of time outdoors, hoping to never be subjected to lockdown again. It’s a strange new world out there, with an extreme lack of tourists, and I’ve attempted to capture a bit of this period in photos.

All of these photos were taken in Paris between May 11 and August 12.

Reclaiming Freedom

May 15—Canal Saint-Martin: Flocking outside just days after being released from confinement
May 15—Playing pétanque (the French version of bocce)
June 2—A view from my window: What is social distancing?

Navigating New Rules and New Systems

May 23—Some restaurants and bars reopened, but didn’t allow customers in, blocking the doorways with tables and chairs
June 3—Taking over the sidewalks
June 16—Taking over the streets; Paris relaxed rules and allowed restaurants and bars to expand their outdoor seating
August 6—QR Codes on tables, starting to replace paper menus
August 6—Clothing stores either no longer allow customers to try on clothes or have closed some of the fitting rooms

Getting Around

June 1—Hand sanitizer distributor at a bus stop, probably empty
July 15—Sidewalk expansion for the pedestrian flow
July 22—Bike lane expansion on Rue de Rivoli

Running Errands

May 14—Waiting outside the post office
June 3—Lines for social distancing can be found outside many buildings

Paris? Is That You?

June 16—A less manicured Paris
July 22—The busy Rue de Rivoli in the middle of the afternoon
July 22—Église de Saint Germain des Prés
July 22—Église Saint-Sulpice
August 7—Hand sanitizer at every table… for all the customers

Want clarification on anything? Drop your questions below!

Paris: Deconfined and Sans Touristes
Tagged on:

2 thoughts on “Paris: Deconfined and Sans Touristes

  • September 7, 2020 at 3:11 pm

    I love going to Paris in August, it is so much quieter than usual as most of the Parisians are away… This year must have been even more empty with very little tourists and the Parisians enjoying the ‘déconfinement’ in the South or the French countryside! It might actually have been the quietest month of August Paris has ever had! Thanks for sharing your pictures and experience!

    • September 10, 2020 at 9:50 am

      I agree! Paris in August can be awesome, but it’s definitely a weird feeling when you arrive in a touristy spot and find hardly anyone at all. This wasn’t your average summer in Paris!


Leave a Reply