September 19, 2019

Understanding Paris Pharmacies: 5 Things You Should Know

This guide to Paris pharmacies serves as a practical resource to help travelers avoid uncomfortable or stressful medical situations abroad.

Arriving in Paris can feel like a dream. But somewhere between trying tasty French pastries and admiring the displays in trendy boutique windows, reality sets in. Maybe you find yourself alone at the laundromat unable to start the machine because you can’t read the French instructions.  Or maybe you’ve walked for blocks and still haven’t found a supermarket open on a Sunday afternoon.

These are exactly the type of real-life issues Australian sister duo Jessie and Alice address with Their website is a practical resource to help travelers avoid uncomfortable or stressful situations abroad. Excuseme-Whereis is full of helpful information and maps of key locations (pharmacies, public toilets, supermarkets, etc.) in cities throughout Europe. Here are five tips for going to the pharmacy in Paris.

Practical Paris: 5 Things to Know about Parisian Pharmacies

450px-Pharmacy,_Cherbourg_France-11. There are several pharmacies throughout Paris and they’re quite easy to recognize. Simply look for the large green fluorescent cross displayed outside.

2. Don’t expect to grab headache medicine at the nearest supermarket or corner store. In France, if a product has a medical purpose, you will likely only find it in a pharmacy.

3. Note the generic name or ingredients in your favorite medication from back home because you probably won’t be able to find them in France under the same commercial name. Better yet, bring your go-to medicine with you on your trip to avoid the hassle.

4. Most pharmacies in Paris maintain standard business hours, so most are closed on evenings and weekends. Luckily, there are a few 24-hour pharmacies in the city.

5. If you have an emergency and can’t make it to one of the extended hour pharmacies mentioned above, you can go to your local “Pharmacie de Garde”, a role held by a different neighborhood pharmacy each week.

One great feature of Excuseme-Whereis is the helpful maps that include key locations throughout Paris. 


Visit for more great maps and resources and stay tuned for more practical tips for handling everyday concerns in Paris.

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