May 1 -- how closed is Paris?

Nov 11th, 2007, 03:07 PM
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May 1 -- how closed is Paris?

We'll be in Paris on May 1. I see that May Day is a major holiday, with museums closed. What else is shut down? Are shops and restaurants likely to have normal hours? How about churches on the usual tourist list? Thanks.
dedlaw is offline  
Nov 11th, 2007, 06:39 PM
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I was in Paris once on May 1. Many restaurants were closed (and closed the evening before as well). Churches and gardens were open. I believe the cemeteries are open. I did 2 walking tours with Paris Walks that day. Many people walked around holding springs of lily of the valley which was pretty to see.
adrienne is offline  
Nov 11th, 2007, 08:40 PM
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Pere Lachaise Cemetery is open, and you won't have any trouble finding something or somewhere to eat. I would recommend watching and/or participating in the parade march, which has the atmosphere of a festival. It's quite fun and very interesting.
Apres_Londee is offline  
Nov 11th, 2007, 08:54 PM
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May 1st is the most closed day of the year, not just in France but in most of Europe. This has no effect on churches and cemeteries.

The Eiffel Tower will be open, and the bateaux-mouches will operate normally.
kerouac is offline  
Nov 12th, 2007, 04:26 AM
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We were there May 1 this year.

In addition to those things noted, metro and busses are on an abbreviated holiday schedule and most shops and all(?) department stores are closed. Only small neighborhood groceries/delis seemed to be open, though there were plenty of places to eat.

It was a great day to watch the French at play in the parks. We tried to find the big parade/manif of the CGT and other unions, but it was difficult to get around, so we had to settle for a big Segolene Royal rally near the cite universitaire.
Ackislander is offline  
Nov 12th, 2007, 07:01 AM
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Louvre, Orsay, and I assume all museums were closed when we were there May 1. We had planned to visit Ch. Chantilly that day, but lines at the train station were very long & we didn't want to spend an hour standing in them. Departments stores were closed, and we had a little trouble finding a restaurant open - it seemes that all the ones on our "short list" were closed.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is offline  
Nov 12th, 2007, 07:20 AM
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It is "Workers day", they are not supposed to celebrate it working

kenderina is offline  
Nov 12th, 2007, 08:04 AM
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My question relates to this one. We hope to rent an apartment in Paris for 8-10 days in May. I know that there are a couple national holidays. Do I need to work around those dates when making my plans. We certainly will not be highly scheduled every day but want to just enjoy being in Paris while taking in many museums, churches, etc. Of course we may not be able to afford to do any of this based on the Euro/dollar exchange rate!
SAdamsrec is offline  
Nov 12th, 2007, 08:31 AM
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Since a great part of the enjoyment of Pairs is to be found walking...take those days to wander, take a Paris Walks tour (good, I've take several), Seine cruise, perhaps even plan ahead to have a small picnic at Champ de Mars, Luxembourg Gardens..etc.
Michel_Paris is offline  
Nov 12th, 2007, 08:58 AM
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We were there last May 1 - central Paris, traffic wise, was much quieter than normal. It would be an ideal time to ride a bike around, going past alot of the ajor "must sees" and over the wonderful bridges. Some restaurants will be closed but not so many that you can't find a place to eat.
suec1 is offline  
Nov 12th, 2007, 09:13 AM
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I wouldn't try to make special plans or itineraries based on French holidays in May except for May 1st. As noted, virtually everything is closed as it is Labor Day (like anything with civil servants or large companies or corporations, which includes dept stores, of course).

If you are going to be there 8-10 days, I wouldn't think it would matter that one of those days was a holiday.
Christina is offline  

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