May 8 & 9 - everything closed?

Mar 5th, 2002, 06:40 AM
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May 8 & 9 - everything closed?

I will be in Paris May 7-9 (I think; I'm still working on my France itinerary), and I'm wondering how much the fact that May 8 is VE Day and May 9 is Ascension will affect my trip. According to some travel books, May 8th is a European holiday and everything is closed in France. I checked the Louvre's website, and they are open 9am-6pm on both the 8th and 9th. So I know at least I'll be able to see the Louvre. But what about everything else - restaurants, cafes/tea stops, shops, shows, Seine boat rides, markets, etc? Would it be better for me to see the countryside during those holidays, and come back to Paris later in the week, or are my chances of being able to see & do things on those days better in Paris? (BTW, I don't think I will go to Normandy during this trip.)
Mar 5th, 2002, 09:06 AM
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Mar 5th, 2002, 09:32 AM
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Do you really have a guide book that claims everything is closed in France on May 8th? Which one, I'm curious. Anyway, no, that's not true, it's not one of the biggest holidays at all (May 1st is bigger). YOu can see some museums are open, for example(so is the d'Orsay, I'll bet almost all will be, although probably crowded). Restaurants and cafes will be open and I'm sure some stores (I've seen small stores open on Bastille Day and other big holidays), although probably not the major dept. stores. I don't know about markets or what you are looking for there, but I would guess they would be open also if they normally are on that day of the week. I would think there would be more to do in a large city, espec. Paris, than the country on any holiday.
Mar 5th, 2002, 11:43 AM
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Thanks. That most things will be business as usual is encouraging news. I hope you are right.

Frommer's website is where I found the info that May 8th is a jour ferié:

I read that May 9th is also a holiday from another travel guide website (can't remember which one).
Mar 5th, 2002, 12:03 PM
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bamboo: May 9 is Ascension, a major holiday in most European countries.
Hours for each museum should be checked, whereas stores, shops and banks will be closed. On such a day, you should not run out of ideas what to do, especially not in a city like Paris.
Just be prepared for a really packed weekend. A perfect occasion for Europeans for a short getaway.
Mar 5th, 2002, 01:43 PM
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Are the shops in Provence, Alsace, Brittany, and Normandy all closed as well on May 1, 8, and 9th?

Mar 5th, 2002, 02:35 PM
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I'm guessing that Ascension Day is not a big deal in Protestant England, but does that mean that there will be a bigger traveller influx in London, eg will it be harder to get rooms booked?

Mar 5th, 2002, 03:05 PM
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In the UK, neither May 1, 8, nor 9 is a holiday, but May 6 is the May Day holiday this year. But I'd bet that at least some people from the continent will be making a long weekend in London over those holidays.

Just to complicate things, the holidays do vary from country to country on the continent, too: for example, the 8th is not a holiday the Netherlands, Germany (duh...I don't think they'd be celebrating their own surrender), or Belgium; and the 9th is a hoiday in Belgium but not Italy.
Mar 5th, 2002, 03:48 PM
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Last year I was in London and Paris over this holiday. When I called the hotel in London before leaving to find out if this was a big holiday and to expect airport delays (on the way to Paris) they thought I was crazy. When we got to Paris, the next day, which was when they celebrate, it was a day off and there were a million people celebrating the fantastic weather at Versailles where we had decided to go because the Louvre was closed.

As far as the Louvre goes, don't be fooled by posted hours or worry about being closed on holidays. You have far bigger worries. The staff goes on strike when they please and the day I decided to go, they pleased!
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