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Paris 1st May

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London, United...
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Paris 1st May

Hi there!

My partner and I are going to Paris for the day on the 1st May. We chose this date before we realised that the 1st May is renowned for demonstrations etc, and that most places will in fact be closed for the day.

I have a couple of questions - what do you recommend visiting in Paris, that won't be closed on that day?

Also, there have been numerous demonstrations in Paris lately, so that, on top of the 1st being May Day is a bit of a cause for concern. Does anyone know if there is any way to find out if there are any demonstrations planned/where they are to be held in advance, so we can try and steer clear of those areas?

Many thanks for your help!

Montelimar, France
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1. Re: Paris 1st May

Hi mccrayon

Demonstrations and gatherings are indeed common on Labour day.

I shall personally join such events.

In Paris , there are 2 majors demonstrations.

One from the National Front around Place Jeanne d'Arc,Palais royal, Rue de Rivoli ending with a meeting at noon Place de l'Opéra.

In the afternoon , 3pm,the unionists will march between Bastille and Nation.

Most places will be closed:

paris.fr/accueil/societe/jours-feries-en-mai…

Paris, France
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2. Re: Paris 1st May

Places open on May 1st include:

- Eiffel Tower

- Musée Jacquemart André

- Fondation Cartier

- Pinacothèque

and probably a couple of others (Pompidou used to open, but will be closed this year)

As for demonstrations:

- the main (most unions) one will be from Bastille to Nation, starting at 15h; it will likely be smaller than usual as most reformist unions (CFDT, CFTC, Unsa) are not taking part this year

- the far right Front National demonstration from Place du Palais Royal (09h30) to Opera (noon), stopping at Joan of Arc statue

Paris, France
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3. Re: Paris 1st May

The boat trips on the Seine will be operating as usual. In any case, it is often a lovely day to just walk around... when it isn't pouring rain.

The trade union marches are fun... nothing to worry about.

Val-de-Marne, France
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4. Re: Paris 1st May

No reason to avoid the demonstrations, they can actually be viewed as a fun activity to do on May Day. When we had friends over from the US a couple of years ago and the weather was gorgeous on May 1st we actually walked most of the route followed by the protesters. All the bars along the way are open and the atmosphere is cheerful, it's like a big party with lots of families.

But on a rainy day, not so much.

Aside from the sites already listed above (Eiffel Tower, boat cruises, etc), Montmartre will be just as busy as usual. Musée Grévin (the wax museum, in a very old cool building, very different from the impersonal overcrowded Madame Tussaud's) is open too.

London, United...
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5. Re: Paris 1st May

Hi everyone,

Thanks for all your responses, you've been really helpful!

The only reason I mentioned avoiding the demonstrations is from what I've seen in the media from the demonstrations/rallies the past few weeks in Paris. Doesn't look very welcoming!

However if they're not violent like the media has been showing, then maybe it will be interesting to see, so thanks for putting my mind at ease! :)

Paris, France
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6. Re: Paris 1st May

Those homophobic demonstrations won't be back until May 5th.

Paris, France
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7. Re: Paris 1st May

Talking about May 5th, be aware that the far-left Front de Gauche will also demonstrate on that day (Bastille at 13h30)

New York City, New...
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8. Re: Paris 1st May

Hey Parisix - I plan on hanging out in the Marais district that Sunday. Will I be far enough away?

Le Bugue, France
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9. Re: Paris 1st May

It will be very tranquil on the Ile des Impressionistes that day - a great day to go sit on the balcony of La Maison Fournaise overlooking the Seine and have a lovely lunch, a visit to the small museum, and a walk around the tiny island. Open 7 days a week all year round.

There is no reason to be the slightest bit concerned about the demonstrations in Paris.

Paris, France
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10. Re: Paris 1st May

That is not the far left, parisix, that is just the medium far left -- ex socialists and current communists, totally reputable with elected officials in parliament. No need to fear them, daisy. (The far left is comprised of the 3 Trotskyist political parties.)

I'm not sure where the homophobic demonstration is supposed to take place, but they prefer the Left Bank. I feel quite confident that you can expect tear gas and major disruptions wherever they will be.