Paris at Christmas is one of those bucket list items for tourists.
But if you go this year, you might have to make some adjustments on the fly.
Labor strikes in Europe are fairly common, and Parisians are living through one as we speak. Since Dec. 5, trade unions representing Metro (subway) workers, national and international railway workers, teachers, air traffic controllers and more have intermittently walked out on their respective positions.
At issue is French president Emmanuel Macron’s plan to make changes to the pension plan, a fixture of France’s history that has been generous to workers for decades, if not longer. While so far the walkouts have not been devastating, they nonetheless have been disruptive and annoying.
And they could last into the holidays.
As of Friday the 13th, the RATP transport union will be on strike through December 17, with threats of carrying the protest through the holiday itself. The national train line is operating on a reduced schedule.
According to worldinparis.com, there are scheduled transportation strikes scheduled for Dec. 21-22, Dec. 25, and Dec. 29-29.
The so-called ‘unlimited strikes’ severely impact tourists and residents alike with the ability to get around the city.
Even Air France has been hit as grounds crew have walked off the job.
As Conde Nast noted, however, “Paris is an eminently walkable city, and nearly every attraction is accessible by foot or bicycle under two hours. For those staying in a hotel or an apartment located in the outer arrondissements, use the opportunity to explore locally or plan to wear your most comfortable shoes for a day of walking into the city.”
Tourists should expect to hoof it, in some places, but should also check ahead as to whether popular attractions and museums will be open at regular times.
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