Thoughts about traveling to France summer 2019

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  • Jan 11th, 2019 9:45 am
Jun 11, 2005
439 posts

Thoughts about traveling to France summer 2019

We were hoping to travel to France this summer - 2 adults and 2 kids.
Our plans are as follows, in no particular order:
-spend 4-5 days in Paris
- acouple of days in Lourdes
-using a relative that lives in Marseille as a base and visit cities around the Riviera.
-considering a cruise that leaves from either Marseille or Barcelona

However, with all that is currently going on in France, we are hesitant to begin making these plans.

I’d like to hear what others think of visiting a country experiencing turmoil.

5 replies
Deal Addict
Jul 7, 2017
1296 posts
SW corner of the cou…
How do you like heat w/ AC? It will be hot. It will get booked up where the French vacation.

The area around Lourdes is spectacular (french side of the pyrenees). I'd say a half day in town is more than enough (I've been 2 or 3x not for pilgrimage).

Avoid the main cities (or Paris) and you will be fine.

There are some places nearby Marseille you can get to in a day and back but the traffic can be particularly horrendous, especially in summer. Don't expect fast drives or easy parking (that's why I love the off season). A lot of the spectacular cliffs and wilderness areas may be closed due to fire risk.
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Deal Guru
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Dec 20, 2003
10848 posts
At this point, I wouldn't be too worried about the current.... unpleasantness... in France. It will pass, but is part of the culture to strike at least once a year for most jobs - and I'm not kidding. Strikes and protests are a common event in French cities, and you more have to worry about when French Air Traffic Controllers are going on strike, as it disrupts flights (I think they did it 3 times in 2018).

Again, it will pass, and as long as you listen to the news and know what areas to avoid if there are protests, you'd be fine. My co-workers spent xmas and New Years in Paris, and just avoided the tourist areas during the weekends, where the yellow jackets (or more accurately, the trouble-markers taking advantage of the situation) were.

Edit: There are a few good reads about the Strike Culture, such as: ... -on-strike
- Absolute
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Nov 2, 2002
1371 posts
There’s usually less union activity in the summer as most workers take their holidays and resume strike and demonstrations activities in the fall. Paris is empty (except for tourists) in August. The south will b packed. This “Gilets Jaunes” movement is different and no one really knows where it could go. I’m sure it will be over by the summer though, but could get worse before it is over. The things you see here on the evening news is nothing like what’s shown on French TV.

A recommendation I give everyone is to always spend your last night at the airport and book that as soon as possible to secure the best price. Relax there on your last afternoon and evening (there’s a big mall near the CDG airport, called Aeroville) where you can make last minute shopping and take your time going to the airport the next morning, stress free. Once, I was returning, and a major transportation strike was called for the day of the flight. I was so glad I was at the airport the day before. (This was not in the summer though).
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Sr. Member
Nov 8, 2017
701 posts
I was in Barcelona when they had their "illegal" vote. There were lots of cops, apcs, and helicopters flying around, and lots of demonstrations we saw. It's a massive city and couldn't really tell there was that much tension. When we watched the news later and it showed cops beating up voters we were like "holy f++ck" . We would have never guessed that was going down.
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Jan 31, 2006
4089 posts
they always have strikes and riot so its nothing new. Just stay away from them and look at the news. they usually do it on the weekend anyways.
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