The Eiffel Tower and the Louvre Are Shutting Down for Paris Protests
Here's what to know if you're visiting the city this weekend.
In expectation of political protests, some of Paris’s biggest landmarks are shutting down this weekend.
The Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, and Notre Dame are among the famous monuments that will be closed Saturday during the “yellow vest” protests.
An expected 8,000 police officers will be dispatched in the capital to counteract the potential "small minority" who have been "radicalized and fallen into violence and hate,” the Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said at a press conference on Friday.
Hundreds of businesses around Paris — especially those around the Champs-Elysees shopping district — are expected to close this weekend as well. Shop owners have boarded up their storefronts in anticipation.
A complete list of the landmarks, theaters, and shops with planned closures this weekend is available online.
The U.S. Embassy has advised American travelers to avoid the demonstrations, particularly in areas of central Paris. France-24 warns that protests could take place around the city, including the Champs-Élysées, Concorde, Madeleine, Opéra, Bastille, République, and Trocadéro metro stops.
Travelers who purchased advance admission to any of these attractions should check their emails or contact the institutions for additional information. Travelers in Paris this weekend can follow the Paris Tourism Board’s Twitter account, Paris Je T’aime, for up-to-date information about closures and security in the capital.
“It’s with an immense sadness that we’ll see our city partially brought to a halt, but your safety is our priority,” Mayor Anne Hidalgo said in a statement. “Take care of Paris on Saturday because Paris belongs to all the French people.”
The “yellow vest” protests began on Nov. 17 in response to a sharp increase in diesel taxes. The movement criticizes President Emmanuel Macron and has disparate grievances, including education reform, police brutality, and union workers' rights. Since the movement began, four people have been killed in protest-related incidents.
Demonstrations are also expected in other French cities like Bordeaux and Lyon this weekend.