I’ve a date and I really waited long to make this happen. My gifrfriend is a bit worried about the security issue in Paris. Which locals think that the media is exagerrating the issue and the issue is small and non-threatening for tourists?

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    News channels are showing you 0.1% of Paris, focused on the worst parts at the worst time. 99.9% of Paris is unaffected. – JonathanReez Dec 4 '18 at 20:00
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    Some major tourist attractions were compromised though...which is probably 0.1% of Paris too! – Ali Gajani Dec 4 '18 at 20:59
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    @JonathanReez Parisian here. The area affected by the protests last Saturday was unprecedented. I've never seen so many metro stations closed. Many museums will be closed tomorrow. The media only shows you the most spectacular parts, but for once, there were riots that a tourist could plausibly have gotten caught in. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Dec 7 '18 at 21:04
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    @Taladris if something serious is happening nearby you will know it from a mile away. Stay away from the core of the violent protests and you'll do just fine. As explained in an answer below the protests are only happening on one day per week anyway. – JonathanReez Dec 10 '18 at 15:09
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    @AliGajani Macron's speech on Monday hasn't been well received in France (a lot of people are saying “too little, too late”). Since the yellow jackets aren't an organization, there isn't a spokesperson who can say “it's over” or “it isn't over”, but most roadblocks haven't been lifted. Whether this will have any influence on Saturdays in Paris remains to be seen. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Dec 12 '18 at 7:06

The UK government's advice to UK nationals visiting France is here: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/france

The relevant part says: "Protests against fuel prices continue across France, leading to blocked roads and motorways in some areas. You should avoid where possible and follow the advice of the authorities."

That is probably good advice for any visitor to any country experiencing some internal strife.

I used to live in France and never saw much in the way of protests except on TV. Protests in France (and elsewhere in Europe) can be noisy and are well covered on the news channels; and there are sometimes incidents of violence. But if you stay away from them, you can enjoy your trip in other parts of the city and barely know there was anything amiss.

  • Sure but I saw they did graffiti on tourist areas too. – Ali Gajani Dec 4 '18 at 19:13

The current situation in Paris, as of early December, is that there's a fairly large area on Paris that you should avoid on Saturdays. Everything is as usual on other days. (That's in Paris; in more rural areas, there are blocked roads. The blockades are mostly peaceful but they can make it harder to get around.) On Saturdays It's only a few hundreds of rioters amidst tens of thousands of peaceful protesters, but that's enough to be unpleasant if not dangerous if you get stuck between them and the police, and they sometimes move fast.

It may be difficult to understand which area to avoid as a non-local especially if you don't speak French; to get an idea, you can check which metro and bus lines are not running. That's in French, but all you really need to know is to avoid the neighborhood of the listed metro stations on the specified day. “Trafic interrompu entre … et …” means that the line is suspended between these stations. If a station in closed (“fermée”), you might see a mention “Les correspondances restent assurées” (the trains stop at an interchange station, but you can only change between lines, not enter or exit the station) or “Les correspondances ne sont pas assurées” (the trains will not stop).

That's the situation now. The situation is evolving rapidly, so it's impossible to make serious predictions as to what will happen in a month. However another month of protests at a scale that would affect tourists in urban areas would be extremely long, I don't find it very likely. Furthermore things are likely to quieten down for Christmas, and not likely to restart at the same scale. Road blockades may last longer but they wouldn't affect Paris.

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