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Why Now Is Not The Best Time To Visit Paris

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Travelers with Paris on their itinerary may want to reconsider plans if they are going any time soon. There is so much to experience in the City of Light, but now may not be the best time to go.

People walking down the street in paris with trash on sidewealk

Those with dreams of sidewalk cafes, art museums, and dreamy European architecture could be very disappointed if they were to visit.

Due to a new bill potentially increasing retirement age requirements and pension contributions, the city’s garbage collectors have gone on strike.

It is estimated that over 6,000 tons of waste is covering half the city with overfilled bins causing an unpleasant atmosphere for those looking for a Parisian getaway!

Endless Piles in Paris

Just about any major city across the globe is going to have some areas that can be considered dirty. New York has pizza-eating rats, Mexico City has pollution, and now Paris has overflowing garbage.

Travel is a game of give and take for those willing to give any place a chance.

The trouble is that Paris is such a popular destination for millions of annual visitors, especially with its romantic mystique portrayed in film and television for years.

Expectations are set for travelers wanting to see the Paris that they feel they already know. 

@beatritrixb #paris #greve #poubelles #trash ♬ Memories of Paris – Paris Cafe Society

This week, travelers could go and still find themselves having a great time. There are still sidewalk cafes to enjoy premium wine and cheese.

The Eiffel Tower isn’t going anywhere, nor are the countless museums to explore.

But when people wander through the beautiful winding streets of Paris, they don’t envision weaving in and out of rotting waste.

Taking a selfie in front of the Eiffel Tower while also covering your nose and trying not to gag probably isn’t what they had in mind.

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@madame.tartempion Garbage collectors on strike in Paris right now 🫣 I really wonder why this type of thing wasnt featured on Emily in Paris? #paris #thisisparis #emilyinparis #americaninparis #lifeinparis #lifeinfrance ♬ La belle vie – Sacha Distel

What Are Travelers Experiencing?

Mixed reviews are pouring in from travelers, as some unselfishly support the movement and understand the circumstances.

Others feel this should be more of a mainstream story and wish they had been made aware of the situation.

One TikToker had a heartfelt observation saying she feels terrible for first-timers in Paris this week as this isn't a true representation of this magnificent city.

@francesurvivalguide I guess it could be worse, like 90 degrees in the middle of July 😮‍💨 #foryou #fyp #paristiktok #greve #trash #paris #traveltipsoftiktok ♬ original sound – France Survival Guide

“I've never seen a city with so much trash on the street. They must collect it once a week or something, it's not very nice at all.” – Portuguese tourist Fabio Figueirado

@ms.nextlevel Paris – the city of trash! #newyork #newyorkcity #newyorktravelguide #newyorkjets #whattodoinnewyorkcity #newyorkcitytravelguide #innewyork #thingstodoinnewyork #york #paris ♬ Favorite Song – Sped Up – Toosii

Another TikTok user said she thought New York was bad with their common garbage pileups, but it didn't even compare to what is happening in Paris right now.

“This time we obviously noticed a difference — that there's trash piled up — but we also know why and we understand.” Returning American tourist, Daniel Gore

@erintridle 🚮🚮🚮 #paris #france #french #🇫🇷 #strike #retirement #metro #garbage #travel #traveling #traveler #traveltips ♬ original sound – Erin Tridle

Lastly, another visitor posted filthy streets and inside knowledge of the ongoing strike.

She points out not only are waste management workers not reporting to their jobs, but also teachers and Metro workers are striking for the same reason.

This will affect tourists in how they are able to get around Paris, as some Metro lines are suspended.

What’s the Issue?

As of now, city trash collectors, as well as cleaners, have voted to extend their holdout until at least Monday, March 20th.

There is no official end date, however.

At this point, any traveler should know this could be going on for a while.

@btnewsroom One million protesters strong — the fiercest opposition to France’s pension reform plan yet. #FranceStrike #LaborStrike #FranceProtests #GeneralStrike #WorkersRights ♬ original sound – BreakThrough News

Keeping a giant metropolis clean is a dirty job, no pun intended.

It is easy to see why workers have resulted to holding out on their duties when they could now be expected to work an extra 2 years before they can achieve their retirement goals.

If a new law is passed, the retirement age will be increased by 2 years.

Workers are also asking for an increase in pay to receive a higher pension. There are also health concerns given the fact garbage collectors are constantly breathing in fumes from the waste, truck exhaust, and working in every type of weather. 

All of this is being taken into consideration. No immediate signs point to any changes being made, but France President Macron's bill has received the votes needed to push forward despite nationwide protests.

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This article originally appeared on

Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

Al LeFeusch

Thursday 16th of March 2023

I've been to Paris five times since the 90s and I've never been a huge fan of that city.


Wednesday 15th of March 2023

Haha, the French are ALWAYS on strike, nothing news there.


Thursday 16th of March 2023

@Ashley, Yes,nothing new, also the public transport system.I’ve lived in Paris for years and never seen it this bad, Mass demonstrations on Wednesday 15th had nearly 1.28 million across France, i went to the Loiret for the weekend,just got back home now, Two weeks to get back,no trains,Metro,buses, the real figure was3.5 million,always a different story from the State,and the unions.Don’t get me started on the garbage, stinks in front of my apartment.cheers.


Thursday 16th of March 2023



Thursday 16th of March 2023



Thursday 16th of March 2023

@Elisa, exactly! This is nothing new. Lol