Q – We have taken your advice and are thinking about scheduling our trip to France, our first trip to Europe, next May so we can avoid the crowds. My wife has dreamed about visiting the Louvre since she was an art student at NYU. Is this a good time to go to on a trip that will certainly be taken up with daytime exhibits and museum treks followed by French local favorite dining. We might also want to do a short river cruise on the Seine. We are retired so rather flexible. I should tell you that we live in Manhattan and you have a number of readers in our building.
A – Thank you. We hope you aren’t renting in Manhattan. If you are, you likely can’t afford three meals a day in Paris.
We are going to recommend that you move this trip up to sometime between the 15th of March and the end of April. That will cut down on the tourist numbers significantly and, given your interests, you can travel in the off-season while seeing the same paintings the crowds will be passing by just two months later. Overtourism is becoming a serious worldwide phenomenon and Paris is not exempt. This past May, workers at the Louvre staged a walkout protesting massive crowds that they claim “made the place dangerous and unmanageable”. Given that you have choices and will largely be indoors to experience the Paris of your dreams definitely plan to travel in the off-season or, at the very least, the shoulder season preceding summer. And please collect our subscription fee from building residents when you see them in the elevator.