No. Currently (February 8, 2008), taxi drivers and cashiers have recently staged strikes, but Paris remains a primarily peaceful city. During our last visit stateside, people still seem to be in a time warp when it comes to the 2005 riots. So, just to confirm – the riots have been OVER for a long time. I don’t know what it is about the ‘power of the media’ that seems to allow images of burning cars to remain indelibly imprinted into people’s image of Paris. The reason I titled this post ‘Is there rioting in Paris?’ is because this still seems to be an issue for travelers.
Even when there was rioting or massive transportation strikes, Paris somehow continues to manage whatever unusual turns the politics or the social problems of the day may be. As a visitor to Paris, you might want to consider checking the local news reports. For news in English, one of the most reliable sources is the International Herald Tribune which is published daily in Paris. The French television station France 24 is also a useful source of information. http://www.france24.com/en/
The types of problems most likely to be encountered by tourists visiting Paris would be transportation problems getting to and from the airports or train stations (such as last Wednesday’s taxi strike which blocked traffic to the both airports). Gare du Nord was the scene of riots back in 2005 and yet passengers continued to arrive from the Eurostar shuttle.
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In regards to security issues, French security continues to be vigilant in high risk areas such as the Tour Montparnasse, the Eiffel Tower, train stations and airports. Do not be surprised to see patrolls in these areas. If you plan on visiting the Tour Montparnasse, you will be directed to the specific door to go to the tower – all entrances require security checks. Be prepared to open your handbags to security although metal detectors are not installed.
You can also visit Le Figaro’s English translation site.