What's open, closed for holidays in London, Paris

travel q&a end-of-year trip

October 26, 2008|By McClatchy-Tribune

We're thinking of going to London and Paris from Dec. 21 to Jan. 2. Are there seasonal limitations that would keep us from visiting major sites and attractions?

Both cities can be lovely to visit in winter. The cold weather can be bracing when you are spending hours tramping around, and there's certainly no shortage of indoor must-sees in these capitals of art and culture.

Plus, there will be holiday lights, trees and events galore.

Here are details on what's open and what's closed from Visit Britain and Maison de la France, the official tourism agencies:

LONDON

Sights: : The London Eye will be closed on Dec. 25 only. The Tower of London will be closed Dec. 24-26 and Jan. 1. Kensington Palace will be closed Dec. 24-26.

Museums:: The British Museum will be closed Dec. 24-26 and Jan. 1. The Tate Modern will be closed Dec. 24-26.

Other closings: : The London Underground and buses will not operate on Dec. 25, but you will be able to find taxis.

And you'll find festive things to do, Visit Britain spokesman Paul Chibeba says.

"Even on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, the Original London Walk run some walking tours (at 7 pounds each), including their Charles Dickens Christmas Carol walk. Check www.walks.com for details," he says. "And all of London's fabulous outdoor ice rinks will be open on Dec. 24 and 26."

For updates before your trip: : visitbritain .us.

PARIS

Sights:: In a pleasant surprise for tourists, the Eiffel Tower will be open Dec. 25, Dec. 31 and Jan. 1.

Museums:: The Louvre is closed Dec. 25 and Jan. 1, in addition to its regular Tuesday closure.

As for other museums, Maison de la France spokeswoman Katherine Johnstone says the society that oversees national museums will not release details on those holiday closings until November.

Other closings: : Because Christmas falls on a Thursday this year, many smaller shops and businesses may also close on Friday the 26th for a four-day weekend, Johnstone says, so factor that possibility into your plans.

For updates before your trip: : franceguide .com.

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