For members


Traffic jams, sun and storms: What to expect in France over Pentecost weekend

The last of May’s long weekends starts on Friday - here’s what you can expect on the roads, and from the late spring weather over the Pentecost weekend.

Traffic jams, sun and storms: What to expect in France over Pentecost weekend
Many are expected to take advantage of the long weekend and warm late spring weather. (Photo by GAIZKA IROZ / AFP)

Monday is Pentecost, the last jour ferie of a holiday-heavy May – and the last one before the Fête nationale on July 14th. And plenty of people plan to make the most of it, with the weather set mostly fair.

READ ALSO Why do many in France work for free on Pentecost public holiday?

Warm, sunny and a bit stormy

According to national weather forecaster Météo-France, we’re set to enjoy some early summer heat over the weekend, with temperatures, especially in the north of the country, closer to July than the end of May – thanks to an anticyclone hovering over Ireland.

While morning temperatures are expected to remain around normal for the the time of year, afternoon temperatures of between 20C to 25C are forecast for the afternoons in the northern half of the country , and 24C to 28C in the southern half – rising as high as 30C in areas such as the Gard, Vaucluse and Var.

Image: Meteo France

Scattered storms and showers, particularly in the south, may punctuate the conditions on Saturday and Sunday, notably in Nouvelle Aquitaine, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and the interior of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur.

Image : Meteo France

The good news is the situation is not expected to change much in the first part of next week, as May turns to June. 

The weather will remain very sunny in the northern half of France, and slightly more unstable in the south, with sometimes stormy showers. Temperatures will remain at high levels, especially in the northern half where the maximums will often be close to the normal values ​​of early July.

Roads watch

Friday is the big travel day for the long weekend with many expected to make an early getaway, roads watchdog Bison Futé forecasts.

It has issued a nationwide red travel alert – indicating very difficult conditions on the roads – for Friday for travel away from major cities and in the direction of popular resorts, and a yellow alert – indicating difficult road conditions – heading to major cities.

It specifically recommends that, on Friday, motorists should:

  • travel in the Île-de-France region and major cities before 12noon;
  • avoid the A1 between Paris and Lille from 5pm to 9pm;
  • avoid the A13 between Paris and Rouen from 12noon to 10pm, between Rouen and Caen from 3pm to 9pm, and between Caen and Paris from 10am to 9pm;
  • avoid the A10 between Orléans and Tours from 4pm to 7pm, and between Bordeaux and Paris, from 11am to 12midnight;
  • avoid the A7 between Lyon and Orange from 2pm to 10pm, and between Marseille and Lyon, from 9am to 12midnight;
  • avoid the A50 between Marseille and Toulon from 5pm to 7pm;
  • avoid the A9 between Orange and Narbonne from 4pm to 7pm, between Spain and Orange from 4pm to 7pm, and between Montpellier and Orange, from 9am to 11pm;
  • avoid the A61 between Toulouse and Narbonne, from 5pm to 10pm, and between Narbonne and Toulouse from 11am to 12midnight;
  • avoid the N12 Rennes and Morlaix from 5pm to 7pm.
  • avoid the A11 between Nantes and Paris, from 9am to 12midnight;
  • avoid the N165 between Quimper and Nantes, from 10am to 7pm;
  • avoid the Mont-Blanc tunnel (N205), between Italy and France, from 11am to midnight.

A yellow travel warning for Saturday is in force, with motorists advised to:

  • restrict travel in the Île-de-France region to before 8am;
  • avoid the A13 between Paris and Caen from 10am to 5pm;
  • avoid the A10 between Orleans and Tours from 11am to 2pm;
  • avoid the A7 between Lyon and Orange from 11am to 5pm;
  • avoid the A9 between Montpellier and Narbonne from 10am to 12pm;
  • avoid the A75 between Clermont-Ferrand and Montpellier from 11am to 1pm;
  • avoid the A62 between Bordeaux and Toulouse from 10am to 12pm;
  • avoid the A61 between Toulouse and Narbonne from 10am to 2pm.

One final yellow warning has been issued for the northwest quarter on Monday, on roads away from resorts returning to major cities.

Anyone travelling on France’s main arterial routes on Monday should: 

  • restrict travel in the Île-de-France region to before 2pm;
  • avoid the A11 between Le Mans and Paris from 4pm to 7pm;
  • avoid the A13 between Caen and Paris from 10am to 8pm;
  • avoid the A7 between Marseille and Lyon from 12pm to 6pm;
  • avoid the A9 between Montpellier and Orange from 11am to 1pm;
  • avoid the A62 between Toulouse and Bordeaux from 4pm to 6pm;
  • avoid the A61 between Narbonne and Toulouse from 3 pm to 7 pm;
  • avoid the N165 between Quimper and Nantes from 10am to 7pm.

Rail and airports

Airports are reported to be running as expected, but expect some delays on rail networks, as maintenance works are routinely scheduled for the holiday weekend.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members


What are France’s rules for bringing bikes on the train?

Travelling by bike and train are good ways to reduce your carbon footprint. But transporting you bike on a train can sometimes be a little complicated - especially in France where the rules vary from service to service.

What are France's rules for bringing bikes on the train?

The rules for carrying your bike onto a train in France depend on multiple factors, including the type of train you are using. 

Generally speaking, recumbent bikes, tricycles, tandems, cargo bikes, longtail bikes and trailers are not allowed on any train lines. 

The breakdown for regular bikes is as follows:

TGVs and Intercités

TGVs are high-speed trains that connect major cities and some large towns in France. The Intercités trains connect major towns not covered by the TGV network. 

If you want to bring your bike, fully assembled, on either of these train services you must reserve a space for your bike at the same time as you buy your ticket online or at the station. This will typically incur a €10 charge. You must then store your bike on the dedicated racks on board the train. 

If there is no option to reserve a bike space online, this means that either the train doesn’t provide a space for bikes or that all of the bike spaces have been reserved already. Some lines, such as Paris – Avignon TGV do not accept fully assembled bikes at all, which is why it is worth checking online first, via

One solution is to bag up (housse) or box your bike, or use a folding bike, which doesn’t require you to reserve a space for it. This must be packed into a cover and stored in the baggage area onboard the train. The dimensions must not exceed 130cmx90cm. No specific reservation is required and it is generally free to carry a bike on this way.

However, when booking a journey on a line operated by OUIGO, there is a €5 charge even for bagged or folding bikes and you must reserve online.  


The TER network consists of regional train lines where you can bring your bike for free, provided you hang it on a designated rack or place it in the bike storage area. No special reservations are required but spaces in the bike areas are often limited and are available on a first-come, first-served basis, meaning that it is worth arriving a little early. 

In most cases no reservation is required but it is worth checking the TER website first or asking at the station as there are notable exceptions, such as on the Paris-Dijon-Mâcon line for example. 

There also some TER lines on which you can only bring a bike at certain times of day. On the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur line for example, station controllers sometimes ban bikes at busy rush hour times such as 7am-9am and 16h30-18h30 Monday to Friday. 

A regional breakdown of other such exceptions to bike transport onboard TER services is available here

Rail transport in Paris

Bikes are banned on the Parisian metro service, as well as on bus and tramway services in the capital.

The notable exception is on line 1, where bikes can be transported on Sundays and bank holidays before 16h30. You should ask station staff to open the service gates for you to transport your bike through the station. 

The RER and Transilien trains which connect Paris to its suburbs do allow for the transport of bikes, but not between 6h30-9h and 16h30-19h Monday to Friday. When using these trains, you must keep your bike in the designated section of the train and are advised to stay with it throughout your journey.

No special reservations are needed. 


If you are travelling between London and Paris on the Eurostar, you can book a space for your bike by emailing [email protected]

This service is only available at between the following times:

  • London to Paris 08h01 – 15h31
  • Paris to London 11h13 – 18h13 

Availability is usually limited to it is best to email well in advance. Reservations made more than 48 hours in advance of departure cost £45 each way, while those made less than 48 hours before cost £60 each way. 

Any bikes you plan to transport this way must be disassembled and placed in a box or bag. They should be dropped off with Eurostar staff at the station in London or Paris and picked up on the other side. 

If you are travelling from London to Lille, or vice versa, it is not possible to carry a regular adult bike onboard. 

On any UK-France Eurostar service, you can carry a folding bike or a children’s bike for free – as long as it is no more than 85cm long and carried in a protective bag. These bikes will be considered as one item of luggage, when it comes to your luggage allowance.