When it comes to festivals, France knows what it is doing. We go all out, whatever the occasion, with music, food, parades and more. But, there are a lot of festivals in France, ranging from celebrity-studded, glamorous events to religious ceremonies, steeped in tradition.

While all of the festivals have something fun and unique to offer, there are some that really stand out. Here are our suggestions of five of the best French festivals that you really should experience at least once in your lifetime.

Cannes Film Festival

This is an event like no other. This year, the festival will take place from the 8th until the 19th of May. For these 11 days, the entire city of Cannes will be completely transformed. The streets will be filled with celebrities and paparazzi and there is an incredible energy in the air as actors and cinephiles attend screenings from dawn til dusk.

In order to gain access to the screenings and parties of the Cannes Film Festival you need to gain accreditation. Also, be prepared to fork out some money. Part of the fun of being at the festival is indulging in some of the opulent parties on offer!

 

Bastille Day

Bastille Day falls on the 14th of July every year and is a really big deal in France. But, make sure you have the right terminology before you attend. This holiday is only called Bastille Day outside of France – 'le jour de la Bastille' won’t mean anything in France. Instead, call this day either La Fête Nationale or Le Quatorze Juillet.

La Fête Nationale is a celebration of a turning point in the French Revolution when revolutionaries stormed the Bastille – a fortress in Paris. The event is commemorated with fireworks and a large military parade.

 

Rock en Seine

If you are a lover of music then make sure Rock en Seine is on your bucket list. This year the festival will take place from the 24th of August until the 26th. The event takes place at Domaine National de Saint-Cloud in the West of Paris and normally gets around 40,000 attendees on each day.

Former performers at this festival include the XX, the Shins, Cypress Hill, Flume and Franz Ferdinand. We expect the 2018 line-up to be just as impressive as previous years.

 

Nice Carnival

It’s not quite Rio, but it’s the next best thing. The Nice Carnival attracts thousands of visitors every year and is one of the most colourful and exciting events to take place in France. During the festival, the streets of Nice are filled with parades featuring extravagant floats accompanied by music and merry-making.

One of the most treasured parts of the carnival is the battle of the flowers, when performers on the floats throw flowers out into the crowds.

 

The Aurillac Festival

Have you ever heard of Aurillac? The answer is probably no – and it is understandable. Aurillac is a tiny town in the mountains of Auvergne. But, every year, this quiet town explodes with energy as the streets fill up with performers of every kind.

Theatrical troupes, singers, dancers, magicians and more all give it their best in front of hordes of international visitors during this exciting festival. It is roughly the French equivalent of the Scotland’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

 

France Just For You

Experts in self-drive tours in France

Travelers Reviews

5.0
Susan & Nancy from the US
3 perfect weeks in Paris, Brittany and Normandy Our 3 week journey to Paris, Normandy, and Brittany was the most stress free travel in Europe we have ever experienced. It was also the first time we drove a car in France. France Just For You had done all the deeply significant leg work required for us to enjoy all of our time traveling. We will …
Earl
It's hard to know where to begin. We stumbled across France Just For You by accident when researching ideas for our three week visit to France. We made contact with Emily by email and began a conversation over the coming weeks as she planned a self-guided holiday for us, designed to fulfil our dream of staying in French b'n'bs in wine-growing …
Elliot
My wife & I completed a 2 week self-driving tour engaging the thorough and knowledgeable services of Emilie A France Just for You. Every detail was flawlessly accounted for, GPS app, wonderful B&B's, and she planned our itinerary according to our desires. The advantage of enlisting her is to get a reality check on time spent in each area as well as …
Sheryl & Mike
World Class Experience ! After a 2 year Covid delay we finally had our Tour De France trip and it was perfect. Everything was well planned out for us and we had a great time !
Debbi
We worked with Emilie to craft a 10 day trip that customized one of the trips on their website and were wonderfully pleased with our whole experience. The b&b hosts and various guided events we participated in all treated us wonderfully and were clear that Emilie had visited & vetted each property (and even rooms!) The personal tour book we …
David
It was the best tour ever! Laura did an amazing job to deliver painless and excellent planning and arrangements. Everything promised was delivered and included much more than would normally be seen without ‘INSIDR’ tips. It is obvious that Emilie and Laura have put a lot of thought and effort into the tours they offer. We definitely recommend …

What are you looking for?