What's on in France: Ten things to do in May

Sophie Inge
Sophie Inge - [email protected] • 11 May, 2015 Updated Mon 11 May 2015 16:11 CEST
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It may not feel like summer quite yet but there are plenty of things to entice you outdoors this May. From the French Open in Paris to a street art festival in Biarritz, at least one of these events is guaranteed to excite you.


Nuit des Musées, May 16th

On the evening of the 16th over 1,200 museums across France will throw open their doors free of charge to visitors between 6pm and midnight. Most museums will also offer special activities such as concerts, workshops and screenings. 

French Open at Roland Garros, May 19th-June 7th

(Last year's winner Rafael Nadal. Photo: AFP)

The French Open, also known as Roland Garros, after the stadium where the event is held, is one of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments. Matches are on clay courts and played in five sets. Bear in mind that it’s notoriously difficult to get tickets so try and snap them up quickly if you haven’t already. For more info click here.

The Biarritz Far, street art festival, May 14th-17th

This street art festival will see musicians, actors, poets, jugglers and dancers take over the luxurious seaside town of Biarritz in the south west of the country, offering entertainment for people of all ages.

International Fair in Bordeaux, May 8th-17th

If you’re a home-owner or are buying property in France then this could be just the ticket. At the expo you’ll find everything home-related from furniture, household appliances, construction equipment, as well as handicrafts and jewellery.

Grand prix de France moto, May 15th, 16th, 17th

(France's biker Alexis Masbou. Photo: AFP)

Another big sporting event to put on your calendar. Tens of thousands of people are expected to descend upon the western French town of Le Mans for the motorcycling Grand Prix. Here’s a preview to get you revved up.

Nîmes Feria de Pentecôte, May 20th-25th

This five-day festival opens with the Pegoulade, a huge carnival parade through the city streets with floats, bandas (moving orchestras) and a fireworks show held on the Thursday or Wednesday before Pentecost. Throughout the festival there will be several novilladas or bullfights at the town’s ancient Roman amphitheatre as well as music and parties around town.

Nuits Sonores, electronic and indie festival, May 13th-17th

(Photo: Nuits Sonores)

Electro music lovers take note. This year’s Nuits Sonore festival in Lyon promises a superb programme of international and local artists with styles ranging from techno and house to hip-hop and jazz.

Word Festival, Charité sur Loire, May 27th-31st

Located in the tiny medieval town of Charité sur Loire, this is a festival devoted to the celebration of words – whether spoken, written or sung. Over five days artists, writers and scholars alike will gather there to do just that in a series of workshops, exhibitions and readings.

Festival du Sully et du Loiret, May 22nd-June 7th

Or if classical music is more your thing then you might enjoy this festival in the Loiret department of north-central France. Over 20 concerts will be held in places of historical interest, including the Duke of Sully’s castle, in eight different towns in the department.

Cannes film festival May 13th-24th

(Cate Blanchett leads the line-up. Read more here. Photo: AFP)

And of course the list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the 68th edition of the Cannes Film Festival, which previews new films from around the world against the sumptuous backdrop of the French Riviera. Of course, the only thing people actually care about is who wins the Palme d’Or, the highest prize awarded at the festival. 



Sophie Inge 2015/05/11 16:11

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