• France's news in English
What's on in France: Ten great things to do in May
Photo: AFP

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

The Local · 29 Apr 2016, 11:02

Published: 29 Apr 2016 11:02 GMT+02:00
Updated: 29 Apr 2016 11:02 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Paris Beer Week (April 29th- May 8th), Paris

Great news for ale appreciators. For a whole ten days, craft beer lovers across the capital are invited to "drink good beer in different places, drink good beer with good people, and to 'spread the love'... while drinking good beer"... With pleasure. Details of beer tastings, beer walking tours and workshops that will be going on can be found here.

Paris Beer Week. Photo: Paris Beer Week site

Festival international du kebab (5th May), Béziers

What started as a joke on Facebook is soon to become a mouthwatering reality in southern city of Béziers. Following mayor Robert Ménard's comment about not wishing the city to become the "capital of the kebab", internet user Baptiste Fluzin set up a Facebook event as well as numerous tweets in retaliation, proposing to host an 'International kebab festival'.

Within a day, over 30,000 people had clicked 'attending' and the festival is now set to take place next week, with now over 60,000 attendees. 


Baptiste Fluzin's tweet. Photo: Twitter


Nuits Sonores (May 4-8th), Lyon

Get to Lyon and join the 80,000 festival goers at the 14th year of their electronic music festival. A showcase of all kinds of electronic sounds; from internationally known artists, to undiscovered French bands, DJs and hip hop artists.

Venues across the city are transformed by the festival, including exhibition spaces, abandoned warehouses and even a swimming pool on the bank of the Rhone. 


Nuits Sonores. Photo: AFP


Les journées du Chocolat (May 6th and 7th), Bayonne

Chocolatiers take to the streets of France's chocolate capital once a year, to share their secrets on the making, dipping, coating and most importantly eating of their renowned cocoa based treats.

Over the course of weekend, guided tours retrace the history of chocolate back to the 17th century and traditional musical performances take place, fully embracing the celebrations. 


Chocolatiers at work. Photo: bayonne-tourisme


Feria de Pentecôte (May 12-16th), Nîmes

A week-long festival takes over this south western city of France once a year with an enormous celebration of local tradition, including bull fights in the amphitheatre, parades through the streets, peñas (folk bands) and firework displays.

Whole families join in the fun, putting in impressive amounts of effort to costumes. The event attracts over a million visitors a year so put on your sombrero and get down south. Olé, Olé.


Bull fight in Nîmes. Photo: AFP


Roland Garros, French Open (May 16th- June 5th ), Paris

Although tickets may be hard to get hold of for the annual tournament, it is a huge deal in Paris so you will be able to watch the matches live at numerous bars and screens across the city. So brush up on the rules of tennis, because it is all anyone in France will be talking about for two weeks.

Screening at Champ de Mars. Photo: AFP

La fête des voisins (May 27th), nationwide

Since its launch in Paris in 2000, 'Neighbours Day' has become a global success, with people across the world seizing the opportunity to get to know the people living nearby, even if it might be the first time they have spoken all year.

If nothing else, it's a good excuse for a party and people across France will be organizing garden parties and aperitifs in the communal areas of their apartments or roads, so if you haven't already - get involved. 

Hollande. Photo: AFP

Cannes Film Festival (May 11th-22nd), Cannes

It's that time of year again and this year will mark the 69th year of the festival. As always this period will be a prime time for a bit of celeb spotting on the French Riviera, sipping a glass of rosé. The jury for this year's panel has just been announced to include Kirsten Dunst and Australian director George Miller as President. 

Story continues below…

Cast of 'Only lovers left alive' at Cannes, Photo: AFP

Nuit des Musées (May 21st), across France

Ever year, museums in cities across Europe participate in the celebration of the 'European Night of Museums', by opening their doors for free until 1am. The Louvre, Palais de Tokyo and The Chateau de Versaille are just a few of the places in Paris that will participate this year.

Disclaimer: there will be queues. But it will be worth it for the extra effort the museums put on during this evening with performances, temporary exhibitions, and interactive activities.

The Louvre at night, Photo: AFP

D-Day Festival (May 30th-June 12th), Normandy

This festival has been going on since 2007 in Normandy, to commemorate the anniversary of the Allied Landings in Normandy during the second world war. This marks an important part of France's history and the festival takes over the city with film screenings, historical walks, reconstructions and theatrical performances, making this one of the best times to visit Normandy for history lovers.

This year is the tenth edition of the festival and so all nine tourist offices of the D-Day Landing beaches will be collaborating to put on an exceptional presentation.

Festival Poster


Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
France given wake up call as it bids for Brexit business
The business district 'La Defense' in Paris. Photo: AFP

France clearly has some work to do if it really wants to pinch business from the UK post-Brexit.

Mouth fun? French words you just can't translate literally
Do you know the French word for throat-support? Photo: AFP

Word of warning: Don't translate French literally.

How France plans to help its stressed-out police force
Yellow smoke rises around French police officers in Paris holding a banner reading "Solidarity with our colleagues, police angry". All photos: AFP

Could these measures stop the cops from protesting?

'3,000 migrants dispersed' after 'Jungle' clearance
Photo: AFP

While thousands of migrants have been bussed out around France, new ones are arriving all the time and thousands of others have simply been dispersed aid agencies say.

Fifteen of the most bizarre laws in France
Photo: Matthew Powell/Flickr

A must read for anyone who wants to stay on the right side of the law in France.

Medieval town in south of France upholds ban on UFOs
The town of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Photo: Aa77zz/Flickr

Aliens take note.

American tourist dies at French Riviera sex club
The Riviera resort of Cannes. Photo: AFP

American tourist reportedly fell five floors after being pushed outside the underground sex club in Cannes.

Paris: 'Flying' water taxis to be tested on River Seine
Photo: SeaBubbles

An in Seine idea surely? But tests will go ahead.

France joins fight for rich pickings from post-Brexit UK
Photo: AFP/DcnH/Flickr

France tries to woo EU's bank regulator and other agencies.

How speaking French can really mess up your English
Photo: CollegeDegree360/Flickr

So you've mastered French, but now it's time to learn English all over again.

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available