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

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What's on: Ten great things to do in July in France
France's national day on July 14 offers all sorts of celebrations. Photo: AFP
14:09 CEST+02:00
Now that we seem to be saying goodbye to the heatwave, we can finally enjoy summer in France. Here's a list of events across the country for summertime fun in July.

Carcassonne Festival: July 2nd - 31st

The entire month of July will be full of life in Carcassonne. Every summer, the UNESCO world heritage site city breaks from its medieval character and features hundreds of live performances of contemporary artists. Headliners this year include Christine and the Queens and Liam Gallagher.

Festival d'Aix en Provence - July 3rd - 22nd

While many travel to Provence to see lavender fields and stay in Paris to watch opera, you can do both this July. The 71st festival will see new director Pierre Audi put together the works of Mozart, Puccini and Weil, among many other classical composers. 

READ ALSO Six of the best exhibitions in Paris this summer


The seaside comes to Paris. Photo: AFP

Paris plages: July 6th - September 1st

Who says you have to abandon the joys of the capital and travel to the French Riviera for a summery beach experience?

The Paris Plages projects will transform some areas along the Seine and provide you the beach atmosphere you have desperately been needing. There will be sandboxes with rentable umbrellas and desk chairs, a floating pool, and various musical and sporting events. You can book a luxury river cruise and sip champagne along the Seine if you would like to take it up a notch. 

Away from the river the Bassin de la Vilette in the 19th arr has also had a summer makoever complete with deck chairs, changing cabins and an open-air pool in the canal basin.

Paris quartier d'été festival: July 12th - August 3rd

This summer festival in Paris has been going on since 1990 and has become an integral part of summer in the capital. From theatrical acts to circus performances, this arts festival will be sure to entertain you for free or very low prices. As you walk through parks or monuments, make sure to stop by and see at least one of 70 performances all over the city.  


Fireworks at the Champs de Mars for Bastille Day. Photo: AFP

Bastille Day: July 14th

On France's national day celebrations take place all over the country and no expense is spared. 

In Paris, the fire stations will open their doors to revellers for the traditional 'Bals des Pompiers' while various international artists and the Orchestre national de France will be at the Champs de Mars for a free concert right by the Eiffel tower, followed by a fireworks display on the Trocadéro.

Every town will have its own celebration, usually involving fireworks, check our your local mairie for details.

Cannes International firework festival: July 14th - August 24th

Cannes isn't limited to its annual film festival. The Pyrotechnic Art Festival has been welcoming the greatest pyrotechnists every summer since 1998, and over 200,000 spectators come and gather along the Croisette to see this thousand-year-old art form.

Six guest countries compete to put in a display every week until the best is chosen.

Paris Open Air Cinema: July 17th - August 18th

Summer means you can do what you do indoors… outdoors! Take a walk in Parc de la Villette, located in the 19th arrondissement, and stop to see one of many film screenings. They show not only local movies but also international films with French subtitles. All films will be shown in their original language. 

Short on time like a typical Parisian? Don't worry. The Open Air Film Festival also screens short films. 


The Vieilles Charrues festival is loads of fun. Photo: AFP

Festival des Vieilles Charrues - July 18th - 21st

Many go to Brittany for the region's authentic crepes, but do you know that it also has the biggest music festival in France in terms of spectators? 

Come enjoy various music scenes and see the most celebrated contemporary artists such as Booba, the Chainsmokers, Martin Garrix, and Petit Biscuit. 

Lollapalooza Festival: July 20th - 21st

An American in Paris? A millennial in France? Or, did you miss Coachela? The world-renowned American festival Lollapalooza will be at Hippodrome de Longchamp this summer. Headliners include Twenty One Pilots, The 1975, Martin Garrix, and The Strokes.

Francofolies Festival in La Rochelle: July 10th - 14th

Enjoy a couple of days listening to contemporary French music in La Rochelle, finishing with a Bastille Day spectacular This festival is one of a kind as it actively develops budding artists who express themselves in the language of Moliere. Le Chantier de Francos has sprung alongside Francofolies, offering support for developing French artists. 

 

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