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LIVING IN FRANCE

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

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.

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

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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LIVING IN FRANCE

What changes in France in July 2022

Summer's here and the time is right for national celebrations, traffic jams, strikes, Paris beaches, and ... changing the rules for new boilers.

What changes in France in July 2022

Summer holidays

The holiday season in France officially begins on Thursday, July 7th, as this is the date when school’s out for the summer. The weekend immediately after the end of the school year is expected to be a busy one on the roads and the railways as families start heading off on vacation.

READ ALSO 8 things to know about driving in France this summer

Strikes

But it wouldn’t really be summer in France without a few strikes – airport employees at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports will walk out on July 1st, while SNCF rail staff will strike on July 6th. Meanwhile Ryanair employees at Paris, Marseille and Toulouse airports will strike on yet-to-be-confirmed dates in July.

READ ALSO How strikes and staff shortages will affect summer in France

Parliamentary fireworks?

Prime minister Elisabeth Borne will present the government’s new programme in parliament on July 5th – this is expected to be a tricky day for the Macron government, not only does it not have the parliamentary majority that it needs to pass legislation like the new package of financial aid to help householders deal with the cost-of-living crisis, but opposition parties have indicated that they will table a motion of no confidence against Borne.

Parliament usually breaks for the summer at the end of July, but a special extended session to allow legislation to be passed means that MPs won’t get to go on holiday until at least August 9th. 

Fête nationale

July 14th is a public holiday in France, commemorating the storming of the Bastille which was the symbolic start of the French Revolution. As usual, towns and cities will host parades and fireworks – with the biggest military parade taking place on the Champs-Elysées in Paris – and many stores will remain closed.

As the national holiday falls on a Thursday this year, many French workers will take the opportunity to faire le pont.

Festival season really kicks in

You know summer’s here when France gets festival fever, with events in towns and cities across the country. You can find our pick of the summer celebrations here.

Paris Plages

The capital’s popular urban beaches return on July 9th on the banks of the Seine and beside the Bassin de la Villette in northern Paris, bringing taste of the seaside to the capital with swimming spots, desk chairs, beach games and entertainment.  

Summer sales end 

Summer sales across most of the country end on July 19th – unless you live in Alpes-Maritimes, when they run from July 6th to August 2nd, or the island of Corsica (July 13th to August 9th).

Tour de France

The Tour de France cycle race sets off on July 1st from Copenhagen and finishes up on the Champs-Elysée in Paris on July 24th.

New boilers

From July 1st, 2022, new equipment installed for heating or hot water in residential or professional buildings, must comply with a greenhouse gas emissions ceiling of 300 gCO2eq/KWh PCI. 

That’s a technical way of saying oil or coal-fired boilers can no longer be installed. Nor can any other type of boiler that exceeds the ceiling.

As per a decree published in the Journal Officiel in January, existing appliances can continue to be used, maintained and repaired, but financial aid of up to €11,000 is planned to encourage their replacement. 

Bike helmets

New standards for motorbike helmets come into effect from July 1st. Riders do not need to change their current helmets, but the “ECE 22.05” standard can no longer be issued – and all helmets sold must adhere to a new, more stringent “ECE 22.06” standards from July 2024

New cars

From July 6th new car models must be equipped with a black box that record driving parameters such as speed, acceleration or braking phases, wearing (or not) of a seat belt, indicator use, the force of the collision or engine speed, in case of accidents.

New cars II

From July 1st, the ecological bonus for anyone who buys an electric vehicle drops by €1,000, while rechargeable hybrids will be excluded from the aid system, “which will be reserved for electric vehicles whose CO2 emission rate is less than or equal to 20g/km”.

What’s in a name?

Historically, the French have been quite restrictive on the use of family names – remember the concern over the use of birth names on Covid vaccine documents? – but it becomes easier for an adult to choose to bear the name of his mother, his father, or both by a simple declaration to the civil status. All you have to do is declare your choice by form at the town hall of your home or place of birth.

Eco loans

In concert with the new boiler rules, a zero-interest loan of up to €30,000 to finance energy-saving renovations can be combined with MaPrimeRénov’, a subsidy for financing the same work, under certain conditions, from July 1st.

Rent rules

Non-professional private landlords advertising properties for rent must, from July 1st, include specific information about the property on the ad, including the size of the property in square metres, the area of town in which the property is in, the monthly rent and any supplements, whether the property is in a rent-control area, and the security deposit required. Further information, including the full list of requirements for any ad, is available here.

Perfume ban

More perfumes are to be added to a banned list for products used by children, such as soap-making kits, cosmetic sets, shampoos, or sweet-making games, or toys that have an aroma.

Atranol, chloroatranol (extracts of oak moss containing tannins), and methyl carbonate heptin, which smells like violets, will be banned from July 5th, because of their possible allergenic effects.

Furthermore, 71 new allergenic fragrances – including camphor, menthol, vanilin, eucalyptus spp. leaf oil, rose flower oil, lavendula officinalis, turpentine – will be added to the list of ingredients that must be clearly indicated on a toy or on an attached label.

Ticket resto limits

The increased ticket resto limit ended on June 30th, so from July 1st employees who receive the restaurant vouchers will once again be limited to spending €19 per day in restaurants, cafés and bars. The limit was increased to €38 during the pandemic, when workers were working from home.

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