10 fun things to do in France in February 2022

There are only 28 days in February this year and the calendar is jam-packed with fun things to do in France. Read our selection of some of the best events.

Figurines depicting French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron parade during the Nice Carnival.
Figurines depicting French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron parade during the Nice Carnival. Read our guide to the best events in February 2022. (Photo by VALERY HACHE / AFP)

With its short days and grim weather, February can be a difficult month. 

Fortunately, there is lots going on to keep you entertained.

Here’s our pick: 

Virtual reality tour of Notre-Dame (all month) – Ever since being devastated by a fire in 2019, Paris’ Notre-Dame cathedral has been largely closed off to the public. But since January 15th, visitors to the Espace Grande Arche de la Défense just outside Paris have been able to don a virtual reality headset and go on a journey through 800 years of the cathedral’s history.

A portion of the ticket sales go towards renovation works of the cathedral itself. The VR exhibition will move to Ile de la Cité in Paris during the Spring. You can buy tickets here


La Chandeleur (February 2nd)  –  February 2nd marks La Chandeleur, aka the French pancake day. As well as eating lots of delicious crêpes, the French also have a complicated and fun set of superstitions around this day which apparently bring good luck for the year ahead.

If you’re not confident in your skills as home crêpe-maker, get yourself down to your closest Breton restaurant to celebrate in style. 

READ ALSO La Chandeleur: When the French get superstitious and go crazy for crêpes

Six Nations Rugby (February 6th and 12th) – The French rugby team is currently one of the best in the world. In February, the Stade de France stadium just outside of Paris will play host to two Six Nations games – the annual competition between the top European rugby nations.

On February 6th, France will play Italy and on February 12th, it will take on Ireland (The France v England game, known as Le Crunch is on March 19th). Tickets for the France-Italy game are still on sale here. A vaccine pass is required to access sports stadiums.

READ ALSO Covid rules: What you need to know about watching sport in France

Winter sales (End on February 8th) – Most of France will be holding post-Christmas sales up until February 8th, but the businesses the départements of Moselle, Meuse, Meurthe-et-Moselle and Les Vosges will have finished their sales by the end of January. 

A Romantic Valentine’s in Strasbourg (February 10th-14th) – Many people think of Paris as the City of Love but if you want an alternative location to celebrate Valentine’s Day, Strasbourg is the place for you.

The city is beautiful at this time of year, with golden lights illuminating its medieval buildings. A four-day festival called Strasbourg Mon Amour leads up to Valentine’s Day. Visitors can take part in massage workshops, romantic cruises along the river and concerts. The festival will go ahead this year despite the Covid pandemic, although some activities will require you to hold a vaccine pass. You can read more HERE

Nice Carnival (February 11th-27th) – The Nice carnival is ranked among the top three in the world alongside Rio and Venice and has been going on since the 13th century. The opening ceremony is scheduled for February 11th although a jam-packed calendar of activities is scheduled until February 27th. The theme of this year’s event is “King of the Animals”. You can find more information HERE. Naturally, changes may be made depending on the latest Covid situation.

Lemon Festival (February 12th-27th) – Never been to a festival with 180 tonnes of citrus fruit? Well this is your chance. Every year a lemon festival is held in Menton, which is in the southeast France, near the border with Italy.

There are exhibitions, talks and tastings on all things lemon. There are also parties, parades and spectacular light shows. Some of the events are free while others are fee paying. Mask wearing and vaccine pass rules will apply. Read more about this event HERE

A man builds sculpture with citrus fruits at Menton's lemon festival.

A man builds sculpture with citrus fruits at Menton’s lemon festival.(Photo by VALERY HACHE / AFP)

Winter Jazz Festival (February 17th-20th) – The northern French town of Le Touquet hosts a three day jazz festival with concerts held in bars, hotels, restaurants and in the street. Jazz aficionados will be impressed by this year’s headliners which include Michel Jonasz, Kimberose, Kurt Elling and Ibrahim Maalouf. You can find more on this event HERE.  

International Games Festival (February 25th-27th) – This is a fun festival for people of all ages. Held in the Festival Palace of Cannes, it is a celebration of all things ludic with thousands of video games, board games, escape games, VR games, card games and more.

Visitors get the chance to play and learn about games and listen to talks from manufacturers themselves. This event is free but certain fee-paying VIP access is possible. The vaccine pass and mask wearing rules will apply. Read more about the event HERE

Paris Agricultural Show (February 26th-March 6th) – While you might feel like a factory-farmed chicken when riding a crammed Parisian Metro service, it is actually pretty rare to come across farm animals in the city.

The annual agriculture fair, known as the Salon de l’Agriculture, provides an exception to this. Visitors get to see prize-winning livestock and learn all about French agriculture. There are also tastings, talks, bars and musical performances. You may even spot French President Emmanuel Macron and his rivals milling around. You can buy tickets HERE

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Six ‘Blue Flag’ outdoor swimming spots within easy reach of Paris

Summer has very definitely arrived in France and if you are looking to swim outdoors there are some great spots within easy reach of Paris that have the official "Blue Flag" award.

Six 'Blue Flag' outdoor swimming spots within easy reach of Paris

It’s the sort of weather that brings out the desire to leave the city behind, head somewhere green where – maybe – there’s a lake to while away a lazy few hours swimming, sunbathing and recharging those batteries before returning to the hustle and bustle of the capital.

The Blue Flag 2022 label has been awarded to 536 sites in France, including 419 beaches across 197 municipalities and 117 marinas.

In order to qualify for a Blue Flag, stringent environmental, educational, safety, and accessibility criteria must be met and maintained. The flag guarantees clean beaches and marinas, excellent quality bathing water, and demonstrable efforts towards sustainable tourism and environmental awareness actions.

In the beach category, the label was awarded to the Base de Loisirs de Souppes-sur-Loing, in the south of Seine-et-Marne, which has consistently been awarded Blue Flag status since 2003.

The site offers a bathing area equipped with toilets, games for children, a nautical technical site and scuba diving training. About 38,000 people visit the leisure base each year, during the summer season.

Port de plaisance de Port de l’Ilon and port de plaisance de l’Isle Adam have also been awarded Blue Flag status this year.

Here are five other outdoor swimming venues within day-trip travel of Paris.

 Ile de loisirs de Jablines-Annet, Seine-et-Marne

The lake at Jablines-Annet has two white sand beaches where swimming is supervised on the last two weekends of May and Ascension Thursday, and daily from June 1st to August 31st. Pedalos are available to hire, and water-skiing and a sailing school is open. On-land activities include mountain biking, mini-golf, archery, and tennis. 

l’Île de Loisirs de Vaires-Torcy, Seine-et-Marne

Just 30 minutes from Paris in a car, the île de Loisirs de Vaires-Torcy offers numerous activities, including swimming, rowing, catamaran, canoeing, and paddleboarding. There is, for example, a nine-hole golf course; tennis, squash, and badminton courts; pony trekking. 

Entry to the beach, between 10am and 7pm, costs €5.50 for adults, and €3.60 for children aged 3-11.  Entry to the aquapark is extra.

Île de loisirs de Cergy-Pontoise, Val d’Oise

A lake, an aquapark, rafting and waterskiing, kayak and paddleboarding, an accrobranche, archery and a whole host of outdoor activities on offer on the border of Val d’Oise and Yvelines.

Les étangs de Hollande, Yvelines

In the Haute Vallée de Chevreuse Regional Nature Park, the étangs de Hollande, are a series of artificial ponds created on the orders of Louis XIV to supply the fountains of the Palace of Versailles. Today, it is the ideal setting for relaxing and enjoying a getaway surrounded by nature. About an hour from Paris by car, there’s a beach with supervised swimming, mini golf, beach-volley, picnic areas, pedalo, canoe and boat rental. Open Wednesdays and weekends in May, daily from June 1 to September 5. Entry starts at €5.20 for adults and €3.60 for children, with activities extra.

 l’Ile de loisirs de Bois-le-Roi, Seine-et-Marne

Some 50km south of the capital, the île de loisirs de Bois-le-Roi on the fringes of the forêt de Fontainebleau has the advantage of being free to enter – and is open year round between 9am and 9pm. There’s also no charge for anyone wanting to swim, while visitors can also enjoy golf, tennis and a number of other activities, for a fee.