Definition of France is a blend of love, light, and beauty. You can say festivals in France has everything you need for a perfect vacation. Whether you talk of the sandy Mediterranean beaches or the beautiful English Channel and the snowy Alps, France welcomes you with some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world.
French vibration for life bursts through people and even the routine gives the impression of unique. Attending festivals in France is another happiness altogether with thousands of people coming and celebrating together as one.
11 Top festivals in France you should attend this year
The lovely, beautiful, and best festivals in France you will surely want to attend once in a lifetime!
1. Nice Carnival
What’s better than a world class carnival in one of the best cities in the world. Festivals in France doesn’t get better than this. One of the rare festivals held in winter instead of summer, Nice Carnival is the perfect place to gather with family and friends to enjoy local festivities to the fullest like never before.
The grand parades, majestic fireworks are nothing short of NICE! The landscape of the French Riviera also adds the flavor of beauty, making it one of the must-see festivals in France.
Where: Nice, France
Nice Carnival 2019 Dates: 16th – 28th February and Specifically: Saturday, 16 February
and ends on Thursday, 28 February.
2. Les Choregies d’Orange
Celebrating the Opera! This beautiful summer festival is the place for you if you are an opera lover. Well known and developing – all types of productions are shown here and the program changes every year.
Semi-circular Roman Theater here is famous for its beautiful seating (in stone) and acoustics (sound quality). The festival was on a start, somewhere in the late 1800s making it even more interesting. It’s amongst the best festivals in France.
Where: Théâtre antique d’Orange, Provence, France
Les Choregies d’Orange 2019 Dates: 19th June – 6th August
3. Festival of Avignon
Festivals in France also focus a lot on arts and culture like most things. A great example is Festival d’ Avignon. Drowned in art connoisseurs from around the world, this place is one such, venue of inspiration you are in search. It is one of the oldest festivals in the country.
Playing with different mediums such as music, theater, dance and cinema, this beautiful place has given the world many spectacular performances in the famous Pope’s Palace.
The locations are scattered throughout the city, and it helps promising theater artists to advance their career. Mark your calendar today, because it is where the whole art world gathers!
Where: Avignon, Provence, France
Festival of Avignon 2019 Dates: 1st – 31st July
4. Tour de France
Every sports enthusiast dreams of participating or attending in the Tour de France once in their life. At the beginning of the 20th century, this beautiful cycling contest has now been a grand event for more than a hundred years now.
Perhaps one of the most prestigious and exciting French festivals, Tour de France is a perfect way to witness the French countryside in the Alps. Since the road to competition changes every year, the striking beauty of this competition is unpredictable and unprecedented.
Where: The festival starts from Brussels, covering different French villages like Colmar, Pau, Gap to Versailles, ending in Paris.
Tour de France 2019 Dates: 29th June – 21st July
5. Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras is one of the traditional French festivals, coming from a long line of pagan festivals which were adopted by Christians in one way or another. ‘Fat Tuesday’ is the literal translation, Mardi Gras, or some of its versions are celebrated throughout the world by Catholics in the days of Easter.
However, in France, festivals are special because people go out on the streets wearing beautiful, huge masks and hog pancakes, tasty waffles, crepes, and omelet day and night.
The festival was originally considered as a reminder to keep people away from eating meat in the month of Lent, although today only a few follow that. Mardi Gras is celebrated in different regions of France, and it usually starts or ends in a carnival.
Mardi Gras, organized worldwide, is very different from the popular Mardi Gras hosted in Sydney, which is one of the world’s largest LGBTQ events.
Where: Northern France
Mardi Gras 2019 Dates: 5th March
6. La Fête de la Musique
La Fête de la Musique, also called Music Day or Music Festival is probably one of the biggest French music festivals. The festival syncs with coming together of music, musicians and music lovers – to mark the end of the summer peak.
From street corners to bars, restaurants, concerts, everything and everywhere you will witness serious music performances, professional musicians as well as newcomers, people starting out.
The best thing about this big celebration is – it’s completely free. You can take part in such hundreds of events or just go to the one, which will keep you alive, enthusiastic all the time. In a crowd of thousands, it is easy to pour yourself in the tunes of rap, hip-hop, pop, rock or even jazz.
The setup of this beautiful festival has inspired other countries too. While in France, don’t forget to take part in concerts at famous locations like the Louvre, Jardin des Tuileries, or along the Seine.
Where: Paris, France
La Fête de la Musique 2019 Dates: 21st June
7. Cannes Film Festival
Possibly one of the biggest festivals celebrated in France – we need to say more? This annual gathering of cinema lovers from around the world has made its mark on the global audience in the small French village of Cannes.
The festival is attended by celebrities like Hollywood, Cannes is a fascinating and glittering event attracting the eyes of people from fashion, media, and cinema world.
Attend the World Premiere of movies and super lavish galas from around the world – if you can afford it. Or rush to the beach to see movies under the open skies at the Cinema de la Plage. It’s one of the renowned festivals in France.
Where: Cannes, France
Cannes Film Festival 2019 Dates: 14th – 25th May
8. International Kite Festival
Like many other countries, There’s a huge population of kite lovers in France. The International Kite Festival is organized at Berck, a coastal commune in the northern region of France. Flying your kite on a vast sandy beach is a memorable and worthy experience.
Every year in April, the sky is all jam-packed with kites of different shapes and sizes, portraying cartoon characters, creatures like lizards and other things, which people love to fly with passion and warmth.
Even if you are not much into flying kites, you will love coming here for a day at the beach and witnessing maestros from across the world come together and competing for the prize. It’s one of the top festivals in France.
Where: Berck-Sur-Mer, France
International Kite Festival 2019 Dates: 6th – 14th April
9. Bastille Day
Bastille Day is one of the major and perhaps the most important national festivals in France. It celebrates the anniversary of rebels taking the Bastilles prison back in the late 17th century, during the prime of French Revolution.
A National holiday, Fete de la Bastille is celebrated with enthusiasm, liveliness, and passion in every part of France, however, Paris is a city to witness these lovely festivals from close.
The streets are outlined with parades and the day ends with awesome fireworks, which is surely something to glance at the Eiffel Tower with your significant other. And shouldn’t be missed, the day before sees the beautiful masked ball held at the Bastille Palace.
Where: Paris, France
Bastille Day 2019 Dates: Saturday, 14th July
10. Paris L’été
Another summer delight in Paris is the extravagant Paris Lete or Paris Summer Festival. Full of grand circuses, Open-air Theater, and musical performances and what not. this is the ultimate celebration of French arts, freedom, culture, and beauty.
Spread at different places in the city, attending different events again is mostly free (or nominal cost) and thus making it a huge hit amongst tourists and locals alike.
Organized for more than twenty years, this beautiful festival offers a platform for more than seventy artists and takes the French festivals altogether to another level!
Where: Paris, France
Paris L’été 2019 Dates: July – August
11. Menton Lemon Festival
Every year in the month of February, the little town of Menton on the French Riviera runs one of France’s most popular events like the Lemon Festival. It’s one of the best festivals in France.
Where: 8 Avenue Boyer, 06500 Menton, France
Lemon Festival 2019: Begins on Saturday, 16 February and ends at Sunday, 3rd March.