Let’s Get Festive in France!


The French. They know good food, good fashion, good art, good wine… and they know a good party. In fact, they often take the lead in every celebration. Think bubbles!

In France, there are festivals for everything. Here are just a few we think you shouldn’t miss!

Bastille Day

Bastille Day Fireworks

A very special day in France, the 14th of July is the day the French celebrate and commemorate the storming of the Bastille. Considered a salute to the birth of French democracy, this is one of the country’s most important national holidays. If happen to be in Paris and want to join a massive dance party, then Place de la Bastille is where you want to be. And over at Champs-Elysées, you will witness the largest military parade. The entire French sky will light up with spectacular fireworks, but in Paris, you really don’t want to miss the spectacular firework display at the Eiffel Tower.

London – Paris is just over 2h on the Eurostar.


Director Ron Howard & cast at the gala screening for “Solo: A Star Wars Story” at the 71st Festival de Cannes

The Cannes Film Festival is no doubt one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world. Founded in 1946, this is where the crème de crème in film is seen every year enjoying the showcase of international films. According to the organisers, the signature red carpet steps “represent above all an opportunity to give an initial and equally special welcome to both the world’s greatest film artists and emerging talent. They also represent an opportunity to honour the creativity of those artists on whom the Festival’s prestige depends.” The highest prize awarded at the Cannes Film Festival is the magnificent Palme d’Or (Golden Palm). This year is the festival enters its 72nd year and will take place from 14-25 May 2019.

Use your France Pass to go from Paris to Cannes in just 5h 12min on a direct train.

Food & Wine

French food and wine

From the country that brings us some of the world’s best food and wines, there is no way the country folk don’t celebrate their produce! Food wise, you can expect to find fairs and festivals that celebrate cheese, honey, garlic (yep!), snails, cherries, carrots, lemons, shrimp, oysters, beef, truffles … pretty much every type of food there is. What can we say, the French love their food and they like to celebrate each and every one of them!

For wines, every region will have their own festival, but some of the more famous ones include Beaujolais, Bordeaux, Loire Valley, Chablis and Cote d’Or. These wine festivals are massive productions where there is music, dance, tastings, stalls, plays, art and craft and lots of cheer. With your France Pass, head to any of these places to join in the fun!

  • Paris – Beaujolais takes 3h 13min via Lyon
  • Paris – Bordeaux takes 2h 4min
  • Paris – Loire Valley takes 1h 31min
  • Paris – Chablis takes 3h 17min by train and bus
  • Paris – Cote d’Or takes 2h 20min by train and a taxi ride.


Music Festival

If music is your thing, then the Fête de la Musique (aka Make Music Day) is a popular and free music festival you’ll love. It takes place every year on the day of summer solstice and every genre of music is celebrated – jazz, soul, funk, rock, electro, reggae, classical music and many others. Given it’s a street festival, it’s the best time to mingle with locals as you will no doubt be invited to sing, eat, dance and drink with everyone that’s out and about celebrating! This year, Fête de la Musique will take place on 21 June.

Tell us your favourite French festivals!

For more inspiration, head to www.raileurope-world.com.

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