Festivals and Seasonal Events
Lille Braderie in Lille, North France
Europe’s largest flea market, the Lille Braderie, takes place in Lille over the first weekend in September. From Saturday at 11am to Sunday at 11pm you can buy just about any and every antique you could imagine as stalls fill the streets of Lille and restaurants, cafes and stalls stay open all night for huge plates of mussels and chips.
When September 1st to 2nd
Where Lille, North France
Read more about the Braderie
Lille Tourist Website
Basque Music Festival
This is one of France's premier music festivals. It’s held in various different towns and cities along the Atlantic coast, from St-Jean-de-Luz to Biarritz. This year it celebrates the 150th anniversary of the birth of Claude Debussy.
When August 22nd to September 14th
Where St-Jean-de-Luz, Anglet, Ascain, Bayonne, Biarritz, Ciboure and Urrugne on the French Atlantic Coast
Read more about the Basque Music Festival
Piano aux Jacobins
Devoted to classical piano music, the famous Piano aux Jacobins (Piano at the Jacobins) festival in Toulouse is a wonderful chance to listen to top performers in beautiful surroundings. From Chopin to Liszt, Ravel to Moussorgsky, many of the concerts take place in the atmospheric Jacobins cloister.
When September 4th to 28th
Where In Toulouse at the Cloitre des Jacobins, Cite de l’espace; Musee les Abattoirs, St-Pierre des Cuisines, L’Escale and Halle aux grains
Read more about the Piano aux Jacobins festival
The Feria au Riz
The graceful, sometimes brutal, but always exciting, art of bullfighting is show off magnificently in Arles in southern France. The fans may leave the arena but the party continues into the night in this Provence city, famous for the running of the bulls and the spectacular Camargue horses.
When September 9th to 11th
Where Arena, Arles, Provence
Feria au Riz webstie
Festival de l’Automne
The Paris Autumn Festival is one of the best showcases for contemporary visual art, music, cinema, theater, and dance. It provides plenty of reasons to go to Paris in the autumn with its very varied program of events.
When September 3rd-December 15th
Where Various venues throughout Paris
Read more about the Paris Autumn Festival
Read more about Paris Events
European Heritage Days (Journees du Patrimoine)
All over France, European Heritage Days offer a chance to go inside all sorts of buildings that are normally closed to the public. It’s a great chance for a look behind the doors into the life of some great buildings. It’s part of a Europe-wide festival.
When September 15th & 16th
Where All major cities and towns in France
Read more about European Heritage Days in France
Read more about Heritage Days in Paris
Jazz a Beaune
What could be more pleasurable than a mix of jazz and good Burgundy wine? In Beaune they celebrate both every September with a free series of concerts showcasing young musicians in the Place Carnot. It’s the first session of a three-part jazz festival which continues in October.
When September 15th and 16th
Where Place Carnot, Beaune, Burgundy
Read more about Jazz a Beaune
Chateau of Blois son-et-lumiere
The wonderful Chateau of Blois becomes even more magical at night when the lights fade and you stand in the glorious courtyard waiting for the theater to begin. Then the story of dastardly doings, intrigue, assasination and revenge unfolds as the facades are illuminated with courtiers, knights, horsemen, kings and queens of France
When Nightly to September 23rd
Where Chateau de Blois, Loire Valley
Read more about the Chateau de Blois
Guide to the Chateau de Blois
Exhibitions in September 2012
The Art of Love Exhibition
Love is expressed in oh-so-many ways and this exhibition shows just a few of them. It displays works by the likes of Boucher, Rodin, Picasso, Chagall, Man Ray and the photographer Doisneau and is grouped around themes such as Love and its myths (East and West), Courtly love (Lady, knight and troubadour), Big-screen fantasies and The intimacy of couples (photographs). It’s a great subject and the organizers have taken a very wide perspective to make a fascinating exhibition.
When To September 23rd
Where Palais Lumiere Evian, Evian, Rhones-Alpes
Read more about Evian
Joan of Arc... From Myth to Publicity
It may seem surprising to show an exhibition of works around Joan of Arc at the European Museum of Beer, but all is revealed when the point of the exhibition is to show how the Saint has been commercialized. From 1880 on, her image has been used on labels for cheese, mineral water, sweets and more.
When To September 15th
Where European Museum of Beer, Stenay, Lorraine
Read more about the Museum of Beer
Stars in Dior -- From the Screen to the City
Stars and haute couture have always gone hand in hand and Christian Dior was beloved of the cinematic greats. He was designing for film stars and the cinema before he created the House of Dior fashion house in 1947, but it was the costumes he designed for Marlene Dietrich in Stage Fright that year that brought him real fame. The collaboration has continued through Sophia Loren in Charlie Chaplin’s 1957 A Countess from Hong Kong to Penelope Cruz in Pedro Almodovar’s Broken Embraces in 2007. All this and more in on display at the Christian Dior Museum.
When To September 23rd
Where Musée Christian Dior, Granville, Normandy
Read more about the Stars in Dior Exhibition
This extraordinary exhibition takes the year 1917 as its starting point and explores the literary and artistic achievements of that year. But it goes way beyond that to reveal medical advances; posters; war art and theater. It's part of a season of exhibitions dedicated to World War I. Also on display is Picasso's Parade, which has not been shown in France for over 20 years because of its huge size and the difficulty of displaying it.
When To September 24th
Where Centre Pompidou Metz, Lorraine
Read about the Centre Pompidou Metz
Read more about the 1917 Exhibition
International Garden Festival at Chaumont-sur-Loire
The International Garden Festival at Chaumont-sur-Loire is a major event in the gardening calendar. Each year a separate theme is chosen; this year it's Gardens of delight, Gardens of delerium with 24 gardens built around the theme. All of them really do get your imagination going.
When To October 31st
Where Chaumont-sur-Loire, Loire Valley
Read more about the Festival
While Rene Lalique might be a household name, the same cannot be said for his daughter, Suzanne Lalique. Or not until now when an exhibition at the Lalique Museum has brought her considerable talents to major public view. An artist in glass and porcelain (not surprisingly), she was equally at home with textiles, theater costumes, set designs and paintings. Various institutions, from the Cité de la Céramique in Sèvres, the Paris Museum of Decorative Arts and the Comédie Française to the Limoges Fine Arts Museum have loaned pieces as well as the Lalique family and private collectors.
When To November 11th
Where Musee Lalique, Wingen-sur-Moder, Alsace
Read more about the Museum
Read more about the Exhibition
Gauguin, Van Gogh -- Painters of Color
The Carrieres de Lumieres where the exhibition is held is an extraordinary venue in Les Baux-de-Provence. Immense quarries are transformed by huge images projected onto the uneven chalk walls and even the floors. Each year, there’s a new exhibition on major artists. This year, it’s the turn of Gauguin and Van Gogh. The exhibition highlights the links between the two artists in an all-encompassing way with the pictures hugely blown up.
When To January 6th, 2013
Where Carrieres de Lumieres, Les Baux-de-Provence, Provence
Read more about the Carrieres de Lumieres