We like to open every month with a selection of the best events and things not to be missed in France ! May brings even more excitement and glamour with loads of memorable experiences for you to discover!
Don’t miss our little French culture snapshot at the end too…
01 Festival de Cannes
It is this time of the year again! All spotlights and cameras from the world will turn to the 71st Cannes Film Festival (Festival de Cannes) that opens on May 8th. Since its creation in 1939, the 12-day Cannes Film Festival has risen as one of the most influential film festivals in the world. This year the Jury is headed by Australian actress Cate Blanchett. But did you know? The Festival actually hosts the Official Competition, the Short Movies competition, the alternative movies competition and much more: there is something in Cannes for any cinema lover!
02 La Nuit Européenne des Musées
May 19th is the European Museums Night. More than 150 museums in Paris, and many more in the French regions, will join the event giving the unique opportunity to visit the museum at night ! Exciting? Frightening? It always feels unique to visit a collection in a different atmosphere and light. From 19:00 in the evening to 1:00 in the morning, museums will be open to the public free of charge. Some will not just organize professional tours, but also concerts, lectures, art performances, movie screenings, and other exciting contents.
Our tip: most big museums run night visits on a weekly basis. Take this opportunity to try the smaller ones !
03 Roland-Garros French Open
From May 21 to June 10, the French Tennis Open (Les internationaux de France de Roland-Garros) will take place at the famous Roland Garros stadium just West ofParis. Roland Garros is unique as the most prestigious open to be played on red clay. Clay is special for tennis players as it makes the tennis ball bounce a little slower but with a lot more sensitivity! This year, the ever-favorite “King of Red Clay” Nadal is arriving in great shape for men’s singles, while on the women side, a close competition will take place between Halep, tennis queen Serena Williams, former No. 1 Azarenka and Chinese Zheng Sai
Here is the competition schedule! Tickets have been selling fast for the past few weeks, but you may try your luck!
Our tip: for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, get a final or semi-final ticket to feel the incredible atmosphere. For tennis lovers, get a first days ticket: more games are played at the beginning of the competition, allowing you to see more tennis action within the same day!
04 Saint Germain Des Prés Jazz Festival
Summer is traditionally a musical highlight in all France and Europe, usually starting in June. But in Paris, Saint-Germain des Pres opens the ball, with its 18th Jazz Festival in the Latin Quartier from May 24th to June 4th. Since 2001, various concerts and exhibitions at the Jazz Festival have attracted jazz enthusiasts around the world and some of the best musicians. The legendary jazz clubs of the neighborhoods will welcome both the Jazz maestros and some new rising talents.
Play it posh and fancy by hanging around the Saint Germain des Prés boutiques, exclusive restaurants and cafés, and end your day in style with a relaxing jazz concert!
How do the French do it? The May public holidays
May is dotted with public holidays in France, at least four of them! Yes it means a nightmarish organization for business meetings and calls with your French colleagues. Yes it means you better check business hours of museums, shopping malls and boutiques before you go. BUT, you will enjoy the delightful holiday feeling that vibrates all across France. The May public holidays are traditionally the opportunity for French families to “faire le pont”, which literally means “build the bridge”. In common English it means that for example if the holiday is on Thursday, you will take Friday off to enjoy a 4-days week end. So you will see plenty of people hoping on and off to “mini vacations”…expect some traffic jams or train tickets rush.