Some French holidays are very popular with tourists, and many people decide to visit Paris during these times. Whether you’d like to join the fun or avoid the crowds, make sure you check this section before planning for your trip.
Every world destination has its most popular seasons that are defined by historical tourist trends. Paris is considered to be especially beautiful during spring and summer, so be warned that crowds – and prices – tend to skyrocket from April 1st to October 1st each year. However, many think this dazzling city has its own charm during the autumn and winter months. No matter when you decide to visit, Paris is sure to give back!
Celebrating the New Year can be thrilling no matter where you are and Paris is no exception. New Year’s Eve is called ‘la Saint-Sylvestre’ in France and usually implies big meals chock-full of foie gras, oysters and gallons of fizzy champagne. Fireworks are a-plenty and the Eiffel Tower’s firework act puts any other to shame. The French do know how to celebrate, and starting your year in Parisian soil can be a very entertaining experience that you’ll remember for the rest of your life (if you’re up to it, make sure you take a bottle of champagne and get together with hundreds of celebrators at Champs-Elysées or under the Eiffel Tower).
New Year’s Day – le Jour de l’An – is a public holiday in France and people choose to relax and rest from the night’s celebrations. Expect Paris to be oddly quiet and tranquil during this specific day – and bask in the realization that you’re one of few to presence this odd day of rest in the usually hectic Parisian lifestyle.
Regardless of your religious background, Easter tends to bring Paris to life with promises of chocolate and spring. Unlike most countries, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday are holidays in France (and Good Friday is just another day) and the entire city livens up – and decorates accordingly – to receive it.
Shop windows are filled with flowers, eggs, bunnies, bells and everything Easter. You’ll definitely enjoy how the Parisian boulangeries, patisseries and chocolatiers create works of chocolate art during this season and then proudly place then on their windows for everyone to admire. Flower shops crowd the streets (giving flowers is another very-French Easter tradition) and everyone seems a little bit merry – after all, spring is coming, winter is leaving and the office is closed for three whole days!
Fête de la Musique
On June 21st of every single year, Paris opens up to music and offers free concerts, festivals and street acts around the city. Practically every Parisian musician from every single genre is invited, so make sure you check out what’s playing and plan accordingly. Definitely the cherry-on-top of any music-lover’s dream holiday!
Celebrated on July 14th every year, Bastille Day commemorate the historical Storming of the Bastille, a symbol of the birth of France’s modern nation – basically, the French equivalent to Independence Day. Champs-Elysées is therefore dressed up in French flags and a world-known parade festively struts down the Parisian avenue for thousands of onlookers. Military airplanes decorate the skies with blue, red and white stripes while the evening lights up with magical firework displays around the Eiffel Tower and Trocadero. If you’re not a bystander at the parade itself, make sure you find yourself a high lookout spot to soak into the French national festivities!
Every third week of September major private and official buildings that aren’t normally open to the public open their doors for two days. Both Parisians and tourists enjoy discovering the generally unknown buildings, and millions of intrigued visitors get a fair share of rich French heritage. Volunteers offer guides in every attraction and explain the unseen value and history behind civil or religious architecture, archaeological sites, parks and garden and even industrial facilities. Plan ahead and include this day into your itinerary in order to see a lot more of Paris than most.
Movies, television shows and photographs have always captured the beauty of Christmas in Paris to the point that there is no need to explain the fun, adventure and magic that this holiday season brings to the city of lights. Christmas markets and ice-skating rinks pop up amidst the titillating display of festive decorations that surround trees, shops, lamp-posts and everything else. Expect to find a lot of tourists, though, and make sure you book any restaurant reservations well in advance so that nothing ruins your ultimate Christmas holiday.
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