Festivals in Paris

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Festivals in Paris

Paris, like many European capitals, has a fairly gruesome history of religious upheaval, extremism and associated massacres or other repressions. So, today, the modern French state centered on Paris is totally and irrevocably committed to secularism. Although the country remains notionally Roman Catholic, there is no ‘official religion’ and most French people of European origin incline towards a quiet passive personal belief or atheism/agnosticism. For those reasons, large-scale religious festivals and associated celebrations don’t play a major part in Parisian life though for historic reasons many traditional Christian holidays continue to be celebrated as public holidays. Other non-religious events include Mayday (Labor Day), Bastille Day and Armistice Day. France’s large Muslim community, (around 10-12% of the French population), may typically be more religiously observant and will celebrate festivals such as Eid Al-Fitr. Broadly speaking, Parisian festivals and holidays are low-key and sophisticated rather than massively and chaotically exuberant in the sense of, say, the “Mardi Gras”. Local tours through Withlocals will help you discover the best festivals in your chosen area.

Top activities in Paris

Best of Paris tour: Highlights & Hidden Gems

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The Secret Passages Tour

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Le Marais Private Tour: Aromas & Scents

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Top 10 Festivals in Paris

  • Circus of Tomorrow. Circus is still a big thing in France and there are state funded circus schools. In January each year trainee performers from all over the world take demonstrate their skills to appreciative audiences and talent scouts.
  • Jazz Festival. Open air concerts are held every weekend in July in the Parc Floral of the Bois de Vincennes.
  • Rock en Seine. An open air music festival held over 3 days in August. Expect some big acts and great music.
  • Paris Baroque Festival. This is a two week festival held at the start of winter in November and December. Performances are held in some of Paris’ most beautiful churches and halls.
  • Festival Mino. This is a week-long festival held in November/December in the Espace Cardin to promote emerging talents in various art forms (music, dance, painting, comedy etc).
  • Printemps des Rues. Dating back to 1997, this is the oldest Paris street art festival involving mime, dancing, street artists, story tellers, music etc.
  • Bastille Day Fireworks. Celebrating the 1798 storming of the Bastille prison by the Parisian populace on the 14th July, this firework display at the Eiffel Tower is not to be missed.
  • Final Stage of the Tour de France. More than just a bike race and a definite Paris favorite.
  • Paris Carnaval. This parade held around Lent is becoming more popular with each passing year and is a bright light in what can be a dismal time of year.
  • Salon mer et Vigne (exhibition of the sea and the vine). A celebration of everything that’s good about France’ gastronomy.

Top eating expriences in Paris

French Dinner for Food Lovers

from

€30.00 p.p.

Best of Paris tour: Highlights & Hidden Gems

NEW! WITHLOCALS ORIGINALS

from

€27.00 p.p.

The Secret Passages Tour

NEW! WITHLOCALS ORIGINALS

from

€20.00 p.p.

3 Big festival events to watch out for in Paris

  • The Tour de France (July). The final stretch of this world famous race in and around the Champs-Elysées and the Tuileries is a great event from the arrival of the ‘Caravane’ mid-afternoon to the riders themselves later on. Expect major crowds and disruption to travel in and around the area. If you want a good view get there early.
  • Paris Carnaval. A resurrection of the much older Feast of Fools, this is a lively parade with floats and costumed participants which takes place around Lent. As with the more well-known Mardi Gras events in Rio de Janeiro for example, there’s entertainment and the parade each year takes a different theme.
  • Salon Mer et Vigne. For four days at the Parc Floral around September this celebration of France’s gastronomical excellence is about more than just fish and wine. Featuring great classic French dishes and produce – oysters, cheeses, galettes to name just a few, the rest of the world is also well represented.

This is what guests are saying about our hosts

Withlocals guest
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Vicki Paris
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Paris Favourite Food tour: the 10 Tastings

Michel was a delightful and gracious guide. Due to circumstances over which we had no control our original time slot had to be changed, and he worked with us to find an agreeable alternative. He shared not only tastings, but the history of the Marais area. The 10 tastings were delightful and varied. His knowledge of wines enhanced those tastings. I highly recommend his tour

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Fifi Inka and Sebastien
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French Dinner for Food Lovers

Inka and Sebastien made my short stay in Paris quite enjoyable. Dinner with them included great conversation, laughs, wine, and, of course, great food! At first I thought it would be awkward meeting two strangers for dinner -- boy was I wrong! They made me feel like part of the family -- so much so I didn't want to leave. Warm, inviting, and knowledgeable about so many things which kept the conversation flowing. When I'm back in Paris I plan on joining them again through WithLocals.

If you want to walk away from your Paris trip smiling with good memories ... see Inka and Sebastien.

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Baran Joao Luiz
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Paris with a Photographer: Stroll, Taste, Click

I had never done a shooting tour with anyone before, so when I booked I wasn't sure what to expect. Joao was very cheerful and friendly from the time he shook hands with us till he said bye. We walked the steps of this talented photographer in literally his backyard. Long-time a local in Montmarte neighborhood, Joao knew the history behind the local stores, the streets and the community. He interrupted his stories to only take photos of us next to some iconic features of the town, as well as with the view from Sacre Coeur as the backdrop. I just received my edited photos, which all look stunning. Highly recommended experience and tour guide in Paris!