The big cultural events of 2016
Throughout the year, travellers in France and its inhabitants experience some wonderful moments. Music, dance, paintings, sculptures, contemporary art, architecture, circuses and even theatrical performances take place in the streets and in museums, remarkable gardens and chateaux, UNESCO sites and large metropolitan areas.
Normandy Impressionist Festival
From 16 April to 22 September
For its 3rd edition, the Normandy Impressionist Festival is focusing on the theme "Impressionist Portraits". The events will feature traditional portraits and figures, but also works with portraits of Impressionist society (entertainment at the time, intimacy...) and even monographs, up to a more contemporary and current period. A time of selfies, new technologies and social networks that show the evolution of our society, our relationships with others, and how we present ourselves.
Commemorations of the Centenary of the Great War
- Commemoration of the Battle of Verdun Centennial, 29 May
The reopening of the Verdun Memorial on the 5th February marks the launch of commemorating the 300 days of the Battle of Verdun. A grand ceremony of international importance will be held on 29th May in the presence of the President F. Hollande. Several cultural and educational demonstrations will add to this commemorative event.
- Celebrations of the Battle of the Somme and Beaumont-Hamel on 1 July
To mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme on the 1st July 2016, a national commemorative event will be held at midday at the Thiepval Memorial to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in Northern France. The Queen of England and the Commonwealth Prime Ministers are expected to attend.
From 10 June to 10 July
The final phase of the 15th European Football Championship UEFA EURO 2016™ will be held in France from 10 June to 10 July 2016. The top 24 national men's teams of the continent will be pitted against each other in 51 matches, with spectators in the 10 French stadiums selected for the competition, all in one month. The Fan Zones will lead the host cities. Giant screens to broadcast the matches of the competition, and events to bring fun to the rest of the city.
Bordeaux fête le vin
From 23 to 26 June
For its 10th edition, the Bordeaux fête le vin is planning big. France’s first wine tourism event this year will welcome 10 city guests of honour. Upon riverbanks listed as World Heritage sites by UNESCO, lovers of wine, gastronomy and culture are invited to share four days of celebration, discovering the most beautiful castles in the surrounding vineyards. This year in particular will be marked by the opening of the Cité des Civilisations du Vin.
Le Voyages à Nantes
From 1 July to 28 August
From the Lieu Unique to the western part of Ile de Nantes, Le Voyages à Nantes invites you to be led from a a piece of art planted in this street, to a remarkable element of our heritage, from “must-see” sites to unknown treasures, from a historic alleyway to a contemporary piece of architecture, from an amazing view of the city to an incredible sunset over the Loire estuary…
103rd Tour de France
From 2 to 24 July
This 103rd Tour de France will comprise of 21 stages across a distance of over 2000 miles! The Tour will leave Utah from Mont-Saint-Michel in Normandy, go through L'Isle-Jourdain, Angers, Limoges, and Montauban, then cross the Pyrenees to then go back down to reach Carcassonne and Montpellier on the Mediterranean Sea. After climbing Mont Ventoux in Provence, get the opportunity to visit the Cave of Pont d'Arc (13th stage). Travelling across the Alps will lead runners to Megève and Saint-Gervais Mont-Blanc. Their arrival in Paris is scheduled on the 24th July.
International maritime festival Brest 2016
From 13 to 19 July
This 7th edition will welcome the frigate Hermione, a historical replica of the flagship that ferried Lafayette to the US. And as always, large sailboats, heritage boats, exotic small boats, impressive yachts, from all oceans across the globe... The maritime festivals also host concerts, exhibitions, entertainment, and magic sequences: marine parades and fireworks, to hundreds of thousands of fans. A magnificent show on land, and on water!
The Paris Motor Show
From 1 to 16 October
This new edition will be rich in French novelties, with the reveal of the new Peugeot 3008 and Renault Koleos, Mégane 4 Estate, and the restyled Renault Clio 4. This Motor Show 2016, the busiest car show in the world, will also be the opportunity to discover the new Volkswagen Tiguan in its 7-seater version, the new Seat Ibiza and many more surprises.
350 years of Canal du Midi
The Canal du Midi, also known as the Canal des Deux Mers or, the Royal Canal of Languedoc, a mecca of French heritage, will celebrate its 350th birthday, and 20 years of being listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO (December 1996). It was Louis XIV who ordered its construction in October 1666 in order to connect the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea with a waterway.
The Vendée Globe
Starting 6 November
Nicknamed "the Everest of the Seas", the Vendée Globe is a solo sailing race around the world, nonstop and with no help, starting and finishing at Sables d'Olonne. From 15th October to 6th November, enjoy over three weeks of events and experiences in the Vendée Globe village! The village thrives on the rhythm of the captains and their crew. You can even take the opportunity to visit Les Sables d'Olonne and discover the treasures of the Vendée department.
lille.3000 brings the discovery of cultures through the most contemporary artists, from France or around the world. Several large collections invest atypical places like the Tripostal (former postal warehouse) and Gare Saint Sauveur (former train station).