On your radar for France
From coastal paradises to city slicking, if you’re heading to Marseille, Biarritz, Rennes or Paris this summer, here are a few highlights and some top events to add to your France calendar.
Brightening up the A to B with our pick of urban street art
France has had its fair share of urban regeneration projects, and across the country you can find beautified buildings, walls with a statement and thoughtfully embellished canals – if you know where to look. Visit our pick of the prettiest decorated cityscapes:
- Pixel art mosaics in Paris: discover little low-res aliens created by 1990s French street artist Invader, the highest concentration of which you’ll find in the Latin Quarter
- Mingle with the bohémiens in Marseille: Cours Julien, once a grocery wholesale market, is now a must-see for street art lovers, with creatives leaving their colourful marks on the trendy cafés, restaurants and shops
- Stumble across the unexpected in Rennes: whether you come across giant monochrome characters by Berlin-based street artist MTO or elaborate scenes by Zilda, every corner and cranny holds an arty surprise in Rennes.
Basque in free culture with Biarritz’s events and free festivals
- Le Village des Bodegas: from 13th – 14th July and 14th – 15th August, the Plateau du Phare (lighthouse square) holds unmissable entertainment and celebrations of Basque country traditions with food, dancing and DJs
- La Fête du Port: in the same spirit, stick around until the 25th July for more Basque frivolities at the fishing port, from 6.30 pm and into the small hours
- Les Halles de Biarritz: start your day by sampling all kinds of delicious local delicacies at Biarritz’s colourful indoor market, open every morning.
Take your pick of budget friendly treasures in beautiful Marseille
- Absorb the culture of the Mediterranean at MuCEM: the first museum dedicated to the Med and its multi-faceted traditions and history, the permanent and temporary exhibitions are free on the first Sunday of each month
- Learn about Marseille art soap craft with a free tour of Savonnerie Marseillaise: this tour of the soap factory workshop takes you through the secrets of manufacturing the city’s special product
- Discover the city by walking around with a local: if you’re feeling like a fish out of water in Marseille, why not hire a greeter, a local volunteer who will unveil their favourite places and regale you with fun stories.
Don’t be shellfish: care for the coast and become a sea ambassador
With 5500 Km of coastline and 4 oceans, France’s relationship with the sea is vast, and its shores beautiful. HI Marseille and HI Biarritz work with a number of ocean preserving initiatives. Check out the grand tour of French beaches among other initiatives organised by the Maud Fontenoy Foundation to see how you can help.
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