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What’s on in France in September

Flea market stall filled with all sorts of vintage items at the famous flea market of Lille, northern France

September in France is teeming with events, festivals and concerts as La Rentrée, the return to work, school and normality after the summer holidays. It’s a time of renewed energy and enthusiasm in France and you’ll find plenty going on to keep you entertained. We take a look at the major events in France September 2022…

There are no national holidays in September in France.

Nationwide events in France September:

Journées Européennes du Patrimoine – European Heritage Days: 16 and 17 September, 2023. Across the whole country, hundreds of historical buildings, famous monuments, Government sites and places of interest (some of which are normally closed to the public), open their doors and welcome in visitors. It is an amazing opportunity to explore and find out more about some truly fantastic buildings in France. www.journeesdupatrimoine.culture.fr/

Major Regional events in France

Cognac, Coup de Chauffe, 8-10 September 2023. Street artists and performers entertain the crowds for three days in this lively and fun festival: www.coupdechauffe.com

Normandy, Deauville. Festival of American Cinema 1-10 September 2023. Showing all the best American films of the year with actors and director in attendance. A great chance to see some independent cinema offerings in this lovely town. www.festival-deauville.com

Nord Pas-de-Calais Lille, Braderie de Lille first weekend September.  The biggest and the best flea market in Europe. The Braderie de Lille, attracts around two million visitors to the city streets to enjoy music and the many events organized for the weekend. It’s a non-stop 33 hour marathon flea market session involving up to 10,000 sellers. The other big tradition of this awesome weekend is to eat a dish of “moules – frites” (mussels and chips) as restaurants compete to build the highest pile of empty shells! 2-3 September 2023. www.lilletourism.com

Corsica Rencontres de Chants Polyphoniques de Calvi. Enjoy traditional Corsican chants sung by locals which immerses visitors in the history and culture of the island. The concerts are organised around the town of Calvi’s most beautiful buildings. 13-17  September, 2023.

Franche-Comté Besançon, International Music Festival, 8-23 September 2023. Classical music concerts take place across the whole region but the main focus is the town of Besançon. There’s a competition to find the best conductor at this hugely prestigious event: festival-besancon.com

Ain, Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes, Ambronay Festival, 15 September – 8 October 2023. This little town hosts an annual Baroque music festival. Many ensembles of varying genres, including professional groups and youth orchestras take part. festival.ambronay.org/

Aquitaine, Arcahon, Cadence of Arcachon, 18-24 September 2023. Festival held at the end of the summer, the whole town reverberates celebrates with dance shows, parades and exhibitions filling the streets: www.arcachon.com

Auvergne, Le-Puy-En-Velay, Roi de l’Oiseau Festival, 13-17 September 2023. Step back into the French Renaissance in the town of Puy-en-Velay, whose origins date back to the 16th century. The festival will host a variety of entertainment including craft stalls, music, taverns set up in the street, concerts, shows and an archery competition: www.lepuyenvelay-tourisme.fr

RhôneAlpes, Saint-Hilaire-Du Touvet, Festival of Free Flight 19-24 September 2023. Paragliders, parachutists, kite-flyers, hang-gliders, balloonists and flight nuts get together and there are films and a fancy dress competition: www.coupe-icare.org

Poitou-Charentes Angoulême. Circuit des Remparts. Held every third weekend of September since 1939. An International event with one of the largest gatherings of historic racing cars, this is primarily a meeting of enthusiasts who compete for heated races at the wheel of their Bugatti cars on the circuit route through the streets of Angouleme. 15-17 September, 2023. www.circuitdesremparts.com

Please note: We check every website for dates and details personally but changes do happen from time to time – please check website for confirmation. 

Read more about all the national holidays and days that are celebrated in France here.

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