September Events, Festivals and Exhibitions in France

A Guide to September's exhibitions, festivals and other special events in France

••• Pompidou-Metz Centre in Lorraine. ©Centre Pompidou Metz/Photo Roland Halbe.

The calendar below is for September 2018

Also check out the France in September Monthly Planner

Festivals and Seasonal Events

Lille Braderie in Lille, North France

Europe’s largest flea market, the Lille Braderie, takes place in Lille over the first weekend in September. From Saturday at 11am to Sunday at 11pm you can buy just about any and every antique you could imagine as stalls fill the streets of Lille and restaurants, cafes and stalls stay open all night for huge plates of mussels and chips.

When: September 1 & 2, 2018
Where: Lille, North France

Basque Music Festival
This is one of France's premier music festivals with music from Beethoven to Canteloube. It’s held in various different towns and cities along the Atlantic coast, from St-Jean-de-Luz to Biarritz.
When: End of August to mid September, 2018
Where: St-Jean-de-Luz, Anglet, Ascain, Bayonne, Biarritz, Ciboure and Urrugne on the French Atlantic Coast

Piano aux Jacobins
Devoted to classical piano music, the famous Piano aux Jacobins (Piano at the Jacobins) festival in Toulouse is a wonderful chance to listen to top performers in beautiful surroundings. From Chopin to Liszt, Ravel to Moussorgsky, many of the concerts take place in the atmospheric Jacobins cloister.
When September 6th to 28th, 2017
Where In Toulouse at the Cloitre des Jacobins, Cite de l’espace; Musee les Abattoirs, St-Pierre des Cuisines, L’Escale and Halle aux grains

The Feria au Riz

The graceful, sometimes brutal, but always exciting, art of bullfighting is show off magnificently in Arles in southern France. The fans may leave the arena but the party continues into the night in this Provence city, famous for the running of the bulls and the spectacular Camargue horses.

When: September 8th & 9th, 2018
Where Arena, Arles, Provence

Festival de l’Automne
The Paris Autumn Festival showcases contemporary visual art, music, cinema, theater, and dance with a very varied program of events.
When Dates to be confirmed, 2018
Where Various venues throughout Paris

European Heritage Days (Journees du Patrimoine)
All over France, European Heritage Days offer a chance to go inside all sorts of buildings that are normally closed to the public. It’s a great chance for a look behind the doors into the life of some great buildings. It’s part of a Europe-wide festival.
When September 15th & 16th, 2018
Where All major cities and towns in France

Château of Blois son-et-lumiere
The wonderful Château of Blois becomes even more magical at night when the lights fade and you stand in the glorious courtyard waiting for the theater to begin. Then the story of dastardly doings, intrigue, assasination and revenge unfolds as the facades are illuminated with courtiers, knights, horsemen, kings and queens of France.

When: April to September, 2018
Where: Château de Blois, Loire Valley

Exhibitions in September 2018

Cannes Yachting Festival

Since 1977 the chic resort of Cannes, known for its international Film Festival in May has been the place for this very upmarket festival where over 600 boats and yachts are shown off to the public in the two main ports.

When: September 11-16, 2018
Where: Cannes, South of France

International Garden Festival at Chaumont-sur-Loire
The International Garden Festival at Chaumont-sur-Loire Château is a major event in the gardening calendar. Each year a separate theme is chosen and international designers are invited to make a garden - each one with a different style. In 2018 the theme is 'Gardens of Thought'.

When: From Apr 24 to November 5th, 2018
Where: Chaumont-sur-Loire Château, Loire Valley

Arles Meetings
Annual photography festival taking in over 60 exhibitions in different locations in Arles. Some exhibitions are the result of collaborations with museums and institutions in France; others are international. With mostly previously unseen work, Arles Meetings works as a launchpad for new photographers.
When: July 2nd to September 23rd, 2018
Where: Throughout Arles