Long sunny days and light evenings were just made for exploring Paris – think romantic picnics eating brie and baguette in front of the Eiffel Tower, or lounging with an espresso outside a chic café. But as well as these classic holiday favourites, summer is the time when the city really comes into its own, with the warmer weather bringing a whole host of new and exciting events. So grab your sunglasses – here are the spots you should be visiting in and around Paris this summer.
America might have founded the first events back in the 1960s, but fast forward to the present day and Europe has a firm grip on the festival baton. The UK alone hosts approximately 500 festivals each year, and the incredible roster of European events continues to evolve every summer. Attending a classic festival or boutique weekender has long been a rite of passage, wherever you hail from on the continent. From hip hop legends in Holland to cutting edge electro in Belgium, there’s a festival for everyone. Here’s the best of what’s coming up in 2017.
Bastille Day, known in France as “la Fête Nationale”, takes place on 14 July every year. It’s far from a mere bank holiday then – this date is considered the ultimate celebration of French culture and heritage. This special day marks the Storming of the Bastille, a political event that shaped the France we know today. Throughout the country, you’ll hear impassioned cries of “Vive la France! Vive la République!” as people gather in the streets for huge parties. But how did Bastille Day come to be?
Toward the end of the 18th Century, the French monarchy was in crisis. The country was on the brink of bankruptcy due to costly involvement in the American Revolution, yet King Louis XVI and his coiffed queen Marie Antoinette continued to spend lavishly while ordinary people starved. On 14 July 1789, Parisian rebels stormed the Bastille, a royal prison that had come to signify the cruelty of the sovereignty. This event marked the beginning of the French Revolution, a decade of political turmoil in which the king was overthrown by the new radical state and sent to the guillotine. Eventually of course, the absolute monarchy was replaced by a constitutional government.
Here we give you some brilliant historical ways to mark the most important day in France’s calendar.
May Day is a public holiday in France too – in fact, it’s an even bigger affair for our friends across the Channel. As well as being a spring celebration, the French have also held International Workers’ Day on 1 May since 1889. Today, there are regularly organised marches and parades, and the atmosphere is only boosted in sunny weather. Make the most of your bank holiday by hopping across the Channel to Paris, where you can celebrate May Day exploring outside.
Paris: the city of love, fashion and world-famous food and wine. Whether you’re indulging in all the wonders France’s cultured capital has to offer or treating the kids to Disneyland Paris, you’re sure to make some unforgettable memories. After taking a quick 90-minute ferry across the Channel, Paris is either a car or train route away.
For many of us, the next week will see us looking to find the perfect gift to show mum our appreciation. There are no hard and fast rules about what to buy your mum for Mother’s Day, but we bet all she really wants is to spend some quality time with you. So we’ve put a unique travel twist on some traditional gift ideas to inspire you. Eschew traditional chocolates and flowers for something altogether more exciting. Here are some wanderlust-inspired treats to show your mum how much she means to you!
The following post comes from Starley Pro Cycling rider Gaby Leveridge, who also blogs at Go Faster Gaby. Here she reveals everything you need to know before tackling the Paris-Roubaix route.
While you shake and rattle your way around the course, you can rest assured that this is a brilliantly organised sportive designed to host thousands of classics enthusiasts. There are plenty of feed stations and mechanical help along the route, so if your bike struggles a bit with the terrain or you need more fuel to get you through, there will be a helping hand available.