Going out, visiting attractions and having fun!
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Shows (cinema, concerts, theatre…) or other activities (festivals, flea markets, exhibitions…) are listed in specialist guides on sale at newspaper kiosks or in the local press, especially in the weekend editions. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
Tourist Offices also have available lists of events in the town and surrounding area.
In <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Paris you can find guides for events in Paris at newspaper kiosks – Pariscope, L'Officiel des Spectacles, Zurban… They list all cinema programmes, museums, exhibitions, all types of shows.
For the theatre, there are two kiosks, on the forecourt of the Montparnasse railway station and at the Place de la Madeleine, which offer tickets for that day at reduced rates.
You can buy your tickets (theatre, concert, show…) in FNAC and Virgin sales outlets amongst others, or directly from the theatre or concert hall itself.
Museums and Monuments
The towns and regions of France have all sorts of museums and monuments for the visitor.
Museum opening times vary, but please note that municipal museums are closed on Mondays, and national museums are closed on Tuesdays (except the Musée d'Orsay in Paris, which is closed on Mondays).
Usually they are open from 10.00am to 7.00pm. Some large museums have late-night opening on Wednesdays or Thursdays.
Find out everything about places to visit from the Regional Tourism Council or Tourist Office. You will find everything you need to know there.
You can also consult the website of the centre for national monuments to find out about 200 monuments to French heritage…
or also go to www.rmn.fr to find out about the 33 national museums across France.
In Paris the Musées Monuments card will help you gain entry to a number of sites: valid for 1, 3 or 5 days, it gives you free access, direct and unlimited to 70 museums in Paris and Ile-de-France.
They are available from the Paris Tourist Office, metro stations and from the sites themselves.
1 day: €18
3 days: €36
5 days: €54Cinema
In large towns (and in the majority of others), you will find film centers showing big international films dubbed into French, or the original version with subtitles.
Art et Essai cinemas show rarer and/or older films.
You can often buy your tickets in advance so as to avoid the queue before the start of the film.
All large towns have one or more concert halls where French and international artists play. Classical music concerts often take place in churches and specialised halls.
In Paris and in the regions, theatres are numerous and offer a wide variety of shows (from great classics to light comedy, from one-man shows to cabaret…).
To avoid disappointment, it is best to book in advance!
You can buy concert and show tickets on-line from the following websites:
For last minute bookings you can try to find your concert or show in the concerts section of the website www.lastminute.com
Even the smallest village has its church bell tower. In the same way, each town has its bar (and often more than one); they are one of the French institutions!
Bars often open very early (you can have your breakfast there) and some can close at 2 o'clock in the morning. In the regions, they are very popular relaxed places where the locals meet friends, at the weekend and during the week.
In the smallest towns, they also occasionally sell bread or newspapers, or can be the local filling station…
In Paris as everywhere, lively areas are developing: if Bastille still buzzes, the Oberkampf or Marais quarters are more trendy today. If you prefer "quieter" quarters, a stroll around the hill at Montmartre or a rest at one of the famous cafés in Saint-Germain-des-Prés (le Flore, les Deux-Magots…) are still worth a detour!
Nightclubs They are everywhere and in even the remotest corners of France. Their style and music vary a lot from one place to another…find out before you go! Some things are the same: closing time is fixed at 5 o'clock in the morning.