20 Bucket List Experiences in France in 2020

Welcome to France: 2020! From evergreen to brand-new, we've rounded up the must-see, can't-miss, once-in-a-lifetime experiences in France next year. From long-awaited openings like Paris' Collection Pinault to beloved traditions like Guadeloupe's Carnival, in 2020 France is effervescent. Come get a taste!

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Discover an unexpected France embraced and enjoyed by those who make it what it is. So many voyages begin here. Perhaps yours does too! #ExploreFrance
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Celebrating 20 years of UNESCO

Since the year 2000, a significant portion of the Loire Valley and the sister region Western Loire have been listed as UNESCO Heritage Sites. Covering over 270 kilometers (170 miles), from Sully-sur-Loire in the Centre Val-de-Loire to Chalonnes-sur-Loire in the Pays de la Loire, the historic cities and Renaissance gems along the fabled river are more than worth the trip.
Find out more
Pays de la Loire Tourism (External link)

Guadeloupe Carnival

Costumes, choreography and music: for two months of festivities, the entire archipelago dances the cha-cha to the wild rhythms of drums, whistles and other instruments of the carnival parades. Is your interest piqued yet? Come discover this fabulous Caribbean party in 2020, made even easier from the East Coast with direct flights from JFK to Pointe-à-Pitre!
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Plan your trip to Guadeloupe (External link)

Tomorrowland Winter

The French Alps come alive with music, parties, and of course, world-class skiing at the Tomorrowland Winter festival in March 2020.
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Tomorrowland Winter (External link)

European Snow Pride, Alps

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Bucket List Item 4: European Snow Pride Strap on your skis, ready your swimwear, and meet us in the Alps for European Snow Pride for a week of music, parties, and world-class skiing at Tignes Station. In 2020, one of Europe's highest celebrations of gay travelers hits the slopes from March 14 to 21. . . . Preparez vos skis, vos maillots de bains, et recontrez-nous aux Alpes pour European Snow Pride chez Tignes, une semaine des fêtes et de ski. En 2020, la célébration pride l'une des plus importante de l'Europe pour les voyageurs gay commencera en mars. . . . #ExploreFrance #BucketList #BucketlistFrance #france #alps #skiing #snowpride #europeansnowpride #lgbt #travel #photography #beautifulfrance #beauty #wanderlust #francetourisme @europeansnowpride #tignes

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High in the French Alps lies one of the world's coolest gay pride events—and certainly one of the highest-elevation. At 3,450 meters (11,320 feet), European Snow Pride finds a rocking home for its week of music, parties, and world-class skiing at Tignes Station. In 2020, it hits the slopes from March 14 to 21.
Find out more
European Snow Pride (External link)

Impressionism Festival, Normandy

The dreamy works of Monet, Degas, Manet, Pissaro and the great French artists of the 19th and early 20th century will be in Normandy for the 4th edition of the Impressionist Festival. The celebration will take place throughout the region from April 3 to September 6, 2020, from Rouen to Le Havre.
Find out more
Normandy Impressionist Festival (External link)

Bassin de Lumières (Light Show), Bordeaux

In spring 2020, Bordeaux’s former submarine base will be transformed into a vast center of digital art called Les Bassins de Lumières, hosting immersive exhibitions. As at the Carrières de Lumières in Provence and the Atelier des Lumières in Paris, here visitors will walk ‘in’ the works of art as they are projected in 360° vision.
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Tour de France, Nice

The world's favorite bike race begins where the blue of the sky meets the blue of the Côte d'Azur: the Bay des Anges is the the background and the Promenade des Anglais is the route. The 2020 Tour de France sets off on June 27 in Nice to finish on Sunday July 19 in Paris. The route follows an counterclockwise looploop through the southern half of France – Nice, Provence, Cevennes, Pyrenees, Atlantic coast, the looping back east to the, Jura, Alps, La Planche des Belles Filles and finally Paris.
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Biennale Manifesta Marseille, Provence

From June 7 to November 1, 2020, France welcomes its first Manifesta edition, the world's only roving contemporary art biennial. This 13th edition is named "Traits d'union.s" (Hyphen), brining the modern art world to France's second largest city. A dialogue between art and the community, Marseille will be electric with installations, outdoor events and exhibitions.
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Manifesta (External link)

Brest International Maritime Festival 2020, Brittany

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Bucket List Item 9: Brittany, Fodor's top 52 list Midsummer every four years, Brest becomes the worldwide mecca for ships of all kinds, from tall ships, working boats, rare gems, and replicas of the finest frigates in history. Catch this Breton port dotted with a flotilla of amazing vessels in 2020! . . . Chaque quatre années, en mi-été, Brest deviendra la Mecque pour les bateaux de tous types, modernes et historiques. Allez voir cette célébration de la vie maritime dans cette ville portuaire de Bretagne en 2020! . . . #ExploreFrance #BucketList #BucketlistFrance #france #bretagne #brittany #brest #brest2020 #maritime #ships #travel #photography #franca #beautifulfrance #beauty #wanderlust #freshlook @ GUILLAUDEAU-Donatienne @tourisme_bretagne

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Midsummer every four years, Brest becomes the worldwide mecca for ships of all kinds, from tall ships, working boats, rare gems, and replicas of the finest frigates in history. 2020 represents one of those years, and the Brest harbor will be dotted with ships and boats as far as the eye can see (nearly 3000 from around the world). During the night, the harbor lights up with a massive fireworks show.

Find out more:
Brest 2020 (External link)

Opening of the Hôtel de la Marine, Paris

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Bucket List Item 10: The Hôtel (old-style mansion) will showcase the royal and state’s period furniture, tapestries and decorative objects, displayed in the palace’s ceremonial ball rooms and re-creation of the private apartments of Baron de Ville d’Avray, the royal steward and his wife under Louis XVI, open to the public for the first time. . . . Cet Hôtel va mettre en valeur les meubles royaux et historique, les tapisseries, et les objets d'art dans les salles de bal et les apartements privés du Baron de Ville d’Avray, le stewart royaux de Louis XVI. C'est la première fois que ce palais sera ouvert au publique! . . . #ExploreFrance #BucketList #BucketlistFrance #france #hoteldelamarine #travel #francia #beauty #photography #wanderlust #architecture #paris #hoteldelamarine @parisjetaime @visitparisregion

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This June, Paris will also celebrate the opening of the Hotel de la Marine. The former headquarters of the French Navy from the French Revolution through 2015, the Place de la Concorde’s 18th century palace is coming back to life.
The museum will showcase the royal and state’s period furniture, tapestries and decorative objects, displayed in the palace’s ceremonial ball rooms and re-creation of the private apartments of Baron de Ville d’Avray, the royal steward and his wife under Louis XVI.
Find out more
Hôtel de la Marine (External link)

Mont Saint-Michel

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Bucket List Item 11: Soaring above the salt flats of Normandy, this marvel is should be on every traveler's bucket list despite time or season. The some-times island was said to have been built on the order of Archangel Michael, and now reigns as a Gothic must-visit on the edge of Normandy. . . . Au haut des salines de la Normandie, cette merveille devrait être sur la liste de chaque voyageur quelque soit la saison. La presque-île fut commandé par l'archange Michel, et maintenaint est devenu un monument incontournable au large de la Normandie. . . . #ExploreFrance #BucketList #BucketlistFrance #france #travel #beauty #wanderlust #normandy #normandie #montstmichel #medieval #wow @tourisme_normandie

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Classics never go out of style—Mont St. Michel proves this in brick-and-mortar. Soaring above the salt flats of Normandy, this modern marvel is should be on every traveler's bucket list despite time or season. The some-times island was said to have been built on the order of Archangel Michael, and now reigns as a Gothic must-visit on the edge of Normandy.
Find out more
Mont St. Michel (External link)

Cité de la Gastronomie, Lyon

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Bucket List Item 12: La Cité Internationale de la Gastronomie Newly opened, La Cité Internationale de la Gastronomie is a new culinary institution that’s part museum, part sensory experience, part anthropological study housed in Lyon’s Renaissance-era Grand Hôtel-Dieu. . . . Ouvert le mois dernier, La Cité Internationale de la Gastronomie est une institution culinaire qui est en partie musée, et expérience sensorielle, et en partie une étude anthropologique dans le bâtiment du Grand Hôtel-Dieu de Lyon. . . . #ExploreFrance #BucketList #BucketlistFrance #france #lyon #onlylyon #laciteinternationaledelagastronomie #travel #francia #photography #beauty #architecture #wanderlust #francestyle #cuisine #frenchcuisine @onlylyon

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Newly opened, La Cité Internationale de la Gastronomie is a new culinary institution that’s part museum, part sensory experience, part anthropological study housed in Lyon’s Renaissance-era Grand Hôtel-Dieu. As one of the hallmarks of humanity, cuisine shows us who we are, what we’re made of, and what we value, and the mission of the Cité Internationale de la Gastronomie is to reflect this back to ourselves. It's definitely one of the bucket list items to visit in France this year!
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Cité Internationale de la Gastronomie (External link)

Capital of Design, Lille

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Bucket List Item 13: Lille is the Capital of Design This is the first time that a French city will become World Capital of Design, and Lille, the great Northern capital of France, more than merits the honor. The kick-off will be December 6, 2019 and followed through 2020 by the display of hundreds of innovative design projects affecting every facet of modern-day life. 📷: @aurorerllin . . . La première ville française a été nommée Capitale Mondiale du Dessin, et Lille en mérite l'honneur. La célébration commencera le 6 décembre jusqu'à 2020, fêté avec des centaines des projets innovants qui changeront tous les aspects de la vie moderne. . . . #ExploreFrance #BucketList #BucketlistFrance #france #lille #europeancaptialofdesign #hautedefrance #northernfrance #travel #francia #beautifulfrance #architecture #beauty #wanderlust #francestyle #francemylove

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After Turin in 2008, Seoul in 2010, Helsinki in 2012, Cape Town in 2014, Taipei in 2016 and Mexico City in 2018, it’s now Lille’s turn to be recognised by the World Design Organisation (WDO) for its use of innovative design. This is the first time that a French city will become World Capital of Design, and Lille, the great Northern capital of France, more than merits the honor. The kick-off will be December 6, 2019 and followed through 2020 by the display of hundreds of innovative design projects affecting every facet of modern-day life
Find out more
Lille World Capital of Design (External link)

Collection Pinault, Paris

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Bucket List Item 14: Paris' Collection Pinault Designed by architect Tadao Ando, the new museum will be housed in the former Commodity Exchange, the Bourse de Commerce, in the heart of the City of Light. The domed structure will boast 32,000 square feet of exhibition spaces to house the 5000-piece Pinault art collection which will bedeck 10 annual exhibitions. . . . Dessiné par Tadao Ando, le musée logé dans l'ancienne Bourse de Commerce à Paris. Le batîment, surmonté avec une couple, accueillira des espaces d'expositions pour loger le collection Pinault, qui comprendra 5000 oeuvres . . . #ExploreFrance #BucketList #BucketlistFrance #france #travel #francia #beautifulfrance #photography #franca #beauty #inspiringview #architecture #wanderlust @visitparisregion @parisjetaime

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The long-awaited Collection Pinault will open to the public in the spring of 2020, and not since the inauguration of the Louis Vuitton Foundation and its Frank Gehry structure has there been such excitement for the opening of a new contemporary art museum. Designed by architect Tadao Ando, it will be housed in the former Commodity Exchange, the Bourse de Commerce, in the heart of the City of Light. The domed structure will boast 32,000 square feet of exhibition spaces to house the 5000-piece Pinault art collection which will bedeck 10 annual exhibitions.
Find out more
Bourse de Commerce (External link)

Fontevraud Abbey, Loire Valley

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Bucket List Item 15: Fontevraud Abbey 900 modern art works of the Martine and Léon Cligman private collection will be displayed next spring in the 12th century Fontevraud Abbey, featuring works from Toulouse-Lautrec, Corot, Degas, Delacroix and Soutine, and sculptures by Rodin and Germaine Richier. . . . 900 oeuvres d'art modernes de la collection privée de Martine et Léon Cligman seront affichés dans le printemps de 2020 dans le 12ième siècle Abbé Fontevraud, avec les tableux de Toulouse-Lautrec, Corot, Degas, Delacroix and Soutine, et des sculptures de Rodin et Germaine Richier. . . . #ExploreFrance #BucketList #BucketlistFrance #france #fontevraud #occitanie #fontevraudabbe #modernart #art #travel #beauty #architecture #wanderlust #freshlook @tourisme_en_occitanie

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900 modern art works of the Martine and Léon Cligman private collection will be displayed next spring in the 12th century Fontevraud Abbey.
These 19th and 20th works will include paintings by Toulouse-Lautrec, Corot, Degas, Delacroix and Soutine, and sculptures by Rodin and Germaine Richier which will be displayed in the Fannerie, the former stables of the mother abbesses.

The Loire by bike

Whizz through the vineyards and wind around the châteaux of the playground of the French kings by bike.

Lavender Fields of Provence

Since the Romans, the sprawling purple fields of Provence have attracted visitors for their beauty and for their incredible scents, so precious to the perfume industry.

Hossegor Surf Championship 2020

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Bucket List Item 18: Hossegor Surf Championship So you've conquered Australia, California and Hawaii—but have you made it to Hossegor yet? Known as one of the best surfing spots in the world, this piece of Nouvelle Aquitaine tucked between Biarritz and Bordeaux is home to the Hossegor Surf Championship 2020. . . . Vous avez conquéri l'Australie, la Californie, et encore Hawaii : mais avez-vous essayé Hossegor ? Connu comme une des meilleurs addresses pour le surf du monde, c'est dans cette région de la Nouvelle Aquitaine entre Biarritz et Bordeaux qu'aura lieu la compétition d'Hossegor Surf Championship 2020. . . . #ExploreFrance #BucketList #BucketlistFrance #france #hossegor #nouvelleaquitaine #surf #surftourism @destination_nouvelle_aquitaine #surfing

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So you've conquered Australia, California and Hawaii—but have you made it to Hossegor yet? Known as one of the best surfing spots in the world, this piece of Nouvelle Aquitaine tucked between Biarritz and Bordeaux is home to the Hossegor Surf Championship 2020.
Find out more
Plan your trip to Hossegor (External link)

Lyon, Fête des Lumières

Fête des Lumières is Lyon’s annual illuminated spectacle in which the city itself becomes an interactive lightshow. Each December, the landmarks and beloved spots in the city are transformed into a magical wonderland!
Find out more
Fête des Lumières (External link)

Alsace Christmas Markets

The holiday season in Alsace twinkles lights, with towering Christmas trees, and charming markets selling everything from one-of-a-kind presents to vin chaud (mulled wine). Here, Christmas is a months-long celebration during which fine food and trinkets and toys are made with true French craftsmanship. From Strasbourg to Colmar and Riquewihr
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