When one plans a holiday in France, one probably have a pretty long “bucket list” for their trip. After all, a girl doesn’t jet off to France every year! (Well, this girl certainly doesn’t. If you do, lets grab un cafe crema and talk about how you got to be so fabulous, girl!)
Anyway, that French Bucket List might include things like “go shopping on the Champs Elysees” or “bike ride through vineyards in the countryside” or even “have a baguette fight on the grounds of the Eiffel Tower” (a la the iconic Passport to Paris starring Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, circa 1999).
The sad reality, though, is that any holiday in France is just that – a trip, a short-term thing. Even during a long trip, you’re probably not going to be able to do every item on your French Bucket List.
That was my recent realization when planning our upcoming trip. So while we won’t be able to do the following activities during our trip, they are definitely worthy of being on your French Bucket List. And if you check them off your list, please share so that I can live vicariously through you!
4 Bucket List Items for a Holiday in France
1. See the Paris Opera Ballet perform at the Palais Garnier.
This one *almost* came true for our trip coming up. Since my last (short) trip to Paris during study abroad, I have regretted not going to the Paris Opera House, Palais Garnier, of Phantom of the Opera fame. From what I’m told, the best way to experience it is to see a show there – thus fulfilling another dream to see The Paris Opera Ballet.
The ballet is currently performing, and imagine my excitement when I learned their show during our trip would be Notre-Dame de Paris! Victor Hugo’s tale of Quasimodo’s tragic story, performed by the Paris Opera Ballet, at the Paris Opera House? *swoon*
And then the sad realization – this performance is not at the Opera House, the Palais Garnier. It is at the new, modern Opera Bastille location. womp womp. Dreams deflated.
So, I’m settling for an Opera House tour and catching the ballet when they go on the road. But if you manage to fulfill this bucket-list-trifecta of amazingness, please do it for both of us and tell me all the gorgeous details!
2. Seek artistic inspiration in Monet’s Gardens of Giverny
It is difficult to think of Paris, or France, without thinking of the artists associated with the region. And Monet, with the ubiquitous Water Lilies, is probably at the top of that association list. Many a French holiday has taken tourists to Monet’s Gardens in Giverny to commune with the inspiration that Monet saw in the landscape.
Sadly, our travel plans beyond the City of Light take us East, rather than West where Giverny lies. So this items remains on my Bucket List for France.
3. See an outdoor movie on the French Riviera
Doing some research for our time on the French Riviera uncovered two gems. One, the Monaco Open Air Cinema. Less than an hour down the coast from the mecca of movie stars, Cannes, you can enjoy an outdoor movie with English subtitles with a backdrop of glamorous Monaco and the mountain range. Incroyable!
Turns out that, during our nights, they’re showing…World Cup Finals. Not our cup of tea, and thus scratched from our itinerary.
4. See the Cannes Fireworks Festival
So, no open air movie on the Riviera…but what about Fireworks? An annual pyrotechnic festival takes place each summer over the Cannes bay. More than a beautiful sight, this is actually a competition with each of the scheduled shows featuring a different competing country.
Sadly, this year’s show dates don’t work for our visit. The shows are spaced throughout the summer, so check ahead if you’re planning your trip itinerary and want to make this iconic event part of your travels.
While I’m sad that these 4 items were slashed from our French Bucket List, there are plenty of other incredible things that ARE staying on the list that I’m excited to recap here after we return!
Any French Bucket List suggestions to add to our trip plans? Will you be adding these 4 items to your Bucket List for France?
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