Marseille events fill the calendar of things to do in this port city in the southeast of France year round. Although tourist activity is in full swing in the spring and summer, you will also find that there are a range of Marseille festivals in what might be considered the non-peak season tourist months as well. The best festivals in Marseille include Carnaval, the the SNIM (International Mediterranean Nautical Week), Festival de Marseille, and the 5 Continents Jazz Festival. As you make final decisions about when to go to Marseille, you can begin to take a closer look at all that this vibrant city of art and culture has to offer its guests. There are countless restaurants that serve wonderful local food, art galleries, museums, and a host of historic monuments, churches, and buildings, not to mention the gorgeous beaches, so you will not be at a loss for things to do in the event that one of the main events is not going on.
It is no shock that Carnaval is one of the most popular Marseille festivals in a country where there is a strong Roman Catholic population. Carnaval is celebrated around the world, from New Orleans to Rio de Janeiro. This celebration in Marseille is an equally as festival atmosphere. The usual processions and parades go through the city center and end at the Vieux Port. This mid-March celebration is easily one of the most festive Marseille events. Other important festivals around this time of year include the Japan Expo and Russian Festival. The Japan Expo is held in February at the Parc Channot, and the Russian Festival happens in March at the Toursky Theatre. These two Marseille events celebrate the respective cultures of Russia and Japan and their presence in the French culture.
The Festival de Marseille is also one of the best festivals in Marseille. It is a month long celebration that spans a wide variety of locations and venues around the city where people will be entertained by everything from dance to theater and live music performances. The city of Marseille really comes to life from the middle of June to the middle of July when the festival wraps up. There is a general sense of amicability on the streets and never a shortage of things to do around the city.
The Marseille International Fair draws the attentions of many residents as well as thousands of tourists who descend upon the Parc Channot Exhibition Center. There are displays and exhibits that represent over 40 countries, including everything from food and beverages, to home goods and new tech gadgets. If you happen to be in Marseille in September for the International Fair, you may also want to check in on the Festival of the Wind Competition, one of the most celebrated sailing events in the entire country, let alone the city.
These are just a few of the Marseille festivals that are worth checking out if you are planning a trip here. Other front runners for the best festivals in Marseille should include the Bastille Day celebration in July, the Documentary International Film Festival of Marseille (also in July), and the French Winegrowers and Farmers Fair at Parc Channot in November.