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Culture and Hobbies
Museums, theatre, cinema, festivals, the Fête de la musique, etc.: French cultural life is extremely rich and dynamic and is particularly accessible to students thanks to the many discounts and other advantageous price formulas.
With over 52 million visitors per year, France's 1200 musuems are the most visited in the world. Generally open on weekends, most museums are closed on either Mondays or Tuesdays and certain public holidays such as 1 May and 25 December.
Museums are free to all visitors on the first Sunday of every month, and for European Union residents aged 26 years or under.
The European Night of Museums takes place once a year in May.
With nearly 200 million entrants in over 2000 cinemas (including 140 multiplexes), cinema is an integral part of French cultural life. There are two types of distribution: the large, mainstream cinemas (UGC, Gaumont-Pathé, MK2) and arthouse cinemas.
Almost all cinemas have a subscription formula (eg the UGC card, MK2-unlimited, the Gaumont-Pathé pass).
Theatre, music and dance: summer is truly festical season in France.
The most famous are:
- the Festival de Cannes (cinema, May);
- the Festival d'Avignon (theatre, July);
- the Festival des Vieilles Charrues (rock, July);
- the Francofolies (rock, July) and Rock en Seine (rock, end of August).
Other important cultural events include:
- The Fête de la musique which takes place on the 21 July in all French cities. Live street music.
- Paris Plage (which will run from 20 July to 19 August in 2012). A stretch of the "quai' by Chatelet is transformed into a beach with deckchairs, sand and many attractions.
- The European Heritage Days (journées européennes du Patrimoine) takes place in all French cities throughout the third weekend in September