Things to Do in May in and around Nice

May is a month of glamour on the French Riviera, with the world’s most prestigious film festival, the Cannes Film Festival overlapping with the the world’s most glamorous racing event, the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix!

fermeThe month starts with May Day on May 1st, which is Labor Day in France, meaning that almost everyone takes the day off!  It’s the one day a year when there are no buses or trams, and all the museums are closed.

In fact, May is chock full of French public holidays, where banks and post offices are closed, buses and trains are on a reduced holiday schedule, and taxis charge double (…but not Ubers.)

  • May 1               May Day/Labor Day (No buses, no museums)
  • May 8               V-E Day (WWII Victory in Europe)
  • May 5               Ascension
  • May 16/17       Pentecost/Whit Monday

Jean Dujardin at Cannes by Totally GoneCannes Film Festival  May 17-28, 2017 – Some Free

Inside tips on how to experience the Cannes Film Festival for the unaccredited, including how to see films without a badge and star-gazing strategies.


Pastor_Maldonado_2009_GP2_Monaco_Grand_PrixMonaco Grand Prix May 25-28, 2017 – Free day

Here’s a secret: The most glamorous and prestigious racing event in the world, the Monaco Grand Prix… has a free day!



Fete-des-Mai-NiceNice Folklore Festivals – Free

The 1st of May and then every Sunday in May, the free Nice Folklore Festival, Fete des Mais, takes over the Jardins de Cimiez.  This centuries-old festival  features traditional dancing, costumes, roving musicians, animations and folklore, plus local food and lots and lots of picnicking!


Museums by Moonlight: the Night of the Museums –  Free

Do the museums by moonlight with special tours, music and surprises…  and one of the few moments of the year when the museums of Nice are all free!


1 Max de BruitMax de Bruit Rock Fest, Theatre de Verdure, tickets 12€ in advance or 15€ at the door.

This super-fun fest is 100% tribute bands and the proceeds go 100% to charity.  For 2016, the first day is the classics, including Led Zep, Journey, Genesis and U2; and day two is dedicated to more hardcore rock legends like Aerosmith, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Black Sabbath and Kiss.

Crossover Festival – Electronic and Alternative Music Festival in Nice


See Related Pages:

  • What to do on Sundays in Nice – free afternoon concerts, free museum days, Catholic masses, special family Opera matinees, plus a Sunday night open-air drag show in the Old Town…
  • Nice by Nite – concerts, jazz clubs, salsa and tango venues, pub quiz nights, English-language theater and movie venues…

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