How to discover the cultural scene in France


Moving to a new place and learning about the culture goes beyond adapting to customs and traditions. The art scene (music, art, literature, and cinematography) is also a big part of discovering a new country.

What are the best ways to learn about the cultural scene in France, and how important are the arts in the country?

Did you do a lot of research prior to moving, or was it easy to explore the art scene after your move?

How would you explain the art scene in France? What is the most salient art form in the country, that you would recommend for future expats to explore in order to adapt and integrate faster: literature, cinematography, music, etc.?

Which art form and artist most represent the country's culture, and why?

Are there certain activities or places such as art centres that would help to explore the culture in France?

Thank you for sharing your experience,


Considering the amount of cultural activity and information concerning it available in France this question surprises me. It is easy to answer. Just go to the tourist office! Buy weekly magazines like the Gazette of Montpellier and Nimes. Keep your eyes open for posters and those innumerable free little magazines that offer programs. They are available not only in the tourist offices but also in the tabacs, epiceries, etc. The strong population of cultivated people in France love good music and show up with great appreciation and applause for every quality concert. Art openings are packed and museums are frequented. Street festivals are fun and lively. One of the best aspects of France is the vigorous cultural life, so simply get out and enjoy it!

I, too, wonder about this question -- finding out what's going on culturally in France is incredibly easy!  Posters, flyers, brochures, announcements, etc. abound!  In Paris I pretty much just pay attention to the posters in the metro.  Outside of Paris (and I live in central France), I just pick up flyers in all the public spaces (tabacs, presse, cafes, bibliotheque, tourist office, etc.).  Plus all destination spots (e.g., museums, chateaux, etc.) have brochure racks.

I have a table full! The flyers fly around. Then create big loads for the recycling bin (please recycle!) I think these questions are suggested by the main management of, which is international, (i recently contacted one in Bosnia!), and relayed to the various monitors.

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