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FESTIVALS, HOLIDAYS AND OTHER ANNUAL EVENTS IN Biarritz

There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in Biarritz each year. The main ones are listed below.

January 1: New Year's Day (national holiday)

May 1: Labour Day (national holiday)

On the first of May, it is customary to offer a sprig of lily-of-the-valley to close friends, family members or neighbours. On this day, anyone in France can sell lily-of-the valley sprigs on the street without needing a licence, provided the flowers have been picked wild or homegrown. Unsurprisingly, sellers can be found on almost every corner!

Mid-May: Festival des Arts de la Rue (local event)

For three days in May, performance artists working in a range of disciplines – theatre, dance, mime, movement, acrobatics, clowning – take to the streets for this festival, which celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2015.

Mid-June: Les Casetas (local event)

This huge, intergenerational five-day celebration announces the arrival of summer, with various bodegas and restaurants along the Basque coast welcoming thousands of visitors from noon until late at night. Street artists and musicians enliven the festivities.

June 21: Fête de la Musique (celebrated nationwide)

Also celebrated internationally as World Music Day, for this festival many free concerts featuring all types of music are held in the streets and at various venues around Biarritz.

July–August: Les Scènes Estivales (local event)

For two months every summer, Biarritz organizes this festival at several outdoor stages around the city, offering a number of concerts each week, all free and open to the public, with entertainment ranging from blues, jazz and pop to salsa and Basque choirs.

July 14: Bastille Day (national holiday)

This holiday celebrates both the storming of the Bastille prison in 1789, the key event marking the beginning of the French Revolution, which would culminate in the collapse of the absolute monarchy, and the end of the privileges enjoyed by the clergy and the aristocracy. In Biarritz, to commemorate the event in style, a spectacular fireworks display is set off from the Grande Plage, the city's main beach along the Atlantic Ocean.

August 15: Assumption Day (national holiday)

This celebration, still very popular in Biarritz, is marked by the faithful with a religious procession through the streets, among other observances. The second major fireworks display of the summer is held in the evening, set off from the Rocher du Basta and the Grande Plage.

Third weekend in September: European Heritage Days (celebrated nationwide)

The aim of the European Heritage Days is to open up numerous sites and monuments, many of which are normally closed to the public. A great opportunity for a lovely stroll through the city to admire architectural treasures kept under wraps the rest of the year.

November 7–15: Fêtes de la Saint-Martin (local event)

In tribute to the city's patron saint, these festivities, always full of local colour and charm, draw thousands of visitors each year. Highlights include gastronomic competitions, sports tournaments and a special mass in honour of Saint Martin.

December 25: Christmas (national holiday)

During the Christmas season, Biarritz is the backdrop for a magical two-week festival of lights. As night falls, visitors are treated to an enchanting spectacle of innovative and exceptional lighting installations created by celebrated artists in this field, revealing the city's architectural treasures in a new guise each year.

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CLIMATE AND WEATHER IN Biarritz

Biarritz has an oceanic climate, with mild winters and very warm summers, tempered by ocean breezes. The average temperature in the winter is 8°C (46°F), considerably higher than the national average for France, while in summer it reaches 20°C (68°F). The weather can turn stormy occasionally throughout the year. Although these storms can be very violent, they are generally short-lived.

Month Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Average Rains (MM) Best Time to Travel
January 5/41 12/54 143/5.6 Not the best period to go
February 5/41 13/55 123/4.8 Not the best period to go
March 7/45 15/59 122/4.8 Not the best period to go
April 8/46 16/61 133/5.2 Not the best period to go
May 12/54 20/68 121/4.8 Good period to go Good period to go
June 15/59 22/72 91/3.6 Good period to go Good period to go
July 17/63 24/75 65/2.6 Good period to go Good period to go
August 17/63 25/77 102/4.0 Good period to go Good period to go
September 15/59 23/73 125/4.9 Good period to go Good period to go
October 12/54 20/68 136/5.4 Not the best period to go
November 8/46 15/59 174/6.9 Not the best period to go
December 6/43 12/54 149/5.9 Not the best period to go
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Biarritz Pays Basque Airport

Biarritz Pays Basque Airport is located about 4 kilometres (2.5 miles) south-east of the city centre.

  • One terminal for both international and domestic flights

Getting from the airport to Biarritz and back
  • By car
    • Accessible via the D810. Travel time is 5 minutes from central Biarritz, and 10 minutes from Bayonne.
    • There are four parking facilities, all offering free parking for the first 15 minutes:
      • P3 Courte Durée (pick-up and drop-off), EUR 1.40 for 20 minutes, EUR 3.20 for 1 hour
      • P0 Proximité (short stay with direct access to the terminal), EUR 19.00 for 36 hours
      • P8 Eco Proximité (short stay), EUR 18.00 for 36 hours
      • P2 Economique (long stay), EUR 17.00 for 36 hours
    • Several car rental companies have counters in the arrivals hall.
  • By bus
    • Chronoplus line C connects the airport with Biarritz La Négresse train station. Travel time is about 7 minutes. A ticket valid on all public transport costs EUR 1 for 1 hour and EUR 2 for 24 hours.
    • Chronoplus line 10 connects Biarritz La Négresse train station with the beach at Anglet.
    • Chronoplus line 14 connects the airport with the Bayonne train station. Travel time is about 30 minutes. A ticket valid on all public transport costs EUR 1 for 1 hour and EUR 2 for 24 hours.
    • Express bus 816 operated by ATCRB and Transports64 connects the airport with Saint-Jean-de-Luz (travel time of about 20 minutes) and Hendaye (travel time of about 60 minutes), with service every 30 to 60 minutes. The fare is EUR 2 each way.
  • By taxi
    • Taxis are available at the ranks just outside the airport.
  • Navette
    • Navettes ATCRB n° 876 : Aéroport – Hendaye ou Saint-Jean de Luz.
  • Services : shops, bars and restaurants and free Internet access (Wi-Fi) available in the airport.
  • Telephone : +33 (0)5 59 43 83 83
  • Website : http://www.biarritz.aeroport.fr

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GETTING AROUND Biarritz

Buses or rental cars are the best options for getting around the city. And to enjoy the scenic views along the Basque coast, you will want to rent a bicycle!

By car and motorcycle

Cars and motorcycles are ideal for getting around Biarritz. The city has seven municipal parking lots.

By bus

The network of buses operating throughout Biarritz is very practical for tourists. From May to September, 2-hour guided bus tours of Biarritz, Anglet and Bayonne are offered.
In addition, several free shuttle services are offered in Biarritz:

  • City Centre shuttle
    • June 28–August 30 (7 days a week)
    • Shuttles run every 15 minutes from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • Saint-Charles/Milady shuttle (connects the city centre with the beaches from July 13 to August 30)
    • June 28–August 30 (7 days a week)
    • Shuttles run every 25 minutes from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • Navette Côte des Basques
    • June 28–August 30 (7 days a week)
    • Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, September 5–27
    • Shuttles run every 15 minutes from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

By bicycle

Bicycles are also an excellent choice for exploring Biarritz. Several bike rental shops are dotted around the city. For those with a bit less stamina, it is even possible to rent electric bicycles!

On foot

As Biarritz does not cover a very large area, it is also delightful to discover on foot.

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Visitor information

Upon your arrival in Biarritz, you can get in touch with local tourism professionals for further information and to help organize your stay.

Biarritz Tourist Office

Offers practical information and many useful recommendations (accommodation, restaurants, public transport, festivals, cultural events, etc.).

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Currency and Exchange Rates

The currency used in France is the Euro (€).

SGD 1 = € 0,66

€ 1 = SGD 1,52

The above exchange rate is given for information because is variable.

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Medical information

Vaccinations

There are no vaccination requirements for visitors to France.

For more information, contact Air France's international vaccination centre:

Food safety

There are no specific food safety risks. French government authorities promote good hygiene practices and put in place strengthened control procedures for sites especially frequented by tourists during the summer months.

Water

Tap water is safe to drink in Biarritz.

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Administrative formalities

As a general rule, a visa is required to enter France. Foreign nationals in the two categories listed below are not required to carry a visa for stays of 90 days or less:

  • Citizens of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or the Swiss Confederation
  • Citizens or nationals of the following countries: Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominica, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Holy See (Vatican City), Honduras, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Timor-Leste, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela
      For stays of more than 90 days, a long-stay visa is required.

Travellers from all other countries must be in possession of a visa, regardless of the length of their stay. Visa applications must be submitted to the nearest French Embassy or French Consulate in the country of permanent residence well in advance of departure.

For further information, visit the website of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs:
http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/coming-to-france/getting-a-visa/

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Essential phrases

Here are a few basic French phrases that will make your stay in Biarritz a little easier:

Hello / Good morning / Good afternoon: Bonjour

Good evening: Bonsoir

Good-bye: Au revoir

Yes: Oui

No: Non

No, thank you: Non, merci

Thank you very much: Merci beaucoup

I don't understand: Je ne comprends pas

Could you repeat that: Pouvez-vous répéter ?

Please: S'il vous plaît

What time is it: Quelle heure est-il ?

Excuse me: Excusez-moi

Airport: Aéroport

Train station: Gare

Taxi: Taxi

Hotel: Hôtel

Hospital: Hôpital

Bank: Banque

Telephone: Téléphone

I'm (…): Je suis (…)

I'm looking for (…): Je recherche (…)

How much is (…): Quel est le prix de (…) ?

Do you have (…): Avez-vous (…) ?

Where can I find (…): Où puis-je trouver (…) ?

Where can I buy (…): Où puis-je acheter (…) ?

I'd like (…): Je voudrais (…)

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Good to know

00 33
+ phone number without the 0 (calls to Biarritz)
-6 : 00
of time difference with
Singapore
Start of daylight saving time: last Sunday in March
End of daylight saving time: last Sunday in October

BANKS

Usually open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
GOVERNMENT OFFICES

Usually open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
230 V / 50 Hz

And what about tipping?
In Biarritz like elsewhere in France, a service charge is always included in the bill. If you are particularly pleased with the service, you may certainly leave a few extra euros on the table. But this additional tip is neither expected nor necessary.