Cannes film festival tops the springtime agenda, while pop music fans can enjoy the finale of the colourful Eurovision Song Contest.
St Martin's day is celebrated in the evening of 11 November in Flanders, parts of the Netherlands, and most areas of Germany and Austria.
As tourists snake their way to the Louvre Pyramid, or pack beneath, you may crave some relief in the nearby gardens of the Palais Royal, an arcaded haven of tranquillity, especially in the early hours of the morning. Expert Thirza Vallois offers a historical tour.
Ulrike Lueke-Rosendhal used to be a schoolteacher, but now it's the 63-year-old who acts the fool, not her pupils, touring Germany in a troupe of clowns made up of retirees.