How to make the most out of Saturday’s Long Night of Museums in France

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This annual event takes place on the third Saturday in May each year in more than 30 European cities. There will be special events, treasure hunts, readings, concerts and, best news of all, almost everything is free. Heres The Locals guide to getting the most out of the night:

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Photo: AFP

1. Plan, plan, then throwaway the plan

Consult the online programme and map out your route. A little preparation will make the night much easier. You dont want to waste hours standing on some bridge arguing about which museum to visit next. And the site has suggestions for major cities, including Lyons, Dijon, Bourges, Strasbourg, Lille, Rouen, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Angers and Marseilles.

Then feel free to dump your carefully plotted plan in a bin when you overhear someone else talking about this extraordinary thing they have discovered and go with the flow.

2. Be patient

When you are consulting the official website, try not to scream, it is at best frustrating. You have to navigate a map rather than a traditional programme format and the map covers all of Europe. The translation is also done by an online translator, so prepare to sigh. It is actually much easier if you know the specific museums you are interested in visiting, as they have individual programmes of events. But half the fun of a night like this is visiting somewhere youve never been before.

3. Wear comfortable shoes and travel light

Wear shoes for the longhaul rather than the first impression. There will be distances to cover and you might even find yourself dancing in the middle of a museum. And blisters are never a good partner with great art. Leave your skateboard and shopping trolley at home, they will just prove a nuisance when you are going through endless security checks.

4. Come early – or late – to avoid endless queues

Arriving at the Louvre at 8pm is always going to mean a giant queue. And nothing ruins a night quicker than spending most of it standing in an unmoving line. Try to escape peak times at the major museums, plan to be somewhere small and quirky when all the world wants to see Mona Lisa.

5. Visit a museum youve never been to before

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