Outdoor & Sporting Events
Summer Festivals (en français)
The weekly metro magazine A Nous Paris has the entire French summer festival calendar online, with the best art, music and film festivals throughout France to download, in French only: Festivals on A Nous Paris
Summer on Les Berges du Seine
There's always something going on at Les Berges, the Left Bank pedestrian walkway along the Seine from the Musée d'Orsay to the Musée Quai Branly (7th), including concerts, art installations, workshops, kids events, ping pong, sports activities (zumba, yoga, climbing), etc. Check it out online here.
See some world class horses at the Paris Eiffel Jumping event this weekend, featuring the 40 best riders attempting to make it over the obstacles on the Champ de Mars course. The best part is that it's 100% free and open to the public.
Paris treasure hunt: both French and international visitors are invited to discover the "Paris of the Parisians". This unusual way to explore the capital city will lead contestants down untrodden paths and through secret passages. Roadbooks will be available in French and English. Many prizes to win! This event is free.
"Liberty, Equality, Fraternity!" Nothing says Bastille Day like fireworks by the Eiffel Tower. Come celebrate the French Republic with a picnic on the Champ de Mars. NOTE: No glass bottles allowed, there will be police checking. Click here to see all of the Bastille Day events.
July 20 - August 16/23
Paris Plages: sand, beach trees, volley balls and bikinis -- on the Seine! Along the Right Bank quays and Hôtel de Ville until August 16th, at the Bassin de la Villette until August 23rd. This year's edition of the Paris Plages will feature many fun activities. Free entry, 9am-midnight. The 2015 schedule will be up here on opening day.
July 22-August 23
The annual Open-Air Cinema Festival takes place Wed-Sun nights at the Parc de la Villette's Triangle Prairie (M° Porte de Pantin), starting at sunset (around 10pm), free entry (deck chair rentals from 7:30pm). This year's haunting and spooky and horrific theme is "Home Cinema" (all films can be downloaded to watch at home from the website), including: Last Days, Beetlejuice, shutter Island, The Shining, Moulin Rouge, the Ghost Writer, and many French and international films (all in VO with French subtitles).
Since 1975, the finish line for the Tour de France has been at the Arc de Triomphe on the Champs Elysées. Join the crowd of Parisians and tourists alike to see the winner of the race. Expected arrival time: 5:30pm.
Through July 27
The 21st annual Paris Jazz Festival: come enjoy traditional Parisian and international jazz music in the Bois de Vincennes's Parc Floral. Entrance to the park is 6 €.
Through August 23
The 30th annual Fête des Tuileries funfair with carnival rides at Tuileries Gardens starts today, free entry, rides with individual tickets. Plenty of food stands, too!
Through October 3
Looking for an alternative to Paris Plage? Glazart (near Parc de la Villette in the 19th) has it's own version, La Plage (the Beach), with free live music, techno parties, a huge sand "beach" with terrace, cocktail bar, food trucks, food trucks, and even pétanque. See the entire schedule of concerts here.
Exhibits & Cultural Events
Through July 8
Quai 36 (platform 36) at the Gare du Nord is being decorated by 16 street artists for 45 days of the Art Residence, on-site from 10am-4pm each day until June 11, then you can see their handiwork throughout the station until July 8.
Through July 12
The oldest house in Montmartre, where Renoir once lived and worked, is now the Musée Montmartre, and its Renoir Gardens are a peaceful retreat from the tourist crowds. The Fête de Montmartre takes place here every Sunday in summer (except June 7th) from 1-6pm. There will be live music, Cancan shows, caricaturists, magicians and fortune tellers, games for kids, and the garden tearoom for snacks. Tickets are €13 (€7 for kids 2-12), including entrance to the museum and gardens.
Through August 1
Nostalgic for the soulful songs of the legendary Parisian chanteuse Edith Piaf? Book a tabe now at sexy cabaret singer Caroline Nin's "Hymne à Piaf", a show using English storytelling and songs en français to remember one of the greatest French singers of all time. Shows are in English Friday and Saturday at 7:30pm. Shows take place at the intimate Essaïon Theatre (6 rue Pierre au Lard, in the Marais, 4th). Tickets are €25-30. Secrets of Paris readers get an exclusive deal of one free ticket for every ticket booked. To benefit from this great offer, just email:email@example.com and say you are from Secrets of Paris. You can also phone the English box office number in Paris on 09 50 13 61 00.
The night before Bastille Day is the traditional Bal des Pompiers, or Fireman's Ball, when fire stations in Paris is open to the public for live and DJ music, dancing, drinking, and generally having a grand old time for a good cause: you may meet a fireman or two around town selling raffle tickets for the balls, with proceeds going to charity. Some stations are also having a ball on the 14th, so two nights in a row if you're not out watching the fireworks. Find the list of stations throwing parties in Paris and the surrounding areas here. Check out the videos online to get an idea of the atmosphere after 2am!
** Find all of the official Bastille Day events here ***
Flea Markets & Shopping
Through August 4
Les Soldes! The annual summer sales take place this year for five weeks throughout France, primarily in clothing stores, but pretty much everything is on sale now.
Through September 30
Meet the artists of Belleville at the Belvédère aux Artistes, every Saturday and Sunday at the Parc de Belleville (on the esplanade overlooking the Maison de l'Air, Rue de Piat), 2-8pm. Fifteen local artists and artisans -- painters, clothing designers, jewelry makers, furniture makers, etc -- will create, display, and sell their works direct to the public. Free entry, and the view over Paris is amazing!
Upcoming Paris Events (mark your calendars!)
The annual Rock-en-Seine Festival is one of the best music festivals of the year, taking place in a leafy park of St-Cloud, right on the outskirts of Paris (which means you can get there on the metro). This year's headliners are The Chemical Brothers, The Libertines, FFS (Franz Ferdinand and Sparks), Kasabian, The Offspring, Hot Chip, and tons of others on four stages. The €119 three-day passes (the best deal) sell out quickly, get yours as soon as possible, especially if you want to snag one of the camping spots on-site (tent included!) Also, if you happen to have small tots with you there's a separate play area for them so the adults can go have fun without babysitting (or feeling guilty).
Other Paris Calendar Links
- For general events around Paris: Que Faire à Paris?
- For literary events, readings, and classes: Monthly Paris Listing
- For indie/alternative music concerts see Gigs in Paris
- For art exhibitions in galleries and museum see Slash Paris
- For mainstream events visit the Paris Office of Tourism
- For naughty events, see the Naughty Paris Guide