What's On in Paris - March 2019

Note: Daylight savings in France takes place at 2am on March 31st. 

Through March 2
BORDALO II (aka BORDALO "Segundo"), one of the biggest names on the international street art scene, is back in Paris for a special show of 30 of his wild animal sculptures created from recycled plastic garbage to show the devastating effects of our trash on nature. "Accord de Paris" takes placein a 700m² exhibition space in the 13th arrondissement, hosted off-site by the Galerie Mathgoth, 10-12 avenue de France, 13th, M° Bibliothèque or Quai de la Gare). Free entry, Tuesday-Saturday 2-7pm. 

Through April 6
See Oscar Wilde's classic play, A Picture of Dorian Gray, is playing at the beautiful Théâtre Ranelagh (16th arrondissement) in French. But don't worry if you don't understand French, because Théâtre in Paris has partnered with the production to provide English subtitles (above the stage), a program in English, and a special welcome for all English-speaking guests. Tickets from €25. 

Through June 30
For something a bit lighter for the whole family, Théâtre in Paris is also featuring the new musical comedy, "The Tower of Monsieur Eiffel" (La Tour de 300 Metres in French), celebrating the 130th anniversary of the city's iconic monument. Catchy and fun, the play introduces a gallery of lively characters including Gustave Eiffel himself, his daughter Claire, the author Guy de Maupassant, Panama Canal architect Ferdinand de Lesseps, the International Herald Tribune editor James Gordon Bennett Jr, the workers who built the Tower, and the crazy neighbors who tried to block it (many of the actors play several of the roles). It's a great way to learn a bit more about the drama behind the construction of the Eiffel Tower and the man who dreamed it could be done. It's playing at the adorable Théâtre des Mathurins (near the Opéra Garnier in the 9th) with English surtitles (there's also a bit of Franglais in there), and a warm welcome from the Théâtre in Paris staff with your own English program and excellent seats. From €29.

March 3
Don't forget that most museums in Paris are free the first Sunday of the month in March! This includes: The Centre Pompidou, the Musée Picasso, the Musée d'Orsay, the Musée de l'Orangerie, Quai Branly, Musée Guimet, Musée Cluny, Musée Rodin, Musée Moreau, Villa Savoye (Corbusier), Cité de l'Architecture, the Arc de Triomphe, La Conciergerie, Sainte-Chapelle, Musée Delacroix, Musée des Arts et Métiers, Château de Versailles, Le Panthéon, La Manufacture des Gobelins, Musée Henner, Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature, the Basilique de Saint-Denis Sèvres Cité de la Céramique, Cité de l'Histoire et de l'Immigration, and Notre Dame Cathedral's Towers (but you'll still have to wait in long lines). 

March 3
Today is the 22nd annual Carnaval de Paris. "More street party than spectacular, this is the last true ‘traditional’ carnival run by locals. No big fancy floats, just a lot of people dressed up in crazy costumes, making a lot of noise and having a ball!" The freee event starts at Place Gambette (in the 20th near Père Lachaise Cemetery) at 2pm, and arrives at Place de la République at 5pm, with the party continuing until 8pm. Read about the 2017 edition here

March 6
Tickets for the 2019 French Open at Roland Garros (May 20 to June 90) go on sale today. Book ASAP to get yours, they always go fast! The stadium is being completely renovated for 2019, you can read more about that here.

March 8-9
Today Paris is celebrating International Day of the Fight for Women's Rights by shining a spotlight on the pioneering Parisian women who have made a real difference in their own lives, for the city of Paris, and for French society. "Together, we can do it!" is the rallying cry at the women's forum taking place Sunday the 9th in front of the Hôtel de Ville, 9am-6pm, open to everyone, free entry. Aside from round table discussions there will be stands from feminist and civil rights organizations.

March 15-18
Vivre Autrement is an ethical and organic trade show at the Parc Floral in the Bois de Vincennes. Stands cover food, wine, home, beauty, and travel. Entry €7, or you can download a free entry ticket in advance on the website. 

March 15-18
As you’ll know if you’ve been to Paris, this is a city that loves books. The Paris book fair, Livre Paris, is a major cultural event; this year there’ll be almost 3000 authors signing their books and speaking, and over 800 events and activities. Buy books, watch debates and see behind-the-scenes of the world of publishing. Entry is €8 in advance, or €10 on-site, at Porte de Versailles. There are also weekend passes with skip-the-line access.

March 15-24
The 98th annual Foire de Chatou gathers nearly 500 antique and second-hand dealers at île des Impressionnistes, 10 minutes from Paris. Expect high quality goods from vintage jewellery to industrial furniture, mid-century lighting to 18th century antiquities. Plus regional French foods, oysters and both a cocktail and a champagne bar! Entry €6 (free for under-15s); there’s a free shuttle bus from RER station Rueil-Malmaison. Open 10am-7pm.

March 15-April 8
Street art fans shouldn't miss the latest exposition by the world-famous Galerie Itinerrance: Walking Down the Boulevard, featuring the giant murals along the 13th arrondissement's Boulevard Vincent Auriol by INTI, MAYE, SETH, HOWNOSM, D*FACE, DALEAST, and others. See many of their artworks here. The vernissage is on the 15th from 6-9pm (expect a crowd in advance).

March 16
Join the International March of the Century for Climate Justice, taking place in Paris, 2pm at the Place de l'Opéra and finishing at the Place de la République at 5pm with speeches and live music. Check out the event's FB page for the other events taking place on the day around Paris (info in French).  

March 17
Today is the SOS Helpline's Spring Donated Booksale. A great event to pick up used books in English and home baked goods, all for a good cause! This spring it's 12pm to 4pm at the American Cathedral of the Holy Trinity (23 avenue George V, 8th). Books can be dropped off on the 16th or the 17th. 

March 17 & 25
Run for a good cause! This month in Paris there are no less than three races with proceeds going to charitable causes: 1) On March 17th is the Course de La Jonquille (Daffodil Race) is a 5k and 10k run or 3.5k walk in support of the Cancer Research at the Curie Institute. If you'd like to participate, the cost is €15 and you'll need a medical certificate (see more info here). They also need volunteers to help out, or "bénévols". If you're not sporty or in Paris that day, you can buy these cute daffodil accessories to support the cause. 2) On March 31st is the Soli'Run, a 5k or 10k run, 1-2km for kids, or 4k walk for Habitat for Humanity in France (housing for those in need) in the Bois de Boulogne, €7-€20, registration possible the day of the race if places are available, medical certificate necessary for the runs. 3) Also on March 31st, dog lovers can run with their pooch in the Wamiz Run in support of the Guide Dog Associaltion of Paris, in the Bois de Vincennes. There is a 6k run and a 4k walk. If registration is closed, you can still check out the "Village", free to all, with agility demonstrations, food stands and all sorts of services and products to spoil your dog.

March 21-23
Paris celebrates its wonderful trees (and those who take care of them) for the annual Fête de l'Arbre, taking place in gardens, parks and forests in and around Paris. The main info event is on the square (Le Parvis) in front of the Hôtel de Ville (4th), from 10am-6pm, where you can find info on the visits, expos, workshops and plantings taking place around town. You'll meet the arborists who shape trees into perfect squares (like you see in the Jardins du Palais Royal) or who scale century-old trees in Parc de Bercy to remove dead branches, learn about the latest greening projects of the city, and of course tour the many ancient trees (Jardin des Plantes has several over 200 years old!) You can even participate in a planting of seedlings on the Pélous de Reuilly (sign up here, in French).

March 24
To celebrate the arrival of spring, the Mairie de Paris is hosting a Fête des Berges on the pedestrian-only Right Bank quays of the Seine at the foot of City Hall (M° Hôtel de Ville). There will be a plant sale (from €1), free seeds for everyone participating in the "greening of Paris" (balconies, planters and base of trees), workshops on building birdhouses and other garden tips, as well as live music, food stands, climbing walls, picnic tables, etc. The plant sale is 10am-3pm, the festival 11am-6pm. Free entry. 

March 30
Live in Paris? Learn basic first aid (and how to call emergency services en français) today in the City of Paris's 4th annual workshops "Paris Qui Sauve". They take place in town halls in each of the 20 arrondissements, simply sign up for your free spot on the website (in French only):

March 31
Today is the 11th annual Carnaval des Femmes, or more specifically, the Carnaval des Femmes Fête des Reines des Blanchisseuses de la Mi-Carême (Women's Carnival Celebration of the Queens of the Laundresses of Mid-Lent), a real "people's parade" organized in the same fun spirit a the Carnaval de Paris on March 3rd, but with a call to come dressed up: "Women as Queens, and Men as Women...if they Dare!" The parade will gather at Place du Châtelet starting at 1pm, and the processions starts at 3pm for a grand circle through the Marais, and finishing back at Châtelet at 6pm. 

Plan Ahead for April Events

April 4-7: Art Paris 2019

April 27-May 8: Foire de Paris

Other Paris Calendar Links

▪       For French Theatre with English surtitles: Theatre in Paris 

▪       For general events around Paris (including sports): Que Faire à Paris?

▪       For mainstream events visit the Paris Office of Tourism


What's On in Paris - February 2019

February 1-3
Ready to explore the hidden side of Paris? This weekend is the annual Paris Face Caché with visits under three categories: "L'Inédit", "L'Interdit", and "Artistiques". Some are free, some are paid (€9-€15), reserve your spots rom January 14th, it fills up fast! See the full program here.

Through February 3
After having hung hundreds of white spheres in a New York City park, the Austrian artist Erwin Redl has unveiled his latest work, "Light Matters" at the Fondation EDF, a labyrinth on two floors composed of thousands of LED lights oscillating between red and blue as you walk past them, detecting your body movements. Free entry, 6 rue Recamier, 6th, M° Sèvres-Babylone, open Tues-Sun noon-7pm.

February 4-16
The 12th edition of the Festival au Fil des Voix features some of the best World Music singers from all over the world. "The festival Au Fil des Voix aims to defend musical diversity by offering more than just a concert: on stage, there are new encounters, sometimes daring, natural or unforeseen; transcultural dialogues, reflections of the artistic wealth of the world." This year there will be 12 exceptional concerts: the opening night at La Cigale, evenings at the Bal Blomet, the Studio de l’Ermitage, L’Alhambra and the closing night at the Trianon. Tickets €15-45, multi-concert passes available in the French version of the site only.

February 5th
French labor unions have called for a 24-hour nationwide strike on Tuesday February 5th. In Paris, expect transport disruptions and possibly closed tourist sights (check Twitter accounts for latest news from the Louvre, Eiffel Tower, etc). A march will take place from Hôtel de Ville to Place de la Concorde at 2pm. 

February 5-17
The Chinese New Year celebrates the Year of the Dog on February 16th with several events around Paris all weeklong, including the big Chinese New Year Parade in the 13th arrondissement (the largest Chinatown district in France) on February 25th starting on Avenue d'Ivry. There are also events in the 3rd arrondisselent and Belleville district. See the full schedule here

February 6 & 13
SOS Help, the confidential English listening line in Paris, needs volunteers for the coming season. If you're interested, you only need to attend one of the information sessions in February, 7pm at the American Church of Paris (65 Quai d'Orsay, 7th). Potential listeners should live in the Paris area and be available for 15 months. The first training session is all day on Saturday 9th March and is mandatory for Listeners. The following evening sessions are 25th March, 16th April, 16th May and 3rd June. For more info visit their website.

Starting February 7
Tickets go on sale today for Solidays (June 21-23, 2019), a huge music festival to raise awareness of the continued fight against AIDS/HIV. You can buy 3-day passes for only €39: but act fast, because once these run out, they go up in increments of 10 up until €89. 

February 8-10
If you live in Paris and can't stop yourself from buying houseplants (either because you're creating your own urban jungle chez vous or because you keep killing the ones you already have), Plantes pour Tous is for you! They have Grandes Ventes de Plantes one weekend each month in towns all over France where houseplants (including succulents and cacti) are sold for €2, €5 and €10. They also sell large houseplants for €15-€50, the largest which you can pre-order online to pick up at the sale. As there is always a huge number of people, get there the first day if possible and be patient if there's a long line, it's worth it! This weekend's Paris sale is at the Atelier Basfroi (11th) from noon-7pm. 

February 8-9
Sinfonietta presents 
two enchanting evenings of chamber music by Ludwig von Beethoven (Trios Op 70 N° 1 and 2), featuring the Trio Zadig: Boris Borgolotto, violin; Marc Girard-Garcia, violoncello; Ian Barber, piano. "Our Cocktails and Conversations create a blend of culture and privileged conversations, chamber music and excellent wine, offering a unique experience to our guests." The February 8th concert will be in a charming private residence in the 14th arrondissement, and Saturday, February 9th will be at Reid Hall - Columbia Global Center (6th). Tickets €25, reserve your places online.

February 15
Want to watch French films (but with English subtitles)? Lost in Frenchlation is holding their V-Day comedy night with an English stand-up comedian followed by a screening of "Premières Vacances" with translated subtitles at Club L'Etoile (17th). The bar opens at 6:30pm, comedy show from 7:30pm, and the film at 8pm. Tickets €15, reserve your space online here

Through February 19
The annual winter sales, aka Les Soldes. Honestly, the rules about when and how sales can take place in France have essentially made the sales irrelevant. There are sales all of the time now (often called "promotion" or "7 Jours BHV" or something like that), and websites and shops that do "ventes privées" which are open to anyone. But if you like standing in long lines and wrestling for that one pair of shoes in your size, you've got five weeks to enjoy the chaos.

February 21
"A Celebration of Khalil Gibran" is a special cultural event in partnership with the Embassy of Lebanon and The American Cathedral in Paris around the Paris book release of Paul-Gordon Chandler’s new book on the Lebanese born poet-artist Khalil Gibran titled IN SEARCH OF A PROPHET: A Spiritual Journey with Kahlil GibranChandler will take the listener on a fascinating journey through all-embracing nature of Khalil Gibran, the early 20th century Arab American poet-artist, best known as the author of The Prophet. There will also be special musical performances with lyrics of Gibran’s poetry. The program will be followed by a reception and book-signing. Free event, but because of limited space you need to reserve your tickets here.

Starting February 22
The immensely popular Atelier des Lumières is reopening from February 22nd with three new immersive exhibits: "Van Gogh: Starry Night", "Dreamed Japan: Images of the Floating World", and "Verse", a "hypnotic and metaphysical journey" in the Atelier des Lumière's Studio. Tickets are already on sale, and they tend to sell out quickly (they're sold for specific dates and times to reduce bottlenecks), €14.50 for regular tickets and discounts for students, families and seniors.  

Starting February 23
Escape the crowds by skipping Versailles on your next trip and heading up to the magnificent Château de Chantilly instead for the reopening of the newly-restored Private Apartments of the Duke and Dutchess d'Aumale (the last of the Bourbon-Condé line of French princes). Created in the 16th-century Renaissance wing of the château, these apartments installed in 1845 are the only fully-intact example of interior decor from the July Monarchy. There are three tours each day (in English at 11:30am), for €5 (in addition to the entrance ticket),

Through March 2
BORDALO II (aka BORDALO "Segundo"), one of the biggest names on the international street art scene, is back in Paris for a special show of 30 of his wild animal sculptures created from recycled plastic garbage to show the devastating effects of our trash on nature. "Accord de Paris" takes placein a 700m² exhibition space in the 13th arrondissement, hosted off-site by the Galerie Mathgoth, 10-12 avenue de France, 13th, M° Bibliothèque or Quai de la Gare). Free entry, Tuesday-Saturday 2-7pm. 

Plan Ahead for March Events

March 3: Carnaval de Paris
March 6: 2019 Roland Garros Tickets on Sale
March 17: SOS Helpline's Spring Donated Booksale 
March 31: Carnaval des Femmes

Other Paris Calendar Links

▪       For French Theatre with English surtitles: Theatre in Paris 

▪       For general events around Paris (including sports): Que Faire à Paris?

▪       For mainstream events visit the Paris Office of Tourism