Paris has a full menu of events for summer, from the Open Air Cinema at Parc de la Villette through August 22, to scattered brocante fairs for treasure hunters seeking antique Christofle silver and oil paintings. On the first Sunday of each month the national museums are free and every Sunday bicycle riders can freely experience riding by the Seine in a car-free zone.
Our top events for the summer include:
This great race ends on July 21, and what better place to have the finish line than on the Champs- Élysées in Paris. In its last stage, le tour will begin in the Paris suburb of Creteil and make its grand finale down le Champs-Élysées late Sunday afternoon. Even if you have not been following the race on TV, this will be an event well worth seeing as hundreds of cyclists coast through the streets in trophy anticipation. Read our article about the cross-country race here and head to the grand avenue around 4:00pm to catch a glimpse of the best cyclists in the world.
Address: Enter Paris limits at Pont de Grenelle and finish on Avenue des Champs-Élysées
Métro: Concorde, FDR, Georges V, Charles de Gaulle-Étoile, or Champs Élysées-Clemenceau
Hours: Enter Paris limits approximately 3:45pm, arrive Champs-Élysées approximately 4:00pm
2. Paris Plage
Parisians wear bathing suits, children play in sandboxes, and adults read steamy novels while relaxing on lawn chairs on a sandy beach. No, this is not in Normandy, but on the Seine just across from the Île-de-la-Cité. Paris Plage brings the beach to Paris on the Seine River, making a great venue to relax and let the children play on a “beach” just a skip away from the Louvre and Notre Dame. From July 20-August 18, the beaches of the Seine in Paris are the place to be. The entrance to Paris Plage is free, though there are some fees for renting lawn chairs. Open everyday from morning until midnight, this is a great way to experience the city like ordinary Parisians do. The mornings are best because once the sun hits its peak, the beach is full of people vying for the rays.
The 3 areas that Paris Plage spans are from the Louvre Museum to Pont de Sully (3km) which includes a swimming pool, concert stage, and open-air attractions (rollerblading, tai-chi, wall climbing, boules etc.). The next segment is at Port de la Gare at the foot of the François Mitterrand National Library in the 13th arrondissement up to the Joséphine Baker Piscine. This beach has newspapers readily available, books on loan, a café with Wi-Fi, and art classes (drawing, painting, writing, etc). And Bassin de la Villette, in the 19th, is the last addition to la plage. It stretches from the Rotonde de Ledoux (the nearest metro is Jaurès) to the former Magasins Généraux (on Rue de Crimée) and includes a water-sports complex (with rowing boats, kayaks, and pedal boats) with restaurants and boules courts running along the edges. Check out the website for daily events!
Address: Louvre – Pont de Sully, Port de la Gare – Joséphine Baker Piscine, and Bassin de la Villette – Rue de Crimée
Métro: Access Louvre: Louvre-Rivoli, Pont-Neuf, Châtelet, Hôtel-de-Ville, Saint-Paul, Pont-Marie and Sully-Morland & Access Bassin de la Villette: Jaurès, Crimée, Laumière
Hours: Everyday, 8:00am – Midnight
This annual event takes place in Parc de la Villette where moviegoers can enjoy the big screen while sitting under the stars. From July 24 to August 22, movies run everyday except Mondays, beginning at nightfall. Celebrating its 23d year, it is featuring films by Stanley Kubrick (the Killing), Francis Ford Coppola (Tetro), Steven Soderbergh (Ocean’s Eleven) and other international and French filmmakers as well (bien sur!) The absolute best thing about this is that it is FREE, so grab your blankets, a bottle of wine, some snacks, and make your way to the park for a warm night at the cinema!
Address: Parc de la Villette 75019
Métro: Porte de Pantin or Porte de la Villette
Tél: 01 40 03 75 75
Hours: Everyday except Monday
If you have wandered near the Louvre or Jardin des Tuileries lately, you will notice an exciting addition on the rue du Rivoli wing, and a rather large one at that! La Fête Foraine is the temporary summer carnival implanted by le mairie of Paris for those looking for an entertaining night out with the kids. With over 60 attractions, this fête includes a Ferris wheel, climbing wall, trampolines, merry-go-rounds, games, and sweets like cotton candy, crêpes, gaufres (waffles), beignets, churros (one of the only times you will find these on the streets of Paris!), guimauves (marshmallows), and more. It is free to go walk through all the attractions, but costs about 2-3€ for each ride. This exciting family event, or even a fun evening for a romantic couple, will be up until August 19!
Address: Jardin des Tuileries 75001
Métro: Concorde or Tuileries
Tél: 06 63 70 28 22
Hours: 11:00am – 11:45pm Sunday – Thursday, 11:00am-12:45am Fridays & Saturdays
For four weeks during the summer, until August 11, the streets of Paris, especially in the Latin Quarter, are transformed into huge, artistic performing areas. With most local Parisians away on vacation, visitors get to reap the benefits of these talented expressions ranging from jazz and classical concerts, operas, films, dance, theater, to various acrobatic and circus performances. Ending on August 15, some spectacle highlights include dance performances in the gardens of the Palais Royal, classical ensembles in the gazebo in the Luxembourg Gardens, musical interpretations around the Palais de Tokyo, theater in the Forum des Halles, and acrobatics in the Théâtre de la Cité Internationale. Most of the events are free, but it always best to check the website to make sure and to see their daily or monthly calendar of events.
Address: Various locations throughout the city
The summer annual rock festival has once again provided great entertainment to wrap up a vibrant Parisian summer. The weekend of August 24-26, come out to Parc de Saint Cloud to hear this summer’s hottest bands. The crowds reach over 20,000 with many people camping out for all 3 days, with other activities available if you need a break from the concerts, including an area for kids. Buy tickets now before they sell out. This year the event features a number of hip bands, including Tame Impala, Nine Inch Nails, Phoenix, and System of a Down .
Address: Domaine National de Saint-Cloud au Centre des Monuments Nationaux
Métro: Boulogne – Pont de Saint-Cloud
Tél: 01 41 12 02 90
Hours: Friday and Saturday: Doors open at 14h, shows begin at 15h – Midnight, Sunday: Doors open at 13h, shows begin at 14h – 23h30