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.
August 1 -September 13
The bandstand of the Parc Floral botanical gardens in the Bois de Vincennes (12th, M° Chateau de Vincennes) hosts the Festival Classique au Vert classical music concerts by international musicians every Saturday and Sunday from 4pm-6pm (open stage for amateur musicians at 11am). Entry to the gardens €6. The gardens also have playgrounds, a butterfly house, photo exhibits, and gorgeous floral displays, of course!
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 August 10
The Clair de Lune open-air cinema festival takes place in a different location around Paris each night, with mostly French films like Petit Nicolas and La Môme, but also US films like Frantic with Harrison Ford and Ninotchka with Greta Garbo. Free entry, starts 9:30pm, some shows have chairs (reserved for the elderly and handicapped).
Through 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.
Through 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).
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!
Come celebrate the 71st anniversary of the Liberation of Paris on the esplanade of the Hôtel de Ville. At 5pm the event starts with a solemn military ceremony honoring those who fought to liberate the city after four long years of the Nazi Occupation, followed by an open-air projection of historic images from August 25, 1944. Then from 9pm there will be a Bal Populaire with the Petit Orchestre de Paris, free and open to the public. Come dance!
Sex & Booze: An Erotic Book Club at The Chamber, a private pop-up cocktail club, where Heather will be moderating a discussion about another controversial work of 18th-century French erotic literature, The Anti-Justine, by Nicolas-Edme Rétif. Special discount on Naughty Paris Guides for Chamber members. From 8pm, nibbles and fabulous cocktails to accompany the cock tales! Limited guest list, tickets €25 (members) or €45 (non-members; get €10 off with the discount code naughtyparis). Can’t make it? Check out the other Chamber events this summer.
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).
If you’re looking for an epic clubbing soirée to wrap up your summer, get your tickets for Underwater III, “The Light Bath”, a DJ dance party over tow evenings with massive “light painter” sound and light show set in a historic indoor swimming pool, Pailleron. The dress code is ALL WHITE. Tickets are €25.99 in advance, €70 for the private White Dinner gourmet dining experience in the VIP section.
This is the last weekend that the towers of Notre Dame Cathedral are open late, until 11pm. Then it’s back to the usual hours 10am-6:30pm (5:30pm starting October 1st) for the rest of the year.
Through August 29
After the rising heat in Paris drove locals into the parks to cool off, the city has decided to allow us more access around the clock. Four Parisian parks will be open 24 hours Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights: Buttes-Chaumont, Montsouris, Monceau, and André-Citroën. Read more about it here en français.
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!
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.
Through October 3
Don’t miss one of the most magical events of the summer, the Candlelit Evenings at the Château Vaux-le-Vicomte, just an hour south of Paris by RER and shuttle. Visit the family-owned palace and gardens that inspired Versailles by candlelight, including dinner in the gardens (or bring your own picnic or book a table for a gourmet meal starting at €59) and a fireworks finale. Every Saturday evening, entry €19.50.
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
September 19-20: Journées du Patrimoine
October 3: Nuit Blanche