Today is both Ascension (Catholic holiday) and V-Day (war memorial), so a few places will be closed (smaller shops, bistros and municipal museums), but generally national museums and bigger shops and restaurants will be open as usual.
Every year, the Jardin du Lexembourg hosts a ceremony Les Echos de la Memoire, commemorating the abolition to slavery in France’s colonies, and wooden barrels with signs detailing the history of the movement are spread throughout the gardens along the Boulevard St-Michel entrance.
Through May 12
The 109th annual Foire de Paris presents food, wine, home decor, beauty, woulrl cultures, live concerts, food and more food! Entry €12 (€18 for a two-day pass), kids under 6 free, at the Porte de Versailles Paris Expo Halls 1 through 7. Don’t miss the Concours Lépine (the latest award-winning inventions). Open daily 10am-7pm, Friday the 10th until 11pm.
Through May 12
The Dimanches du Galop, every Sunday at the Longchamp and Auteuil Hippodromes (in the Bois de Boulogne, 16th), feature more than just horse races (flatracing at Longchamp, jumping at Auteuil), they also have themed equestrian shows at Longchamp (such as Three Musketeers), activities and poney rides for kids, and dressage demos. And it’s FREE! Just pack your picnic (check the weather), and head on over for a day “at the races”. No fancy hats required. 😉
The Night of Museums: for one night only, many of Paris’s most famous museums will be open and free to the public! To see the list of participating museums, look here: http://www.nuitdesmusees.culture.fr/villes/paris/UGFyaXM,/.
May 17 – 19
The Weather Festival is an electronic music festival, with parties and concerts happening all around Paris and the hipper suburbs. The line-up will feature DJs from around the world, including Marcel Dettmann and Kerri Chandler, and it promises to draw crowds of all styles — from house to hip hop to underground. This festival is going to be three days without sleep! Ticket prices vary depending on the venue.
May 18, 19 & 20
Le Printemps des Rues is a springtime arts festival in the streets of Paris. Theatre and music performances, comedians, magicians, dance workshops, and discussions of gender and femininity are just a few of the items on the program. The concept is to re-appropriate the public space, by and for the public, using a creative mixture of disciplines and technologies. The festival will take place at various spaces in the 10th arrondissement, and many of the performances are free.
Today is Pentecost (Catholic holiday), with Monday the 20th being a Bank Holiday (most shops and museums will still be open).
The Pompidou Center is hosting the finals of the 8th national beer brewing contest. For months, students of beer brewing all over France having been testing their knowledge of the craft, and the finalists in the competition will be judged by a jury of celebrities and experts. The public is invited to sample beers, and to discover this world of high taste.
May 21-June 9
The annual French Open Tennis Tournament at Roland-Garros takes place for three weeks. Get your Roland-Garros tickets online here. The main website also has info on the iPhone app, commemorative items in thegift shop, and the full schedule.
Designer shopping for a good cause! It’s the annual Braderie Solidaire: Les Créateurs Ont du Coeur, featuring over 200 designer clothing, beauty and accessories brands selling their overstock with all of the profits going to ARCAT, a non-profit group that helps bring medical treatments to the poor (started by the Yves Saint Laurent Foundation). At the Bastille Design Center (74, boulevard Richard Lenoir, 11th), open 11am-8pm (Saturday until 6pm), entry €2.
Enjoy a free Balade Urbaine (in French only) through the coop gardens and neighborhood green spaces of the 19th arrondissement as part of the Fête de la Nature 2013 (May 22-26). To register, email Manon Loubet: firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 07 86 14 91 23.
The 24th annual Portes Ouvertes des Atéliers d’Artistes de Belleville presents over 127 studios with 250 artists (sketch artists, painters, sculptors, photographers, printmakers, etc) open to the public throughout Belleville from 2-9pm. Pick up a map in the main galleru welcome centers:
– Galerie des AAB, 1 rue Francis Picabia, 20th (M° Couronnes)
– Espace Jourdain, 3 rue Jean-Baptiste Dumay, 19th (M° Jourdain)
– CFDT Bolivar, 47 avenue Simon Bolivar, 19th (M° Buttes Chaumont)
The Jardin du Ruisseau (entrance at the Pont at 110 Rue du Ruisseau, 18th, M° Jules Joffrin) is open today to the public for the Fête de la Nature 2013 , with visits of the neighborhood coop garden, stands selling locally-grown organic produce and home made cookies, a plant and seed exchange, a bee-keeping demonstration, a special recyclng center for making crafts, origami workshops, nature art exhibits and live music. Free entry. Open from 2pm-7pm.
Want to try organic, healthy, raw chocolate, made in Paris? Rrraw creator Féderic Marr will be at Retour à la Terre (like a mini-Whole Foods, 12 rue de Malebranche, 5th) from 2-7pm today offering tastings of his raw chocolate bars and new raw chocolate truffles.
A special occasion to visit the luxurious château of Madame du Barry, Louis XV’s favorite mistress. Usually private, this castle will be open to tourists and history lovers for just one day. Both Mme Barry and the king died under the guillotine, but this impressive château remains a testament to the grandeur of their lifestyles. The gardens and the music pavillion are especially lovely. Reservation obligatory.
Catch the latest skateboard and BMX champs in competition this weekend at the Espace de Glisse Parisien 18 (54 Boulevard Ney, 18th, M° Porte de la Chapelle) for the Trophées Parisiens de la Glisse. Free entry, €2 if you want to compete; there is also street artists, dancers, streetwear stands and other “urban culture”.
One of the city’s legendary artist squats, legal for over twenty years now, Les Frigos Portes Ouvertes are this weekend, check out the painters, photographers, sculptors and other artists in this amazing setting of the 1920s meat-packing cold house in the 13th.
It’s “vide grenier” season when Parisians clean out their attics and sell the bric-a-brac in neighborhood rummage sales. Today there are sales at Rue Mouffetard (5th), at the Bibliothèque Mitterrand (13th), at l’Oberservatoire de Paris (6th) and just outside Père Lachaise metro station (20th). Find more at this website.
Through May 26
Catch one of the world’s most fascinating horse shows mixing dressage with theatrical artistry and live dance in the former royal stables of the Château de Versailles, the Académie du Spectacle Equestre de Versailles by Bartabas. The 80-minute show is called La Voie de l’Ecuyer., tickets are €25 (there’s a special two-for-one deal on FNAC.com while supplies last). You can also watch the 45-minute rehearsals, Les Matinales, for €12, usually at 11am on weekends. For tickets go to FNAC.com.
Learn about, taste, and buy Loire Valley wines at the first annual Salon des Vins de Loire à Paris, with 35 winemakers presenting 200 different wines. On the Batofar peniche (quai François Mauriac, foot of the Bibliothèque Mitterrand (M° Quai de la Gare or Bibliothèque), 5-8pm, €10 entry. There are also two chef’s dinners and four different wine-tasting ateliers, check out the website for more info.
May 30 – June 9
You don’t need tickets to the French Open at Roland Garros to enjoy some of the tennis action. Just drop by “La Terrasse” in front of the Hôtel de Ville to watch the matches live on the big screen (with tables and bean bags set up for spectators). There’s also a tennis court featuring the “Longines Future Tennis Aces”, international tennins players under 16 years old competing for the prize on June 1st. Free entry, from noon-7pm.
May 31 and June 1
Noureev & Friends classic dance performance at the Palais de Congrès. This spectacular show will feature dancers and projected images to celebrate the 75th birthday of Rudolf Noureev, one of the 20th century’s most famous ballet dancers. Reserve tickets here.
L’Art du Jardin: Nouvelle Expérience Végétale, takes place this year at the Grand Palais (Ave Winston Churchill entrance), a garden show where you can shop for plants, gardening supplies, garden furniture, and see the latest in landscape design and innovations. Entrance is €18 (or €14 if purchased before May 27th).
May 31 – June 2
The Festival d’Anatolie is a festival dedicated to the art and culture of Turkey. Set to take place at the Parc des Expositions, this event is geared towards adults and children, artists, professionals and tourists alike. There will be food, dancing, movies, and several exhibits of traditional and contemporary Turkish art.
The 6th annual Ceramics Festival takes place this weekend from 10am-7pm in the Mouffetard district (rue de Bazeilles and rue Censier, 5th), free entry.
June 1 – September 15
Transport yourself to 1912 at the Titanic shipwreck exhibit. This collection of artifacts from the famous ship has been viewed by over 20 million people worldwide. It promises to spark the imagination and send shivers down the spine. Entry €12.90 to €15.90.
June 1 – September 30
The historic Art Deco restaurant La Coupole (102 blvd du Montparnasse, 14th) is hosting an exposition of eight young Parisian graffiti artists: Alex, 6pack, Done, Moon one, Hopare, Esper, Stack, and Brok. Open free to the public, open daily 8:30am-midnight.
Join thousands of cyclists this Sunday for the annual Convergence Francilienne, where cyclists from all over the Ile-de-france region converge on Paris for a symbolic victory lap (on streets closed to traffic) and ending with a big picnic on the Champ de Mars. It’s hostes by La Maison du Vélo and different groups lobbying to make the region more cyclist-friendly. Free to join the final parade in Paris, just show up at the meeting place behind the Louvre (outside M° Louvre Rivoli) with your bike at 1:30pm.
June 7 – 30
The Bartabas Equestrian Show is not to be missed! This grandiose spectacle has been praised as a high point of horsemanship and choreography. Music by the contemporary composer Philip Glass. The public is invited to meet the horses during the day, in front of the Grande Halle at the Parc de la Villette. Tickets on sale between € 22 and € 32.
Through June 9
Explore the origins of goth and fantasy at the latest exposition at the Musée d’Orsay, L’Ange du Bizarre: Dark Romanticism from Goya to Max Ernst.
“…a vast swathe of artistic creation, which from the 1760s onwards exploited the shadows, excesses and irrational elements that lurked behind the apparent triumph of enlightened Reason. This world was created in the English Gothic novels of the late 18th century, a genre of literature that fascinated the public with its penchant for the mysterious and the macabre. The visual arts quickly followed suit: many painters, engravers and sculptors throughout Europe vied with the writers to create horrifying and grotesque worlds: Goya and Géricault presented us with the senseless atrocities of war and the horrifying shipwrecks of their time, Füssli and Delacroix gave substance to the ghosts, witches and devils of Milton, Shakespeare and Goethe, whereas C.D. Friedrich and Carl Blechen cast the viewer into enigmatic, gloomy landscapes, reflecting his fate.” Entrance to the museum + exhibition is €12.Advance tickets online.
Paris dog owners and dog lovers, please join us for a Mon Chien, Ma Ville demonstration at the Mairie du 1ère (the town hall of the 1st arrondissement, Place du Louvre, right outside metro Louvre Rivoli) from 2:30pm with your four-legged friends to lobby the City for more dog-friendly parks and green spaces for them to run free, and to promote “responsible” dog ownership as well. Pedro and Lena will be there!
Pastry chef and cookbook author (and Paris Pastry Guide author) David Lebovitz will be signing books today at La Cuisine (80 quai de l’Hôtel de Ville, 4th) from 2-4pm. Glazed ice cream truck will be there, too! (You can RSVP at the Facebook event page, although it’s not required).
Looking for a bit of retro vintage shopping? Check out the Fifties Sound “Vide-Grenier Retro Vintage” with 45 stands selling fashions, accessories, home decor, vinyls and burlesque outfits from 1930s-1980s. Today 10am-8pm at Next Step: 11 cour Debille, 11th, M° Voltaire. The live swing concert with The King Baker Combo starts at 5pm. Entry €2.
A rare chance to see one of the few surviving Irish films from the silent era presented as part of the Ciné-Concert at the Cinéma Balzac, 8pm. “Willy Reilly and his Colleen Bawn (1920) is a powerful melodramatic film set in 18th century Ireland, in which Willy Reilly, a Catholic gentleman, and his beloved Colleen Bawn, daughter of a Protestant squire, overcome religious and social barriers for their love.” This Live-to-Screen orchestral performance features a new score composed and conducted by Bernard Reilly, and is performed by the 12-piece CinéTheatre Ensemble. Tickets €13, available at the door or online.
The 12th annual Salon du Vintage & VivylIsBack takes place for three days at the Garage Turenne (66 rue de Turenne, 3rd), with over 100 stands selling women’s vintage clothing and accessories, men’s clothing, furniture and vinyl records. Didier Ludot will even have his vintage couture dresses on display. Open 11am-8pm (opens at 3pm on Friday), entry €4.
June 15 -16
L’Entrée des Artistes: Do you want to get a glimpse of Christian Dior’s workspace? How about Desmarets de Kenzo? Now is your chance! For just two days, the LVMH houses will open their doors to the public and reveal the insides of their décor and the secrets of their savoir-faire. Attention: tickets are expensive.
Le Salon Emmaus is a gathering of “restoration artists” and their wares. Vintage clothes, furniture, decorative objects, antique telephones — you name it, someone from the Emmaus community has found it and restored it! A great place to find good deals, with all proceeds going to a good cause (Emmaüs helps bring marginalized adults back into the work force). Adults €3 entry, free for kids under 12.
Through June 17
Looking for a romantic exhibition in a little-known museum? Don’t miss Sensuality and Spirituality: In Search of the Absolute at the Musée Henner (43, avenue de Villiers, 17th, M° Malesherbes; entry €5; closed Tuesdays, open until 9pm on first Thursdays of the month).
The Fête de la Musique is one of those rare annual events when Paris gets to turn itself inside out and blow off some steam. Music lovers, professional and amateur musicians alike, will pour into the streets for one long night of festivities. Be sure to check the schedule of spectacles and events online before heading out, because the streets are going to be full of people celebrating, and if you don’t plan ahead, you might never get to the concert you wanted to see. This is a free event.
June 24 – September 28
Le Maxi Monster Music Show is not your typical music spectacle. This show invites you to discover a bizarre cabaret of gypsies, bearded women, strongmen, the macabre, the strange and the mystical. The theatre is located in Montmartre, and tickets start at € 20.
Through June 25th
They’re back! I’ve written before about the fabulous Fills Monkey: Incredible Drum Show. Fills Monkey is made up of two French comedians, Yann Coste and Seb Rambaud, who somehow manage to mix humor with actual musical talent. These guys have come up with a hilarious “dueling drumsticks” show. Just when you think, “Okay, this is interesting, but how can they keep it up for an hour?” it gets better. Oh, I should mention they never once speak any actual words, so it’s perfect for those looking to go see a show in Paris without knowing any French. A word of warning: it’s in a “cave”, a French cellar. They give you ear plugs, but be forewarned it gets hot down there! Shows are scheduled through June, get tickets at FNAC or at the venue itself, Le Sentier des Halles (50 rue d’Aboukir, 2nd).
Through June 26
Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the passing of Frenchchanteuse Edith Piaf with 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 every Wednesday at 8pm at the intimate Essaïon Theatre (6 rue Pierre au Lard, in the Marais, 4th). Tickets are €15-€20.
Through June 26th
If you’re in the mood for a good English comedy show in Paris in an intiate setting, check out The Improfessionals, every other Wednesday night from 9:30pm at the Essaïon Theatre (6 rue Pierre au Lard, in the Marais, 4th). Tickets are €15-€20.
June 28, 29 & 30
Solidays is one of the best summer music festivals in France. This event unites more than 150 musicians and 160,000 attendees every year in the fight against AIDS, and this summer is expected to be bigger and better than ever. Day passes starting at € 31.
Other Paris Calendar Links
- For literary events, readings, and classes: Monthly Paris Listing.
- For indie/alternative music concerts see Gigs in Paris
- For art exhibitions, museum news and openings see Paris Muse.
- For mainstream events visit the Paris Office of Tourism.
- For naughty events, see the Naughty Paris Guide.
- Major sporting events and festivals can be found at WhatsOnWhen.