September 5-November 4
Street art fans can visit the 3rd annual Prix du Graffiti at the Eau de Paris pavillion in the 16th arrondissement (77 ave de Versailles, M° Javel or Mirabeau), featuring the winners chosen by a special jury.
Le Grand Feu is one of the biggest fireworks shows in Europe, taking place on the edge of Paris in the Parc de St Cloud from 9pm-11pm. Tickets are €32 (lawn) to €59-89 (seated) and €258 for VIP area access. Get tickets at FNAC. See videos from previous years here.
Les Traversées du Marais is a three-day music festival with a “Counter culture” theme taking place throughout the historic courtyards of the Marais district.
Through September 9
Paris Plages: sand, beach trees, volley balls and bikinis — on the Seine! Fun activities and plenty of space for lounging along the Right Bank quays and the Bassin de la Villette extended this year through September 9th. Free entry, 10am-midnight. Swimming pools at the Bassin de la Villette open 11am-9pm.
You’ll find food specialities from Southwestern France at the 18th annual open-air food market on the Seine, Les Marchés Flottants du Sud-Ouest, for three days along the Quai Montebello (on the Left Bank, facing Notre Dame Cathedral, M° St Michel). Wine, armagnac, foie gras, saussages and sliced meats, cheese, olives, patés, tapenades, and — each day from 10:30am-3pm — fresh fruits distributed for FREE (the grapes and apples are amazing). There will also be live music, plenty of demonstrations and other activities. If the weather is nice, expect large crowds! Free entry. Open 10am-10pm (Sunday until 7pm).
The 83rd annual Fête de l’Humanité is three days of live music (60 acts including headliner Franz Ferdinand), debates (because the French love a good debate), arts and cinema expositions, a bal populaire, a book fair, a 10k with over 600,000 participants on Sunday, and activities for kids. The main sponsor/organizer is the daily newspaper L’Humanité, whose motto is “Envie de Changer Le Monde” (The desire to change the world), so you can imagine it’s quite a leftie leaning festival where politics, social justice and liberty are the main stars. This year it takes place in La Corneuve (northeast suburbs), and three-day passes are just €38 (camping and parking also possible). Free for kids under 15.
This weekend is the 35th annual Journées du Patrimoine, or Heritage Days, with the theme “L’Art du Partage”. Over 350 historic sites will be opened to the public in Paris, many which are only open for this occasion. See the full schedule at the website (an English version is available and clearly marked) Some of the obvious sites like the President’s Elysée Palace will have long lines, but many other sites are happily free to visit or participate in a free tour.
The Festival America in the Parisian suburb Vincennes is a festival introducing a predomininantly French audience to North American literary culture. This year Canada is the country of honnor, including Quebec Francophone authors. Four Pulitzer winning authors will be present this year: Michael Chabon, Jeffrey Eugenides, Richard Russo and Colson Whitehead. The events – debates, presentations, master classes, book festival — take place throughout the town, easimy accessible by Metro 1 (get off at the Château de Vincennes). Tickets for events sold on the website.
Get out your earplugs, it’s time for the 19th annual Techno Parade de Paris! It starts at noon (so far location is a secret) and finishes at République for a huge party. Check out their FB page for better information on the practicalities.
The 8th annual Fête de la Gastronomie, now called Goût de France, takes place throughout the country, but with a number of excellent culinary events here in Paris, with a focus on local and vegan cusine. Check out the Food Temple at the Carreau du Temple (3rd) for banquets, a Sunday brunch, pop-up food events and other culinary surprises (reservations needed for the big meals). There are also a Bal Gourmande on the 21st at the Mairie du 9ème, a Village Internationale de la Gastronomie with food from 60 countries at the foot of the Eiffel Tower (look for the white tents), and street food at the street art cultural center in the 19th, Aerosol.
The 11th annual Culture au Quai is a free cultural festival on the quays of the Bassin de la Vilette (Quai de Loire, 19th, M° Jaurès), including contemporary art stands, live music, live theatre and dance performances, and activities for kids from 11am-7pm. They’ll be promoting and selling tickets to all of the best fall shows in Paris. Come on down for a stroll and check it out, plenty of surprises to discover! The program is here.
September 28 – October 7
Escape to a little island on the edge of Paris for the 97th edition of the Foire de Chatou antique market. Formerly known as the Foire Nationale à la Brocante et aux Jambons (Ham and Flea Market), this popular twice-annual market has a mix of over 800 stands selling antiques and bric-a-brac, with an entire section dedicated to regional French foods, particularly pork in all its varieties. The Ile de Chatou, just north of Paris, also known as the Impressionists Island, is accessible via RER A from Charles-des-Gaulle-Etoile station in Paris, then either walk five minutes or take the free shuttle. Open 10am-7pm, entry €6.
Book your seats now for the exclusive “Music by the Glass” evenings this weekend featuring the musical program above, as well as wine receotion with the musicians afterwards. All events include:
• Live performance by exceptional chamber musicians from the generation to come
• Warm ambience of the elegant and historic Musée national Henner and «Reid Hall»
• A presentation of excellent wine & artisanal appetizers
• An opportunity to meet the musicians and team behind Sinfonietta Paris
• An elegant cultural and social experience
Tickets from €25, book here.
A new square in Paris, the Place Jean-Michel Basquiat, will be inaugurated by the Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo and the Mayor of the 13th Arrondissement Jérôme Coumet in the presence of the artis’s family. The event starts at 4pm, with dance performances by Compagnies Atipik, Dirty Lab and La Relève, followed by live DJs and at 8pm a screening at the neighboring MK2 Bibliothèque “Jean-Michel Basquiat : The Radiant Child”. Free entry (limited space). The new square is between the Station F start-up incubator and the metro Bibliothèque François Mitterrand.
Through October 7
The 34th annual funfair carnival, the Fête à Neu Neu, opens on September 2nd in the Bois de Boulogne (Porte de la Muette, 16th, M° Rue de la Pompe). Open 4pm-midnight Mon, Tues, & Thurs; 2pm-midnight Wed & Fri; and noon to midnight Sat-Sun. Free entry, ATM, Vélib station, food tents and rides (tickets purchased onsite). Many events including concerts and pyrotechnica shows (Sept 1), and themes weekends like Disney Cosplay and Pirates of the Caribbean, etc.
Through October 6
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 €49), a luminous walking tour and a fireworks finale. Every Saturday evening, entry €19.50.
Through October 20
See the latest show by one of the most well-known street artists in Paris, Christian Guémy, aka C215, at the Galerie Mathgoth. It’s in the 13th arrondissement, where you can see some of his works such as the huge blue cat mural just outside the Nationale metro station. The show is called “Perdus de Vue”, with stencil portraits of the homeless Parisians who the artist has painted since his early street art career started in 2005. Open Wed-Sat, 2-7pm, free entry. Take the ooportunity to check out the other street art in the 13th while you’re there!
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 literary events, readings, and classes: Monthly Paris Listing
▪ For mainstream events visit the Paris Office of Tourism