- 05, Jun 2019
- All things Paris
- Amanda Mehtala
The month of July marks the true start of a Parisian summer, calmer than the busy month of June as one by one the locals head off for their summer vacation destinations. But not to worry, there’s still plenty of fun special events throughout the month for those that stick around in the City of Lights! Summer in Paris is truly the time to head outside, whether it be for a leisurely drink on a terrasse, a stroll along the Seine riverbanks, or a lively outdoor concert, there’s always something exciting on the Paris events calendar!
Head to the movie theatres for the Fête du cinéma June 30 - July 3
For the first weekend of July, head to the cinema! Each year, BNP Paribas bank partners with the National Federation of French Cinema to offer 4 days of movies at steep discounts. A perfect way to both escape the heat and discover some cinematic masterpieces! This year marks the 35th edition, and you can expect to see 4€ films not only in movie theatres and cinemas, but also some more unexpected locations are going into movie mode for the occasion, from museums, libraries, and more! Details
FNAC Live Concert July 3-5
Directly on the esplanade in front of the Hotel de Ville, Paris welcomes the whole city for a free summer concert in partnership with FNAC. Featuring 3 full days of upcoming French talent, discover the country’s next big hit at this free music festival in front of the beautiful Paris City Hall! This annual outdoor event tends to attract a lot of people, so plan to arrive early, and be sure to check the weather so as not to get caught in a rain shower! Programme & details
LAST CHANCE to catch hit musical I Love Piaf, a returning favourite!
The intimate musical all about the life of French songstress Edith Piaf has been performed on stages across Paris and around the globe. This summer, the charming ode to the French songstress has made the Théâtre de la Tour Eiffel its new home. Piaf’s career began in the heart of Paris, in the outrageous cabarets of Pigalle, where she performed for mobsters and gangsters. Her fame then skyrocketed from Belleville to the Champs-Elysées and she eventually made history in the grandest music halls in the world. Discover her story through her enchanting tunes, I Love Piaf is playing through the end of July in French with English subtitles!
The start of Paris Plages July 7 through September
Each and every summer, the Paris river banks turn to (somewhat of a) tropical paradise. Paris gets a tropical makeover as benches are swapped for lounge chairs and the pavement sprouts palm trees overnight. This yearly event was an an idea launched by the city council back in 2002, is known as Paris Plages. As well as a whole lot of sand and children’s activities, there’s all kinds of things planned for all ages. So when you need a momentary break from city breaking, why not lounge and enjoy Paris’ Seine River, all from the comfort of a brightly coloured deckchair?
Jazz, classic & more - the musical mix of the Festivals du Parc Floral
This year, the team at the Parc Floral have decided to merge their various summer musical events into one large extravaganza! All month long, enjoy a charged schedule with everything from classical to jazz and even some special shows for the whole family. An afternoon of evening of music in one of Paris' many parks and gardens, what's not to love? Details & programme
Bastille day July 14
The Bastille Day celebrations are always a favourite in France, whether you are French or not! In Paris, the primary special events of the day is the incredible firework display at the Eiffel Tower. Synchronised to music, with a changing theme each year, this breathtaking display is a must-see for anyone in Paris in July. For the best seats, you’ll have to head to the Champ de Mars early in the evening to claim a spot, leaving plenty of time for a picnic with a view while awaiting the show at sunset. Believe it or not, to find another July 14 special event you’ll have to head to the neighbourhood firehouse, where the whole complex is transformed into an outdoor party to welcome everyone in the neighbourhood. Dance the night away and raise money for the sapeurs pompiers!
Carmen ballet at the Théâtre Mogador July 8-17
After the 2015 world premiere in Spain, the Compañía Nacional de Danza brings their ballet interpretation of the acclaimed opera to the Parisian stage. Swedish choreography Johan Inger gives this work of markedly Spanish character a whole new light. Focusing on the issue of violence, and choosing to approach the subject from an innocent, pure perspective, that of a child. An original new interpretation of the celebrated opera by the same name, witness the passion of Carmen in a new light with this ballet full of emotion performed for the first time on the Parisian stage.
Image by Pierre-Emmanuel Rastoin ©
Cinéma en plein air July 17 - August 18
Seeking some evening entertainment? Look no further than the annual outdoor film festival at the Parc de La Villette. Every year throughout July and August, a diverse programme of films is selected for screening on the lawn of Paris’ third largest lawn. The range goes from family favourites like Wall-E and anime classic Ponyo, to Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs. Most importantly, there’s no need to fret: the La Villette line-up features enough English language films that its more than accessible even if you don’t speak French. Head over to La Villette for a evening picnic and an open-air movie night as soon as the sun goes down! Programme & details
La Traversée de Paris July 21
On Sunday July 21, over 600 old automobiles and motorcycles will zoom around the city of Paris! An incredible old car parade perfect for kids of simply children at heart, take a blast to the past with all kinds of unique and one-of-a-kind rides. The parade begins in Parisian suburb Antony, will last roughly 3 hours before finishing up in Meudon, but you can expect the drivers to be wheeling about the city all day long!
Last chance Moon exhibition at the Grand Palais, ends July 22!
The 50-year anniversary of the first human step on the Moon is an opportunity to study, present and celebrate the long history that links humans with this familiar celestial body, through the artworks and objects that embody the countless visions and emotions it has inspired. This five-part exhibition is a journey to the Moon, each stage takes visitors on a voyage through time, revealing artistic creations from Antiquity to the modern day, produced mainly in Europe but also by African, Arab and Far Eastern civilisations. Details
The Tour de France arrives in Paris July 28
Beginning in Brussels and, as the name goes, touring all of France, the celebratory finish of the annual bike race is a favourite event for Parisians and visitors alike. Head to the famous Champs-Elysées Sunday July 28 to welcome the tired riders as they complete the home stretch and ride right into Paris!
Classical music concert at Paris’ Sainte Chapelle
Last but certainly not least, is the start of the Sainte Chapelle classical concert series. The gloriously elaborate Sainte-Chapelle (Holy Chapel) is a pearl of Gothic French architecture. Spend an evening marvelling at the chapel’s vaulted ceilings and stained glass panelling – all while enjoying the music of some of history’s finest classical composers. Located on the Ile de la Cité, just minutes from Notre Dame Cathedral, the Sainte-Chapelle is one of France’s most visited monuments.
Shopping bonus, throughout the month of July, Paris is ON SALE! The annual Soldes period runs from the end of June through early August this year, so expect big savings in many stores, as well as big crowds.