Culture

What’s On in Paris – July & August 2022

Summertime is music festival time. Time Out Paris is a great place to start if you want to see the schedule of festivals in and around Paris this summer, in French only (use Google translate): Les Festivals de Musique à Paris

And for the schedule of free concerts in the park kiosks all over Paris, download the summer schedule here.

June 18-July 14
The 37th annual Chopin Festival concerts take place in the Orangerie of the gorgeous Parc de Bagatelle in the Bois de Boulogne. These grand piano concerts pay homage to the Polish composer (with Beethoven as “guest of honor”). The candelight concerts are the most romantic. Tickets €17-€24 (plus park entrance of €2.50).

June 29-July 1
Choose between 29 free concerts at the Festival FNAC Live, featuring both known and up-and-coming musical talents like Clara Luciani, Juliette Armanet, Alpha Wann, Vitalic, Elliott Armen, Bianca Costa and Bob Sinclair with Pedro Winter at the Hôtel de Ville. Shows at the Scène du Parvis (outside) are open access. Shows at the Scène du Salon require an invitation that can be picked up for free at FNAC stores in Paris starting June 28th. See the full program here.

July 2
The Carreau du Temple (4 rue Eugène Spuller, 3rd) is hosting a Roller Dance Party from 7:30pm-midnight with Paris JB-soul skating, a roller party that honors the Afro-American origins of roller dance culture dating back to the 1940s. Skate rental is possible for €3/half hour, or bring your own (inline or four-wheeled, but no metal-wheeled skates). Minimum age is 10. Entry €5-€8.

July 3
There will be 3000 balloons released in the Jardins du Palais Royal today from 2:30pm with a ticket inside each one for a free entrance to Parisian museums, monuments, dance, theatre, and musical performances, and other cultural events. They are first come, first served, and will surely attract a crowd! The event Grande Cueillette de la Culture, is hosted and sponsored by the Culture and the City Association and different cultural institutions.

Through July 3
The Festival Saint Denis brings a series of live classical concerts to the Saint-Denis Basilica and the Maison d’éducation de la Légion d’Honneur in Saint Denis, the suburtb north of Paris. See the full schedule and purchase tickets here.

July 3 – August 30
The festive Fête des Tuileries takes place again this summer with the Ferris wheel, stomach-emptying rides, barbe-à-papa (cotton candy) and whack-a-mole games. Open daily at the Jardin des Tuileries, 11am-midnight (free entry, tickets can be purchased for individual rides). As the fair is in the center of Paris, there’s no loud music or noise effects for the rides that you’d normally expect, preserving a bit of the tranquility of the gardens as well.

July 7
Le Food Market is a monthly open-air food market in Belleville along the boulevard between metros Ménilmontant et Couronnes. Unlike most food markets, this one isn’t for purchasing ingredients to take home and cook up, but is a market of food stands. To celebrate their seven year anniversary, all dishes will be just €7! There are seating areas to sit and enjoy your food or you can order to go. From 6-10:30pm.

Paris Plage! July 9 – August 21
Paris Plage : sandy beaches, palm trees, volleyballs and bikinis — on the Seine! This year it will take place along the Right Bank quays at the foot of the Hôtel de Ville, the Bassin de la Villette for water sports and the three swimming enclosures in the canal. As usual, Paris Plages will feature many fun sporting activities (especially in preparation for the 2024 Summer Olympics), water misters, kids activities, ice cream stands, open-air dancing, pétanque, and even a little Seine-side library. Free entry, open from 10am until 10pm. Map and more details here.

July 14th – Fête Nationale
La Fête Nationale, aka Bastille Day to Americans, is one of the biggest holidays in France. There will be the usual parade on the Champs Elysées in the morning and fireworks at the Eiffel Tower in the evening. In addition to the fun Bals des Pompiers (back after two years of closures), there are plenty of other fun entertainment options: Bastille Day: What to See & Do in Paris

July 15-18
Cinema Paradiso – register now to win one of the free spots at the third annual open-air films and concerts in the Cour Carré of the Louvre Museum.

July 16 – September 1
This year’s monumental open-air sound and light show La Nuit aux Invalides is themed “Napoléon: L’Envol de l’Aigle” (Flight of the Eagle) to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the French Emperor’s death. “Come and spend the Night at Les Invalides and rediscover the parts of the Emperor’s life which forged the “Napoleonic legend”, but also the legacy he has left us. Monster for some, genius for others, Napoleon leaves no one indifferent.” It’s a 360° immersive experience lasting just under an hourTickets are €25.99 for seated VIP spots, €18.99 for standing spots (€15.99 for kids 11-17 years old, €5.99 for kids up to 10 years old). You can add on an English headset to hear the translations for €5.99, and a ticket to visit the Dome for €9.99. If you can’t find a spot on the night you’re looking for, there’s an official ticket reselling platform on their site under the “Repurchase” tab by date (prices are exactly the same).

Through July 17th
Learn about the history of the construction, evolution, and burning of Notre Dame Cathedral in a free augmented reality exhibit in the nave of the historic Collège des Bernadins, a 13th-century monastery-turned-cultural-center just across the river from the Cathedral in the Latin Quarter. The exhibit is in multiple languages using a “histopad” tablet, although the website where you sign up for your spot is only in French (click the purple “Reserver” button and create an account to get a free ticket). Open Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat 10am-6pm, and Thurs and Sun (and April 16-18) from 2-6pm. Closed April 15th and May 1st. On 20 Rue de Poissy, 5th.

July 20 – August 21
The Parc de la Villette is once again hosting its popular Cinéma en Plein Air open-air screenings every Wednesday through Sunday nights. Totally free (but they may limit the number of people if it gets too crowded on the lawn (Prairie du Triangle, behind the Grande Halle de La Villette, metro Porte de Pantin), so get there from 8pm to claim your spot — picnics allowed (but no glass, sharp objects like cutlery or corkscrew bottle openers, knives, etc). The films start after sunset, so sometime between 9:30pm and 10:30pm. All films are shown in their original language with French subtitles. This year’s selection is a mix of big hits and classics with the theme “Let’s Danse!” : Saturday Night Fever, The Artist, Pulp Fiction, and Eyes Wide Shut among others. 

July 24th
The 109th edition of the Tour de France kicked off from Copenhagen on July 1st and finishes on the Avenue des Champs Elysées today. It will be broadcast live on networks around the world (see “Broadcasters” link on the website), but of course if you’re in France it doesn’t cost anything to set up a chair anywhere along the route to watch the cyclists as they pass by (no word yet on whether access to the Champs Elysées will be limited, but it’s usually so crowded you can’t see anything there anyway unless you got a seat in one of the restaurant upper floors overlooking the avenue).

August 25-30th
Rock-en-Seine Festival at the Domaine de Saint-Cloud, headliners include Arctic Monkeys, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Stromae, Run the Jewels, and Rage Against the Machine.

Through September 7
The annual open-air summer concerts in the Bois de Vincennes’s Parc Floral include the free Paris Jazz Festival (with French and international jazz concerts), the free Classique au Vert featuring up-and-coming classical music ensembles and orchestras, and Les Nocturnes featuring evening concerts by some of the greatest performers in both jazz and classical music (tickets required for these, see the program). Even when concerts are free; entry to the park is €2.50. 

Through September 18
The rooftop of the Hotel Paradiso (135 Blvd Diderot, 12th) is open every Sunday all summer from 4pm to enjoy the view and the bar before the free film screenings (accessible to all without reservation) at 9:30pm.

Through October 1
The magical Candlelit Evenings at the Château Vaux-le-Vicomte are back! Open every Friday (July 8th-Aug 26th) and every Saturday (through Oct 1st) from 2pm, 2000 candles are lit at sunset, and fireworks show before the 11pm closure; reservations required. Due to Covid, the shuttle from the train station is no longer running (reserve a taxi or come by car, free parking). Read the Secrets of Paris article about it here.

Planning Ahead – Book it Now!

Paris Sketchbook Workshop – September 27-October 2 in Paris, with five world-famous sketchbook artists.