WHAT'S ON IN PARIS
On the 3rd Thursday of November, the year's Beaujolais
Nouveau is released. Bars and cafés across the country
offer this "primeur" wine for tasting - in moderation!
End November, the Christmas lights along the
Champs-Elysées are lit, flower arrangements give way to
snow-covered Christmas trees and the city centre becomes a
winter wonderland. Not to be missed!
Also, check out the famous Christmas displays in the main
department stores on Bld Haussmann.
Or go traditional and shop at the Christmas markets dotted
around the city during December.
The Nativity story is recreated on the steps of historic Notre
Dame Cathedral during December and January.
Take the family to the ice rink on the esplanade in
front of the Hotel de Ville, where you can skate for
free. Mid-December through mid-February.
Indulge in some retail therapy: early Jan - mid-Feb.
La Nuit des musées
Museums across France open all night, for free. Enjoy the special night-time
atmosphere at the Louvre, the Musée d'Orsay and a host of other museums
throughout Paris. Saturday night mid-May.
Carnaval de Paris
This annual carnival includes a colourful parade through the streets of Paris on
the first Sunday of February.
Shakespeare in the park
Every summer, the Tower Theatre Company from London visits Paris to perform, in
English, in the Jardin de Shakespeare in the Bois de Boulogne.
La Fête de la Musique
Midsummer Night, June 21, the city stays awake all night long to the strains of
classical music, rock, jazz, hip hop, folk, salsa, techno - whatever your taste, you'll
find something to suit.
Check Le Parisien newspaper or the web for venues - or just wander around and let
your ears decide!
Gay Pride Parade
Join the parade and the fun on the last Saturday in June. The parade winds its noisy,
colourful way from Montparnasse to Bastille.
July 14 is the national holiday in France, celebrating the fall of the Bastille
prison during the French Revolution in 1789. The fun begins the night
before with the popular Bals des Pompiers on July 13 and again on July
14. This is when fire stations across the country are turned into
dance-halls for the night and cute firemen become flirtatious barmen!
On Bastille Day itself, if you're interested in all things military, go and watch the
parade along the Champs-Elysées.
Don't miss the amazing fireworks that night at the Eiffel Tower - there's a great
view from the steps at Sacré Coeur, just two minutes walk from the apartment!
All that Jazz!
Music fans should visit the Paris Jazz Festival, held in the Parc Floral de Paris every
weekend between June 7 and July 27. Free Concerts once you’ve paid the €5 entry
fee to the park. If you like jazz but want to stay closer to home, there's also a local jazz
festival in Montmartre, Les Arènes du Jazz, at the end of July.
Tour de France
Cycling enthusiasts will love the drama surrounding the final day of the Tour de
France, which always takes place in Paris, with the exciting finish on the
Outdoor Cinema: Cinema en Plein Air at the Parc de la Villette, 211 ave Jean
Jaurès, Paris 19è, metro Porte de Pantin.
Screenings at sundown every day except Mondays, July 17 - August 26. Blanket &
deck chair for rent.
Or check out the Cinema au Clair de Lune festival, first 3 weeks of August. The
programme features movies filmed in Paris, some shown were they were shot.
If sunny summer days make you wish you could head to the beach for the
afternoon, Paris is just the place to do it! Every year, sections of the quays
along the Seine river are turned into a beach or open-air entertainment areas,
from July 20 to August 21. Okay, you can't swim in the river (well, you really
wouldn't want to...) but you can lie on summer-only sand under
transplanted palm trees and indulge in a variety of beach activities,
including free concerts in the evening. Not to be missed!
Journées du Patrimoine
Every September, on the first weekend after the 15th, thousands of
buildings of interest that are usually closed to the public open their doors to
visitors. You can take a look around the Elysée Palace, home to the French
president, or the prime minister's home at Matignon. Or just take advantage of free
entry to dozens of museums across Paris.
Paris fashion week is a great time for checking out the latest trends and indulge
in some star-spotting. Spring-summer ready-to-wear collections go on show
September 30 - October 9, mostly at the Carrousel du Louvre, under the
museum. Even if you can't get a ticket to a show, you're bound to catch a
glimpse of the stars around town.
Grape-picking in Montmartre!
The tiny Clos Montmartre vineyard is the only city-centre vineyard in Paris! Visit
it on rue Saint Vincent, just up the road from the apartment.
Don't miss the Montmartre Wine Festival on the Place du Tertre in early
October, where the local wine, Le Clos Montmartre, flows freely!
(All the profits from sales go to local charities.) The 5 days of festivities
feature lots of eating, drinking, music and a grand parade through Montmartre.
There's also a "non-wedding" ceremony at Place des Abbesses where
couples can declare their love, without tying the knot!
Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe
No, not the monument - the Arc de Triomphe is France's premier horse race and
attracts thoroughbreds and racing enthusiasts from all over the world. Held on
the first weekend in October.
White Night / Nuit Blanche
The first Saturday in October sees the City of Lights living up to its legend as
an all-night party town. Events are held across the city throughout the night..
Salon du Chocolat
Chocoholics will love this event! The salon is a celebration of chocolate with
demonstrations by top chefs, special treats for children and a fashion show of
clothes made out of chocolate! mid-October.
Easter Egg Hunt!
The children will love this Grande Chasse aux œufs organised by the Syndicat d’
Initiative de Montmartre - the local tourism office. Chocolate eggs are hidden
around Montmartre on Easter Saturday and Sunday. And the children will also
learn about the many artists who've lived here over the years.
Le Printemps des Poètes
Poetry readings (in French) across Paris during March. Locations include public
buildings, schools, and a few unlikely places such as hospitals...