Top seasonal events
in Paris include the French Open Tennis Championships in May, the Fête de la
Musique on June 21, July's Bastille Day, the Festival Estival musical event in
the summer, and the Autumn Festival from September through December.
Festival du Marais features everything from music to dance to theater in the
churches and historic mansions of the Marais (tickets: 44 rue François-Miron,
4e, tel. 01-48-87-60-08). A similar celebration takes place at the Butte Montmartre
Festival (tel. 01-42-62-46-22).
- June: The Paris
Air Show, which takes place in odd-numbered years only, is a display of old
and new planes and an update on worldwide technological developments in the
aeronautical industry, at Le Bourget Airport.
- Mid-June: Grand
Steeplechase de Paris is a popular horse race at Auteuil Racecourse :
- June 21: Fête
de la Musique celebrates the summer solstice with parades, street theater, and
live bands throughout the city.
- Late June: Grand
Prix de Paris, a major test for three-year-old horses, is held on the flat at
- July 14: Bastille
Day celebrates the storming of the Bastille prison in 1789. There's a military
parade along the Champs-Elysées in the morning, fireworks at night at Trocadéro,
and (often July 13) local firemen's balls that spill into the streets of every
- Late July: Tour
de France, the world's leading bicycle race, finishes on the Champs-Elysées.
- Late July-end
Aug.: Musique en l'Ile is a series of concerts held in the picturesque 17th-century
Eglise St-Louis on the Ile St-Louis (tel. 01-45-23-18-25 for details).
- Paris, quartier
d'Eté proof that life continues even when Parisians seem to have left town for
the summer. World and classical music, unusual circus, dance, cabaret, theatre...Held
in the Luxembourg garden, the Tuileries garden, the Sorbonne university, the
Palais Royal... (tel. 01-44-83-64-40).
Sept.: Festival Estival of Paris features classical music concerts in churches,
museums, and concert halls throughout the city (tickets: 20 rue Geoffroy-l'Asnier,
4e, tel. 01-48-04-98-01).
- Sept.: Fête à
Neu-Neu amusement park is in the Bois de Boulogne.
- Late Sept.: On
the Journée du Patrimoine, the third Sunday in September, normally closed historic
buildings are open to the public.
- Late Sept.: Biennale
des Antiquaires (even-numbered years only), the world's swankiest antiques fair,
takes place at the Carrousel du Louvre.
The Festival d'Automne is a series of concerts, plays, dances, and exhibitions
throughout Paris (tickets: 156 rue de Rivoli, 1er, tel. 01-42-96-96-94).
- Early Oct.: Prix
de l'Arc de Triomphe, one of Europe's top horse races, takes place at Longchamp
- Early Oct.: The
Fêtes des Vendanges, held the first Saturday of October, marks the grape harvest
in the Montmartre Vineyard, at the corner of rue des Saules and rue St-Vincent
(and at Suresnes, just west of Paris).
- Early Oct.: FIAC
(International Fair of Contemporary Art) takes place on quai Branly.
- Oct.: Paris Motor
Show (even-numbered years only) at the Porte de Versailles features the latest
developments in the international automobile industry.
Nov.: Festival de Jazz de Paris is a two-week celebration that includes lots
of big-name jazz artists (tel. 01-47-83-33-58 for information)
- Oct.-Nov.: Festival
d'Art Sacré features concerts and exhibitions held in churches throughout the
city (tel. 01-42-77-92-26 for information).
- Nov. : Mois de
la Photo. Classic and contemporary art and documentary photography on show at
museums, cultural centres and galleries.(tel.01-44-78-75-00).
- Nov. 11: Armistice
Day ceremonies at the Arc de Triomphe include a military parade down the Champs-Elysées.
- Third Thursday
in Nov.: Beaujolais Nouveau, a light, fruity wine from the Beaujolais region
of France, is officially "released" at midnight on Wednesday; its arrival is
celebrated on the third Thursday in November in true Dionysian form in cafés
and restaurants around the city.
- Early Dec.: Salon
des Caves Particulières brings French producers to Porte de Champerret for a
- Late Dec.: Christmas
in Paris is highlighted by illuminations throughout the city, particularly on
the Champs-Elysées, avenue Montaigne, and boulevard Haussmann. A giant crèche
with automatons is set up outside the Hôtel de Ville.
- Feb.: Foire à
la Feraille de Paris is an antiques and bric-a-brac fair held in the Parc Floral
de Paris and the Bois de Vincennes in the 12th arrondissement.
- Mar.: Salon du
Livre, the international book exposition, is held annually at the end of the
- Mar.-Apr.: Foire
du Trône amusement park is in the Bois de Vincennes.
- Mar.-Apr.: The
Prix du Président de la République takes place at the Auteuil Racecourse.
- Late Apr.: The
International Marathon of Paris runs through the city and nearby woods.
- Early May: At
the Foire de Paris hundreds of booths display everything from crafts to wines.
- End of May: The
Course des Garçons de Café is an entertaining race through the streets of Paris
by waiters bearing full trays of drinks. It begins and ends at the Hôtel de
- May-late Sept.:
Grandes Eaux Musicales is a fountain display at the Château de Versailles (Sundays
- Late May-early
June: Festival de Jazz de Boulogne-Billancourt attracts big names and varied
styles of jazz in the suburbs of Boulogne-Billancourt.
- Late May-early
June: French Open Tennis Championships take place at Roland Garros Stadium.