Paris festivals are a great choice if you want to experience the city beyond its iconic landmarks and museums. There’s an eclectic choice of cool festivals and fairs that you could attend in Paris to see a different side of the city. Each event is exciting, original, and always distinctly Parisian.

Events in Paris might have a focus on wine, circus, theatre, chocolate, or simply entertainment. Most events are annual, and they’re spread right across the calendar, so you can be sure to attend your favorite festivals and fairs if you time your stay right. Whatever you enjoy, you’re sure to find an event that will make your visit to the French capital extra-special.

  • 1

    Paris-Plages

    Urban beaches on the shores of the Seine

    Paris-Plages
    • Couples
    • Families
    • Group
    • Single

    Paris-Plages are a unique attraction and public works project for the people of Paris, offering temporary "pop up" beaches all summer long for the relaxation and enjoyment of locals and visitors. These beaches allow the shores of the Seine to take on the look of a riviera resort complete with palm trees.

    They can be found in two different locations, both in the heart of the city centre, and they offer a wide range of fun activities for both kids and grown-ups from games to refreshments and more. These locations make for a great way to relax and enjoy some good old-fashioned family fun on your Parisian vacation.

    Read more

    Location: Voie Georges Pompidou, 75004 Paris, France

    Open: July–August, daily from 10 am to 8 pm

    Map
  • 2

    Fête de la Musique

    Musicians take to the streets

    Fête de la Musique
    • Budget
    • Nightlife
    • Photo

    The Fête de la Musique (Make Music Day) is a festival held every year on the 21st of June. Musicians all over the country are encouraged to go and perform in the streets, everywhere in the country. The Paris event is always one of the largest fun-packed and popular events.

    Besides the amateur bands and musicians who play in the streets, large free concerts featuring professional artists are held in the main squares of Paris. Every type of music and every type of musician, from individuals and bands to prestigious organizations like orchestras, operas, and choirs, are represented.

    photo by Ruth Temple (CC BY 2.0) modified

  • 3

    Foire du Trône

    The oldest funfair in France

    Foire du Trône
    • Adventure
    • Families
    • Photo

    The Foire du Trône is a large funfair held every year in April and May on the Pelouse de Reuilly, at the western end of the Vincennes Woods. Hosting all the classic funfair attractions such as rollercoasters, Ferris wheels and ghost trains, the Foire du Trône will carry you straight back to your childhood. It’s a long-established funfair, dating back to 1805.

    As you wander through among the many rides, you’ll find stands selling snacks like candy apples, pancakes, and churros. In addition to the thrilling rides, the funfair features themed days and festive events, including a carnival and a firework display.

    Location: Pelouse de Reuilly, 75012 Paris, France

    Map

    photo by Eric Jappini (CC BY 2.0) modified

  • 4

    Grand Tasting

    French wine festival

    Grand Tasting

    The Grand Tasting is a 2-day event that every wine lover should attend. It’s held annually in December in Le Carrousel du Louvre, an underground shopping mall on Rue de Rivoli. Described as the best French wine festival, it gathers over 400 winemakers, producers and oenologists.

    At the festival, you’ll find wine-tasting courses on offer, as well as degustation of recently produced wines. You could also try a food and wine pairing courses. Wherever your interests in wine lie, you’re sure to learn a lot at this event.

    Location: 99 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France

    Map
  • 5

    Belleville Open Studios

    A superb spot to explore the wonders of Parisian art

    Belleville Open Studios
    • Budget
    • Couples
    • Photo

    Paris’ northeastern neighborhood Belleville is a hub of creativity and artistic talent at the intersection of the 10th, 11th, 19th, and 20th arrondissements. Every summer, the area's artists throw open their studio doors for 4 days, welcoming art-lovers from all over the world into their space, free of charge.

    You'll be able to explore more than 150 studios and discover new and unusual works. You’ll get to take in works in nearly all mediums under the sun: painting, illustration, sculpture, woodworking, street art, photography, performance art, and video.

    Map
  • 6

    Salon du Chocolat

    The chocolate-lovers' rendezvous

    Salon du Chocolat
    • Food

    The Salon du Chocolat (Paris chocolate show) is held every year at the end of October at the Palais des Congrès de Paris. This international trade fair showcases artisans, top chefs, chocolate industry companies, and innovative cocoa producers from over 60 countries.

    Anyone who loves chocolate will adore this event. As well as the chocolate fashion show, exhibits of chocolate sculptures, workshops for all ages, and many other attractions, you’ll have the opportunity to sample some of the best chocolates in the world.

    Location: 1 Pl. de la Prte de Versailles, 75015 Paris, France

    Map
  • 7

    Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain

    Impressive circus acts by young artists

    Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain
    • Families
    • Photo

    The Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain (The World Festival of the Circus of Tomorrow) showcases young circus performers from all over the world. They perform in front of an international jury and circus enthusiasts.

    In a similar way to the Olympic Games, the best performers receive gold, silver and bronze medals. The categories in which they perform include acrobatics, tightrope walking, juggling and more. Be prepared to be amazed by the skills of these performers under 25 years of age. This exciting event takes place every year, at the end of January at Cirque Phénix, in the 12th arrondissement. 

    Location: Pl. du Cardinal Lavigerie, 75012 Paris, France

    Map
  • 8

    Fête des Vendanges

    Sample wine at the last vineyard in Paris

    Fête des Vendanges
    • Food

    The Fête des Vendanges (Grape Harvest Festival) is held in mid-October on the west slope of Montmartre Hill. This festive and vibrant event gives you the opportunity to sample the wine from Clos Montmartre, the last vineyard of Paris.

    Tastings of artisanal and regional products, concerts, and exhibitions are on the program of the Grape Harvest Festival. The atmosphere of this festival, which involves over 40 bars and restaurants from the 18th Arrondissement of Paris, is very lively.

    Map

    photo by ErasmusOfParis (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

  • 9

    Bastille Day

    French National Day

    Bastille Day
    • Budget
    • Photo

    Bastille Day in Paris commemorates the French Revolution with grand festivities. Clink champagne glasses on July 14th as fireworks erupt over the Eiffel Tower. A military parade and flypast signal the start of the celebrations, and vibrant street parties embrace national pride. Throughout the capital, fire stations are thrown open for partygoers to dance into the night.

    Spending Bastille Day in Paris is a wonderful way to absorb the festivities and celebrations. Hotels get snapped up quickly, so book early to celebrate Paris’s finest hour.

    Read more

    photo by Yann Caradec (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

Stephan Audiger | Compulsive Traveler