The Best August Events in Paris

2018 Guide

Paris Plages is a beloved seasonal event in August.
Courtney Traub

Sources: Paris Convention and Visitors Office, Paris Mayor's Office

August is a wonderful time to be in town for anyone in search of a full program of festivals. From free concerts to movies projected out on enormous lawns and fun at the beach for both adults and kids, there's a little something for everyone during late summer in the French capital. Here are the events and highlights we recommend the most in 2018.

 

Festivals and Seasonal Events

Paris Plages (Pop-Up Beach Operation on the Seine River)

Through September 2nd, 2018, a full-fledged beach with sand, games, cafes, and even boating will take over the banks of the Seine and the Bassin de la Villette in North Paris. Paris Plages has enjoyed enormous success since its launch in 2003 and attracted millions of visitors over the past few years. Especially on hot nights, sipping a drink at one of the open-air bars installed on the beach or enjoying free live concerts are now summer staples in Paris.
 

Open-Air Cinema Festival at the Parc de la Villette

Dates: Evenings through August 19th, 2018
Every year, Parisians and visitors spread out blankets at the ultramodern Parc de la Villette, where some 40 movies are shown on a giant outdoor screen. Starting to see why August is a great month for film aficionados? In 2018, entry is free (but you can rent a chaise-longue for a small fee.) This year, the theme is "Let's Sing" and features blockbusters and Oscar-winners such as "La La Land" with Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling.

 
See general information about the Parc de la Villette here
Visit the official website

 

Rock en Seine (Three-Day Music Festival)

Dates: August 24th-26th, 2018

Every year, fans of rock and indie music gather at the enormous green expanse known as the                     Domaine National du St Cloud just west of the Parisian city limits.

In 2018, headlining acts include Charlotte Gainsbourg, Liam Gallagher, Wolf Alice and the Orielles. Reserving tickets well in advance is always a must, and if you choose to stay for all three days, camping onsite can be a great way to enjoy the festival to the fullest. . 
Visit the official website

 

Arts and Exhibits Highlights in August:

 

Diego Giacometti at the Picasso Museum

This retrospective gives visitors the chance to discover the work of Diego Giacometti, frequently referred to as an "artisan-poet" by art critics. While furniture is generally not held in regard as "high art", the work of Giacometti proves that notion wrong. Some 50 pieces-- from tables to benches and chairs-- are shown at this interesting exhibit, and comprise the final work commissioned to the artist before he passed away in 1985. His interest in aerial geometry, Greco-Roman and Etruscan myths and cultural sources, and natural forms make him one of the most innovative designers of the 20th century, alongside Brancusi and Philippe Starck. Especially of note are his pieces in bronze and resin. Previously unseen photos and other archival elements are also on display. 

    Love in the Middle Ages 

    Any visitors interested in medieval history and culture in Paris will want to spend some time at this exhibit, held at the magnificent Saint-Jacques tower in central Paris. The notion of courtly love, credited as founding many current attitudes about romantic love in the West, as well as medieval concepts of sexuality are explored through a variety of objects. Books, manuscript, tapestries and statues are among the objects "of love" that make up this interesting exhibit. Caution: some portions of this exhibit may not be suitable for children.   

    • Dates: Through September 2nd, 2018 
    • Location: Tour Saint-Jacques (Metro: Chatelet-les-Halles) 

    For a more comprehensive list of exhibits and shows on in August this year, see this page at the Paris Tourist Office

    More on Visiting Paris in August: August Weather and Packing Guide