Best July Events in Paris

2018 Guide

Paris Plages transforms the banks of the Seine into a boardwalk.
Courtney Traub/Licensed to About.com

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

Popular Festivals and Seasonal Events:

  • Bastille Day (La Fête Nationale):
    Bastille Day marks the beginning of the French revolution and the country's long, chaotic road to becoming a republic. Similar in spirit to American Independence Day or Canada Day, La Fête de la Bastille is not to be missed and offers a chance to see top-notch fireworks or organize a picnic in one of the city's beautiful parks and gardens. The traditional military parade on the Champs-Elysées before nightfall gives a glimpse of how French people pay tribute to their nation. On the eve of Bastille Day, an enormous dance party ("Le Bal du 14 juillet") takes over the Place de la Bastille, starting the celebration on a festive note.
     
  • Paris Plages (Pop-Up Beach Operation on the Seine River)
    From July 7th through September 2nd, 2018 a full-fledged beach with attractions including sandy areas for fun and games, cafes, boating and other water sports 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 last year. 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: July 18th through August 19th, 2018
    Every year, Parisians and visitors spread out blankets at the ultramodern Parc de la Villette, where some 36 movies are shown on a giant outdoor screen. Starting to see why July is a great month for film aficionados? In 2018, entry is free (but you can rent a chaise-longue for a small fee.)
    See general information about the Parc de la Villette here
    Visit the official website

    Arts and Exhibits Highlights in July 2018:

    From Calder to Koons: The Artist as Jeweler 

    Jewelry is, perhaps wrongly so, considered by most to be a "craft" rather than "high art". This show challenges those highbrow-lowbrow distinctions with a look at remarkable jewellery designed by major artists, from Pablo Picasso to Alexander Calder and Jeff Koons.

    To paraphrase the elusive street artist Bansky, you may find it difficult to find your exit from the gift shop, after visiting this show...

    Venice in the Time of Vivaldi and Tieplo 

    Seen by many as the great city that might disappear underwater in the coming decades due to rising sea levels, Venice is a city that has inspired artistic imaginations for centuries. In tribute to that rich artistic legacy, the Grand Palais is running a monumental exposition exploring the "floating city" and the art that has been made in and around it. A true multidisciplinary show bringing together media from painting to sculpture and music, the exhibit highlights work from painters such as  Piazzetta and Giambattista Tiepolo; sculptors including Brustolon and Corroding; and music from Italian composers such as Vivaldi. Live performances will be held for several weeks of the exhibition, making it a genuine draw card for lovers of the arts.  

    Chagall, Lissitzky, Malevich: Russian Avant-Garde Painting of the Early 20th Century

    Marc Chagall, the Russian artist who would eventually become a French citizen, was one of the primary figures of the Vitebsk school, alongside his contemporaries El Lissitzky and Kasimir Malevich.

    This distinctive avant-garde artistic movement sprung up between World War I and World War II and would go on to influence artistic practices across Europe. The Centre Georges Pompidou's sweeping retrospective of Chagall, Lissitzky and Malevich-- featuring some 250 works of art from these key figures and their students-- has been one of this year's most successful and lauded shows, and is certainly well worth a look for anyone seeking to better understand the major currents of 20th-century art. 

     

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