Top 10 Things Happening in Paris in July

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Top 10 Things Happening in Paris in July

Between the Moulin Rouge, the world famous museums and Parisian festivals that make the city’s streets burst with life, there will always be exciting events happening in Paris at any time of the year. We will be keeping this blog up-to-date with all the cool and quirky goings on in the City of Lights throughout the months of 2018...

July 2018

1 Bastille Day Fireworks

14th July

Bastille Day is one of the most prominent holidays on the French calendar, marking a turning point in the French Revolution. The day begins at 10am, with a military aircraft flyover at 10:45am and a huge military parade down the Champs-Elysees at 11am. The most awaited fireworks show in the city will burst the sky into colour over the Eiffel Tower, which starts at 11pm. Head down to the Champ de Mars with a picnic to check out the free concerts happening all afternoon.

2 Firemen’s Balls

13th/14th July

These famous parties take place in fire stations all over the city on 13th and 14th July for Bastille Day celebrations. If you’re gonna experience a local party when in Paris, this is one you won’t want to say no to. They go on all night long with plenty of champagne, wine and beer, and, let’s face it, the setting is so unique it pretty much sells itself!

3 Paris Plages 2018

7th July - 2nd September

It doesn’t matter that Paris is nowhere near the coast when fake beaches pop up all over the city during the summer. Palm trees, deck chairs and sand will line the banks of the Parc Rives de Seine and the Esplanade, plus you’ll be able to go for a dip in the huge swimming pools at La Villette Canal Basin. Perfect on a hot day a la Paris!

4 Tour De France

29th July

After 2,000 miles and 23 days of hardcore cycling, the Tour de France is coming to a close. The race will end probably between 3-7pm on the Champs-Elysees, with a huge crowd set to gear up for a crazy welcome. The final stretch will allow you plenty of time to catch sight of the cyclists, but if you can’t get a spot on the Champs-Elysees to watch, try the Tuileries Gardens which are usually not quite as busy so you should be able to get a space.

5 Parc de la Villette’s Free Open Air Cinema

18th July - 19th August

Cinema en Plein Air (meaning ‘open air cinema’) is returning to Paris’ Parc de la Villette for the summer. From Wednesday to Sunday evenings between 18th July and 19th August, this is the most chilled out summer’s evening you can ask for on a trip to the French capital.

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6 Paris l’Ete Festival

16th July - 4th August

Throughout this summer, the Paris l’Ete Festival will be celebrating the cultural diversity of Paris through music, circus, dance and performance in over 30 different locations around the city. All the events will be free (or cheap, at least), and there are plenty to keep you entertained on a free day this summer!

7 Free Concerts at Hotel de Ville

5th - 7th July

Who doesn’t love a free concert? For three days this July, over 30 artists will take to a stage set up in front of the Hotel de Ville (Paris’ City Hall) to put on a show for free!

8 Paris Jazz Festival 2018

Until 22nd July

The Paris Jazz Festival is one of the most renowned jazz events worldwide. This year, the Paris Botanical Garden will be hosting the jazz musicians with their enormous fanbase which last year attracted over 120,000. The festival will take place every saturday and sunday until 22nd July and the concerts are free however the park charges €2.50 per person. Just grab a blanket, buy a picnic and don’t forget your dancing shoes!

9 ‘Imagine Van Gogh’ Exhibition

23rd July - 10th September

This immersive experience at The Grand Hall at the Parc de la Villette takes visitors on a journey through the work of Van Gogh by combining the artists masterpieces with technology.

10 Paris Fashion Week 2018

1st - 5th July

Paris’ Haute Couture Fashion Week will be taking place during the first 5 days on July, showcasing designers’ Fall/Winter 2018-19 collections. If you wanna do some model-spotting, the Marais neighbourhood and Palais Royal are likely to be your best bet!

June 2018

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1 Solidays Festival

22nd - 24th June

2018 at Solidays will be celebrating 20 years of the festival’s commitment to showing solidarity through incredible live music as all the proceeds from the festival go towards Solidarité sida, a French AIDS awareness group for young people. L'Impératrice, Kosme, Nasser, Juliette Armanet, The Kills, Meute and Camille will all be playing at the famous Longchamp Racecourse for the epic 3-day festival to help raise money for the amazing charity.

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Check out the 6 Best Music Festivals in Paris this Summer

2 We Love Green Festival

2nd - 3rd June

Expect the best in electro and indie plus artists representing the pop rock and hip-hop scene from this environmentally conscious festival at Plaine de la Belle Etoile. 4 stages will be playing host to awesome DJs all weekend out in the open air of Parisian woodlands. The likes of Jamie XX, Björk, Juliette Armanet, Orelsan, Beck and Charlotte Gainsbourg are set to attend for you to drink and dance all day and night before heading to your tent to recover.

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3 La Fête de la Musique

21st June

One of the biggest Parisian street parties takes over on the longest day of the year, every year. Music takes over the roads with live bands, singers and DJs setting up stage all over the city to get everyone involved in one huge celebration. The Jardin des Tuileries, the Petit Palais, the Louvre and Jardin du Luxembourg are where you’ll find some of the biggest stages so grab your friends and join in the free party!

4 Paris Pride Parade

30th June

From 2pm, a huge wave of colour will be flooding the streets of Paris for the annual celebration of Paris Gay Pride. The parade will commence at Place de la Concorde and will march through Place de la Madeleine all the way to Place de la Republique where the real dance party will be taking place. Free live concerts will be happening from 5pm until 10pm - what a way to party in Paris!

5 La Fête Foraine des Tuileries opens

From 23rd June

If you’re in Paris between 23rd June and mid-August, make sure you set aside an hour or so (at least) to enjoy La Fete Foraine des Tuileries. It’s the fun fair’s 30th anniversary this year, so it’s expected to be even better than ever. Over 80 attractions will be taking over the Jardin des Tuileries, from bumper cars to ghost trains and giant slides. Entry is free and although the rides are not, it’s a tradition you can’t not experience when in Paris.

6 Download Festival

15th - 18th June

Don’t miss out on the epic line-up set for Download Festival in Paris this year. Guns n’ Roses, The Offspring, Foo Fighters, Ozzy Osbourne, Wolf Alice… The list of big names goes on! Not only is the line-up absolutely killer, the venue for Download Paris this year is set in a huge abandoned air base just south of the city.

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7 “Zao Wou-Ki: Space is Silence” at Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris

From 1 June

This is the first time the 20th century painter and engraver Zao Wou-Ki’s work has been exhibited for more than 15 years. Head to the Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris to get an insight into the importance of large-format paintings. The exhibition will showcase 40 of his larger pieces of work, some of which have never been seen before.

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8 “Pastels of the Musée du Louvre

From 7 June

From 7th June until 10th September, the Louvre will be displaying a fantastic exhibition based on the museum’s pastel collection. See work by the likes of Jean-Etienne Liotard, Maurice Quantin de La Tour, François Boucher, all famous French artists who cleverly used pastel colours to enhance their techniques. Make sure to check it out if you plan on visiting Paris’ most famous gallery this summer.

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9 French Open

Until 10th June

If you’re a tennis fan and you’re in Paris for the French Open, why not head over to Roland-Garros (a 50-minute metro from Gare du Nord) and watch a few games live? To watch a main game inside one of the stadiums, it can be a bit pricey. However if you’re up for a day of wandering from court to court in the outdoor area, and grabbing a drink from one of the bars, ticket prices really aren’t too bad and it makes for a great day out!

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10 Nuit Aux Invalides

From 27th June

For the summer months, the Les Invalides monument will come to life in the form of light and sound most evenings until September 1st. The story of 1918 La Naissance D’un Monde Nouveau highlights the events of World War One through the eyes of a child. It’s a spectacular 45-minute story shown through light and sound, and you can watch it for free when you order tickets online.

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May 2018

1 Villette Sonique (pictured)

25th - 30th May

Villette Sonique is an annual 5-day music festival in Parc de la Villette. It’s a major hit amongst Paris locals, with an electrifying line up of rock, indie, r’n’b, electronic, trap, folk and more, there’s music for everyone. Grab a blanket and a bottle of beer and join in the party in the park. Do you want to know the best part? It’s free! Isn’t that just music to your ears?

2 European Museums Night

19th May

For one night in May every year, Paris’ main museums and galleries keep their doors open to the public late into the night. Be sure to check on timings for the museums you’re interested in visiting on this evening of fun, but usually they will open up at around sunset and close at midnight, and they’re free to enter. Head to the Louvre, Musée d’Orsay, Centre Pompidou and way more. It’s a great budget-friendly evening activity that’s a true novelty and loads of fun.

3 Jazz à Saint-Germain-des-Prés festival

24th May - 4th June

Named after the Parisian district that’s known for its love of jazz culture, with jazz musicians playing in underground bars and on terraces all over, Jazz à Saint-Germain-des-Prés is the festival of dreams for jazz lovers. Here the most prestigious jazz musicians showing off their music, and up-and-coming talents take to stage during this 10 day festival on the Left Bank. As well as watching and listening to the jazz masters in the element, you can take part in workshops and attend conferences and talks.

4 Japonismes 2018, Les Âmes en Résonance

Starts 15th May

This exhibition, hosted at Paris’ iconic Louvre, will be the largest event ever to promote Japanese culture from overseas. The Japanese collective Teamlab have created some awesome art installations, putting a twist on ‘art’ by using inventive technology to create an enchanting immersive experience for the 160th anniversary of France and Japan’s relationship.

5 French Open

21st May - 10th June

If you’re a tennis fan and you’re in Paris for the French Open, why not head over to Roland-Garros (a 50-minute metro from Gare du Nord) and watch a few games live? To watch a main game inside one of the stadiums, it can be a bit pricey. However if you’re up for a day of wandering from court to court in the outdoor area, and grabbing a drink from one of the bars, ticket prices really aren’t too bad and it makes for a great day out!

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6 French Cup Final 2018

8th May

Speaking of sports events, it’s the biggest footy event of the year in May for France, with the French Cup Final taking place at the Stade de France. If you’re after some tickets, make sure to buy them quick as they’re sure to sell out FAST. Otherwise, get down to Belushi’s in Gare du Nord or Paris Canal to watch the game on big screens surrounded by locals drinking cheap beer and cheering on their winners.

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7 Taste of Paris

17th - 20th May

Foodies… This one is for you. Taste of Paris is a 3 day event where you can sample some of the most delicious food in the city, cooked by young chefs, new chefs, Michelin-star chefs - it doesn’t matter as they all cook up amazing food! Buy your ticket online (prices start at £15) and head to the Grand Palais. Take part in a masterclass or a workshop, or just mooch around as there’ll be a market there, too. Our taste buds are tingling in anticipation!

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8 Street Art Festival

25th - 27th May

Every year at the end of May in Canal Saint Martin the Printemps des Rues festival takes place, bringing some of Paris’ most renowned street artists together to put on amazing shows for the public. Theatre, puppet shows, singing, circus acts, dancing and magic shows are all on the cards for this year’s festivities. You won’t be able to miss it if you’re in this city for this couple of days!

9 Foire du Trône

27th May

Foire du Trone is the oldest traditional funfair in the whole of France - it celebrated its thousandth anniversary in 1957! Each spring, over 10 hectares of the Pelouse de Reuilly are filled with 350 fair attractions. Plus, sweet treats like toffee apples, candy floss and crepes are in abundance! Let’s go…

10 Labour Day

1st May

There are a few public holidays in Paris during the month of May, but Labour Day is the one you want to watch out for as some museums and monuments are quite likely to close. Make sure to check the websites of the places on your to do list that Monday to avoid disappointment.

April 2018

1 April Fool’s Day/Le Poisson d’Avril

1st April

The first day of April, known to many as April Fool’s Day but known to the French as Le Poisson d’Avril (April Fish). If you happen to be in Paris, or anywhere in France, for this day, you’ll probably see children running around and sticking paper fish to other children and adults’ backs before running away yelling ‘poisson d’Avril!’ Random, but cute.

2 Easter Sunday

1st April

Easter Sunday falls on 1st April this year, meaning flowers, church bells, music and chocolate! It’s the perfect excuse to indulge a little extra in the divine Parisian patisseries and mouth-watering chocolatiers that the city is famous for. If you’re heading to Paris for Easter holidays, use our guides to make your long weekend a fun one...

Check out our Top 5 Patisseries in Paris

3 Paris Marathon 2018

8th April

The epic Paris Marathon is back again with a route that marathon-lovers would die to do.  Beginning on the Champs-Elysees and winding around the Place de la Concorde, past the Louvre, the Place de la Bastille and of course the Eiffel Tower. This massive run is also noted for its food and drinks stations that include beer, cider, wine and even oysters! If you’re not taking part (which if you haven’t signed up, sadly you won’t be) grab a spot somewhere along the scenic route to cheer on the runners.

4 Paris Art Fair

5th - 8th April

Every spring, Paris’ leading contemporary art fair comes to the city’s Grand Palais venue. This year is its 20th anniversary, so over 142 galleries comprising of 990 artists from 73 countries will be getting involved, each using all sorts of unusual ways to express themselves through art. Entry is €25 but it will be worth it to check out Paris’ most awaited annual art fair, especially if you’ve never been before.

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5 Paris Colour Run

15th April

Take part in the most colourful run of your life. The 5k route is dotted with volunteers to shower you with colour and create a fun, buzzing atmosphere. The point here is definitely not to win, it’s just about getting your new (specially bought) whites as colourful as possible. After you’ve ran your socks off, there’s a Finisher Festival with hours of music and throws of colour to really get the crowd going!

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6 VeggieWorld Fair

7th-8th April

Vegans and veggies make your way over to the Centquatre for the two-day VeggieWorld fair - the largest and oldest vegan trade fair in Europe. Veganism in France has boomed in recent years. 130 exhibitors will be there showing off their animal-friendly cosmetics and well-being products to cooking demonstrations and workshops. If you’re into learning more about the vegan lifestyle, pre-purchase your tickets online for €10.

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7 ‘Artistes and Robots’ exhibition begins

5th April (to 9th July)

This futuristic art exhibition hosted at the Grand Palais up until July will blow your mind. Every piece of work will have been created by machines which were themselves designed by artists. The exhibition has been set up as an attempt to answer the questions of whether technology can match the work of an artist, and how far artificial creativity can really go? There are around 20 interactive installations to check out. Go see what you think.

Check out the 5 Best Museums in Paris

8 Banlieue Bleues Paris Jazz Festival

Ends 13th April

The Banlieues Bleues Festival is the highlight of the music season for jazz lovers in France and Europe. Famous around the world, this wonderful Jazz festival continues to impress us hosting amazing talent in the jazz-osphere. Each edition of the festival features  concerts to lift the music-festival spirit with live jazz gigs on the stage of the Paris Ile de France venues.

Find out more

9 Free Cone Day at Ben and Jerry’s!

10th April

Did someone say free ice cream? That’s right, on 10th April you can get a free ice cream in any Ben and Jerry’s shop not just in Paris but around the world! Get there between 12pm and 8pm to grab your free cone. The B&J shop in Paris is just a short walk from the Notre Dame, so there’s your excuse!

10 Jardin des Tuileries

Pull up a green chair by the pond and bask in the spring sunshine with a French croissant and a takeaway coffee. April is one of the most glorious times of year to visit Paris - it’s not too hot, but the sun is out a lot more and a thick jumper will probably do. Jardin des Tuileries is one of the city’s most beautiful areas to go to relax amongst some greenery and do a spot of people-watching. Bliss.

Check out these great Free Things to do in Paris

March 2018

1 La Verticale de la Tour Eiffel

15th March

Watch the race up 1665 steps to the top of France’s most iconic building, the Eiffel Tower. 40 specially chosen elite athletes along with 89 lucky keen amateur runners will take on the challenge of winning the ‘vertical kilometre’ time-trial. There is no race in the world quite like this one, making it a totally unique experience not only for those taking part but for the crowds cheering them on as well. Don’t miss out if you’re in Paris for this one!

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2 St Patrick’s Day

17th March

Whilst parades of dancing leprechauns may not quite have made their way over to Paris yet, this by no means takes away from the excitement of the occasion. Paris’ ever-growing Irish community means that more pints of Guinness than ever get served up at the Irish pubs in the centre of town. Get yourself down to Kitty O’Shea’s or Stolly’s for a proper authentic St Patrick’s Day or Belushi’s for Paddy’s Day celebrations with cheap drinks and a fun, party vibe.

Check out the Best Bars in Europe to Celebrate St Patrick's Day

3 Paris Saint-Germain v Real Madrid at Belushi’s

6th March

Footy fans, the only thing that should be in your diary for 6th March when in Paris is to get down to Belushi’s in time for the Paris Saint-Germain versus Real Madrid game (if you haven’t got tickets to the actual game of course). The place will be packed out with locals cheering on their team as well as those looking to get their football fix with a big, juicy burger. The atmosphere at Belushi’s when a big game like this is on is always a winner so get your chants ready and head to the best sports bar in the city!

4 Carnaval Des Femmes

11th March

A day for women to dress up as queens and men to dress up as women! The tradition inspired by the Feast of the Laundress dates all the way back to the 18th century and has been celebrated by women (and men) every year since. Anyone willing to take part can be part of the annual Carnival of Women parade for free, to celebrate the fact that they are who they are and they’re over the moon about it! Check out the day’s itinerary by following the link below so you can parade the Parisian streets, too.

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5 Rugby Six Nations

10th and 17th March

If you happen to be in Paris for 10th March and you’re a rugby fan, do not miss out on nabbing tickets to the France v England Rugby Six Nations game at the Paris Stadium. It’s just a 15 minute train ride from Gare du Nord (and our Gare du Nord hostel) making you a fool if you don’t go! Catch the France v Wales game on the 17th - it will be on in most pubs around the city and packed with locals cheering on their team. We recommend heading to Belushis during the Six Nations, the best sports bar in the city!

6 Paris Half Marathon

4th March

The Paris Half Marathon is back for another year. Attracting more than 40,000 runners, the route runs right through the heart of the city and past some of Paris’ most famous landmarks, making for the perfect backdrop both for those taking part and those cheering them on. It’s no wonder people from all over Europe have this one on their bucket list. The Parisian streets spring to life at this time of year, making it well worth checking out for the awesome atmosphere.

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7 Banlieue Bleues Paris Jazz Festival

16th March -13th April 2018

The Banlieues Bleues Festival is the highlight of the music season for jazz lovers in France and Europe. Famous around the world, this wonderful Jazz festival continues to impress us hosting amazing talent in the jazz-osphere. Each edition of the festival features  concerts to lift the music-festival spirit with live jazz gigs on the stage of the Paris Ile de France venues.

Find out more 

8 Art Exhibitions

'Mary Cassatt: an American in Paris', From 9 March

Mary Cassatt (1844-1926) was considered one of America’s greatest artists, however she resided in France for almost her entire life, essentially making her a true ‘American in Paris’. Fifty of Mary’s pieces will be showcased at the Musée Jacquemart-André, all created using oils, pastels, drawings and engravings.

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'Margiela', From 3rd March

This exhibition is dedicated to Belgian fashion designer Martin Margiela and his work from spring-summer 1989 to spring-summer 2009 at the Palais Galliera.

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22nd-25th March

The Carreau du Temple, in the heart of Paris, will be hosting the annual DRAWING NOW Art Fair for 4 days only. Over two floors, the venue will boast over 2000 incredible pieces of art by over 400 different artists from a huge range of countries. With such a vast number of drawings on display from the past 50 years and by such different talents, this show should definitely not be missed by art lovers.

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10 Printemps Du Cinema

18th-20th March

Cinema-goers will appreciate this one. For just €4 you can grab a ticket to any film at any participating cinema around Paris for this annual film festival.

Back for its 19th year, Printemps du Cinema allows film lovers to come along and enjoy movies for a discounted price for a duration of three days in March. Check out what films are on here.

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February 2018

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1 Carnaval de Paris (pictured)

11th February

The colourful parade of costumed dancers and talented musicians is back for its 21st year in 2018. This year’s theme will be ‘the Tales of Perrault and Elsewhere’, which pretty much means fairy tales by French author Charles Perrault. The carnival starts at Place Gambetta and finishes at the Place de la République and can’t be missed if you happen to be in Paris on 11th February!

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2 Valentines Day

14th February

We’ve got you covered if you’re planning on spoiling your other half by whisking them away for a Valentine’s Day to the most romantic city in the world. From champagne river cruises to the dreamiest spots for Valentine’s dinner, follow our guide to spending February 14th in the city of love...

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3 Hidden Side of Paris

2nd-4th February

During 3 days at the start of February, over 100 original, usually closed sites will be opened up as a unique way of exploring Paris. The first batch of tickets will be available on January 17 and the second and final batch will be released on January 24. If you’re in Paris during these 3 days make sure you get tickets ASAP as they sell out super fast. Those lucky enough to nab a ticket will have special entry to private properties, they’ll get taken on an unusual custom-made adventure and will also get to see an incredible show in a weird and unexpected location, but only those will a ticket will find out where. We are intrigued…

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4 La Chandeleur

2nd February

La Chandeleur is a Catholic holiday in France which mostly seems to mean that they eat a lot of crepes - much like Pancake Day in the UK, except La Chandeleur always falls on February 2nd. Head to La Crêperie Bretonne or La Crêperie Plougastel for some of the best crepes in the city! What a day to be in Paris.

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5 Vintage Car Show

7th-11th February

This one’s for the real car lovers. Retromobile is a major international car event held in Paris’ largest exhibition park Porte de Versailles and is totally devoted to classic cars. Head to the 15th arrondissement to lust over the 500 vintage vehicles on show and dream about being one of those people who are attending to actually buy one! Get your ticket online for €18 (it will cost more to pay on the door) and get there between February 7th and 11th to spot your dream car.

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6 Chinese New Year

16th February

Chinese New Year 2018 marks the Year of the Earth Dog and to celebrate the occasion parades, concerts, shows and dances will be put on all over the city of Paris for people to enjoy. The Chinese New Year parade will be taking place in the 13th arrondissement whilst colourful and captivating dragon parades and martial arts performances will be in certain locations around the city. If you’re in Paris for February 16th, make Chinese New Year your priority, we doubt you’ll be able to miss it anyway!

7 The Final Days of Art Exhibitions

Culture vultures won’t want to miss the final days of these art exhibitions. The Musée d'Orsay pays tribute to the 100 year anniversary of Edgar Degas’ death (1834-1917) by showcasing some of his lesser-known artwork in their ‘A Tribute to Degas’ exhibition which will be available up until 25th February.

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The Picasso 1932 exhibition at the Musée National Picasso will be open for its final days until 11th February. The exhibition has gathered over 100 pieces from public and private collections, all of which were created by Picasso in the year 1932 which was a turning point in the Spanish artist’s career.

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8 Rugby Six Nations

3rd February - 17 March

Rugby fans! As we are sure you’re aware, the Six Nations kicks off very soon. France v Ireland will be taking place at Stade de France in Paris on February 3rd and tickets are still available! The stadium is just a 15 minute train ride from Gare du Nord (and our Gare du Nord hostel) making you a fool not to go if you’re in Paris at this time. If you’re not a huge rugby fan, bars and pubs around the city will be packed with locals getting into the sporting spirit so tag along and get involved there instead! We recommend heading to Belushis during the Six Nations, the best sports bar in the city.

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9 Paris International Agricultural Show

February 24 - March 4

This may sound like a weird one to most people but hear us out... Paris’ International Agricultural Show is actually HUGE in the city and locals love it (the French President even attends!). Spend a day at the show petting the 300+ breeds of farm animals, learning about the production of wine grapes and then admiring the star of the show, 2018’s mascot ‘Haute’ the Aubrac cow. The show will take place at Paris’ Porte de Versailles and costs €14 online. It’s definitely worth it for a unique day out. There’s even a food hall for you to indulge in the local produce while you’re there.

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10 New musicals coming to stage

Swan Lake

10th to 11th February, 14th to 18th February

Swan Lake will grace the Seine Musicale on 10th and 11th February this year. The classic ballet is likely to sell out so book quickly or otherwise have a look at booking tickets to see the show at the Palais des Congrès de Paris on 14th to 18th February.

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2nd February to 11 March

The stage show adaptation from 1992 Warner Bros blockbuster Bodyguard is set to be an enormous hit in France after amazing success on London’s West End. Get your tickets now to see the musical at the Palais des Sports from 2nd February. It will be a spectacle.

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Article by Darcy King

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