Paris is a city blessed with incomparable sights but it also has its fair share of festivals to further tempt the visitor. If you’re thinking of booking a hotel in Paris this year, here is our rundown of the best festivals the city has to offer help make up your mind.
The most famous is on 14th July, Bastille Day, which is a national holiday during which the city really celebrates. The party starts with the President leading a military parade down the Champs d’Elysees, with thousands of onlookers lining the pavement. Eyes look upwards for the flypast and hearts beat faster to the roar of powerful jet engines. Get there early to secure a good position.
As evening descends, the crowds make their way towards the Eiffel Tower for the spectacular firework display. The iconic landmark is magnificent against a background of bursting stars of silver and gold.
From there the celebration continues in any one of the cafes, bars and restaurants in the city as they all seem to have their own way of marking the occasion. This is truly a day not to be missed and the perfect event for families on holiday in the city.
Running from 25th July to 26th August is the Open Air Cinema festival, which is held annually at the Prairie du Triangle in the Parc de la Villette. This is a feast of film with all tastes catered for and runs each evening from 21:00 to 23:00. Entry is free.
The Parc is easily reached by Metro line 5 Porte de Pantin or line 7 Porte de la Villette so you will have no transport worries to spoil the evening.
The best way to enjoy the occasion is to take a picnic and relax in a deckchair or recline on a blanket – either can be hired – pour a glass of wine and watch the show.
No visit to Paris would be complete without seeing the Palace of Versailles, which can be easily reached by train from the city from Paris Montparnasse and Paris St Lazare stations.
The Triumph of Handel, a festival of Baroque and classical music, is just one of many events taking place at Versailles this summer. It runs from 8th June to 13th July and features the choral, orchestral and chamber music of the famous composer.
The Royal Fireworks Show, which features the Water Music and Music for Royal Fireworks, is an event not to be missed and must be booked in advance. Prices range from €25 to €100 and tickets can be booked via the website.
Memories of this concert will linger forever as you will be listening to fabulous music in the beautiful gardens of one of the most famous buildings in the world. The Palace will be silhouetted against a sky filled with fireworks and reflected in the Grand Canal. The programme starts at 10pm.
The annual Tropical Carnival takes place on 7th July and is a huge and popular attraction in the city. Over 2000 exotically dressed dancers, singers and musicians dance and samba through the streets from the Place de la Nation to the Place de Pantin. The decorated floats are testament to the hard work and dedication of their creators and bring a flavour of warmer climes.
The Carnival attracts a huge crowd, so it’s worth bagging your spot early and ensuring there’s plenty of room to dance.
Paris rocks in August at Rock en Seine. This is a three-day festival close to the city centre in the Domaine de Saint-Cloud, Centre des Monuments Nationaux and features some top international acts this year including Placebo, Noel Gallagher and Green Day.
This year the festival runs from 24th-26th August and tickets are variously priced from €49 for a one-day pass to €109 for the three-day option and camping is available too.
If you’d like to bring the children along there’s also a Mini Rock festival running concurrently for 6-10 year olds.