If you’re travelling to Paris with the intention of visiting Paris’ big name attractions then you should make the most of Nuit des Musées ‘Night of Museums’ which takes place annually on the 18th May and gives you a unique chance of getting into Parisian museums for free! That’s right, no entry fees! Don’t expect to gain entry immediately though. Queues come hand in hand with the word ‘free’ so do take something to nibble on as well as a bag of patience. With that said, prepare yourself for a whole night of ‘oohing and aahing’ as you set your eyes on amazing masterpieces that you’ve only ever see in pictures or movies. Among the names of participating museums are The Louvre, Musée de la Chasse, Musée Cernuschi, Musée Delacroix, Musée Henner, Palais de Tokyo, Château de Versailles and MAC/VAL.
The Fête de la Musique which first originated in 1982 in Paris is today an event that is celebrated in more than 110 counties and takes place on World Music Day on the 21st June. This musical festival is an extraordinary event that was created with the intention of uniting people through music and bringing them out on the streets. On this day, concerts big and small are held in almost any location from theatres to bars, parks, balconies and even street corners. Join in with crowds and sing and dance to various musical genres. Its guaranteed fun!
Bastille Day, formally designated by the French as La Fête Nationale, is a national holiday in France and commemorates the famous storming of the Bastille which took place on the 14th of July in 1789. It marks the uprising of the modern nation and the reconciliation of all the French inside the constitutional monarchy which preceded the First Republic during the French Revolution. It is an event celebrated all over France. However, celebrations in Paris go that extra mile offering a much grander celebration with military parades, concerts, balls and a tremendous firework display to finish things off. The famous Champs-Élysées is fully decorated on Bastille Day and streets are filled with spectators. At night, many line the streets of the Champ de Mars or take to restaurants, bars and famous monuments where the view towards the fireworks can be greater appreciated.
The Festival Paris Cinéma is without a doubt a highly popular event and international competition which is held annually for one week during the month of July. This important summer festival is a chance for many filmmakers to put their work on show with the hope of being ‘discovered’. The Festival Paris Cinéma explores a range of cinematic styles through retrospectives, tributes and premieres, premiering up to 40 films at times. The Festival is an event that is held in several different venues and welcomes famous Hollywood names as well as featuring an outdoor cinema flea market, a cinema night and cine-karaoke. Tickets are extremely affordable and should be bought in advance.
Le cinema en Plein Air is an event that usually starts near the end of July until the final days of August. This is a fun, free and modern event that takes place during the evenings in Parc de la Villette in north-eastern Paris. This Open Air Cinema event is a great opportunity to watch a number of popular English as well as foreign films (subtitled in French) on a giant screen plus being a unique way to mingle with local Parisians and visitors or chill out and relax whilst being part of one of Paris’ most enjoyable cultural events. Ideal for families or romantic evenings.
Nuite Blanche or ‘White Night’ is a full-on annual art event that takes place on the first Saturday of every October. On this night many cultural institutions such as museums and art galleries are open free of charge. But you don’t have to go to these places to see art. In fact, all you have to do is step out on to the city streets which are turned into one huge art exhibition for one night only. Fantastic art installations are found all along the River Seine as well as the Place de la Concord. Nuit Blanche is a fantastic cultural event that invites Parisians and tourists to participate in activities and features a buzzing night of free concerts, music and dance and performance art.