European Heritage Days in Paris
One-off openings, behind the scenes, little-known places ... one-of-a-kind free visits to explore Paris from a different angle.
For 35 years, European Heritage Days have been inviting visitors to discover areas of iconic cultural sites and entire places in Paris that are not usually open to the public. An outstanding programme makes this weekend a highlight of the post-summer holiday period.
In 2022, Heritage Days take place on 17 and 18 September with the theme Sustainable heritage. There is something for everyone and for all ages ... events in unusual places, discovery trails, workshops and more! Here is a little glimpse of what is in store for you:
Visits of the Cité Universitaire
For 95 years now, students from all over the world have been coming to stay in the unique houses of residence on the campus of the Cité Universitaire Internationale. Many of the 43 houses on campus open their doors and organise cultural events. The Cité internationale's Centre du patrimoine offers several thematic tours to help visitors discover this original architectural complex located in a 34-hectare landscaped park.
- Visit Centre du patrimoine de la Cité internationale heritage centre with its permanent exhibition that tells the story of the International University: Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 9pm.
- Guided tours Architectures Without Borders and discover the history of the International University through its architecture. Saturday at 3pm and Sunday at 3pm, 4pm and 5pm (1 hour). Departure from the Centre du patrimoine in the lobby of the Maison internationale. Registration on site from 2pm. Subject to availability.
- Guided tours Gardens of the world in motion and sustainable park, discovery of the fauna and flora of the park, of its most beautiful gardens as well as the works of art created within the framework of the 5th edition of Gardens of the world in motion. Saturday and Sunday at 4.30 pm (1.5 hours). Departure from the Centre du patrimoine in the lobby of the Maison internationale. Registration on site from 2pm. Subject to availability.
- Guided tours Discover the new houses of the Cité internationale, built in a sustainable manner as part of the current development project, Cité 2025. Saturday at 4pm and Sunday at 3.30pm (1.5 hours). Departure from the Centre du patrimoine in the lobby of the Maison internationale. Registration on site from 2pm. Subject to availability.
The full programme of the European Heritage Days at the Cité internationale universitaire de Paris can be found here
Free visit of the Giacometti Institute
17 and 18 September 2022 from 10 am to 6 pm
The Giacometti Institute is located in the Montparnasse district, dear to the famous Swiss sculptor Alberto Giacometti. The collections dedicated to this major 20th century artist are housed in a superb Art Deco and Art Nouveau mansion, the former workshop of the decorator Paul Follot. The European Heritage Days are an opportunity to discover this charming place free of charge and to showcase numerous works by Giacometti. It is also an opportunity to enjoy the last days of the exhibition Alberto Giacometti. Un arbre comme une femme, une pierre comme une tête (until 18 September 2022).
The visit Crazy Experience of the Crazy Horse
Saturday 17 September at 1pm, 2pm, 3pm and 4pm. Sunday 18 September at 2, 3, 4 and 5pm. Maximum 14 people per group. Registration required by email: email@example.com
The mythical Parisian cabaret Crazy Horse, located on the prestigious Avenue George V, is offering free 30-minute visits for this 2022 edition of the European Heritage Days, which will take the public into the history and backstage of this emblematic place. A Crazy Girl - the name given to the cabaret's dancers - will take on the role of guide for the occasion and reveal the secrets behind the scenes of the Crazy Horse Paris.
Culinary and cultural activities at the GoodPlanet Foundation
Timetable depending on the activities. To be found on the foundation's agenda
For its first participation in the Heritage Days, the GoodPlanet foundation - located in the Bois de Boulogne - offers a complete and original programme spread over the whole weekend. You can meet in this green screen for the MIAM festival, a vegetable walk, a mini food market, cooking workshops, culinary demonstrations, a DJ set, a foodtruck, culinary challenges...
Discover the machinery of the Eiffel Tower lift
On registration on the Eiffel Tower website. Saturday and Sunday, every 30 minutes from 9.30am to 3.30pm
The famous monument offers an exceptional visit to the machinery of its historic lift. The visit is commented by the Tower's technicians themselves!
Visit of the Paris Hôtel de Ville (City Hall)
Registration required, Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 6pm
Paris City Hall offers two exhibitions on the history of Paris as well as tours of the reception rooms, the boardroom, the Mayor's office and the heritage library.
Visit of the Institut de France
Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 6pm Self-guided tour.
The Institut de France, an institution as old as it is mysterious, invites you to step through its main door and discover the main courtyard, the Mazarine library, the various meeting rooms, the new auditorium, the Dome ... It is within these walls, some of which are 350 years old, that the five academies work: Académie Française, des Sciences, des Beaux-arts, des Sciences Morales et Politiques and des Inscriptions et Belles-lettres. Some academicians will be present to sign their work.
Visit of the Grand Rex
Guided tour Saturday from 9am to 6pm, Sunday from 9am to 6pm. Free admission upon reservation, 30 people, 30mn slot, departure every 15mn
The Grand Rex, an emblematic place for cinema and entertainment, is a listed historical monument and has the largest movie theatre in Europe! The history of its construction in the 1930s, anecdotes about the shows and a visit to its Big Auditorium are all worth discovering. A more in-depth tour takes you behind the scenes of a film studio, from the projection booth to the special effects room.
Visit of Galeries Lafayette
Saturday from 9.30am to 10.30am and Sunday from 9.30am to 11am. Tours are free of charge but places must be reserved on the website. Maximum 12 people per group.
It will soon be 125 years since Galeries Lafayette Haussmann opened its doors, in the era of department stores and Art Nouveau. Discover the superb dome, dating back to 1912, the ironwork, various archives and an itinerary exclusive, through the store and up to the rooftop terrace with its view over Paris, providing a valuable insight into the development of this store – an emblem of Parisian fashion and commerce since 1894.
Pop Accordion at the Musée de la Musique
Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 6pm.
The Philharmonie de Paris and its Musée de la Musique, in association with the city of Tulle, is honouring the popular accordion. Concerts (musette, jazz, classical), the showing of a documentary film, presentations and demonstrations are on the programme for these European Heritage Days.
Visit of the Université de la Sorbonne
Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 5pm.
The magnificent architecture and fascinating history of the iconic Sorbonne University can be discovered through talks and a tour of the salons, statues, amphitheatres, the Chapel, the Library, and the Salle des Autorités. The route includes explanatory panels and features a selection of works by students at the Paris region’s art schools and colleges. This year, a concert by the Orchestre et chœur des universités de Paris en Sorbonne is scheduled for Sunday from 4pm to 5pm.
Self-guided visit : Saturday from 9am to 7pm and Sunday from 12.30pm to 7pm.
Classified as a historical monument for more than 100 years, the Church of Saint-Sulpice was declared a listed monument more than 100 years ago and has treasures for every taste. An exhibition presents the history of this parish during the Fronde (1648-53), the French Revolution (1789-99), and the Paris Commune (1870-71); the astronomical gnomon is visible between 1.15pm and 2.15 pm when daylight falls on the meridian of Saint-Sulpice; several works are on show such as paintings by Delacroix and liturgical ornaments.
Guided tour of the Boucheron jewellery store - Hôtel de Nocé
Please register for your guided tour - Friday 16 and Sunday 18.
The Maison Boucheron was founded in 1858 by Frédéric Boucheron; his first store was in the Palais Royal. Opened in 1893, the establishment at 26 place Vendôme was his second and the first jeweller’s to open in Place Vendôme, with its elegant architecture dating from the reign of Louis XIV. The maison Boucheron invites visitors on a guided tour of the Hôtel de Nocé, an architectural gem.
Tour of the Palais-Royal - Centre des monuments nationaux
- Guided tour History of the theatres at the Palais Royal: Saturday 17 September 2022, from 11am to 12pm
- Guided tour Dentelles et volupté, histoire de la prostitution au Palais-Royal: Saturday 17 September 2022, from 6pm to 7pm
- Guided tour of Molière at the Palais-Royal: Saturday 17 September 2022, from 5pm to 6pm and from 8pm to 9pm
- Firing the meridian cannon: Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 September 2022, from 12pm to 12.15pm
Built for Cardinal Richelieu by Jacques Lemercier, architect of the Sorbonne - the Domaine du Palais-Royal is favoured by Parisians and tourists alike as a place for a stroll. Themed tours with commentary and firing of the meridian cannon are on the programme.
Palais du Luxembourg - Tour of the Senate
Self-guided visit Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 6pm
Each year during the European Heritage Days, the French Senate open its doors to the public, offering a unique opportunity to visit the Palais du Luxembourg. Discover the Senate chamber, the library, painted by Delacroix, the Salle des Conférences, the Petit Luxembourg (where the President of the Senate works), the Queen’s Chapel, built by Marie de Médicis en 1625, and the eighteenth-century Boffran salons. Senate officials are on hand to offer further information and answer visitors’ questions.
Bormann-Moreno circus show: Journey through time
17 and 18 September 2022 - Registration by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
On the occasion of the European Heritage Days, the Bormann-Moreno circus is offering a hundred tickets to its show Journey through time. The circus tent, located in the 15th arrondissement, has all the ingredients for an unusual family event: clowns, acrobats, magicians...
Guided tours at the Musée des Arts Forains
17 and 18 September 2022 - Reservations on https://arts-forains.com/
The Musée des Arts forains, located in the Bercy Village district, is organising exciting 1.5-hour guided tours at reduced rates (€12 for all, instead of €18) during the Heritage Days weekend. During these tours, you will discover the history and collections of this atypical museum in the 12th arrondissement. Other thematic visits are organised. See the museum's agenda.
Heritage Days at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint-Denis
17 and 18 September 2022
A masterpiece of Gothic art, the Cathedral Basilica of Saint-Denis impresses by its size, its architecture and its history. The burial place of the kings and queens of France, it now houses more than 70 sculpted funerary tombs. The programme for the European Heritage Days is full of free events: 30-minute guided tours (registration on site), concerts, forge and stone-cutting demonstrations, etc.
Reopening of the BnF - Site Richelieu
17 and 18 September 2022 - Reservations at https://bnf.tickeasy.com/fr-FR/produit
After more than 10 years of work, the historic Richelieu site of the Bibliothèque nationale de France reopens its doors to the public on the occasion of the 2022 European Heritage Days. The programme of activities and free visits is in keeping with this major event of the Parisian cultural season. On the programme: discovery of the Salle Ovale, the Vivienne garden and the reading rooms; tours led by artists, actors, acrobats, dancers and singers; readings of great texts...
Le Monde festival
From 16 to 18 September 2022 - Reservations at https://festival.lemonde.fr/billetterie/
The newspaper Le Monde organises its annual festival, which includes the Heritage Days. Since 2020, the headquarters of Le Monde has been located in the 13th arrondissement, in a building that impresses with its elegance and modernity, designed by Snohetta and SRA-Architectes. The Le Monde festival and the Heritage Days are an opportunity to discover this architectural feat thanks to guided tours, to enjoy activities on the forecourt, to participate in conversations and debates...
Visit of the Ivry-Paris locomotive depot
Guided tour of the historic electric locomotive 2D2 5525, Saturday and Sunday from 2pm to 6pm.
Members of the COPEF association (Cercle Ouest Parisien d'Études Ferroviaires) take visitors on an exciting tour of the former steam locomotive depot in Paris-Ivry. These mechanical and industrial engineering enthusiasts also introduce the public to the historic 2D2 5525 locomotives, which was put into service in 1934 and classified as a historical monument in 1990!
The complete programme of the European Heritage Days