What to do in Paris in July and August 2023

Festivals, music, movies, plays, family: your complete guide to summer fun in the capital!

In July and August, Paris puts on a host of open-air events to celebrate the sunniest, hottest months of the year. There are all kinds of ways to make the most of the long days and mild evenings. Our top tips for a Parisian summer: join the Bastille Day celebrations; relax on the ‘beach’ at Paris Plages; get geared up for the finish of the Tour de France or go festival-hopping – here is a selection of the best.

Bastille Day in Paris

The highlight of the summer every year is Bastille Day, the French national day on 14 July.

France’s national day is celebrated every year with a prestigious military parade on the Champs-Elysées, broadcast live on television, and an impressive air show. The day ends in style with a spectacular firework display and classical music concert at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. If you plan ahead, you can enjoy the show from the lawns of the Champs-de-Mars; otherwise, the firework display can also be watched from a number of venues such as Montmartre hill.

Bastille Day will be a joyful celebration once again this year. To make 14 July a truly memorable experience, events are organized throughout the day, including concerts, shows and various free events and other activities. Don’t miss out!

All you need to know about the 14 July festivities in Paris

Paris Plages

Grands événements - juillet aout - Paris Plages © Studio TTG

During the summer months (dates to be confirmed), the Paris Plages event transforms Paris into a seaside resort. The banks of the Seine (in the Parc Rives de Seine) and alongside Canal de l’Ourcq are turned into sandy beaches dotted with palm trees, with deck chairs provided for people to sit in and relax looking out over the water. There’ll be a full programme of events and activities for kids and grown-ups, all organized in compliance with current health regulations.

More info about Paris Plages

Principal exhibitions in paris during the summer of 2023

This summer, there are exhibitions to see at all the museums! Make the most of the long days to go along to discover them!

July is the last chance to see some of the key exhibitions of the year, such as Manet-Degas, at the Musée d’Orsay (until 23 of July 2023), Léon Monet. Frère de l'artiste et collectionneur (Léon Monet. Brother of the artist and collector) at the Musée du Luxembourg (until 16 July 2023), Giovanni Bellini at the Musée Jacquemart-André (until 17 July 2023), Basquiat x Warhol. Painting 4 hands at the Fondation Louis Vuitton (until 28 August 2023), Sarah Bernhardt at the Petit Palais (until 27 August 2023), and 1997 Fashion Big Bang at the Palais Galliera (until 16 July 2023). The Philharmonie de Paris is keeping its doors open until 30 July for the Basquiat soundtracks exhibition. 

There’s still time to explore the exhibition entitled Moï Ver (the artist’s pseudonym) at the Centre Pompidou. More than 300 works and documents are on display until 28 August 2023. 

Plus

From 6 September 2022 to 6 August 2023

From 18 October 2022 to 7 January 2024

From 5 July to 20 August 2023

From 26 January to 23 July 2023

From 20 April to 27 August 2023

From 12 April to 28 August 2023

From 12 April to 28 August 2023

Festivals

Festivities and festivals in Paris in July and August 2023

Rock en Seine 2016 © Victor Picon

Paris gets into the festival vibe in summer, with an eclectic selection of events to suit all tastes. Music, cinema, theatre: take your pick of the summer festivals!

Get out into the sunshine and explore the parks and gardens of Paris, where there’s always something going on during the summer months.

The Tuileries gardens hope to welcome 60 funfair attractions and rides once again this year for the Fête des Tuileries, held during July and August. Fun for children of all ages in one of the city’s most beautiful green spaces.

The Canal de l’Ourcq also switches to summer time with its “Été du Canal” (summer on the canal) programme of workshops, boat trips, mini-concerts and other festive or sporting events.

Paris has more than its fair share of festivals. There’s something for everyone and all genres are represented. Music, film theatre – it’s up to you to put together your personal summer programme!

For classical music buffs the Festival Européen Jeunes Talents, a springboard for emerging young musicians, provides an opportunity to discover rising stars interpret the works of Ravel, Schumann, Mendelssohn and Bartók.

At the Parc Floral, in the Bois de Vincennes, summertime is synonymous with festival time! Between the beginning of July and the beginning of September, the park is the venue for the Paris Jazz Festival, the Classique Au Vert (classical music in the park) festival and the children’s music festival Les Pestacles. Make the most of those long summer evenings!

After the 2022 edition was cancelled, the unique Opéra en Plein Air (open-air opera) returns between June and September 2023. This event offers lyrical concerts in the grounds of some of Île-de-France’s emblematic historical buildings, such as Sceaux castle, Saint-Germain-en-Laye castle and Les Invalides. Enjoy some of the greatest operatic arias in an exceptional setting.

The Rock en Seine festival, held annually on the last weekend in August, is the go-to event of the year for rock music fans. See you in August 2023 in the Parc de Saint-Cloud. On from 21 to 23 July 2023, the Lollapalooza festival at the Hippodrome ParisLongchamp in Paris features a special kids’ programme called Kidzapalooza, with a performance stage and activities for children, including street art, introduction to Manga, rock school, games galore, make-up, temporary tattoos, and more.

Full details of outdoor festivals in Paris

Following on from the success of its first edition, Dolcevita-sur-Seine will be back in July 2023 with a varied programme entitled ‘tanti colori’. Festival-goers can attend events organised simultaneously in Paris and in Rome, with a link-up between the two venues allowing for audience interaction. In celebration of the twinning of the two cities, the programme pays homage to Italian cinema, and as well as open-air screenings will feature concerts, plays, and tasting sessions. A festive programme that will animate the banks of the Seine!

Another option for seeing a film under a starry sky, should the situation permit, is the Silhouette festivalThe festival proposes short films in various place in the 19th arrondissement. The Cinéma en plein air de la Villette is a major event of the Parisian summer for movies in the biggest outdoor cinema space in Paris. With friends or family, discover or rediscover great cinema classics on Europe's largest inflatable screen.

Find out about all the free open-air film festivals in Paris

Smart Food Festival

Toast Avocat  © T. Tseng Flickr

The third edition of the fledgling Smart Food Festival is back this year! This new festival dedicated to healthy, local, and sustainable cooking offers all visitors the opportunity to discover innovative and socially responsible brands, the latest innovations, and to taste products from small producers. Cooking and awareness-raising workshops for young people are also offered. In addition to this rich offer, immersive and off-site workshops are held throughout the festival.

Japan Expo 2023

The 22nd edition of Japan Expo returns from 13 July to 16 July 2023, at the Parc des Expositions de Paris Nord Villepinte, just 30 minutes from Paris from the Gare du Nord. Every year, Japan Expo invites personalities such as Mangaka, animation professionals, chara designers, illustrators, video game makers, producers, musicians, singers, composers … As well as book signings, meetings, masterclasses and talks, a number of events are planned to take place, including a major cosplay competition. Try your luck at one of the many games created for the event, to win ’jens’, the festival's currency, that can be exchanged for gifts! A special trip to the heart of Japan without leaving Paris.

Science Expériences

At Bercy VillageScience Expériences invites families to explore an immersive and entertaining scientific journey in its 850 m² space. Open all summer!

Book your tickets for Science Expériences

Shows, festival and high points of the summer in Paris in 2023

Major shows in paris in July and August

Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte - Parterre de fleurs, Paris © Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte

Shows at Versailles

In the gardens of the Palace of Versailles, the Fountains Night Show/Grandes Eaux Nocturnes (from 10 June to 23 September 2023) is back on Saturday evenings in summer for a dazzling spectacle.

Château de Vaux le Vicomte

Every Saturday between July and October, the Château de Vaux le Vicomte is open for evening visits by candlelight. The château and its 33-hectare gardens, designed by French landscape architect André Le Nôtre, are beautifully lit by 2000 candles. A unique and unforgettable visit, during which time seems to stand still (every Saturday evening from 20 May to 30 September 2023, as well as on Friday evenings during July and August 2023).

Les Invalides

During July and August at Les Invalides, visitors are invited on an immersive voyage through the history of Paris. The 11th season of Night at Les Invalides is a spectacular 360° sound and light show projected on the façade of this Parisian historical monument. A 50-minute show that has already entranced more than 650,000 spectators.

The Tour de France 

The Tour de France is expected to take place this year, from 1 to 23 July 2022, starting out from Bilbao, Spain. The arrival at the Champs-Élysées is a lively and joyous event not to be missed!

2023 World Para Athletics Championships

Paris’s Charléty Stadium will host the Championships from 8 to 17 July 2023. This track and field meet is the second largest international para athletic event after the Paralympics. The public will be able to cheer on outstanding sporting performances from the 1700 para athletes from 120 countries who are expected to take part over the ten days.

Headline concerts in Paris this July and August 2023

This summer major international stars are due in Paris to give some headline concerts and the programme is already looking memorable : Muse on 8 July 2023 at the Stade de France, Michel Polnareff at the Accor Arena in Paris on 2 July 2023 and Imagine Dragons on 22 and 23 August 2023 at Paris La Défense Arena.

Top shows in Paris in July and August

In addition to the major annual events, the summer music programme contains a few gems not to be missed!

The Grande Halle de la Villette presents Pina Bausch’s flagship choreography Café Müller, one of the founding pieces of the Tanztheater movement. An essential work. Performances between 6 and 12 July 2023.

Choreographer Carolyn Carlson’s cult work Signes is being performed at the Opéra Bastille until 16 July 2023. A highly original contemporary ballet that takes as its theme the sign of the smile, it was created by Carlson in collaboration with artist Olivier Debré and composer René Aubry. Over at the Palais Garnier, there’s an opportunity to see Kenneth MacMillan’s Manon, a sublime grand fresco, until 15 July 2023.