European Heritage Days

One-off openings, behind the scenes, little-known places ... 10 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 2018, Heritage Days take place on 15 and 16 September.

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:

A Visit to the Elysée Palace

Palais de l’Élysée, entrée, Paris © Fotolia - ParisPhoto

Saturday and Sunday, from 9am to 6pm

The official residence of the president of the French Republic and previously of  major figures in the history of France (like the Marquise de Pompadour or Napoleon I), the Elysée Palace opens its doors exceptionally to the public during Heritage Days.

Free, no prior registration

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A Visit to the Jérôme Seydoux-Pathé Foundation

Fondation Jérôme Seydoux-Pathé, salle de réunion, Paris © Michel Denancé - Coll. Fondation Jérôme Seydoux-Pathé © 2014 - RPBW

Saturday and Sunday, from 10am to 7pm.

The Jérôme Seydoux-Pathé Foundation welcomes cinema enthusiasts to discover its headquarters, designed by Renzo Piano, on the site of the Théâtre des Gobelins. On the programme: self-guided tours, guided tours and film-concerts.

Free, no prior registration

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Discovering the Sorbonne University

La Sorbonne - amphithéâtre © Rectorat académie de Paris - Sylvain Lhermie

Saturday and Sunday, from 10am to 5pm

A high seat of knowledge internationally, the Sorbonne University is also an architectural marvel that exceptionally opens its doors to visitors. During Heritage Days, the famous university faculty also offers the public the opportunity to discover the work of students from technical colleges and art schools in Paris, and on Sunday at 3pm, the Orchestra and Chorus of the universities of Paris will give a special concert!

Free, no prior registration

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Vintage photo session aboard an old bus

Balade en bus de légende © RATP - Bruno Marguerite

Saturday and Sunday, from 10am to 5pm.

The Maison de RATP offers you the chance to pose for an unusual photo shoot on a bus from the 1920s! Climb onto the platform of the legendary TN20, smile ... and leave with an unusual souvenir of your stay in Paris.

Free, no registration required

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Self-guided tour and free concerts at the Musée de la Musique

Musée de la musique, Philharmonie 2, concert-promenade, Paris © Pomme Célarié

Saturday and Sunday, from 10am to 6pm.

As part of Heritage Days, the Musée de la Musique – Cité de la Musique Philharmonie de Paris is offering visitors a series of varied concerts: Gypsy jazz (Saturday from 11am to 2pm), pop-rock (Saturday from 3.30pm to 4pm), horn and voice (Sunday from 11am to 2pm), percussion (participatory concert, Sunday from 3pm to 3.30pm), song (Sunday from 3.30pm to 4pm). At the same time, it is possible to visit the collection of musical instruments at the Museum.

Free, no registration required

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Discovery tour of the glasshouses at the Luxembourg Gardens

Jardin du Luxembourg - serres © Sénat / Cécilia Lerouge

Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 6pm

On the occasion of the European Heritage Days, the Luxembourg Gardens opens its glasshouses exceptionally to visitors, who will discover some unexpected plant species right in the heart of Paris.

Free, no prior booking required

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A Crazy Experience at the Crazy Horse Paris

Crazy Horse Totally Crazy © SolveSundsbo

Saturday: 1pm, 2pm, 3pm, 4pm / Sunday : 2pm, 3pm, 4pm, 5pm

The famous establishment offers visitors a rare opportunity to step into the world of the cabaret in the company of one of its top dancers. From backstage to anecdotes, you’ll find out all about the Crazy Horse Paris.

For 16 years + only

Free, by appointment (send an email to jep2018@lecrazyhorseparis.com)

More info

Demonstration of coin minting at 11 Conti – Monnaie de Paris

Monnaie de Paris - Trésor de Hue © Jean-Marc Martin

Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 7pm

The oldest institution in France reveals its secrets to visitors during Heritage Days. From the melting of metals to the manufacturing of coins and medals, you will learn all about this unique know-how, via demonstrations, tours and workshops. This is also the opportunity to see contemporary art exhibitions currently showing.

Free, no prior booking required

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Visit of the roof of the Palais de la Porte Dorée and concert

Cité nationale de l'histoire de l'immigration, Paris © OTCP - Marc Bertrand

Saturday: 10.30am, 12pm, 1.30pm, 3pm, 4pm, 5.30pm / Sunday : 10.30am, 12pm, 1.30pm, 3pm, 4pm, 5.30pm

The Palais de la Porte Dorée has a full programme lined up for Heritage Days, for adults and children: with visits, film screenings, a treasure hunt and workshops … Plus, it is offering the exceptional opportunity to discover the roof of this building with its unique architecture giving a an unusual overview of its situation in the heart of the East of Paris. Saturday at 7pm, the Palais de la Porte Dorée is also inviting the public to the ‘Great Black Music’ evening: Ancient to the Future!, with Martin Meissonnier on the decks!

Free visit of the roof, by appointment (send an email to reservation@palais-portedoree.fr)

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Discovering Paris City Hall

Hôtel de Ville de Paris, extérieur façade © Fotolia - jorisvo

Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 6pm

Located in the heart of Paris, the City Hall is a majestic building that is remarkable in its Neo-Renaissance style. It is the seat of the city council and also boasts sumptuous reception rooms rarely open to the public and an impressive library. This is an opportunity to see the behind the scenes of the City of Light.

Free, no prior booking required

More info


More info on the European Heritage Days website.