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.

Due to expected disruptions on 21 September 2019, some sites in the city have changed their access conditions.

 Visit the official ‘Journées du Patrimoine’ (Heritage Days) website to find out more.

The staff of the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau remain at your disposal for any further information, by telephone on 01 49 52 42 63, from 9am to 6pm.
Our City Hall reception office at the Hôtel de Ville will be closed all day.

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 2019, Heritage Days take place on 21 and 22 September with the theme "Art & Entertainment". 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:

Guided tour of the Grand Rex

Salle Panoramique du Grand Rex, Paris © DR

Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 from 9am to 5pm

Europe's largest cinema, the Grand Rex reflects the architecture of the 1930s. Enjoy a visit accompanied by a guide to discover the history of its treasures (interior decor, starry vault, etc.).

Guided tour of the Opéra-Comique

Opéra Comique - Salle Favart , Paris © Olaf Daniel Meyer

Sunday 22 from 10am to 6pm

Formerly the Royal Academy of Music, the Théâtre National de l’Opéra-Comique was created during the reign of Louis XIV and is one of the oldest cultural institutions in France. With a programme alternating opera and theatre, the repertoire has had great success with works such as Carmen or La Damnation de Faust. This is an opportunity to stroll through the theatre’s sublime decor and backstage areas!

Visit and circus workshops at the Cirque Bormann-Moreno

Cirque Bormann - Scène, Paris

Saturday 21 from 10am to 1pm

For 35 years, the Bormann-Moreno family circus has seen several generations of the family of the same name follow on from one another. Today, its circus shows mix tradition and modernity and continue to be popular with the public. During European Heritage Days, fans of circus arts can have a tour of the backstage and stables, plus practice juggling, trapeze and the high wire.

Guided tour and film-concert at Pavillon Baltard

Pavillon Baltard - extérieur

Saturday and Sunday from 3pm to 5pm

Built in the second half of the 19th century under Napoleon, the Baltard Pavilion was one of the pavilions housing the Halles de Paris until 1972. The only remaining building, it was transferred to Nogent-sur-Marne, where it hosts film shoots, shows and festivals. European Heritage Days are the opportunity to visit this place, which is now a flagship for the French cultural scene and enjoy a screening of ‘The Immigrant’ by Charlie Chaplin, accompanied by the organ of Marc Pinardel.

Visit, special activities and restoration of works at the Viaduc des Arts

Viaduc des Arts, Paris © OTCP - Amélie Dupont

Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 7pm

Opened in 1859 to carry a railway line, the Bastille viaduct has become a place dedicated to artistic creation and is home to numerous artists' workshops. In addition to a guided tour, visitors can enjoy special activities, authentication demonstrations and restoration of works!

Visit and exhibition about Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral at the Palais-Royal

Domaine national du Palais-Royal - Cours

Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 6pm

The royal residence until Versailles was built, the Domaine du Palais-Royal is now home to four institutions: The Ministry of Culture, the Constitutional Council, the Council of State and the Comédie Française theatre. Enjoy a visit led by the collaborators of the institutions and tour guides as well as an exhibition on Notre-Dame de Paris and fun activities organized by the Nestlé France Foundation — a national partner of Heritage Days.

Guided tour of the Cour de Cassation

Cour de Cassation

Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 from 10am to 6pm (by appointment)

Step inside the Palais de Justice in Paris to discover the behind-the-scenes of the supreme court. European Heritage Days provide the opportunity to visit this building dating back to 1790 and unravel the mysteries of the court of appeal.

Exhibition on the history of Space at the Observatoire de l’Espace – Siège du Centre national d’études spatiales

Façade Observatoire de l'espace - JEP 2019

Saturday 21 from 11am to 8pm and Sunday 22 from 11am to 6pm

Responsible for developing and carrying out France’s Space policy, the Space Observatory is structured around two programmes: the Cultural History of Space and Creation, and Space Imagination. This cultural laboratory, a cultural heritage, that welcomes artists from all walks of life, takes visitors on a journey through Space. During European Heritage Days, discover the exhibition ‘Dissipation’, comprising archives and contemporary creations on the theme of the history of Space.

Guided tour of the Palais du tribunal de commerce de Paris

Escalier d'honneur - Tribunal de Commerce

Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 from 10am to 5pm

An architectural jewel of the 19th century, the Palais du Tribunal de Commerce de Paris is a work of art of the Empire in its own right: courtrooms, corridors of the Presidency ... A guided tour not to be missed!

Guided tour, exhibition and citizen workshops at the Hôtel de Ville de Paris (Paris City Hall)

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

Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 from 10am to 6pm

Rebuilt following the fire of 1871, the Hôtel de Ville as it is known today was inaugurated in 1882 in a neo-Renaissance style. On the occasion of the European Heritage Days, go on a guided tour of its sublime reception rooms, the Paris Council Hall, the library and the Mayor's office as well as the exhibition ‘La mode qui s’engage’ Many citizen workshops are also organized to discover the expertise of the site’s craftsmen (florists, locksmiths, couturiers, painters, etc.).

More info on the European Heritage Days website.