Sources: Paris Convention and Visitors Office, Paris Mayor's Office
The below calendar applies to July 2012.
Festivals and Seasonal Events
- Bastille Day (La Fête Nationale):
Bastille Day marks the beginning of the French revolution and the country's long, chaotic road to becoming a republic. Similar in spirit to American Independence Day or Canada Day, La Fête de la Bastille is not to be missed and offers a chance to see top-notch fireworks or organize a picnic in one of the city's beautiful parks and gardens. The traditional military parade on the Champs-Elysées before nightfall gives a glimpse of how French people pay tribute to their nation. On the eve of Bastille Day, an enormous dance party ("Le Bal du 14 juillet") takes over the Place de la Bastille, starting the celebration on a festive note.
- Paris Plages (Paris Beach)
From July 20th to August 19th, a full-fledged beach with sand, games, cafes, and even boating will take over the banks of the Seine and the Bassin de la Villette in North Paris. Paris Plage has enjoyed enormous success since its launch in 2003 and attracted millions of visitors last year. On hot nights, sipping a drink at one of the open-air bars installed on the beach or enjoying free live concerts are now summer staples in Paris.
- Open-Air Cinema Festival at the Parc de la Villette
Dates: July 25th through August 26th, 2012
Every year, Parisians and visitors spread out blankets at the ultramodern Parc de la Villette, where some 36 movies are shown on a giant outdoor screen. Starting to see why July is a great month for movie aficionados? In 2012, entry is free.
General information about the Parc de la Villette
Visit the official website
- Paris Cinema Film Festival 2012:
Through July 10th, the Paris Cinema Film Festival brings the work of talented filmmakers from around the world to screens in the city of lights.
Arts and Exhibits Highlights in July
The Cinémathèque Française is hosting a major retrospective on iconoclastic filmmaker Tim Burton, who rose to mainstream prominence with cult classics including Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood and The Nightmare Before Christmas. This is the same retrospective conceived by the MOMA in New York. The exhibit, featuring some 700 works by Burton, includes the director's early drawings, sculptures (including several which were created exclusively for the exposition), costumes and accessories, models and film excerpts.
When: Through August 5th, 2012.
Where: Cinematheque Francaise
Read the full exhibit preview on our blog here
A show which opened last month at Paris's Arts Décoratifs museum celebrates the "trompe l'oeil" technique and the complex art of deception. The exhibit features over 400 works, from paintings and sculpture to textiles, highlighting techniques of trickery originating in ancient Greece.
Location: Musee des arts decoratifs
107 rue de Rivoli,1st arrondissement
Metro: Louvre-Rivoli or Palais Royal
Tel: +33 (0)144 55 57 50
When: Through November 2013
Visit the official website
Read our full review here
An important exhibit consecrated to French impressionist painter Edgar Degas and the art of the nude is a must-see this month at the Musee d'Orsay.
When: Through July 1st, 2012.
Where: Musee d'Orsay
A retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art of the City of Paris dedicated to metaphysical painter and adopted Parisian de Chirico examines the artist's vast influence on subsequent schools of modern art.
Location: Musee d'art Moderne de la Ville de Paris
When: Through July 12th, 2012
Fans of Robert Zimmerman, aka Bob Dylan, and his enormous repertoire of folk hits and lesser-known, poetically infused ballads should make sure to see this retrospective at the Cite de la Musique. The exhibit focuses on Dylan's emergence onto the New York folk music scene in the 1960's, as artists, musicians and poets became more engaged with political and social struggles, notably the civil rights movement.
Location: Cite de la Musique
221, avenue Jean-Jaurès
Metro: Porte de Pantin
When: Through July 15th, 2012
This exhibit at the Pinacotheque gallery near Madeleine is highlighting how highly influential Alsatian art collector Jonas Netter essentially brought the works of artists such as Modigliani, Soutine and Utrillo to the attention of the greater public. Several never-before exhibited works by Modigliani await at this show, which also provides a glimpse into the explosion of artistic production in Montparnasse in the early 20th century.
Location: Pinacotheque de Paris
28 place de la Madeleine
Metro: Madeleine or Opera
When: Through September 9th, 2012