Music Festivals, Pride Parade, Summer Sales, & the Paris Air Show
Paris Events in June kick off the beginning of summer as lushly blooming flowers, long warm days, and plenty of cafe tables along the sidewalks lure everyone outside.
Join the excitement and thrill of the hunt as the famous Summer Sales on designer fashion kicks off, hear top musicians at the Paris Jazz Festival and Chopin Festival, join or watch the Paris Pride Parade, soar above the city when the giant ferris wheel returns to Tuileries Garden, and enjoy concerts at Sainte Chapelle and other top venues.
Days continue to grow longer until Summer Solstice on June 21st, when the sun doesn't set until 10pm and the sky still shows some light until almost midnight.
Buy a baguette, cheese, and a bottle of wine and dine outdoors in Parc Rives along the Seine River, stop by one of the many musical festivals underway this month, and then watch the Eiffel Tower's sparkling light once the sky finally grows dark - the perfect June evening in Paris!
Top Photo: Outdoor June concert by Parc Rives by the Seine River
Street Art Festival (& New Open Air Museum)
Not all the art in Paris is found in museums. To see a terrific exhibition of 50 giant murals by 26 internationally acclaimed street artists such as Shepard Fairey (Obey), ST4, DALeast, D*Face, C215, and Hush, head over to the 13th arrondissement on Thursday, June 13 when the district officially launches its Boulevard Paris 13 project, an open-air art museum with a street festival featuring music, food trucks, and at least six of the giant murals within sight.
When: 7-10pm, June 11; free admission Where: Under the elevated metro on Boulevard Vincent Auriol between the Chevaleret and Nationale stations, 13th arrondissement Where to See More Street Art in Paris's 13th District: Check the map (look for "course") on the Boulevard Paris 13 website
Paris Pride Parade (Marche des Fiertés LGBT) - 2020
The massive Paris Marche des Fiertés LGBT (formerly Gay Pride) Parade attracts almost 1 million participants and spectators for a celebration of equal rights and an end to discrimination. The procession takes place this year on June 27 at 2pm, (date to be confirmed for 2020) lasts about 4 hours depending on the route, and finishes at Place de République. A Pride celebration with free concerts, dancing, and speeches in Place de la République from 5pm-10pm.
The parade starts this year at Place de la Concorde near the Assemblée Nationale, winds through the historic center of Paris past many famous attractions including the Louvre, proceeds east on Rue de Rivoli to Boulevard Sébastopol up through the Châtelet-les-Halles district, and turns right onto Boulevard Saint-Martin to Place de la République where concerts take place until 10pm.
The starting point and route vary a bit each year, so check back closer to the date in case of any changes.
The Paris Pride Parade comes at the end of a week of Pride parties and events centered in the trendy Marais district's many gay bars and clubs.
Where to Stay: Recommended Hotels for Paris Pride Parade & Pride Week
These wonderful Marais hotels give you the perfect location close to Paris Pride Parade celebrations and Pride Week parties:
The famous Paris summer sales run from June 24 - August 4. Look for Soldes signs in store windows all over the city, usually showing the amount of reduction - often 30-40% at the beginning, and soaring as high as 70-80% at toward the end.
Best places to find bargains? Everywhere! Luxury labels such as Chanel, Valentino, and Armani draw huge crowds - ditto for Galeries Lafayette, BHV, Bon Marché, and Au Printemps - but don't ignore smaller boutiques and even global mid-market chains.
Coveted Hermès bags, shoes, clothing, and other goodies go on sale for the general public for only 2 days this time - June 26 (9am-8:30pm) and June 27 (9am-6pm) offsite at Palais de Congrès near Porte Maillot. A VIP invitation-only sale takes place on June 25, but is rumored to be for spendy French customers only.
Just a 45-minute train ride from Paris, Versailles sparkles during June as light streams through the palace's many windows and reflects on ornate chandeliers and gold-framed mirrors. You'll also love the lush gardens and dazzling fountain shows.
Getting to Versailles from Paris: Take the RER C from Paris to Versailles Château-Rive Droit, and follow the signs to Versailles - about a 5-minute walk
Best Versailles Tours & Prepaid Ticket Options
Save time in line by buying your tickets in advance. For the ultimate speed and convenience, choose a guided tour:
La Fête Foraine des Tuileries - literally, a "Fun Fair," or carnival - suddenly pops up in Paris's Tuileries Garden toward the end of June for two months of non-stop entertainment. With a giant ferris wheel (hint: bring your camera for great shots of Sacre Coeur and the Eiffel Tower), carousels, bumper cars, gut-wrenching rides for thrill seekers, and children's games among the 60 or so attractions, the carnival entertains families with kids, teens, and everyone else seeking fun throughout the rest of the summer.
If you're visiting Paris, combine a stroll through Tuileries Garden and the Fête Foraine with a visit to other nearby attractions: the treasure-filled Louvre, Monet's giant Water Lily paintings at Musée de l'Orangerie at the opposite corner of the garden, and the Carrousel du Louvre underground shopping center next to the Tuileries metro station.
When: June 19-August 23, 11am to 11:45pm (12:45am Friday-Sunday and before holidays such as Bastille Day) Where: Jardin Tuileries (Tuileries Garden), 1st arrondissement (enter through the gate near the Tuileries metro station) Metro: Tuileries Admission: Free - plus whatever you spend on rides and games (most cost between 2-12€)
Paris Museum Shows - Top Events during June
Van Gogh, The Starry Night
@ Atelier des Lumières - Through Dec 31, 2019 - Immersive digital exhibition of Van Gogh's masterpieces accompanied by original music. Tickets are 14.50€ at the door and online; purchase online to go to front of entrance queue (L'Atelier website); includes 3 current immersive exhibits Where: 38 Rue Saint Maur, 11th arrondissement Metro: Rue Saint-Maur
Tutankhamon: the Treasures of the Pharoah
@ Grande Halle de la Villette - Through September 15 - This traveling blockbuster exhibition makes its first stop in Paris with a collection of 150 exceptional masterpieces, many never shown outside of Egypt before and not likely to again. Tickets are 22€ for adults and 18€ for children; purchase online in advance is highly recommended (Tutankhamon website) Where: 211 Avenue Jean Jaurès, 19th arrondissement Metro: Porte de Pantin or Porte de La Villette
Yves Saint Laurent: New Show
@ Musée Yves Saint Laurent, Through December 31 - This new presentation of the museum's permanent collection features trend-setting designs in the famous fashion designer's 16th arrondissement former haute couture workshop. Tickets 10€; open Tuesday - Sunday 11am-6pm (until 9pm on Fridays). Location: 5 Avenue Marceau, 16 arr
Nearest Metro: Alma Marceau More info: https://museeyslparis.com
Archaeology Goes Graphic
@ Louvre Museum, through July 1 - In the Louvre's Petite Galerie in the Richelieu Wing, this exhibition explores the unlikely relationship between archaeology and comic book art (known as the "ninth art" in France). Included with general admission of 15€; free admission when you have a Paris Museum Pass Location: Place du Louvre, Rue de Rivoli (1st arr) . Nearest Metro: Palais Royal/Musee du Louvre, Pyramides
@ Petit Palais, May 22 - September 15 - Huge exhibit of 600+ works paintings, sculpture, costumes, furniture, and more - immersive panorama of Paris during the Romantic period from 1815 to the 1848 revolution. Show tickets 13€. (Free admission to Petit Palais' permanent collection) Location: Petit Palais, 8th arrondissement Nearest Metro: Champs-Élysées-Clemenceau
Franz Marc and August Macke
@ Musée de l'Orangerie, through June 17 - This exhibition brings together two major figures from the hedonist, colorful, and seductive side of German Expressionism and explores the influence of French artists such as Cézanne, Van Gogh, and Gauguin as well as the Fauvism movement on their work during this pre-World War I period. Tickets 9€; free admission when you have a Paris Museum Pass Location: Jardin des Tuileries, 1st arr. Nearest Metro : Concorde
Paris Museum and Attractions Passes
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Paris Jazz Festival
Jazz concerts take place every Saturday and Sunday for 4 weekends at Parc Floral (the Paris Botanical Garden) in Bois de Vincennes June 28 - July 20. Bring a blanket and a picnic or buy wine and a sandwich at the park's snack bar, and get ready for a relaxing afternoon and evening enjoying the sunshine, flowers, wandering peacocks, and virtuoso jazz. Concerts are free, although the park charges a small (2.50€) entrance fee during summer and early fall. Check the Festival's website for concert times and - they vary each weekend - but generally take place in the afternoon and early evening.
Getting there: Bois de Vincennes, located in 12th Arrondissement on the eastern edge of Paris, is easy to reach - just hop on RER A train or Metro Line 1 to the Chateau de Vincennes Metro Station - the park is about a 3-minute walk from the station.
Bonus idea: Arrive early and stroll through Parc Floral's famous gardens, or explore Bois de Vincennes' other attractions such as its spectacular zoo, Lac Daumesnil, the aquarium, and 14th century Château de Vincennes.
The Fête de la Musique Welcomes Summer in Paris - 2020
On June 21, the longest day of the year and official beginning of summer, pop-up stages appear all over Paris for the annual Fête de la Musique, turning the city into a huge street party to celebrate the summer solstice.
Free indoor and outdoor concerts take place all over Paris throughout the day and late into the night (remember, the sun doesn't set until almost 10pm) to celebrate the summer solstice and showcase the city's rich diversity of musical talent and genres.
You can find a list of performances on the event's website, usually by early June - but it's almost more fun to just happen upon them. They take place everywhere - so look for them in the city's major squares, near metro stations, on street corners, in cafes, in front of municipal buildings, inside museums, in the city's parks, in courtyards - or just follow the sound of music.
Chopin Festival in Paris - Bois de Boulogne
The prestigious Chopin Festival showcases international pianists as they interpret the maestro's magnificent music June 19 - July 10. You'll also hear some original works inspired by Chopin.
The festival takes place in the Orangerie in Parc Bagatelle, the gorgeous botanical garden in the heart of Bois de Boulogne in the 16th arrondissement.
In addition to enjoying the music, be sure to stroll through Parc Bagatelle's magnificent rose garden containing 10,000 bushes, see the waterfalls, lakes and 18th century chateau, and explore the 19th century Chinese pagoda.
Two more nearby must-visit places: Louis Vuitton Foundation for the spectacular architecture and current exhibits, and Jardin d'Acclimatation for fun in the amusement park.
Tickets: 17€-34€ (includes admission to park; admission is free during non-event times); available onsite (cash or check only; arrive 30 minutes before performance time) or online or by mail (see the festival's website for details) Getting there: Metro to Pont de Neuilly (Line 1); then take bus 43 to Bagatelle; walk about 5 minutes to reach Parc Bagatelle
Paris Air Show - NOT On for 2020
The massive International Paris Air Show, held during odd-numbered years (2021, 2023, 2025, etc) at Le Bourget Airport just north of Paris, lets you see the latest innovations in civilian and military aircraft - plus futuristic models still in the concept stage. Spectacular air shows overhead add to the excitement.
Although the first four days are industry-only, the show opens to everyone on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
The show usually attracts around 150,000 professional visitors and 200,000 members of the public, making this one of the biggest Paris events of the year and filling up many of the city's hotel rooms.
2021 is an ON year - so make your plans now. The public portion of the show will take place on June 18-20. (to be confirmed) The industry-only portion begins on June 14.
Paris Air Show Tickets: €14 for floor access + €11 for a grandstand seat for the air show; children under 7 are free
How to Get to the Paris Air Show: Plenty of free shuttles from metro and RER stations as well as Charles de Gaulle Airport during the show period whisk you to the airport. Find them at RER B/Le Bourget and Villepinte stations; RER C and Metro (Line 1)/Porte Maillot station; Metro station at Fort d'Aubervilliers (Line 7). Availability varies, so check the International Paris Air Show's website to get the latest updates. Le Bourget is only about 3 miles north of Paris, so going by taxi is also affordable.
Paris Insider Tip: Can't make it to the Air Show? Visit Le Bourget's Paris Air and Space Museum to see 100+ vintage-through-modern aircraft on display, plus art, models, and cultural items. Open Tuesday-Sunday.
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