Music & Art 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.
The biggest event for June 2020? The city begins to reopen after the long lockdown to control the COVID virus!
Relax at the open-air Paris Music Festival and Chopin Festival, enjoy concerts at Sainte Chapelle, Olympia Hall, and other top venues, and soar above the city when the giant ferris wheel returns to Tuileries Garden. Visit special exhibits as most of the city's smaller museums reopen.
However, you'll need to wait until July to join the excitement and thrill of the hunt as the famous Summer Sales on designer fashion kicks off. The Paris Pride Parade will also be delayed, with new dates to be announced later.
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.
Stroll around the city and admire the lastest street art, buy a baguette, cheese, and a bottle of wine and dine outdoors along the banks of the Seine River, and then watch the Eiffel Tower's sparkling light once the sky finally grows dark - the perfect June evening in Paris!
Top Photo: Free outdoor June concert on the Left Bank of the Seine River
What can you expect to be open in Paris in June? Here's what the reopening schedule looks like:
At the beginning of June, you can dine on outdoor terraces at restaurants, visit parks and other outdoor spaces such as the Seine River banks, and shop at most retail stores - everything from small boutiques to the large department stores to most shopping malls. You can even get your cultural fix at Atelier des Lumiéres, the Banksy exhibit at Espace Lafayette-Drouot, most art galleries around the city, and Fluctuart. Most metro stations will be open.
By the second week in June, you can attend concerts in historic churches, L'Olympia, and other smaller concert halls.
Starting June 16, additional smaller museums and historic sites will reopen: the Paris Catacombs, the Romantic Life Museum, (Musée de la Vie Romantique), Cernuschi Museum, Museum of the Liberation of Paris, Atelier des Lumieres, Petit Palais Museum, and many more.
Musée d'Orsay (Impressionists) and Musée de l'Orangerie (Money's Water Lilies) reopen during the third week of June; get skip-the-line tickets including audio-guides to both museums.
The Eiffel Tower reopens on June 25, with masks required for everyone 12 and older. Tickets must be purchased online, with sales starting in a few days.
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.
Versailles reopens to visitors on June 6th, and with the famous gardens sure to be in full bloom, there's no better time to go!
A couple of things have changed: the number of visitors will be much smaller to ensure appropriate distancing, and you MUST have a ticket for entrance or a tour purchased online in advance of your visit.
Best Versailles Tours & Prepaid Ticket Options
Buy your timed entry ticket in advance, or for the ultimate speed and convenience, choose a guided tour:
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.
Revolutions 1966-1970: 5 Years that Changed the World
@ Grande Halle de la Villette - June 1 through August 23, 2020 - An exploration of the end of the 1960s through the lens of 5 "revolutions," and how they shape today's world. Tickets 15-18€ for adults and 5€ for children Where: 211 Avenue Jean Jaurès, 19th arrondissement Metro: Porte de Pantin or Porte de La Villette
The World of Banksy: The Immersive Experience
@ Centre Expo Lafayette Drouot - June 1 through December 31, 2020 - An immersive experience involving about 100 works by street artist Banksy. Tickets 14€ for adults and 12€ for children Where: 44 Rue du Faubourg Montmartre, 9th arrondissement; closed on Mondays Metro: Le Peletier
@ Musée Jacquemart-André, March 13-July 20, 2020 - Major retrospective of British landscape master Joseph Mallord William Turner with watercolors and oil paintings on loan from Tate Britain in London. Tickets 14.50€ (includes admission to the permanent collections plus this exhibition; must be booked in advance online) Location: 158 Boulevard Haussmann, 8th arr.
Nearest Metro : Saint Philippe du Roule
Monet, Renoir, Chagall - Journeys Around the Mediterranean
@ Atelier des Lumières - February 28 through Dec 31, 2020 - Immersive video/digitized exhibition of Monet's, Renoir's, and Chagalls's masterpieces accompanied by original music. Tickets must be purchased online on the L'Atelier website Open: 7 days/week Where: 38 Rue Saint Maur, 11th arrondissement Metro: Saint-Maur
The Advent of the Artist
@ Musée du Louvre, Through August 17, 2020 - Explores how anonymous craftspeople evolved to become recognized artists during the Renaissance and became recognized as heroes in novels and legends. Location: Rue de Rivoli, 1st arrondissement
Closed: Tuesdays, January 1, May 1, and December 25
Tickets: 17€ (purchased online); includes special and permanent exhibits; free for under 26 Stay nearby:Hotels near the Louvre Nearest Metro: Palais Royal/Musée du Louvre, Pyramides More info: https://www.louvre.fr
@ Picasso Museum, March 31-July 21, 2020 - An exploration of the links between Picasso's works and the world of comics.
Admission: Adults 14€. Exhibit included with museum admission. Get skip-the-line priority tickets online or with a Paris Museum Pass Location: 5 rue de Thorigny, 3rd arrondissement; closed Mondays
Paris Museum and Attractions Passes
Get free admission and skip-the-line access to 60+ museums in and near Paris when you have a Paris Museum Pass for 2, 4, or 6 days. More info
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.
Street Art Trail: Open Air Museum
Not all the art in Paris is found in museums. To see a terrific exhibition of giant murals by internationally acclaimed street artists such as Shepard Fairey (Obey), ST4, DALeast, D*Face, C215, and Hush, head over to the 13th arrondissement to see the Boulevard Paris 13 project, an open-air art museum.
To do a self-guided tour, take the metro to Place d'Italie in the 13th arrondissement and walk down Boulevard Vincent Auriol to Rue Louise Weiss, exploring side streets along the way. You'll spot huge murals by C215, Shepard Fairey, INTI, Conor Harrington, Invader, and other famous and emerging artists.
More about Where to See More Street Art in Paris's 13th District: Check the map (look for "course") on the Boulevard Paris 13 website
Chopin Festival in Paris - Bois de Boulogne - 2020
The prestigious Chopin Festival showcases international pianists as they interpret the maestro's magnificent music June 209 - July 14. You'll also hear 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
Summer Sales on Designer Fashions - 2020 - Postponed to July
The famous Paris summer sales, originally set to run from June 24 - August 4, has been postponed to July 15 and will last for 4 weeks until August 11.
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 - July 16 (9am-8:30pm) and July 17 (9am-6pm) (to be confirmed) offsite at Palais de Congrès near Porte Maillot. A VIP invitation-only sale usually takes place on the day before the sale begins, but is rumored to be for spendy French customers only. PLEASE NOTE: All details including dates and location for the 2020Hermès summer sale are to be confirmed - so stay tuned!
Paris Pride Parade (Marche des Fiertés LGBT) - 2020 - POSTPONED
The massive Paris Marche des Fiertés LGBT (formerly Gay Pride) Parade attracts almost 1 million participants and spectators for a celebration to defend equal rights and reject discrimination. The procession takes place this year on June 27 at 2pm, (postponed: new date not yet announced), 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 Marche des Fiertés 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 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.
Many attendees take the Metro or RER out to the show, but book a hotel in Paris in order to enjoy all the restaurants, nightlife, and other attractions. If this is your plan, use this Paris hotel map from Booking.com to find accommodations. Just enter your dates to see availability and lowest rates:
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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