The month of July is when locals slow down, savor the summer months and prepare for les vacances. Expect lazy meals outside, and long, languid sunny days. The best things to do entail enjoying the outdoors. Roof top bars are filled to the brim with revelers enjoying hours of sunshine. Open-air film screenings, music festivals and other live music, street arts, or a Parisian-style picnic along the Seine river are just some of the ways to enjoy the warm weather. Here are some of our picks for what to do in Paris in July.
Bastille Day Celebrations (French National Day), July 14
France’s National Day on July 14th is a tour de force with a military parade on the Champs-Elysées and air show. The national holiday concludes with classical music at the steps of the Eiffel Tower and of course, fireworks. A great way to enjoy the festivities is to grab a picnic and watch the show from the Champ de Mars or further afield like Montmartre.
Paris Plages – July 8- September 3
Paris transforms into a resort by the sea at this time of year. The banks of the River Seine and Canal de l’Ourcq (near the Parc de la Villette) are lined with palm trees and there are deck chairs which are a good spot to relax and unwind near the water. Activities at the Seine location include canoeing and kayaking, an open-air cinema between July 8-12 and pétanque. By the Bassin de la Villette there is a merry-go-round for kids, water activities, a beach club, trampoline, and more. Find out more information check out the Paris Tourist Office’s website.
The Tour de France, July 1-July 23
This year’s Tour de France begins in early July in Bilbao and culminates in the triumphant arrival at the finish line along the Champs Élysées.
Calling all fashion lovers! There is a new exhibition at Christian Dior’s historic mansion in the French capital. Here, at 30 Montaigne, visitors can enter the extravagant world of the House of Christian Dior. The space is dedicated to Parisian art de vivre. The museum portion delves deep into the iconic collections of the past 70 years. The latest exhibition looks at Miss Dior, the ready to wear line founded in 1967. There is a room devoted to “Artistic Affinities” which looks at the link between the fashion house and modern art. Finally, the last leg of the journey ventures back to the 18th century looking at Dior’s interest and inspiration from the era.
Titanic, Porte de Versaille, July 18-September 10
The story of the most famous shipwreck is told at the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles. Objects and relics from the ship, plus recreations of several areas of the liner are on display. Journey to another era in this moving and illuminating exhibit.
Over the Rainbow – a tribute to LGBTQIA+ artists, Centre Pompidou, June 28 – November 13
This exhibition honors great artists of 20th and 21st centuries with over 500 works and documents on display. Cinema, erotic photography, literature, poetry, theater mingle with leather culture and contemporary queer magazines. This exhibit is not to be missed!
Degas in Black and White, BnF Richelieu, May 31- September 3
Drawings, photos, prints, paintings and sculptures trace the artist’s experiments in black and white. The exhibit devoted to Degas at the Bibliothèque Nationale includes scenes from dance, moments from the city’s iconic cafes and tableaus of the bourgeois houses of the time.
Catherine Deneuve, Rive droite, Rive gauche, Galerie de l’instant, June 22- October 1
This icon needs no introduction. Considered one of the greatest actresses of the second half of the 20th century, this photography retrospective explores the important milestones of her life – from her film debut to the most recent events. Significant figures in her life like Yves Saint-Laurent, Serge Gainsbourg, David Bowie and François Truffaut also appear in this touching exhibition. There is a complimentary exhibition taking place at the Hôtel Lutetia from June 21- September 8.
Gustave Eiffel’s Paris, Cité de l’architecture et du patrimoine, July 26, 2023- January 9, 2024
The centenary of Eiffel’s death is the occasion for which this exhibition comes about. The museum, situated in the Palais de Chaillot, is across from the engineer’s most famous work. You will learn about his relationship with Paris, and the diverse legacy he leaves on the city, that goes beyond the Eiffel Tower.
And don’t miss some of the blockbuster exhibitions ending soon including:
- Manet-Degas, Musée d’Orsay, until July 23
- Léon Monet, Musée du Luxembourg, until July 16
- Basquiat x Warhol, Fondation Louis Vuitton, until August 28
- 1997 Fashion Big Bang, Palais Galliera, until July 16
Activities for Kids
Fête des Tuileries
Parks and gardens are the best places to enjoy the summer days. The Fête des Tuileries is a two-month event for kids and adults of all ages to enjoy a fun fair in the Tuileries garden. Bumper cars, ghost trains, a hall of mirrors, duck fishing, trampolines, and climbing are some of the fun activities on offer. Treats like candy floss, crepes, donuts, toffee apples and of course, ice cream will sweeten up your day.
This family festival offers musical shows and concerts for kids. From June until September the stage at the Delta in the Parc Floral de Paris is dedicated towards young audiences.
Paris Jazz Festival, until September 7
This popular event combines melodies and nature. Held in the Parc Floral in Paris the event attracted 120,000 spectators in the last edition. Major players on the scene take part, along with a daring, eclectic line-up.
Opera en Plein Air, until September 24
Opera en Plein Air sees a well-known director stage a famous opera from the repertory. The work is then presented at beloved sites like Château de Vincennes, the Domaine de Sceaux, the Château de Fontainebleau and the Hôtel National des Invalides in the centre of Paris.
Other Shows Worth Catching:
- Lana Del Rey, July 10-11, L’Olympia
- Lollapalooza, July 21-23, Hippodrome Paris Longchamp
- Branford Marsalis Quartet, July 17, Paris Jazz Club
- Coming to Paris soon and need a place to stay? Check out these family-friendly hotels and these 12 dreamy vacation rentals.
- Or maybe you’re looking to buy a place in the City of Light? Check out this Marais apartment fractional sale or these places to call home.
- Be in France, anytime and anywhere, with French TV and cinema. HIP Paris readers get a free month’s subscription on the best French streaming for Francophiles and 15 percent off a monthly or yearly subscription!
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