Paris Outdoor Summer Events

Richard Nahem, an ex-New Yorker living in Paris, leads private insider tours showing visitors the Paris most of them never see on their own (, and also writes a popular insider's blog at

Paris sizzles in summer with loads of outdoor events all over the city. From a beach built on the Seine to fireworks at Versailles, summer promises to be most memorable.

Fete de la Musique

The summer solstice on June 21, the longest night of the year, is a time to celebrate the music of Paris. Fete de la Musique is an all night music festival held mostly outdoors in every neighborhood of the city. 
Jazz, classical, rock, accordion music, hip-hop, Celtic music, and Corsican chants are just a smattering of the types of music that will be played. Started in 1982, Fete de la Musique was an initiative by the Minister of Culture to encourage amateur musicians to play their music. It is now the largest music festival in France with many other towns and city’s participating and has even spread its wings to other continents to become a world event. The fun begins at 6 p.m. and goes all night, so rock on in the parks, gardens, courtyards, streets, and squares of Paris.

Fete de La Musique
June 21 Starting at 6 p.m.
Click this link for the full information and programs

Paris Plage

Did you know that Paris has a beach? Parisians can be seen basking in the sun on chaise lounges in their bikinis along the Seine, with no need to go to the Cote d’Azur for their St. Tropez tans. For the tenth year in a row the city of Paris will transform a section of a highway along the Seine into a beach, pouring over 6,000 tons along the banks.  Not only can you work on your tan, but there are tons of other activities to enjoy including concerts, cafes, games of boule, tai-chi, sprinkle showers, ping-pong, ice cream vendors, and a swimming pool to cool off in. Remember to put on some suntan lotion.

Paris Plage 2011
July 21 to August 21
Open 8 a.m.- 12 p.m,

Grande Eaux and Jardins Musicaux and Grande Eaux Nocturnes at Versailles

Every summer at the historical Palace of Versailles, the former home of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, you can explore the magnificent grounds and gardens with music in the background. Stroll through Le Notre’s classical gardens while being serenaded. At certain times the fountains jet their water high in the air to the rhythm of the music too.

In the evening it’s a much more seductive affair. The Louis XIV Royal Garden becomes a stunning visual feast. The gardens, groves, pools, and fountains are decorated with thousands of colored lights with dazzling installations of the Sun King, Louis XIV's flagship, which rise from the waters, to the lasers that will light up the sky and the spectacular vision of the giant Encelade. A very special experience that shouldn’t me missed if you are visiting Paris.

For dates and times: