Summer 2012 Paris Events


Sprinkle shower on the Paris Plage

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

Not that long ago Paris was considered culturally dead during July and August as Parisians headed out for their summer vacations. In recent years Paris has become a welcome place for travelers and locals with an appealing array of summer events to please all tastes. Here are some of our favorites.

Paris Plage
Now in its 11th year, the Paris Plage is the answer to having a beach in the heart of the city. Along the banks of the Seine and now also on the Quai de Villette, are plots of sand with chaises and chairs for soak up the sun, along with cafes, restaurants, swimming pool, and sprinkle showers. Activities and events this year include live concerts, a library with over 300 works, Tai-chi classes, ballroom dancing, kids sand playground, boule courts, table tennis, cafes, ice cream stalls, a mini-Olympic village for kids, carousel, miniature golf, and a mountain biking area.

Open July 20 to August 19, everyday from 8AM to 12AM

Parc La Villette Jazz Festival
Parc La Villette has created an outstanding jazz festival in seven venues throughout its grounds. Acts this summer include Macy Gray with David Murray Big Band, Bill Frisell playing John Lennon, David Sanchez, Larry Graham and Graham Central Station, Roy Ayers, and Brooklyn Funk Essentials. There is also a concert series for children.

August 29 to September 9

Rock en Seine
The Paris answer to the legendary Woodstock, Rock en Seine is a three-day pop and rock music festival. This year you can rock on with Green Day, Sigur Ros, The Black Keys, Passion Pit, Bombay Bicycle Club, Frank Ocean, and Placebo. There are camping grounds nearby so you can have the full-on festival experience.

August 24, 25, 26

Cinema Plein Air
Since Paris is too dense to have a proper drive-in, they have replaced cars with outdoor lawn chairs and show movies outdoors. The hit Cinema Plein Air shows a selection of beloved French, American, and British films with a few cult surprises thrown in. Park yourself on a chaise and watch films such as Gran Torino, The Virgin Suicides, La Science de Reves, Alice in Wonderland, Potiche, Hair, Superman, Un Homme, Un Vrai, District 9, and Dark Passage.

July 26 to August 25
Wednesday to Friday, starting at nightfall
Parc la Villette