Whether marathons and championships or music and cinema, Paris has a plethora of unique festivals offering something fun for every traveler in any month. These annual events are a great way of exploring Parisian culture and diversity in one of the most raved and talked-about destination megacities in the world.
Here are a few recommendations:
Paris Fashion Week - The most prominent fashion weeks are held in the four fashion capitals of the world. Held semi-annually over two separate weeks, it allows fashion designers, brands or fashion houses to display their latest collections in runway shows and buyers to take a look at the latest trends with spring-summer and autumn-winter events. The schedule begins with New York, followed by London, Milan, ending in Paris in the Carrousel du Louvre and lets the industry know what's "in" and what's not.
French Open - One of the most prestigious events in tennis, this tournament is held over two weeks between late May and early June in Paris at the Stade Roland Garros. It is the premier clay court tennis tournament in the world and the second of the four annual Grand Slam tournaments in the world.
Chinese New Year - One of the city's most popular annual event, Nouvel An Chinois every Jan.-Feb. brings dragon dances, traditional costumes, red lanterns, gold Buddhas, firecrackers and delicious tastes and smells of the Far East to the 13th arrondissement — the largest Chinatown in Europe.
Paris Jazz Festival - Paris hosts free jazz concerts in Parc Flora in Route de la Pyramide, at Bois de Vincennes on weekends in June and July from 3 p.m. onwards. This is a great event for music-lovers and showcases the best of local and international talent, be it avant-grade expression or classical perfection.
Bastille Day - Celebrated annually on July 14, a Fête de la Bastille or La Fête Nationale commemorates the storming of the Bastille prison in 1789 and the first major event of the French Revolution of 1789. Parisiens celebrate with military parades on the Champs-Élysées and fireworks at the Eiffel Tower.
Paris Autumn Festival - The Festival d’Automne à Paris is a high-powered festival of contemporary arts, held daily from September to December, attracting more than 100,000 to a vibrant annual presentation of theater, music, dance, visual arts and film in various languages.
Paris Cinema IFF - Lovers of cinema meet at this annual competition in July, instrumental in promoting the local film industry. The Paris Cinema International Film Festival aims at discovering filmmakers through an international competition, but also exploring a wide range of cinematic styles in many locations all over Paris. It also provides an industry-friendly launch pad for new projects and directors with its coproduction platform Paris Project.
Paris International Marathon - In its 35th year, Marathon International de Paris is one of the most popular long-distance annual running events in Europe, held annually in April, charting a 42,195 km course through the city from Champs Élysées Avenue to Foch Avenue with 40,000 participants running through Bastille, Nation, Vincennes, les Tuileries.
Spring Museum Day - Organised by the French Department of Culture, Printemps des Musees celebrates springwith free access to several museums in France one Sunday in May. In Paris, famous establishments such as the Musée D'Orsay, the Paris Museum of Modern Art, or the lesser known Fashion and Textile Museum and the Carnavalet Museum of Parisian history are good places to take advantage of on this day.
Montmartre Wine Festival - Paris’ local wine festival, Fête des Vendanges, takes place in Montmartre every fall. Although the vines produce an average of just 1,000 bottles a year, the festival makes for a long weekend of Bacchanalian street parties.
Tour de France - The annual French bicycle race is the ultimate cycling endurance test climaxing after some 3,500 km, ending with the winner flying past the finishing line on the Champs-Elysées in Paris.
Pride March - Organized by the local LGBT group, Marche des Fiertés features outrageous floats and flamboyant costumes in a parade towards Bastille in June. Free and open to public, it starts at Montparnasse and finishes at Place de La Bastille, followed by an official fête and various club and nightlife events.
Night Shows at Notre Dame - Located on the eastern half of the Île de la Cité, the Gothic Catholic Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris regularly welcomes thousands of visitors from all over the world for its spectacular and free Night Shows or operas composed of sounds and images projected on a transparent tulle screen measuring over 100 square meters hanging in the nave.
Paris Beaches - Created by the mayor every summer, Paris-Plages brings palm trees, huts, hammocks, pools and around 2,000 tons of fine sand on both banks of the Seine bringing an artificial but fun seaside vibe to the heart of Paris in July-August, from Pont des Arts to Pont de Sully, to help residents beat the heat and chill out.