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Paris Plages │© Ken Eckert / Wikimedia Commons
Paris Plages │© Ken Eckert / Wikimedia Commons
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What's On in Paris in August 2017

Picture of Paul McQueen
Updated: 16 July 2017
Truthfully, August in Paris is a strange month: it’s the height of the tourist season, yet the city feels oddly deserted; the evenings are long and light and ripe for a party, yet the restaurants and bars have for the most part shut up shop. Nevertheless, there’s still plenty of fun to be had, whether you’re a left-behind local or holidaymaker, so long as you know where to look.

TUESDAY, AUGUST 1 – SUNDAY, AUGUST 6

FESTIVAL │L’Été La Défense

📅 Until Sunday, July 6

Paris’ business district isn’t normally the first place you’d head to for a swinging time but the L’Été La Défense festival promises to transform this outlying neighborhood of glass skyscrapers and concrete plazas into a summer wonderland. The city-inspired theme this year is London and, in addition to the usual host of free activities like sports classes, relaxation workshops, and concerts, you’ll be able to sample a French take on fish and chips, listen to some classic Brit pop, and even brush up on your public-school manners.

Tickets: Free.

📍 Parvis de La Défense, Puteaux, France.

FESTIVAL │ L’Été du Canal

📅 Until Sunday, August 27

If you can’t be tempted to leave the city limits even for an evening of Oasis and deep fried haddock, make your way instead to L’Été du Canal, another summer festival that’s taking over Paris’ waterways for its tenth edition. Whether you want to sunbathe with mates on the canalside to the soothing sounds of electro or splash about on, and for the first time this summer in, the water with your kids, this is the place for you.

Tickets: Free.

📍 Bassin de La Villette, Quai de la Seine, Paris, France.

MUSIC │ Classique au Vert

📅 Saturday, August 5 – Sunday, September 17

Classique au Vert has become one of the most surprising delights of the Parisian summer. Now in its twentieth year, it was designed with the aim of combing the sweeping majesty of classical music with the simple pleasures of nature. The festival comprises 14 open-air concerts held on Saturdays and Sundays in August and the first fortnight in September, each of which starts at 4pm and which together attract more than 80,000 spectators.

Tickets: Free.

📍 Parc Floral de Paris, route de la Pyramide, Paris, France.

MONDAY, AUGUST 7 – SUNDAY, AUGUST 13

MUSIC │ Musique de Chambre à Bagatelle

📅 Sunday 6, Thursday 10, Sunday 13, and Tuesday 15, August

For more fresh air and music better suited to a church than a club, go along to one of a series of concerts offered by the Octour de France as part of their Festival of Chamber Music in the Orangerie de Bagatelle. The rose garden setting couldn’t be more beautiful and it has a playlist featuring Schubert, Haydn, Beethoven, and Mozart to match.

Tickets: €25 to €17

📍 Bagatelle park, Route de Sèvres À Neuilly, Paris, France.

FILM │ Black Movie Summer Festival

📅 Saturday, August 5 – Sunday, August 27

This theme of this year’s Black Movie Summer Festival is royalty, which will be explored from a different angle over the course of four consecutive weekends with the help of dozens of superb international short films. For the first time in its eight-year history, some of the projections, performances, and debates will take place outdoors under the summer sun and moon.

Tickets: Free.

📍 La Bellevilloise, 88 Rue de Ménilmontant, 75020 Paris, France.

NATURE │ Ferme Mobile

📅 Wednesday, August 9

That Paris has a fully functioning farm, home to giant beef cattle and extremely curious goats, is a little-known fact, and few have ventured into the depths of the Bois de Vincennes to find it. The Ferme Mobile event at the Parc de Belleville means that you don’t have to. From 11am to 4pm, this hipster hangout will be taken over by bleating sheep, hopping bunnies, and gobbling turkeys. Topics up for discussion will include urban agriculture, sustainable food, and the greening of Paris.

Tickets: Free.

📍 Parc de Belleville, Rue des Couronnes, 75020 Paris, France.

MONDAY, AUGUST 14 – SUNDAY, AUGUST 20

CULTURE │ Fête de l’Assomption

📅 Monday, August 14 – Tuesday, August 15

The celebration of the Feast of the Assumption in Paris is centered around Notre-Dame on the Île de la Cité. Things kick off on Monday evening with a river parade around the islands of the Seine and this is continued the next day on dry land after a special mass in the cathedral. The long weekend is also a popular time for those who haven’t already fled the capital to get away for a quick holiday elsewhere in France.

Tickets: Free.

📍 Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, Parvis Notre-Dame – place Jean-Paul-II, 75004 Paris, France.

FILM │ La Chaise et l’Écran

📅 Friday, August 4 and Friday, August 18

The town hall of the 11th arrondissement’s summer film festival, La Chaise et l’Écran, concludes on Friday, August 18, with a screening of the classic French film Le dernier metro (1980) by François Truffaut. Catherine Deneuve and Gérard Depardieu both won Césars for their performances, just two of ten gongs the film took home, and luckily for those whose French isn’t so strong the screening will be subtitled.

Tickets: Free.

📍 Jardin de la Folie-Titon, 28 Rue Chanzy, 75011 Paris, France.

SPORTS │ La Lutte S’Invite à Paris Plages

📅 Thursday, August 17 – Saturday, August 19

To get Parisians in the mood for the world championships that are coming to the capital at the end of the month, the French Wrestling Federation has been invited to the Paris Plages at the Hôtel de Ville to host a series of animations and initiation sessions around the ultimate Olympic sport. For three days, you’ll be able to challenge your friends and family to a round of beach wrestling right in the heart of Paris.

Tickets: Free.

📍 Place de l’Hôtel de Ville, 75004 Paris, France.

MONDAY, AUGUST 21 – THURSDAY, AUGUST 31

SPORTS │ United World Wrestling Championships

📅 Monday, August 21 – Saturday, August 26

After getting a taste for half nelsons, crotch lifts, and firemen’s carries at the beach, why not get yourself a ticket for a day at the United World Wrestling Championships and see how the professionals do it. The weeklong event at the AccorHotels Arena in Bercy is guaranteed to be a high-octane event full of (literally) breathtaking moments.

Tickets: €36 to €18.

📍 AccorHotels Arena, 8 Boulevard de Bercy, 75012 Paris, France.

CULTURE │ 73rd anniversary of the Liberation of Paris

📅 Friday, August 25

The Liberation of Paris, the weeklong battle that freed the French capital from German occupation at the tail-end of the Second World War, is commemorated each year with events across the city. The main focus of celebration is the plaza of the Hôtel de Ville, where you can witness military parades and then dance well into the night.

Tickets: Free.

📍 Place de l’Hôtel de Ville, 75004 Paris, France.

MUSIC │ Rock en Seine

📅 Saturday, August 25 – Sunday, August 27

Rock en Seine is the last major music festival of the summer season. Held just outside the city in the beautifully landscaped Domaine National de Saint-Cloud, this hard-rocking weekend will this year feature The XX, PJ Harvey, Flume and Franz Ferdinand.

Tickets: €49 for a day ticket and €119 for a three-day pass.

📍 Domaine National de Saint-Cloud, 1 Avenue de la Grille d’Honneur, 92210 Saint-Cloud, France.