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Paris © Moyan Brenn / Flickr
Paris © Moyan Brenn / Flickr
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What's On in Paris in March

Picture of Jade Cuttle
Updated: 27 February 2018
While March may be one of the coldest times of year to visit Paris, the calendar of cultural events in this city is simply bursting with inspiration. From slashed cinema prices and carnivals to the bizarre sport of racing up and down the Eiffel Tower, your trip will not be short of surprises.

CARNIVAL │ Carnaval des femmes

📅 Sunday 11 March

This vibrant festival goes all the way back to the 18th century, when washer-women toiling on boats on the River Seine would crown one of their own a queen for the day, then party until dawn. It’s not just a carnival for women, though, everyone is welcome for the parade. Expect dazzling costumes, dancing, festivities and fun galore. If you’d like to be a part of the parade itself, then make sure to arrive at Place du Châtelet for 1pm. But if you’re happy celebrating from the sidelines, spectators can enjoy the procession from 3pm.

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Carnaval des femmes in Paris | © Basili / WikiCommons

Tickets: Free to attend.

📍 Place du chatelat, 75001, Paris, France

CIRCUS │ Bouglione

📅 Sunday 11 March

This is your very last chance to be awe-inspired by the unbelievable wonders of Paris’s famous Bouglione circus, a highly anticipated annual circus that will be wowing audiences until 11 March. It’s the entertainment highlight of the winter-spring season with hilarious clowns and trained animals, talented acrobats and trapeze artists, tightrope walkers and jugglers putting on a magical show. Built in 1852, the Cirque d’Hiver is one of the oldest constructed circuses in the whole of Europe. It is open from 10.30am until 2pm, and 5.15pm until 8.30pm.

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Circus clown | © jackmac34 / Pixabay

Tickets: From €10 (free for children under two).

📍Cirque d’hiver Bouglione, 110 Rue Amelot, 75011 Paris, France, +33 1 4700 2881

SPORT │ La Verticale de la Tour Eiffel

📅 Thursday 15 March

One of the most original sports France has to offer each year is a race to the top of Paris’s most famous landmark, the Eiffel Tower. There will be 40 elite athletes, handpicked for their sprinting talent, competing against 78 amateurs and 10 wildcard hopefuls, each galloping up the 1,665 steps of the Eiffel Tower as fast as they can. The event will mark the fourth time that it has taken place, and is definitely not to be missed, especially if you’d be visiting the Eiffel Tower anyway.

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Eiffel Tower at night | © WikiCommons

Tickets: Free to attend.

📍 Eiffel Tower, Champ de Mars, 5 Avenue Anatole France, 75007 Paris, France, +33 892 70 12 39

BOOKS │ Salon du livre

📅 16-19 March

The literary history in Paris is incredibly rich, as this city has enticed writers throughout the ages, and today is no exception. The annual Salon du Livre attracts thousands of book lovers and authors, illustrators and agents, as well as publishers from around the globe. This event is the most important book festival of the year in the whole of France, so is definitely not to be missed if you’re a bookworm. Not only will there be book signings and author readings, but also engaging conferences and talks, even exhibitions of incredibly rare books. The Paris Book Fair takes place at the Porte de Versailles Paris Expo.

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Paris Salon du livre | © Robert Laffont / Wikicommons

Tickets: From 6€ to 29 €

📍2 Place de la Porte de Versailles, 75015 Paris, France

FILM │ Printemps du cinema

📅 18-20 March

If you love films, then you need to add Printemps du Cinéma to your to-see list. This festival of cinema is the most popular film festival in Paris, taking over various small, cosy cinemas around Paris over a three-day period. Run in association with the National Federation of cinema, ticket prices are slashed to the incredible bargain of just €4. A normal ticket to the cinema will usually set you back around €12, so this is a generous move. The discount doesn’t apply to 3D films, but there will be plenty of other films to choose from.

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Cinema in Paris | © WikiCommons

Tickets: €4.

📍 Various venues across Paris.

ART │ Drawing Now Paris

📅 22-25 March

The 12th edition of Drawing Now Paris is set to be a whirlwind of artistic inspiration. There will be 400 top international artists showing off more than 2,000 masterpieces at the Carreau du Temple. Supported by the French Ministry of Culture, you can discover the incredible diversity of the last 50 years of contemporary drawing with 72 international galleries spotlighting their most fascinating exemplars. Whether you’re a committed arts student or you just love art, this event is not to be missed.

Tickets: €16 or €9.

📍 Carreau du Temple, 4 Rue Eugène Spuller, 75003 Paris, France, +33 1 83 81 93 30

CINEMA | DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL

📅 From 23 March

Are you a fan of artsy films? This international documentary film festival has been an annual highlight of the cultural calendar in Paris since 1984, and its legacy is firmly established. The event showcases the works of leading documentary filmmakers, the most innovative and rule-breaking, while also creating a platform for new directors to discover new audiences. What’s even better is that tickets are just €6 per person, so it’s a cheaper and more culturally enriching experience than simply visiting the big cinema-houses for a Hollywood blockbuster. The journey here will take you to Mexico, the Palestinian territories, the United States, South America, India and Africa.

Tickets: €6

📍Various locations

COMEDY | Franglais

📅 Every Thursday, Friday or Saturday in March

#FRANGLAIS is stand-up comedy in French and English. Paul Taylor will take you through the dizzying confusion of how many kisses you’re supposed to give when greeting someone in France, why there are supposedly 15 days in two weeks, and why French anglicisms not real English words. In short, Paul is a hilarious bilingual Brit who is very confused about his identity. He speaks French but thinks like an English person which is why, in 2015, he quit his job at Apple to take to the stage and find some answers. Head to La Nouvelle Eve on any Thursday, Friday or Saturday in March and fall head over heels with laughter.

Tickets : 30 euros

📍La Nouvelle Eve, 25 Rue Pierre Fontaine, 75009 Paris, France, +33 1 4874 6925

ART │SALON DU DESSIN

📅 21-26 March

The Salon du Dessin will stage its 27th edition in 2018, having gained an international reputation as the main reference in the world of collecting drawings. The event will welcome the world’s most passionate collectors and expert specialists, curators and top scholars from across the globe. They will be inviting 39 galleries that specialise in Old Master, modern and contemporary drawings including the most prestigious of the profession, showcasing 1,000 drawings in total. The historical ambiance of the Palais Brongniart only adds to the magic.

📍16 Place de la Bourse, 75002 Paris