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What's on in Paris in May 2017

What's on in Paris in May 2017

Picture of Paul McQueen
Updated: 27 October 2017

May in Paris means the first hot, sunny days of the year and some of its coolest events. Sports fans can go mad over ice hockey and tennis tournaments and music lovers can exult in jazz in Saint-Germain and the sounds of the underground at La Villette. For those who like having fun without spending a cent, there are four free festivals celebrating design, opera, culture, and the performing arts.


Galerie Glustin │© photoproevent, Courtesy of Révélations ; Ice hockey match │© skeeze / Pixabay ; Ceiling of the Opéra-Comique, Salle Favart, Paris │© Yann.auger / Wikimedia Commons

Galerie Glustin |Courtesy of Révélations ; Ice hockey match │© skeeze / Pixabay ; Ceiling of the Opéra-Comique, Salle Favart, Paris │© Yann.auger / Wikimedia Commons

ART + DESIGN │ Révélations

📅  Wednesday, May 3 – Monday, May 8

This is the third edition of Révélations, the biennial fair that celebrates the best of what the world of arts and crafts has to offer. More than 400 artisans, designers, galleries, and foundations will exhibit their work over the course of the week and over 45,000 art professionals and enthusiasts are expected to attend.

Tickets: €18 for full price tickets and €7 for 12 to 18-year-olds, students, and job seekers. 

📍 Grand Palais, 3 Avenue du Général Eisenhower, 75008 Paris, France, +33 1 44 13 17 17


SPORTS │ Ice Hockey World Championships

📅  Friday,  May 5 – Thursday, May 18  

This is the 81st time that the ice hockey playing nations of the world have met to thrash it out for the title of champions of the world. The two-week competition is this year split between Paris and Cologne, with 64 matches between 16 countries being contested in total. Group matches start on May 5 and the quarterfinals will be held in the capital on May 18.

Tickets: €1,400 t0 €9

📍 AccorHotels Arena, 8 Boulevard de Bercy, 75012 Paris, France, +33 1 75 44 04 00


MUSIC │ Tous à l’Opéra

📅  Saturday, May 6 – Sunday, May 7  

A night at the opera isn’t generally considered the cheapest form of evening entertainment, but for one weekend in May, participating houses in Paris and across France will be opening their doors free of charge for a series of performances. This is the 11th edition of Tous à l’opéra (Everyone at the opera), which is part of a pan-European effort to broaden the appeal of this struggling art form.

Tickets: Free. 

📍 Opera National de Paris, Place de la Bastille, 75012 Paris, France, +33 892 89 90 90

📍 Opéra Comique, 21 Rue du Sentier, 75002 Paris, France, +33 1 80 05 68 60



Nathalie Pozzie et Eric Zimmerman, Flatlands │© Dane Sponberg, Courtesy of D’Days ; Jazz musicians │© ahkeemhopkins / Pixabay ; Ukelele │© Tam Tam / Flickr

Nathalie Pozzie et Eric Zimmerman, Flatlands │Courtesy of D’Days ; Jazz musicians │© ahkeemhopkins / Pixabay ; Ukelele │© Tam Tam / Flickr


📅  Tuesday, May 2 – Sunday, May 14  

Over 12 days, design enthusiasts will be meeting in venues across Paris for never-before-seen exhibitions, workshops, and discussions as part of a drive to promote French and international designers. The theme of this year’s D’Days is “the game” and this will be reflected in events at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Galerie Joseph, and La Gaîté Lyrique.

Tickets: Free.

📍 Across Paris. 


MUSIC │ Jazz à Saint-Germain-des-Prés Festival

📅  Thursday, May 11 – Monday, May 22  

For the middle weeks of May, the bars and clubs of the Left Bank will be taken over by Jazz à Saint-Germain-des-Prés. Since the festival was created in 2001, it has brought international artists like Norah Jones, Manu Dibango, and Paolo Fresu to venues like the Odéon-Théâtre de l’Europe, the Église Saint-Germain-des-Prés, and the Sénat. Buy your three or five concert passes online for reductions of between 25% and 40%.

Tickets: €88 to €10. 

📍 Across Saint-Germain-des-Prés.


MUSIC │ Paris Ukelele Festival

📅  Friday, May 12 – Sunday, May 14  

La Bellevilloise, one of the coolest places in the 20th arrondissement, is hosting this year’s Paris Ukelele Festival, which it describes as “a great musical journey around this little musical instrument that only reminds us of well-being, the islands, and musical relaxation!” Over three days, it will offer an open stage, introductory workshops, masterclasses, a flea market, a raffle, meetings with international artists, concerts, and informal jam sessions.

Tickets: €20 to €10. 

📍 La Bellevilloise, 19-21 Rue Boyer, 75020 Paris, France, +33 1 46 36 07 07



Baker │© Pexels / Pixabay ; Nuits des Musées │© Yann Caradec / Flickr ; Les Printemps des Rues Poster 2017 Courtesy of Les printemps des Rues

Baker │© Pexels / Pixabay ; Nuits des Musées │© Yann Caradec / Flickr ; Les Printemps des Rues Poster 2017 |Courtesy of Les printemps des Rues

FOOD │ Taste of Paris

📅  Thursday, May 18 – Sunday, May 21

An unmissable event for foodies this month is the Taste of Paris, the world’s greatest restaurant festival that will fill the main hall of the Grand Palais. Visitors will have the chance to meet chefs and producers, sample their latest creations, and take part in various culinary activities. Once you’ve paid your entry, dishes cost between €5 and €12 and glasses of wine and champagne start at €2 and €10, respectively.

Tickets: €72 to €18. 

📍 Grand Palais, 3 Avenue du Général Eisenhower, 75008 Paris, France, +33 1 44 13 17 17


ART │ Nuits des Musées

📅  Saturday, May 20  

One of the most anticipated events of the year, the Nuits des Musées, returns to Paris for its 13th edition on May 20. More than 100 museums and cultural spaces in Paris and Île-de-France will be keeping their doors open well after their usual closing time to allow visitors a unique and free experience. Two million people in France are expected to take part in the night’s guided visits, workshops, screenings, tastings, and live performances.

Tickets: Free. 

📍 All across Paris. 


THEATER │ Printemps des Rues

📅  Saturday, May 20 – Sunday, May 21  

Always one of the liveliest quarters in the French capital, the Canal Saint-Martin cranks up the energy yet another gear in mid-May with the Printemps des Rues festival. This weekend event will see the quays of the canal filled with free performances from theater groups, musicians, puppeteers, circus acts, and dancers.

Tickets: Free.

📍 Quays of the Canal Saint-Martin. 



SPORTS │ Roland Garros

📅  Monday, May 22 – Sunday, June 11  

The last week in May brings Roland Garros to Paris. One of the largest sporting events of the year, the stars of the tennis world will battle it out on the clay courts for the Coupe des Mousquetaires and the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen in the men and women’s competitions. If you don’t manage to get a ticket, you can always watch the matches on the big screen at the Eiffel Tower or in one of the city’s sports bars.

Tickets: Tickets prices vary. 

📍 Roland Garros, Avenue Gordon Bennett, 75016 Paris, France, +33 1 47 43 51 91


MUSIC │ Villette Sonique

📅  Thursday, May 25 – Wednesday, May 31  

The arrival of the Villette Sonique festival in Paris’ most futuristic park is a sure sign that spring is in full swing and that summer is just around the corner. The stars of the international underground music scene will come together for a week of concerts held in the Grande Hall, Philharmonie de Paris, the Cabaret Sauvage, the Trabendo, and in the gardens.

Tickets: €35 to €10 (and some free performances). 

📍 Parc de la Villette, Avenue Jean Jaurès, 75019 Paris, France, +33 1 40 03 75 75


CULTURE │ La Pierre Sacrée des Maoris

📅  Tuesday, May 23 – Sunday, October 1  

At the end of the month, the Musée du quai Branly will launch its main summer exhibition, “La Pierre sacrée des Maoris,” which explores the role of jade in the native culture of New Zealand. The show brings together sculptures and decorative objects spanning several centuries that tell of the stone’s unique place in Maori beliefs and legends.

Tickets: €10 to €7. 

📍 Musée du quai Branly, 37 Quai Branly, 75007 Paris, France, +33 1 56 61 70 00