Paris Destination Guide

Fashion Week, Design Week and an abundance of international art fairs make Paris a supremely stylish place to be. Add to the mix an exciting programme of major exhibitions by leading modern and contemporary artists, as well as some of Europe’s most prestigious sporting occasions, and you’ll soon discover each season’s special appeal. Here are our favourite Parisian events to uncover.

Until February 24, 2020

Leonardo da Vinci

That the Louvre is home to the Mona Lisa, one of Leonardo da Vinci’s best-known works, is no secret. However, this exhibition brings together a wealth of da Vinci’s other paintings to join the iconic portrait. The ambitious curation pays tribute to the Renaissance polymath’s immense skill and marks the fifth centenary of his death in France.

Louvre Museum, 75001 Paris
34 minutes’ walk from Hôtel Plaza Athénée (1.6 miles)
9 minutes’ walk from Le Meurice (Less than a mile)
Louvre.fr | +33 (0)1 40 20 53 17
Image ©  RMN-Grand Palais (musée du Louvre) René-Gabriel Ojéda

NOVEMBER – DECEMBER, 2019

Disney's Enchanted Christmas

Disneyland Paris undergoes a glittering makeover as Disney’s Enchanted Christmas arrives with reams of fairy lights, dazzling festive costumes and a special touch of magic. Expect sparkling street parades, live performances, everyone’s favourite characters dressed to impress, and a traditional festive market at Disney Village providing ample opportunity to tick off the gift list.

Disneyland Paris, Boulevard de Parc, 77700 Coupvray
1 hours’ drive from Hôtel Plaza Athénée (28.3 miles) ; 56 minutes’ drive from Le Meurice (27.2 miles)
disneylandparis.com |+33 1 60 30 60 53

NOVEMBER – January, 2019

Paris Christmas Markets

The French are known for bringing a touch of chic to everything they do, and Christmas markets are no different. Come winter, Paris is peppered with festive villages selling beautiful, one-of-a-kind artisan crafts. Follow your nose to roasted chestnuts and seasonal crepes, and wash them down with aromatic spiced wine. Seek out Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Trocadero and the Tuileries Garden for some of Paris’ most sought-after Christmas markets.

Various locations across Paris

Until December 26, 2019

Prince Igor

Unfinished at the time of composer Borodin’s death in 1887, but completed by two of his peers and debuted in St Petersburg three years later, Prince Igor receives remarkable contemporary treatment in Barrie Kosky’s production. When Prince Igor cedes power to his tyrannical brother-in-law and goes to war, he and his son are imprisoned. However, all is not lost for the captives.

Opéra Bastille, Place de la Bastille 75012 Paris
34 minutes’ drive from Hôtel Plaza Athénée (3.6 miles);
32 minutes’ drive from Le Meurice (3.2 miles)
operadeparis.fr | +33 (0)1 71 25 24 23
Image © Christian Leiber_OnP

DECEMBER 4 – 8, 2019

Salon du Cheval de Paris

France’s largest equestrian event, the Salon du Cheval de Paris returns with a colourful programme of events that includes jumps, races and dressage, as well as the spectacular Arabian Horse World Championship. Rising above all the attractions, however, the flagship event remains the Paris Longines Masters, where riders’and their steeds compete for a generous cash prize.

Parc des Expositions de Villepinte, ZAC Paris Nord 2, 93420 Villepint
50 minutes’ drive from Hôtel Plaza Athénée (16.6 miles); 1 hours’ drive from Le Meurice (15.9 miles)
m-en.salon-cheval.com
+33 1 76 77 11 11
Image © Salon du Cheval de Paris

DECEMBER 24, 2019

Christmas concert at the Eiffel Tower

Few sights are more rousing than the French capital’s iconic landmark glittering with festive illuminations against the wintry sky. Add in a traditional carol concert at the foot of the monument on the night of December 24, and this may just be the most memorable Christmas Eve yet. Well-attended by Parisians and visitors alike, warm up after the show with a Cognac in one of the many brasseries nearby.

Champ de Mars, 5 Avenue Anatole France, 75007 Paris
21 minutes’ walk from Hôtel Plaza Athénée (1 mile); 17 minutes’ drive from Le Meurice (2.5 miles)

DECEMBER 26, 2019 – JANUARY 5, 2020

Festival du Merveilleux

Roll up, roll up! The Festival du Merveilleux brings the circus to town, with spectacular performances from storytellers and aerial silk dancers, magicians and musicians, puppeteers, funambulists and tap dancers. The festival’s 10-day programme sweeps through the grand Pavillons de Bercy with all the giddy thrills and merry enchantment of a vintage fairground.

Musée des Arts Forains, 53 Avenue des Terroirs de France, 75012 Paris
35 minutes’ drive from Hôtel Plaza Athénée (5.3 miles); 29 minutes’ drive from Le Meurice (4.2 miles)
arts-forains.com | +33 (1) 43 40 16 22
Image © Festival du Merveilleux, Pavillons de Bercy

Until December 31, 2019

Van Gogh, La Nuit Étoilée (The Starry Night)

Van Gogh’s dreamy meadows and star-swirled skies are brought to vivid, colour-saturated life with L’Atelier des Lumières’ immersive digital display, projected onto 15,000m2/161,459ft2 walls. Van Gogh, La Nuit Étoilée, is a 35-minute journey into the Dutch artist’s life and his most famous works, retracing his steps through Arles, Paris and Saint-Rémy-de-Provence.

L’Atelier des Lumières, 38 Rue Saint-Maur, 75011 Paris
31 minutes’ drive from Hôtel Plaza Athénée (4.2 miles);
23 minutes’ drive from Le Meurice (2.9 miles)

atelier-lumieres.com |+33 (0)1 80 98 46 00
Image © Bridgeman Images

Until January 5, 2020

Océan

Although the ocean covers the majority of our planet, it remains largely unknown. Not just due to its vast size, but also because exploring it is a real challenge for human beings. This extraordinary exhibition at the Museum d’Histoire Naturelle takes us to new depths as it uncovers some of the many tools and techniques that have been used since antiquity to rise this challenge.

 Jardin des Plantes, 57 Rue Cuvier, 75005 Paris
28 minutes’ drive from Hôtel Plaza Athénée (3.5 miles);
21 minutes’ drive from Le Meurice (2.4 miles)

mnhn.fr |+33 (0)1 40 79 56 01

September 24, 2019 – January 19, 2020

Degas at the Opera

Grandiose auditoriums, extravagant attire, enthralled audiences, and impassioned performers – esteemed French painter Edgar Degas captured the essence of the Paris Opera in the 19th century. This major new exhibition at the Musée d’Orsay makes the Opera its core focus and examines the artist’s passionate relationship with the House.

Musée d’Orsay 1 Rue de la Légion d’Honneur, 75007 Paris
25 minutes’ walk from Hôtel Plaza Athénée (1.3 miles);
10 minutes’ walk from Le Meurice (0.4 miles)

musee-orsay.fr |+33 (0)1 40 49 48 14
Image © V&A Museum London

 

 

 

Until January 20, 2020

Francis Bacon

Recognising one of the 20th century’s leading painters, this exhibition looks at Francis Bacon’s later works, created between 1971 and 1992 – the year of his death. During this period, Bacon drew on prominent thinkers and writers such as George Bataille, Michel Leiris, and Friedrich Nietzsche, and polarised themes such as life and death, beauty and ugliness, civilisation and barbarism.

Centre Pompidou, Place Georges-Pompidou, 75004 Paris
25 minutes’ drive from Hôtel Plaza Athénée (2.8 miles);
15 minutes’ drive from Le Meurice (1.3 miles)

centrepompidou.fr |+33 (0)1 44 78 12 33
Image © Centre Pompidou The Estate of Francis Bacon MNAM-CC

 

January 14 – 19

Paris Fashion Week, Men

Much like the women’s event, Men’s Fashion Week is held biannually in fashion’s global capital, Paris. Here, designers, buyers, media figures, style trailblazers and influencers flock to the city for the new Spring/Summer menswear collections. Hermès, Dior, Céline and Balmain are all on show, as one would expect from the home of traditional luxury, but newer labels, such as Henrik Vibskov, JW Anderson, Rick Owens and GmbH are also represented.

Various locations
fhcm.paris | +33 (0)1 42 66 64 44

JANUARY 20 – 23, 2020

Haute Couture Fashion Week

As official capital of haute couture, Paris’ catwalks are marked out with the most illustrious designs from the world’s leading fashion houses during its dedicated Haute Couture Fashion Week. Each design is unique and made entirely to measure, establishing these among the world’s most coveted outfits. Take a cool perch in the FROW to admire treasures from Dior, Chanel and Alexis Mabille among others.

Centre Pompidou, Place Georges-Pompidou, 75004 Paris
Various locations
fhcm.paris | +33 (0)1 42 66 64 44
Image © Christopher Macsurak/Wikimedia Commons

 

JANUARY 27, 2020

Grand Prix d’Amérique

Paris’ equestrian calendar bolts to a thrilling start with the highly anticipated harness racing world championship, the Grand Prix d’Amérique. The race’s prestige is sealed with the highest prize money in France, and is well-attended by an illustrious guest list. Secure a table at Le Panoramique to cheer the action from the best seats in the house, while enjoying the Hippodrome’s prime hospitality.

Vincennes Hippodrome de Paris, 2 Route de la Ferme, 75012 Paris
55 minutes en voiture depuis l’Hôtel Plaza Athénée (21km) ;
58 minutes en voiture depuis Le Meurice (14km)
prix-amerique.com | +33 1 49 77 17 17

 

Until February 23, 2020

Picasso’s Magical Paintings

Pablo Picasso’s ‘Tableaux Magiques’ [Magical Paintings], painted between 1926 and 1930, are the subject of a new exhibition at The Musée National Picasso. A carefully curated selection of these works will be on display, including some painted on a dismantled wardrobe, owing to the painter’s poverty at the time.

Musée National Picasso, 5 Rue de Thorigny, 75003 Paris
museepicassoparis.fr | +33 (0)1 85 56 00 36
Image © RMN Grand Palais Adrien Didierjean, Succession Picasso DACS 2019

February 24 – March 3, 2020

Paris Fashion Week

As the historical home of fashion, Paris has always been at the forefront of the style agenda – but did you know that the first Fashion Week took place in this city? This year’s event will be no exception, with the world’s most influential designers, influencers and society figures descending on the French capital as the women’s collections are unveiled.

Various locations across Paris
fhcm.paris | +33 (0)1 42 66 64 44

October 11 – March 1, 2020

Hans Hartung: La fabrique du geste

Progress is the central theme running through the work of German-French painter, Hans Hartung, at this retrospective presented by the Musée d’Art Moderne. Unsurprisingly, given his role as a World War II veteran, Hartung’s work is centred around ideas relating to human and technological progress.

Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris, 11 Avenue du Président Wilson, 75116 Paris
mam.paris.fr | +33 (0)1 53 67 40 00
Image © T1989-K23″ (détail), Hans Hartung, 1989. Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Palais de Tokyo

Until March 16, 2020

Boltanski

Paying tribute to Christian Boltanski’s ingenuity when it comes to blurring the boundaries between truth and fiction is this epic retrospective at the Pompidou Centre. The inspired curation comprises photography, paintings, sculpture, and film, and reflects the contemporary French artist’s sharp aptitude in remodelling the world.

Centre Pompidou, Place Georges-Pompidou, 75004 Paris
21 minutes’ drive from Hôtel Plaza Athénée (3 miles);
26 minutes’ walk from Le Meurice (1.2 miles)
centrepompidou.fr | +33 (0)1 44 78 12 33
Image © Christian Boltanski/Galerie Marian Goodman/Rebecca Fanuele

February – March, 2020

Six Nations 2020

Paris’ Stade de France takes its turn in hosting the year’s most anticipated rugby tournament, the Six Nations. Six of the world’s best-ranked squads participate in a fierce competition for the coveted title. With France hosting Italy, England and Ireland this time around it promises to be explosive.

Stade de France, 93200 Saint-Denis
sixnationsrugby.com| +33 (0)1 40 17 47 00

February 27 – March 1, 2020

Holiday on Ice 5

Entertaining families for 75 years, Holiday on Ice presents its latest sensation this winter. Expect glittery costumes, elegant twirls and dramatic choreography from start to triumphant finish, all under the Dome of Paris’s unusual aluminium roof.

Le Dôme de Paris, 34 Boulevard Victor, 75015 Paris
holidayonice.com | +33 (0)1 53 33 45 30

December 11 – March 9, 2020

Soulages at the Louvre

The Louvre is marking the 100th birthday of abstract ‘painter of black and light,’ Pierre Soulages, with a solo exhibition. The show follows his exceptionally long career from its beginnings in 1946 through to the present day.

Louvre Museum, Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris
louvre.fr | +33 (0)1 40 20 53 17
Image © Archives Soulages

March, 2020

Saut Hermès

Witness the world’s elite showjumpers fly over one of the most difficult courses in the world, within the comfort of Paris’s Grand Palais setting. This high-adrenaline spectator event peaks with the Grand Prix Hermès, on the Sunday afternoon, a spectacle not to be missed.

3 Avenue du Général Eisenhower, 75008 Paris, France
15 minutes’ walk from the Hôtel Plaza Athénée (0.6 miles) ; 19 minutes’ walk from Le Meurice (06 miles)
sauthermes.com | +33 (0)1 40 17 47 00
Image © Frédéric Chéhu

October 12 – March 15, 2020

Défi - Cirque d'Hiver

The captivating Cirque d’Hiver, which literally translates as Winter Circus, building was erected in 1852 and was later brought to life with one of the first flying trapeze acts. This winter’s show, Défi, offers animals, gymnasts, clowns and other creative artistes, and promises to delight all ages.

110 rue Amelot, 75011 Paris
cirquedhiver.com | +33 (0)1 47 00 28 81
Image © Cirque d’Hiver Bouglione de Paris, Dominique Secher

March 26 – 29, 2020

Drawing Now Art Fair

Art collectors, curators or connoisseurs take note, the 13th Drawing Now Art Fair is a brilliant opportunity to purchase drawings from talented emerging artists. This year is the biggest yet, with 72 galleries displaying the work of 400 artists at the Carreau du Temple.

Carreau du Temple, 2 Rue Perrée, 75003 Paris
drawingnowartfair.com | +33 (0)1 45 38 51 15
Image © Thomas Thyrion 2018 aquarelle sur papier, Courtesy Bechter Kastowsky Galerie and the artist

March 24 – July 19, 2020

James Tissot

In 19th century Paris, critics were singing the praises of Manet, Degas, and the highly fashionable Tissot. Tissot’s work, such as his famous images of Parisienne women and his numerous biblical pieces, are being celebrated in this elegant exhibition at the Musée D’Orsay.

Musée d’Orsay, 1 Rue de la Légion d’Honneur, 75007 Paris
musee-orsay.fr | +33 (0)1 40 49 48 14
Image © Musée D’Orsay