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 July 28, 2019

Picasso and War

War and its devastation, peace and its symbols: the central thrust of Picasso and War is how major conflicts as well as periods of peace influenced Picasso’s works. The Spanish artist spent much of his life in France and lived through both World Wars, Cuba’s War of Independence and America’s war with Vietnam. Musée de l’Armée’s brings together paintings, press publications, photographs and private archive documents to navigate a dynamic that is rarely explored in this artist’s oeuvre.

Musée de l’Armée, 129 rue de Grenelle 75007 Paris
22 minutes’ walk from Hôtel Plaza Athénée (1 mile);
25 minutes’ walk from Le Meurice (1.2 miles)

musee-armee.fr |+33 (0)1 44 42 38 77

July 6 – 28, 2019

Arrival of Le Tour de France at Avenue des Champs-Elysées

The world’s best-known cycling race, Le Tour de France starts in Brussels and traverses the Alps before finally racing into Paris, finishing at the top of the Avenue des Champs-Elysées, underneath the Arc de Triomphe. The route is packed with spectators, giving the riders well-earned applause after three weeks of intense competition.

Various locations
letour.com

Until August 3, 2019

Festival Paris l'Été

 A summer highlight, the multi-disciplinary Festival Paris l’Été transforms the French capital into a thrumming playground of culture. From dance to opera, theatre to circus, the programme is wildly diverse, with performances held across the city, both indoors and in the open air.

Various locations
parislete.fr |+33 (0)1 44 94 98 00
Image © Paris Summer Festival Rémy Legeay

Until August 11, 2019

Electronic Music from Kraftwerk to Daft Punk

The controversial electronic beats that skittered across dancefloors in Chicago and Detroit in the early 1980s changed the course of music history and marked the birth of electronic dance music. This aural retrospective honours the genre’s humble and boundary-pushing roots with a skilled curation by French sound artist Jean-Yves Leloup.

Cité de la musique – Philharmonie de Paris, 221 avenue Jean-Jaurès, 75019 Paris
45 minutes’ drive from Hôtel Plaza Athénée (5 mile);
35 minutes’ drive from Le Meurice (4 miles)

philharmoniedeparis.fr |+33 (0)1 44 84 44 84
Image © AFP, Charles Platieau

Until August 25, 2019

Calder – Picasso

Both Alexander Calder (1898-1976) and Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) altered the way we perceive art. Now, with the beauty of hindsight, Musée Picasso brings 150 works and texts into focus to examine the dialogue between the two creative contemporaries: their meetings, their use of negative space, and their ability to produce obscure and often illusory viewpoints.

Musée Picasso, 5 Rue de Thorigny, 75003 Paris
33 minutes’ drive from Hôtel Plaza Athénée (3.8 miles);
25 minutes’ drive from Le Meurice (2.2 miles)

museepicassoparis.fr |+33 (0)1 85 56 00 36
Image © Calder Foundation New York, ADAGP, Paris

August 23 – 25, 2019

Rock en Seine

The Rock en Seine music festival takes place on the edge of the city, within the leafy Parc de Saint-Cloud. The three-day event welcomes more than 100,000 music enthusiasts to enjoy dozens of big-name artists perform across five stages. Highlights this year include Aphex Twin, Foals and The Cure.

Domaine National de Saint-Cloud, 92210
24 minutes’ drive from Hôtel Plaza Athénée (5.5 miles);
30 minutes’ drive from Le Meurice (7 miles)

Saint-Cloudrockenseine.com

August, 2019

Cinema by Moonlight Festival

Hosted at various scenic sites across Paris, including the Parc Montsouris and Place des Vosges, the Cinema by Moonlight Festival invites locals and visitors to enjoy the long summer nights with a series of twilight film screenings. Shows are complimentary, so arrive early to secure a seat.

Various locations
forumdesimages.fr |+33 (0)1 44 76 63 00
Image © Le parc de la Villette, Philippe

August – September, 2019

Classique au Vert

Classical music concerts set a verdant floral expanse, Classique au Vert is the city’s al fresco celebration of the genre. For seven summery weekends while the Parc Floral is in full bloom, music enthusiasts are treated to exquisite recitals of popular symphonies as well as contemporary cutting-edge works.

Parc Floral, Route de la Pyramide, 75012 Paris
Around 40 minutes’ drive from Hôtel Plaza Athénée (8 miles) and Le Meurice (6 miles)
classiqueauvert.paris.fr |+33 (0)1 45 43 77 58

September 5 – 14, 2019

Paris Design Week

A fresh installment of Maison & Objet Paris Design Week takes up residence in the Parc des Expositions this September. Smart home accessories, cutting-edge designs and soft furnishings fill the Objet wing, while chic interiors ideas and décor trends make up the Maison section. This is a unique opportunity to browse, buy and seek advice from the experts.

Parc des Expositions de Paris-Nord Villepinte, ZAC Paris Nord 2, 93420 Villepinte
Around 50 minutes’ drive from Hôtel Plaza Athénée (16 miles) and Le Meurice (16 miles)
maison-objet.com |+33 (0)6 29 84 16 29
Image © Boffi Parcours Showrooms, PDW

Until September 15, 2019

Romantic Paris (1815-1848)

This large-scale exhibition plunges us into the effervescence of Paris in the romantic era. Titled ‘After Paris 1900: La Ville Spectacle’, the Petit Palais is presenting Romantic Paris, a further episode in its overview of the great periods that have shaped the city’s identity. This is both an exhibition and a cultural event: a sweeping panorama of the French capital during the Romantic years from the fall of Napoleon in 1815, right up to the revolution of 1848.

Petit Palais, Avenue Winston-Churchill, 75008 Paris
13 minutes’ walk from Hôtel Plaza Athénée (0.7 miles);
17 minutes’ walk from Le Meurice (0.8 miles)

petitpalais.paris.fr |+33 (0)1 53 43 40 00

Until September 16, 2019

Prehistory, a modern enigma

Demonstrating the ties between prehistory and modern art, Préhistoire presents Palaeolithic sculptures, millennia-old engraved stones, polished flints and Neolithic idols alongside modern works ranging from the 19th century to the 1960s. Discover how Picasso, Miró, Cézanne and many more were inspired by their evolutionary roots.

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

 

September 21 – 22, 2019

European Heritage Days

An extraordinary opportunity to view some of Paris’ – and France’s – most impressive buildings. Every year since 1984, on the third weekend of September, beautiful public and private palaces, chateaux, government buildings and embassies throw open their doors to the world for visitors to explore the art and architecture. Parisian favourites include the Élysée Palace, Senate and Hotel de Ville.

Various locations
journeesdupatrimoine.culturecommunication.gouv.fr

 

Until September 22, 2019

Berthe Morisot (1841-1895)

A key driver behind the Parisian avant-garde movement in the late 1860s, but less celebrated than her Impressionist peers Monet, Degas and Renoir, this exhibition honours Berthe Morisot’s prolific talent. Consistently endeavouring to ‘capture something that passes’, her work depicts the homes, private lives and holidays of the bourgeoisie with an intriguing focus on women’s fashion.

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 © Musée d’Orsay

 

 

September 23 – October 1, 2019

Paris Fashion Week

The biggest names in couture descend on the City of Lights to present their collections for Paris Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2020. Heavyweight French design houses such as Chanel, Givenchy and Christian Dior are joined by those from further afield, such as Elie Saab, Alexander McQueen and Giambattista Valli, lending the style capital an extra splash of glamour.

Various locations
fashionweekonline.com

 

 

October 5, 2019

Nuit Blanche

Every year on the first Saturday of October, avant-garde projects, art installations, exhibitions, trails, concerts, and performances arrive at various museums and venues across Paris. Once night falls, Nuit Blanche transforms the city into a cultural playground that’s kindled by a neon glow and an explosive atmosphere.

Various locations across Paris
paris.fr/nuitblanche

October 5 - 6, 2019

Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe

Since 1857, the Hippodrome de Longchamp has hosted some of the racing world’s most exclusive events, and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is no exception. Considered France’s most prestigious steeplechase, the one-and-a-half-mile race makes celebrities of its winners, who must journey through an uphill path in the Bois de Boulogne before making it to the racetrack’s straightaway.

Hippodrome de Longchamp, 2 Route des Tribunes, 75116 Paris
19 minutes’ drive from Hôtel Plaza Athénée (4.9 miles);
26 minutes’ drive from Le Meurice (7 miles)
prixarcdetriomphe.com | +33 (0)1 44 30 75 00
Image © Y. Noda

September 26 – October 15, 2019

Les Indes Galantes

Written by esteemed French composer Jean-Philippe Rameau, Les Indes Galantes is an enthralling opera-ballet that transports audiences from the Ottoman Empire to Peru, Persia to North America. While the work premiered in Paris in 1735, choreographer Bintou Dembélé arranges every scene of this rendition with the same frontier-pushing aplomb as the original.

September 26 – October 15, 2019
Opéra Bastille, Place de la Bastille, 75012 Paris
30 minutes’ drive from Hôtel Plaza Athénée (3.9 miles);
28 minutes’ drive from Le Meurice (3.3 miles)
operadeparis.fr | +33 (0)1 71 25 24 23
Image © David Lefranc

October 17 – 20, 2019

FIAC! International Contemporary Art Fair

An illustrious ‘who’s who’ of the art industry, FIAC! International Art Fair is a busy hive of contemporary art in its many forms. Drawing together both established and lesser-known galleries, each championing creative talent from across the globe beneath the graceful glass domes of the Grand Palais, it’s a seasonal highlight well worth attending.

Grand Palais, Avenue Winston Churchill, 75008 Paris
10 minutes’ walk from Hôtel Plaza Athénée (0.4 miles);
17 minutes’ walk from Le Meurice (0.8 miles)
fiac.com
Image © Galerie Guido,W. Baudach, Berlin/Roman März

October 24, 2019 – 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

Until October 30, 2019

Musical Fountain Shows

The French gardens of Versailles date back to the reign of Louis XIV, and they certainly honour the monarch’s exacting tastes. The annual Musical Fountain Shows are a popular series of immaculately articulated water displays that bring the gardens to life. Lully and Rameau’s frothy scores are accompanied by choreographed sculpture fountains, with every Saturday night offering incredible displays of liquid and light.

Château de Versailles, Place d’Armes, 78000 Versailles
Around 35 minutes’ drive from Hôtel Plaza Athénée (12 miles) and Le Meurice (14 miles)
chateauversailles.fr |+33 (0)1 30 83 78 00
Image © Thomas Garnier

Until November 3, 2019

Chic and practical, the art of the purse

Fashioned out of tortoiseshell, wood, leather, mother of pearl, ivory, metal and shells, Monnaie de Paris presents an exhibition focusing entirely on purses. Much like handbags, the coin purse transformed from a practical accessory into a status symbol during the 20th century. The 200 items on display were all made between 1830 and 1930, and each tells a tale about its bearer.

Monnaie de Paris, Room 7 – 11 Conti Museum, 11 Quai de Conti, 75006 Paris
20 minutes’ drive from Hôtel Plaza Athénée (2.7 miles);
20 minutes’ walk from Le Meurice (1 mile)
monnaiedeparis.fr | +33 (0)1 40 46 56 66

October 26 – November 3, 2019

2019 Rolex Paris Masters

The concluding leg of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000, the 2019 Rolex Paris Masters attracts a flock of leading international tennis stars competing for the prestigious title. Join keen sports enthusiasts from across the world at the iconic indoor arena to cheer in this year’s reigning champion.

AccorHotels Arena, 8 Boulevard de Bercy, 75012 Paris
32 minutes’ drive from Hôtel Plaza Athénée (4.4 miles);
34 minutes’ drive from Le Meurice (4 miles)
rolexparismasters.com | +33 (0)1 47 43 51 11
Image © FFT

November 7 – 10, 2019

Paris Photo

A highlight of the international art scene, the freshest edition of Paris Photo brings together galleries, artists and dealers from across the globe, with up to 200 exhibitors presenting their most compelling shots. Browse and buy rare prints and a diverse range of subjects beneath the domed glass ceiling of Paris’ Grand Palais.

Grand Palais, 3 Avenue du Général Eisenhower, 75008 Paris
8 minutes’ walk from Hôtel Plaza Athénée (0.8 miles);
17 minutes’ walk from Le Meurice (0.4 miles)
grandpalais.fr |+33 (0)1 44 13 17 17
Image © Karine Laval/Benrubi Gallery

Until November 17, 2019

Dos à la Mode (Back to Fashion)

In collaboration with the currently under-renovation Palais Galliera, Dos à la Mode is all about how clothes look from the back. Trains, cut outs, clasps and patterns collide as the spotlight shines on a varied selection of garments. Haute couture gowns, military uniforms and straightjackets: the exhibition presents a collection of clothes from the 18th century to the present day.

July 5 – November 17, 2019
Musée Bourdelle, 18 Rue Antoine Bourdelle, 75015 Paris
bourdelle.paris.fr
+33 (0)1 49 54 73 73
Image © iStock_CoffeeAndMilk

November 14 – 17, 2019

Les Puces du Design

Since its inception in 1999, Les Puces du Design has carved a name for itself as the city’s premium design fair. Combining vintage and contemporary influences, it’s where to discover rare retro treasures alongside cutting-edge style pieces from a compelling range of furniture and homewares, designer clothes, accessories, and more.

Paris Expo Porte de Versailles, 1 Place de la Porte de Versailles, 75015 Paris
24 minutes’ drive from Hôtel Plaza Athénée (4 miles);
31 minutes’ drive from Le Meurice (5.3 miles)
pucesdudesign.com | +33 (0)1 64 03 95 52

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
Image © Flickr/Jean Pierre Dalbéra 

November 25 – 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

 

 

 

JANUARY 14-19, 2020

Paris Fashion Week

The biggest names in couture descend on the City of Lights to present their freshest collections for Paris Fashion Week. Heavy weight French design houses such as Chanel, Givenchy and Christian Dior are joined by those from further afield, such as Elie Saab, Alexander McQueen and Giambattista Valli, lending the style capital an extra splash of glamour.

Plusieurs lieux dans Paris
fashionweekonline.com

 

 

 

September 11, 2019 – 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 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

 

13 November, 2019 – 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