Monday 28 July 2014

Paris for tourists - What's On In Paris

Paris is amazing. There are so many fantastic places to go, so many amazing things to see, so many great things to eat and drink. There are international icons of course- the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre, Notre Dame. If you only have a short time in Paris you might only get to see the big names. That's still all good of course.

But if you have that most precious gift of time in Paris then it really pays to check out what's on in Paris. It can be difficult to find out what's on in a foreign country, with different customs, and in a foreign language, but it really pays big dividends if you do. Some of our best times in Paris have come from keeping our eyes and ears open to special events.

Seeing Hugh Masekala at the Paris Jazz Festival in 2013

Walking up the Tour Saint Jacques (the first time it had been open to the public in 500 years)

Learning how Gerard Mulot makes his macarons

Partying with the locals at the Bal des Pompiers

There are many exhibitions on in Paris at any time, and there is bound to be something that takes your fancy, like last years Haute Couture exhibition at the Hotel de Ville.

There are many places to look for information before you go to Paris. Some things will be in French but don't let that deter you too much, you can often work out enough particularly if there's pictures, and google translate can help tremendously. A basic knowledge of days of the week is helpful.

At the Paris city website click on the Que Faire a Paris? button.

TimeOut Paris is a great resource in English. You can follow them on Facebook. They do a weekly what's on in Paris this weekend post that will then pop up on your timeline.

Evous France is another fantastic resource. They will send you a free email each week (in French) about what's happening now and what's coming up in Paris. To subscribe go here, scroll down a bit, until you see a box on the right "Inscrivez-vous ici pour recevoir gratuitement notre lettre d'information sur Paris." Add your email address to the box and sit back and wait. 

Of course there are lots of fabulous Paris blogs you can turn to for inspiration. Everyone has their favourites.

The utterly delightful Carol at Parisbreakfasts is out and about in Paris every day, finding new treasures to visit, and delicious things to eat it must be said. There are always new pearls to be learned from every post. Just today while reading about vanilla ice-cream I learnt that Le Gateau et du Pain is now open on Rue du Bac! They weren't there last year….

The equally lovely Genie at Paris and Beyond publishes a beautiful Paris photo every day and I've followed in her footsteps many times. I visited Chapelle St Vincent de Paul after seeing it first in her pictures.

And blog events like Paris in July or Paulita's weekly Dreaming of France bring Francophiles together to exchange information and voice our passion.

Once you've arrived in Paris keep your eyes peeled on the Metro. There are lots of posters everywhere- on the platforms, in the passages, on the trains, for special events and places of interest.

The Palais Garnier is truly a Paris highlight
I've been quite a few times and will go again- it's magnificent

There are free weekly newspapers at the Metro stations, in French obviously, but if you see something you can always google it in English if you don't understand enough of it in French. 

If you feel brave enough to navigate the local newsagent/presse kioske then you can buy Pariscope each Wednesdaywith lots of information for the upcoming week, including movie listings- I haven't ever braved seeing a movie in Paris. Yet. (But now I understand the VO/VF classification I may brave it sometime).

A bargain at 50 cents
There are many posters out and about on the streets too.

We went to a Gospel Dream concert in 2010
It was sensational, I'd love to go again.

I walked past this poster so many times
that I ended up going

So check out what's coming up for your Paris holiday. There's always more to find and do. I'd love to go to some bookish events in Paris one time- Shakespeare and Company run events in English,  as does the American Library in Paris.


Anonymous said...

awweoime, thanks for all the references

Esme said...

Great source of resources

Sally Tharpe Rowles said...

Lots of good information here! I love all the subway posters!

Brona said...

What a great post Louise.
I've bookmarked it already - thanks :-)

skiourophile said...

I found a really lovely pop-up antique/junk market in Village St Paul by following the 'Brocante' posters that were scattered around the Marais a few days before. That's such a good list, Louise.

Paulita said...

Time is the most precious thing to have in cities you love. It looks like you found some terrific ways to spend your time. Here’s my Dreaming of France meme

Joy said...

What a great list of resources and some ideas to follow up on. Thanks!

Joy's Book Blog

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

So nice to be able to tie in a cool event to a trip. Great idea.

Jeanie said...

A terrific post. I sure wish I was there right now to enjoy any/all of these!

Vagabonde said...

Wow! You do give many informative tips about what to do and see in Paris and its environs! The Paris Tourist Office should give you a prize, or a link to your blog. It is true that there is so much to appreciate in Paris – so many museums. Here in Metro Atlanta with a population of 5,500,000 there are only a handful of museums, and they are pretty small. Even in towns in the provinces in France there are attractive museums. Is it the same in Australia?

Heidi’sbooks said...

I want to see Chagall. You have some great ideas here. I've started my adventure fund. The only place to start is at the beginning.