Paris

The performing arts scene in Paris runs the gamut from highbrow to lowbrow, cheap (or even free) to break-the-bank expensive. Venues are indoors and outdoors, opulent or spartan, and dress codes vary accordingly. Regardless of the performance you choose, it's probably unlike anything you've seen before. Parisians have an audacious sense of artistic adventure and a stunning eye for scene and staging. An added bonus in this city of classic beauty is that many of the venues themselves—from the opulent interiors of the Opéra Garnier and the Opéra Royal de Versailles to the Art Deco splendor of the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées—are a feast for the eyes.

One thing that sets Paris apart in the arts world is the active participation of the Ministry of Culture, which sponsors numerous concert halls and theaters, like the Comédie Française, that tend to present less commercial, though artistically captivating, productions. Other venues with broader appeal are known for sold-out shows and decade-long runs.

Most performances are in French, although you can find English theater productions. English-language movies are often presented undubbed, with subtitles. Of course, you don't need to speak the language to enjoy opera, classical music, dance, or the circus.

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  • 1. Days Off Festival

    Eastern Paris | Music Festivals

    Held over 10 days in early July at the Philharmonie de Paris, this festival focuses on pop-rock, with some jazz and electro thrown in for good...Read More

  • 2. Festival d'Automne à Paris

    Music Festivals

    Since 1972, the Paris Autumn Festival has featured a packed program that includes contemporary dance, theater, music, the visual arts, and film...Read More

  • 3. Festival d'Ile de France

    Music Festivals

    In September and October, this fête takes you (and 25,000 other festival goers) to extraordinary venues in Paris and the surrounding region...Read More

  • 4. Festival Paris l'Été

    Festivals

    Held throughout Paris from mid-July to mid-August, the Quartier d'Été festival attracts international stars of dance, world music, theater,...Read More

  • 5. Jazz à la Villette

    Eastern Paris | Festivals

    The annual Jazz à la Villette Festival is held at various Parc de La Villette venues, including the Philharmonie de Paris and Trabendo, over...Read More

  • 6. Orangerie du Parc de Bagatelle

    Western Paris | Festivals

    The Chopin Festival and the Solistes Festival strike musical high notes in the Orangerie du Parc de Bagatelle, one of Paris's most beautiful...Read More

  • 7. Parc Floral

    Eastern Paris | Festivals

    Free outdoor classical concerts, staged weekends at 4 pm from August to mid-September, draw fans to the Parc Floral in Bois de Vincennes (entrance...Read More

  • 8. Rock-en-Seine

    Festivals

    This rock festival, which runs each August on the outskirts of Paris, is one of the largest of its kind in France; past headliners include Lana...Read More

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