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Summer Park Festivals in Paris

Paris makes the most of the inbound good weather by scheduling all types of events in the city’s parks and gardens. They range from music festivals to activities for kids and even spectacular light and sound shows. All this fanfare provides the perfect excuse for visitors to head for these splendid spots to chill out, refresh themselves and discover an alternative Paris, removed from its usual museum, café, restaurant and fashion store offerings. Following is a selection of some of the events that should be must-dos on your agenda if you happen to be in the French capital this summer.

Paris Plages
Who said Paris had no beaches? With the arrival of summer, the Parc Rives de Seine and Bassin de la Villette fill up with deck chairs, sunshades and areas to chill out, cool off and beat the heat. Additionally, all kinds of activities are laid on, including concerts, exhibitions and watersports. Especially inviting is Parc Rives de Seine, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which covers some ten hectares stretching along the Seine riverbank. The area has undergone a radical upgrade since 2013, now refurbished as a public precinct with areas for promenading, doing sport and featuring playgrounds for small kids and even organic restaurants.

Rock en Seine
The Parc de Saint-Cloud is the spot earmarked to host one of the leading pop-rock music festivals in France, Rock en Seine. Three days, five stages, 65 concerts and 120,000 attendees await you at this marvellous venue, regarded as one of Europe’s most beautiful parks. A half-an-hour’s train ride from the Paris Saint-Lazare railway station, we assure you this festival is ideal for camping out in the park, which has its own camping area for festival-goers. And, should we have failed to win you over with the location, you are sure to be blown away by the heart-stopping lineup. Now in its 14th year, it features the likes of The xx, PJ Harvey, Flume, Franz Ferdinand, Cypress Hill, At The Drive-In, The Kills, Fakear and Mac DeMarco. Irresistible, isn’t it?

Festival Classique au Vert
Running from 5 August to 17 September is the Festival Classique au Vert, where you can delight in a complete programme of classical music which spans different styles, centuries and cultures. The programme is as eclectic as the venue it is hosted at, the Parc Floral. Stretching across twenty-eight hectares, it is part of the Paris botanical gardens, together with Bagatelle Park, l’École Du Breuil and the Jardin des Serres d’Auteuil. Inaugurated in 1969, it is acclaimed for its variety of vegetation, with some, clearly Japanese-inspired areas and others shimmering with flowers – they boast a collection of 650 different types of iris. A unique experience in a unique setting.

Open-Air Film Festival
Our list of festivals would not be complete without the Open-Air Film Festival, held in the Parc de la Villette, in the city’s 9th arrondissement. There you can chill out and enjoy the evening watching a movie. Admission is free-of-charge and each year the screenings revolve around a different theme. This year it runs from 20 July to 20 August and is themed on food. Talking of which, don’t hesitate to take your picnic hamper to the park. You simply couldn’t think up a better way of ending the day!

Grand Night Show at the Fountains of Versailles
At the Palace of Versailles everything is oversized, as is the stunning light and sound show hosted there every summer in the famous gardens. Awaiting you on Saturdays from 17 June to 16 September from 8.30 p.m. are two and a half hours during which you will witness an intermingling of Baroque music, interplays of light and water and fireworks worthy of the Sun King.

Fête des Jardins
The twentieth Fête des Jardins (Paris Garden Festival) is held when summer gives way to autumn. This festival is hosted at some 150 venues in Paris and its environs and for one weekend a plethora of activities for all audiences are on offer, from guided visits to gardening workshops, games, concerts, tours, etc. One of the aims of this event is to reveal to the public all the ins and outs of landscaping and gardening and the elements involved in these professions. It is also a great chance to visit certain gardens which are only open to the public on this occasion.

Book your Vueling to Paris for these summer festivals, when you can get to visit its magnificent parks and gardens.

Text by Los viajes de ISABELYLUIS

Photos by Zélie Noreda - Photographie, Ken Eckert

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