Dance, Theater, and Music
Ballet de l'Opéra National de Paris Rated one of the best dance companies in the world; excels in both the classics and avant-garde, staged in the same venues as the Opéra (see below). Tickets from $10; tel. 08 92 89 90 90 (in France); tel. 33 1 72 29 35 35 (from abroad). www.operadeparis.fr
Cité de la Musique Home to the contemporary Ensemble Intercontemporain, founded by Pierre Boulez (www.ensembleinter.com); also hosts world music, baroque, classical, and jazz concerts; one of the best music museums in the world. "Delightful to experience culture through another sense."—Poet and novelist Terry Wolverton. Tickets from $11. 221 Avenue Jean Jaurès; Métro: Porte de Pantin; tel. 33 (0) 1 44 84 45 00. www.cite-musique.fr
Comédie-Française "The French equivalent of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre; an innovative contemporary repertoire."—Marie-Céline Nivière, Pariscope theater critic. Created by order of Louis XIV in 1680; classics and new productions in the historic, glittering Salle Richelieu by the Palais Royale. Tickets from $15. 2 Rue de Richelieu; Métro: Palais Royale; tel. 33 (0) 1 44 58 14 13. www.comedie-francaise.fr
La Cinémathèque Française Venerable film society in new (2005) quarters designed by Frank Gehry; four screens dedicated to changing themes, retrospectives, classics, and the seldom seen; films in original language with French subtitles. Tickets $8. 51 Rue de Bercy; Métro: Bercy; tel. 33 (0) 1 71 19 33 33. www.cinematheque.fr
Opéra National de Paris France's most prestigious opera company; performing in two venues: lavish Palais Garnier at Place de l'Opéra, which recently completed a ten-year renovation, and the ultramodern Opéra Bastille in Place de la Bastille. Tickets from $7; tel. for both 08 92 89 90 90 (in France); tel. 33 1 72 29 35 35 (from abroad). www.operadeparis.fr
Radio France Presents top-notch classical concerts (Orchestre National de France, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, and the Choeur de Radio France) performing in venues around town. Tickets start at $7. http://www.radiofrance.fr/
Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord One of the world's most innovative theater companies, directed by Peter Brook and Micheline Rozan; café for light meals before or after performances. "The whole setting has a Peter Brook magic to it."—Marie-Céline Nivière. Tickets from $14. 37 bis Boulevard de la Chapelle; Métro: La Chapelle; tel. 33 (0) 1 46 07 34 50. www.bouffesdunord.com
Bal du Moulin Rouge
The cabaret that saw the birthplace of the can-can; 60 perfectly synchronized dancing girls, comedians, and performances in the famous giant aquarium. Shows including a half bottle of champagne at 9 p.m. ($134) and 11 p.m. ($120); dinner available. 82 Boulevard de Clichy; Métro: Blanche; tel. 33 (0) 1 53 09 82 82. www.moulinrouge.fr
Alternative Paris's party central; big red barge on the Seine featuring DJs and live acts from around the world playing jazz, rap, and techno until 6 a.m. "The barge's convivial, brightly painted wood and iron interior adds to the fun."—Cécile Chavent, writer, Guide Routard Paris. Cover from $10. Quai François Mauriac; Métro: Quai de la Gare; tel. 33 (0) 1 53 60 17 30. www.batofar.org
Le Canotier du Pied de la Butte
"Old-fashioned cabaret with singers belting out songs that have become part of Paris's DNA."—French-American artist Tom Jones. Intimate red, black, and mirrored interior; French songs invoking the spirits of Edith Piaf, Maurice Chevalier, and Jacques Brel. Shows nightly at 9 and 10:30 p.m.; jazz Monday at 10:30 p.m. and Tuesday at 9 p.m. Tickets $22, includes one drink. 62 Boulevard Rochechouart; Métro: Anvers; tel. 33 (0) 1 46 06 02 86.
"One of the mythic clubs of Paris; small and convivial, in recent years has branched out beyond the frontiers of jazz to world music."—Cécile Chavent. Top jazz performers (Wynton and Branford Marsalis, Carla Bley, Steve Swallow); concerts Monday-Friday at 9 p.m. Tickets from $25. 7-9 Rue des Petites-Ecuries; Métro: Château d'Eau; tel. 33 (0) 1 45 23 51 41. www.newmorning.com
Former warehouse now a bar, restaurant, and terrace on the banks of the Canal St-Martin; one of the hottest clubs in Paris; cutting-edge music, dance, and exhibitions. "Big and bohemian, yet relaxed and sympathique; the benches along the canal are a great place to hang out and make new friends."—Cécile Chavent. 200 Quai de Valmy; Métro: Jaurès; tel. 33 (0) 1 40 34 02 48. www.pointephemere.org
Fête de la Musique
June 21. An idea from the 1980s minister of culture that has become a national institution. Free concerts of all kinds all over Paris. http://fetedelamusique.culture.fr
Fête des Vendanges
Second weekend of October. Annual Montmartre grape harvest festival. Jolly neighborhood party with music and fireworks. www.fetedesvendangesdemontmartre.com
Fête Nationale (Bastille Day)
July 14. Dancing on the site of the Bastille, a big parade on the Champs-Elysées, fireworks around the Eiffel Tower after dark.
Gay Pride March
Late June. Its organizers claim that Paris's is the world's biggest. Parade from Montparnasse to the Bastille, followed by a concert. http://marche.inter-lgbt.org
Mid-July to mid-August. Parisian life transformed by more than a mile of temporary beach along the Seine embankments. Palm trees, music, and parties in the evenings.
About Paris and France
This former home of French kings epitomizes royal elegance in the style of Old Europe. Get facts, photos, and travel tips for Versailles, a World Heritage site in France.
Discover the arts, foods, crafts, and vistas that make this one of Europe's most inspiring regions.
Test your knowledge of Paris with this quiz from National Geographic's Ultimate City Guides.
Travel Photos From Your Shot
Browse Stunning Images of These Natural Marvels
Shop National Geographic
Special Ad Section
Watch as Nat Geo photographers reveal what drives them to create iconic images.