1 Jardin Shakespeare

Theater lovers can enjoy their own Midsummer Night’s Dream by taking in an evening or afternoon play amid lush greenery and centuries-old trees at this beautiful outdoor theater in Paris’ Bois de Boulogne park. It stages works by the Bard and other greats. July and August will feature Sophocles’ immortal tragedy Antigone, as well as delicious French comedies including Les Pavés de l’Ours (A Rough Diamond), by Belle Epoque playwright Georges Feydeau. Performances Wednesday through Sunday, July and August. Information at

2 Rock en Seine

Since 2003, the Domaine National de Saint-Cloud — 460 hectares of former castle grounds with views of the Seine — has hosted the Paris region’s pre-eminent rock festival. Foo Fighters, the Deftones, Death in Vegas, Lykke Li and many more are on the lineup this year. Aug. 26 to 28; three-day pass, $160. Details at (See more things to do in Paris.)

3 Etés de la Danse

Each year, Paris welcomes a world-class ballet company for an exclusive miniseason, and this year hosts the Miami City Ballet performing works by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Twyla Tharp and Paul Taylor. In all, 50 dancers will perform 14 ballets over 17 shows at the historic Théâtre du Châtelet. Tickets from around $20;

4 La Rotonde

This domed, pre-French Revolution customs office in northeastern Paris reopens as a brasserie and cultural hub at the end of July — a transformation befitting the hip, multicultural neighborhood now surrounding it. Helmed by iconoclastic chef Gilles Choukroun and overlooking the tranquil waters of the Bassin de la Villette, it’s sure to be a summer hit with the local Canal St.-Martin bocce-ball-playing crowd and young hipsters alike. See

5 Tour de France

The 3,500 km of rural, mountainous and coastal terrain covered during the world’s top cycling event changes every year, but the final sprint through the streets of Paris to the finish line never changes nor ceases to inspire. Arrive with sunscreen and a picnic and set up along the public barriers about half way up the Champs Elysées. July 24;

6 Bernar Venet

Tourists don’t need another reason to head for Versailles, but after exhibitions in more than 20 capitals worldwide, artist Bernar Venet takes his monumental sculptures to the City of Kings through Nov. 1. His iron and steel arcs and lines, towering in their simplicity, play elegant counterpoint to Versailles’s elaborate gardens and ornate edifices. Details at

7 Outdoor Cinema

Every summer, the grassy expanse of the Parc de la Villette turns into a giant movie theater under the stars for a series of free evening screenings. This year’s focus is filmic odes to cities, from New York as seen by Martin Scorsese in Taxi Driver (1976), to Paris in Mathieu Kassovitz’s La Haine (1995). Go early, rent a deck chair and blanket, and enjoy the show. July 19 to Aug. 21, Tuesday through Sunday. See

8 Paris Plages

Now in its 10th appearance, the annual Paris Plages sees the banks of the Seine transformed into an urban beach. This year, there’ll be a full kilometer of white sand (10 times that of previous years) plus open-air bars, ice cream stands, paddle boats, a swimming pool, fitness classes, beach games, and daytime and evening concerts and entertainment — and it’s all free. July 21 to Aug. 21;

9 Classique au Vert

Every weekend in August and September, top classical ensembles serenade music lovers in the lovely Parc Floral during the open-air Classique au Vert festival. American musical traditions are to be honored this year, from 19th century spirituals and the work of Aaron Copland to Sousa marches, Broadway melodies, Hollywood-film scores, and finally the avant-garde music of such composers as Steve Reich and John Adams. The park charges a small entrance fee, but the concerts are free. Saturdays and Sundays at 4 p.m.; details at

10 Mini Palais

Since the completion of an extensive redesign and the arrival of three-star chef Eric Frechon last year, the Mini Palais — the restaurant at the century-old Grand Palais exhibition hall off the Champs Elysées — has begun to live anew. The energy is palpable during the jazz-piano soirées held nightly on the Mini Palais’s gorgeous, 300-sq-m terrace, with its imperial columns, freshly restored mosaics and champagne bar. Pianist Pierre-Yves Plat, often called the successor of Jacques Loussier for his virtuosity and fantastical reinterpretations of Chopin airs, will organize the guest lineup throughout the summer. Expect appearances from pillars of the French jazz scene. Nightly at 10;

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