Spring Comes to Notre Dame Spring Comes to Notre Dame © Dennis Jarvis/Flickr

What's on in Paris: Spring 2015

As winter's grey skies turn to blue, the French capital really comes into bloom. From exhibitions to music and food festivals, there's plenty to keep you busy in Paris.


Paris Editor

The 20th March officially marks the beginning of spring 2015. Flowers in Paris' parks start to bloom, after-work drinks are taken on the banks of the Seine or on one of the terraces that have started to set up for summer and Parisians start to ditch their black and grey attire for a few hesitant dashes of colour. But, as Paris awaits summer, there's lots happening in the capital; here are just a few highlights selected by our Paris-based team.

A Parisian landmark is resurrected: the legendary star-studded nightclub Les Bains
Paris' answer to New York's Studio 54, Les Bains was the place to see and be seen from the 70s until the late 90s. Its regulars included Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Grace Jones, Robert De Niro, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Jack Nicholson and David Bowie to name but a few; bands like Joy Division and the Rolling Stones performed on the stage in the basement club. Les Bains was where it was all happening, where rules were made to be broken, where the world's greats would meet and mingle. But the club has a long history that dates back way before its hedonistic heyday.

Established by the Guerbois family in 1885 as a luxury bathhouse, the space was designed by star architect of the day Eugène Ewald to provide for those who didn't have bathrooms in their homes. Les Bains Douches (literally 'baths and showers') provided Paris' wealthy, including writer Marcel Proust, with the equivalent of a present-day luxury spa complete with a restaurant and bar. In the 1960s, Les Bains changed hands, sold on to Mr Maurice Marois who rented it to two young art dealers, Jacques Renault and Fabrice Coat. They turned it into the notorious nightclub that has left its mark on the international collective memory. In 2010, the club, then almost in ruins due to shoddy building work, closed its doors. In 2011 Mr Marois' son, film director and producer Jean-Pierre Marois, took over and established La Société des Bains, so that its unique legacy can live on. Completely refurbished, the club and restaurant will reopen on 24th March with hotel rooms on the upper floors and will once again be the hub of the world's most talented artists.

Les Bains © Karine Marenne

Les Bains © Karine Marenne


Design: PAD Paris
The prestigious cross-Channel Pavilion of Art and Design (PAD) fair that takes place in London as well as Paris will open its doors from 26th until 29th March. PAD brings together a number of the world's most well known galleries and collectors specialising in 20th-century decorative arts and contemporary design of everything from jewellery to furniture; there is also a section dedicated to young emerging artists and designers.


Music: We Love Green festival
Festival season in Paris won't really kick off until June, and We Love Green, now in its fifth year, provides a welcome appetiser to the much-awaited summer season. The festival that combines music with green values, will take place on 30th and 31st May at the Bagatelle Park and will host performances by the likes of masters of electro Sirius Modeselektor and bobo (bohemian-bourgeois) pop artist Christine and the Queens.

We Love Green Festival © Vincent Sannier

We Love Green Festival © Vincent Sannier


Exhibitions: Jeanne Lanvin, Jean-Paul Gaultier and David Bowie
For those who like to make the most of the city's rich and diverse cultural offerings, don't miss Palais Galliera Fashion Museum's homage to Jeanne Lanvin, the creator of maison Lanvin, France's oldest surviving fashion house. The exhibition will run until 23rd August.

Jeanne Lanvin by Laure Albin Guillot


Meanwhile, from 1st April until 3rd August, the Grand Palais will be honoring the fantastically flamboyant fashion icon, Jean-Paul Gaultier with never-before-seen drawings and video footage as well as prêt-à-porter garments displayed on animated mannequins.Jean-Paul Gaultier2

However, the exhibition that's got tongues wagging is the all-new Philharmonie de Paris' David Bowie Is exhibition. Previously shown at London's V&A Museum, the celebration of the global pop icon will run until 31st May.2Bowie-1 Striped bodysuit for Aladdin Sane tour 1973 Design by Kansai Yamamoto Photograph by Masayoshi Sukita  Sukita The David Bowie Archive 20121

David Bowier for Aladdin Sane tour 1973, bodysuit by Kansai Yamamoto Photograph by Masayoshi Sukita © Sukita The David Bowie Archive


Culture: European Museum Night
For something a little less glitzy but just as highbrow, there is the Nuit des Musées on 16th May where, as the name lets on, numerous museums all over France (and Europe) will stay open well into the darkness of night. With special events taking place until 1.00am, it's a chance to have a rare and unique experience of some of Paris' blockbuster landmarks like Victor Hugo's house, Musée Carnavelt, the Museum of Modern Art (MAM), and the Petit Palais among many others.Nuit des Musees © Benjamin Soligny

Nuit des Musees © Benjamin Solign


Food: Taste of Paris
The first edition of the World Taste food fair in Paris, Taste of Paris (see our post on Paris spring food festivals) will run from 21st-24th May. Set to be one of the largest foodie festivals in the world, it will take place under the emblematic glass nave of the Grand Palais. With stands representing some of the French capital's best restaurants, visitors will be able to indulge in various tastings as well as obtain tips from top chefs and restaurateurs. Headed by Alain Ducasse and Joel Robuchon, two of France's most notable chefs, food experts from all over the world will gather here for the unique gastronomic feast. READ MORE: Best Food Festival in Paris: Spring 2015

Taste of Paris

1 Taste at the Grand Palais
2 Jeanne Lanvin at Palais Galleria
3 Jean Paul Gautier at the Grand Palais
4 David Bowie at Philharmonie de Paris
5 Les Bains
6 PAD Paris
7 We Love Green