Top events this autumn

The top events on the Paris cultural calendar: exhibitions, shows, concerts, opera, ballet and trade fairs. Our tips to make sure you don’t miss out on the key cultural events in the autumn of 2017.

With its myriad museums, theatres, exhibition spaces and sports venues, it can be hard to decide what you want to do in Paris – and for autumn 2017 the listings are positively bursting with new attractions!

To help narrow down your search, we’ve picked out the best of this autumn’s cultural crop for you to mark in your diary.

Exhibitions

Bruce Nauman Etre moderne : le MoMA à Paris, fondation Louis Vuitton © Fondation Louis Vuitton

Anniversaries are the hallmark of the 2017 autumn season, starting with one relating to the most Parisian name of them all: Dior. The Musée des Arts Décoratifs kicked off the celebrations starting this summer with a fantastic retrospective displaying the stuff of dreams – fashion and luxury — and retracing 70 years of Dior designs, with 300 dresses from the famed haute couture brand. For the 80th birthday of David Hockney, the Pompidou Centre invites visitors to plunge into one of the British painter and photographer’s famous swimming pools – a most refreshing artistic (re)discovery.

The Grand Palais, meanwhile, is celebrating the 100th birth anniversary of Irving Penn, with a must-see exhibition devoted to the career of one of the 20th century’s most famous photographers, in collaboration with the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This is not the only emblematic New York City museum to be represented in Paris this autumn: the MoMa will take over the Fondation Louis Vuitton with a brilliant exhibition of American modern art.

On stage

Cosi fan tutte de Mozart - Palais Garnier - 2017 © Anne Van Aerschot

As to shows, Paris offers a particularly eclectic selection of events. There will be a much-awaited performance of Don Carlos, a Verdi opera, at the Opéra Bastille from 10 October to 11 November 2017. This 4hr30 tragedy will be surtitled in both English and French. At the Palais Garnier, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart takes top billing with the evergreen Così fan tutte.

A number of great musicals will also have Paris audiences singing along from September onwards: West Side Story at La Seine Musicale; Grease at the Théâtre Mogador; The Addams Family straight from Broadway at the Palace and, for fans of the hippie movement, Welcome to Woodstock at the Comedia.

And, from 14 October 2017, don’t miss the all-new show from the famous Cirque Bouglione, titled Exploit. It’s a real extravaganza.

This year, as usual, there is something for all ages and all tastes!

Music

Philharmonie de Paris, intérieur Salle 2, Paris © Arte Factory

Music fans should head straight to the city’s concert venues. Paris has a huge number of them, each one showcasing its preferred musical genre. For classical and contemporary music fans, there’s the Philharmonie de Paris and the plethoric concert programme of the Orchestre de Paris. For pop-rock fans there’s the AccorHotels Arena, where the likes of Lady Gaga, Metallica, Ennio Morricone and Justice will be playing concerts. And for a laid-back vibe, head to the Olympia to listen to Diana Krall, or the Zénith de Paris for a performance by the enchanting duo Angus & Julia Stone.

Festivals

Jeff Mills et Emile Parisien - Jazz à la Villette 2017 © Hana Ofangel

Like summertime, autumn in Paris offers rich pickings when it comes to festivals. The Festival d’automne is probably the most eclectic of them all: featuring dance, cinema and theatre, it offers a range of diverse and high-quality events in 47 different venues in the capital and around. Night owls can enjoy two fantastic events this autumn: Summer House and MaMa Festival. And for fans of jazz, swing and indiemusic, there are two not-to-miss festivals: Jazz à La Villette and the Pitchfork Music Festival.

Fairs

FIAC - Grand Palais © Marc Domage

A trip to Paris is a great opportunity to visit an internationally renowned trade show or fair. The FIAC is the top Paris event for contemporary art aficionados. As to pop culture, the third edition of Comic Con will be packed with surprises and superheroes. And no gourmet could possibly miss the Salon du chocolat.

Outdoors

Techno Parade 2009 © OTCP - Marc Bertrand

Autumn is a good time to explore some of the more unusual places in Paris, during the Heritage Days. These places – usually off-limits to the public – open their doors to visitors for that one weekend. Unusual is also the best word to sum up the installations you can admire along the contemporary art trail set up each year on the occasion of the Nuit Blanche. Music fans can join a procession unlike any other: the Techno Parade winds its way through Paris every year in mid-September. And when you’ve had your fill of all those events, go along to the Fête des Vendanges to sample the one and only made-in-Montmartre wine.

Sport

Rolex Paris Masters © Corinne Dubreuil / FFT

Sports fans can look forward to a number of international events. The 39th edition of the 20 km de Paris attracts more than 25,000 runners every year. The Rolex Paris Masters is a major tennis tournament held in the Accorhotels Arena, which also hosts the France International Gymnastics event. And for horse racing fans, the Chantilly racecourse has organized the renowned event now known as Qatar, Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe for nearly a century.

With the family

KIDEXPO © DR

There is no lack of things for kids to do in Paris. For an enjoyable day out with the family, head to the Fête au Bois de Boulogne: a lively, longstanding fairground favourite that takes places each year. Can’t think what to do with your youngsters? Then take them to Kidexpo, the show all families love. If they enjoy thrills and chills, the Halloween Disney festival at Parc Disneyland® Paris features all the most famous baddies from 1 October onwards.

Grease

Musical theatre, musical
From 28 September 2017
Théâtre Mogador - 25 rue de Mogador, Paris
Book

The musical Grease on stage at the Théâtre Mogador from 28 September 2017

Gauguin: Artist as Alchemist

Exhibition
from 11 October 2017 to 22 January 2018
Grand Palais - Avenue Winston Churchill, Paris
Book

An in-depth look at one of the great figures of French painting

Being Modern: MoMA in Paris

Exhibition
from 11 October 2017 to 05 March 2018
Fondation Louis Vuitton - 8 avenue du Mahatma Gandhi, Paris
Book

The Fondation Louis Vuitton presents an exceptional exhibition on the occasion of its collaboration with MoMA

Nuit Blanche in Paris

Celebration
October 2018
Tout Paris - Paris, Paris

Installations, exhibitions, concerts ... explore Paris in a new way, at night

European Heritage Days

Exhibition
from 15 September 2018 to 16 September 2018
Paris et Ile-de-France - Paris et Île-de-France, Paris

Discover or rediscover Parisian museums and monuments over one exclusive weekend

Jazz à La Villette

Festival | Jazz music
September 2018
Grande Halle de La Villette - Parc de la Villette - 211 avenue Jean Jaurès, Paris

A line-up featuring the most innovative artists in all styles of jazz

Qatar, Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, horse racing

Sport
End of September - October 2018
Hippodrome de Chantilly - 16 avenue du Général Leclerc - 209 BP 90, Chantilly

The Qatar, Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe is the most envied prize of all race-horse owners, trainers and jockeys.

Autumn Festival in Paris

Festival | Show - dance | Show - miscellaneous | Show - theatre
from 13 September 2017 to 31 December 2018
Paris et Ile-de-France - Paris et Île-de-France, Paris

Every year, the public can discover almost 50 shows in various venues and institutions in Paris and around the Ile-de-France regio...

KIDEXPO

Exhibition | Trade fair, trade show
October 2018
Paris expo Porte de Versailles - VIPARIS - 1 place de la Porte de Versailles, Paris

The big family event at the Porte de Versailles.

Rolex Paris Masters

Sport
from 01 October 2018 to 15 November 2018
AccorHotels Arena - 8 boulevard de Bercy, Paris

After Roland Garros, the Rolex Paris Masters is the most important tennis tournament in France

Halloween at Disneyland® Paris

Celebration
November 2018
Disneyland® Paris - Disneyland Paris, Marne-la-Vallée
Book

Encounter Disney goodies and baddies at Disney’s Halloween Festival

Christian Dior, couturier du rêve

Exhibition
from 05 July 2017 to 07 January 2018
Les Arts Décoratifs - Musée des Arts Décoratifs - 107 rue de Rivoli, Paris

The Musée des Arts Décoratifs is showing the exhibition 'Christian Dior, couturier du rêve'

Irving Penn

Exhibition
from 21 September 2017 to 29 January 2018
Grand Palais - Avenue Winston Churchill, Paris

See the work of a great photographic artist at the Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais.

La Famille Addams

Musical theatre, musical
from 15 September 2017 to 30 December 2017
Le Palace - 8 rue du Faubourg Montmartre, Paris

La célèbre famille déjantée débarque à Paris pour un spectacle musical.

Pitchfork Music Festival Paris

Festival
November 2018
Grande Halle de La Villette - Parc de la Villette - 211 avenue Jean Jaurès, Paris

8th edition of this epic autumn festival.

Summer House

Celebration | Festival | Music - miscellaneous
June-October 2018
Mona Bismarck American Center - 34 avenue de New York, Paris

The new party place dedicated to American pop culture

Cirque Bouglione

Show - circus
from 14 October 2017 to 11 March 2018
Cirque d'Hiver Bouglione - 110 rue Amelot, Paris

The Cirque Bouglione is back at the Cirque d’Hiver with its new show 'Exploit'

Techno Parade

Celebration | Modern music
September 2018
Tout Paris - Paris, Paris

This mega festive event attracts a large public who come to parade through the streets of Paris to promote electronic music cultur...

Paris Chocolate Show

Trade fair, trade show
October-November 2018
Paris expo Porte de Versailles - VIPARIS - 1 place de la Porte de Versailles, Paris

For over 20 years, the Salon du Chocolat or Paris Chocolate Show has been a real highlight for chocolate-loving children and adult...

Welcome to Woodstock

Musical theatre, musical
from 15 September 2017 to 07 January 2018
Le Comedia - 4 boulevard de Strasbourg, Paris

A psychedelic musical that takes you straight back to the years of the hippie movement.

MaMa festival

Festival
October 2018
Quartier Pigalle - Montmartre - Pigalle et Montmartre, Paris

A new edition of the MaMa festival will take place in the 18th arrondissement: join in!

Comic Con Paris

Trade fair, trade show, exhibition
October 2018
Grande Halle de La Villette - Parc de la Villette - 211 avenue Jean Jaurès, Paris

The trade show on Pop Culture born in California arrives at the Grande Halle de la Villette.